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TitleUnderstanding Autism for Dummies (ISBN - 0764525476)
TagsFor Dummies
File Size4.0 MB
Total Pages386
Table of Contents
                            Understanding Autism For Dummies
	About the Authors
	Authors’ Acknowledgments
	Contents at a Glance
	Table of Contents
		About This Book
		Conventions Used in This Book
		What You’re Not to Read
		Foolish Assumptions
		How This Book Is Organized
		Icons Used in This Book
		Where to Go from Here
	Part I: Understanding Autism
		Chapter 1: Autism: The Big Picture
			What We Know—and Don’t Know—about Autism
			Making the Diagnosis: Learning Your ASDs
			Understanding the Far-Reaching Impact of Autism
			Navigating the Sea of Interventions
			If You Think You (Or People You Care for) Have Undiagnosed Autism...
		Chapter 2: From Classification to Treatment: Scanning the Autism Spectrum
			Surveying the Colors of Autism
			Considering Conditions That Resemble Autism
			Understanding Why Early Treatment Matters More than Classification
		Chapter 3: Causes, Clusters, and Clues: Where Does Autism Come From?
			Considering the Rise in Diagnoses
			Exploring the Genetic Link
			Examining Biomedical Theories
			The Backlash Against the Cure
		Chapter 4: Getting a Diagnosis
			Tracking Your Child’s Medical History
			Broaching the Possibility of Autism with a Doctor
			Consulting a Specialist
			Dealing with the Impact of the Diagnosis
		Chapter 5: Asperger Syndrome and Autism
			Discovering Where Asperger Syndrome Sits on the Autism Spectrum
			Helping People with Asperger Syndrome Socialize
			Dealing with the Emotions Triggered by Asperger Syndrome
			Recognizing Bullying and Its Emotional Repercussions
			Transitioning to Adulthood
	Part II: Addressing Physical Needs
		Chapter 6: Injecting Yourself with Knowledge about Autism Medication
			Considering Drug Therapy
			Identifying Helpful Medications
			Maximizing Safety When Vaccinating Your Child
		Chapter 7: Improving Immunity and Boosting Biochemistry
			Taking a Look at the Balancing Act of the Immune System
			Exposing the Relationship between Autism and Immune Abnormalities
			Improving Immunity
			Biochemistry Begets Behavior: A New Way of Thinking
			Getting the Lead (and Mercury) Out
		Chapter 8: Optimizing Nutrition
			Tempering Your Expectations
			Considering Your Dietary Intervention Options
			Implementing Your Plan
	Part III: Enhancing Learning and Social Skills
		Chapter 9: Choosing an Appropriate Behavioral, Developmental, or Educational Intervention
			Understanding What to Look for in the Alphabet Soup of Approaches
			Exploring Popular Intervention Approaches
			Deciding Which Method Is Best for Your Child
			Financing the At-Home Program of Your Choice
		Chapter 10: Dealing with Learning and Sensory Differences
			Autistic Learning: Transferring Skills and Providing Structure
			Bridging the Communication Gap
			"Retraining" the brain through Neurotherapy
			Making Sense of Sensory Confusion
			Handling Your Child’s Sensory Issues
		Chapter 11: Finding a Learning Environment That Fits Your Child’s Needs
			Inclusion: To Be or Not to Be?
			Recognizing an Effective Classroom
			Observing a Good Teacher
			Developing Effective Accommodations
			Weighing Your Options when the Public School System Falls Short
			Understanding and Reducing Challenging Behaviors
		Chapter 12: Legally Speaking: Making the Most of Your Child’s Education
			Navigating the Legal and Education Systems
			Staying Involved with Your Child’s Education
			Acting Early with an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP)
			Specifying Special: Entering the Public School System
			Assessing Your Child’s Progress
			Flexing Your Educational Rights When You Need To
		Chapter 13: Fostering Healthy Relationships
			Recognizing the Social Challenges an Autistic Child Faces
			All in the Family
			Encouraging Your Child to Form Friendships
	Part IV: Living with Autism as an Adult
		Chapter 14: For Adults with Autism: Living Well after K-12
			Discovering How to Live Interdependently
			Out of the High-School Daze: Pursuing Higher Education
			Time to Nurture Your Bank Account: Finding (and Keeping) Employment
			An Advocate Off the Ol’ Block: Getting Involved with Your Community
		Chapter 15: For Adults with Autism: Fostering Friendships and Romantic Relationships
			Developing Friendly Relationships
			Recognizing (And Overcoming) the Challenges of Dating
			Taking It to the Next Level with Sexual Behavior
		Chapter 16: Special-Needs Planning for the Future
			Avoiding Common Financial Mistakes
			Putting Plan to Paper: Getting Started
			Involving an Attorney and/or Financial Planner
			Writing Your Will
	Part V: The Part of Tens
		Chapter 17: Ten Tactful Responses to Challenging Questions or Comments
			“What Special Talent Does He Have?”
			“Why Can’t You Control Your Kid?”
			“Asperger Snausperger. He Looks Fine. He Just Needs a Better Attitude.”
			“Who Did He Inherit It From?”
			“Why Should Your Child Get Special Treatment?”
			“Are You Kidnapping That Child?”
			The “Bad-Parent” Look
			“Is She Still in Her Own World?”
			“They Grow Out of It, Don’t They?”
			“But She Doesn’t Look Autistic...”
		Chapter 18: Ten Things to Do after a Diagnosis
			Learn and Read as Much as Possible
			Network with Other Families
			Test, Test, Test
			Investigate Sources of Financial Aid
			Consider Major Lifestyle Changes
			Set Up an Educational/Behavioral Program in Your Home
			Begin Therapies
			Address Your Child’s Diet and Nutrition
			Don’t Give Up
			Get Out and Relax
		Chapter 19: Where to Go for More Help
			Finding Other Helpful Texts
			Surfing Informative Sites on the Web
			Accessing World-Wide Autism Organizations and Resources
Document Text Contents
Page 1

by Stephen M. Shore and Linda G. Rastelli

Foreword by Temple Grandin, author of Thinking in Pictures




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Social Communication Emotional
Regulation Transactional
Support Model (SCERTS)
The Social Communication, Emotional Regulation, and Transactional Support
Model (SCERTS) is a collaborative work between Barry Prizant, Amy Wetherby,
Emily Rubin, Amy Laurent, and Patrick Rydell. Similar to the TEACCH method
(which we review earlier in this chapter), one of the key characteristics of
this model is to use whatever approaches exist to best match the child’s
needs, making it more of a philosophy than an intervention.

Realizing that no one approach fits all children on the autism spectrum, the
collaborators, who are experts in the field of autism, strove to develop a
model that would start by assessing the needs of children with autism. And
rather than reinvent the wheel, they would make use of existing interven-
tions, based on the assessments made.

Unlike some of the other approaches we outline in this chapter, SCERTS pro-
vides no certified practitioners. The developers of SCERTS offer this model in
the form of an easy-to-read manual that provides structure and guidance for
educators, therapists, family members, and others who support the needs of
people on the autism spectrum.

The child is seen as an active participant in his learning rather than a bucket
you need to fill with knowledge and skills in a rote manner. The SCERTS
approach also places a heavy emphasis on the coordination of all persons
involved to support the child with autism.

Understanding how SCERTS works
The SCERTS model is based on the following three components:

� Social communication

� Emotional regulation

� Transactional supports

According to the recently released book The SCERTS Model: A Comprehensive
Educational Approach for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (Brookes),
authored by the collaborators of the SCERTS approach, practitioners of
SCERTS realize that most childhood growth and development takes place
within a social environment of everyday routines and experiences rather
than in isolation. The manual further indicates the importance of properly
educating parents, caretakers, and others who help the child with autism.

173Chapter 9: Choosing an Appropriate Intervention

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Doing so enables them to assist the child with developing skills in communica-
tion and in regulating his emotional states in the social world. These skills are
vital for achieving greater success through school, home, and in the community.

Practitioners of the SCERTS model begin with assessing a child’s ability in
the areas of social communication, emotional regulation, and transactional
supports. Practitioners then employ, with frequent reassessment to accom-
modate changes in the child’s needs, the approaches and therapies best
matching the child’s needs.

Social communication
Placing a heavy emphasis on communicative ability, the developers of SCERTS
believe that a person’s level of social communicative competence directly
affects his or her success in relationships and satisfaction with the commu-
nity he or she lives in, whether or not the person is on the autism spectrum.
Therefore, teaching a child with autism skills in communication is considered
a vital part of any program. Practitioners address two major areas of func-
tioning as they construct a SCERTS program:

� Joint attention: Refers to the idea of sharing a reference point with another
person. An example of joint attention is being able to follow where a part-
ner is pointing or following a gaze to an object or another person.

Practitioners may teach joint attention by using exaggerated facial and
verbal responses to an unexpected or an anticipated event. You can teach
following a point by pointing, turning your head, and gazing toward toys
or other objects the child likes that are (in the beginning) partially hidden
from view. Ideally, these objects should be close by and needed to accom-
plish a certain task. After the child is able to follow this nonverbal commu-
nication, you can try reducing the point and then the head turn, leaving
only the eyes to indicate the direction of the object(s).

� Symbol use: Refers to how a person communicates. Some children who
are more severely affected with autism may be at a pre-symbolic stage,
using gestures or objects to communicate. For example, a child at the
pre-symbolic stage may lift her arms if she wants Daddy to pick her up.

The symbolic stage is signified by the use of signs, picture symbols such
the Picture Exchange Communications System (PECS; see Chapter 10),
and/or functional verbal communication. Ideally, a child will be able to
switch communication modalities as needed so that when Daddy can’t
hear her request to be picked up because he’s wearing headphones, she
can revert to pointing at a PECS picture or even make the pre-symbolic
gesture of lifting her arms.

Facility in both joint attention and symbol use results in a child successfully
getting her needs met and reduces her reliance on unacceptable or challeng-
ing behaviors as a mode of communication.

174 Part III: Enhancing Learning and Social Skills

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The TEACCH Approach to
Autism Spectrum Disorders
(Mesibov, Shea, and
Shopler), 169, 172

TEACCH (Treatment and
Education of Autistic and
Handicapped Children),
22, 169–172

Tegretol (carbamazapine),

testosterone, link to autism, 45
Theory of Mind, 150
thermometers, emotion, 87–89
thimerosal, 48, 107, 124, 126
Thinking in Pictures (Grandin),

181, 346
time management, 274, 277
timeout, 86
Tofranil (imipramine), 104
Tomatis, Alfred (researcher),

touch, learning through,

183, 211
touching, appropriate, 306
Tourette’s Syndrome, 34
transactional supports,

SCERTS program, 175–176
transitions, difficulty with, 74
transportation, 279, 300
Trautman, Melissa L. (The

Hidden Curriculum:
Practical Solutions
for Understanding
Unstated Rules in Social
Situations), 79

A Treasure Chest of Behavioral
Strategies for Individuals
with Autism (Fouse and
Wheeler), 346

Treatment and Education of
Autistic and
Handicapped Children
(TEACCH), 22, 169–172

tricyclic drugs, 104–105
trimethylglycine, 123
trust, special-needs, 326–330
trustee, appointing, 329–330
Tsai, Luke (Taking the Mystery

Out of Medications in
Syndrome), 346

tympanogram, 66

• U •
undiagnosed autism, 25–26
university, 281–282
U.S. Department of Education

(Web site), 237
The User’s Guide to the Brain

(Ratey), 44

• V •

medical history
considerations, 107–108

role in autism, 48
thimerosal in, 107, 124, 126
vaccination schedule, 108

valproate (Depakote), 105–106
valproic acid (Depakene),

Verbal Behavior Therapy, 22
vestibular sense, 197, 198
Vineland Adaptive Behavior

Scales, 64
violence, Asperger

Syndrome, 91
viruses, 49, 120
visual learning, 211
visual processing, 203
visual schedules, 170–171
vitamins, 118, 122–123,

Vivactil (protriptyline), 104
vocal prosody, 73
Voice in the Box, 191
Voice Output Communication

Aids (VOCAs), 191

• W •
Wakefield, Andrew

(researcher), 49, 115
Web sites. See Internet

Wetherby, Amy (The SCERTS

Model: A Comprehensive
Educational Approach for
Children with Autism
Spectrum Disorders), 173

What Color Is Your Parachute?
(Bolles), 290

What Your Doctor May Not Tell
You About Children’s
Vaccinations (Cave),
48, 108

wheat, eliminating from
diet, 133

Wheeler, Maria (A Treasure
Chest of Behavioral
Strategies for Individuals
with Autism), 346

Widgit Rebus symbols, 191
Wieder, Serena (psychologist)

The Child with Special Needs,
158, 160

DIR development, 157

guardianship, designating,

intestate, dying, 325–326
morally obligated gift,

trust, special-needs, 326–330

Willey, Liane Holliday
(Pretending to be Normal:
Living with Asperger’s
Syndrome), 31

Williams, Donna (writer)
Autism: An Inside Out

Approach, 52, 346
Somebody Somewhere:

Breaking Free from the
World of Autism, 202

William’s Syndrome, 34
Wright, Peter and Pamela Darr

(Wrightslaw: From
Emotions to Advocacy —
The Special Education
Survival Guide), 237

Writing with Symbols (2000)
program, 190

• Y •
The Yeast Connection: A

Medical Breakthrough
(Crook), 135

• Z •
zinc, 123
ziprasidone (Geodon), 103
Zoloft (sertraline), 24, 101–102
Zyprexa (olanzapine), 103, 104


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