How to Use Evidence-Based
Practices to Help Children with
Autism in Unknown or
Uncomfortable Settings
Christy Roybal, M.S.
1 in 88 Children have an
Autism Spectrum Disorder
(CDC)
Individuals and families affected by Autism
Spectrum Disorders are...
What is Autism?
A developmental disorder of neurobiological
origin
– Developmental - Evidence of the disorder
sometime in ...
What are the Core Deficits of Autism?
Committee on Educational Interventions for Children with
Autism, National Research C...
Core Deficits of Autism (continued)
Sensory & Motor Development
• Motor abilities
• Atypical sensory responses
• Motor ste...
Characteristics: Communication
• Language difficult to produce and understand
• Limited facial expressions and use of gest...
Characteristics: Communication
• “Children and adults on
the autism spectrum
have taught me that it
is imperative to
commu...
Characteristics: Communication
“ When Bernard was told that he was scheduled for a CAT scan in
one hour, he became elated....
Communication
What helps
• Keep language simple
• Use concrete, literal
language
• Use visuals to support
your communicati...
Characteristics: Social
• Difficulty in relating to people
• Difficulty in understanding/using social
cues
• Greater focus...
Social
What helps
• Use social stories
• Give cues
(visual, demonstration
) to help the child
understand what to
do
What g...
Characteristics:
Cognitive Development
• Delayed executive functioning
Planning
Organizing
Breaking down complex
activitie...
Cognitive Development
What helps
• Provide information that
can be seen, is organized
and as specific as
possible
• Pre-te...
Characteristics: Sensory and Motor
Development
• Restricted interests
• Non-functional routines
• Stereotyped and repetiti...
Sensory and Motor Development
What helps
• Use special interests for motivation
/reinforcement
• Allowing the child to kee...
Characteristics:
Adaptive Behaviors
• Difficulty with executive functioning
• May need direct instruction in
– self-care
–...
Characteristics: Problem Behaviors
• Using inappropriate behaviors as a
means of communication
• Behavior may result from ...
Characteristics: Problem
Behaviors
• Why do they do what they do?
Functions of Behavior
1. Escape – from a person, place o...
Problem Behavior
What helps
• Don’t take it
personally – it is not
about you
• Always consider
communication, visual
suppo...
How do you change it?
Positive Behavior Supports
• Token Economy
• Video modeling
• Timer
• Boundaries defined
• Labels
• ...
Behavior – Effective Interventions
• Interventions should use highly supportive
and structured environments.
• Interventio...
Evidence Based Practices
• Prompting
• Time delay
• Reinforcement
• Task analysis and chaining
• Shaping
• Differential re...
Evidence Based Practices Continued
• Computer-assisted instruction
• Functional communication training
• Independent work ...
Components of an Evidence-Based
Practice Brief
• Overview: A general description of the practice and how it
can be used wi...
Components of an Evidence-
Based Practice Brief
• Evidence Base: The list of references that
demonstrate that the practice...
It’s time for an activity!
• Develop a social story for a typical routine at
the hospital.
and/or
• Develop a mini-schedul...
References
Behavioral Intervention for Young Children with Autism, Catherine
Maurice (1996) Pro-ed
Choosing Outcomes and A...
Thank You!
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How to use evidence based practice to help children with autism

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  • These children have learned a “system” in school – they thrive on the system and structure. It is the best way they can deal with change and transitions, and to know that everything is going to be okay
  • How to use evidence based practice to help children with autism

    1. 1. How to Use Evidence-Based Practices to Help Children with Autism in Unknown or Uncomfortable Settings Christy Roybal, M.S.
    2. 2. 1 in 88 Children have an Autism Spectrum Disorder (CDC) Individuals and families affected by Autism Spectrum Disorders are part of every community. 2 National Survey – Autism prevalence at 1 in 50 school-age children
    3. 3. What is Autism? A developmental disorder of neurobiological origin – Developmental - Evidence of the disorder sometime in the developmental period – typically before 3 – Neurobiological – of or related to the nervous system – Lifelong – individuals will not “grow out of” or be cured of autism 3
    4. 4. What are the Core Deficits of Autism? Committee on Educational Interventions for Children with Autism, National Research Council, Educating young children with autism, 2001 Communication • Joint Attention • Symbol Use Social Development • Adults • Peers Cognitive Development • Includes executive function (planning) 4
    5. 5. Core Deficits of Autism (continued) Sensory & Motor Development • Motor abilities • Atypical sensory responses • Motor stereotypies • Sensory/Arousal modulation Adaptive Behaviors • Social responsibility • Independent performance of daily activities Problem Behaviors 5
    6. 6. Characteristics: Communication • Language difficult to produce and understand • Limited facial expressions and use of gestures • Literal and concrete thinking and interpreting • Unusual “melody” of speech • Difficulty imitating sounds and actions • Repeats (echoes) words and phrases
    7. 7. Characteristics: Communication • “Children and adults on the autism spectrum have taught me that it is imperative to communicate most clearly about things that are the most difficult to understand.” • Understanding Death and Illness and What They Teach about Life: An Interactive Guide for Individuals with Autism or Asperger's and their Loved Ones • by Catherine Faherty
    8. 8. Characteristics: Communication “ When Bernard was told that he was scheduled for a CAT scan in one hour, he became elated. Bernard loved cats and brought many of his favorite cat books with him to the hospital. He had even made a sign for the door to his room, writing his name in cat letters….Realizing what she had said, the nurse explained to Bernard that a CAT scan, now referring to it as a CT scan. Was like a big x-ray, and that it had nothing to do with real cats. They decided that it was a funny name for an x-ray and that Bernard would be allowed to bring his favorite cat book with him to hold and look at while he was having his scan.” Prescription for Success: Supporting Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders in the Medical Environment • by Jill Hudson
    9. 9. Communication What helps • Keep language simple • Use concrete, literal language • Use visuals to support your communication (visual prompts) • Give instructions and/or ask questions one time only • Use gestures, facial expressions, tone of voice What gets in the way • More than one person giving instructions or asking questions • Repeating instructions louder • Repeating instructions many times
    10. 10. Characteristics: Social • Difficulty in relating to people • Difficulty in understanding/using social cues • Greater focus on objects • Lacks understanding of the perspective of other people • May appear to be inflexible, argumentative, stubborn
    11. 11. Social What helps • Use social stories • Give cues (visual, demonstration ) to help the child understand what to do What gets in the way • Trying to get the child to “look at me.” • Trying to get the child to use polite language – “please, thank you, excuse me” • Taking the child’s behavior personally – it’s not about you
    12. 12. Characteristics: Cognitive Development • Delayed executive functioning Planning Organizing Breaking down complex activities/requests • Transitions can be difficult • Difficulty generalizing skills • Difficulty with Theory of Mind
    13. 13. Cognitive Development What helps • Provide information that can be seen, is organized and as specific as possible • Pre-teaching activities • Visual strategies – schedules, mini schedules, cue cards • Easy-to-understand maps of the hospital What gets in the way • Not preparing the child • Rushing the child through the process • Using words/symbols the child does not know
    14. 14. Characteristics: Sensory and Motor Development • Restricted interests • Non-functional routines • Stereotyped and repetitive motor mannerisms • Delayed motor skills • May be very sensitive or unaware of sensory input (noise, smells, visual stimulus, movement, touch) • May explore by licking, smelling, etc. • Often overwhelmed by sensory experiences • May seek or avoid sensory experiences
    15. 15. Sensory and Motor Development What helps • Use special interests for motivation /reinforcement • Allowing the child to keep special items or talk about special interests when he/she is stressed • Keeping things as quiet as possible • Consider head phones to block out sound or with music • Notice what helps the individual to be calm and alert • Something in the mouth (that is safe) • Something in the hands (that is safe) • Thinking about alternatives to what the child wants to do and can’t. Example: Child wants to fling a stethoscope around – is there a kid stethoscope or other things that they can use? What gets in the way • Trying to take away items of special interest (as long as they are safe) • Not addressing their sensory needs • Over/under simulating environment • Be patient when children are navigating around– they may feel unsteady on shiny floors, steps, etc. • Lots of things that you can’t control (smells, noise, unexpected changes in the environment)
    16. 16. Characteristics: Adaptive Behaviors • Difficulty with executive functioning • May need direct instruction in – self-care – leisure activities – functioning in the community – Self advocacy
    17. 17. Characteristics: Problem Behaviors • Using inappropriate behaviors as a means of communication • Behavior may result from fear, sensory overwhelm, anxiety or illness • Behavior may be related to ritualistic and/or stereotypical behavior • Behavior can be related to social difficulties
    18. 18. Characteristics: Problem Behaviors • Why do they do what they do? Functions of Behavior 1. Escape – from a person, place or activity 2. Tangible – desire for a thing or activity 3. Sensory – feels good or meets a sensory need 4. Attention – desire for attention from peers or adults Mark V. Durand, 1990
    19. 19. Problem Behavior What helps • Don’t take it personally – it is not about you • Always consider communication, visual supports, antecedents and consequences What gets in the way • Talking a lot to the child – Reasoning – Telling the child what he/she shouldn’t do
    20. 20. How do you change it? Positive Behavior Supports • Token Economy • Video modeling • Timer • Boundaries defined • Labels • Reinforce, reinforce, reinforce • Help them to understand what is being asked and what comes next • Use few words supported by pictures/written words • Say/show what you want, not what you don’t want • Each activity has its own expectation – make sure the child understands what they are being asked to do • Expectations should be modeled, practiced & reinforced
    21. 21. Behavior – Effective Interventions • Interventions should use highly supportive and structured environments. • Interventions should utilize predictability and routine. • Interventions focus on easing transitions between activities. • Interventions need to involve the family in planning and implementation if possible. * Adapted from Dawson & Osterling, 1997.
    22. 22. Evidence Based Practices • Prompting • Time delay • Reinforcement • Task analysis and chaining • Shaping • Differential reinforcement of other/alternative behaviors • Discrete trial training • Extinction • Functional behavior assessment • Positive behavior supports • Response interruption/redirection • Self-management
    23. 23. Evidence Based Practices Continued • Computer-assisted instruction • Functional communication training • Independent work systems • Naturalistic interventions • Parent training • Peer-mediated instruction/intervention • Pivotal Response Training • Social skills groups • Social stories • Video modeling • Visual supports • Voice output communication aids/speech generating devices • Stimulus control & environmental modification
    24. 24. Components of an Evidence-Based Practice Brief • Overview: A general description of the practice and how it can be used with learners with autism spectrum disorders. • Step-by-Step Instructions for Implementation: Explicit step-by-step directions detailing exactly how to implement a practice, based on the research articles identified in the evidence base. • Implementation Checklist: The implementation checklist offers a way to document the degree to which practitioners are following the step-by-step directions for implementation, which are based on the research articles identified in the evidence base
    25. 25. Components of an Evidence- Based Practice Brief • Evidence Base: The list of references that demonstrate that the practice is efficacious and meets the National Professional Development Center’s criteria for being identified as an evidence-based practice. • Briefs found here - http://autismpdc.fpg.unc.edu/content/briefs • Modules found here - http://www.autisminternetmodules.org/
    26. 26. It’s time for an activity! • Develop a social story for a typical routine at the hospital. and/or • Develop a mini-schedule for an common activity /procedure at the hospital.
    27. 27. References Behavioral Intervention for Young Children with Autism, Catherine Maurice (1996) Pro-ed Choosing Outcomes and Accommodations for Children Michael Giangreco (2011) Brookes Publishing Prescription for Success: Supporting Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders in the Medical Environment, Jill Hudson (2006) Autism Asperger Publishing Co Thinking about You Thinking about Me, Michelle Garcia Winner (2007) Think Social Publishing Understanding Death and Illness and What They Teach about Life: An Interactive Guide for Individuals with Autism or Asperger's and their Loved Ones, Catherine Faherty (2008) Future Horizons Inc.
    28. 28. Thank You!

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