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

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Saturday, July 15, 2006: 12:15 PM-1:30 PM
554 A-B
#2059- Now What? Interventions Following the Diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder
Following an educational diagnosis of autism spectrum disorders, families and service providers are bombarded with suggestions, but where do they begin? Practical classroom interventions will be discussed including positive behavioral support strategies, individualized visual schedules, appropriate personal touch lessons, and incorporating student breaks into the classroom. Special education staff help teachers understand and use Work Folders, Sensory Baskets, Homework Packets and follow Transition Strategies. Each attendee will receive a CD of materials they can immediately use with their students.

Presenter:Jean M. Slater, Sp/Language, Pathologist, Slater Software, Inc., Co-owner, Slater Software, Inc. / Speech/Language Consultant - Jean Slater’s 25 years of public schools therapy centered around children with severe speech/language and developmental delays. She worked on the Colorado Assistive Technology evaluation team for 14 years and has presented on literacy and language issues throughout the U.S. Jean received her degrees from Northwestern University (B.S.) and the University of Michigan (M.S.). She now works full time with her husband developing software and teacher resources for language and literacy growth.
Children who fall on the autism spectrum present teachers and service providers with the challenges of implementing intervention plans that will lead to successful school experiences and academic progress. Our objective as educators is to establish meaningful supports throughout a child's school day. Increases in communication, academics and social skills will b realized when needs are identified and practical classroom interventions are devised. The strategies and methods are appropriate for the range of abilities displayed by children along the autism continuum.

Many variations of daily schedules and subschedules will be discussed so teachers will be able to fit the format to their child's cognition, language, and behavior. Examples of word, phrase, and sentence schedules; static, portable, telegraphic, general, complete, complex and simple schedules will all be shown.

As we walk through the development of social stories, the “Golden Rules” for creating them will be shared. Attendees will learn how to write Procedural, Teaching, and Daily living social stories. We will discuss how the stories must be written from the child's perspective, use positive words, completely communicate the who, what, when and where of the situation, and incorporate the students words or vocabulary. Social stories contain descriptive, controlling, directing and perspective sentences. Attendees will see examples of social stories used in a variety of situations--from learning a sequence, to controlled obsessive behavior.

Two areas that are important to address with students with ASD, but areas that are often not discussed are: (1) break times, and (2) appropriate personal touch. These two topics will be fully explained and innovative strategies presented.

Breaks: Breaks are important for many of the children with whom we work. They are not, however, to be a reward (for example, free-time or computer time). Breaks are a necessary relief from academic stress. Often children must be taught how to ask for breaks, begin and end them, and act during a break. Participants will see video clips of the teaching and implementation of breaks ito daily classroom routines.

Appropriate Personal Touch: Many of our children must learn appropriate personal touch. They must distinguish appropriateness between family, friends, and strangers. All participants will learn an original, innovative way to make this learning concrete and unambiguous. The strategy is flexible enough to be applicable to any age level of student and can be implemented in school or in home settings.

The aim is to make the child's entire school day a successful one. With the Speech/Language Pathologist's and special educator's guidance, the classroom teacher has materials at his/her disposal for use when support personnel are not in the classroom. The presenters will also show Work Folders, Homework Packets, Sensory Baskets, and Transition Strategies.

Work Folders clearly identify expectations. Dividing the tasks into small segments builds in success as lessons and projects are completed. Homework Packets provide the structure a student needs. Following the familiar sequence is the key to success. Sensory Baskets are a socially appropriate way for a student to receive the sensory stimulation he or she needs. These baskets are best available in every educational setting. Transitional Strategies will be varied and adaptable. Participants will see these strategies demonstrated via video tape.

All the information presented is based on “what works” from teachers who have “been there--done that”. Many of the materials have been made using Picture It Software, and writing environments are on PixWriter. All attendees will receive materials and CDs containing sample files that they can use in their own teaching environments.

Learning Objectives:

The participants will • state the rules for writing social stories. • understand how to teach appropriate personal touch. • gain practical ideas for supporting children with autism throughout the school day.

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