The Basics of AutismSpectrum Disorders Training Series Regional Autism Advisory Council of Southwest Ohio (RAAC-SWO) RAAC Training Committee 2011
Training Series Modules Module One: Autism Defined, Autism Prevalence and Primary Characteristics Module Two: Physical Characteristics of Autism Module Three: Cognition and Learning in Autism Module Four: Getting the Student Ready to Learn Module Five: Structuring the Classroom Environment Module Six: Using Reinforcement in the Classroom
Training Series Modules Module Seven: Autism and Sensory Differences Module Eight: Sensory in the Classroom Module Nine: Communication and Autism Module Ten: Communication in the Classroom Module Eleven: Behavior Challenges and Autism Module Twelve: Understanding Behavior in Students with Autism
Training Series Modules Module Thirteen: Social Skills in the School Environment Module Fourteen: Functional Behavior Assessment Module Fifteen: Working Together as a Team Module Sixteen: Autism and Leisure Skills to Teach Module Seventeen: Special Issues of Adolescence Module Eighteen: Safety and Autism Module Nineteen: Special Issues: High School, Transition, and Job Readiness
Training Series Modules Module Twenty: Asperger Syndrome: Managing and Organizing the Environment Module Twenty-One: Asperger Syndrome: Addressing Social Skills
Big Idea In order to successfully teach and support students with specialized learning needs, you must first havestrong teams that work well together.
Teams Members ParentsGeneral Education Teacher Child Principal OT School Psychologist Paraprofessionals Speech Pathologist PT Intervention SpecialistBus Driver Consultants
Team ModelsWithin schools, there are many different ways thatteams look and ways that they work. These are calledmodels. It is important to know how your school teamworks and how to work best within that team. Allmodels have advantages. Some have somedisadvantages. Here are three models that are oftenseen: Multidisciplinary Interdisciplinary Transdisciplinary
Multidisciplinary ModelIndividual specialist works with child, no interaction with other team members. OT Educator SLP PT Student
Multidisciplinary Team Model ADVANTAGES DISADVANTAGESFrequently follows a medical, pull out Assessment done in isolation and model. may not be reflective of student in the classroom. Therapy is direct but often isolated.Professionals come together for Professionals work independently butstudent planning, but not with great with limited time to share information.frequency.Focus is on individual discipline’s Decisions are usually not madeassessment and intervention. through consensus by team members.
Interdisciplinary ModelIndividual specialist works with child, interactionoccurs at meetings, but not in delivery of service. OT Educator SLP PT Meet Student
Interdisciplinary Team Model ADVANTAGES DISADVANTAGESTeacher acts as case manager. Therapy is direct but often isolated ofThere is one central point person. student in the classroom environment. May receive limited service due to limited therapy time.Team members gather for planned Decisions are driven by orientation ofmeetings and work is to reach each individual discipline.consensus on decisions. Individualexpertise is recognized.Focus is on team identity. Members May perpetuate the idea that studentwork independently on assessment with disability attends school forand intervention but collaborate and therapy rather than educationalshare information. services.
Transdisciplinary ModelEach specialist interacts with other specialists toprovide services. Some are consultants, others aredirect services. Student OT Family PT Paraeducator SLP Educator
Transdisciplinary Team Model ADVANTAGES DISADVANTAGESEach specialist interacts with other Specialists must have leadershipspecialists to provide services; some support to practice this model.are consultants and others are directservices.Regular meetings are scheduled to Time for meetings.discuss goals; family is key member ofthis team.Through the continuous sharing of All team members must haveinformation and training between team, commitment to this model of practice,members gain in all areas of practice including willingness to deliver cross-and expertise. categorical services.
The IEP* Team (*Individualized Education Plan) The IEP Team plans and gives oversight to the educational planning for students who qualify for special education services. Eligibility for special education services is guided by federal law – IDEIA. This law also determines how services are provided and who can provide these services. IDEIA also describes who participates in the student’s planning.
IEP Team Membership The parents of the child. At least one general education teacher of the student, if the child is, or may be, participating in the general education classroom. At least one special education teacher of the student, or, if appropriate, at least one special education provider of the child. (This could be a para-professional.) A representative of the school district. School related service professionals providing services. A person who has knowledge of assessment results, often a school psychologist. The student, if appropriate, especially age 14 and older. A parent advocate, when invited by the family.
Team Communication Make sure that you are clear about your role with the student in all school environments. Actively work with your teacher – ask questions, and understand the terms that he/she uses. Communicate clearly and often with your supervising teacher. Share ideas and perspectives. Ask for assistance when in doubt about a task. Think about your talents and interests – share them with the team and offer ideas about how they can be utilized in the classroom.
Role of the Paraprofessional in the Classroom Paraprofessionals, or educational assistants are important members of the education team. When assigned to a teacher or a classroom (special or general education) to assist students with special needs, it is crucial that paraprofessionals are viewed as support for all students, not just one student. This allows the teacher to take ownership and responsibility for every student in the class. It also allows all students in the classroom to receive extra instruction and support.
Paraprofessional Roles in the Classroom Lead small group instruction designed by the teacher Gather materials. Take data, as described by the school team Provide assistance for personal care and other physical needs. Assist students to complete directions by the teacher. Facilitate interactions between students. Adapt lessons under the teacher’s guidance. Perform other tasks in the classroom that promotes instructional or social goals.
Roles that Paraprofessionals Cannot Do Write programs without supervision of certified personnel. Create new, alternative instruction without direction from the teacher or other certified personnel. Take complete responsibility for any student.
Big Idea Research tells us that “one on one support” for a student does not promote long-term success forstudent learning and independence.
One on One Student Support When supporting a student in the classroom, it isimportant for the paraprofessional to ask the following questions while assisting the student: “Is this something a classmate, buddy, or peer tutor could be doing rather than me? Can this student be successful with less assistance overall?”
Big Idea The ultimate goal of the paraprofessional is to putthemselves out of a job with that student.
Ethical Considerations1. Always use person first language. (i.e. Johnny is a student with autism not an autistic student.)2. Never refer to the student by his special education label (i.e. You know, Johnny is autistic.)3. Practice confidentiality, in all environments – do not discuss child with anyone, other than supervising teacher ,and do not speak of a student in the presence of that student or other students.4. Respect the dignity and self-worth of all students.5. Speak up when you think a student’s rights are being violated.6. Only communicate progress or concerns to parents with the permission of the teacher/team.7. Be an adult role model for your students at all times.