Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


45th Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2019

Event Details

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Symposium #328
Engineering Public Educational Programs for Students With Autism: Replications of a Training Model
Sunday, May 26, 2019
4:00 PM–5:50 PM
Hyatt Regency West, Ballroom Level, Regency Ballroom D
Area: AUT/EDC; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Michael Miklos (Pennsylvania Training and Technical Assistance Network)
Discussant: Judah B. Axe (Simmons University)
CE Instructor: Judah B. Axe, M.S.

Since a free and appropriate public education is mandated for students with autism spectrum disorder, it is critical that in-service teachers receive specialized training and support relevant to establishing and maintaining effective instructional practice . Achieving outcomes for students with autism in public education programs requires engineering of multiple aspects of the instructional environment. The Pennsylvania Training and Technical Assistance Network Autism Initiative (PaTTAN AI) has implemented a range of teacher supports that have altered educational practice in over 600 classrooms across Pennsylvania. Content of this symposium will address the rationale for structured teaching derived from a behavior analysis that is both individualized across a range of student functional levels and able to be replicated across a range of educational settings. Replications of the PATTAN AI system of training in Seminole County, Florida and in an area centered in Missouri will be described. Updates of efforts in Pennsylvania will be summarized. The update will include details that continue to demonstrate a template for effective instructional practice.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Target Audience:

Behavior Analysts, School Psychologists, Teachers, School Administrators

Learning Objectives: 1. Participants will identify components of effective instructional arrangements for school programs serving students with autism. 2. Participants will describe the relationship between implementation criteria on the PaTTAN site review form and measurable student outcomes. 3. Participants will note commonalities in training components across replications of a system of technical support in Seminole County, Fl, School districts in the Mid-western region of the USA, and across Pennsylvania public schools.
Engineering Autism Interventions in Public Schools: Why Science Isn't Enough
MICHAEL MIKLOS (Pennsylvania Training and Technical Assistance Network), Amiris Dipuglia (PaTTAN/ Autism Initiative)
Abstract: As described by Henry Petroski (2010), engineering involves using the principles of the natural sciences to guide the design of structures that serve a practical purpose. However, established science may not be able to provide direct guidance on each circumstance in which a practical problem must be solved. While science and scientific principles must be honored when designing an effective educational environment, it will be suggested that the practice of behavior analysis in such environments is more akin to engineering. This session will describe the complexity of school environments that shape educational outcomes. A single caseload and school conditions of one autism support teacher will be reviewed in detail. Supporting teachers functioning in such complex situations is often a responsibility of behavior analysts. It will be suggested that behavior analytic practice is schools must be guided by a model that allows for effective adaptation of science to locally complex educational circumstances that require some degree of effective engineering.

Increasing Access to Evidence-Based Training for Special Education Staff in the Mid-Western USA and Resulting Student Outcomes

STACEY MARTIN (Summit Behavioral Services)

Access to training on evidence-based practices is critical for teachers to meet the expectation of implementation in their special education classrooms. Appropriate training on scientifically validated interventions is lacking at both the university and school district levels (Morrier, Hess, & Heflin, 2011; Lang et al., 2010). A wide array of online and print resources exists to assist teachers in their selection of evidence-based interventions (Alexander, Ayres, & Smith, 2014). However, their choices of teaching practices are often not evidence-based. (Hess, Morrier, Heflin, & Ivey, 2008: National Research Council, 2001; Stahmer, Collings, & Palinkas, 2005). Traditional teacher training methods are inadequate in that they typically involve solely written material and/or lecture formats (Bethune & Wood, 2013). A replication of the PaTTAN Autism Initiative model for delivering rigorous training to special education staff which incorporates evidence-based instructional practices has been undertaken in numerous districts in the Midwest in order to train teachers, paraprofessionals, and support staff how to deliver intensive, effective, evidence-based instruction to students on the autism spectrum. During this session, information on efforts to increase teacher access to training on evidence-based practices, data on staff training outcomes, site reviews and student skill acquisition will be shared.

Transformation of a Florida School District: Scaling Up a Behavioral Approach to Public Education
SANDRA MICHELLE GUFFEE (Seminole County Public Schools)
Abstract: The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) calls for use of evidenced-based interventions. Observations of classroom practice, however, have suggested that the education received by many students with disabilities does not take advantage of that knowledge (Kauffman, 1996; Moody, Vaughn, Hughes, & Fischer, 2000: Wagner, Blackorby, Cameto, & Newman, 1994). Over the past four years, Seminole County Public Schools (SCPS) has infused a behavioral approach into the traditional instructional pedagogy, creating a significant merger between clinical interventions for children and youth, and instructional strategies for students with Autism and related disabilities. A replication of the PaTTAN AI model for training, instructional practice, data collection, and fidelity checks using the site review has been utilized starting with nine classrooms in 2015 and scaling up over four years to 74 classrooms. This session will cover the transformation process that has taken place to establish the current service model. A review of training, site review, and student outcome data will be presented.

Reaching a Broad Consumer Base: Recent Advances and Outcomes from the Pennsylania Training and Technical Assistance Network's Autism Initiative Applied Behavior Analysis Supports

AMIRIS DIPUGLIA (PaTTAN/ Autism Initiative), Michael Miklos (Pennsylvania Training and Technical Assistance Network), Willow Hozella (Pennsylvania Training and Technical Assistance Net)

Over the past 15 years, The Pennsylvania Training and Technical Assistance Network Autism Initiative Applied Behavior Analysis Supports (PATTAN AI ABA) has provided ongoing training and technical support to approximately 600 school teams across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The system of support has provided an empirical approach to instructional design and delivery that addresses both structural and analytical aspects of instructional arrangements. The system addresses implementation of practice across various levels of educational practice including classroom organization, assessment and data-based decision making, instructional materials, instructional delivery, parent training and engagement, establishing and maintaining instructional control, teacher training, treatment integrity and effective local consultative support. The training model has been adapted to local needs and circumstances allowing structured interventions to be delivered across age level of students (from preschool through graduation) and students who present skill sets representative of various levels of severity in relation to Autism Spectrum Disorders. The session will provide summary descriptions of current and longitudinal training and technical support outcomes across training competencies, consultative effectiveness, and student outcomes.




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