ASA's 37th National Conference on Autism Spectrum Disorders (July 13-15, 2006)

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Saturday, July 15, 2006: 10:00 AM-11:15 AM
553 A-B
#1808- Behavioral Intervention in the School Setting
This session is based on the implementation of a behavioral based program in the school setting. The focus is on teaching students essential core skills in a 1:1 setting with an emphasis on generalization across all school settings. Discover how to maximize the educational experience using a behavioral approach. Included will be an overview of our school training program.

Presenters:Sheri S. Dollin, M.Ed., Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center, Director of Education and Training Programs - Sheri S. Dollin, M.Ed., is The Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center Director of Education and Training Programs. She has over 30 years experience working in the field of ASD. Sheri specializes in training and support to schools and families. She has written articles on a variety of topics related to ASD and co-written the FRIEND Program Manual, a social inclusion/peer sensitivity training program. Sheri provides Paraprofessional training with Diane Twachtman-Cullen. Ms. Dollin has served as an adjunct professor, mediator, and taught in early childhood programs. Sheri is a member of the Arizona Education Autism Steering Committee.

Rachel A. McIntosh, B.A., BCABA, Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center, Hispanic Outreach Coordinator and Lead Interventionist - Rachel A. McIntosh, B.A.,BCABA, is the Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center Hispanic Outreach Coordinator and Lead Interventionist. Ms. McIntosh has over six years experience working with children with ASD. She is a Home Program Consultant, overseeing early intensive behavioral programs and provides training in discrete trial teaching for in-home and school programs. Rachel worked in Los Angeles, for Center for Autism and Related Disorders, CARD, where she worked with toddlers to school age children in home and school. Ms. McIntosh graduated in Pschology from the University of California, Los Angeles, where she took courses taught by Dr. Lovaas.

This presentation is based on the implementation of behavioral teaching strategies in the school setting and addresses the continuum of skills and educational experiences unique to the individual student with ASD. Participants will learn how to increase opportunities that facilitate learning across all settings using principles of applied behavior analysis and discrete teaching techniques. In addition, expanding teaching from a one-to-one format by facilitating practice in the natural setting so the student can learn to associate the function and meaning of skills to generalization.

According to the National Research Council 2001 report, there is little evidence concerning the effectiveness of discipline-specific therapies, and there are no adequate comparisons of different comprehensive treatments. There is also great variability among professionals in the school setting regarding instructional approaches and program models. Given these differences, training and technical support for teachers, professionals and others who impact the educational experience for a student with ASD is critical. The need to tailor instruction to the individual learning styles and needs of each child requires that educators and therapists of children with ASD be skilled in a wide range of educational strategies.

This presentation focuses on supporting students with ASD in the educational setting using basic principles of applied behavior analysis such as, task analysis, chaining, shaping, prompting, and positive behavior supports. If those who interact with the student on a regular basis such as, educators, parents, therapists, paraprofessionals, and peers, are trained to reinforce skill acquisition, help the student generalize and encourage maintenance of skills, it increases the student's capacity to engage and benefit throughout school. Discrete trial teaching can be implemented to establish a foundation for learning compliance and other core skills such as, imitation, attention, task completion and impulse control. Because development is a dynamic process the instructional supports must also be responsive to the moment to moment changes experienced by the student. A range of instructional approaches such as, pivotal response teaching, naturalistic and incidental teaching, TEACCH and PECS should also be available in response to the student's strengths, challenges, the activity and setting.

The Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center (SARRC) school training model begins with a lecture and discussion of applied behavior analysis, discrete trial teaching and positive behavior support. This week long training includes hands-on activities, direct training with children already participating in home behavioral intervention programs, guided observation and video review. There are opportunities during the training to speak with parents who are currently running ABA based home programs. This opportunity reinforces the value of a positive home-school collaboration. All trainings are accompanied by a pre-training “homework” activity. After the training, participants are to video tape their work with a student to demonstrate the teaching techniques. Telephone meetings are scheduled to exchange feedback and respond to questions.

Within the school setting an educational community is established. The quality of a student's participation in that community is dependent on the appropriate educational supports for academics, functional skill development and social relationships. The depth of the school's ability to understand an individual with ASD and support them enhances a student's capacity to engage, participate, contribute and benefit throughout the school day and every day after.

Learning Objectives:

• Develop an understanding of the basic principles of a behavioral approach and discrete trial teaching. • Understand how to expand on learning opportunities in a one-to-one direct teaching format to practice in the natural setting. • Increased opportunities to provide appropriate supports for the integration and generalization of skills across all school settings. • Understand the effectiveness of a strong home and school partnership that supports student success.

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