Autism Frequently Asked Questions
Does Linguaphile Skills Hub provide solutions to Autistic children?
Yes, we work with children in the Autism Spectrum Disorder. Linguaphile Skills Hub is an Educational Management consulting organisation that focusses on providing end to end solutions for children with Special Education Needs. We review Psychologist reports (provide you contact with them if you don’t have one), understand the needs of you as a parent and that of the child, create an Individual Education Plan, provide relevant resources and offer Parent Enablement Sessions that we provide through internet sessions.
What is Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)?
Autism is often referred to as ASD or Autism Spectrum Disorder. There are three common features of autism, which might affect the way a person interacts with others in a social situation, is able to communicate with other and experiences the world around them.
What is Asperger's Syndrome and is it different to Autism?
Asperger's syndrome is a form of autism which may also affect the way a person communicates and relates to other people.
People with Asperger's syndrome will not usually have a learning disability, however they may experience challenges such as specific learning difficulties, anxiety or other conditions.
What is Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA)?
Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA) is a form of autism which may also affect they way a person communicates and relates to other people. People with PDA may experience challenges such as specific learning difficulties, but their central difficulty is that they are driven to avoid everyday demands and expectations to an extreme extent. This avoidance is rooted in an anxiety-based need to be in control.
Are there early signs of Autism that I can see in my child?
Autism symptoms can be observed as early as 12-18 months of age. Symptoms may include:
reduced interest in social interaction with people
lack of gestures such as pointing and showing
lack of engagement in social play
failure to consistently orient when the child’s name is called
For some children, symptoms are not apparent until they’re in more demanding social situations, such as at preschool. Some children may engage more easily with familiar adults such as their parents, but have difficulty when engaging with peers.
Is avoidance of eye contact a sign of Autism?
Research shows that people diagnosed with ASD are likely to have a hard time making eye contact due to the subcortical system of the brain exhibiting a high activation, which researchers believe may be the basis of people with autism avoiding eye contact in daily life. This pathway is involved in facial recognition and detection. Inn young children, the more this pathway is used, the better the visual cortex develops. This can help give the person diagnosed with autism and their loved ones an improved ability to recognise social cues and communicate with one another.
How does visual processing impact someone with Autism?
Research shows that learning is more effective when vision is linked to the information coming into the brain. Because vision is our dominant sense, improving our visual information processing can help us with movement, orientation, and understanding the relationship between our eyes, brain, and body.
People with Autism, especially young children, may or may not be able to communicate their visual difficulties easily. Some, however, may display certain behaviours, which can be indicative of wider vision problems such as but not limited to:
Blinking and dilated pupils
Erratic eye movements
Poor or complete avoidance of eye contact
Avoiding visual attention, especially reading and work
Frequently losing the place when reading
Repeating letters and words
May be closing or blocking one eye when reading
May be looking out of the corner of the eye
May have difficulty copying from far away
May be holding a book too close to the eyes
May be overly interested in shadows, patterns, or lights
May end up bumping or running into objects
May have confusion going up or down stairs
May show rocking symptoms
Is there a “cure” for Autism?
There isnt proven cure for autism, although there are medications available along with therapies that a child can do to enable learning and coping with every day life.
What kind of Academics can my child with Autism pursue?
A child with Autism will benefit from Visual aids, Structure and Routine, working in pairs, anxiety reduction in the classroom.
Some students learn more effectively with visual aids as they are better able to understand material presented visually. Because of this, many teachers create “visual schedules” for their autistic students. This allows students to concretely see what is going on throughout the day, so they know what to prepare for and what activity they will be doing next. Some autistic children have trouble going from one activity to the next, so this visual schedule can help to reduce stress.
Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders usually do not cope with chaotic unpredictable environments. Teachers can provide support by providing the child with timetables and the steps for activities. Research has shown that working in pairs may be beneficial in teaching autistic children. These students have problems not only with language and communication, but with socialization as well. By facilitating peer interaction, teachers can help these students make friends, which in turn can help them cope with problems. This can help them to become more integrated into the mainstream environment of the classroom.
What kind of differentiated learning in a classroom can help an Autistic child?
A teacher’s aide can also be useful to the student. The aide is able to give more elaborate directions that the teacher may not have time to explain to the autistic child and can help the child to stay at a equivalent level to the rest of the class through the special one-on-one instruction. However, some argue that students with one-on-one aides may become overly dependent on the help, thus leading to difficulty with independence later on.
There are many different techniques that teachers can use to assist their students. A teacher needs to become familiar with the child’s disorder to know what will work best with that particular child. Every child is going to be different and teachers have to be able to adjust with every one of them.
Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders sometimes have high levels of anxiety and stress, particularly in social environments like school. If a student exhibits aggressive or explosive behaviour, it is important for educational teams to recognise the impact of stress and anxiety. Preparing students for new situations, such as through writing social stories, can lower anxiety. Teaching social and emotional concepts using systematic teaching approaches such as The Incredible 5-Point Scale or other cognitive behavioural strategies can increase a student’s ability to control excessive behavioural reactions.
Are there any particular subjects that an Autistic child have their strengths?
Research shows that children with Autism tend to excel in analytical subjects like mathematics, physical sciences as well as computer programming. It is important to ensure that children with Autism focus on the subjects that they excel in to get the best out of them than also focus on humanities subjects which may be a challenge for them.
Where can I get help about Autism?
Present concerns to your child’s physician or teachers or contact us. We have global experience of working with children who have Special Education Needs.
Are there any online computer based software that may help a child with Autism?
There are a lot of differently available software for Autism available online. What is important is to ensure finding the right online software that will add value and help the child to learn. It is also important to have a structured learning for the child based on which the software should be provided and progress measured.
How long will my child need therapy for Autism?
This is a difficult question to answer since everyone develops and learns at his/her own pace. You are best advised to talk with your professional about duration of therapy and how your child is responding to intervention and achieving goals. The professional will provide you with an update of prgoress based on data from the therapy sessions.
Depending on your child's age, grade, success in school, interests and desires, etc., the amount of therapy could vary. Intensive sessions may be the best way to learn a new set of skills, and then perhaps a period of less intensity for monitoring the use of those new skills. Once new skills are mastered and your child is meeting with success, the clinician may recommend taking a break.
We know that language, reading, and writing demands change as we age, and particularly while your child advances through school. Therefore, the need for therapy changes. A skilled clinician can help you balance the amount and type of therapy your child needs.
What is ABA therapy for Autism?
ABA is short for Applied Behavioural Analysis, and it is often described as the "gold standard" for autism treatment. ABA system of autism treatment based on behaviourist theories which, simply put, state that desired behaviours can be taught through a system of rewards and consequences. ABA can be thought of as applying behavioural principles to behavioural goals and carefully measuring the results.
Would an Autistic child benefit from Speech and Language Therapist?
As children learn to talk at different pace, some children develop more quickly than others. We do know however that there are 'typical' ages by which we expect children to have developed certain skills, and most children do. However there are some children that do struggle with learning to talk and understand and they will need extra help to support development. If you are concerned about the way your child is talking or understanding, ask for a Speech and Language Therapy (SLT) assessment. This assessment will tell you exactly how your child is getting on and if there is a reason to be concerned.