ASA's 37th National Conference on Autism Spectrum Disorders (July 13-15, 2006)
|Friday, July 14, 2006: 3:30 PM-4:45 PM|
|#1947- The F.R.I.E.N.D. Program|
|The FRIEND program, Fostering Relationships in Early Network Development,
provides opportunities for students on the autism spectrum to improve social communication skills in a natural setting, prompted by their peers and teachers.
The FRIEND program describes how to develop and implement a FRIEND group for students in the home, school or community, and includes guidelines for peer sensitivity training and strategies for promoting successful social interactions. The FRIEND program can be adapted for students of any age or skill level.
|Presenters:|| - Sharman Ober-Reynolds is Research Coordinator for the Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center. She coordinates collaborative research designed to determine the genetic vulnerability of autism through family linkage, proteomics and gene expression studies as well as the use of behavioral interventions and novel psychopharmacological agents for its treatment.
Ms.Ober-Reynolds received her MSN at UCLA, where she also worked as an adjunct professor in Community Health Nursing and Nursing Research.
She co-wrote the F.R.I.E.N.D. Manual, a social inclusion/peer sensitivity training program designed to support individuals with ASD. Sharman is the mother of three terrific sons, the oldest of which has autism.
- Sheri S. Dollin, M.Ed., Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center Director of Training and Education, uses 30 years of experience to train and support schools and families. She has written articles on a variety of topics on ASD and co-written the FRIEND Manual, a social inclusion/peer sensitivity training. Sheri provides paraprofessional training with Diane Twachtman-Cullen. She has served as an adjunct professor, mediator, taught in early childhood programs and is currently on the Arizona Education Autism Steering Committee. Ms. Dollin attended the University of Arizona. She received a Masters degree in Early Childhood Education from Wheelock College, Boston.
The movement toward the educational inclusion of children with autism spectrum disorders has been encouraged by professionals who argue that exposure to typically developing children will enhance the competence of children with special needs. However, it is not enough to merely place a child with ASD in the same classroom with typical peers. Without the implementation of a comprehensive social-skills program, students with autism are vulnerable and often neglected and rejected by their typical classmates. This rejection not only compromises their academic and social gains but can have detrimental long-term effects.
The FRIEND program, Fostering Relationships in Early Network Development, provides an opportunity for students on the autism spectrum to improve social communication skills in a natural setting, prompted by their peers and staff. This program is designed to assist educators, parents and others that impact the student's daily educational experience.
The FRIEND program describes how to develop and implement a FRIEND group for students in the home, school or community, which includes guidelines for peer sensitivity training for classmates, strategies for promoting successful social interactions, tips on how to create a FRIEND group and ideas for activities. The FRIEND program can be adapted to students of any age or skill level. Encouraging a better understanding of a student's challenges through positive social interactions helps support the creation of friendships and participation in the school community.
•An easy-to-use comprehensive social skills program for students with ASD and their neurotypical peers
•Understanding learning characteristics and social communication differences and challenges for individuals with autism spectrum disorder.
•Peer sensitivity training for neurotypical peers in the school setting
•ASD awareness training for school staff
After completing this presentation, participants will be able to:
1.Describe the characteristics of ASD. 2.Describe learning characteristics associated with ASD. 3.Understand the abilities and challenges of social communication skills across all experiences in the educational setting (i.e., lunch and recess). 4.Understand the challenges in the development of relationships with peers and the ability to establish true friendships. 5.Develop opportunities for appropriate peer interactions, social communication skill development and lasting friendships through strategic programming. 6.Facilitate social groups for students with ASD and their peers. 7.Facilitate appropriate activities and interactions for students in a group setting with a range of skill levels and interests. 8.Promote inclusion through understanding, tolerance and acceptance for typical peers, staff, and individuals with ASD.
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