Special Education Directors’ Conference July 31, 2008 Peoria Illinois Pieces of the Puzzle Dr. Stacey Jones Bock, Associate Professor Illinois State University Kathy Gould Director, Illinois Autism/PDD Training and Technical Assistance Project
Best Practices/Evidence Based Practices Ten Guiding Principles for Students with ASD Ten Considerations for Asperger Syndrome
Best Practices To date, there is no one intervention that is effective with all children with ASD
Best Practices: Common Elements Core Skills Highly supportive teaching environments Predictability and routine Functional approach to problem behaviors Transition Family involvement
Best Practices Strong programs address a variety of domains Behavior Communication Socialization Academics
Types of Interventions Interpersonal Relationship Interventions Skill-Based Interventions and Treatments Cognitive Interventions Physiological/Biological/Neurological Interventions and Treatments Other Interventions, Treatments, and Related Agents Richard L. Simpson: Evidence-based practices and students with autism spectrum disorders Focus on Autism and other Developmental Disorders 9/22/05 20 3
Evidence-based Practices Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Discrete Trial Instruction (DTI) Pivotal Response Training (PRT) Learning Experiences: An Alternative Program for Preschoolers and parents (LEAP)
Play therapy Assistive Technology AAC Incidental Teaching JARS PECS TEACCH CBM Social-decision Making Social Stories Pharmacology Sensory Integration Promising Practices
Gentle Teaching Option Method (Son-Rise Program) Floor Time Animal Therapy Relationship Development Intervention (RDI) Fast ForWard Van Dijk Curricular Approach Cartooning Cognitive Scripts Power Cards Auditory Integration Training (AIT) Megavitamin Therapy Scotopic Sensitivity Syndrome (SSS): Irlen Lenses Gluten-Casein Intolerance Practices with Limited Support
NATIONAL STANDARDS PROJECT National Panel conducting a comprehensive review of outcome literature to select methods and practices identified as effective Produce a set of standards for effective, research-validated education and behavioral intervention for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) After completing its scientific validation process and establishing ratified national standards, standards will be distributed in a technical manual through broad web-based distribution To request a copy of the soon to be published report contact www.nationalautismcenter.org
Ten Guiding Principles in Programming for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders Dr. Stacey Bock Autism Spectrum Institute Illinois State University
1 An effective means of communication To be “communication”, any system must be: PORTABLE: whatever the system is, it travels with the child - NEVER used as a reward system. UNIVERSAL: able to be understood and used by most people the student might encounter.
Each student must be evaluated and observed extensively to determine the best possible match of communication systems. A mismatch will lead to frustration and anger, and ultimately, a lack of ability for the student to make himself understood.
Use visual strategies 2 Visual strategies are useful for many people with ASD- not all, but many. Providing visual information at all times may be very useful for people with autism, and can enable independent functioning.
Use visual cues to reinforce any information you need to convey. Pictures Symbols Drawings Words Sign-language Gestures Combinations
A daily schedule 3 Can be only pictures, only words, or a combination of the two. Can be faded, but should be available if the student experiences levels of stress increasing the level of support needed.
Determine communicative function of behavior 4 Be a detective! Watch for patterns in behavior, antecedents and results. Seek input from EVERYONE who works with the student. Functional Behavior Analysis, done properly, will help staff begin to understand what the student is really saying.
5 Shape, don’t eliminate, self-stimulatory behavior If student is making noise (clicking, tapping pencil), try providing the same sensory input in a more appropriate way. Recognize when the student is exhibiting a need for sensory stimulation.
Allow student to hold something (if needed) during structured large group activities. Teach student to recognize and request sensory stimulation. Allow student to choose a safe area in the room which they find calming.
Some activities that will provide sensory stimulation….. Chewing, which is helpful in organizing the brain Alphabet letters, words and numbers are calming Smells can help to alert or calm
Incorporate music and motor movements into instruction as much as possible. Get a rocking chair, exercise bicycle and mini-trampoline for the classroom! Remember: Each student has their own unique sensory diet!
6 Plan for generalization Provide instruction in the typical environment whenever possible- if the skill is learned where it will be used, the work is cut in half! When it cannot be learned where it will be used, provide as many elements of the typical environment as possible (lighting, noise, physical layout, etc.), and transition training.
7 Identify reinforcers Put on your detective hat again! Observe, observe, observe Identify things which seem to calm the student: movement patterns response to auditory stimuli visual preference And……… Ask the student!!!
8 Frequent choice-making Creates a sense of control Allows the student to choose activities which enhance feelings of safety Strengthen the student’s motivation to increase communication skills!
9 Don’t talk too much! Many people with autism are easily overwhelmed with sensory information. Since we believe many people with autism are highly visual in nature, the verbal input may actually decrease their ability to process the visual input.
Reduce “ancillary” words…. “Just the facts, ma’am!’ Try reducing directions to just the key informational words- who, what, when, where, why, etc.
10 Evaluate, Evaluate, Evaluate Just as children change, their responses change. Weather, physical state, emotional state- all play a part. Observe and record responses to every strategy attempted to determine best practice for this student.
Always have a backup plan (or two or three!) in your bag of tricks! Document results of your evaluation- you will not be the only person to use the information!
Ten Considerations for Students with Asperger Syndrome
1 Structure Seat Arrangement Students with Asperger Syndrome are easy targets for Bullies Illinois Autism/PDD Training and Technical Assistance Project
Good Seating Choices Next to a “model” student Near the teacher A quieter area of the class Illinois Autism/PDD Training and Technical Assistance Project
Group Work 2 The characteristics of students with AS can make group work challenging and sometimes horrible experiences. Illinois Autism/PDD Training and Technical Assistance Project
Some Ideas about Group Work Avoid self-selection Teach all students how to function in a group Suggest tasks or roles Illinois Autism/PDD Training and Technical Assistance Project
3 Make your Classroom a Caring Community Model and praise respect and caring Zero tolerance for unkind remarks or actions
4 Use Visual Supports Illinois Autism/PDD Training and Technical Assistance Project
Sequences Calendars Schedule Class jobs Space Illinois Autism/PDD Training and Technical Assistance Project
4 Use Organizational Supports Illinois Autism/PDD Training and Technical Assistance Project
Graphic organizers Break assignments down into steps Examples of expectations Outlines and guided notes Organized notebooks Illinois Autism/PDD Training and Technical Assistance Project Illinois Autism/PDD Training and Technical Assistance Project
5 Prepare forChange
Clearly stated and posted class rules Private conversation Signal Be an interpreter
Reduce Stress Related Activities 6 Many students with AS can become easily overwhelmed
Ear plugs or headphones Alternative activity for difficult events A designated support person/place
Coping Cards Take 2 deep breaths with your eyes closed Press your hands together and count to 10 slowly
Feeling Anxious All people feel anxious now and then. It is acceptable to feel anxious. Our bodies, thoughts and actions can tell us when we are feeling anxious. Anxiety may look different for different people. For some, they may feel it in their stomach. When I feel overwhelmed with noise in class or am sensitive to other’s touch, that might tell me that I am feeling anxious. I can use the relaxation techniques on my coping cards. Bixler, 2006
Incredible 5-Point Scale Buron, K.D., & Cutis, M. (2003) The Incredible 5-Point Scale
7 “SAVE” the student Students with AS do not have internal social understanding