Within this assignment I am going to look at the disorder Autism. I will look at the disability itself, how it is assessed and how those in education are affected by it. I will look at how the disorder affects one person in particular and the how the person with the condition feels themselves.

According to Howlin “Autism is a life long, often devastating disorder that profoundly affects almost every aspect of an individuals functioning” (Howlin, 2003, pg 1). Those who have Autism are seen as displaying fixed patterns of routine behaviour by grouping things together, they may also have poor social interaction and communication skills. Along the side of autism is Aspergers Syndrome, there is no direct difference from aspergers and autism, Aspergers is seen to be the milder of the two conditions.

Because autism is not a physical disablement it makes the disorder harder to create an understanding of the condition and therefore create awareness, yet it affects over 500,000 families within the UK (http://www.nas.org.uk/nas/jsp/polopoly.jsp?d=114). According to the National Autistic Society, Aspergers Syndrome is “a condition that affects the way a person communicates and relates to others” (http://www.nas.org.uk/nas/jsp/polopoly.jsp?d=114). Those with Autism also tend to have other learning difficulties, but most tend share a problem of making sense of the world that they live in, they tend to take things literally and at face value, and have to be told and explained constantly about what things are and what they mean. There are three main areas that children with autism are affected by:

We Will Write a Custom Essay Specifically
For You For Only $13.90/page!


order now

. Social interaction: have problems with strangers and gaining eye contact with these people.

. Social Communication: they have problems in understanding peoples facial expressions when explaining things, and the tone of voice used in explanations. They also have problems with non-verbal and verbal communication in that they have difficulty in distinguishing between the meanings behind them and gestures which maybe used in non-verbal communication.

. Imagination: have problems in imagining the ideas that are made to them and making things for themselves, and the imaginative ideas that they do have is often used repeatedly over and over again, this usually constitutes to three for which they are prone to do.

There are no direct causes for autism but it has been found that genetic factors play a part in abnormalities in brain development, which may occur during pregnancy, birth or shortly after. The earlier a child is diagnosed as having autism the better as they can get the help and the support that they need. According Michele Zapella the earlier a child is diagnosis and there is some kind of intervention as it can help the child and the family, and also help any services which the child is in contact or may come into contact with. Zapella also says that early intervention also proves to have a better outcome on the Childs life. Most children are diagnosed by the age of two or three.

As there is no direct cure for the disorder there are many different types of intervention. No one approach is found to help children, as there are varying different approaches, some are totally rigid and some are reasonably flexible. Which approach is used can be seen as how the child is diagnosed this can have major affects on the child and the family setting in which they live. The professional giving the diagnosis has to be careful as a wrong diagnosis can have detrimental affects on all those concerned. The professional will collect together an understanding from the child and the family in which they live to before a child is ‘labelled’. Once a child has been diagnosed treatments may be given, pharmalogical methods such as steroids have been in used in treating certain aspects of autism. Bishop (1985) (cited in Richer & Coates, pg102, 2001) says that it can successfully remove the autistic behaviours that a child may have and can also remove any language defects which they may have.

Bowlby and Ainsworth developed the theory of Attachment and they say that a bond is formed between mother and baby and that it can have affects later on in life social and cognitively, if a bond is not strong in an infants life then it can have affects off forming relationships in later life, yet children with autism form strong attachment bonds with parents when they are infants and have problems with social and cognitive problems in forming relationships as they become toddlers and young children and abilities with cognition such as maths and language.

According to Richer and Coates there is a physiological difference to those who have Autism, certain proteins in the body are prone to make children more susceptible to acquiring autism than others and different proteins have different effects on the mind and therefore have different outcomes. Whilst there is a physiological difference there is also a physical difference, there are a higher number of boys with autistic spectrum disorders than girls, a 4:1 ratio has been found in various studies, Wing (1981) found there were fifteen times more boys with autism, when she looked closely she found that of the children with learning difficulties there was a more equal ratio of 2:1, so when girls get an autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) tends to be more severe. This may be because girls tend to have better verbal skills and boys are better at visual-spatial tasks.

When a child with an ASD is placed into the education setting it is important to understand that they are going to meet with various members of staff and pupils, this highlights a problem, who needs to know whether a child has an ASD? Teachers, parents and the children themselves have a say who and what is needed to be known about the child. The teacher must have an understanding of the disorder so that they are able to understand the problems that the child may face, and problems which they may encounter within the classroom setting. It is better for a child to have direct contact with one person whom they can liaise with, this is usually head of year or form teacher, some pupils may be allocated support in the classroom, this may not be a teacher a classroom assistant or a qualified nursery nurse, this may cause a problem according to Jones & Jordan this may limit the interaction with the rest of the class and may become excluded from the rest of the group, it may also place a burden on the support worker helping the child as they feel as they are wholly responsible for the childs teaching.

The major advantage of placing a child with an ASD in a mainstream setting means that the child is constantly surrounded with other children of similar ages whoa re developing normally. As the school day changes so often it can be hard for them to understand what is going on in each lesson so they have to be told what they are doing, the setting that they are in and how it is they should act within the setting, for example they would be told that they need to be quiet and keep still if they are in a lesson where they are watching a video, as not to disturb the other pupils. The change of lessons within the school day is a bigger problem for those in secondary schools as they day changes more often and there are a wider range of lessons that are being taught to the child. Development is a problem which teachers face in teaching those with ASD’s especially those with Autism, as there are some things that can be learnt but not taught, this is because they have problem with social skills yet they also have a problem with social understanding.

According to Jordan and Powell (1995) “they are having to learn from the outside, what those of without autism feel from the inside. (pg 14). But if we begin to breakdown the social skills so that they are able to be taught it can cause a problem with social incompetence, and maybe produce more disturbing behaviours for those in the classroom and it may also produced social deviants who do not understand the rules within society and make up their own. Yet children with autism are classed more as asocial rather than anti-social as they are not aware of the world around them and the rule sin which it possesses, yet some children develop the capacity to learn socially appropriate behaviour and let this compensate for their handicap.

This means that they can learn routines which make them seem like they have good co-ordination and social skills, but they do not fully understand them, it always highlights the problem that some social skills cannot be learnt and happen spontaneously for this they are inadequately developed and may cause a problem when placed in a situation like this. It is also according to Jordan & Powell not expected for a child to be expected to learn more than one thing at a time, for example they find it hard to read and write, so if a child is dictated to they would find it hard to write down what they hard heard.

If it is a new skill is best that the child is taught the skill on a one-to-one basis as they will gain a better understanding rather than being taught in group and failing to grasp the ideas behind the skill and the rest of the group move on to another task, this may cause ‘bizarre’ behaviours. These behaviours to those without autism may see them as a problem with pupil and they may be taken out of the classroom, this may cause further problems because they maybe moved to an unfamiliar setting. These bizarre behaviours might be the child making an understanding of the world that they live.

I have chosen to look at the programme My Family and Autism which was a programme about Luke a 14 year old boy who had Autism, he lived with his 7 brothers and sisters and his mother. His four brothers all had autism some had more severe cases than others, but all had problems with social communication. Luke understood that he had autism, and unlike most people with autism he had good social skills and was able to speak in front of large groups of people. Luke and his brothers were all on special diets as certain foods made Joe, one of the younger brothers extremely hyperactive. Luke himself was a wheat free diet as if he didn’t he would become lethargic and would have black circles around his eyes; he knew it was not a cure but did help some of his symptoms.

Luke sees his autism as a gift, as he is different from other people, and that difference is good, all the brothers are very compulsive, Joe takes things from people and places and passes them onto people without him knowing that he has done anything wrong. Luke being fourteen understands why his brothers do the things that they do, although he finds it hard to explain it. The video shows an interview with a professional, Joe, their mother and Luke is filming. It shows the sorts of questions that are asked and the responses that Joe gives, he does not know why he does things he does, he can not explain himself. Although Joes compulsive taking things is a problem, he is good a ready for his age, Even Luke does not understand this, and they both do not like maths, so its seems as if these two boys are higher functioning in certain areas and deficient in others.

Joe is good at reading, whilst Luke says his ‘specialist subject is computers, he is good at all types, not just hand held, but for his age he is good at creating websites and using javascript programs, Luke’s mother says that he has an obsession with the computers, where as Luke describes it as fascination, it is these terms which distinguish Luke as being autistic. Joe and his brothers tend to take things at a literal and face value and their mother has to explain things for them.

Luke says that what he sees as real life is out of control and this is why he is the way he is. As autism makes all the senses slightly hightened all the boys have problems with sleeping as the covers irritate their skin and this is shown as at various times the boys are all awake in the middle of the night, Luke is up at 4 in the morning and says he is finding it difficult to sleep. The documentary is good as it shows the realisation of autism from somebody who has the disorder, it gives a real view as Luke is sometimes filming his view. It also shows how a family in generalisation of not just 1 person but 4 having the disorder. It shows how it affects the other brothers and sisters and the mother, sometimes the mother is seen struggling to cope with the setting in which she is in and how sometimes it is hard to cope with.

Within the assignment I have looked at the disorder of autism and how it affects children in different ways and how it is used in education and sometimes poses a problem in mainstream schooling. I have also looked at the case study of Luke and his family and the realisation of somebody dealing with the disorder. Autism is an extremely complex and misunderstood disorder, and there is a lot more to understand than meets the eye.

Bibliography

Bishop

1985

Richer, J & Coates, S

2001

Autism– the Search for Coherence

Jessica Kingsley Publishers

London

Bowlby, J & Ainsworth, M

1979

The making and breaking of affectional bonds.

Tavistock

London

Coates, S

2001

Richer, J & Coates, S

2001

Autism– the Search for Coherence

Jessica Kingsley Publishers

London

Howlin, P

2003

Autism: Preparing for adulthood

Routledge

London

Jordan, R & Jones, G

2002

Meeting the needs of children with autistic spectrum disorders

David Fulton

London

Jordan, R & Powell, S

1995

Understanding and teaching children with autism

John Wiley and Sons Ltd

Chicester

Richer, J & Coates, S

2001

Autism– the Search for Coherence

Jessica Kingsley Publishers

London

Wing

http://www.nas.org.uk/nas/jsp/polopoly.jsp?d=10

Zapella, M

2001

Richer, J & Coates, S

2001

Autism– the Search for Coherence

Jessica Kingsley Publishers

London

http://www.nas.org.uk/nas/jsp/polopoly.jsp?d=10

x

Hi!
I'm Niki!

Would you like to get a custom essay? How about receiving a customized one?

Check it out