Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Inclusion Essentials for Students with ASD

My book, Bringing ABA into Your Inclusive Classroom, provides educators with a framework for designing ABA interventions that can be implemented in general education classrooms to meet the unique needs of students with ASD.  However, I view the ABA interventions as the "icing on the cake."  There are certain essentials, or "must haves,"that should be in place in any classroom to meet the needs of students with ASD.  These essentials include: 1) The Use of Differentiated Instruction and Assessment
2)  The Use of Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports and 3)  Focus on Increasing Active Engagement of the Student(s) with ASD.

It is very challenging to actively engage students with ASD due to their impairments in social interaction, communication, stereotypic behaviors, sensory issues, and anxiety issues.  In chapter 1 of Bringing ABA into Your Inclusive Classroom (Leach, 2010), I include the following tips for increasing the active engagement of students with ASD:
·      Make sure learning objectives are developmentally appropriate
·      Use concrete examples to help students connect  new content with their existing knowledge
·      Circulate the classroom and give feedback/reinforcement
·      Ask a lot of questions
·      Have students work collaboratively to solve problems and complete tasks
·      Ensure success by using prompting/fading procedures and behavioral momentum (see chapter 5)
·      Maintain a brisk pace of instruction
·      Illustrate content with stories
·      Use Guided notes
·      Choral responding
·      Connect content to everyday life
·      Give clear and concise directions and ensure understanding
·      Access student’s strengths and interests as often as possible
·      Give students choices
·      Use activities that arouse curiosity
·      Use advance organizers
·      Vary grouping arrangements
·      Utilize multi-media when presenting information
·      Incorporate music and art into instructional activities
·      Encourage brainstorming
·      Use manipulatives and other hands-on activities
·      Role-play
·      Have students use gestures during lessons
·      Use games
·      Have students create/do something during instruction
·      Have students come up to the board
·      Utilize technologies such as computers, promethium boards, and smart boards
·      Assign partners and have students share responses to questions with their partner
·      Be enthusiastic and encouraging
·      Remind students of behavioral expectations often
·      Be much more positive than negative/corrective

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