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Successful Outcomes for Students with Autism and Fragile X

Understanding and supporting your students effectively in mainstream classrooms

This workshop is run in conjunction with Bev Sher

Autism spectrum disorders are lifelong developmental disabilities that vary in severity and range; they are characterised by difficulties in social skills and communication/language; restrictive interests and sensory sensitivities. Approximately 1 in 160 people may be on the autism spectrum and with early intervention and suitable quality interventions; children with autism can show significant improvement. Some people with autism also have Fragile X.

Fragile X Syndrome is caused by a mutation (a change in DNA structure) on the X chromosome and is the most common cause of inherited intellectual disability. It is also the most common known genetic cause of Autism. Two to six percent of children with Autism also have Fragile X Syndrome and around 30 percent of children with Fragile X have a degree of Autism. Early detection allows the implementation of effective treatment and intervention strategies; as this is an inherited condition, diagnosis allows families to make informed choices regarding both treatment and family planning. Unfortunately, diagnosis is often missed and it is estimated that the majority of individuals with Fragile X have not yet been diagnosed. It is therefore vital for educators to have a thorough knowledge of this syndrome.

This workshop will cover the following:

  • Diagnosis and cognitive abilities
  • Physical, emotional and behavioral considerations
  • Educational considerations
  • Enhancing social skills
  • Multi-disciplinary Intervention: Medical, Occupational Therapy, Psychology, Speech Pathology
  • Associated conditions

Practical strategies to help affected individuals will be demonstrated throughout the day. There will also be a special emphasis on educational modifications and ways to enhance social skills for individuals on the Autism Spectrum as well as those with Fragile X Syndrome. This workshop is suitable for primary and secondary educators, teacher support staff as well as parents of children with autism and/or fragile X.