Accommodating communication

Motor impairments have so far mostly been considered in terms of their recognition and diagnosis but are also of considerable relevance to intervention, at all stages of development. “He's not really a reader (horizontal ellipsis)”: perspectives on supporting literacy development in individuals with autism.

This paper suggests a model to aid understanding of people with autism and severe communication impairments, in the light of possible motor difficulties, and offers suggestions for interventions.

Motor impairments in a baby will influence their development: “when motor development is delayed, opportunities to engage with and learn about the environment and social partners in new and different ways may be limited or hampered” (Iverson and Wozniak, 2007, p. Early vocalizations and accompanying movements are entwined in terms of development (Iverson and Wozniak, 2007).

Sensory-motor difficulties are likely to inhibit or prevent the development of speech communication, but due to difficulties in performing basic motor skills (Mari et al., 2003) are also likely to impact on non-verbal and augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) approaches (Mirenda, 2003a). doi: 10.1016/j.braindev.20 Pubmed Abstract | Pubmed Full Text | Cross Ref Full Text Mirenda, P. Toward functional Augmentative and Alternative Communication for students with autism: manual signs, graphic symbols and voice output communication aids.

He was thought to have limited comprehension of speech, based on his poor level of response and his obsessive and ritualized behavior. doi: 10.1080/02667363.2012.684340 Cross Ref Full Text Mari, M., Castiello, U., Marks, D., Marraffa, C., and Prior, M. The reach-to-grasp movement in children with autism spectrum disorder.

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It is contested here that many individuals can be helped toward better communication through aspects of the original approach of FC, without physically facilitating their pointing but rather by specifically teaching pointing at an early age. doi: 10.1098/rstb.2002.1205 Pubmed Abstract | Pubmed Full Text | Cross Ref Full Text Milne, E., Swettenham, J., Hansen, P., Campbell, R., Jeffries, H., and Plaisted, K. High motion coherence thresholds in children with autism. In practice this means suspending judgments based on appearance and the initial responses of an individual and continuous long-term assessment through intervention. This starts from observations of a person's motor skills, both when they are engaged and not engaged in activities, interacting with others or alone. These impairments are thought to be present from birth and potentially the earliest diagnostic markers of autism (Mitchell et al., 2006; Iverson and Wozniak, 2007). It is also suggested that motor impairment may be a core deficit in autism (Dziuk et al., 2007). doi: 10.1097/00011363-200310000-00003 Cross Ref Full Text Mitchell, S., Brian, J., Zwaigenbaum, L., Roberts, W., Szatmari, P., Smith, I., et al. Early language and communication development of infants later diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

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