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Using Visual Supports for Children with Autism

presented by Ilene Schwartz

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Disclosure Statement:

Financial: Ilene Schwartz receives compensation from MedBridge for this course. There is no financial interest beyond the production of this course.

Non-Financial: Ilene Schwartz has no non-financial interests or relationships with MedBridge.

Satisfactory completion requirements: All disciplines must complete learning assessments to be awarded credit, no minimum score required unless otherwise specified within the course.

MedBridge is committed to accessibility for all of our subscribers. If you are in need of a disability-related accommodation, please contact support@medbridgeed.com. We will process requests for reasonable accommodation and will provide reasonable accommodations where appropriate, in a prompt and efficient manner.

Accreditation Check:
Visual supports are one evidence-based practice used to prevent challenging behaviors and teach functional alternatives to replace them. The use of visual supports can assist clients with autism and related disabilities by providing them with alternative ways to receive the information they need to be successful in activities and daily routines. The purpose of this course is to provide a framework for using visual supports across settings and instructional situations and to provide examples of how SLPs, OTs, and PTs can integrate these strategies into their practice.

Meet Your Instructor

Ilene Schwartz, PhD, BCBA-D

Dr. Ilene Schwartz is a professor in the Area of Special Education at the University of Washington and the Director of the Haring Center for Research and Training in Education at UW.  She earned her Ph.D. in child and developmental psychology from the University of Kansas and is a board certified behavior analyst (BCBA-D). Dr. Schwartz has…

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

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1. Why Visual Supports are an Important Instructional Tool

Many clients with ASD have receptive language disorders and difficulty processing verbal and auditory information. Temple Grandin, an adult with ASD who is an ASD advocate and professor in animal sciences, says that people with ASD “think in pictures.” This chapter will introduce visual supports as an instructional tool and describe why they are important to the education of clients with ASD.

2. Developing Effective Visual Supports

Like any other effective instructional practice, the use of visual supports in any setting must be intentional. By intentional, we mean that visual supports should be individualized, be designed to accomplish a specific goal, aid in clarifying the expectations, and be paired with direct instruction. This chapter will describe issues that should be addressed when developing potential tasks for visual supports.

3. Framework for Using and Evaluating Visual Supports

Using visual supports is only effective if implemented appropriately. This chapter will review guidelines for using visual supports most effectively. These guidelines include: Brainstorm, Teach, Embed, Fade, and Evaluate.

4. Case Examples – Visual Supports at Work

In this section we will provide vignettes of clients across settings, ages, and developmental domains who demonstrate behaviors that can be addressed by adding visual supports. The instructor will work through the guidelines presented above to demonstrate the decision making process used to design and evaluate the appropriate visual supports for a variety of clients.

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Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is the most evidence-based approach to providing treatment to clients with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). As the prevalence of ASD continues to increase (current prevalence rate is 1 in 68), almost all therapists will have at least some clients with ASD on their caseload. Therefore, basic knowledge about the principles of ABA is becoming required content for SLPs, OTs, and PTs. This course will provide a basic primer about what ABA is and how the principles of ABA can be used in conjunction with therapy practices to enhance outcomes for clients with ASD.

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Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is the most researched and effective strategy to work with clients with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). ABA is the application of behavioral principles to solve socially important problems. Therapists from multiple disciplines can use behavioral strategies to enhance the effectiveness of their therapeutic interactions with client with ASD. The purpose of this course to provide an outline of the basic instructional strategies most associated with behavioral interventions and to provide examples of how SLPs, OTs, and PTs can integrate these strategies into their practice.

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Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is the most researched and effective strategy to use with clients with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Instructional strategies based on ABA have been demonstrated to be effective in teaching behavior across developmental domains, including communication. Since communication differences are one of the core deficits associated with ASD, effective strategies to facilitate communication are of interest to all professionals working with clients with ASD. This course will provide information about four instructional techniques that have been shown to be effective in promoting increased quality and quantity of communication in clients with ASD.

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