By Emily C. Bouck, Teresa Taber Doughty and Melissa Savage
The ninth volume of the CEC Division on Autism and Developmental Disabilities' Prism series, Footsteps Toward the Future provides an overview of and strategies when implementing a real-world curriculum with students with autism spectrum disorder and other developmental disabilities. "Real-world" curricula incorporate instruction in functional or life skills-skills that support students in living independently and functioning successfully in an inclusive society: living, working, and having fun. Chapters in the book delve into the components of such instruction, discuss how to incorporate real-world skill training within academic settings, and explore effective community-based instruction and collaboration. Full of strategies, tools, and advice, Footsteps Toward the Future is both a valuable resource on life skills curricula and a "must-have" addition to every educator's transition planning toolkit.
2015, 156 pages
ISBN 978-0-86586-497-9. P6147.
Historically, students with autism have not had access to supports within universities that would enable them to succeed academically or socially. In response to the heightened recent attention to inclusion at the postsecondary level for students with disabilities, the Division on Autism and Developmental Disabilities (DADD) has taken the initiative to develop a paper on this critical topic. The goal of DADD in developing this paper is to illuminate and promote effective practices to support students with autism spectrum disorders in postsecondary education. Toward this end, this manuscript addresses the need for institutions of higher education to educate students with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) among their peers in college programs. The intent of the authors is to voice a call to action to expand the inclusion momentum that has become firmly rooted in our nation’s high schools so that it reaches universities and leads to improved adult living outcomes. Through discussion of the history of postsecondary education (PSE), a review of relevant legislation, and consideration of current PSE options for students with autism, a clear picture of the current state of affairs emerges. Connections among legislative initiatives and current practices substantiate the need for increased program options and supports through which academic, social and career development may be provided to students with ASD. The role of legislation in supporting the establishment of infrastructure and building capacity to sustain programs is examined to foster recognition of the need for institutions of higher education to provide inclusive postsecondary programs. Components of effective postsecondary education for students with ASD are described in relation to legal mandates leading to the development of PSE opportunities for these students.
Evaluation of Graduated vs All-or-None Contingencies on Rate Tasks for Individuals Diagnosed with Autism
Alyne Kassardjian, Jeremy A. Leaf., Justin B. Leaf, Donna Townley-Cochran, Aditt Alcalay, Christine Milne, Stephanie Dale, Kathleen Tsuji, Ronald Leaf, Mitchell Taubman, and John McEachin
Abstract: The graduated reinforcement procedure (also known as differential reinforcement) is an often-used procedure in the field of Applied Behavior Analysis to teach new skills and increase pro-social behaviors. In this study, the researchers used a multi-element design to evaluated the graduated reinforcement procedure for six children with a diagnosis of autism by assessing a rate of responding task across three conditions: a graduated reinforcement condition, an all-or-none reinforcement condition, and a control (no reinforcement) condition. Results of the study were idiosyncratic to the participants. Due to the variability in responding to the graduated reinforcement procedure, this study calls into question the utility of this procedure when used with certain profiles of students to teach certain skills and to use future research to assess for variables in teaching which make the graduated reinforcement procedure effective.
The DADD Board of Directors supports the American Academy of Pediatrics Recommended Immunization Schedule for Persons Aged 0 through 18 years of age. Over two dozen epidemiological studies failed to identify a causal relationship between vaccinations and autism. The initial research that suggested such a relationship has been discredited. We recommend all families discuss vaccinations with their family health care provider on how best to maintain the health and safety of their child and those who cannot be immunized due to medical reasons.