Erin J. Miller Holy family university September 15, 2010 Autism & School Counseling
What is Autism? 1 in every 110 children Prevalence is increasing 10-17% annually -> improved diagnoses? Environmental influences? Boys are 3 to 4 times more likely to receive a diagnosis In the United States, 1 out of 70 boys are diagnosed. http://www.autismspeaks.org/whatisit/index.php
School Counselors What’s our role as this population continues to increase in our schools?
Understanding Areas of Application(Marshak, Dandeneau, Prezant, & L’Amoreaux, 2010) • Personal Application • Possible adjustment issues in school due to other related health issues or medication side effects. • Changes in routine: i.e. school assembly, different bus, half day or fire drill • Behavior modification for behaviors that are serious enough to interrupt with academics, such as SIBs.
Understanding Areas of Application • Social Application • The nature of ASD alone makes it difficult for students to have social interaction. • Creating and seeking opportunities for socialization with peers is important. • ASD students are at risk for isolation, bullying, exploitation, rejection and being taken advantage of.
Understanding Areas of Application • Academic Application • Sensory needs should be considered. This can include seating, lights, windows, noise, teaching methods and schedules • Accommodations and modifications for testing, testing areas, the way assignments are given, need for breaks, sensory rooms or stimulation needs
Understanding Areas of Application • Career Application • Transition planning should be focused on their specific abilities, not their inabilities. • Many ASD students have the ability to become successful in specific vocations. • Promotion of independence. • Don’t set them up to fail, but don’t hold them back either. * Story of MG
Interventions • Pivotal Response • Behavioral • Cognitive-Behavioral
Pivotal Response Training (R. Koegel, L. Koegel & Carter, 1999; Volker & Lopata, 2008) • Applied behavioral analysis in the child’s natural environment. • Improves self-management, self-initiative & self-management • This approach is less costly and empirically supported to be more effective • Play-Based/Manding Session
Behavioral Intervention • Volker & Lopata (2008) article reviews interventions including behavioral. • Behavioral interventions seem to be the predominant intervention with ASD children (including ABA & PRT) • Argued that [social] behaviors learned are not generalized. • PRT is not included in this weakness; this approach is successful for social generalization under behavioral interventions ABA Therapy
Cognitive Behavioral • Volker & Lopata (2008) report that this area of intervention continues to be researched to gain empirical support. • Direct instruction, modeling, role-playing, performance feedback, reinforcement. • Some evidence leading to this intervention becoming more promising… keep your eye out!
Pivotal Response TrainingEarly Study Koegel, R. L., & W. D. Frea , 1993. Treatment of social behavior in autism through the modification of pivotal social skills. Journal of Applied Behavioral Analysis, 26, 369-377. • 2 “high functioning” children with early diagnosis of autism. IQ score above 70. Successful and functioning in normal education classrooms, no physical handicaps. • Baseline of 5 behaviors – facial expression & affect, eye gaze, nonverbal mannerisms, voice volume, and perseveration of topic. • Parents and teachers judged the most stigmatizing behaviors which were the ones that received treatment. Other behaviors were not treated to measure generalization . • Significant results suggesting that PRT is successful in treating social skills in high functioning ASD.
The Need for Team WorkKoegel, R. L., Koegel, L. K. & Carter, C. M., 1999. Pivotal teaching interactions for children with autism. School Psychology Review, 28, 576-594. • Need consistent interventions across environments. • When they vary is when you may see success in one environment, but not in the other (i.e. well he doesn’t do work for me at home, behaviors aren’t seen at school) • Provide materials from the classroom to the parent so that it can be reviewed at home: “Priming.” • Teachers report that it is easy to implement, preventative, and helps avoid the time to address problems in the classroom since they are prevented.
Summary How are we involved? • Interaction with the students • Collaboration • IEP meetings – appropriate goals • Small Groups – socialization • Up to date on research and empirically supported interventions • Well read
References Koegel, R. L., Koegel, L. K. & Carter, C. M., 1999. Pivotal teaching interactions for children with autism. School Psychology Review, 28, 576-594. Koegel, R. L., & W. D. Frea, 1993. Treatment of social behavior in autism through the modification of pivotal social skills. Journal of Applied Behavioral Analysis, 26, 369-377. Marshak, L. E., Dandeneau, C.J., Prezant, F. P., & L’Amoreaux, N.A., 2010. The school counselor’s guide to helping students with disabilities. San Francisco, CA: Josey-Bass. Volker, M. A., & Lopata, C., 2008. Autism: A review of biological bases, assessment, and intervention. School Psychology Quarterly, 23, 258-270. doi: 10.1037/1045-3818.104.22.1688 “What is Autism?” in Autism Speaks (n.d.) retrieved from http://www.autismspeaks.org/whatisit/index.php