Ziggurat Model

Designing Comprehensive Interventions for People with Autism

Interventions Must Consider Autism

The three areas we commonly address with Autism are social, restricted interests, and communication. The Ziggurat model goes beyond to include sensory, cognitive, motor differences, and emotional vulnerability. "One of the greatest challenges in designing interventions is the ability to see the autism." When uncertain, it is always better to intervene as if the behavior is related to the disability.

Theoretical Perspectives on Autism

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Context Blindness is a fourth emerging theory

a deficit in ability to use context spontaneously and subconsciously to determine meaning. This emerging theory emphasizes there may be weak cooperation between parts of the brain to help a person filter what is important in a scene, passage, conversation or other "context." "Nothing has a fixed meaning and nothing is of absolute importance." The context determines the meaning.
These theories are not mutually exclusive. The interrelationships among the theories help develop interventions.

Functional Behavior Assessment

We use traditional Functional Behavior Analysis with antecedent, behavior and consequence analysis of a behavior. We use the ABC iceberg to identify underlying strengths and needs related to autism.
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The Intervention Ziggurat

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Autism Spectrum Disorders are lifelong conditions that require intervention throughout the lifespan. Only when a basic level of health and comfort is established, reinforcement is available, the environment is made predictable through structure and visual/tactile supports, and task demands are carefully designed can skills be effectively taught and demonstrated.