Category Archives: > Autism / Asperger’s

Information or articles relating to autism spectrum

The ILAUGH Model: Social Thinking

 by Michelle Garcia Winner

 The ILAUGH Model of Social Thinking is a core (and critical) framework created and developed by Michelle Garcia Winner to help professionals and parents understand and think about the struggles faced by those with social learning challenges. The Framework is based on an extensive literature base of both seminal and current research and represents the foundation of all Social Thinking concepts.  ILAUGH is an acronym for the research-based concepts that contribute to challenges in those with social learning issues across academic, community, vocational, and social contexts.  The sections of the ILAUGH are not only grounded in the literature, but also represent a rich clinical base. Although the ILAUGH Model is divided into six key areas, there is commonly an overlap between and within each of the sections.

I = Initiation of Communication

(Kranz & McClannahan, 1993; Rao, Beidel, & Murray, 2008; Whalen, Schreibman, & Ingersoll 2006)

Initiation of communication is the ability to use one’s language skills (verbal and nonverbal) to start (or initiate) something that is not routine.  This can be in the form of difficulty asking for help, seeking clarification, executing a new task, and entering and exiting a peer group.  An individual’s ability to talk about his or her own topics of interest can be in sharp contrast to how that person communicates when in need of support or clarification. Yet, these two skills – asking for help and understanding how to join a group for functional or personal interaction – are paramount for future success in the workplace, academic endeavors and relationships.

L= Listening With Eyes and Brain

(Jones & Carr, 2004; Klin, Jones, Schultz, & Volkmar, 2003; Kunce & Mesibov, 1998; MacDonald et al., 2006; Marshall & Fox, 2006; Mundy & Crowson, 1997; Saulnier & Klin, 2007

From a social perspective, listening is more than just receiving auditory information. It routinely requires the integration of visual information with auditory information within the context in order to understand the full meaning of the message being conveyed, or at least make an educated guess about what is being said when the message cannot be interpreted literally. This is also referred to as “active listening” or whole body listening (Truesdale, 1990). Classrooms depend heavily on having all students attend nonverbally to the expectations in the classroom.

Many individuals with ASD, as well as others with social learning challenges, have technical visual processing strengths, but may struggle to comprehend information presented via the dual challenges of social visual information (reading nonverbal cues) and auditory processing.

A = Abstract and Inferential Language/Communication

(Adams, Green, Gilchrist, & Cox, 2002; Happe’, 1995; Kerbel & Grunwell, 1998; Minshew, Goldstein, Muenz & Payton, 1992; Norbury & Bishop, 2002; Rapin & Dunn, 2003; Simmons-Mackie & Damico, 2003)

Most of the language we use is not intended for literal interpretation. Our communication is peppered with idioms, metaphors, sarcasm and inferences. Societies around the world bestow awards to writers, and even comedians, who are the most creative with language. Each generation of teenagers and young adults leave a trail of new slang for consumption – most of which is abstract.

Abstract language has also crept into the digital, mass and social media markets. Our commercials, web banners, print flyers and video clips are full of abstract information that require all of us to interpret and infer the meaning. Do people really mean what they say in advertising? How do we know a good deal from a sham? It’s incredibly complicated and yet most of us can easily understand the underlying meaning.  And, it is a mistake to assume that individuals with strengths in factual knowledge, but underlying social thinking challenges, understand the non-literal use of language so prevalent in our society. In fact, many don’t!

Active interpretation of the motives and intentions of others emerges in the first year of life and expands in complexity thereafter. Children learn that mom’s tone of voice speaks volumes and that attention to only her words can miss much of her message. As children grow developmentally, they understand that message interpretation depends heavily on one’s ability to “make a smart guess” based on past experiences, what they know (or don’t know) about the current person and situation, and the communication clues available. Language users assume their communicative partners are trying to figure out their messages. By third grade, neurotypical students understand that we are to infer meaning rather than expect it to be coded literally.

Individuals who struggle to interpret the abstract/inferential meaning of language also routinely struggle with academic tasks such as reading comprehension of literature (e.g., interpreting a character’s thoughts, actions and motives based on the context of the story) and written expression.

U = Understanding Perspective

(Baron-Cohen, 1995; Baron-Cohen, 2000; Baron-Cohen & Jolliffe, 1997; Flavell, 2004; Frith, & Frith, 2010; Hale & Tager-Flusberg, 2005; Kaland, Callesen, Moller-Nielsen, Mortensen, & Smith, 2007; Spek, Scholte, & Van Berckelaer-Omnes, 2010)

The ability to interpret others’ perspectives or beliefs, thoughts and feelings across contexts is critical to social learning. It is central to group participation in the social, academic or vocational world. Individuals with social learning challenges are often highly aware of their own perspective, but may struggle to see another’s point of view.   

To understand the differing perspectives of others requires that one’s Theory of Mind (perspective taking) work quickly and efficiently. Most neurotypically developing students acquire a solid foundation in ToM between the ages of 4 to 6 years old. Perspective taking is not one thing, it represents many things happening all at once meaning it is a synergistic and dynamic process. A definition of perspective taking can include the ability to consider your own and others:

  • Thoughts
  • Emotions
  • Physically coded intentions
  • Language based intentions
  • Prior knowledge and experiences
  • Belief systems
  • Personality
  • While considering all of this with regards to the specific situation being considered.

The ability to take perspective is key to participation in any type of group (social or academic). It is also a critical component when interpreting information that requires understanding of other’s minds, such as reading comprehension, history, social studies, etc. However, like all other concepts explored in the ILAUGH model, one’s ability to take perspective is not a black or white matter.

G = Gestalt Processing/Getting the Big Picture

(Fullerton, Stratton, Coyne & Gray, 1996; Happe’ & Frith, 2006; Hume, Loftin, & Lantz, 2009; Pelicano, 2010; Plaisted, 2001; Shah & Frith, 1993; van Lang, Bouma, Sytema, Kraijer, & Minderaa 2006)

Conceptual processing is a key component to successful social and academic functioning. It is critical to be able to be a part of and follow the group plan or share an imagination.  Due to the fact that information is conveyed through concepts and not just facts, it is important that one is able to tie individual pieces of information into the greater concept. For example, when engaged in a conversation, the participants should be able to intuitively determine the underlying concept(s) being discussed, as well as identify the specific details that are shared. Similarly, when reading, one has to follow the overall meaning rather than just collect a series of seemingly unrelated facts. As with many elements of social cognition, this ability relies heavily on strong executive function skills. As a result, difficulty with organizational strategies often stems from problems with conceptual processing. Weaknesses in the development of this skill can greatly impact one’s ability to formulate written expression, summarize reading passages, and manage one’s homework load, as well as derive the intended meaning from a social conversation.

H = Humor and Human Relatedness

Gutstein, 2001; Greenspan, & Wieder, 2003; Losh & Capps, 2006; Loukusa et al., 2007; Ozonoff, & Miller, 1996; Prizant, Wetherby, Rubin, & Laurent, 2003; Prizant, Wetherby, Rubin, Laurent & Rydell, 2006; Williams & Happe’, 2010)

Human relatedness is at the heart of social interaction. Most of us desire some form of social interaction and our students, clients and family members are no exception. The struggle is having the ability to relate to other’s minds, emotions and needs. Establishing the concept of human relatedness is essential before advancing in any lessons.  Most of the clients with whom we work with have a very good sense of humor, but they often feel anxious because they miss many of the subtle cues that help them to understand how to use their humor successfully with others. It is important for educators/parents to work compassionately with humor to help minimize the anxiety the individual may experience. It is also not uncommon for many to struggle with using humor inappropriately and direct lessons targeting this concept are necessary.

Source Social Thinking: https://www.socialthinking.com/Articles?name=Understanding+Core+Social+Thinking+Challenges+The+ILAUGH+Model&utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=article_understandingcoresocial

Orton-Gillingham tutoring (reading and writing skills) in Columbus OH: Adrienne Edwards 614-579-6021 or email aedwardstutor@columbus.rr.com

Q&A: How Will the New 504 Plan Guidance Help My Child?

—————————— a CHADD article

Question: I just read the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights (OCR) has just told schools they need to follow the 504 Plan rules better for students with ADHD. How does this help my child? Does the school have to follow this guidance, or is it just a suggestion? And will it help me when I work with the school to have a 504 Plan created for my child?

—Mom in Colorado

 Answer: We brought your questions to two members of CHADD’s Public Policy Committee and asked them how this guidance was going to help parents and students affected by ADHD. We also talked about CHADD’s role in working with the Office of Civil Rights while it was preparing the guidance.

CHADD members have for a long time noted that some schools and administrators seemed to have difficulty following Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. The law provides directives for the education of children with a disability and has been expanded to include children affected by ADHD. The CHADD Public Policy Committee commissioned a survey of CHADD members in 2014 asking for their experiences with 504 Plans for their children.

During CHADD’s Annual International Conference on ADHD, which took place near Washington, D.C., members of the Public Police Committee invited the OCR to present during the conference. Although, the OCR declined, CHADD and OCR representatives met to discuss their concerns for students affected by ADHD.

“It really grabbed them to see the information we gathered—to see the issues coming up around Section 504,” says committee co-chair Jeffrey Katz, PhD. “It started a conversation.”

The committee shared the results of the survey and the experiences of CHADD members, including those on the public policy committee with OCR. The OCR was very interested in the information, Dr. Katz says.

“We shared not only the data, but a range of concerns about the interpretation of the data from parents and our own professional experience,” says committee member Matthew Cohen, JD. “We helped to convince them of the importance of issuing the guidance. And we helped them identify areas that needed to be addressed.”

Mr. Cohen says the committee members discussed complaints made to the OCR from parents who have children with ADHD, along with highlighting the importance of academic accommodations as part of behavioral management for ADHD. They discussed best practices in treating ADHD, he says, and the importance of schools’ compliance with Section 504. The committee members stressed their concerns about inappropriate discipline for students affected by ADHD and how following Section 504 can help reduce the likelihood of students getting in trouble at school.

“We were particularly focused on ways that schools should be intervening and on ways schools could support kids with ADHD,” Mr. Cohen says. “It’s fair to say, because of us, many of the things we discussed are addressed in the guidance.”

Mr. Cohen says that the guidance, which must be followed by every public school in the United States, should help in three ways: it will educate and empower parents to promote their children’s rights; it will better inform schools about their responsibility and how to assist students affected by ADHD; and it will help OCR in how it responds to complaints brought by parents when there is a problem at the school.

“If schools are more aware of what can be done to assist kids with ADHD, there will be less frequency of kids not getting what they need,” Mr. Cohen says. “While the guidance is not the same as law, it will likely affect due process and court hearings regarding kids with ADHD.”

The guidance, he says, brings better clarity to the law and to both educators and parents when they work to apply the law to benefit students, he says.

“There have been many things OCR has addressed piecemeal in the last 25 years. The guidance pulls things together to provide a coherent statement and strengthen their position altogether,” Mr. Cohen says.

Dr. Katz is a clinical psychologist who has worked directly with parents and schools to help create 504 Plans. He has seen firsthand the frustration parents experience when a child who needs assistance is denied a 504 Plan or that plan is not properly employed.

“I always tell parents that I believe the school wants to do the best to help your kid, but they don’t understand your kid,” he says. “My feeling is that before (the guidance), Section 504 was up to interpretation.”

He frequently saw interpretation differences between school districts and even among principals and other educators within districts, he says. These differences led to students affected by ADHD not receiving 504 services or very limited services and accommodations. Many educators, he says, did not acknowledge that behavioral difficulties stemmed from a student’s ADHD diagnosis and could be addressed by a 504 Plan.

“This document says you have to consider that this child may have a disability if these behaviors are happening more frequently than other children,” Dr. Katz says. “There’s still room for the school to say, ‘We see this and we don’t think it happened because of ADHD,’ but they don’t have much to stand on for that.”

The document broadens the view of which students can and should receive 504 services or accommodations, he says. “We want to make sure we’re not missing the kids who need the 504 services.”

CHADD plans to continue the conversation with OCR and encourages parents whose children are affected by ADHD to also give their feedback to OCR, he says.

“I hope the document puts the pressure on schools to improve their services and improve their identification (of students) and accommodations and services to kids with ADHD,” Dr. Katz said, adding he plans to share his experience with the guidance with OCR when the new school year begins.

Parents can learn more about CHADD’s role in the creation of the OCR guidance on the CHADD Leadership Blog and can read the Dear Colleague Letter and Resource Guide on Students with ADHD for more information on how this can affect their children.

See more at: http://www.chadd.org/Understanding-ADHD/About-ADHD/ADHD-Weekly-Archive/Newsletter-Article.aspx?id=112#sthash.DymcPB4T.dpuf

Source: http://www.chadd.org/Understanding-ADHD/About-ADHD/ADHD-Weekly-Archive/Newsletter-Article.aspx?id=112

Orion-Gillinaham tutoring for reading and writing skills in Columbus OH: Adrienne Edwards 614-579-6021 or email aedwardstutor@columbus.rr.com

+ Ohio OCALI Autism Conference November 18-18

Don’t miss the 2011 OCALI Conference, the nation’s premier event in autism, assistive technology and low-incidence disabilities.

Mark your calendar for

  •  November 16-18, 2011
  • Greater Columbus Ohio Convention Center

Highlights include:

  • Wednesday Keynotes Larry Bissonnette and Tracy Thresher, stars of “Wretchers and Jabberers,” sponsored by VizZle
  • Thursday Keynote Dan Habib, director of Including Samuel
  • Tuesday Pre-conference  workshop facilitated by Michelle Garcia Winner (pre-conference workshop available for an additional fee)
  • NEW for 2011! National Autism Leadership Summit
  • New for 2011! UDL (Universal Design for Learning) Summit

Plus:

  • Free Tuesday evening community expos
  • University Summit sponsored by The University of Toledo and Kentucky Autism Training Center
  • Parents’ Corner hosted by The Autism Society
  • Over 200 sessions by national leaders and scholars
  • An exhibit hall of over 90 leading companies and organizations

Over 2,000 participants from across the nation are anticipated

Visit http://conference.ocali.org/view.php?nav_id=2&utm_source=OCALI+List&utm_campaign=6c1b20aa75-Early_Bird_Registration_102511&utm_medium=email

Orton-Gillingham tutoring in Columbus OH: Adrienne Edwards  614-579-6021  or email aedwardstutor@columbus.rr.com

+ Ohio 2011 LDA Scholarship Available

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The Learning Disability Association (LDA) of Ohio is offering a scholarship to recognize and assist individuals with learning disabilities who want to pursue a post secondary education are job training.

Two scholarships of $400.00 will be awarded to qualified individuals who reside in the state of Ohio.  The award may be used for tuition.

Eligibility 

  • Applicant must have attended or be presently attending a private, parochial or public school in Ohio.
  • Applicant must be identified as a person with a learning disability.

Selection Criteria

Scholarship awards are competitive.  A committee made up of the Executive Board of LDA of Ohio will select the recipients.  Notification of selection will be mailed to the recipients by June 5, 2011.  Selection of scholarship recipients will be based on the following factors:

  1. Academic achievement
  2. Demonstration of leadership, initiative and responsibility
  3. Consistent effort toward self-improvement
  4. Potential for benefiting from the additional education or job training

Deadline

Applications must be post-marked by April 30, 2011.  Please send to LDA of Ohio, 4115 S. Charleston Pike, Springfield OH 45502.

Application Must Include

  1. The Application form
  2. Three letters of recommendation from references listed on the application.  One of the letters must be written by a person who can verify that the applicant has been identified as a person with a learning disability (counselor, principal, LD teacher)
  3. Transcript of grades

More information, phone LDA of Ohio (937) 325-1923   e-mail: memartin@glasscity.net  (President Mary Ellen Martin)

The application asks for name, birthday, address, phone, best time to reach you, email address and applicant’s school.  It asks you to respond to these questions:

  • How does your learning disability affect your learning?
  • What steps do you take to make sure you gain the information you need to learn?
  • Please list the name of the school(s) you are planning to attend.
  • Please tell about your career goals. (What are you planning to study?)
  • Please list school and community activities.
  • Please list three references. (Enclose letters of recommendation)

tutoring in Columbus OH:  Adrienne Edwards  614-579-6021 or email  aedwardstutor@columbus.rr.com

+ Improve Abstract Reasoning: Strategies

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These strategies work for all students with abstract reasoning challenges, but I found them in a book: “School Success for Kids With  Asperger’s  Syndrome,” by Stephen M. Silverman and Rich Weinfeld.

  • Break down the lesson’s goal into its component parts; provide supportsExplicitly teach new vocabulary.  Review (or teach) skills needed to complete the lesson.  Break down the key idea into concepts that build on each another.
  • Utilize “naturalistic” or incidental instructionNaturalistic instruction emphasizes accepting spontaneous partial responses even if they aren’t complete.  Evaluate  for understanding of key concepts/actions/vocabulary.  Ask  open-ended questions.  Encourage higher order thinking through questioning.
  • Provide appropriate accommodations as you instruct — Build in the types of supports your students  need.  Repeat small units, and all levels and types of prompts.  Pre-teach new concepts/vocabulary ahead of group instruction.  Reduce the field of choices; offer tangible reinforcements. You can model responses.  Use guided practice as well as re-teaching.  Individualize accommodations, and gradually fade them out.   
  • Adapt the way you teach the lessonPresent information in such a way that students can demonstrate their understanding — for example, use visuals, videos, plays, DVDs or diagrams.  Try graphic organizers for recording key points and making abstract connections.  Make learning hands-on.  Use spatial or musical patterns to emphasize your words.
  •    Provide explicit instruction to ensure understanding of the conceptDon’t assume students automatically understand the goal.  State explicitly the concept being taught, and explain the importance of each learning activity.  Make sure they see the forest as well as the trees.
  • Move from specifics to generalizationsSome students do best with inductive reasoning; they move most easily from the parts to the whole.  Begin with specifics; gradually move to generalizations.  Offer a unifying theme to help students find the commonality in all the pieces of information they have learned.  Never assume they will make this intellectual leap without explicitly seeing connections.
  • Offer alternative ways for students to demonstrate understanding, allowing them to use their strengthsRemember there are different, yet equally acceptable, ways for students to demonstrate understanding.  Visual learners may produce a project, diagram or slideshow; auditory learners may give an oral explanation.  Methods of testing (after an activity is completed) might include brief oral or written summaries of what they learned.  Or break down questions to elicit one piece of specific information.  Or let students develop their own strategies and even help them to do so.

source: “School Success for Kids With Asperger’s Syndrome,” by Stephen Silverman & Rich Weinfeld.  Prufrock Press, ISBN 10:1-59363-215-0.

tutoring in Columbus OH:   Adrienne Edwards 614-579-6021  or email aedwardstutor@columbus.rr.com

+ Transitions 2011: January Conference in Boca Raton

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Lynn University in Boca Raton Florida will hold a one-day conference titled Transitions 2011, High School to Higher Education: Options for Students with Learning Differences.

The conference will be held at Lynn University’s Keith C and Elaine Johnson Wold Performing Arts Center on January 28, 2011, from 7:30 am to 4:00 pm.

The conference is iIntended for education leaders, guidance counselors, teachers, educational consultants, parents and students.

Speakers include

  • Rick Lavoie,  internationally renowned learning difference expert and author
  • Gaston Caperton, president of the College Board,
  • Kathryn Jarvis, director of academic services at Auburn University
  • Marsha Glines, dean, Lynn University Institute for Achievement and Learning
  • Marybeth Kravits and Imy F Wax, authors of The Princeton Review K & W Guide to Colleges for Students with Learning Differences
  • Peter Lake, professor, Stetson University College of Law
  • Robin Lurie-Meyerkopf, associate director of The Asperger’s Association of New England
  • Ari Ne’eman, president, Autistic Self Advocacy Network and member of the National Council on Disability
  • Ketty Patino Gonzalez, specialist in psychoeducational and developmental assessments of individuals on the autism spectrum
  • Theodore Wasserman, neuropsychologist and associate dean at Lynn University Institute for Achievement and Learning

Topics include

  • Helping the Childe with Learning Differences Find Social Success
  • Intentionality, Planning and Mentoring:  for Student Success
  • Academic Study Strategies for College Bound Students with Learning Disorders: The Measured Millennials
  • Transitioning from High School to College
  • Many Colleges, Many Services
  • Helping Our Children Before They Go to College
  • The Motivation Breakthrough: 6 Secrets to Turning on the Tuned-Out Child
  • Re-Engaging Parents in the College Experience
  • Millennials: Through the Gates and Into the Workplace
  • Interviewing at Colleges and Scared Stiff: Prep Me Now!
  • Make It Simple: How to Know Which Support Program Works Best From the Student’s Perspective
  • Hiring an Educational Consultant: Everything You Need and Want to Know and What to Ask
  • Understanding the Brain and Learning
  • Supporting College-Bound Students With Asperger Syndrome
  • Testing and Documenting the Need for Accommodations in College

Contact Angelina Juliano at 561-237-9000, or email tickets@lynn.edu.

Accommodations at the Wyndham Garden Boca Raton (http://WyndhamGardenBocaRaton.com)  which is approximately 1 mile from Lynn University.

tutoring in Columbus OH:  Adrienne Edwards  614-579-6021  or email  aedwardstutor@columbus.rr.com

+ Central Ohio: Transition Fair at Olentangy HS Nov 16

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The Delaware County Board of Developmental Disabilities and Delaware area schools will offer a transition fair from 5:30 pm-7:30 pm Tuesday, November 16th at Olentangy HS, 675 Lewis Center Rd.

The fair is designed for individuals with with disabilities and families to answer questions about life after high school.

Vendors will be on hand to talk about housing, employment options, job coaches, social opportunities, adult day services and post high-school educational programs.

A panel discussion will take place from 6 pm to 7 pm.

For more information call 740-201-3600.

source: Olentangy News 10/10/2010

tutoring in columbus OH:   Adrienne Edwards  614-579-6021  or email aedwardstutor@columbus.rr.com