Understanding Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities
What is Neurodiversity?
There are a lot of different terms related to neurodiversity. This resource guide defines some key terms and provides some useful tips and resources about autistic culture.
Avoid Ableist Language
Potentially Ableist Terms/ Discourses and Suggested Alternatives
Bookclub – We’re Not Broken
We’re Not Broken: Changing the Autism Conversation by Eric Garcia is about the author’s journey with autism and how society views individuals with autism.
Supporting Social Skills
The DNEA Supporting Social Skills guide highlights many effective practices to support autistic youth who want to engage more with their peers:
Autism Spectrum Disorder, or autism, is a disability that is often present early in life and can affect multiple aspects of a child’s development. Individuals with autism do not look different, but they may show differences in the ways they behave, communicate and interact with others.
You know your child best. If you have concerns about your child’s development, don’t wait to take action! There are many professionals and organizations in Delaware who you can contact for support. The type of service options you receive will depend on the provider. A few of the places you can start are listed below.
Early intervention refers to the supports and services designed to enhance the development of infants, toddlers and young children with developmental delays and disabilities. You can access these services through private providers or state-funded early intervention programs.
There are many interventions to support your child with autism throughout his/her life. However, some have been shown to be more effective than others. Evidence-based practices are interventions that are supported by multiple scientific research studies and have shown to have a positive impact for children with autism.
This resource guide shares introductory and advanced DNEA resources that focus on strategies that research has shown to be most effective to help a professional or family member teach a person with autism a new skill or task.
Least-to-Most Prompting is an evidence-based prompting strategy that systematically provides predetermined prompts from least to most intrusive. It can be used to teach discrete or chained behaviors/skills.
Most-to-Least Prompting is an evidence-based prompting strategy that systematically provides predetermined prompts from most to least intrusive by systematically fading them over time. It can be used to teach discrete or chained behaviors/skills.
Wong, et al. (2015) conducted a comprehensive review of research about focused intervention practices to support individuals with autism. This comprehensive review is considered a landmark article because it identifies those strategies that are most effective to use with autistic people. This glossary is designed to support the community in understanding terms commonly associated with these practices.
Prompting is an evidence-based practice that involves providing a child support when they are learning a new skill or behavior. There are two categories of instructional prompts: response prompts and stimulus prompts.
Prompting is an evidence-based practice that involves providing a child support when they are learning a new skill or behavior. There are two categories of instructional prompts: response prompts and stimulus prompts. Stimulus prompts are changes that are made to materials.
When working on social skills with an autistic person it is essential to consider the autistic perspective. Social skill preferences and needs are personal and can vary from what society expects. Professionals should not force social skills norms and should strive to provide a person-centered environment making self-advocacy the focus. It’s essential to consider individual needs and preferences; people are social in different ways and can use a variety of avenues to engage in social relationships.
Social narratives are short stories that use concrete text, photos, or drawings to explain situations or skills that may be confusing to the individual. They often include examples of how to positively respond to the situation. It is helpful to use social narratives to support the individual’s understanding of changes during unexpected events such as COVID-19.
Reinforcement is an evidence-based practice used to increase the likelihood of a behavior or skill occurring again. Reinforcement is provided immediately after the desired behavior or skill and can be someone saying, “thank you,” smiling after receiving help, or giving a snack after finishing a difficult task. Reinforcers should be something the individual really enjoys or interacts with often. There are six types of reinforcers.
While holidays are a time of joy and celebration, they can also be difficult for youth with autism spectrum disorder. During the holiday season, thoughtful planning can assist in reducing holiday-related stress and challenging behaviors related to the uniqueness of different holiday events and activities. The purpose of this guide is to provide strategies to help de-stress during the busy holiday season.
Parent/Caregiver training programs describe a wide range of interventions, including care coordination, psychoeducation, language or social development treatments, and strategies designed to address maladaptive behaviors. These manualized programs emphasize a caregiver’s role as the agent of change using time-limited, evidence-based approaches. Parent/Caregiver training models use step-by-step techniques to improve behaviors during daily routines such as video clips, discussion activities, role-play, and homework assignments
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is an evidence-based psychotherapy that can help youth manage anxiety by changing the way they think and behave. The treatment helps youth recognize and understand how their behaviors, thoughts, and emotions affect each other.