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Friday, April 08, 2005

Answers to Autism Quiz...

If you answered 'FALSE' to all you are 100% correct.

The questions with answers:

1. If a child is not functionally fluent by their 5th birthday, they will remain mute, so it is critical that developing speech be the first goal for a non-verbal child.


Without an interest in coordinating actions and perceptions with a partner, or learning about others' internal experiences, speech alone without a solid foundation in non-verbal communication becomes a vehicle for chaos, or a means to control others.

2. If you teach a child enough words, he or she will be able to have reciprocal conversations.


Language without communicative intent can actually be a major obstacle in developing reciprocal conversations, so it is critical to work on speech and language development only within the context of genuine emotion-sharing and social referencing.

3.It is important to teach eye contact to children with autism so they can be successful in social relationships.


While eye contact can be taught as a rote skill, this would be like teaching a severely dyslexic child to pretend to read. If we just work on eye contact, the child doesn't learn to reference. Instead the child just learns to look, without intent to use the facial information that's being presented. However, children on the autism spectrum can learn to reference quite naturally, if we start by providing them the motivations for doing so.

4. ABA (Lovaas, Discrete Trials) and other interventions have been proven effective for treating autism, and children who have undergone these treatments have been followed to see how they do as teens & adults.


Studies on ABA or other early interventions have not used core deficits of autism as outcome measures and there have been no teenage or adult outcome studies of children treated with those methods.

5. If a child can be taught to “fit in” and superficially appear normal, he or she will be able to make friends.


Friendship skills are actually a highly advanced form of social communication, requiring a solid foundation of emotion-sharing, referencing, and co-regulation, all of which are core deficits of those with autism. However, individuals on the autism spectrum can actually learn all these skills and can go far beyond "fitting in," if given the opportunity to do so with a competent guide.

6. Social skills groups are effective in teaching people on the spectrum to have relationships.


A number of studies have shown social skills groups are ineffective in teaching people on the spectrum to have relationships or to generalize Theory of Mind skills outside the treatment setting.

7. Individuals with Asperger’s Syndrome have a better prognosis for quality of life than people with Autism.


While it is a common belief that individuals who have Asperger's Syndrome, (those with no language delays and an average to high IQ) enjoy a better prognosis for quality of life, all three major outcome studies to date have shown this to be false.

8. Mainstreaming & academic progress are signs of a good prognosis and if a child can get into college, he or she can go on to have a pretty normal life.


The outcome studies showed that academic ability to participate in post-secondary education did not result in higher levels of independent living. In fact, one of Howlin's studies showed that adults on the spectrum with IQs over 100 were actually less successful in quality of life than people with IQs between 70 and 100.

9. If a child spends most of his time focused on developing his computer skills, someone will want to hire him someday, regardless of his ability to collaborate & work as part of a team.


Computer skills alone have little value in the marketplace. Robert Bailey, President and CEO of PMC-Sierra, says hi-tech employers look for employees with teamwork and communication skills, plus the ability to solve problems quickly and creatively in extremely fast-paced environments where change is constant.

10. People with autism may not have the same emotional or social needs as everyone else. They might be happy living a life without friendships and intimate emotional relationships.


Adults on the autism spectrum are not "aliens" with different needs. Many have said they desire the same things we all do: Joy. Friendships. True allies. Marriage. Comfortable work environments. Confidence in managing their worlds. By stopping, slowing down and becoming competent guides, we can help individuals on the spectrum make the amazing discoveries which will allow these needs to be met.

Did you think it was hard? Were there a lot of answers that you didn't know? Sometimes being blissfully unaware is a comfort. I understand not knowing. Prior to my boys' diagnosis I didn't really know. I had seen some movies dealing with Autism and had a general idea but I didn't "need to know"... until.

I believe that if "we" started educating people, be it parents, teachers, doctors, better we would be able to intervene earlier with more successful outcomes. I say "we" because I, myself, must be part of educating as well. My experience is that teachers learn about Autism when they have an autistic child in their class. That's too late. By the time they are up to speed the year is half over. My opinion? All educators and anyone and everyone in the schools need, at minimum, a baseline understanding of these kids. I'm talking about the lunch ladies, the recess monitors, the secretaries... EVERYONE. Often it is the unstructured classes and times during the day that cause autistic/asperger kids the most trouble.

This whole month will be me, up on my "soapbox," screaming for someone to hear what I have to say. I don't see myself as making a huge difference but changing one life is huge! My prayer is that everyone who reads these posts will have their life changed just by the knowledge that they gain. Thanks for taking the time to read my story. It means the world to me.


At Friday, April 08, 2005 12:35:00 PM, Blogger Annie said...

Don't thank us...thank you for sharing and for helping us to understand autism better. Your candid talk is eye-opening and thought-provoking.


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