Section 1: Understand behaviour within the context of autism
Q1: Explain why an individual’s behaviours may need to be considered within the context of autism. (1.1)
Those with autism may behave in different ways than those without, for example, hand movements, obsessive behavior regarding their favourite subjects or topics, walking a certain way due to social anxiety and some may have Sensory Processing Disorder. It is important that all individuals are held accountable for their actions. It’s important that despite this, those with autism may still display behaviour that challenges and this is due to many reasons, including ADHD and Fragile X syndrome,
both to which can cause problems with impulse control; communication difficulties going back to the triad; repetitive behaviour and Sensory Processing Disorder. Even though these challenges are apparent, it’s important to remember that autism is still a mystery to most, communication will always be complex, social interaction can be frightening for those with autism and we still do not know everything about Sensory Processing Disorder.
Q2: Explain how these behaviours may influence the way individuals with autism interact with others. (1.2)
The behaviours mentioned previously may play a part in the way that individuals with autism interact with others, whether with or without autism. Usually, when an individual meets someone new, they can form an opinion on the other person quite quicklyand develop an understanding of their behaviour patterns and get to know their history and such, and this is the same for those
with autism. There is also a better chance for those with autism to communicate with others if it has been a successful interaction before and they respected communication methods, such as using PECs or pictures to identify needs and wants.
Q3: Explain how the behaviour of others may impact on an individual with autism. (1.3)
There are two different groups of individuals that can influence the individual with autism. These are the individuals peers and care workers. Their peers can help them support an environment which is compassionate and supportive, however, lack of communication or difficulties with social interaction can cause encourage behaviour that challenges, as well as frustration. Crying or other noises can cause frustration and is due to Sensory Processing Disorder. Unmet needs or physical ill-health can also cause challenging behaviour or other signs of distress, and lack of sleep and problems with sleeping patterns can cause irritability. Care workers are tasked to ensure a positive environment for their clients and their care. They are powered by person-centred values and encourage active participation and individuals for those with autism. However, in some cases, care workers can cause a negative influence over the individual, due to many reasons, such as inexperience working with those with autism,
uncomfortable or nervous individuals, becoming stressed and tired due to the days work which can cause them to interact inappropriately. Mistakes are usually inevitable, as care workers are still human, mistakes such as failing to share particular information or follow certain procedures can cause an unbalanced environment affecting the individual with autism negatively.
Q4: Explain why individuals with autism may find changes to their routine distressing. (1.4)
Those with autism may find changes to their routine distressing. Some examples of routines that those with autism may follow could be wearing the same clothes daily, keeping a strict time-based schedule and travelling the same route every day. Usually, having a routine can support a predictability and security within the day which can prove comfortable in a world that seems chaotic. Some changes to these routines can be unavoidable, but can still cause immense stress, anxiety and anger for those
with autism, changes can be as small as roadworks altering travel path but can have serious side effects to behaviour and moods for those with autism.
Q5: Outline strategies that can be used to support individuals to cope with changes to routine and structure. (1.5)
Ensuring good communication is one of the best ways to support individuals to cope with changes to routine and structure, especially ones that cannot be helped. It is important that during this time the preferred communication method of the individual is kept and the individual is in a safe environment where they feel secure and protected. Care workers and family members can also encourage changes in routine by providing a reward system. This is usually a small change, otherwise, it may not be
accepted, but can work towards the individual becoming more independent and understanding of change.
Q6: Outline the approaches that can be used to reduce prompt dependency in individuals with autism. (1.6)
A care worker may act on reducing prompt dependency by ensuring regular inclusive activities to support developing confidence within the individuals by exposing them to unfamiliar locations or situations. They may also push for the individual to take risks and decide for themselves. They will also constantly influence with a person-centered approach, ensuring to praise and reassure the individual with autism when and where necessary throughout all activities and unfamiliar experiences.
Q7: Outline strategies to support an individual’s obsessions and special interests. (1.7)
Allowing time to delve into the obsession or special interests, by giving time to talk about or see to it, supports the individuals obsession/special interest and including a flexible approach to seeing how the obsession or special interest occurs in the real world, for example, if the individual had a special interest in penguins, visiting penguins or embarking on an experience to learn more about penguins will support their special interest. To support in managing the obsession or special interest, it’s important to give time but also give time to other inclusive activities that the individual likes. This helps the special interest or obsession to not take over the individuals life and become the most important factor.