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Session 5 Factors that Affect Learning and Development

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  1. Session 5Factors that Affect Learning and Development National Professional Development Center on Autism Spectrum Disorders (2008). Session 5: Factors that affect learning and development. In Foundations of autism spectrum disorders: An online course. Chapel Hill: FPG Child Development Institute, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

  2. Session 5Introduction • Factors affecting approach decisions • Goals and objectives on IFSP or IEP • Age and developmental level • Current skills and needs • Learning style • Families’ concerns and priorities

  3. Session 5Topics: Factors that Affect Learning and Development • Educational/Intervention Factors • Settings for Intervention • Curriculum Needs • Transition Planning • Collaboration among Practitioners and Families via Tiered Teaming • Other Factors • Related Health Issues • Psychopharmacology • Complementary and Alternative Interventions

  4. Factors that Affect Learning and Development: Learning Objectives After completing Session 5, participants will: • identify and describe three placement options/settings where children/students with ASD receive intervention and/or education. • identify curriculum areas that are important for students with ASD. • describe transition processes for infants and toddlers with ASD and for children with ASD who transition from preschool to kindergarten.

  5. Factors that Affect Learning and Development: Learning Objectives After completing Session 5, participants will: identify the elements of successful programmatic transitions for students with ASD in middle and high school. describe the required components of a programmatic transition plan for students with ASD graduating from high school. discuss the tiered team approach and identify team members at each level.


  6. Factors that Affect Learning and Development: Learning Objectives After completing Session 5, participants will: identify four related health issues that often occur with ASD. identify the major behavioral/emotional symptoms in ASD that are sometimes targeted by psychotropic medications. explain the difference between complementary and alternative therapies.

  7. Placement Options/Settings Intervention/placement setting options vary across states and school districts. Settings/placement options for intervention and education are based upon federal legislation (IDEA 2004). A continuum of placement options must be available to identify the most appropriate least restrictive environment (LRE) for individuals.

  8. Continuum of Intervention Settings Combination of Settings Self-Contained Full Inclusion

  9. Inclusive Programs and Classrooms Settings where children and youth with ASD receive services with typically developing peers Available from early childhood through high school Related services are typically provided within classrooms or through a pull-out model

  10. Self-Contained Programs and Classrooms These settings include children and youth with ASD and/or other disabilities Often housed in public schools Often available from early childhood through high school

  11. Resource Rooms • Elementary-aged children and adolescents receive supplemental instruction in resource rooms. • Instruction is provided either one-on-one or in small groups. • Often used with children who can successfully participate in some inclusive classes, such as science and math.

  12. Other Intervention Settings Include home-based intervention and community resources for older students with ASD Settings fall along the intervention continuum Often used in combination with inclusive and self-contained settings

  13. Home-Based Intervention Home-based intervention is often considered the least restrictive environment for toddlers with ASD. Older children and adolescents with ASD also can receive services in this setting. Certain intervention programs, such as discrete trial training, often are implemented in the home.

  14. Community Resources for Adolescents with ASD Services provided in the community outside of the school setting Can help to bridge the transition from high school to community Can help develop recreational, social, and vocational skills

  15. Curriculum Areas • Access to the general curriculum is required by IDEA 2004. • Same content and subject areas as typical peers • Curriculum may require modifications, accommodations • Other curriculum areas needed due to: • Core characteristics of ASD • Cognitive and learning needs of ASD • Preparation for becoming as independent and socially responsible as possible

  16. Social and Communication/Language Skills • Social and communication/language skill development are priorities because: • these skills are needed at all ages and functioning levels. • these skills promote engagement. • systematic instruction is usually required to help individuals with ASD acquire these skills.

  17. Curriculum Areas: Play and Leisure/Recreation Skills • Play and leisure/recreational skills are important because they: • are needed across the life span. • facilitate social development, relationships. • improve quality of life. • decrease behavioral difficulties.

  18. Curriculum Areas: Self-help and Adaptive Skills • Self-help and adaptive skill development should be considered in current and future settings. • Self-help and adaptive skills: • are necessary for success at school, in the community, and in the workplace. • are required for independence in daily living skills in school, community, leisure/recreation, and work settings, and in managing different environments that will increase success in the future.

  19. Curriculum Areas: Self-advocacy and Coping Skills • Self-advocacy and coping skills • vary by age, individualized needs, and settings in which individuals receive support and services. • become increasingly important in middle and high school

  20. Curriculum Areas: Generalization and Motor Skills • Individuals need opportunities to apply academic skills to real life situations to generalize skills. • Some individuals with ASD need help with motor planning and motor skill development.

  21. Programmatic Transition Planning Transitions are difficult for individuals with ASD. Communication and collaboration within and across agencies, and with families, enhance positive outcomes. IFSP/IEP provides framework for collaboration. Planning is key for successful transitions and for academic and functional achievement.

  22. Early Childhood Transitions IDEA (2004) requires: Interagency coordinating councils to develop plans for transition IFSP that includes a transition plan, Transition planning meeting to occur at least 90 days prior to transition to Part B Local educational agency (LEA) must participate

  23. Elementary Transitions: From Preschool to Kindergarten Plans are part of child’s IEP, including a transition evaluation Coordination among regular and special education teachers, autism specialists, and other team members can make the process much easier and much more efficient

  24. Middle and High School Transitions IDEA requires Involvement of the student in the process Transition plan to be in effect when youth is 16 years of age Transition plan is a required component of IEP Career planning, vocational assessments, self-determination Involvement of outside agencies (e.g., vocational rehabilitation)

  25. Life After High School Movement from an entitlement to programs that require determination of eligibility for services Contrast of fairly immediate access to services in schools to lengthy waiting lists for services Applications for post-high school supports and services are typically required Transition team should include members of IEP team, the learner, the family, and representatives from adult agencies that provide services

  26. Transition from Student to Adult Transition refers to a change in status from behaving primarily as a student to assuming emergent adult roles in the community. These roles include employment, participating in post-secondary education, maintaining a home, becoming appropriately involved in the community, and experiencing satisfactory personal and social relationships. (Halpern, 1994, p. 117)

  27. Enhancing Transitions The process of enhancing transition involves the participation and coordination of school programs, adult agency services, and natural supports within the community. The foundations for transition should be laid during the elementary and middle school years, guided by the broad concept of career development. (Halpern, 1994, p. 117)

  28. Programmatic Transition Planning:A Review Essential process that identifies, develops, and documents skills, challenges, goals, and tasks is required for successful movement toward independence and community participation Planning and supporting transitions can be time-consuming and lengthy Many different people may be involved at various stages of planning--only constant is the child and the child’s family

  29. Collaboration Among Practitioners and Families Collaborative, interdisciplinary team model recommended Team members work together and with the family, including the child or youth when appropriate Applies to assessment, goal development, intervention, and evaluation processes

  30. Collaboration among Practitioners and Families: Team Membership Tiered team membership model for collaborative teams Core team Extended team Situational team Membership determined by Age/needs of individual with ASD IFSP/IEP goals Skills and experiences of professionals

  31. Collaboration among Practitioners and with Families Core team Persons who have almost daily contact and interaction with the child or youth and with the family Members include the family and child, special and general educators, early interventionists, paraprofessionals

  32. Collaboration among Practitioners and with Families Extended team Persons who have regular but less frequent contact, such as weekly or biweekly, with the child or adolescent with ASD. Members include related services personnel who provide regularly scheduled interventions with children Services delivered in homes, child care programs, or school settings and through a variety of approached

  33. Collaboration among Practitioners and with Families Situational team May be defined by the circumstances or situation related to the child, youth, and/or family, the individual’s age, or skills Members might include psychologist or behavior specialist, audiologist, nutritionist, vision specialist, vocational rehabilitation specialist, school nurse, pediatrician, assistive technology specialist, or career counselor

  34. Health Considerations Related Health Issues Psychopharmacology Complementary and Alternative Interventions

  35. Related Health Issues: Seizure Disorders Seizure disorders affect 1/4 to 1/3 of individuals with ASD. peak during preschool and adolescence. result in prescriptions for anticonvulsant medications. should be closely monitored by teachers to note activity.

  36. Related Health Issues:GI Problems and Allergies Gastrointestinal problems Conflicting reports of prevalence Includes gastro-esophageal reflux, diarrhea, and constipation Allergies Sensitivities to gluten and casein reported No data from controlled studies to validate special diets as effective treatments

  37. Related Health Issues: Sleep Disturbances Sleep disturbances Sleep induction (getting to sleep) Staying asleep (awakening during the night) Awakening early in the morning Challenging for parents Efficacy of medication use not established

  38. Related Health Issues For a review of treatment options, visit the American Academy of Pediatrics website at the url below. http://www.aap.org/healthtopics/Autism.cfm

  39. Psychopharmacology Research supports drug treatments for three symptom groups: Repetitive behaviors Hyperactivity Irritability, aggression, and self-injurious behaviors

  40. Potential Medication Options for Selected Behavioral Symptoms Associated with ASD

  41. Complementary and Alternative Interventions (CAI) Complementary– used in addition to conventional prescribed intervention to enhance effect(s) Alternative – substituted for more traditional behavioral and educational interventions Used by up to 50% of families of children with ASD

  42. Categories of CAI Biological treatments Specialized diets: gluten-free/casein-free Nutritional supplements: B6/magnesium,folic acid, and vitamins C, B12, and A Detoxification regimens: chelation, secretin

  43. Categories of CAI Non-biologic treatments Interactive metronome therapy Auditory integration training Craniosacral manipulation or therapeutic massage Hyperbaric oxygen therapy Dolphin-assisted therapy Facilitated communication

  44. Complementary and Alternative Interventions A set of guidelines can be useful for families who are considering nontraditional therapies. One example of such a guideline, Evaluation Guidelines when Considering Nontraditional Therapies in Autism, can be found at the url below. http://www.teacch.com/info_evaluation.html

  45. Factors that Affect Learning and Development: A Review Educational/intervention characteristics Placement/settings Curriculum Transition Planning Collaborative teaming Other issues Health concerns Psychopharmacology Complementary and alternative interventions