Journal Article Review #2

Collaborative Activity

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Applied Behavioral Analysis (VIDEO)


The information about Applied Behavioral Analysis has given me more knowledge about how early therapists can start training children with autism. Training is for dogs, but training for children with autism is teaching them from the beginning words, parts of the face, gestures, and so much more. The video helped me realize how a program can be so beneficial to a child. It was amazing to see the boys in the video, Jake and Andrew their differences and progress from the program. This shows that there are ways to teach children with autism to be a part of the community and socialize with others. It takes a lot of time and practice to learn and remember how to say words and much more, but over time there is success.



I always believed the children with autism were capable of so much more than most people in the community seem to believe. I worked with autistic children and I have seen them grow so much in just one school year. With consistency and great reinforcement, any child can overcome the obstacles and learn to be a part of the community and be like their peers. In the video it shows Jake, who took months and months to learn how to respond, then actually do what was requested of him, and finally, he said words and sentences. He achieved beyond what was expected. He is in the regular school and is in sports just like any normal child. Andrew is still receiving applied behavioral analysis because his language skills are very limited. He gets frustrated very easily and can have temper tantrums. He varies from day to day on what he is able to say. Some days he can say the words he wants to express and other days he cannot express his thoughts. He is a teenager today and is struggling with language still. The big concern for Andrew is when he becomes an adult because resources are limited for adults with autism. I believe he will continue to grow and show progress by the time he is an adult. He will be able to go to a group home where he will be able to receive support and be able to live independently. .



I will apply what I have learned into my future career as a teacher as well as now during my paraprofessional career. I work with bilingual special education students with different disabilities. I currently do not work with autistic children, but I will be able to encourage reinforcement, motivation, encouragement, and lots of love to my students now and in the future. This video opened my eyes to great potential in students with disabilities and how much some programs are worth the effort and time to see progression in the end.

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Developing Effective Behavior Intervention Plan

The article Developing Effective Behavior Intervention Plans: Suggestions for School Personnel, expanded my knowledge regarding assessment and the intervention process for children with autism spectrum disorder by discussing the use for functional behavior assessment and how they help to structure behavior intervention plans. Behavioral difficulties that interfere with a student's school performance have long been a challenge for educators. The Federal government have design mandatory programs for students with disabilities with behavior concerns that interfere with their learning. The development of appropriate, efficient, and effective interventions help with the students’ academic learning and social skills.


Based on my current views of children with Autism spectrum disorder, the information in the article read supports my beliefs and practices regarding behavior. I have always felt that a child’s learning is not just based on only cognitive ability, children have to also be able to socialize appropriately to benefit from a good education. I feel that this cannot be done by teaching a child academically we have to approach the child in a more holistic since. I think the federal government’s reauthorization of the 1997 IDEA to require educators to implement behavior intervention plans for students with disabilities was in the best interest of the students. According to the article, “These plans consider the relationship between student learning and behavior problems that impede classroom performance. Behavior intervention plans outline strategies and tactics for dealing with the problem behavior along with the role that educators must play in improving student learning and behavior. Although many students respond positively to conventional classroom behavior management strategies (e.g., establishing classroom rules, redirection) many others require specially designed interventions to address the relationship between learning and behavior” (2008).


Some ways to apply the knowledge gained from reading this article and collaborates with team member to support the needs of children with ASD is to follow best practices when conducting a functional behavioral assessment. Although each child is different there are specific steps that should be followed when assessing a child which are:


Identify the behavior(s) that needs be modified, decide where and when the behaviors happen, pinpoint what may contribute to the behaviors (collaborate with multidisciplinary team to get other view points), collect data on behavioral occurrences from all possible sources, create a hypothesis or reason as to why the behavior is happening and then identify other behaviors that serve the same purpose for the child, then the hypothesis is tested with positive interventions that are written into the child’s IEP, finally the multidisciplinary team will evaluate the success of the intervention and make any necessary changes (Developing Effective Behavior Intervention Plans, 2008).

A Global Public Health Strategy for ASD

This article talks about the challenges that poor countries are facing when it comes to researches on autism and also its diagnosis. It shows that contrarily to developed countries like those in North America and Western Europe, Low and Medium Income Countries (LMIC) do not have the capabilities to improve autism awareness, its identification, and services to individuals with autism due to the lack of technology and other cultural barriers. In addition, this article tells that the prevalence of ASD in the U.S. and UK was 1% of children (article published in 2012), but recognizes that the prevalence varies among countries. It also suggests that in many parts of the world, including in the US, many cases of ASD could have gone undetected, and I think that this was true at the time of the study since to date statistics show that in the U.S. 1 in 68 children have ASD. (CDC, 2015). As a person coming from a low income part of the world, I agree with this article about the majority of ASD cases still going undiagnosed because I never heard of a case of autism in my country of origin, and really nobody was talking about the matter when I was still living there 4 years ago.


Authors of this article also report efforts that are made in some LMIC to help increase awareness and diagnose of this disorder. Difficulties encountered are language related and also culture related; how to adapt assessments and interventions that are already in use in developed countries to the particular situations of these LMIC. For the specific situation of Albania for example, after translating the M-CHART and ADOS-G from English to Albanian, and being able to diagnose children with autism they had to translate interventions also in Albanian, and finally train parents and therapist to administrate those interventions. Interventions had to focus on the core issues confronted by children with ASD. Among these issues, parents and therapists were trained on “teaching joint attention, increasing eye contact and social engagement in the natural environment, reading emotional states in others and more complex perspective skills” (Wallace, S. et al, 2012) confirming the importance of teaching communication skills to individuals with ASD who are not able to develop these skills on their own.


This article reminds me of the differences we can see among individuals who have access to health care and those who have not. It is clear that developing countries do not have the finances and also the technology they need to make the diagnosis and treatment of autism accessible to all individuals who need them. However, in developed countries like U.S., there are still children from the minorities or those who come from low income or poor families who do not have the opportunity to get early diagnosis for ASD. For this reason, as special educators, we need to pay attention to every detail that could lead us to a diagnosis making it possible for children to have access to interventions as soon as possible.

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Challenges In Evaluating Psychosocial Interventions for ASD

This article offers different perspectives on the challenges that psychosocial, behavioral and educational interventions for children with ASD face today and how to overcome barriers for the growth and development of the field. Because of the many variations of ASD and the many features that differ from other psychiatric disorders a comprehensive assessment is key in the diagnosis and treatment of ASD and in the identification of the individual's needs. Also, due to the pervasiness of the disorder and its very early onset during childhood, the selection of treatments and interventions must be as comprehensive as the disorders are pervasive, and they must start as early as behaviors are recognized.


Traditional 1 h a week treatments for language or social skills or behavior used in the US mental health system are rarely sufficient to produce generalizable improvements in core areas of ASD (Lord, et.al., 2005). Since there is no medication for the core deficits of ASD the interventions are mainly through families and education. The early intervention with children with ASD not only benefit the children but also saves costs of treatment since the earlier the intervention the more effective the results.


Still research requires more studies and research that need to be planned in a way that accurate and measurable results are obtained. Research designs should initially focus on specific target behaviors and then study the relationship between the targeted behavior and predictions of changes in general development. Despite these challenges the work done to date has contributed with much useful information available about how to teach and work with individuals with ASD. These information is available for classroom teachers and families to make modifications and employ strategies that help students modify their behaviors into more adaptive ones that help them communicate and solve problems.

Functional Assessment of Problem Behavior in Children

This article describes 32 outpatient cases and the assessment of behavioral problems during their regular day. The children were ranging from 2 - 12 years old and included those with autism, Asperger's disorder or pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified. The article talks about the problems behaviors such as aggression or tantrums or self-injury and goes on to discover that these behaviors are not being reinforced properly. At the time the negative behavior occurs, the student engaging receives positive social attention from others and therefor does not realize the behavior is unwanted. It was interesting to see how behaviors such as escape were more common amongst children with ASD as compared to those with PDD NOS or Asperger's disorder.


This article supports my beliefs on the use of differentiated strategies for children diagnosed with ASD or Asperger's syndrome. This study shows how these 32 cases were observed during problematic behavior times amongst their peers. The problematic behaviors was caused by stimuli in their environment that changed what the student was doing to begin with. For example during a child's playtime or work time the child was asked to stop at that instant. I always have believed in using more indirect techniques when dealing with children who are diagnosed with ASD because they need more time to process the order and to think about what they should be doing. This study shows that without proper reinforcement, negative behaviors will never be changed.


The finding that children with Asperger's disorder or PDD-NOS seem less likely than children with autism to display escape-maintained problem behavior was interesting to me and could be used when discussing techniques that would be useful during class time with other educators. These children may be better equipped to deal with demands and be more likely to have a socially appropriate escape response in their repertoire. Therefore we should try to encourage these students in different ways that will help other in class, such as encouraging their behaviors when in class so others may see what the correct behavior should be.

References

CDC. (2015). Autism Spectrum Disorder. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/data.html


Developing Effective Behavior Intervention Plans: Suggestions for School Personnel. (2008,

January).Intervention in School and Clinic, 43(3), Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/211749857?accountid=35812


Lord, C., Wagner, A., Rogers, S., Szatmari, P., Aman, M., Charman, T., et al. (2005). Challenges in evaluating psychosocial interventions for Autistic Spectrum Disorders... including commentary by Schopler E. Journal of Autism & Developmental Disorders, 35(6), 695-711.


Love, J. R., Carr, J. E., & Leblanc, L. A. (2009). Functional assessment of problem behavior in children with autism spectrum disorders: A summary of 32 outpatient cases. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 39(2), 363-72. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10803-008-0633-z


Measuring Success in Treatment for Autism. Films On Demand. Films Media Group, 2005. Web. 12 Oct. 2015. <http://digital.films.com/PortalPlaylists.aspx?aid=7967&xtid=35410>.


Wallace, S., Fein, D., Rosanoff, M., Dawson, G., Hossain, S., Brennan, L., & ... Shih, A. (2012). A global public health strategy for autism spectrum disorders. Autism Research: Official Journal Of The International Society For Autism Research, 5(3), 211-217. doi:10.1002/aur.1236


Learning Team B

Sarah Rodriguez

Kecia Rawls

Azaratou Awale

Nitza Dalmau

Tim Walker