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Autism, 2.05 (V) What are Indicators of ASD in K-12 Students?

In this lesson, we will discuss the diagnosis and challenges of kindergarten through 12th grade students on the autism spectrum. While many children on the autism spectrum are identified and diagnosed during the preschool years, many others begin first grade without an official diagnosis. Some are identified as having a speech and language delay and do receive speech and language therapy services during the beginning of their school career, while others may go undiagnosed. Some of the challenges faced by school-aged children on the autism spectrum include social deficits that impact their participation in activities. Their restricted interest may consume much of their time and attention and may result in additional social isolation. Behavioral challenges may become more of a problem as they protest shifting from activity to another or the demands of doing academic tasks which may require more inferencing, more written expression, and a demonstration of social comprehension. A school-aged child with autism may show deficits in empathy and may use language or vocabulary that's significantly above their age level. Often when a school-aged child is referred for special education assessment, the initial referral may be because someone suspects attention deficit or a learning disability. School professionals should look closely at social communication as well as for signs and indicators of restricted or repetitive patterns of behavior or rigidity when a school-aged child is referred as these may indicate the presence of an autism spectrum disorder. While most individuals on the autism spectrum are diagnosed and receiving support if needed by middle and high school, the challenges associated with middle and high school can become a paramount concern at this age. Social challenges and the sophistication of social relationships becomes very complex. Bullying and victimization are often reported at higher rates for middle school and high school students affected by autism. This is also the age where we see coexisting mental health issues, such as anxiety and depression become increasingly problematic. Those who were able to keep pace with the academic demands in elementary school may find it difficult in middle and high school to keep pace with the academic rigor and being able to work on developing social and adaptive, or independent living skills, while also trying to maintain passing grades. In this interview, Steve Ruder discusses the importance of self-awareness and self-disclosure. He provides insights into the supports that an individual might need as they learn how to share information about their disability and needs. » One of the things that's important for people to learn how to do is to decide how they want to talk about their disability and the supports they need, and when did they want to do that. And that's a really important thing for people to practice when they're younger, because in college and in a job, there's gonna be much less support for people guiding how that happens. So learning how to disclose your disability when you're younger, and to really know how to talk about those kinds of supports that you require, is something that really is very, very helpful for people to practice in the school and at home and other types of activities while they have parental support, or they have more guidance through that process.



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In this lesson, we will discuss the diagnosis and challenges of kindergarten through 12th grade students on the autism spectrum. While many children on the autism spectrum are identified and diagnosed during the preschool years, many others begin first grade without an official diagnosis. Some are identified as having a speech and language delay and do receive speech and language therapy services during the beginning of their school career, while others may go undiagnosed. Some of the challenges faced by school-aged children on the autism spectrum include social deficits that impact their participation in activities. Their restricted interest may consume much of their time and attention and may result in additional social isolation. Behavioral challenges may become more of a problem as they protest shifting from activity to another or the demands of doing academic tasks which may require more inferencing, more written expression, and a demonstration of social comprehension. A school-aged child with autism may show deficits in empathy and may use language or vocabulary that's significantly above their age level. Often when a school-aged child is referred for special education assessment, the initial referral may be because someone suspects attention deficit or a learning disability. School professionals should look closely at social communication as well as for signs and indicators of restricted or repetitive patterns of behavior or rigidity when a school-aged child is referred as these may indicate the presence of an autism spectrum disorder. While most individuals on the autism spectrum are diagnosed and receiving support if needed by middle and high school, the challenges associated with middle and high school can become a paramount concern at this age. Social challenges and the sophistication of social relationships becomes very complex. Bullying and victimization are often reported at higher rates for middle school and high school students affected by autism. This is also the age where we see coexisting mental health issues, such as anxiety and depression become increasingly problematic. Those who were able to keep pace with the academic demands in elementary school may find it difficult in middle and high school to keep pace with the academic rigor and being able to work on developing social and adaptive, or independent living skills, while also trying to maintain passing grades. In this interview, Steve Ruder discusses the importance of self-awareness and self-disclosure. He provides insights into the supports that an individual might need as they learn how to share information about their disability and needs. » One of the things that's important for people to learn how to do is to decide how they want to talk about their disability and the supports they need, and when did they want to do that. And that's a really important thing for people to practice when they're younger, because in college and in a job, there's gonna be much less support for people guiding how that happens. So learning how to disclose your disability when you're younger, and to really know how to talk about those kinds of supports that you require, is something that really is very, very helpful for people to practice in the school and at home and other types of activities while they have parental support, or they have more guidance through that process.


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