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Transitions into Adulthood: People with Autism Spectrum Disorder (Webinar Series)
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Transitions are notoriously difficult for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders and a frequent source of upheaval and behavioral difficulties. Although these difficulties are established as patterns within the childhood years it is that other transition from childhood to adolescence and then adolescence into adulthood but tends to create the greatest difficulty for long-term functioning.
This series with Dr. Sheila Mansell will cover three separate but interconnected aspects of these essential developmental transitions:
• Understanding the importance of executive functioning difficulties in ASD,
• Enhancing self-determination, independence, and confidence,
• Puberty and adolescence and sexual social decision-making
LAYING THE FOUNDATION TO SUPPORT TRANSITION
It is a common experience to see executive functioning problems misinterpreted as defiance, lack of motivation or attention seeking. In the first talk you will learn more about the importance of executive functioning difficulties in ASD. Emphasis will be placed on providing a review of executive functioning deficits that affect people with ASD and how these are traditionally measured. How executive functioning deficits manifest is important to understanding best interventions and a better understanding of these neurological difficulties helps shape and refine the support needs of individuals with autism spectrum disorder.
ENHANCING SELF-DETERMINATION AND INDEPENDENCE
In the second talk emphasis placed on strategies that can be used to help enhance self-determination and an individual's level of independence. In many contexts there can be such a strong emphasis on providing close support and supervision that in effect too much is done for the individual. One of the consequences of this high level of support and supervision if that service recipients may come to see themselves is ineffectual or incapable and may lack the personal investment or understanding of developing independence. Throughout this talk emphasis will be placed on strategies to promote independence and opportunities for decision-making and choices and developing self-determination.
PREPARING FOR PUBERTY AND ADOLESCENCE
In the third talk emphasis will be placed on preparing young people for physical changes associated with puberty and adolescence. As children enter different phases of life many of the social rules that may have applied in other phases may change dramatically. It is essential to be aware of the importance of establishing social skills, social sexual sexual decision-making skill and emotional self-regulation. Although there is often high anxiety about sexuality related behavior during this time, social skills and judgment remain the largest deficits requiring the most support and attention. Individuals with autism spectrum disorder experience high levels of vulnerability to exploitation, abuse and bullying and clear strategies and practice opportunities are essential for development early on.
To assist support staff, caregivers, respite workers and families to better understand the issues related to the developmental transitions for individuals on the autism spectrum to be able to better support individuals through their life.
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Available as a recorded webinar series.
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