Autism and Neuroscience

Information

There has been a growing public interest in the last decade in neuroscience. For those working with individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), there is much literature in terms of differences in the central nervous system of those with ASD.   An understanding of some of these differences may help us to understand behaviour better, and also provide clues to more effective intervention.    Some of these differences are :

  • Early rapid growth (overgrowth) of prefrontal cortex which is responsible for reasoning, problem solving and regulation of responses.  This may deter early learning and prevent appropriate connections being formed which support higher level reasoning and behaviours.
  • Shorter connections formed between structures in the brain rather than longer and extensive connections that are more typical in human nervous system.  It is hypothesised that the connections needed for higher level skills such as communication, social interaction and cognitive ability are lacking in people with ASD.
  • Slower processing of multi-sensory information, the typical speed is 100 – 200 ms but in people with ASD the speed was found to be 310 ms or longer.
  • Structural differences in the amygdala (involved in emotional and social behaviour), hippocampus (involved in memory), and anterior cingulate gyrus (social brain).

It is important to recognise that it is not our job to try and make people with ASD like us, but to help each individual to reach their full potential.  If you would like to find out more about sensory processing and autism look at this term’s course.

Autism Professionals Awards 2016

Huge Progresscongratulations to Progress Care and Education who were runners up in the Autism Accreditation Excellence Award.  This award recognises their excellence in terms of providing education and care for young people with autism spectrum disorders.  Progress Care and Education is a 52 week residential school in Lancashire which is rated as an outstanding special school in all areas by Ofsted. It has been a pleasure to work with Progress over the last 8 years and to help them to look at behaviour from a sensory perspective and find ways to help support the young people in their care.


Resources

The Reason I Jump

Reason I jump

Written by a 13 year old boy with autism spectrum disorder, this book provides excellent insight into the world of someone with autism.  It is a very easy read, written in a question and answer format, with questions such as “You seem to dislike holding hands with people” and “Why do you take ages to answer questions”.  This book is a ‘must read’ in terms of helping to understanding more about autism.

 

House Rules

House rules

 

“House Rules looks at what it means to be different in our society, how autism affects a family, and how our legal system works well for people who communicate a certain way – but lousy for those who don’t.”

 

 

The Brain with David Eagleman

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BBC documentary series in which Dr David Eagleman explores the brain.  This second episode looks at neurone development.

Watch here

 

 

In My Language

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A very profound YouTube clip.  Make sure you watch the whole clip.  You may well be surprised!

Watch here

 

 

Dancing Barista

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Sam works at Starbucks.  See his story and how movement enables him to remain regulated.

Watch here

 

 


Courses

Summer Term Courses

The two courses running this term are intended to extend participant’s knowledge of sensory processing problems.  If you are working with people on the autism spectrum disorder then Sensory Processing and Autism is for you.  If you have attended courses in the past and would like to refresh your knowledge then Sensory Strategies for People with Sensory Processing Disorder is an ideal course.

All the courses are held in Clitheroe, Lancashire and are open to teachers, professionals and parents.

All courses are also available as INSET or in house training, please contact us for further details and prices.


Sensory Strategies for People with Sensory Processing Disorder (Sensory Course Part 2)

More about this course

Tuesday 3 May 2016

The aim of this one day course is to enable teachers, parents and health professionals who have attended the Introduction to Sensory Integration and Sensory Processing Disorder course to extend their knowledge on sensory integration and sensory processing disorder. The major focus of this course will be to give participants the understanding and skills necessary to identify and analyse sensory behaviours, and then to set up appropriate sensory strategies within home and school.


Sensory Processing and Autism

More about this course

Tuesday 10 May 2016

Sensory processing problems are well recognised now in individuals with autism.  This course builds on the knowledge gained on Sensory Course Part  1 and considers  sensory processing problems as related to autism. The aim of this one day course is to provide professionals working with individuals with autism, a more in depth understanding of sensory processing difficulties as related specifically to autism, and the everyday difficulties that children and adults experience in different settings. Practical support strategies will be explored from both an educational and therapy perspective.  This course will equip you to meet the core standard ‘Sensory Issues’ for the NAS Autism Accreditation programme.