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Dr. Chris’ Autism Journal
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Cal-ABA Conference: March 12-14, 2009


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San FranciscoThe California Association for Behavior Analysis (Cal-ABA) is having its 27th annual conference March 12-14 at the San Francisco Airport Hyatt Regency.  The Jigsaw Learning team will have 2 presentations this year: 1) a workshop, presented by Manya Vaupel, and 2) a symposium chaired by me with presentations by Manya, Shannon, me, and Debbie Moss (from LA Unified School District). 

Both presentations are described below….

The conference is of special interest to college and university faculty, researchers, administrators, and practitioners in behavior analysis, psychology, regular and special education, rehabilitation, public health, behavioral medicine, speech and language, social work, business, and human services. Undergraduate, graduate students and family members of individuals with special needs are also encouraged to attend.

The conference offers information, resources, and prSan Francisco 2ofessional development opportunities for Board Certified Behavior Analysts, Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analysts, psychologists, marriage and family therapists, social workers, speech-language pathologists, regular and special educators, students in those and related fields, and parents and/or consumers of behavior analysis services.

Keynote addresses will be delivered by CalABA’s public policy consultant James Gross, who is sure to inspire listeners to get involved in public policy work, and Sigrid Glenn, a visionary behavior analyst who will clarify burning conceptual questions about what it means to be a “radical” behaviorist. The 2009 Outstanding Contributor to Behavior Analysis, Jon Bailey, will describe “pillars of professionalism” for behavior analysts in his address. This year’s Glenda Vittimberga Memorial Lecture will be on the important topic of psychotropic medications for challenging behaviors, delivered by Jennifer Zarcone.

JigsawLogo.jpg

 

 

 Jigsaw Learning Presentations:

Friday, March 13, 2009     
Fri., 3/13 · 1:45 pm - 3:15 pm
Symposium
(ED, AUT)
(1.5 CEUs - BACB)
Sandpebble A - C
(ID #1149)    

Add #1149 to my program
#1000118770     

Chris

Manya 3

Shannon

Debbie Moss

 

 

Computer-Assisted Instructional Planning in California Schools
Chair: CHRISTINA WHALEN, Jigsaw LearningSchool districts in California are faced with many of the same problems as other states in the U.S. for serving children with special needs. These problems include insufficient staffing, teaching materials, data collection, and finding and implementing effective interventions. One of the biggest problems for schools is lack of funding to address most of these issues. Interventions that can reduce the burden on schools in California is much needed and computer-assisted interventions such as those provided by Jigsaw Learning may help. In this presentation, several computer-assisted programs will be presented by Jigsaw Learning staff and Los Angeles Unified School District including single-subject, case, and group design research.     

Linking Standardized Measures and Curriculum Standards to Intervention
MANYA VAUPEL, Jigsaw Learning
Christina Whalen, Jigsaw Learning
Shannon Cernich, Jigsaw Learning

The development of intervention often involves a ‘learning-as-you-go’ approach where various practices are tried out, often in a single-subject design or case study format. This approach is effective and accepted in most cases. However, when developing a computer-assisted intervention, this is often not possible due to the time and money required for development of the intervention. To ensure quality intervention, computer-assisted programs should be built from best-practices in assessment and intervention including the use of standardized measures, curricula, and national and state content standards. TeachTown programs including TeachTown Basics and TeachTown Avenue use top-notch measures, curricula, and standards to develop these interventions. In this presentation, the method in which the ABLLS, California Content Standards, and other resources were utilized in development will be presented.

Teaching Language and Social Skills Using an Animated Tutor
SHANNON CERNICH, Jigsaw Learning
Christina Whalen, Jigsaw Learning
Manya Vaupel, Jigsaw Learning
Molly Robson, Independent Consultant
Lauren Franke, Independent Consultant

Information on Team Up with Timo computer-assisted instructional programs for students with ASD and language delays will be presented. Team Up with Timo products utilize a lip readably accurate animated tutor, scaffolded teaching and other ABA techniques. Timo targets vocabulary acquisition, reading comprehension, and narrative language skills. Timo Lesson Creator enables educators and interventionists to create individualized social, language, and academic lessons that tie directly to IEP goals. Research supporting the use of Timo in the laboratory will be reviewed, and new research with 3 ASD students in a school setting will be presented. This study uses a multiple baseline design to target narrative language skills in the classroom environment.

Using Teachtown Basics Computer-Assisted Intervention in a Public School Setting
DEBBIE MOSS, Los Angeles Unified School District
Christina Whalen, Jigsaw Learning
Shannon Cernich, Jigsaw Learning
Manya Vaupel, Jigsaw Learning

The implementation of interventions in a public school environment is often difficult and many schools are experimenting with computer-assisted interventions to address their issues with funding, staffing, and resources. In a grant supported by the National Center of Technology Innovation (NCTI), a clinical trial with more than 50 children with autism was implemented. Data will be presented on the effectiveness of the intervention (including on and off computer TeachTown lessons) as assessed by the Brigance and other standardized measures, the usability by staff, and automatic data collection by the TeachTown software. In addition, video clips of children using the on and off-computer lessons will be shown.

Automatic Data Collection and Reporting on Students of Teachtown Basics in the State of California
CHRISTINA WHALEN, Jigsaw Learning
Paul Fielding, Independent Consultant
Asif Rahman, Independent Consultant
Shannon Cernich, Jigsaw Learning
Manya Vaupel, Jigsaw Learning

Data collection and student outcome are one of the biggest problems for effective implementation of intervention. TeachTown is an ABA-based intervention that uses the computer and off-computer activities to teach children with autism, language, and cognitive delays. TeachTown provides a system for collecting data automatically on the computer and offering a system for storing and sharing anecdotal data. In this presentation, data collected automatically from the TeachTown program will be presented including individual student data, classroom data, school site data, SELPA data, and the data on all customers in the state of California, and data on all users to date. Data on more than 1,000 students will be presented along with social validation research.

 
Saturday, March 14, 2009     
Sat., 3/14 · 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Workshop #10
(AUT, DD - Intro)
Room location TBA
(ID #1135)
Fee: $35
Max. enrollment: N/A    

Add #1135 to my program
#1000118770   

Manya 3

Using Technology in Your ABA Programs for Children with Autism
MANYA VAUPEL, Jigsaw Learning
CHRISTINA WHALEN, Jigsaw Learning
SHANNON CERNICH, Jigsaw Learning
There are many challenges to face when implementing effective ABA programs for students with autism. Technology can provide lots of solutions to the challenges teachers, clinicians, and parents deal with in effective ABA programming for students with Autism. In this workshop we will explore what has been done in terms of utilizing various assistive technology to enhance student learning in ABA programs in current research investigations. We will discuss different ideas for using technology in ABA programming in schools, homes and the community, we will provide examples of what is being done currently in schools and clinics, and we will explore the critical components to effective ABA programming and how technology can provide more efficient solutions to some of these components that are easily overlooked. At the end of this workshop, participants should have a better understanding of current practice and research in assistive technology in ABA programming, they should have additional resources in finding and implementing the appropriate technology needed in their programs, and they should be able to identify appropriate technology that will assist or enhance their current instructional programs for students with Autism Spectrum Disorders.

How to Select an ABA Service Provider


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000_51_Clark_reading.pngIf you are struggling with finding a quality service provider for your child, or if you are wondering if the ABA services you are receiving are appropriate, the ABA Autism Special Interest Group, with funding from the New Jersey Center for Outreach & Services for the Autism Community, have provided a set of guidelines that are extremely valuable:

ABAAutismSIG Gdlns 2007.pdf

In this document, they provide consumers with information about board certification for ABA providers and wha100_0152.JPGt other qualities to look for to increase the chances of receiving the quality services that your child deserves.  They note that certification is NECESSARY, but not SUFFICIENT for selecting a qualified professional.  In other words, someone who provides ABA services and who is not certified should be questioned regarding their education and ability to provide services.  However, just having that is not enough, you should look at the applicant’s experience with autism, and with the age group and functioning level of your child. 

This document was put together with a lot of expertise and thoughtfulness, I hope you find it helpful!

How to find a behavioral consultant


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Lisa_Simpson.gifWhen looking for a behavioral consultant, it is really important that you look at the qualifications of that person, particularly at the supervision level.

The California Association of Behavior Analysis provides a useful article about how to find a behavioral consultant: http://www.calaba.org/AAMR-BehConsultantsFlyer.pdf.

header.gifHere is another excellent article about finding a behavioral consultant from Community Gateway: http://communitygateway.org/faq/behavioral.htm

The Behavior Analyst Certification Board is the first organization to provide national certification credentials for behavioral consultants.  When you see BCBA or BCABA after sowia_photo.jpgmeone’s name, this assures you that the person has completed the required number of hours, supervision, education, and passing the national board exam.  If you would like to know if someone has these credentials, you can look them up on the BACB site!  This is a great place to start looking for someone to help you with a home program that lives in your state. 

Review of ABA Conference in Atlanta


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This was a very exciting conference foatlanta_image03_sm.gifr TeachTown, our booth was extremely well attended and we ran out of almost all of our handouts! Researchers, clinicians, and parents were all very eager to get a copy of TeachTown: Basics.

We had a 3-hour continuing education workshop with about 10 attendees - it was great - our attendees had some great suggestions for continuing to improve our products and several people approched me afterwards about doing research with TeachTown: Basics.

feature.jpgOur symposium with myself, Ilene Schwartz, and Beth Wyman was well attended and people were very interested in TeachTown and the research. For my talk, I educated people about TeachTown and gave a brief demonstration of TeachTown: Basics. Dr. Ilene Schwartz from University of Washington’s Experimental Education Unit, presented results from their study comparing TeachTown: Basics to Discrete Trial Training (DTT) for 3 children. Two of the children in their research did better with the teacher-taught DTT while 1 child responded well to TeachTown: Basics. Although the outcome of this research was not as good as we had hoped, we were able to identify a number of things in terms of next steps for improving the current TeachTown: Basics program. Basically, it seemed that the two children who did not do well with the program did not understand how to use the program. It is possible that it was because they were new learners in computer based instructional environments. We are now working on a “learning to learn” module which will help new users and children with little or no computer experience to prep for using TeachTown: Basics. Beth Wyman with ASTAR (Autism Spectrum Therapy and Research) presented data on one child who used TeachTown: Basics to supplement his existing home program. She used both the TeachTown data collection system and standardized measures such as the ABLLS to demonstrate treatment efficacy. Initially, there was some learning to learn on the computer instruction that was needed to foster later success. This child ended up doing very well with the TeachTown: Basics program and even showed some possible carry over effects into his 1:1 instructional environments. He is now showing longer attention spans in work sessions, more consistency in performance, and overal progress in programs. Beth is planning to supplement home programs with TeachTown: Basics with 1 or 2 more children in the near future. Dr. Schwartz gave a thoughtful and interesting discussion at the end of the symposium emphasizing the positive approach that TeachTown has for treatment. She emphasized the importance of applying best-practices in ABA research into the design of the TeachTown: Basics, contuing research on the efficacy and applicability of our products, and making the effort to make treatment more accessible to families, schools, and other institutional settings who need it. Although the research is still preliminary, attending researchers were impressed with the fact that our company focuses on researching the products and that we use this research to make TeachTown products better all the time. The symposium was very well attended and the buzz following it was exciting. I spent the rest of the conference being approached by people wanting to know more about TeachTown!

CHDD_shipcanal_130x130.jpgIn addition to the exciting events for TeachTown, we were able to see some great talks. Dr. Ilene Schwartz was an invited speaker. The purpose of her presentation was to describe the role of behavior analysts in preparing and partnering with educators to work with children with and without disabilities. Although much of the work of applied behavior analysts deals with the school age population, as a field we are often absent from debates about school reform and teacher education. During the presentation, Dr. Schwartz made the case for why it is important to increase our presence in these forums and suggested strategies to talk about behavior principles in a manner that is acceptable to our colleagues in public schools and colleges of education.

114105lr.jpgDr. Laura Schreibman from UC San Diego and 2 of her students from the UCSD Autism Lab presented very exciting and innovative research on the identification of child characteristics that might predict success in different treatment programs such as Pivotal Response Training (PRT). This research is very important to the field of autism in that it acknowledges that “one size does not fit all” for this population and that even for an individual child, their ideal treatment might change over time as their skills and developmental level change. Dr. Marjorie Charlop-Christy from Claremont McKenna College provided an insightful discussion about UCSD’s research - she complemented them on their vigorous scientific procedures (their data was excellent) and not only on identifying child characteristics but maybe even teaching non-responders to a specific kind of treatment (in this case, PRT) how to be responders. I am always very excited to see the research from UCSD as I am an alumni from that lab =).

I also attended a panel discussion from the folks at Eden II where they reviewed allspot_photo_04.jpg of their procedures for quality assurance at their facilities. I was very impressed with the thorough commitment to providing high quality treatment to people with autism and the parents. Their company also focuses on ensuring that staff are high quality and that they are happy working there. I took a lot of notes at this one, I think they have some excellent strategies for making sure that quality treatment is provided.

Manya (TeachTown’s Program Director/Director of Education), attended an exciting all day workshop on teaching reading to students with disabilities. Reading has long been her area of interest and graduate work. The workshop was presented by the staff at Morningside Academy, a laboratory school with both elementary and middle school programs in Seattle that was founded by Dr. Kent Johnson, who is also co-founder for Headsprout.com. Morningside Academy utilizes the effective approches of direct instruction and fluency based instruction to teach children who aren’t quite making in in public school settings. This particular workshop focused on providing a thorough introduction to the area of reading. They looked at the most important components of effective reading instruction, including prerequisites to reading (language, phonemic awareness, phonological coding, and rapid automatic naming skills); phonics and decoding skills; vocabulary and background knowledge, comprehension skills and strategies, application of comprehension skills and strategies during reading; and learning skills such as rapid interaction with a teacher and peer, reasoning and problem solving repertoires, and participating in classroom discussions. The Morningside staff presented the basic principles for teaching each component, showed and modeled each component, and had the audience break out into small groups to practice teaching each component with immediate feedback and coaching from Morningside teachers. Manya said it was a great workshop and people who are interested in incorporating reading performance in their teaching and intervention planning should consider attending if the opportunity is there.

Overall, this was a very exciting conference, next year (May, 2007), you can attend ABA in San Diego - we will be there for sure and are really looking forward to it!

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