Rain Man

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by MatthewJCento
Last updated 5 years ago

Social Studies

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Rain Man

IDEA defines Autism Spectrum Disorder as a:“... developmental disability significantly affecting verbal and nonverbal communication and social interaction, usually evident before age 3 that adversely affects a child’s educational performance. Other characteristics often associated with ASD are engagement in repetitive activities and stereotyped movements, resistance to environmental change or change in daily routines, and unusual responses to sensory experiences. The term does not apply if a child’s educational performance is adversely affected because the child has an emotional disturbance” [34 C.F.R. 300.8(c)(1)]

Raymond (Rain Man) has a condition known as Autism Spectrum Disorder. He is on the higher functioning end of the spectrum and most likely has Asperger's Syndrome. In the movie he presents with many common symptoms of ASDs such as: SSBs, inabiility to break routines, poor social skills (lack of recognizing others emotions, needs or wants, etc...) little to no eye contact and uncomfortability exhibit extremely high memory capacity/memorization skills, information retention, and mathmatic as well as geographic understanding. Click my brain to learn more about ASDs!

Social stories and behavior que cards are two tools that I believe can make a huge difference in Raymond's (Rain Man) life. Throughout the movie he presents with great anxiety and has low communication skills when it comes to expressing his feelings, especially in terms of distress. Tools such as these could guide him to use his words better to say how he feels or what he needs to do to self calm during stressful situations.

Using a daily and weekly schedule is a tool that can create easier transitions or prepare Raymond (Rain Man) for changes during his daily routine. This can be done by using a simple velcro and picture system (possibly with a Boardmaker type program). For other adults with similar symptoms of ASDs in todays world I would suggest using some type of device such as an iPad, Chromebook, etc... A popular app, Choiceworks, can be installed that allows for the easy creation and seamless adjustments to schedules and reminders. A tool such as this would allow for Raymond to acclimate himself to a new activity or such before it is time to engage.

Weighted vests or blankets are very common amoung people with Autism. As Raymond (Rain Man) exhibits in the movie, many people with ASDs have Self-Stimulating Behavior(s) (SSBs); in his case he often rocks while reading or watching TV. The weight of the vest or blanket would create deep tissue pressure in Raymond's body resulting in less of a need for him to want to rock. Deep tissue pressure is often required for people with ASDs as it calms them down wether they are over stimulated or under durress. I also believe that the use of such a tool would help reduce Raymond's repetitive tendencies.


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