OVERVIEW • 1. Background • 2. How it works • 3. First research on its impact
AN INTRODUCTION • Invitation to Canada • The ‘why’ of AutismPro • 1.Long waiting lists for diagnosis • 2.Long waiting lists for first assessment • 3.Long waiting lists for first individualized educational programs ‘What about ‘the triad’ of early intervention to help parents ?’
FROM PARENTS TO PROFESSIONALS • ° Enormous increase in prevalence • ° Enormous increase in well-informed professionals…? • ° Enormous increase in children in inclusive environments… • ° Enormous increase in improvisation… • ° Enormous increase in frustration and rivalry…
THE ‘METHODS’ ° The ‘war’ between the different ‘methods’ ° The ‘market of despair’ on internet… ° How to give more ‘power’ to parents and to professionals ° No miracles, but a ‘sound’ approach
About us • Dr. Kathleen Ann Quill, Autism Institute, Essex • Dr. Pamela Wolfberg, San Francisco State University • Dr. Cathy Pratt, Director, Indiana State University, Bloomington • Dr. Brenda Smith-Myles, Professor of Special Education, University of Kansas • Dr. Diane Twachtman-Cullen, Director of ADDCON Center in Connecticut • Margaret Spoelstra, Executive Director, Autism Ontario • Paula Aquilla, Occupational Therapist • Neil Walker, Program Director, Geneva Center for Autism • Theo Peeters, Founder, Centre for Training on Autism (Antwerp) • Dr. Michael Cameron, Associate Professor, Department of Special Education, Simmons College
Goal: Providing Guidance & Tools • Best practices in autism intervention can be supported by: • --Management software tool : AutismPro
What is AutismPro? • AutismPro is a powerful online program that: • Recommends a tailored intervention plan for 1 or more children • Supports a wide range of behavioral, developmental, social programs
Follow 9 Planning Steps to Stay in Control Basic Concepts Behind AutismPro Navigation • AutismPro: • Supports the development of an intervention plan for a child with autism • Replicates the 9-step clinical process of developing an intervention plan for school, home, or a clinical setting
AutismPro’s 9 Step Training & Decision Making • Collecting Relevant Case Information • Understanding Child Profile & Method Preference • Curriculum Assessment • Selecting Objectives • Selecting Activities • Selecting Teaching Strategies • Selecting Learning and Behavioral Supports • Scheduling, Coordinating Efforts • Logging, Interpreting Progress
Step 1: Case Info • Getting started is simple: • Allow AutismPro to guide you through completing the background info that personalizes your program • Screen image • Screen name • Diagnostic info • Team info
Step 2 A: Completing a Child Profile Let AutismPro guide you in selecting the child type that best resembles the child today
Step 2 B: Method Preference • Singular training of staff in one approach should not result in singular choices for families, evidence for more than one approach • Families should be educated and given choices in the approach to educational intervention for their children • Early intensive intervention in autism that focuses on critical skill development can be achieved by behavioral (ABA), developmental (contemporary ABA), or social (RDI, SCERTS etc) approaches
Pick What Works Best For Child, Situation • Behavioral Method • Developmental Method • Social Method
Methods Integrated into Clear Choices • Methods can be seen as a continuum of similarities and differences in philosophy and teaching strategies • Some of the most successful programs in North America are seen as behavioral, developmental, or social
Step 3: Assessment: Understanding Needs • Understand child’s strengths & weaknesses • Understand where to begin in the curriculum
Results: Initial Curriculum for a Specific Child • Understand child’s strengths & weaknesses • Understand where to begin in the curriculum
Step 4: Getting Tailored Objectives • AutismPro provides two objective selection options: • AutismPro Recommended - Allow AutismPro to recommend a tailored list of objectives to work on with your child • You Decide - Select objectives yourself from a list of recommended objectives that are appropriate to your child’s skill level
Step 5: Getting Step-by-Step Activities • AutismPro provides activities to help achieve your objectives: • AutismPro recommends a list of activities • These activities are tailored to your child’s needs based on the child’s skill level and your selected method preference.
Step 5: Activities • Activities address the following questions: • What should I do to teach the objective? • How do I ensure mastery of new skills? • How do I motivate and engage the child to learn?
Step 5: Sample Activity • Squirt and Splash • Objective: Uses eye contact with adults to maintain social interaction during a preferred activity • Developmental Area: Emotional • Curriculum Area: Joint Attention • Method: Developmental • Developmental Level: Basic • Category: Exploratory play • Setting: Adult-Child
Materials • Bath or pool with water inside • Squirt bottle or squirt toys • Cups • Procedure • The child is bathing. Place a few squirt toys in the bath. • Pick a squirt toy and unexpectedly squirt the child on his or her belly. If the child is sensitive to being squirted or splashed, you can squirt at a toy or at the water directly in front of the child. You can also squirt from under the water to create a fountain effect if the child finds it more motivating. • Stop squirting and wait. When the child looks at you, reinforce him/her by saying, 'Good looking," and begin squirting again.
5000 Activities, Reflect Different Methods • Activities are written to reflect a method • Activities from different methods can be used to target the same or different learning objectives
Step 6: Strategies • Learn how strategies address the following questions: • How do I prepare for successful teaching? • How do I interact with the child? • How do I respond to behaviors?
Step 6: Accessing Strategies • AutismPro will guide you in using teaching strategies: • That meet your needs • Are appropriate for your child’s skill level • Supportyour method preference
Step 6: How to do it: Video Training • Learn through video diverse strategies • Different strategies reflected in different methods and associated activities (behavioral, developmental, social)
Step 7: Supports • Learn how supports address the following questions: • Why does the child have problem behaviors? • How can I prevent them? • How can I support the child’s learning of new skills?
Step 7: Accessing Supports • Select supports to help you: • Deal with learning and behavior problems in specific situations • Understand, prevent, and support your child's learning and behavior challenges
Learn how to understand specific causes • Supports for challenging behaviors are organized into seven different problem support areas: • Social Challenges • Communication Difficulties • Difficulties with School-Inclusion • Difficulties with Independence • Problems with the Curriculum • Sensory Regulation Challenges • Problems with Ritualistic Behaviors
Step 8: Team Coordination • Learn importance of: • Regular communication • Progress and issue tracking • Updating
Step 8: Planning Your Time • AutismPro provides you with a schedule to plan your time and coordinate your support team • Schedule activities • Dedicate a resource or team member • Select a location for the activity • Add daily notes and instructions • Print off days, weeks, and months at a glance
Step 9: Progress Tracking • Learn how to document: • The child’s mastery of specific objectives • The child’s acquisition of skills in curriculum areas • The child’s overall developmental improvements Learn the signs that: • An objective may need to be changed • An activity may need to be changed • A method or strategy may need to be changed
Is it Working?: Progress Measures • Use AutismPro to answer your most critical question: • How can I tell if the child’s intervention plan is working? • AutismPro will guide you in tracking and logging the child’s progress
What you will do: Choose, Learn, Act • Better understand autism and autism intervention • Choose between different methods • Pick skills to teach • Teach through activities • Improve through strategies • Support learning and prevent problem behaviors with supports • Log and monitor progress • Collaborate with others
Outcome • Guidance & training in developing and delivering autism intervention • Team collaboration tool • A quality intervention plan that supports best practices
Study A: Usability & Usefulness • Parent Participation in Early Intervention • with Software-Assisted Guidance • Cynthia Howroyd, Theo Peeters • To be Published: September Issue, Good Autism Practices, University of Birmingham, England
Evaluation of the impact of AutismPro on changes in child behaviour and parental well-being • Background: • 46 families in Ontario • 52 children between 2 and 9 • 63 adults (a few professionals, most parents) • Research conducted by Queen’s University • Principal investigator: Jeanette Holden,PhD • 36% of families with recent diagnosis • 55% of parents already some kind of intervention plan • 9% of parents: no diagnosis, no intervention plan