Strategy #: Applied Behavior Analysis
Applied behavior analysis, or ABA, is one of the most widely used therapies for children with autism. The purpose of ABA therapy is to help patients manage and modify certain behaviors, making it easier to overcome social challenges and avoid disruptions to learning.
Most experts recommend that children with ASD receive anywhere from 20 to 40 hours of ABA therapy per week, receiving rewards for positive behaviors while negative behaviors are ignored. ABA techniques can be used at home or in a clinical setting, providing flexibility while offering ample opportunities for children to practice and develop their skills for a real-world setting.
There are several types of ABA certifications that therapists can pursue, depending on their goals and interests. For example, a behavioral analyst who already has his or her masters degree in ABA may wish to take the exam to become a Board Certified Behavior Analyst . An alternative is to earn an Autism Certificate , which prepares educators and healthcare professionals to work with children who have ASD, through a program like the Graduate Certificate in Autism at National University.
Meet The Student Where They Are
To ensure they can be successful, start by scaffolding the amount of work they are to complete. Small modifications can be made such as highlighting half of the problems on a worksheet, or scribing a sentence based on the students verbal response, ask the child to draw a picture to show what they know, or give them two choices to answer the question. The goal is for the child to show what they know, and they do not need to show this or arrive at the outcome or learning target the same way as their peers. All students learn differently, thus they should be given the opportunity to show it with the modality or modification that works best for them. Although we may know they know it, you cannot assume that they know how to show it.
Remain On Task Iep Goals And Objectives
Below is a list of behavior iep goals for task initiation that start from success with verbal prompting all the way through a gradual release to full independence. This goal chain will continue into the iep goal category of On Task Time sustainment further below.
Students can’t remain on a task unless they can initiate a task.
By , when given a task or direction, the student will begin that task within one minute with no more than 2 verbal prompts, improving task initiation skills from 0/10 task opportunities to 8/10 task opportunities.
By , when given an assigned task or direction, the student will begin that task within one minute with no more than 1 verbal prompt, improving task initiation skills from 0/10 task opportunities to 8/10 task opportunities.
By , when given an assigned task or direction, the student will begin that task within one minute with 0 verbal prompts and no more than 2 gestural prompts, improving task initiation skills from 0/10 task opportunities to 8/10 task opportunities.
By , when given a task or direction, the student will begin that task within one minute with 0 verbal prompts and no more than 1 gestural prompt, improving task initiation skills from 0/10 task opportunities to 8/10 task opportunities.
By , when given a task or direction, the student will begin that task within one minute with 0 verbal prompts and 0 gestural prompts, improving task initiation skills from 0/10 task opportunities to 8/10 task opportunities.
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Benefits Of Iep And School Behavioral Training And Individualized Supports
Education and knowledge are super important in this world, so it’s imperative that your child who has been impacted by autism receive all the help that they can. IEP and school behavioral training and individualized support can help create a positive learning environment for your child and their entire classroom. It will help your child achieve their specific goals and milestones so that they can finish school and have a successful career and life. Another benefit of school IEPs is that you often qualify for state-sponsored services as well, such as speech pathology, audiology services, parent training, counseling services, occupational therapy, physical therapy, and more. With the measurable goals that IEPs emphasize, your child’s progress can be tracked, which also helps to tailor future programs that match up with their needs.
Teach Coping Skills And Calming Strategies
Children with autism absolutely need to be taught coping skills and calming strategies for when they are feeling frustrated, anxious, or are having sensory overload. For lower-level ASD students, they may need assistance with using these strategies and wont be able to do them independently. It is not uncommon for children with autism to seem anxious, fidget, or even have a meltdown. Providing physical and emotional tools to help calm the body and mind are important during times of stress or sensory overload.
Examples of these include providing a weighted blanket, a bouncy seat, a fidget or other sensory toy to play with, turning the lights down, playing soft music, giving noise-cancelling headphones to wear, allowing the student to use a sensory room or go to a calm space in the classroom, practicing deep breathing and stretching, counting backward, tapping, etc. Each child will have his or her own preferences and what is used will also depend upon the situation. A SPED teacher and a parent of a child with autism should have a toolbox full of calming strategies handy.
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Strategy #: Using A Picture Exchange Communication System
Similar to a communication board, a Picture Exchange Communication System uses images to represent thoughts and requests. Through the use of PECS, children with ASD can quickly and efficiently communicate specific needs, whether to their therapists, their family members, or to others.
- Pros PECS has been shown to promote small to moderate gains in communication, according to some research. Additionally, other studies have noted that the first three stages of PECS are effective to highly effective in teaching children to request preferred items. PECS may also help children successfully adjust to using speech generating devices , which well discuss later.
- Cons Unlike a homemade communication board, a PECS may offer a limited range of images for children to choose from.
What Is The Process For Creating An Iep
The next step after evaluation is the IEP meeting, which is required by law. The Individualized Education Program is supposed to address all aspects of your child’s education. So, a number of different people will need to attend the meeting. At the very least, the meeting should include you, your child’s teacher, and a special education teacher. Others who are familiar with different aspects of your child’s needs and abilities — social workers, school psychologists, therapists, or doctors — also should attend. When appropriate, your child may also participate and offer input at the meeting.
The people who attend make up a team. That team will discuss how to best meet your child’s educational needs. To prepare for the meeting — and if your child is able to articulate answers — you may find it helpful to ask your child questions about school such as:
- “What is your favorite subject?”
- “What is the hardest thing for you at school?”
- “What is the easiest thing for you at school?”
Understanding how your child and their team view your child’s strengths and weaknesses can be a big help in the development of the IEP.
You should also come prepared with questions for the team, such as how their recommendations will benefit your child and which services will likely be the most effective.
According to the law, the IEP needs to be reviewed annually. The purpose of the review is to assess your child’s progress and make any needed modifications in the educational program.
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Tips For Eliminating Disruptive Behavior
To encourage and develop cooperation, a child must learn that following directions results in a favorable outcome. As such, reinforcing a learners behavior when they follow directions is likely to increase future compliance with instructions. Remember that children are likely to respond differently to various adults, and each teacher must develop their own instructional control to increase incidences of cooperation. In other words, to change a childs behavior, it is necessary for adults to change their own behavior. We need to teach them that the inappropriate behaviors no longer work and there are other ways to behave to get what they need.
Identify Replacement Behaviors
Another way parents can attempt to reduce or eliminate instances of disruptive behavior is to prompt children to engage in alternative, more appropriate behaviors. Once you have identified the undesirable behavior, determine what type of behavior you would like to see instead. Reinforcing replacement behaviors can actually help adults identify specific behaviors they want the learner to develop. In turn, this makes the adult more attentive to appropriate actions, increasing reinforcement for the desired behavior.
Striving To Meet Your Every Need
At ACES, we understand that children with autism spend a lot of time in school. Not only is it important for them to learn, but it’s also important for them to receive the autism treatments that they need on a consistent basis. This is why we spend a lot of time working with schools so that children with autism can receive the support they need to be successful in a school environment.
ACES is dedicated to helping children with autism and their families with autism therapies in order to maximize their potential and their quality of life. We offer a slew of autism services that will help your child in all environments, from home to school and out and about in the community. In addition, we operate an accredited non-public school for children with autism and special needs in San Diego. We have over a dozen locations all throughout the West so that we can better serve you. If you are interested in learning more or getting started, contact us today!
METHODOLOGIES ACES OFFERS
- Picture Exchange Communication System
- Pivotal Response Training
- And More
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Strategy #: Relationship Development Intervention
Relationship development intervention, or RDI, is a form of behavioral therapy that specifically emphasizes social behaviors, such as taking turns with other children, learning to interpret body language and facial expressions, or improving eye contact with others. In an RDI-based approach, a therapist sets certain goals for the child after assessing his or her needs. The family then works to help the child reach those goals, while receiving feedback from and maintaining communication with the therapist.
Set An Appropriate Reinforcement System In Place
A functional and appropriate reinforcement system should be set in place specific to the classroom environment, whether this is a points system, a token board, or group-oriented contingencies. For example, the target behavior might be accessing help appropriately. The group contingency could be to first ask a friend before raising a hand for adult help . As summarized by the research conducted in 2001 by Delprato, Helfin and Alberto, and Strain and Schwartz, reinforcement systems, including token economies, behavior contracts and group-oriented contingencies, are well-established learning principles and have been shown to be effective for children with autism in increasing a variety of skills that maintain over time and show generalization effects across a variety of conditions.
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Strategy #: Using Communication Boards
Some children with ASD, such as children with nonverbal autism, may have difficulty speaking. Communication boards enable nonverbal children to express themselves by pointing or gesturing at images, which might be photographs, illustrations, or symbols. Communication boards can be highly sophisticated pieces of technology or devices as simple as bulletin boards.
- Pros Communication boards are simple to make and use.
- Cons Electronic communication boards can potentially be expensive and inaccessible.
Communication Objectives For Autism Therapy
Depending where a child falls on the spectrum, they may struggle to understand the nuance of figurative language, to speak or express themselves clearly, or to produce spoken language altogether. People with autism often times take things literally, and many children especially find it difficult to see past the literal meaning of language to interpret its conversational use.
At Spero, Speech Therapy takes place both one-on-one and in classroom and social settings, helping our students build and use their language skills in the variety of contexts that adult life will require of them.
Communication interventions aim to help a child with autism:
- Develop conversational skills for interacting with peers and adults
- Use and understand nonverbal communication such as gestures
- Interpret facial expressions
- Become comfortable engaging in functional, spontaneous dialogue
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Understanding Motivation Behind The Behavior
When learners have a pattern of acting in a certain way, their behavior is being maintained by some kind of pay off . Some common motivators include:
- Getting attention or reactions. Some children like the attention and reactions they receive for their behavior, and even scolding and other types of negative attention can inadvertently serve as a reinforcer.
- Getting a desired item or activity. A learner may behave a certain way in order to increase the likelihood of getting a desired object, being allowed to do a certain activity, or initiate a change in activity when they are involved in an undesirable task.
- Escaping or avoiding. Some learners may cry, hit, throw a tantrum, or otherwise behave inappropriately in order to avoid having to participate in a task or bring an end to an activity they have identified as unenjoyable.
- Automatic reinforcement. Children may do things simply because they like what happens as a result of their actions. For example, a learner may spit on a window because they like watching their saliva as it drips down the glass.
Intervention And Therapy Goals For Children With Autism
Autism spectrum disorder is the name for a collection of neurodevelopmental disorders characterized by communication challenges, repetitive behaviors, and limited social skills. Symptoms are typically recognized within the first two years of a childs life. These first two years are also the most critical window for intervention. Therapeutic interventions begun in the early years of development and sustained throughout childhood produce the most effective outcomes.
While ASD is more commonly referred to as simply autism, the word spectrum is crucial to an understanding of the disorder. People with autism vary greatly in the degree to which their symptoms manifest and affect their ability to function in social, educational, and professional settings. Therapeutic interventions can help children with autism overcome their challenges and develop the skills they need to function confidently and comfortably in the world.
Effective treatment for autism often involves a combination of therapies, each targeting a different set of skills that will support a childs development. Because the symptoms of ASD are so interlinked, there can be a great deal of overlap in the objectives of these different therapies. But this multidisciplinary approach helps reinforce learning by encouraging a child to hone a core set of functional skills by applying them in varying contexts.
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Some Of The Specific Goals For Children With Autism May Include:
- Academic. Of course, this is at the forefront of your mind for your child. You want your child to have the world as their oyster, and knowledge is what will do that for them. IEPs and support systems will help your child learn all the skills they need to learn for their grade level in order to be successful in life.
- Social. Many children with autism struggle with social interactions and behaviors. By having your child in school, they will have the opportunity to learn social skills from and make friends with children their own age. Many children with autism struggle speaking and holding conversations, and being with children their age can give them the confidence they need to improve upon these social skills.
- Behavioral. Behavior can be a big challenge for children with autism, and it is especially concerning to parents who struggle to teach their kids how to behave in socially acceptable ways. Our school behavioral training techniques will help your child develop coping mechanisms to replace their outbursts, yelling, hitting, and more.
- Motor. Because autism is a developmental disorder in children, children with autism often take longer to develop certain skills than their peers, motor skills being one of these. IEPs can take this into account and, along with our individual support, can develop best practices for children to develop their motor skills on par with other children their age.
Behavior Goals For An Iep
I didnt need to reinvent the wheel. There are lots of great sites to pull from. I have included some goals that I wasnt that crazy about. Many of them were on a list with other decent goals.
Some had wording like will act mad the right way. You know whats wrong with that one, right? Who says what is the right way to be mad? Does the child even know this? And how to do it? So while I think that the bulk of these are good, there are starting points.
For numbers, use the figure that is in the childs baselines and work up from there. I have removed wording such as calm body and quiet hands. If a child needs to stim, script, flap or rock while doing a task, what is the harm in that?
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Iep Goals For Children With Autism
Individualized Education Plans, also known as IEPs, can be confusing and overwhelming. As a parent, you may feel as though you do not have much say in the goals that are chosen for your childs IEP.In this post, you will learn what a well-constructed IEP goal should look like and how to advocate for your child by improving incomplete goals.
Here are some quick and easy tips to improving your childs IEP goals.
Goals should be measurable and objective. Lets look at the following examples.
- Example of an incomplete goal: Trey will like interacting with his peers. This goal is too subjective and not measurable. The feeling of like cannot be measured. If you attend an IEP meeting with a goal like this, ask probing questions about how interacting with his peers will be measured. Ask the IEP team how the teacher or therapist will measure the goal and how often it will be measured. Once you identify how the goal is being observed and measured, ask that the goal be modified to reflect the objective and measurable goal.
- Example of an improved goal: By the end of the first semester, Trey will approach and play with his peers on 3 out of 5 attempts daily.
Goals should be specific instead of general. Lets look at the following examples.
Goals should be realistic. Lets look at the following examples.
Goals should be time-specific. Lets look at the following examples.