Social Interactions: A person with ASD might have difficulties in relating to people and demonstrating social reciprocity. There is impairment in peer relations and social interactions. The individual might have limited interest in such relations or may seek interaction in unusual ways. The use and understanding of nonverbal forms of communication might be limited. Emotional expression and regulation are greatly restricted. The capacity to play in an age appropriate or functional manner might be absent or delayed. There might be an inability to engage in imaginative activities.
Communication: Many aspects of the communication process are impaired for a person with ASD. Understanding others’ verbal and nonverbal language and communicative attempts (receptive language) might be a challenge. Use of communication (expressive language) is limited in function and/or frequency. Verbal language might be altogether absent. If present, the style and communicative patterns will likely be atypical and can include echolalia, unusual vocal intonations and/or difficulties with volume. The use of communication might be repetitive, restricted, or used only to get desires met. Vocabulary and word use might be limited or used inappropriately.
The T/TAC at VCU in collaboration with other T/TACs across the state have developed a user-friendly brochure that you can give to other teachers, parents, or community members to better explain autism and some simple strategies for working with this special population.
The Virginia Department of Education has developed guidance manuals to help educators, administrors, and parents working to improve services for students with ASD.
|Guidelines for Educating Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders||Models of Best Practice in the Education of Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders||Autism Sprectrum Disorders and the Transition to Adulthood|
The Infant & Toddler Connection of Virginia has also developed a guidance document for working with families with young children with Autism Spectrum Disorders,
House Bill 325 (Massie), passed by the 2012 General Assembly, requires each school board, by September 1, 2014, to ensure that aides assigned to work with a teacher who has primary oversight of students with autism spectrum disorders receive training in student behavioral management within 60 days of assignment to such responsibility. In 2013 the Virginia Department of Education adopted training standards that are available to school divisions. The document Training Standards for Paraprofessionals Assigned to Work with a Teacher Who Has Primary Oversight of Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders describes a broad set of competencies needed by paraprofessionals who work with students with autism.
Download the Paraprofessional Training Standards.
These are PowerPoint presentations (with voice over) that include activities to increase your knowledge and understanding of:
Disclaimer: Please note that the above PowerPoint presentations are not in accessible format but may be useful for professional development activities.
Adults with autism have written about autism from their own personal perspectives. If you are interested in learning more about these individuals follow these links: