Au#sm	  in	  the	  Pre-­‐School	  Classroom	  	                               Dr.	  Mike	  Assel	  	  University	  of	  Te...
Follow	  Today’s	  Event	                                                                                   #HatchExperts	...
Today’s	  Speaker	                                                                                   Dr.	  Mike	  Assel	  ...
Autistic Spectrum Disorders within Early Childhood               Educational Settings:          What a Teacher needs to kn...
Why this topic?A simple question with an alarming answer?A US study completed in 2009 revealed that the average age of for...
Perspective from a teacherwww.proteacher.net posted by dramacentral on 06-18-2006, at 04:38 AM —  “I found the job to be ...
Teachers and Pediatricians—  Are on the front line in terms of early identification.—  Early identification is criticall...
What is an ASD?—  Current Classification: The autism spectrum or autistic    spectrum describes a range of conditions cla...
Core Deficits              Social Deficits                            Restricted and    Communication           Repetitive...
Difficulties in Social Interactions—  Impairments in the use of multiple nonverbal behaviors    (e.g., eye gaze, facial e...
Qualitative Impairments inCommunication—  Delay in, or total lack of, the development of spoken    language (without atte...
Restricted and Repetitive Patterns ofBehavior—  Preoccupation or obsessive interest in one or more stereotyped    behavio...
Other areas that MIGHT beimpacted by ASD diagnoses.—  Attention—  Anxiety—  Sensory-Integration—  Digestive Issues
Prevalence: Newsflash 3-29-12—  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates  that 1 in 88 children in the Un...
Why the increase?—  Research has reported that as much as 40% of rise in ASD    diagnosis could be explained by broader d...
The teacher’s role in EC settings….—  The 3 Rs……  —  Recognize… Teachers have a duty to know general developmental    mi...
Recognition: NICHD Red Flags forAutism_Social    Social	  	      The	  child	  does	  not	  respond	  to	  his/her	  name....
Recognition: NICHD Red Flags forAutism_Langugae    Language	  	      The	  child	  cannot	  explain	  what	  he/she	  want...
Recognition: NICHD Red Flags for Autism_Restrictive and Repetitive Patterns ofBehavior Restric1ve	  and	  Repe11ve	  POB	 ...
Why is language such an importantindicator of developmentalprogress……—  The ability to use language makes us human.—  We...
A Closer look at Language Development (AmericanSpeech- Language-Hearing Association)                               One to ...
A Closer look at Language Development (American       Speech- Language-Hearing Association)                               ...
A Closer look at Language Development (American     Speech- Language-Hearing Association)                                 ...
Report (the 2nd R).—  Once symptoms have been recognized, we have a duty to assist    program directors, diagnosticians, ...
Report (the 2nd R) continued.—  Teachers might be asked to complete checklists, participate in    interviews, provide wor...
What happens after a referral hasbeen made?—  The specific measures used within an evaluation vary by  community. However...
What is so important about anevaluation anyway?—  While it is true that many evaluations seem unnecessary, at    the mini...
Responding appropriately in theclassroom: The third R.—  Needless to say, the way teachers respond to children with    AS...
You won’t be alone……hopefully.—  One of the benefits of the comprehensive evaluation is that it  opens up the door to a r...
Not all kids with ASD are the same—  The title on this slide is a no brainer.—  However, it is a serious issue.  —  Chi...
Understanding ASDs from thechild’s perspective….—  One of the things that I have always try to do when assessing a child ...
Take time to learn from membersof the treatment team.—  Teachers will find that one of the best ways to learn how    to i...
Participate in all training opportunities offered byyour center, district, or educational service center.—  Learning to i...
Take time to learn from the familyof the child.—  Never underestimate the power and knowledge of a    mother of child wit...
General strategies for incorporatingASD children into the EC classroom—  Establish and maintain a consistent classroom ro...
Control the environment—  Children with ASDs often struggle tolerating different    sensory input (i.e., called sensory i...
Find the special interest and use itto motivate.—  Children with ASDs often have some fairly specified    interests.—  I...
Work diligently to keep childrenwith ASD engaged.—  One of the saddest stories that I hear from parents of    ASD childre...
Make requests that are clear andconcise.—  Concrete language should be used when making requests    to children with ASDs...
Make of habit of gently pulling foreye contact.—  Children with ASDs struggle establishing eye contact and joint    atten...
Be a sponge and a squeaky wheel.—  Soak up knowledge from other service providers.   —  Ask the speech pathologist what ...
ABA, Floortime, and TEACH.—  Historically, there are a number of well established    programs that have demonstrated succ...
Applied Behavior Analysis—  Applied behavior analysis (ABA) is a science that involves using modern   behavioral learning...
Floortime… For every action there is an equal andopposite reaction.• The Greenspan Floortime Approach is a system develope...
Treatment and Education of Autistic and RelatedCommunication Handicapped Children (TEACCH).TEACCH is a service, training, ...
If educators know what works, why do parentscomplain about lack of quality services?—  In 2006 and 2007, there seemed to ...
But there is hope….—  Districts, parents, and professionals are taking the lead in    attempting to provide services that...
Hope…..continued—  As most of us understand, school districts are often an    incredibly large bureaucracy and change is ...
Change is occurring…..—  In my short career in Houston, I have seen a huge increase in the    level and quality of servic...
Parents and technology….—  I half jokingly state that “I learned more from mothers of    children with ASDs than most of ...
AAC devices_continued—  Did you ever think you might hear someone mention that    Steve Jobs is a leader in the field of ...
http://www.cnn.com/2012/05/14/tech/gaming-gadgets/ipad-autism/index.html?hpt=hp_bn11—  Comments from a happy Dad.—  The ...
The research delay….—  As I read stories about technology, I wonder whether or not    research studies are being conducte...
Applications to explore—  Proloque2go—  My Talk Tools—  iPrompts—  iCommunicate—  SpeechTree—  In terms of positives...
Is there a downside to AACdevices?—  The jury is still out. However, the popularity of these devices    makes me wonder a...
Some final thoughts….—  With AAC devices or intervention programs, I have    overarching rule for parents…..—  When it c...
Ques#ons	                                                                                   Dr.	  Mike	  Assel	           ...
Research-­‐Based	  So5ware	  Creates	                                                             Breakthrough	  Moments!	...
Early	  Learning	  Technology	  	  |	  	  www.HatchEarlyLearning.com	     #HatchExperts|	  	  Copyright	  2012	  Hatch	  I...
Early	  Learning	  Technology	  	  |	  	  www.HatchEarlyLearning.com	     #HatchExperts|	  	  Copyright	  2012	  Hatch	  I...
www.hatchearlychildhood.com/demowebinars	  Early	  Learning	  Technology	  	  |	  	  www.HatchEarlyLearning.com	     #Hatc...
NEXT	  SESSION:	  June	  7,	  2012	  @	  2PM	  EST	             Online	  Professional	  Development	  for	  Early	        ...
Webinar: Autism in Preschool (Dr. Mike Assel)
Webinar: Autism in Preschool (Dr. Mike Assel)
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Webinar: Autism in Preschool (Dr. Mike Assel)

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Get your questions answered by the leading expert in the field of Pediatric Autism. How does technology fit into the promising practices/interventions in working with early childhood education classrooms? What does all the popular press mean for the use of tablet technologies with children with autism? Get the answers to these and many more!

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Webinar: Autism in Preschool (Dr. Mike Assel)

  1. 1. Au#sm  in  the  Pre-­‐School  Classroom     Dr.  Mike  Assel    University  of  Texas  Health  Science  Center  at  Houston   Associate  Professor  of  Pediatrics   May  17,  2012  
  2. 2. Follow  Today’s  Event   #HatchExperts   Ques#ons    |      Comments    |  Feedback    Early  Learning  Technology    |    www.HatchEarlyLearning.com   #HatchExperts|    Copyright  2012  Hatch  Inc.  All  Rights  Reserved.  
  3. 3. Today’s  Speaker   Dr.  Mike  Assel   Associate  Professor,   University  of  Texas  Health   Science  Center  Early  Learning  Technology    |    www.HatchEarlyLearning.com   #HatchExperts|    Copyright  2012  Hatch  Inc.  All  Rights  Reserved.  
  4. 4. Autistic Spectrum Disorders within Early Childhood Educational Settings: What a Teacher needs to know? Hatch Early Childhood Webinar May 17th, 2012 Mike A. Assel, Ph.D.
  5. 5. Why this topic?A simple question with an alarming answer?A US study completed in 2009 revealed that the average age of formal ASD diagnosis was 5.7 years of age.—  Shattuck, et al, (2009). Timing of identification among children with an autism spectrum disorder: findings from a population-based surveillance study.
  6. 6. Perspective from a teacherwww.proteacher.net posted by dramacentral on 06-18-2006, at 04:38 AM —  “I found the job to be very rewarding and got lots of great experience, but it was tiring. Sometimes the kids would appear to make progress and then suddenly "lose" the skills wed taught them. It frustrated me very much when I couldnt get them to comply or when they engaged in behavior that was bizarre or hurtful to themselves or others. I developed a very close attachment to them, but it felt quite alien at first.You dont always get the typical feedback from them - you cant always tell by looking at them whether they are listening to you as you speak, or even if they know you are present. Some kids are very affectionate, but others may not show any signs that they like you or even recognize you from day to day. Some of my kids took a whole year just to learn to say my name - but when they did, it felt amazing. That is one of my proudest moments as a teacher”.
  7. 7. Teachers and Pediatricians—  Are on the front line in terms of early identification.—  Early identification is critically important due to the fact that the there is a clear link between when children start treatment and their general developmental outcomes.—  In short, kids who receive early intervention tend to have less severe presentations of the disorder.
  8. 8. What is an ASD?—  Current Classification: The autism spectrum or autistic spectrum describes a range of conditions classified as pervasive developmental disorders in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM).—  Currently, the Pervasive Developmental Disorders include —  Autistic Disorder —  Asperger’s Disorder —  Pervasive Developmental Disorder, Not Otherwise Specified —  Childhood Disintegrative Disorder —  Rett Syndrome—  The first three conditions are considered part of the Autistic Spectrum Disorders (and our talk today will focus on these areas).
  9. 9. Core Deficits Social Deficits Restricted and Communication Repetitive Patterns Deficits of Behavior
  10. 10. Difficulties in Social Interactions—  Impairments in the use of multiple nonverbal behaviors (e.g., eye gaze, facial expression, body posture, and gestures to regulate social interaction).—  Failure to develop peer relationships appropriate to the developmental level.—  Lack of spontaneous seeking to share enjoyment, interest, or achievements with others.—  Lack of social or emotional reciprocity.
  11. 11. Qualitative Impairments inCommunication—  Delay in, or total lack of, the development of spoken language (without attempts to compensate through something like gestures).—  Marked impairment in ability to initiate or sustain conversation.—  Stereotyped and repetitive language—  Lack of varied spontaneous make believe play or social imitative play.
  12. 12. Restricted and Repetitive Patterns ofBehavior—  Preoccupation or obsessive interest in one or more stereotyped behaviors.—  Inflexibly adhering to specific nonfunctional routines or rituals.—  Stereotyped and repetitive motor mannerisms —  Hand flapping, finger flapping, complex whole body movements.—  Persistent preoccupation with parts of objects.
  13. 13. Other areas that MIGHT beimpacted by ASD diagnoses.—  Attention—  Anxiety—  Sensory-Integration—  Digestive Issues
  14. 14. Prevalence: Newsflash 3-29-12—  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 1 in 88 children in the United States has been identified as having an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), according to a new study released today that looked at data from 14 communities. Autism spectrum disorders are almost five times more common among boys than girls – with 1 in 54 boys identified.
  15. 15. Why the increase?—  Research has reported that as much as 40% of rise in ASD diagnosis could be explained by broader diagnostic categories and heightened awareness.—  BUT--- what about the other 60%.—  Honestly, we don’t know. However, suspicions have centered on the following. —  Genetic changes —  Something in the environment —  Maternal or paternal age —  Multifactorial (combination of genetic and environmental factors). —  Mitochondrial Disorders —  Prior suspicions (Vaccines)
  16. 16. The teacher’s role in EC settings….—  The 3 Rs…… —  Recognize… Teachers have a duty to know general developmental milestones (first). This will allow a classroom teacher to understand when a child is not meeting milestones and could potentially be at risk for some type of learning difference or ASD. —  Report… If universal screening of language and/or social skills reveals that a child is at risk, it is imperative that teachers take steps to initiate a more comprehensive evaluation. —  Centers and districts vary in terms of the processes that are used to make a referral. —  Imperative that teachers know the procedures for referring children in their particular setting. —  Respond… Teachers have a responsibility to assist the child through implementation of any educational plans that might be put into place following the formal evaluation.
  17. 17. Recognition: NICHD Red Flags forAutism_Social Social     The  child  does  not  respond  to  his/her  name.     The  child  doesn’t  point  or  wave  “bye-­‐bye.”     The  child  doesn’t  know  how  to  play  with  toys.     The  child  doesn’t  smile  when  smiled  at.     The  child  has  poor  eye  contact.   The  child  seems  to  prefer  to  play  alone.     The  child  gets  things  for  him/herself  only.     The  child  is  very  independent  for  his/her  age.     The  child  seems  to  be  in  his/her  “own  world.”     The  child  seems  to  tune  people  out.     The  child  is  not  interested  in  other  children.    
  18. 18. Recognition: NICHD Red Flags forAutism_Langugae Language     The  child  cannot  explain  what  he/she  wants.     The  child’s  language  skills  are  slow  to  develop  or  speech  is   delayed.     The  child  doesn’t  follow  direc@ons.     At  @mes,  the  child  seems  to  be  deaf.     The  child  seems  to  hear  some@mes,  but  not  other  @mes.   The  child  used  to  say  a  few  words  or  babble,  but  now  he/she   doesn’t.    
  19. 19. Recognition: NICHD Red Flags for Autism_Restrictive and Repetitive Patterns ofBehavior Restric1ve  and  Repe11ve  POB     The  child  throws  intense  or  violent  tantrums.     The  child  has  odd  movement  paCerns.     The  child  is  overly  ac@ve,  uncoopera@ve,  or  resistant.     The  child  gets  “stuck”  doing  the  same  things  over  and  over   and  can’t  move  on  to  other  things.     The  child  does  things  “early”  compared  to  other  children.     The  child  walks  on  his/her  toes.     The  child  shows  unusual  aCachments  to  toys,  objects,  or   schedules  (i.e.,  always  holding  a  string  or  having  to  put   socks  on  before  pants).     Child  spends  a  lot  of  @me  lining  things  up  or  puHng  things   in  a  certain  order.    
  20. 20. Why is language such an importantindicator of developmentalprogress……—  The ability to use language makes us human.—  We are inherently social beings and from the dawn of time humans have developed social systems that allow us to live better lives.—  Language is also tangible (i.e., something that is fairly easy for parents to see and categorize). —  For instance, a child who has no language at age 3 is easy to pick out in a crowded classroom of 12 other youngsters. In contrast, it is more difficult for parents to rate the quality of social gestures or eye gaze.
  21. 21. A Closer look at Language Development (AmericanSpeech- Language-Hearing Association) One to 2 years of age   Hearing and Understanding   Talking  •  Understands differences in •  Has a word for almost everything.   meaning ("go-stop," "in-on," "big- Uses two- or three- words to talk little," "up-down").   •  about and ask for things.  •  Follows two requests ("Get the Uses k, g, f, t, d, and n sounds.   book and put it on the table").   •  •  Speech is understood by familiar•  Listens to and enjoys hearing listeners most of the time.   stories for longer periods of time   •  Often asks for or directs attention to objects by naming them.  
  22. 22. A Closer look at Language Development (American Speech- Language-Hearing Association) 2 to 3 years   Hearing and Understanding   Talking  •  Hears you when you call from •  Talks about activities at school another room.   or at friends homes.  •  Hears television or radio at the •  People outside of the family same loudness level as other usually understand childs family members.   speech.  •  Answers simple "who?", "what?",•  Uses a lot of sentences that "where?", and "why?" questions.   have 4 or more words.   •  Usually talks easily without repeating syllables or words.  
  23. 23. A Closer look at Language Development (American Speech- Language-Hearing Association) 4 to 5 years   Hearing and Understanding   Talking  •  Pays attention to a short story and •  Uses sentences that give lots of answers simple questions about details ("The biggest peach is mine").   them.   •  Tells stories that stick to topic.  •  Hears and understands most of what Communicates easily with other is said at home and in school.   •  children and adults.   •  Says most sounds correctly except a few like l, s, r, v, z, ch, sh, th.   •  Says rhyming words.   •  Names some letters and numbers.   •  Uses the same grammar as the rest of the family.  
  24. 24. Report (the 2nd R).—  Once symptoms have been recognized, we have a duty to assist program directors, diagnosticians, or school psychologists complete an evaluation.—  However, for many teachers, the first step is gathering information from parents surrounding behavioral concerns.—  I have heard horror stories from parents surrounding how they have been told about behavioral concerns about their children. —  Some general guidelines. —  Teachers are not diagnosticians and should not put themselves in a position to label a child. —  One of the safest approaches is ask questions. Teachers can provide parents with some obvious information and then, provide a question (e.g., I have noticed that Jack has some trouble asking for help, what is his language like within the home?).
  25. 25. Report (the 2nd R) continued.—  Teachers might be asked to complete checklists, participate in interviews, provide work samples, and describe the behaviors of concern surrounding a particular child.—  An observation of the child within the classroom might be scheduled.—  When completing checklists, specificity is critical. —  Vague comments are NOT helpful (e.g., Jimmy seems kind of odd). —  Comments that clearly describe the observed behaviors help diagnosticians and school psychologists accurately assess children with ASDs (e.g., Jimmy rarely uses language in the classroom, he actively avoids other children, walks on his toes, covers his ears when the bell rings, and occasionally flaps his hands).
  26. 26. What happens after a referral hasbeen made?—  The specific measures used within an evaluation vary by community. However, there are some similarities.—  Cognitive Evaluation (IQ) —  Wechsler (WISC-IV, WPPSI-3) —  Another measure of nonverbal behavior (e.g., Leiter International Performance Scale-Revised, Comprehensive Test of Nonverbal Intelligence, Woodcock-Johnson Tests of Cognitive Abilities). —  Evaluation of Adaptive Behavioral Functioning (e.g., Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales, Adaptive Behavior Assessment System). —  Assessment of Language Functioning (e.g., CELF-Preschool-2, EOWPVT, PPVT). —  Assessment of symptoms related to ASDs (e.g., ADOS, ADI-R, CARS, etc). —  General behavior questionnaires (e.g., CBCL).
  27. 27. What is so important about anevaluation anyway?—  While it is true that many evaluations seem unnecessary, at the minimum a FIE evaluation serves as a gate-keeping function (i.e., opens the door for specialized services).—  However, a good evaluation provides the following… —  Accurate description of the developmental levels —  Provides insight into the types of strategies that work to motivate a child with an ASD —  Provides the ARD committee with specific recommendations surrounding the type of educational environment that would be ideal for the student.
  28. 28. Responding appropriately in theclassroom: The third R.—  Needless to say, the way teachers respond to children with ASDs is critical within the educational environment.—  Some teachers have spent their entire careers working to perfect teaching strategies for children with ASDs (almost like a process of self-actualization where we continue to strive to make ourselves better).—  In this section of the talk, we will talk about some general guidelines (and conclude with some more specific approaches).
  29. 29. You won’t be alone……hopefully.—  One of the benefits of the comprehensive evaluation is that it opens up the door to a range of more specialized services. —  Speech Therapy —  Occupational Therapy —  Social Skills Groups —  Behavioral support
  30. 30. Not all kids with ASD are the same—  The title on this slide is a no brainer.—  However, it is a serious issue. —  Children with ASDs run the gamut from being nonverbal and self-aggressive to quirky/unusual. —  Important for all to remember the idea that it is spectrum of behavior in almost a literal sense. —  In general, children with severe forms of the disorder that might include self aggression or significant behavior regulation difficulties are likely to be enrolled within a self-contained SPED classroom placement. —  However, that still leaves an incredible range of children who can be served within the regular classroom setting with differing levels of support.
  31. 31. Understanding ASDs from thechild’s perspective….—  One of the things that I have always try to do when assessing a child with an ASD is to understand how they experience the environment.—  While certainly not an exact science, I take time to see if how a child…… —  Approaches others in social contexts —  Deals with environmental stimuli (e.g., aversion to lights, sounds, etc.). —  Responds to a touch (e.g., can they handle hand over hand demonstrations, do they allow you to touch their chin to raise their chin for eye contact). —  How does a child comfort themselves when stressed —  What motivates the child (praise, tangible rewards, being left alone, ability to engage in some form of self- soothing behavior). —  Even if you’re not an expert at some of the approaches used for children on the spectrum, understanding how the child perceives the environment can help you be successful.
  32. 32. Take time to learn from membersof the treatment team.—  Teachers will find that one of the best ways to learn how to improve educational opportunities for children with ASDs is to learn from those with more experience.—  I have been taught how to assess children with ASDs by other psychologists, speech pathologists, ABA staff, occupational therapists, moms, and siblings.—  The one thing that is a given is that you will have to flexible due to the fact that the range of behavior for kids on the spectrum is so diverse.
  33. 33. Participate in all training opportunities offered byyour center, district, or educational service center.—  Learning to intervene is a process and as you move through your career you will be provided with training opportunities (e.g., today).—  I can promise you that there is NO magic bullet training (i.e., one where you will leave and have the experience to work successfully with children with ASDs).—  However, you’ll take away things from most trainings that you can effectively implement in your classroom.
  34. 34. Take time to learn from the familyof the child.—  Never underestimate the power and knowledge of a mother of child with Autism.—  Ask the mom about motivators, self-stimulatory behaviors, methods used within the home to elicit compliance, and/or things to avoid.
  35. 35. General strategies for incorporatingASD children into the EC classroom—  Establish and maintain a consistent classroom routine. —  This is incredibly important as many children on the spectrum have difficulty adapting to change. —  Children with ASD will benefit from visual schedules which allow a tactile response (e.g., moving a stick or picture symbol with Velcro to the next scheduled activity).
  36. 36. Control the environment—  Children with ASDs often struggle tolerating different sensory input (i.e., called sensory integration difficulties/disorder). Therefore, teachers should make efforts to understand how environmental influences like (e.g., noise & light) impact children with ASDs.—  Reasonable attempts to accommodate children’s sensory issues should be attempted.
  37. 37. Find the special interest and use itto motivate.—  Children with ASDs often have some fairly specified interests.—  In some instance, the heightened interest is described as being an obsession.—  However, children with milder presentations often demonstrate appropriate interests in certain topics. Therefore, teachers need to determine what is an appropriate interest and find ways to get children to engage with peers surrounding that area (e.g., cars, trains, etc.).
  38. 38. Work diligently to keep childrenwith ASD engaged.—  One of the saddest stories that I hear from parents of ASD children is when report that “the classroom teacher just seemed to let Jimmy wander around the room”.—  Persistence, creativity, and appropriate reinforcement should be used to keep a child with ASD engaged in the classroom.—  Teachers have to remember that their efforts might not be rewarded routinely.
  39. 39. Make requests that are clear andconcise.—  Concrete language should be used when making requests to children with ASDs.—  Requests presented with pictorial supports have a better chance of being followed.—  Lengthy instructions should be avoided (think Charlie Brown’s teacher).—  Use clear directives and avoid questions that could be answered with “no” (e.g., OK, do we need to wash our hands now).
  40. 40. Make of habit of gently pulling foreye contact.—  Children with ASDs struggle establishing eye contact and joint attention.—  Essentially, teachers have a responsibility to work to encourage eye contact of children with ASDs.—  In my clinic, I will NOT provide instructions to children who do not give me some indication that they are looking at me. —  They might not look at me the entire time that I am reading instructions for tasks, but I encourage them to look at me to the best of their ability.—  Looking at a speaker is typically a skill that comes naturally. Children with ASDs need to be taught to engage in this particular behavior.
  41. 41. Be a sponge and a squeaky wheel.—  Soak up knowledge from other service providers. —  Ask the speech pathologist what types of activities you should be working on. —  Ask the speech or occupational therapist whether or not they have found any specific techniques to motivate the student. —  Actively seek out training opportunities. —  Push administrators to provide access to quality training opportunities.
  42. 42. ABA, Floortime, and TEACH.—  Historically, there are a number of well established programs that have demonstrated success with children with ASDs.—  However, it is beyond the scope of a training like this to even provide a decent overview.—  However, let’s spend a minute or two on each one.
  43. 43. Applied Behavior Analysis—  Applied behavior analysis (ABA) is a science that involves using modern behavioral learning theory to modify behaviors. Behavior analysts reject the use of hypothetical constructs[1] and focus on the observable relationship of behavior to the environment.—  By functionally assessing the relationship between a targeted behavior and the environment, the methods of ABA can be used to change that behavior. Research in applied behavior analysis ranges from behavioral intervention methods to basic research which investigates the rules by which humans adapt and maintain behavior. —  Studies based upon the model proposed by Lovaas have demonstrated the effectiveness of ABA approaches.—  Probably the best studied.—  Downside for school settings: Intensity and cost (i.e., most models advocate for 25-40 hours of 1:1 intervention per week.—  However, center based programs are gaining in popularity.
  44. 44. Floortime… For every action there is an equal andopposite reaction.• The Greenspan Floortime Approach is a system developed by the late Dr. StanleyGreenspan. Floortime meets children where they are and builds upon their strengths andabilities through creating a warm relationship and interacting. It challenges them to gofurther and to develop who they are rather than what their diagnosis says.• In Floortime, parents spend time with their children in hopes of exiting their interests,increasing social skills, challenging children to be creative, curious, and spontaneous.• Key Ideas • Follow the child’s lead • Challenge the child to be creative and spontaneous • Expand the interaction to cover most of the senses, motor skills, and emotions. (From the Floortime website).
  45. 45. Treatment and Education of Autistic and RelatedCommunication Handicapped Children (TEACCH).TEACCH is a service, training, and research program for individuals of all agesand skill levels with autism spectrum disorders.Developed at the University of North Carolina in 1964 by Dr Eric Schopler andDr Robert Reichler.Principles:• understanding the culture of autism• developing an individual person- and family-centered plan for each student• structuring the physical environment in a way that will assist students with autismto understand meaning• using visual supports to make the sequence of daily activities predictable andunderstandable• using visual supports to make individual tasks understandable.• Additional informationhttp://www.txautism.net/docs/Guide/Interventions/TEACCH.pdf
  46. 46. If educators know what works, why do parentscomplain about lack of quality services?—  In 2006 and 2007, there seemed to be a ground swell of public interest in seriously working to provide quality treatment for ASD children.—  At the time, we had special grant initiatives funded by the NICHD, private foundations were stepping up with resources, and you couldn’t turn on a television with a story on ASD.—  However, around the same time we had the near collapse of the financial markets and there is much less talk.—  We still have spikes in interest (e.g., when the 1 in 88 children number was introduced this spring). But, Texas suffered through a brutal budget cycle and it seemed that the focus on ASDs faded away with shrinking education budgets.
  47. 47. But there is hope….—  Districts, parents, and professionals are taking the lead in attempting to provide services that are of high quality.—  For instance, school districts are collaborating more with private practitioners who are training teachers/staff to implement high quality programs.—  Example… therapists who conduct social skills groups for children with high functioning ASDs in the private sector actually working for districts on a contract basis.—  In addition, parents are becoming increasingly savvy. —  A parent of one of the children I assessed retained the services of a parent advocate and the child was eventually allowed to transition to a community based ABA program.
  48. 48. Hope…..continued—  As most of us understand, school districts are often an incredibly large bureaucracy and change is difficult.—  I have a suspicion that the explosion in Charter Schools is eventually going to have an impact on children with disabilities.—  Finally, districts that figure out to work with partners are likely to have the most success.
  49. 49. Change is occurring…..—  In my short career in Houston, I have seen a huge increase in the level and quality of services.—  16 years ago, when I started seeing patients in Houston, we routinely counseled family of children with ASDs to contact Lovaas and colleagues at UCLA to arrange for ABA trainers to fly into Houston and train the family/staff.—  At that time, most school districts, aggressive avoided implying that they might be able to provide some type of ABA program.—  However, Houston currently has several center based ABA programs (of varying quality), individuals can arrange to work with practitioners who specialize in Floortime, and everyone is beginning to recognize that school districts need support.
  50. 50. Parents and technology….—  I half jokingly state that “I learned more from mothers of children with ASDs than most of the my graduate professors”.—  Parents are driving forces behind the technology in AAC devices.—  Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) is an umbrella term that encompasses the communication methods used to supplement or replace speech or writing for those with impairments in the production or comprehension of spoken or written language.
  51. 51. AAC devices_continued—  Did you ever think you might hear someone mention that Steve Jobs is a leader in the field of treatment for ASDs.—  The jury is still out, but I can tell you that parent interest is driving product development.—  All you have to do is take a look at children, teens, and adults to see how they are glued to their iphones, iPads, and laptops.—  Many children with ASDs have the same level of heightened interest.—  Yesterday cnn.com ran a story about a young child with an ASD
  52. 52. http://www.cnn.com/2012/05/14/tech/gaming-gadgets/ipad-autism/index.html?hpt=hp_bn11—  Comments from a happy Dad.—  The dad reported, before the iPad, “the child’s only way of communicating was crying. She was non-verbal and had no way of expressing what she wanted or how she was feeling.—  "What the iPad has done has given her a sense of control that she never had before,“—  "She knows when you touch it, something is supposed to happen. She knows she doesnt need to cry, she needs to point."
  53. 53. The research delay….—  As I read stories about technology, I wonder whether or not research studies are being conducted.—  We have consumers driving product development and little data available to districts about whether or not the investment in technology is worthwhile.—  This is due to the fact that the peer review takes a fairly long time.—  Studies being done today are likely to be published in the next 2-3 years.
  54. 54. Applications to explore—  Proloque2go—  My Talk Tools—  iPrompts—  iCommunicate—  SpeechTree—  In terms of positives, parents will not tolerate applications that are not intuitive and don’t work.
  55. 55. Is there a downside to AACdevices?—  The jury is still out. However, the popularity of these devices makes me wonder about children with mild presentations who might become overly dependent on the machine versus learning to speak via more traditional means (e.g., speech therapy, social-language groups, etc).—  However, it is hard to argue with some of the anecdotal evidence of parents who describe that it has literally allowed their children to express themselves for the first time.
  56. 56. Some final thoughts….—  With AAC devices or intervention programs, I have overarching rule for parents…..—  When it comes to Autism, if anyone tells you that it is easy, run the other way…..fast.—  Parents, teachers, and children who make significant gains work hard. In short, nothing comes easy.
  57. 57. Ques#ons   Dr.  Mike  Assel   Associate  Professor,   University  of  Texas  Health   Science  Center  Early  Learning  Technology    |    www.HatchEarlyLearning.com   #HatchExperts|    Copyright  2012  Hatch  Inc.  All  Rights  Reserved.  
  58. 58. Research-­‐Based  So5ware  Creates   Breakthrough  Moments!  Early  Learning  Technology    |    www.HatchEarlyLearning.com   #HatchExperts|    Copyright  2012  Hatch  Inc.  All  Rights  Reserved.  
  59. 59. Early  Learning  Technology    |    www.HatchEarlyLearning.com   #HatchExperts|    Copyright  2012  Hatch  Inc.  All  Rights  Reserved.  
  60. 60. Early  Learning  Technology    |    www.HatchEarlyLearning.com   #HatchExperts|    Copyright  2012  Hatch  Inc.  All  Rights  Reserved.  
  61. 61. www.hatchearlychildhood.com/demowebinars  Early  Learning  Technology    |    www.HatchEarlyLearning.com   #HatchExperts|    Copyright  2012  Hatch  Inc.  All  Rights  Reserved.  
  62. 62. NEXT  SESSION:  June  7,  2012  @  2PM  EST   Online  Professional  Development  for  Early   Childhood  Leaders     Kara  Lehnhardt   McCormick  Center  for  Early  Childhood  Leadership  Early  Learning  Technology    |    www.HatchEarlyLearning.com   #hatchinars    |    Copyright  2011  Hatch  Inc.  All  Rights  Reserved.  

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