autis - CHERI - The Children's Hospital Education Research Institute

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autis - CHERI - The Children's Hospital Education Research Institute

Conference Proceedings

Making

sense of

A

U

T

I

S

M

and strategies that succeed

Hippocrates Socrates XIII 4 and 5 September 2008


9.00 Welcome Dr Belinda Barton

Head, Children’s Hospital Education Research

Institute (CHERI), The Children’s Hospital at

Westmead (CHW)

9.10 Welcome to Country Uncle Greg Simms

Member of the Daruk Tribe

9.20 Autism - An Awesome Journey Judy Brewer

Autism Spectrum Disorder Parent Advocate

9.50 Is it Autism: What, Why and How Dr Paul Hutchins

Senior Staff Physician, Child Development Unit and

Senior Paediatric Consultant CHERI, CHW

10.20 Supporting Autism in Schools

– Essential Observations

Program - Thursday 4 September 2008

Vicki Gibbs

Clinical Psychologist, Autism Spectrum Australia

11.00 Morning Tea (outside the auditorium)

11.30 The Politics of Autism in Australia:

Understanding the System and

Negotiating the Maze of Diagnosis,

Assessment, Service Delivery and

Funding. Implications for Children,

Families and Professionals

12.30 Making Sense of Autism for Families

and School Communities

Associate Professor Jacqueline

Roberts

University of Canberra

Dr David Dossetor

Senior Staff Psychiatrist, Area Director for Mental

Health, Dept of Psychological Medicine, CWH and

Clinical Senior Lecturer, Sydney University

1.00 Lunch (outside the auditorium)

2.00 Learning Based Interventions for

Young Children with Autism and Their

Families: What is Out There and What

do we Know about Outcomes

Associate Professor Jacqueline

Roberts

University of Canberra

2.30 Biomedical Interventions Associate Professor Katrina Williams

Community Paediatrician and Co-ordinator of

Clinical Research, Sydney Children’s Hospital

Associate Professor, University of NSW, Sydney

Children’s Community Health Centre

3.00 Mental Health Issues in Autism

Spectrum Disorders: Medical and

Psychological Treatments

4.00 Evaluation and Close

CHERI’s conferences are proudly

supported by Leighton Holdings.

The Lucky door prize has been donated by

Lenovo.

Trade stalls are located in Lecture Theatre

4. Please take some time to have a look at

the various resources that are on display.

Morning tea and lunch will be served outside the auditorium.

Dr Linnet Basil

Staff Specialist, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry,

Rivendell Unit, Concord Hospital and Honorary

Fellow, Dept of Psychological Medicine, CHW

Dr Michelle Wong

Clinical Psychologist, Dept of Psychological

Medicine, CHW


9.00 Developing Inclusive School

Communities: Addressing Bullying of

Students with an Autism Spectrum

Disorder

10.00 Assessing for Learning - Why, How,

Where and What to Use

Program - Friday 5 September 2008

Associate Professor Verity Bottroff

Head: Department of Disability Studies, School

of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, Flinders

University

Kerrie Nelson

Principal, Giant Steps

10.30 Morning Tea (outisde the auditorium)

11.00 Positive Behaviour for Learning (PBL):

Supporting ALL Students to Achieve

Academic and Social Outcomes

12.10 Teaching Social Communication Skills

using Technology

12.45 Question and Answer

Jill Schofields

Coordinator, Positive Behaviour for Learning, NSW

Department of Education and Training, Western

Sydney Region

Sue Connell

Principal, Hebersham Public School

Felicity Burke

Speech Pathologist, Project Officer, Speech

Pathology School Services, Disability Directorate,

NSW Department of Education and Training

1.00 Lunch (downstairs, level 1, special functions room)

2.00 Sensory Strategies to Support

Learning and Behaviour

2.30 Curriculum Based Adjustments

Making it Happen

3.30 Creating Programs for Sociosexual

Development in Adolescents

4.00 Evaluation and Close

CHERI’s conferences are proudly

supported by Leighton Holdings.

The Lucky door prize has been donated by

Milestone Solutions.

Trade stalls are located in Lecture Theatre

4. Please take some time to have a look at

the various resources that are on display.

Morning tea will be served outside the auditorium. Lunch will be served

downstairs (level 1) in the special functions room.

Danielle Lord

Occupational Therapist, Kids Sense Occupational

Therapy

Sonya Rogan

Support Teacher - Autism, Catholic Education Office

Lee Casuscelli

Learning Support Coordinator, Magdalene Catholic

High School

Noël Boycott

Registered Psychologist and Speech Pathologist


Thursday

Presentations will be available on the CHERI website after the conference (www.cheri.com.au/presentations.html)

Autism - An Awesome Journey. Judy Brewer

After a while, it becomes almost impossible to remember what life was like before autism entered

and took over. Raising a child or children with an autism spectrum disorder can be all consuming,

and challenge many of your notions of family life and parenthood. In this opening address Judy will consider the

journey that families embark upon when a diagnosis of autism shakes their life. In sharing some of her family’s

own experiences of living with autism, Judy will consider the different stages and transitions in the journey from the

initial fears and confusion to the shock of diagnosis, and from early intervention, schooling, and through to the vital

teenage years.

Is it Autism: What, Why and How Dr Paul Hutchins

Many children have inappropriate and/or immature and/or inconsistent social interaction, comprehension,

expression, imagination and range of interests. Such complex communication disorders can occur with

language and speech disorders, global cognitive impairment and associated problems in organisation, executive

function and motor skills. Autism has additional specific intrinsic impairments of social empathy, generalising

learning and ritualistic behaviours. Associated developmental and medical disorders must be identified and

managed. Early, intensive and sustained interventions are effective. Diagnosis is essential for optimal intervention.

It is demanded by eligibility criteria for specialised services, particularly at school, and is promoted with current

Federal initiatives. Referral pathways and diagnostic approaches must optimise use of scarce resources. Time and

intervention clarify diagnosis within or other than the “autistic spectrum.”

Abstracts


Thursday

Presentations will be available on the CHERI website after the conference (www.cheri.com.au/presentations.html)

Supporting Autism in Schools – Essential Observations. Vicki Gibbs

Information from teachers can be a vital component in the identification and assessment process for

school-aged children with autism. This presentation will focus on the distinction between the

core features of autism and the associated features which may be present in children with a range of learning,

behavioural or emotional difficulties. Examples of specific behaviours to look for in the classroom and playground will

be provided, particularly in relation to high-functioning children. The role of formal screening measures will also be

discussed and an outline of a comprehensive assessment process provided.

The Politics of Autism in Australia: Understanding the System and Negotiating the

Maze of Diagnosis, Assessment, Service Delivery and Funding. Implications for

Children, Families and Professionals. Associate Professor Jacqueline Roberts

Abstract not available.

Abstracts


Thursday

Presentations will be available on the CHERI website after the conference (www.cheri.com.au/presentations.html)

Making Sense of Autism for Families and School Communities. Dr David

Dossetor

Autism has traditionally been described in language that is stigmatising, medicalising and

objectifying. Our scientific conceptualisation of Autistic Spectrum Disorder has changed over time. I shall present

some of the implications of a dimensional model and why a developmental model of understanding Autistic

Spectrum Disorder is important and describe some therapeutic implications. I shall describe why conceptual

change is increasing the recognition of this disability and its associated psychiatric co-morbidities. Making Autism

understandable to families and others is a crucial part of enabling opportunities for integration and support in

families, schools and communities. The presentation will ask questions about what might be necessary for enabling

a quality of life for people with these specific disorders of social development.

Learning Based Interventions for Young Children with Autism and Their Families:

What is Out There and What do we Know about Outcomes Associate Professor

Jacqueline Roberts

Abstract not available

Abstracts


Thursday

Presentations will be available on the CHERI website after the conference (www.cheri.com.au/presentations.html)

Biomedical Interventions. Associate Professor Katrina Williams

Autism spectrum disorders are heterogeneous and there is no single known aetiology. It is therefore

not surprising that a range of drug and complementary and alternative therapies have been

suggested. The Cochrane Library, a resource for high-level evidence about interventions, has systematic reviews

about drug (risperidone, serotonin reuptake inhibitors), hormone (secretin), dietary (gluten and casein free diet),

and vitamin (combined vitamin B6 and magnesium) interventions for autism. Drug treatments may be effective in

improving co-morbid conditions in individuals with autism. Secretin, vitamin and dietary therapies have not been

shown to be effective treatments for autism. There are many treatments currently being used in autism that have

not been adequately assessed.

Mental Health Issues in Autism Spectrum Disorders: Medical and Psychological

Treatments. Dr Linnet Basil and Dr Michelle Wong

The mental health needs of young people with autism are increasingly recognised as a priority in mental

health services. The evidence base is growing for effective interventions that target anxiety, depression, ADHD, and

challenging behaviours in autism. Psychotropic medications are widely used in specific contexts especially with major

impairment in functioning and risk issues to self or others. Adaptations to psychological interventions for typically

developing young people are necessary due to the communication and conceptual impairments associated with

autism. The existing literature on mental health promoting interventions for young people with autism will be reviewed

and clinical assessment and intervention strategies discussed.

Abstracts


Friday

Presentations will be available on the CHERI website after the conference (www.cheri.com.au/presentations.html)

Developing Inclusive School Communities: Addressing Bullying of

Students with an Autism Spectrum Disorder. Associate Professor Verity

Bottroff

The significant social difficulties encountered by students with ASD make them perfect targets for bullying.

Bullying of this population of students appears very high on the small sample sizes surveyed to date in South

Australia (supported by the limited studies from the USA). Given the links of some of the outcomes of bullying,

including isolation, anxiety, depression and threats of suicide, it is a significant social issue that needs to be

addressed during the critical schooling years. This presentation will report on the findings, both quantitative and

qualitative, of a number of studies carried out in South Australia, including a major research study on bullying,

focused on the following:

• gathering data on incidence and experience of victimisation and bullying within the population of students with ASD

• gathering data on coping strategies utilised by students with ASD in dealing with bullying and possible affects

of bullying on their self-concept

• assisting school communities in understanding and addressing victimisation and bullying of students with ASD.

Assessing for Learning - Why, How, Where and What to Use. Kerrie Nelson

One of the major activities of Giant Steps, Sydney is the operation of a school program for children

aged 3-18 years. There are three programs currently operating- Early Learning, Kindergarten – Year 6

and a Secondary program. The school has teachers and therapists working together to develop and implement

programs across the school day. This transdisciplinary model of practice is complex, however by working together

and across disciplines there is benefit for both staff and students. One of the challenges we face is determining

what to teach and what strategies to put in place for each child to support their learning. This presentation will

look at the decision making process involving both teachers and therapists and the assessments that underpin

the process.

Abstracts


Friday

Presentations will be available on the CHERI website after the conference (www.cheri.com.au/presentations.html)

Positive Behaviour for Learning (PBL): Supporting ALL Students to Achieve

Academic and Social Outcomes. Jill Schofields and Sue Connell

This paper presents a whole school systems approach to building and strengthening effective

behaviour and academic support systems in schools. Positive Behaviour for Learning (PBL) focuses on

prevention/early intervention as well as individualized support systems for students who display chronic problem

behaviours. The paper focuses upon the implementation of PBL at Hebersham Primary School; a school located

in a socio-economically disadvantaged area of Mt Druitt in Western Sydney Region. The school has 610 students,

49% NESB, 10% ATSI and includes two classes that support students with Autism and one class supporting

students with mental health issues.

Teaching Social Communication Skills using Technology. Felicity Burke

The world wide web, digital technologies and interactive whiteboards can offer imaginative solutions for

teaching social communication skills like understanding emotions; behavioural expectations in certain

situations; personalised social stories and more. This session will use interactive examples of free access and

other programs and discuss the efficacy of using technology to teach social communication skills.

Abstracts


Friday

Presentations will be available on the CHERI website after the conference (www.cheri.com.au/presentations.html)

Sensory Strategies to Support Learning and Behaviour. Danielle Lord

Sensory processing can have impact on a child with autism’s attention to tasks, learning style,

communication strategies and overall behaviour. Understanding the main patterns of sensory

processing can assist parents and teachers with designing activities, environments and interactions that promote

learning and reduce behavioural difficulties. Children with autism frequently become overwhelmed when

presented with new, novel or challenging activities. This presentation will provide an overview of how activities

can be modified to promote concentration, reduce anxiety and extend development in a range of academic and

home skills.

Curriculum Based Adjustments. Sonya Rogan

This presentation will consider strategies that are effective in improving learning outcomes for students

in a primary school setting. The curricular areas to be focused on will address adjustments that relate

to the core features and characteristics of autism spectrum disorder. Adjustments in specific curriculum areas

such as Literacy and Numeracy will be covered as well as strategies to improve communication and classroom

management. The strategies to be explored will address the areas of difficulties that students with autism

typically experience such as personal organisation, motivation, comprehension, anxiety, transition between tasks,

distractibility and following routines.

Abstracts


Friday

Presentations will be available on the CHERI website after the conference (www.cheri.com.au/presentations.html)

Making it Happen. Lee Casuscelli

Unlocking the often misunderstood and complex learning style of students with autism in

secondary schools. Strategies and management for assisting students with Autism Spectrum

Disorder (ASD) to both engage and succeed at school where they often feel isolated and disengaged. An

explanation of the idiosyncratic learning style of ASD students and ways in which teachers can support their

learning in a high school setting.

Creating Programs for Sociosexual Development in Adolescents. Noël Boycott

Sexuality is a normal part of development and life. The term ‘sociosexuality’ captures the fact that

sex education for students with Aspergers/ASD needs to address not only the ‘body bits’ but also

relationships, social expectations, and cultural rules. This presentation outlines:

• Issues in sociosexual development for the ASD student and typical parent/carer concerns

• Experiences delivering a group sociosexual development program (Henault, 2006) which provides practical

activities and explanations about sexuality in its entirety – not just ‘the body bits’

The 2008 Riverina DET teacher training project to assist teachers to develop sociosexual teaching programs.

Abstracts


Notes

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Notes

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Ph: 02 9845 0418

Fax: 029845 0421

KirrillG@chw.edu.au

www.cheri.com.au

Children’s Hospital Education Research Institute

The Children’s Hospital at Westmead

Suite 11, Level 2

Children’s Hospital Medical Centre

Cnr Hainsworth St and Hawkesbury Road

Locked Bag 4001

WESTMEAD NSW 2145

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