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This paper reviews the characteristics and needs of students with high functioning autism. First, it lists 18 common characteristics of autism, then it stresses that autism is defined by the general pattern of characteristics. Next, it discusses how people with high functioning autism differ from those with autism. These differences include higher cognitive abilities, more normal language functioning, better social functioning, a tendency toward specialization, and a generally better prognosis as a functioning adult. Discussion of the diagnostic process notes the negative connotations of the term autism, and the frequent use of the terms Pervasive Developmental Disorder or Asperger Syndrome, instead, for this high functioning group. Other diagnostic concerns include the need for observation in natural settings, overlap of symptoms with other disorders, the importance of early diagnosis, and a lack of knowledge about autism by many professional psychologists. A section on behavior management of autistic children stresses their need for routine and structure, management of transitions, their tendency to learn best by doing, ways to substitute more suitable behaviors for undesirable ones, and the need to avoid overstimulation. Specific ways to manage misbehavior are also suggested, such as ignoring the behavior, positive reinforcement, physical prompting, and unemotional discipline. (Contains 14 references.) (DB)

Descriptors: Autism, Clinical Diagnosis, Definitions, Developmental Disabilities, Disability Identification, Early Identification, Elementary Secondary Education, Mild Disabilities, Severity (of Disability), Student Characteristics

Autor: Reed, Vicki

Fuente: https://eric.ed.gov/?q=a&ft=on&ff1=dtySince_1992&pg=9437&id=ED408765

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