Autism: A Social Skills Approach for Children and by Maureen Aarons;Tessa Gittens

By Maureen Aarons;Tessa Gittens

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Sample text

Non-verbal children may benefit from being taught some basic signs to make their needs known. For more able children, signs may enhance understanding of specific conceptsfor example, prepositions and pronouns. Advocates of Facilitated Communication (Biklen, 1993) held the same naive convictions, ignoring scientific evidence in favour of unsubstantiated beliefs in a practice which had more in common with religious fervour than an actual understanding of autism. Sadly, many professionals and parents continue to be misled and there have been a number of cases where abuse was alleged by well-meaning but misguided facilitators.

However, providing a diagnosis without offering an immediate response service follow-up is seriously inadequate. It is vital that parents are offered not only information but prompt access to services specific to the condition. Page 20 Checklist Have diagnostic issues been dealt with? Have the parents understood the implications? Do other referrals need to be made? Has the child got a place in a nursery/playgroup? Should the child be referred for formal assessment? Do the parents have access to reading material?

The child may also have unusual and/or pervasive interests, which are dominating. There may be an excessive interest in videos, which may be blamed by parents for causing the difficulties. ) The child seems unable to extract meaning from situations and experiences, despite a capacity to acquire knowledge and retain facts. ) The child does not display joint attention behaviour, or show awareness of the needs and interests of others. ) The child is described as odd, quirky, or extremely stubborn and may be very difficult to manage.

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