Austism Spectrum Disorder – Group Multimedia Assignment

Austism Spectrum Disorder – Group Multimedia Assignment


Welcome to our submission for the
group multimedia assignment for Introduction to Communication Disorders.
My name is Wincy, and along with my group members Tamara,
Adelle, Judy and Nataly, we will be telling you about Autism Spectrum
Disorder. The basic outline of this presentation will be as follows. Firstly,
we will define autism and discuss its prevalence. Secondly, we will discuss two autism case studies comparing an adult – Markus, and a child – Max. Autism is a developmental disorder that affects a person’s ability to socialise, engage emotionally and communicate effectively with others. They have problems building and sustaining relationships, reading social cues and cannot think creatively or understand another person’s point of view. This condition is also marked by rigid and repetitive behaviours or interests. People with autism are described as being on a ‘spectrum’ because the severity of their condition varies between people and this impacts how well each person functions in their day-to-day lives. There is no known cause for autism but it is thought that there is a genetic link (Huquet, Ey & Bourgeron, 2013, p. 191). You’re also more likely to have autism if you have another inherited condition such as Fragile X or Congenital Rubella Syndrome. Another risk factor that has been cited is poisoning through heavy metals, especially mercury (Kern, Geier, Sykes, Haley & Geier in 2016, p. 8). Vaccinations have been consistently disproved as a cause of autism. Autism can affect how a person communicates because it delays someone’s language development and add to their difficulties in daily life. It reduces the person’s ability to read social cues and understand unspoken rules such as those relating to personal space, the use of eye contact and turn-taking during a conversation. Some people with autism may be unable to understand symbols and lack the use of functional language; others may speak only a few words, while some can use language appropriate for their age. Their ability to communicate or express their thoughts well, depend on the severity of their condition, but all will have an impairment on their language abilities of some sort. This is reflected in the way autism is diagnosed, where both the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual and International Classification of Diseases acknowledges the different ways that communication can be impaired for someone with autism. Autism spectrum disorder is a disorder which can affect any individual. It can occur in individuals of all backgrounds,
ethnicities, socio-economic groups and locations, reported cases of autism have
been found from all over the world and each affects the communications of
individuals in unique ways. Autism is generally identified in young people and
children. The Autism Speaks website outlined that approximately 1 in 59
children develop an autism spectrum disorder. To further break that down, it
was found that 1 in 37 boys and one in 151 girls developed the disorder. This
means that boys are four times more likely to develop autism than girls. As
shown in the graph the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare study
also found that it is most prevalent in individuals under the age of 24. Over the
years, there has been an increase in the cases of autism, however, this is believed
to be due to the increase in identification of the disorder. We will
be comparing and contrasting two lived experiences of people who live with
autism. Max Whelan a twelve-year-old boy and Markus who is a 35-year-old adult
male both living with autism. Max Whelan is a twelve-year-old boy who has three
siblings. Max’s parents names are Liz and Shaun. Max Whelan lives with
severe non-verbal autism which is a subset of autism where the person is
unable to speak. After 10 months of age Max’s parents noticed that he would
disconnect from his surroundings and was subsequently diagnosed with autism at
age 20 months. And now moving on to Markus. Markus is a 35-year-old male who
was diagnosed with autism at around 3 years of age.
Unlike Max who is non-verbal, Markus has the ability to communicate verbally. In
addition, he lives on his own. The living situations of Max and Markus are quite
different, Max lives with his family and has a strong support network. The family
has combination locks on bedroom doors so that they have a safe space. Max’s
family members also have helped to raise money to help Max and
his father Shaun to establish a care home they’re also waiting on government
funding to assist with the establishment of the care home for Max.
In contrast, Markus lives by himself alone in his own apartment. Markus has
strong emotional support from his mother who helps him with his laundry and
ensures that Markus eats at least one proper meal per every week. Markus has
many toys in his apartment which Markus believes will keep him safe at night. In
relation to the difference in communication abilities, Max struggles to
communicate although he understands speech. The difficulty with communication
contributes to Max’s frustration. There is no mention of augmentative and
alternative communication AAC systems being used by Max. People who work with
those with severe autism believe that Max can learn, decrease his violence and fit into society. This is done with the help of autism centers. The video showed other
nonverbal people using AAC systems which is an option for Max. The aim is that
when Max needs a break or becomes frustrated, he communicates this using
the AAC device and takes some time to himself rather than lashing out
aggressively. This process would enable changes in Max’s behavior to be seen
within 6 to 12 months. In contrast, Markus does have the ability to
communicate with others, he understands speech. This allows Markus to enjoy
electrical hobbies such as building toys which make noises and spending time at a
repair cafe, where he can enjoy his hobby. Autism often affects social development
and people who have autism may have difficulty with social interaction
behaviors. Max struggles in this arena. Already, due to him being a child, he is
limited due to his lack of independence but Max’s parents cannot take him out of
the house to the shops or the beach as he needs to be in a contained environment. Markus is able to get out of the house
and take his own transport to visit his mother. Markus always played by himself
and he didn’t have many friends however after his mother took him to therapy at the counselling center, Markus realized that
he enjoyed the company of others. Markus enjoys the company of people with Down
Syndrome and he believes they are nice and sweet. Markus has a friend named
Ramona who has Down Syndrome and Markus says Ramona is like family to him. Markus
has also showed some social behavior with going to a monthly radio group and
he has previously interviewed a rapper on air. Markus has also invited friends
over for a birthday celebration consisting of different social
activities together. Unfortunately there can be some stigma associated with
communication disorders such as autism. In Max’s case, his siblings find his
erratic behavior normal as they are used to it, however Liz (Max’s mother) expresses concern saying that “it’s is frightening and dangerous” as Max has no road sense,
his family has great fears about Max being hit by a car.
Harry describes Max as ‘crazy, scary, big funny, sometimes weird and random’ and
Georgia uses similar words ‘scary dangerous and frightening’. Georgia runs
into her room when Max has an episode as she finds the episodes scary.
Markus’ parents are much less forgiving than Max’s parents. Max’s parents
express that they are not proud of him. Markus’ father has said that Markus
belongs in an asylum and that he is immature.
Markus’s mother has set some boundaries with Markus to prevent him from visiting
more than twice a week, as it causes problems in his parents’ relationship.
Markus’ mother however wants him to connect more with others and have
friendships. Autism is marked by certain behaviours exhibited by those who have
been diagnosed with it. Max has six or seven meltdowns a day when he is out of
control. However, at many times he can be loving
and angelic. When the episodes occur however, behaviours will include hitting
his parents, slamming cupboards, screaming and yelling self-harm and beating his
own head. Max has also tried to escape from his
home. Max’s behavior seemingly improves when he is left with his father only. The
number of meltdowns reduce to one or two and Max seemed happier and more calm. Markus is 35 years old however, his behaviours
can be likened to that of a child who is 11 or 12 years old. He likes to play with
toys, he likes to play dress-ups as a girl and wear dresses and painting his
nails. Normally, Marcus’s behavior is calm however, problems arise when his
father is around. Overall, it appears that Max has quite intense episodes,
whereas Markus is relatively calm. Autism affects people differently depending on
the type, depending on where the person is on the spectrum, the age of the person
and also the severity. As a result, treatment is best adapted to the patient
as their needs may differ. Contributing factors to how one experiences the
disorder include family or community support or lack thereof, environmental
attitudes, support from medical and health professionals and access to
counseling. Autism is a disorder that affects a
person’s day-to-day functioning therefore managing the implications of autism
is crucial to leading a fulfilling life. Thanks for watching.

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