Autism Society records most keynote and concurrent sessions at their annual conferences. You can see and hear those recordings by purchasing full online access, or individual recordings.
1) Participants will understand how sensory processing skills are considered when addressing challenging behavior
2) Participants will understand how to easily incorporate sensory processing needs into positive behavioral support plans
3) Participants will understand methods for incorporating sensory and behavior strategies into everyday activities
4) Participants will understand how a blend of dyadic instruction, coaching and one on one support in home and community settings supports families in understanding and managing challenging behaviors that impact social and community experiences.
Children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) often exhibit challenging behaviors across multiple settings compromising participation in many environments and limiting occupational experiences (Hilton, Crouch, & Israel, 2008, Netzel, 2010). For many families, this leads to increased familial stress and isolation (Dunlap et al., 2001). Some of the behavioral aspects that limit participation are correlated with sensory processing deficits (Ashburner, Ziviani, & Rodger, 2008; Baker et al, 2008; Tomchek & Dunn, 2007). It has been estimated that between 70 -100 percent of children with ASD have difficulties processing sensory information and that most of these children have difficulties processing in more than one sensory system (Leekham et al., 2007; Tomchek & Dunn, 2007).
Interventions directed at challenging behaviors for children diagnosed with ASD need to effectively address sensory and behavioral issues with awareness of contextual aspects including the experience of the family. Occupational therapists, behavioral therapists, and other providers need to provide high quality, child and family specific services that assist individuals with ASD and their families to experience satisfying occupational performance at home, school, work and other community settings.
Many community (home based) services utilize intensive behavioral interventions designed to decrease challenging behaviors, but do not always directly address participation in family and community activities. To promote meaningful participation, Graham, Rogers, & Ziviani (2009) propose occupational performance coaching (OPC), a process through which therapists support parents to solve problems related to self identified child/family goals. OPC reflects family centered, occupation based intervention and a strengths approach to intervention (Graham, Rodger, & Ziviani, 2009; Graham, Rodger, & Ziviani, 2010). Positive behavioral supports (PBS) are complementary techniques that can be utilized within OPC. With PBS, challenging behaviors are decreased as measure of improved quality of life for the child and family with an understanding of the relationship of behavior to the context (s) where behavior is problematic (APBS, 2010, Dunlap et al., 2001).
This session will describe an effective transdisciplinary intervention approach utilized in southern NJ based on the principles of occupational performance coaching (OPC), positive behavioral supports (PBS) and sensory processing. The collaborative community based interaction between children diagnosed with ASD, their families, a behavioral therapist, and an occupational therapist will be discussed. Case study examples, handouts and videos will be used in an interactive session to facilitate participant learning.
Association of Positive Behavioral Supports, 2010. Description of how PBS is related to autism spectrum disorders. Retrieved June 1, 2010 at http://www.abps.org/new_apbs/autismDesc.aspx.
Ashburner, J., Ziviani, J., & Rodger, S. (2008). Sensory processing and classroom emotional behavior and educational outcomes in children with autism spectrum disorder. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 62, 564-573.
Baker, A., Lane, A., Angley, M., & Young, R. (2008). The relationship between sensory processing patterns and behavioural responsiveness in autistic disorder: A pilot study. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 38, 867-875.
Dunlap, G., Newton, J.S., Fox, L., Beniro, N., & Vaughn, B. (2001). Family involvement in functional assessment & positive behavioral supports. Focus on Autism & Other Developmental Disabilities, 16 (4), 215-222.
Graham, F., Rodgers, S. & Ziviani, J. (2009). Coaching parents to enable children’s participation: An approach for working with parents and their children. Australian Occupational Therapy Journal, 56, 16-23.
Graham, F., Rodgers, S. & Ziviani, J. (2010). Enabling occupational performance of children through coaching parents: Three case reports. Physical and Occupational Therapy in Pediatrics, 30 (1), 4-15.
Hilton, C.L., Crouch, M.C., & Israel, H. (2008). Out of school participation in children with high functioning autism spectrum disorder, American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 62, 554-563.
Leekam, S.R., Nieto, C., Libby, S.J., Wing, L., & Gould, L. (2007). Describing the sensory abnormalities of children and adults with autism. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 37, 894-910.
Netzel, J. (2010). Positive behavior supports for children and youth with autism spectrum disorders. Preventing School Failure, 54 (4), 247-255.
Tomchek, S. D., & Dunn, W. (2007). Sensory processing in children with and without autism: A comparative study using the Short Sensory Profile. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 61, 190-200.
Content Area: Applied Research
Mary Kientz, OTD, OTR
Assistant Professor of Occupational Therapy
Richard Stockton College of New Jersey