Autism Spectrum Disorders Academy
Presented by: Brenda Mast
Photo by: Sarah Smith
A Child with Autism…
“If you’ve seen one child with autism, you’ve seen one child with autism.”
Autism Spectrum Disorders Academy Overview
Module A: Overview and History of Autism 1. Myths vs. facts 2. History and Definitions 3. Common Characteristics 4. Research-based interventions
Academy Overview (cont..)
Module B: Communications 1. Speech, language and communication 2. Communication deficits 3. Supporting communication 4. No-tech, low-tech, and high-tech communication systems 5. Demonstrate a communication device
Academy Overview ( cont.)
Module C: Visual Supports 1. Why visual supports? 2. Functions of visual supports 3. Illustrate a variety of visual supports 4. How visual supports are used with students 5. Making visual supports
Academy overview (cont.)
Module D: Structured Teaching 1. Key features of structured teaching 2. Physical structures 3. Work systems 4. Prompting hierarchy 5. Discrete trial instruction, errorless learning, data collection
Module E: Social Skills
1. 2. 3. 4.
Social Skills in naturalistic settings Joint action routines Social stories, rule cards, Power Cards Pivotal Response Training
Questions to Be Addressed in Module A
What is autism? What are the myths and what are the facts about autism? How has autism been identified throughout the years?
What labels are associated with the autism spectrum?
What causes autism? What are the common characteristics of autism? What are the research-based intervention for ASD?
Activity: Which Are Myths and Which Are Facts?
People with autism:
….never make eye contact ….don’t like to be touched ...all flap their hands
Source of Your Knowledge
Headline History of Autism
Roots in medicine and psychiatry Emphasis on description Not much happens in schools 1970s
First special education law passes Emphasis on “Child find” Deinstitutionalization Schools gear up 1980s
More research on autism Education gets a “heads-up” Mainstreaming is the buzz word 1990s
Autism label is listed as a disability Numbers increase drastically Inclusion is the new IDEA! 2000s
Use of scientifically researched practices Education is a proven intervention Teaching methods emphasize students’ strengths Numbers continue to grow
What’s in a Label?
Autism Asperger Syndrome Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS) Atypical Autism Childhood Disintegrative Disorder Rett Syndrome
Relationship Among Autism Spectrum Disorders
-adapted from Lord & Risi (2000)
Childhood Disintegrative Disorder
Pervasive Developmental DisorderNot Otherwise Specified PDD-NOS
Diagnosing Autism Spectrum Disorders
Difficult to diagnose Atypical development in young children my be related to other things No blood tests No DNA makers known yet Extensive observation is necessary There are so many differences in children with ASD that they don’t have all the same characteristics or behaviors
Study Group Directions
Look at handout H9 – Study Group Assignments to see which interventions or practices your group will read about. Identify one or two of the most important characteristics of the intervention/practice. Find the rating the intervention has been given and try to understand why it received this label, based on the information you are provided.
Be ready to explain to your “Home Group” why it was given this rating.
2. Study Groups
3. Back to “Home Group”
Jigsaw Graphic ( cont.)
4. Whole- Class Debrief
Questions to Be Addressed in Module B
What is communication? How are speech, language, and communication related to one another? What problems with communication are sometimes evident in students with ASD? What can a paraeducator do to support communication? How can paraeducators assist students who use unaided (no-tech), and aided (low-tech) systems?
What is Communication?
Communication is when someone sends a message to another person and the message is received and understood. Everyone Communicates!
Communication is not just speech.
Communication may occur through behaviors, signs, gestures, pictures, pointing, nonverbal body language, symbols, vocalizations,etc.
Communication often relies on language.
Language is a system of symbols and rules that govern the use of the symbols to convey meaning.
What Communication Problems Are Associated with ASD?
Limited inclination to share enjoyment, interests, or achievements with other people Primary purposes for communication to be: - requests (get someone to do something) - protests (get someone/something to stop)
Communication and Behavior
Lack of other system of communication – few words, symbols, signs, or meaningful gestures – may result in behaviors we consider problematic Adults need to understand the behavior – look deeper to try to understand the communication that is occurring Behavior may communicate: - Frustration - Fear or other emotional upset - Discomfort – need to escape noise, light, sensory irritation, etc. - Boredom - Physical needs – thirst, hunger, bathroom - Protest - A request - Many other things…
Communication Deficits in Students with Autism
Major Deficits 1. The capacity for joint attention 2. The capacity for symbol use 3. Verbal communication
4. Nonverbal communication
Everyone communications Communicate with students Expect them to respond Focus on positive aspects of what students can do Encourage communication with peers Eye contact Volume and tone of voice Listening and watching Other avenues
Be an interpreter
Functions of Echolalia
Some research suggests that echolalia is an early, but productive, stage of language development It may be language learning strategy – eventually leading to more efficient communication It may be child’s best effort to communicate We should honor the child’s effort to communicate. Try to understand the intent and help the child move forward in language development.
Assisting Students with Echolalia
Adults can assist a student who is using echolalia to communicate - Step 1: try to understand the - Step 2: provide supports that help her get her message across
Activity Directions To learn ways to support students who are echolalic: 1. Form groups of about 5 people. 2. Assemble the puzzle pieces in your set. 3. When you make a match, stop for a moment, read aloud, and discuss the suggested way to assist. 4. Before you go on to the next piece, stop and discuss how you see yourself using this suggestion with students you know.
No-Tech/Unaided Communication Systems
American Sign Language (ASL)
Learn 8 signs for common needs:
• • • • • • • •
All done – finished Pizza Work Drink Bathroom Sad More Cookiie
Unaided Communications Systems…(cont.)
Signed Exact English
“Home Signs” or gestures made up by the student Supporting a student who uses ASL, SEE, “Home Signs,” or gestures
Aided Communication Systems (Low-Tech)
Involves objects or pictures
Involve storage of objects or pictures Involve displaying objects or pictures that communicate purposes
A Picture-Based Communication Approach
When using a picture-base communication approach, two adults are often involved at the start, each in a different role. Do not use verbal prompts. Present one picture at a time. Do not plan to do it all in one session – plan many sessions across the day.
Picture Based Communication (cont.)
Use different items paired with corresponding symbols or pictures in different sessions. Modify the picture or symbol to match the student’s motor skills: Use one of the following two teaching methods: • Backward chaining • Two-person prompting
Pick up picture or object
Monitoring Progess 1
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Reach toward communication partner with picture or object in hand
Release the picture or ovject to the communication partner
Picture/ object used
Type of activity
1:1 1:1 1:1 1:1 1:1 1:1 1:1 1:1 1:1 1:1
High-Tech: Assistive, Alternative, and Augmentative Communication Devices
Name of Device
Why a student would use this type of device
How it works
Strengths / Limitations
Questions to Be Addressed in Module C
What are visual supports? What do they do? Why should a student use visual supports? Which visual supports make sense for students with ASD? How do I get them or make them? How do I use them?
What are Visual Supports?
Visual supports are things you can see, for example…. You You use gestures and body movements to communicate - smile and frown - nod your head - shake your head side to side - hold out your hand - point - hold objects for someone else to use
Visual Supports ( cont.)
Pictures Posters Photos Books Labels Signs Objects Logos
Visual Supports (cont….)
Things you can make to address student needs Schedules Calendars Choice Boards Rule Charts Lists Instructions Behavior clues
What Do Visual Supports Do for Students with ASD?
Provide information Establish the rules for behavior Give directions Illustrate what their choices are Prepare them for what comes next Show what will happen later Demonstrate how classes or activities will begin and end
Help them get through the day without adults telling them every step
Show & Tell Questions
Why would a student use this kind of visual support? How does it work? What are the limitations and strengths of this type of visual support? How did the student first learn to use the device?
Notes Page for Activity 3.1
A83.1a This is an example of _______________ A student would use this to_________ The limitations and strengths are_______
To teach a student to use this, I would________
Teaching Students to Use Their Visual Supports
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.
Introduce Demonstrate Act it out Show video Prompt ( Using prompt sequence) Use in multiple settings
Signs that visual supports are working:
Fewer tantrums You repeat your directions less Student initiates actions Student uses more positive social behaviors You feel less stressed Student feels less stressed The day goes better overall Others notice that you’re smiling more….
Making Visual Supports
What kinds of visual supports are necessary? When do you make them? Where do you get the materials? - Develop a relationship with Velcro!
- Use real objects - Use pictures
• • •
Questions to Be Addressed in Module D
What is structured teaching? How can I create structures in unstructured situations? How do I navigate among the levels of prompting and assistance? How do I teach students using discrete trial methods? What is errorless learning? How do I document a student’s progress on lessons taught through structured approaches?
Is an intervention philosophy or approach Developed by TEACCH at the University of North Carolina Allows for numerous instructional methods
Three key features:
• • •
Structures the physical environment Incorporates visual instruction, organization and clarity Employs systematic teaching methods
• • •
Makes it easier to learn Decrease confusion/ anxiety Provides positive behavioral supports
Structured Teaching ( cont.)
Considers a student’s special interests
Relies on data to make or change programming Increases independent functioning in many environments
Jig for Table Setting
Depends on student needs and environment:
• Needs vary • Some environments provide substantial structure • Some environments provide little structure • Fading
• Define where the environment begins and ends • Clarify what happens in that location • Protect the student’s “space” needs • Provide a safe place for belongings • Reduce outside noise • Limit visual distractions • Reduce internal distractions
Physical Structure – Room Design
Provides specific places for activities
Affects performance of task Separates materials for specific functions
Visual Schedule Example
Visual Example of a Work System
Itsy Bitsy Spider
Take me out to the ballgame
Examples of a Work System
1. Question: What work?
Answer: Rug Rats, Itsy Bitsy Spider, etc.
Question: How Much Work? Answer: 4 Things Question: How do I know I’m making progress? Answer: Take cards off and match to corresponding folders that contain work.
4. Question: What happen next? Answer: Name card tells me to check my schedule.
Discrete Trial Terms
Cause-effect learning vs. observational learning Discrete trial instructional method Stimulus Discriminative stimulus Verbal promting Modeling
Discrete Trial Terms (cont.)
Physical prompting Gestural prompting Positional prompting Response Reinforcing stimulus Response Reinforcing stimulus Inter-trial interval Generalization
Refer to Data Sheet B in your handout…
Questions to Be Addressed in Module E
What types of social skills need to be taught to students with ASD? How can I embed social skills into daily classroom routines? How do I create and use social stories? How do I pair the student’s special interests with social skills to make the skills more appealing? How do I create and use social scripts and power cards? How do I keep data on the student’s use of social skills?
Social skills impairments are defining characteristics of ASD.
• Difficulties include:
May not be motivated by social reinforcement
Social Skills (cont.)
LEAP identifies five key social skills to teach young children with ASD: 1. Getting your friend’s attention. 2. Sharing – giving a toy 3. Sharing – requesting a toy 4. Play organizer – let’s play zoo, you be the zookeeper 5. Giving a compliment
Age- Equivalent Example of LEAP Social Skills – Older Students
LEAP Preschool Example Getting your friend’s attention Sharing – giving a toy Sharing – requesting a toy Play organizer Giving a compliment Elementary School Example
Other Social Skills Students May Need
Preschool 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
How Do I Include Social Skills into Classroom Routines?
Lining up to use the restroom Snack helper Expectation Stand in line with his hands down.
Offer basket of snacks to other students.
Actual Behavior Faces the person behind him, stands very close.
Puts his face within inches of others – pours snacks out
Wanders from Center to Center; runs away if others enter the Center.
Skill to Be Taught
Stand on visual footprints. Face forward, hands down. Say friend’s name, “Joe.” Offer basket of snacks.
Develop work system. Structure physical environment with clearly defined boundaries.
Stay in Center with other students.
Principles of Social Stories
Don’t work with every student. When they do work, they really work! Help students understand social situations. Include four types of sentences: 1. Descriptive 2. Prescriptive 3. Directive 4. Affirmative
Principles of Social Stories (cont.)
Do: Keep it simple. Choose one social situation per story. Write it from the child’s perspective. Keep it positive. Include pictures to illustrate the words. Read the story at a teachable moment. Provide repeated exposure to the story.
When a problematic situation occurs, remind student what to do using words from the story.
Principles of Social Stories
Trying to do more than one situation in a story. A lot of “bossy” statements. Negative statements.
Special interests can be:
• An object • A subject
Students with ASD tend to have interests that are different from their peers: - in focus (pictures of bowling balls) - in intensity (they ALWAYS have to play with or talk about a particular toy Including special interest increases - success - motivation - engagement
How Do I Create and Use Social Scripts and Power Cards?
• Can be written using the child’s favorite cartoon
character or movie star as the main character of the story.
• Can be written in the form of directions for what to
do in a social situation.
• Can be used to teach a specific skill.
Small card that gives the key points of navigating a difficult social situation. Include a picture or mention of the child’s special interest. Students carry the cards with them and use them to remind themselves of what to do in a given situation.
Documenting Use of Social Skills
Data should inform WHAT is taught. Data helps us know HOW we should teach social skills by showing us what worked most effectively in the past. Data helps us know WHEN the skill is mastered and therefore, WHEN we can move on.
Objective: John will accept a snack item offered by the snack captain. Criteria: 4/5 times a Snack is offered.
Item offered by peer/ adult
Level of Assistance (4,3,2,1,.0)
Objective: Casesar will play build a tower that is 8 blocks in height by taking turns with a peer during Block Center. Criteria; 8 blocks in height, 2 minute duration, 3/5 times across 3 trials.
I G/V PP FP R
Key: I = Independent G/V Gestural/ Verbal PP = Partial Physical Assistance FP = Full Partial Assistance R = Refusal
Level of Assistance (220.127.116.11.0)