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Administering Successful Programs for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders

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Title: Administering Successful Programs for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders


1
Administering Successful Programs for Students
with Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • New Administrators Summit
  • March 24, 2004

2
Objectives
  • Describe the defining features of Autism Spectrum
    Disorders and how they impact the student in the
    school environment.
  • Design and implement effective practices for
    students with Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • Garner support and training for staff
  • Forge strong partnerships with families

3
What is Autism
  • Developmental disorder of neurobiological origin
  • Present from birth or very early in development
  • Currently diagnosed based on behavioral and
    developmental features
  • National Research Council, 2001

4
What is Autism
  • Affects essential human behaviors such as social
    interaction, communication, imagination, and
    establishing relationships
  • Has life long effects on learning, interacting
    with others, becoming independent, and
    participating in the community
  • National Research Council, 2001

5
The Spectrum Nature of Autism
  • Varies in severity of symptoms, age of onset, and
    association with other disorders
  • Manifestations vary across children and within an
    individual over time
  • Innumerable combinations of possible symptoms
  • No single behavior that is always typical or
    present in every individual
  • National Research Council, 2001

6
Lets Take a Look
  • Autism can look like this………
  • And this………
  • And this………

7
Autism Spectrum Disorders
8
Core Features of Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • Qualitative Impairment of Social Development
  • Qualitative Impairment of Communication
  • Restricted repertoire of behaviors and interests
  • DSM IV 1994

9
Other Common Features of Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • Difficulties with novelty
  • Sensory differences
  • Over-responding
  • Under-responding
  • Motor difficulties
  • Motor planning
  • Poor imitation, coordination, fine motor
    (writing)
  • Difficulties with adaptive or daily life skills
  • Problems with executive functioning such as
    sequencing, organization, sustaining and shifting
    attention, etc.
  • Inconsistent performance across settings and
    behaviors

10
So…What Does This Mean at School?
  • Manifestations of the core deficits in the school
    environment
  • What are the struggles
  • How to help

11
Barriers to Communication
  • May or may not be able to talkand may use
    alternative method to communicate
  • May or may not be able to understand what is said
    or may have very literal understanding of spoken
    language
  • Difficulty reading non-verbal communication
  • (ie. gestures, facial expressions, sighs,
    proxemics, tone of voice, etc.)

12
Barriers to Communication
  • Difficulty using non-verbal communication (eye
    contact, gestures, facial expressions)
  • May talk incessantly about one topic
  • Trouble understanding reciprocity---interrupts,
    talks out, talks over others

13
Barriers to Social Interaction
  • May or may not be interested in interacting with
    people
  • Preoccupation with special interest, objects, or
    aspects of internal or external environment
  • Sensory difficulties may prevent participation in
    common experiences
  • Difficulties understanding others perspectives

14
Barriers to Social Interaction
  • Poor awareness of need to behave differently in
    different situations with different people
  • Difficulties regulating behavioral and emotional
    responses
  • Lack of buffer between private thoughts and what
    is said

15
Barriers to Success at School
  • Wide range of cognitive abilities
  • Variability in demonstration of knowledge and
    behavior
  • Difficulty generalizing information and skills
  • Trouble learning in group situations
  • Difficulty with planning, sequencing and
    organizing tasks, materials, and self

16
Barriers to Success at School
  • May have severe challenging behaviors
  • Trouble adapting to changes in routine or what
    they are expecting
  • May or may not understand school rules
  • May have motor challenges that effect
    handwriting, imitation and coordination

17
Take the Bull by the Horns
  • Proactive
  • planning
  • is a must!!!!

18
Plan For
  • Transitions---
  • From preschool to school age
  • Year to year
  • Building to building
  • Staff to staff (minimize as much as possible)
  • Changes in routine---
  • Substitutes
  • Fire drills
  • Assemblies
  • Field trips
  • Visitation days
  • Menu changes
  • Indoor recess
  • Delays and early dismissals

19
Plan For
  • Building wide training/education
  • Brief autism 101 for all staff (all teachers,
    counselors, therapists, para professionals, bus
    drivers, cafeteria staff, building maintenance
    staff, office staff, playground aides---everyone)
  • Brief autism 101 for students

20
Plan For
  • Teaming---Administrators can set the expectation
    and provide the leadership
  • Parents, teachers, speech/language pathologist,
    occupational therapist, para professional,
    guidance counselor, psychologist, behavior
    consultant, outside agency staff

21
Lessons from the Field
  • Panel Discussion

22
Ensuring Student Learning
  • Accurate assessment in all areas (cognitive,
    academic, communication, social, sensory-motor,
    behavioral)
  • Who?----Additional support needed?

23
Ensuring Student Learning Curriculum
Considerations
24
Ensuring Student Learning
  • Direct, explicit instruction in all areas found
    to be deficient in assessment
  • Who?---- Additional consultation and guided
    practice needed?

25
Ensuring Student Learning
  • Progress Monitoring
  • How do we know students are learning?
  • Who takes and analyzes data to make instructional
    decisions?----Additional support/training needed?

26
Ensuring Staff Success
  • Training
  • Support and consultation
  • Guided practice
  • Time for teaming
  • Time for planning and preparation
  • Mentor/coach

27
StaffStudent Fit
  • Things to consider
  • Ability to work and communicate with families
  • Teaming abilities
  • Tolerance for consultants and other team members
    in and out of the classroom
  • Willingness to learn and take ideas from others
  • Ability to integrate various techniques and
    strategies
  • Willingness to change strategies when something
    is not working
  • Amount of flexibility in understanding variations
    in student performance
  • Level of structure and routine inherit in
    teaching style
  • Ability to handle stress

28
Parents as Partners
  • Parents concerns and perspectives should
    actively help to shape educational planning
  • National Research Council, 2001

29
Parents should be……
  • Provided opportunities to be active participants
    in all aspects of their child's education
  • Informed about the range of educational options
    for their child
  • Provided with services/trainings that….
  • Address parent concerns in supporting their child
  • Foster collaboration between school and home
  • Support the family with behavior management
  • Connect them with resources
  • Provided regular and meaningful information
    regarding their childs progress
  • PaTTAN, 2003
  • New York State
    Education Department, 2001

30
Lessons from the Field
  • Panel Discussion

31
Resources and Supports
  • PaTTAN consultants
  • PaTTAN trainings, technical assistance, guided
    practice and resources short term loan kits,
    curriculum resources, website
  • IU consultants

32
Upcoming trainings in Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • Introduction to Teaching Language Through the
    Analysis of Verbal Behavior
  • Early Screening and Identification of Autism
    Spectrum Disorders
  • ADOS
  • National Autism Conference
  • Aspergers Syndrome What General Educators Need
    to Know
  • Effective Instruction for Students with Autism
    Spectrum Disorders (team series)

33
PaTTAN Website
  • www.pattan.k12.pa.us
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