Welcome to Newsletter No. 1 from Positive About Autism. Each month, we can bring you bite size pieces of learning, news, and resources. Sign up for free here.
This first newsletter will focus on communication and diffficult behaviours and autism.
Book review: Communication Issues in Autism and Asperger Syndrome by Olga Bogdashina.
People with autism often have a different way of communicating. Providing a theoretical foundation for understanding speech, language and communication differences specific to autism, Olga Bogdashina explores the effects of different perceptual and cognitive styles on the communication and language development of children with autism. She stresses the importance of identifying each person with autism’s nonverbal language with a view to establishing a shared means of verbal communication. She offers an explanation of why certain approaches, for example PECS, might work with some children with autism but not others. Offering real in-sights, the 'What They Say' sections enable the reader to see through the eyes of the person with autism and to understand their language differences first hand. 'What We Can Do to Help' sections throughout the book give practical recommendations on what to do in order to help people with autism use their communication strengths to learn and develop positive skills. The book is perhaps not quite as accessible as her book on sensory perception.
Take a look at a preview of the book...
A new study at the Australian Centre for Educational Studies, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia looks at the use of challenging behaviours by children with autism as a means of expressive communication in their school environment. In the study, 50% of the children with severe autism and little expressive language, used challenging behaviour to ask for an object, service, permission or activity or to reject something or bring an activity to a stop. Chiang, H 2008
David Pitonyak, provides consultation and training for individuals, families and professionals throughout the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, England, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. In David’s experience, people with difficult behaviors are often missing:
•A sense of safety and well-being
•Things to look forward to
•A sense of value and self-worth
•Relevant skills and knowledge
Supporters who are themselves supported.
David has some really positive and practical ways with difficult behaviours.
What lies behind the speech, language and communiaction needs of people with autism?
Research being carried out by Patricia K. Kuhl at University of Washington indicates that young children with autism have a difficult time recognizing, learning and de-coding ordinary words. Take a look at some of Professor Kuhl’s research in this area.
For current research in the area of communication and autism visit Research Autism
Picture Exchange Communication is an augmentative/ alternative training package that teaches children and adults with autism to initiate communication. The teaching programme has been shown to have some effect on the number of initiations children make in school (Howlin, 2007). Find out more about the programme www.pecs.com
And finally... MMR in the news again!
Both Mr Obama and his rival for the presidency, John McCain, responded to stories about vaccines by highlighting the rise in diagnoses in children of autism.
Mr Obama told a campaign rally in April: “We’ve seen a skyrocketing autism rate. Some people are suspicious that it’s connected to the vaccines. This person included. The science right now is inconclusive, but we have to research it.” In February Mr McCain had remarked on the rise in autism cases, saying that there was “strong evidence that indicates it’s got to do with a preservative in vaccines”.
Studies in several countries involving millions of children have shown no correlation between MMR and autism rates.
View the facts about MMR
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