Working with Autism

Here you will learn about different methods used to help with autism. These methods are not to "cure" autism, but to help learn society's rules. I don't think I would ever want to find a cure for autism, I wouldn't be me if I didn't have autism. I do get upset bout having autism sometimes, but then I realize it makes me become a stronger person.

I will start off with the newest method to working with autism.

RDI = Relationship Development Intervention. To understand how RDI works, you first need to understand the differences of autism. What areas of developmental are affected and what areas are not affected by autism.

Developmental not affected by autism-

1. Emotional- recognizing and labeling emotions in faces

2. Social- following procedures and using scripts

3. Communication- using imperative, or demand-based, language to get what he wants

4. Memory- remembering facts of procedures

5. Cognitive- thinking in absolutes, rule-based thinking

Developmental affected by autism-

1. Emotional- referencing, or reading, faces voluntarily to make an emotional connection

2. Social- regulating, or adjusting his actions in response to what he reads in his companions face

3. Communication- using declarative, or experience sharing, language with no intended answer in  mind

4. Memory- remembering events by how they affected him personally, emotionally

5. Cognitive- thinking in context, relative thinking in various situation (ex. how loud is loud enough ?)

RDI focuses on the main areas that are affected by autism. 

Example of RDI ( dad holds a futbol and asks, is this big or small, adam answers "medium", dad says yes it could be that, then bring another ball into play, then asks so the futbol is what compared to this ball, adam says "well it would be big compared to that ball cause that one is smaller than the futbol", then dad asks how would this futbol be small, adam says " it would be small compared to us...or even to saturn, cause saturn's a planet and is pretty obvious that it's much bigger than the futbol" )

By doing that objective I've been able to realize that you can't say what's big or small without comparison.

Another one is pretend play. Pretend play is difficult for me especially when i'm with other's. I can't understand what the point of it is. Ex. my friends were pretending to play a game with a bad guy and a judge and security guards. I was to be a security guard. I noticed that my other friend was pretending really well of what a security guard would be like with a bad guy. We had water guns and stuff. The bad guy would try to escape and my friend would say common we have to get him, we can't let him escape. So she would chase him. It was hard for me because in my mind all I could think was...well he can't escape and he isn't a bad guy, he's one of our friends, and he's not going to leave us ? I could see it was pretend play, but I couldn't understand it and doing the motions of pretend play was hard for me. 
With me and my autism, it needs to be real for us to be able to understand what's going on. If it's pretend I can't understand what the point of it is, and it gets confusing for me. Sometimes with some games that involve pretend play in it can be confusing for me, and I may back away cause I can't understand what the point is, or I just may be quite and not do much. It's not because I don't want to play, I would like to play, but it's just hard for me.

ABA = Applied Behavioural Intervention 

ABA is probably the most common type of method used with autism.ABA does not attempt to reverse a medical condition but has been created instead to change unwanted behaviours into wanted behaviours. ABA also teaches social and life skills, and encourages language. It builds on small skills, creating bigger skills, and teaching motivation for learning. 

ABA teaching method consists of presenting a simple instruction and waiting briefly for a response, then modelling or physically directing to the correct response, and repeating until the correct response is learned. 

A game i've played with my dad was "can you do this". He would says do this and clap his hands two times, and would wait a couple seconds to see if I would, if I didn't he would take my hands and we would clap together two times and then gave positive feedback. We would do this a few times until I've learned to get him to do what I was doing, adam says "dad can you do this" and then I would clap two times.

There's many different things you can do with that game. Another one we had was, there would be a puzzle or some rocks and I would have to follow his eyes to see wich rock or puzzle my dad was wanting. This is a much harder game as I had to do eye contact...I'm not a big fan of eye contact. This game is to help me learn to give at least some eye contact when talking to somebody. 

He would also do that game with nodding yes or no to wich puzzle or rock he wanted me to give him. That's also a bit hard for me, cause I can't always tell what the nods mean. My dad would explain that up and down means yes, and side to side means no, but for me I can't seem to capture that in my mind to remember it. I can't see the picture of it for some reason.

ABA rewards can be, either food, a favourite game to play, pretty much whatever is something special to do for a reward. 

DIR= Developmental Individual-Differnce Relationship-Based model (DIR Floor time)

WIth DIR the companion's role is to follow what autism leads and help develop social interaction and communication skills.

EX. Adam would be spinning in circles and jumping, during DIR dad would do the same action as I was, spinning in circles and jumping. DIR is more autism directed than some teaching methods.It's goal is to increase back and forth interaction and communication between people.