Thanks for joining the Ideas For Scrapbookers blog hop today. If you've been hopping along, you just came from Pam's post over at Ideas For Scrapbookers where you learned what Autism Spectrum Disorder is. If you've just joined the hop, you can get a list of all the participating Artists here. I'm going to do double duty and share information on the signs of autism as well as some repetitive behaviors that you might see with autism.
Signs of Autism
Early intervention is key to helping persons with developmental impairments. For many children that are at risk for cognitive, social, or emotional delays or disorders, access to well designed intervention can improve their quality of life and their prospects for the future. Knowing what to look for, recognizing the signs and getting an evaluation as soon as possible are critical.
People with Autism Spectrum Disorders may have problems with social, emotional, and communication skills. They might repeat certain behaviors and might not want change in their daily activities. Many people with ASDs also have different ways of learning, paying attention, or reacting to things. ASDs begin during early childhood and last throughout a person’s life.
A child or adult with an ASD might:
- not play “pretend” games
- not point at objects to show interest
- not look at objects when another person points at them
- have a lack of appropriate eye gaze
- avoid eye contact and want to be alone
- have trouble relating to others or not have an interest in other people at all
- lack warm, joyful expressions
- have trouble understanding other people’s feelings or talking about their own feelings
- not share interest or enjoyment with others
- prefer not to be held or cuddled or might cuddle only when they want to
- appear to be unaware when other people talk to them but respond to other sounds
- lack response to their name
- be very interested in people, but not know how to talk, play, or relate to them
- repeat or echo words or phrases said to them, or repeat words or phrases in place of normal language (echolalia)
- have unusual prosody in verbal communication (little variation in pitch, odd intonation, irregular rhythm, unusual voice quality)
- have trouble expressing their needs using typical words or motions
- repeat actions over and over again
- have trouble adapting when a routine changes
- have unusual reactions to the way things smell, taste, look, feel, or sound
- lose skills they once had (for instance, stop saying words they had been using, regress in toileting skills)
Repetitive Behaviors in Autism Spectrum Disorders
Although people with autism usually appear physically normal, odd repetitive motions may set them apart from other children and adults. These behaviors might be extreme and highly apparent or more subtle. Some children and older individuals repeatedly flap their arms or walk on their toes. Some suddenly freeze in a position. Some will hum, some like to rock in a chair, on a swing or on their feet. These behaviors are referred to as 'self-stimming" behaviors.
As children, individuals with autism might spend hours lining up their cars and trains in a certain way, rather than using them for pretend play. If someone moves one of the toys, the children may be tremendously upset. Many children with autism need, and demand, absolute consistency in their environment. A slight change in routines, such as mealtimes, dressing, taking a bath, and going to school at a certain time or by the same route, can be extremely stressful.
Repetitive behavior sometimes takes the form of a persistent, intense preoccupation. These strong interests may be unusual because of their content (e.g. being interested in fans or toilets) or because of the intensity of the interest (e.g. knowing much more detailed information about Thomas the Tank Engine than peers). For example, a child with autism might be obsessed with learning all about vacuum cleaners, train schedules, or lighthouses. Often older children with autism have a great interest in numbers/letters, symbols, dates or science topics
To learn more, please visit Asperger Syndrome.org
And now some craftiness!
I made the layout shown at the top of this post for Autism Awareness Month using the color scheme of the autism ribbon. As a gift to you for playing along on the hop, I've created a template that you can download to use either as a sketch, or you can download the layered template to use for creating a digital scrapbook page.
Click here for the sketch
Click here for the layered template.
I've got one more gift for you... a RAK!!! I'm offering a RAK of crafty supplies to one lucky random winner that leaves a comment on this post. Please make sure that I have a link to your blog or email so I can contact you. I'm only able to ship to US addresses at this time (sorry!) You have until 6am (EST) Friday April 30th to leave your comment. I'll be announcing the winner later that day. Good luck!
Next stop on the blog hop is Heather who will be sharing information about the Types of Autism Spectrum Disorders.