Services and Resources
There are several different models of interventions for ASD. Many of the educational and communication approaches focus on replacing dysfunctional behaviours and developing specific skills. There are also other interventions such as biomedical or dietary treatments. The effectiveness of some approaches has been supported by scientific research. Other newer or alternative therapies may not have been scientifically evaluated but have been reported to have produced benefits for some individuals.
ABA uses a variety of assessment and intervention methods in order to change behaviour and teach skills. ABA interventions involve breaking a task down into small steps and teaching each of those steps to the child. ABA is not necessarily intensive nor is it restricted to autism or to young children. It can be used in a broad range of situations by a variety of individuals.
Discrete Trial Teaching (DTT) is a teaching method that was pioneered by Lovaas in the 1960s and can be used in ABA programs. Children are presented with a brief instruction or question and given a “prompt” (a clue or the answer) to help them answer correctly and receive a reward. If they get the wrong answer, they are provided with the correct one. Data is collected and progress is evaluated on an ongoing basis.
Intensive Behaviour Intervention (IBI) or Early Intensive Behavioural Intervention (EIBI) is a general term which to describe behavioural therapies that are intensive. One-on-one therapy is provided by trained therapists. This method is frequently used with young children.
Developed in the early 1970's by Eric Schopler, the TEACCH approach focuses on the person with autism and the development of a program around this person's skills, interests, and needs. TEACCH emphasizes individualized assessment and adopting appropriate adaptations.
The DIR (Developmental, Individual-Difference, Relationship-Based)/Floortime model was developed by Stanley Greenspan. It is a treatment method and a philosophy for interaction with children (and adults as well). Floortime focuses on helping children master the building blocks of relating, communicating and thinking, at the child’s current developmental level.
The Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) was developed in 1985 as an augmentative training program to help children and adults with autism and other communication deficits to initiate communication. It uses ABA-based methods to teach the person to exchange a picture for something they want, like an item or an activity. PECS does not require complex or expensive materials. It was created with educators, resident care providers and families in mind, and so it is readily used in a variety of settings. The materials can be purchased, or they can be made at home using images from newspapers, magazines or other books.
Pyramid Educational Consultants of Canada, Inc.
2274 Lawrence Avenue Suite B, Etobicoke, Ontario M9P 2A6
Tel.: (416) 546-PECS (7327)
E-mail : [email protected]
Home website of Pyramid Educational Consultants, a U.S.-based company offering PECS-related resources and training.
The SCERTS™ Model (Social Communication, Emotional Regulation and Transactional Support) was developed out of 25 years of research and clinical/educational practice by Dr. Barry Prizant and a multidisciplinary team of professionals. It combines functional language therapy, social skill development through Greenspan’s floor-time approach, sensory integration therapy, and support to the family. It focuses on the core deficits of ASD and is a comprehensive model that can be applied in a variety of settings for children with a range of abilities.