Children with autism and related neurodevelopmental disorders present numerous challenges for therapists and educators. They have significant processing deficits that impact their functioning across domains, and can stretch the knowledge and resources of even experienced practitioners. Often viewed through the lens of "behavior," the symptoms these children display are more accurately described as manifestations of inefficient and ineffective processing. Understanding how information processing deficits impact these children paves the way for applying a new generation of strategies designed to address core processing problems and promote meaningful skill development. Objectives include: Describe the connection between information processing deficits and symptoms in autism/related disorders. Differentiate between methods that promote rote behavior and those that develop meaningful thinking. Explain how to adjust the pacing of activities to improve processing, communication and behavior. Discuss communication modifications that support processing speed and effectiveness. Describe how processing problems impact behavior and hot to respond in ways that diffuse behavior more quickly. Explain the importance of nonverbal communication development for overall communication and thinking abilities.
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