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Best Practices in Autism. Autism Consortium Regional Training Selena M. Joy, Ph.D.; Brooke Bottari, CCC-SLP. Roadmap. Quick Facts 6 Essential Themes Putting it Together. Quick Facts.

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best practices in autism

Best Practices in Autism

Autism Consortium Regional Training

Selena M. Joy, Ph.D.; Brooke Bottari, CCC-SLP


Quick Facts

6 Essential Themes

Putting it Together

quick facts
Quick Facts
  • According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 2007, there are 1 in 150 eight year old children who have ASD
  • The National Autistic Society reported boys are four times more likely to develop ASD than girls
quick facts1
Quick Facts
  • From the 1992-1993 academic year to the 1999-2000 academic year, there was a 218% increase in the prevalence of autism in Virginia and a 435% increase in the United States according to the U.S. Department of Education
  • ASD is the fastest growing developmental disability in the United States according to the New England Center for Children with 10-17% annual growth
essential themes
Essential Themes
  • Individualized Supports
  • Systematic Instruction based on the principles of ABA
  • Structured Environments
  • Comprehensive Programming
  • Functional Methodology to address challenging behaviors
  • Family Involvement
individualized supports services
Individualized Supports & Services

“Students with ASD are heterogeneous in their presentation of behaviors and in their unique preferences, interests, and learning styles requiring individualized instructional support needs.” Dunlap & Fox, 2002 & Dunlap & Robbins, 1991

individualized supports services1
Individualized Supports & Services
  • Activities capitalize on student strengths/interests
  • Materials capitalize on student strengths/interests
  • Reinforcers are individualized
  • Competence and independence is promoted
  • Parent preferences are taken into consideration
systematic instruction
Systematic Instruction

“Strategies using applied behavior analysis have been documented to be effective in systematically teaching target behaviors. It is important for educators and families to keep in mind that ‘ABA is not a specific program, procedure, or technique; it involves methods and principles’ that are applied in diverse ways.” Dunlap, 1999, p. 224

systematic instruction1
Systematic Instruction
  • Data collection
  • Prompting hierarchy
  • Discrete trials
  • Planning for generalization
  • Positive reinforcement
structured environments
Structured Environments

“Creating an environment that supports the identified learning needs of students is basic to instruction” Heflin & Alberto, 2001

structured environments1
Structured Environments
  • Clear physical boundaries
  • Designations to differentiate areas
  • Visual schedules
  • Visual supports
  • Individualized work stations
defining structure
Defining “Structure”
  • Organize the instructional setting (Heflin & Alberto, 2001);
  • Provide a schedule of activities (Rogers, 1999; Simpson & Myles, 1998);
  • Carefully plan and provide choice making opportunities (Dalrymple, 1995)
  • Provide behavioral support (Earles et al., 1998);
  • define specific areas of the school setting (Heflin & Alberto, 2001; Volmer 1997);
  • Provide temporal relations (Earles at al., 1998; Heflin & Alberto, 2001); and
  • Facilitate transitions, flexibility, and change (Simpson & Myles, 1998)
comprehensive programming

“A good test of the functionality of a skill is to ask whether the result of not learning a specific behavior will require another person to perform the task for the student.” Olley & Rosenthal, 1985

comprehensive programming1
Comprehensive Programming

Focus should be on those skills that

  • are most likely to be useful in the student’s life to control his or her environment
  • will increase the student’s independence and quality of life
  • will increase the student’s competent performance Dunlap & Robbins, 1991
comprehensive programming2
Comprehensive Programming
  • Communication systems
  • Social skills
  • Thematic units
  • Access to the general curriculum
functional methodology
Functional Methodology

“Recent research evidence has suggested that in order for educational interventions addressing problem behaviors to be successful, positive and proactive behaviors must be considered and developed.” Iovannone, Dunlap, Huber, & Kinkaid, 2003

functional methodology1
Functional Methodology
  • FBA
  • BIP
  • Data collection on problem behaviors and interventions
  • Visual analysis of data
family involvement
Family Involvement

“Family members are the most stable, influential, and valuable people in the child’s environment.” Dunlap, 1999

family involvement1
Family Involvement
  • Communication with families
  • Communication systems shared with families
  • Behavior plans shared with families
putting it together data driven instruction
Putting it Together: Data-Driven Instruction
  • Goals & Objectives should be broken down into measurable target behaviors
  • Data needs to be taken on each target behavior
  • Graph data for easy analysis
  • Data must drive instructional decisions
putting it together structure
Putting it Together: Structure
  • Classroom space should have clear purpose
  • Classrooms should be free of unnecessary distractions
  • Individual work stations may be needed
putting it together structure cont
Putting it Together: Structure (cont.)
  • EVERY student should have a personal schedule
  • Routines should be readily apparent
putting it together programming
Putting it Together:Programming
  • Access to general education curriculum!
  • Direct teaching of social and communication skills
  • Use of thematic units
putting it together programming cont
Putting it Together:Programming (cont.)
  • Plan explicitly for generalization!
    • Take data on generalization of skills
  • Differentiate instruction for all learners
  • Behavior Specific Reinforcement