Introductory Awareness of Autistic Spectrum Conditions

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Introductory awareness of Autistic Spectrum Conditions

Understand the areas in which individuals with an autistic spectrum conditions characteristically have difficulties

1.1. Describe the types of difficulty that individuals with an autistic spectrum condition may have with language and other ways of communicating
The effects of autism on communication are extremely varied. Most individuals do not have any trouble with pronunciation. The problems lie in using language effectively. Common problems are lack of eye contact, poor attention, being able to point objects to others, and difficulty with the 'give and take' in normal conversation. Some individuals sometimes use language in unusual ways, retaining features of earlier stages of language development for long periods or throughout their lives. Some speak only single words, while others repeat a mimicked phrase over and over The body language of people with autism can be difficult for other people to understand. Facial expressions, movements, and gestures may be easily understood by some other people with autism, but do not match those used by other people. Also, their tone of voice has a much more subtle inflection in reflecting their feelings, and the auditory system of a person without autism often cannot sense the fluctuations.

1.2. Identify problems that individuals with an autistic spectrum condition may have in social interaction and relationships Communication difficulties may contribute to autistic people becoming socially anxious or depressed or prone to self-injurious behaviours. Significant percentage of people with autism are being diagnosed with co-morbid mood, anxiety and compulsive disorders which may also contribute to behavioural and functioning challenges.

1.3. Outline the problems of inflexibility and restrictiveness in activities and interests and how these may affect individuals on the autistic spectrum Problems of individuals on the autistic spectrum involve:

Severe impairments in social interaction
Individuals with autism may resist being touched, and appear to be lost in their own world, far from human interaction. Most individuals often resist being separated from a parent or well-known caregiver. They do not initiate social interaction themselves. Many individuals fail to develop age-appropriate peer relationships. They suffer inability to respond to social situations or other people's emotions with empathy or a concerned attitude.

Communication, imaginative abilities
Some of the higher-functioning individuals with autistic disorders may appear overly formal and polite. Impairments in communicating in at least one of the following four areas: Delay in development of spoken language, without attempts to communicate through alternative means such as gestures or mime Repetitive and stereotyped use of language, or use of words in unusual ways Severe impairment in the ability to initiate or sustain a conversation with others Failure to show imaginative play, such as make-believe or social imitative play appropriate to developmental level

Rigid, repetitive behaviours
Restricted, repetitive, and stereotyped patterns of behaviour, interests, and activities, as of the following: Unusual and overly absorbing preoccupation with one or more interests or activities Stereotyped and repetitive motor behaviours using parts of the body such as fingers or hands, or the whole body Persistent preoccupation with parts of objects

A need for rigid adherence to specific routines or rituals in daily life

Understand the concept of autism as a spectrum, and the implications for variation in the capacities and needs of individuals

2.1. Explain why it is important to recognise that each individual on the autistic spectrum has their own individual abilities, needs, strengths, preferences and interests People with autism should share the same rights and privileges...
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