Learning How to Speak "Autism"

Awareness is not enough
Whether you have been involved with the ASD community a short time or a long time, you may want to know how to "talk the talk" of various professional resources.
Assessment - also called "instrument", "scale”, “test", "inventory", "questionnaire". A "battery" of assessments means that the individual was evaluated using a variety of items.
Concrete Thinking - refers to individual with an ASD taking conversations literally. 
Example: "don't throw the baby out with the bath water!" my child overheard me & became very afraid that  "somebody threw a baby away"
Desensitization - exposes the individual to environment / object / food / etc. that causes a negative reaction from the child
Helpful Info: Go SLOW  with very small exposure times
Feeding jag - refers to eating habits: some individuals on the spectrum will severely limit the type of food consumed
Example:  My child once spent 4 1/2 months eating nothing but fried bologna (3 times daily) cut into triangles arranged in a specific pattern on the plate.
Meltdown - refers to severe reaction by individual to surrounding environment. It can be very violent and frightening to observers. Individual may throw things, kick, bite self or others, self-injure, etc.
5-point restraint - technique used by some parents to help calm child during meltdown phase. If performed properly, child will no longer be in danger of injuring self or others while attempting to self-calm and method will not physically harm child.
oriented x's ___ - orientation refers to individuals' awareness/consciousness levels of function. Clinical staff want to know first is consumer aware of person, place, time, situation?
Works something like this - What is your Name? Where are we? Do you know why you are here? What (day, date, year, time of day) is it?

If you can answer your name, where you are at, something about current events or current time frame and possible reasons for visit  --- person asking questions will  make note in chart or on paperwork "oriented x's 4" If you can't answer questions about current time frame (example) clinician would make notation "oriented x's 3"

Of course this quick assessment is not used for non-verbal individuals that do not use any form of a communications system such as sign language, etc.

PECS - picture exchange communication system - used to teach communication skills for non-verbal individuals (usually younger children). Usually recommended by Speech Therapists.
Positive reinforcement - system of encouraging good behavior by rewarding individual when individual behaves in desired manner.
Sensory diet - refers to an Occupational Therapist’s (usually an OT) 'prescription' for helping individual integrate the senses of touch, taste, smell, sight, and sound; may include special brushing instructions, use of sponges to stimulate appetite, etc.
“Theory of mind” - an individual's ability to understand / interpret possible feelings / thoughts of others
Time-out - refers to a method of putting a child in time-out for 1 minute for each year of chronological age
Example: A 5-year-old would be put in time out for 5 minutes
Helpful Info: Buy an inexpensive winding kitchen timer, your child can hear timer stop & watch the timer dial move.

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