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Autism Spectrum Disorder ASD is a pervasive developmental disorder that affects certain parts of the central nervous system Attwood 2006 Barbaro Ridgway et al 2011 Dodd 2005 Volkmar Lord 1998 Wetherby Prizant 2000 Children with ASD are characterised by impairments in communication and social interaction and restricted andor repetitive patterns of behaviour interests and activities American Psychiatric Association APA 2000 APA 1987 as cited in Schopler Van Bourgondien et al 1993 Barbaro Ridgway et al 2011 Hill Frith 2003 Therefore the learning capabilities of a child with ASD can also be impacted as certain areas of the brain are responsible for communication and some cognitive functions can be affected Amaral Schumann et al 2008 Dodd 2005 Keating Spence et al 2002 Wetherby Prizant 2000 This paper will explore ASD in children aged 6 to 12-years-old and the effects it has on important areas of development in order to understand challenges and learning needs A discussion of the problems associated with acquiring specific life skills for children with ASD will follow subsequentlyPhysical and Self-help SkillsThe development of physical skills refers to the ability of an individual to explore and interact with the world around them Development in Children 2013 Physical management strategies are vital when working with children with ASD Children with ASD have unusual brain growth patterns that result in physical deficits Couchesne 2004 According to Courchesnes 2004 research MRI scans found enlargements of the frontal lobe temporal lobe cerebellum and amygdala which is the likely cause of these deficits Due to impairments in the brain parents are advised to seek assessment from a physical therapist PT about their childs development A case example is given to highlight physical management issuesSavannah is an 8-year-old girl with ASD At 5-year-of age she was involved in an accident resulting in her being wheelchair bound As she is confined in a wheelchair Savannah finds it difficult to
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