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37 Cards in this Set

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Describe the DAS and its uses
The Differential Abilities Scales has two forms Preschool version (2.6-5.11) and a school age version (6-17.11). The DAS provides 3 major cluster scores that tap Verbal, Spatial, and Nonverbal abilities. The nonverbal Cluster can be used for students that have language or hearing barriers.
What is the CAS and it's uses?
The Cognitive Assessment System is based on the Luria model of information processing and cognitive Neuropsychological theory (PASS). The PASS model stands for Planning, Attention, Simultaneous, and Sequential Processing.
What is the Standford-Binet V?
Extended range from 2-85. The major domains are Fluid Reasoning, Knowledge, Quantitative reasoning, Visual-Spatial, and Working Memory.
What is the UNIT?
Universal Nonverbal Intelligence Test- It's a good choice when testing hearing impaired or non native English speakers. Major domains include complex memory, verbally mediated reasoning, and nonverbal problem solving.
Describe NASP's view of SLD
Specific learning disabilities are endogenous in nature, and are characterized
by neurologically-based deficits in cognitive processes;
 These deficits are specific, that is, they impact particular cognitive processes
that interfere with the acquisition of formal learning skills;
 Specific learning disabilities are heterogeneous—there are various types of
learning disabilities, and there is no single defining characteristic common to
all learning disabilities;
 Specific learning disabilities may co-exist with other disabling conditions (e.g.,
sensory deficits, language impairment, behavior problems), but are not due to
these conditions;
 Of children identified as having specific learning disabilities, the great majority
(over 80 percent) have a disability in the area of reading;
 The manifestation of a specific learning disability is contingent upon the type
of instruction, supports, and accommodations provided, and the demands of
the learning situation;
 Early intervention can reduce the impact of many learning difficulties;
 Specific learning disabilities vary in their degree of severity; and moderate to
severe learning disabilities can be expected to impact performance throughout
the lifespan.
How does Federal Law view learning disabilities?
Federal special education law (IDEA 2004) permits, but no longer requires, an abilityachievement
discrepancy as a criterion for SLD eligibility. This is in keeping with
recommendations by NASP (2003), and by the organizations, including NASP, that
comprised the LD Roundtable (2002). Alternative approaches to SLD identification
have been advanced, including: (1) use of a systematic process for determining
whether a student responds to evidence-based interventions in the regular classroom
environment, and (2) use of standardized tests to assess “basic psychological
processes.” The former is supported by language in IDEA 2004 stating that, in
identifying SLD, schools “may use a process which determines if a child responds to
scientific, research-based intervention as part of the evaluation procedures.” The
latter is supported by language in IDEA 2004 that defines a specific learning disability
as a disorder of “basic psychological processes.” In addition, IDEA 2004 allows for “the
use of other alternative research-based procedures for determining whether a child
has a specific learning disability.”
Describe a multi-tiered intervention model advocated by NASP.
NASP advocates the use of a multi-tiered model, as described below, that incorporates
relevant data from multiple sources of information. A multi-tiered model addresses
the learning needs of all children, including children with SLD. A multi-tiered model is
intended to provide for quality instruction in the general education classroom and
timely interventions in general education before a special education referral is
considered. While various versions have been proposed, the multi-tiered model
presented here is a widely used generic framework that offers many advantages.
Describe Tier 1 intervention
The basis of Tier 1 is the delivery of high quality instruction by a qualified
teacher using evidence-based instruction in the general education setting.
Teachers should implement a variety of research-supported teaching methods
and approaches. Teachers of culturally and linguistically diverse students
should use teaching methods and approaches that are research-supported for
these populations, and should receive the training they need to be qualified
teachers of diverse students. Universal screening of essential academic skills
should be conducted periodically to inform instruction and to identify students
who may require Tier 2 services. Students whose performance level and rate of
progress are deemed insufficient in Tier 1 should receive more intensive
evidence-based remediation services and/or individually designed interventions
in Tier 2. School psychologists can consult with teachers on evidence-based
instruction, universal screening, and criteria for evaluating academic progress.
Describe Tier 2 intervention
Targeted supplemental services for students whose performance and rate of
progress are below what is expected for their grade and educational setting.
Identified students receive additional strategies and supports that are designed
and implemented through collaborative efforts of general and special
education teachers, and support services personnel (e.g., school psychologists,
speech-language pathologists, remedial reading teachers). Multiple strategies
may be implemented at Tier 2, either concurrently or in succession. These
may involve remedial programs designed in consultation with school
psychologists to address common areas of academic difficulty (reading, written
language, math), as well as a problem-solving model through which school
psychologists and other educators review data, design and implement
interventions for individual students, and monitor intervention outcomes.
Assessment conducted at Tier 2 focuses on information needed to inform
interventions and understand the context of the presenting issues. Outcomes
on critical achievement variables are monitored to determine degree of
responsiveness. Judgments of degree of responsiveness take the student’s
cultural and/or linguistic diversity into account. Lack of satisfactory progress at
this point indicates the need for more intensive instruction and supports, which
may be implemented as another phase within general education, or addressed
by a referral for a special education evaluation because the student is
suspected of having a specific learning disability. For students with cultural
and/or linguistic diversity, lack of satisfactory progress may not constitute a
learning disability if the language of the Tier 2 services was not accessible for
the student or if the services were inappropriate for the student’s culture. If
the Tier 2 services needed to produce satisfactory outcomes are so intensive or
specialized as to approximate specialized instruction, this may warrant
consideration of SLD eligibility.
Describe Tier 3 Intervention
Intensive, individualized intervention that has been designed based upon
comprehensive evaluation data from multiple sources.
© 2007 National Association of School Psychologists, 4340 East West Highway, Suite 402,
Bethesda, MD 20814
Intensive, individualized intervention is provided in order to help the student
make substantial progress towards meeting grade level standards. The
intervention is designed based upon the results of comprehensive evaluation
data from multiple sources. The purpose of comprehensive Tier 3 assessment is
to provide information about the instructional interventions that are likely to
be effective for the student.
At this stage, given the clear need for more intensive, specialized services, a
special education evaluation is usually conducted. As described in IDEA 2004, a
multi-disciplinary evaluation includes a variety of assessments and other
evaluation methods that must not be discriminatory on a racial or cultural
basis; must be administered in the language and form most likely to yield
accurate information; are used for purposes for which the measures are valid
and reliable; are administered by trained and knowledgeable personnel and in
accordance with instructions provided by the producer; and encompass all
areas of suspected disability. In making a determination of eligibility, the
evaluation team also considers whether the determining factor is the lack of
appropriate instruction in reading, math, limited English proficiency, or
cultural differences. Evaluation teams should consider whether the multi-tiered
interventions and assessment techniques utilized are culturally sensitive and
adequately address the issues related to English Language Learners. The
purpose of the evaluation is to gather relevant functional, developmental, and
academic information, including information provided by the parent, to
determine the educational needs of the child and whether the child has a
specific learning disability.
NASP recommends that initial evaluation of a student with a suspected specific
learning disability includes an individual comprehensive assessment, as
prescribed by the evaluation team. This evaluation may include measures of
academic skills (norm-referenced and criterion-referenced), cognitive abilities
and processes, and mental health status (social-emotional development);
measures of academic and oral language proficiency as appropriate; classroom
observations; and indirect sources of data (e.g., teacher and parent reports).
Existing data from a problem-solving process that determines if the child
responds to scientific evidence-based intervention may be considered at the
time of referral, or new data of this type may be collected as part of the Tier 3
comprehensive evaluation. An eligibility determination should not be based on
any single method, measure, or assessment.
How does NASP recommend that the School Psychologist is involved with the Tier Intervention system?
At Tier 1, school psychologists can
© 2007 National Association of School Psychologists, 4340 East West Highway, Suite 402,
Bethesda, MD 20814
assist teachers with evidence-based instruction, behavioral interventions, periodic
screening of literacy skills, and criteria for evaluating academic progress. At Tier 2,
school psychologists should collaborate with general and special education teachers
and support services personnel to design and implement effective, evidence-based
strategies. This may be accomplished through active participation and leadership on
multidisciplinary teams and by consultative relationships. At Tier 3, school
psychologists work with other school personnel to consider programmatic options and
plan and conduct comprehensive evaluations to determine eligibility for special
education services and the educational needs of the child.
What is RTI?
RTI refers to specific procedures that align with the steps of problem solving. These steps include the implementation of evidence-based instructional strategies in the general education classroom and the frequent measurement of a student’s progress to determine if the intervention is effective. In settings where RTI is also a criteria for identification of disability, a student’s progress in response to intervention is an important determinant of the need and eligibility for special education services.
Name things to do and not do if a student commits suicide
Don't dismiss school or encourage funeral attendance during school hours
Don't dedicate a memorial to the deceased
Don't have a large school assembly
Do give the facts to the students
Do emphasize prevention and everyone's role
Do provide individual and group counseling
Do emphasize that no one is to blame for the suicide
Do emphasize that help is available and that there are alternatives to suicide
Do contact the family of the deceased
) to reduce the chances of anyone else committing suicide by avoiding glamorization of the deceased and 2) to assist staff and students with the grieving process. Post-vention activities provide an opportunity to teach students the warning signs of suicide so that further suicides can be prevented. It is also important that school personnel receive training to recognize symptoms of depression and warnings of suicide ideation among students well before a crisis occurs.
Describe ADHD and percentage of students that have this disorder
ADHD is a disruptive behavior disorder characterized by levels of inattention, impulsivity, and overactivity that are well beyond what is expected and appropriate for a given student’s sex and age. Students with ADHD may have difficulty concentrating on schoolwork, frequently interrupt conversations or activities, and have difficulty remaining seated when required to do so. Approximately 3%–7% of school-age children in the United States have this disorder. Children with ADHD typically first exhibit symptoms of this disorder during their preschool or early elementary school years, and it is highly likely that these symptoms will continue throughout their lives. Boys are three times more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD than girls.

There are three subtypes of ADHD: individuals who exhibit problems only with inattention and concentration (ADHD Predominantly Inattentive Type); individuals who exhibit problems only with hyperactivity and impulsivity (ADHD Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive Type); and individuals who exhibit problems in both areas (ADHD Combined Type). ADHD is not a learning disability nor is it a manifestation of bad parenting or an impoverished environment; however, other behavioral and emotional problems and many learning disorders include symptomatic behaviors that may mimic ADHD. A trained mental health professional must conduct a thorough evaluation to ensure an accurate diagnosis.
What are causes of ADHD?
It is likely that students differ with respect to the specific underlying cause of their ADHD symptoms. There is growing evidence that these symptoms are at least partially caused by genetic factors. Specifically, the brains of individuals with and without ADHD may differ with respect to the balance of certain chemicals, referred to as neurotransmitters, as well as the size and operation of specific brain components such as the prefrontal cortex. Further, other biological factors such as pregnancy and birth complications and environmental toxins (e.g., early lead exposure and prenatal exposure to alcohol and tobacco smoke) are thought to cause ADHD symptoms in some individuals.

Although genetic and biological factors account for ADHD symptoms to a large degree, environmental factors—such as the nature of classroom tasks and the behavior management style at home and school—also affect the expression of the disorder. Although these factors do not directly cause ADHD, they can make symptoms better or worse. In general, it is best to view this disorder as having both biological and environmental influences, thereby indicating that both medical and psychosocial treatments could be helpful.
What are the two most effective interventions for ADHD?
The two most effective interventions for reducing the symptomatic behaviors of ADHD are central nervous system (CNS) stimulant medications and behavior modification procedures. Although most adolescents respond positively to medication, the combined use of medication and behavioral interventions tends to yield the greatest improvement in their social skills and school performance.
Name some strategies for students with ADHD (according to NASP)
The most effective strategies for promoting school success in students with ADHD include both proactive strategies—procedures that are implemented before the student becomes disruptive or experiences failure—and reactive approaches—procedures that are used after a student exhibits a specific behavior.

The most effective reactive procedure is a written behavioral contract that specifies what the student is expected to do (i.e., responsibilities) and what the student will get if responsibilities are met (i.e., privileges at home or school).
Whenever possible, students with ADHD should be taught to monitor and evaluate their own behavior, particularly if they have been successful with more intrusive interventions, such as medication or behavioral contracts.
Classroom interventions for students with ADHD are most effective when implemented in schools that employ schoolwide behavior support plans for all students.
Instruction in effective ways to take notes, study for tests, and complete homework should be provided either during or after school.
Students with ADHD typically do not understand the connection between their school performance and their long-term futures. In-school group sessions coordinated by a school counselor or a school psychologist can help students understand their aptitudes and interests, develop long-term goals, and appreciate the importance that school success will have in meeting their long-term goals.
What are three things to keep in mind when talking about a suicide with a group of students?
It is important to be honest with students about the scope of the problem of youth suicide and the key role that everyone (including the student) plays in prevention.
It is important to balance being truthful and honest without violating the privacy of the suicide victim and his/her family and to take care not to glorify their actions.
It is important to have the facts of the incident, be alert to speculation and erroneous information that may be circulating and assertively, yet kindly, redirect students toward productive, healthy conversation.
What are some commonly asked questions after a suicide, and approproiate answers for students?
Why did he /she die by suicide? We are never going to know the answer to that question as the answer has died with him/her. The focus needs to be on helping you with your thoughts and feelings and everyone working together to prevent future suicides rather than explaining "why".

What method did they use to end their life? Answer specifically with information as to the method such as he/she shot herself or died by hanging but do not go into explicit details such as what was the type of gun or rope used or the condition of the body etc.

Why didn't God stop him/her? There are varying religious beliefs about suicide and you are all free to have your own beliefs. However, many religious leaders have used the expression "God sounded the alarm but could not stop him/her." God has embraced them yes, and he/she is in whatever afterlife you believe in, but God is actually saddened that he/she did not stay on this earth and do God's work over their natural lifetime."

What should I say about him/her now that they have made the choice to die by suicide? It is important that we remember the positive things about them and to respect their privacy and that of their family. Please be sensitive to the needs of their close friends and family members.

Didn't he/she make a poor choice and is it okay to be angry with them? They did make a very poor choice and research has found that many young people who survived a suicide attempt are very glad to be alive and never attempted suicide again. You have permission for any and all your feelings in the aftermath of suicide and it is okay to be angry with them.

Isn't someone or something to blame for this suicide? The suicide victim made a very poor choice and there is no one to blame. The decision to die by suicide involved every interaction and experience throughout the young person's entire life up until the moment they died and yet it did not have to happen. It is the fault of no one.

How can I cope with this suicide? It is important to remember what or who has helped you cope when you have had to deal with sad things in your life before. Please turn to the important adults in your life for help and share your feelings with them. It is important to maintain normal routines, proper sleeping and eating habits and to engage in regular exercise. Please avoid drugs and alcohol. Resiliency which is the ability to bounce back from adversity is a learned behavior. Everyone does the best when surrounded by friends and family who care about us and by viewing the future in a positive manner.

What is an appropriate memorial to a suicide victim? The most appropriate memorial is a living one such as a scholarship fund or contributions to support suicide prevention. The American Association of Suicidology cautions that permanent markers or memorials such as plaques or trees planted in memory of the deceased dramatize and glorify their actions. Special pages in yearbooks or school activities dedicated to the suicide victim are also not recommended as anything that glorifies the suicide victim will contribute to other teenagers considering suicide.

How serious is the problem of youth suicide? It is the third leading cause of death for teenagers and the eighth leading cause of death for all Americans. Approximately 30,000 Americans die by suicide each year.

What are the warning signs of suicide? The most common signs are the following: making a suicide attempt, verbal and written statements about death and suicide, fascination and preoccupation with death, giving away of prized possessions, saying goodbye to friends and family, making out wills, and dramatic changes in behavior and personality.

What should I do if I believe someone to be suicidal? Listen to them, support them and let them know that they are not the first person to feels this way. There is help available and mental health professionals such as counselors and psychologists have special training to help young people who are suicidal. Do not keep a secret about suicidal behavior and save a life by getting adult help as that is what a good friend does and someday your friend will thank you.

How does the crisis hotline work? We are very fortunate in Houston to have a certified crisis hotline that is available 24 hours a day and manned by trained volunteers. The number is 713-Hotline. There is also a national suicide hotline and that can be reached via 1-800-Suicide.

How can I make a difference in suicide prevention? Know the warnings signs, listen to your friends carefully, do not hesitate to get adult help and, remember that most youth suicides can be prevented. High school students can volunteer and be trained to answer the Teenline. Please, contact the Houston Crisis Hotline for more information. One person can make the difference and prevent a suicide!

Where can I go for more information about preventing suicide? Contact the American Association of Suicidology at or the Yellow Ribbon Suicide Prevention Program at
Name 8 assumptions of behaviorism
1. The primary means of investigating learning is by observation.
2. Principles of learning apply equally to different behaviors and to different species of animals. Behaviorists typically state that human beings and other animals learn in similar ways.

3. Learning processes can be studied most objectively when the focus of study is on stimuli and responses. Typically learning is described as a stimulus and response relationship, S = R.

4, Internal cognitive processes are largely excluded from scientific study.

5. Learning involves a behavior change. Some behaviorists proposed that if no observable change happens, then no learning has happened.

6. Organisms are born as blank slates. Organisms are not born with any predispositions to be made in certain ways. Since each organism has a different experience with the environment, each will have a different set of behaviors.

7. Learning is largely the result of environmental events. Behaviorists tend to use the term conditioning instead of learning to reflect this. The most useful theories tend to be universal ones.

8. The learning of all behavior is best explained by as few learning principles as possible.
Who was Pavlov?
Pavlov developed the theory known now as classical conditioning through the study of dogs. From his perspective learning begins with a stimulus response connection. In this theory a certain stimulus leads to a particular response.
Who was Thorndike
Thorndike introduced a theory of learning now called connectionism. Thorndike emphasized the role of experience in the strengthening and weakening of stimulus response connections. He postulated, "Responses to a situation that are followed by satisfaction are strengthened, responses that are followed by discomfort weakened. " Thorndike so proposed that practice influences s = r connections as well. His idea that rewards promote learning continues to be a key component of behaviorist theory today.
Who was Watson, and what was his theory of recency?
Watson introduced the term behaviorism and was a vocal advocate in the early part of the 20th century. Watson called for the use of scientific objectivity and experiment in to the study of psychological phenomena. He also proposed a law of frequency that stressed the importance of repetition.
"The more frequent a stimulus and response to occur in association with each other, the stronger that habit will become."
Watson's law of recency: "The response that has most recently occurred after a particular stimulus is the response most likely to be associated with that stimulus."
Edwin Guthrie's Theory?
Edwin Guthrie proposed a contiguity theory: "A stimulus that is followed by a particular response will, upon its recurrence, tend to be followed by the same response again. This stimulus response connection gains in its full strength on one trial." Guthrie conducted little research on his ideas; therefore doubt has been cast upon his theories through later research.
What was Clark Hull's theory?
Clark Hull introduced the idea that characteristics can be unique to different organisms. He also proposed that intervening variable unique to each organism and affects the strength of the response. He modified the stimulus response theory to stimulus organism response, S-O-R. One intervening variable influencing the occurrence of a response is habit strength. A second intervening variable is the organism’s drive, which is an internal state of arousal that motivates its behavior. Clark also proposed that inhibitory factors could decrease the likelihood of a response. He also proposed a habit family hierarchy, which means an organism will, when given the chance, usually choose the strongest response connected to the strongest habit.
What was BF Skinner's Theory and two of the laws he proposed?
Scanner is probably the best known psychologist in the behaviorist tradition. He proposed the theory of operant conditioning. Skinner spoke only about the strengthening of responses, not the strengthening of habits. Skinner used the term reinforcer instead of reward.
His most fundamental principle is his law of conditioning: "A response followed by a reinforcing stimulus is strengthened and therefore more likely to occur again. "

A second principle was his law of extinction: "A response that is not followed by a reinforcing stimulus is weakened and therefore less likely to occur again. "
Describe Pavlov's theory
Pavlov's experiment brought about the classical conditioning model. In this model there are three steps.
Step one: a neutral stimulus (NS) is given
Step two: the NS is combined with an unconditioned stimulus (UCS) which results in an unconditioned response (UCR).
Step three: a conditioned stimulus is created (CS) which results in a conditioned response (CR).

This classical conditioning model is applicable across many different organisms, it must be noted that it mainly works with lower level organisms, or at least works better. For human beings, classical conditioning can be used to explain fears and phobias that people develop. (Examples are: fear of the dark or loud noises in young children. Also: fear of failure may be another example of classical conditioning.)
Name 5 principles associated with classical conditioning
Extinction: a conditioned response will disappear over time when the conditioned stimulus is no longer presented.
Spontaneous recovery: sometimes there is the weak appearance of a previously extinguished response.

Stimulus generalization: this is when individuals respond in this same way to experience stimuli. For example, all fuzzy animals scaring a young child instead of just a fuzzy cat.

Stimulus discrimination: organisms can learn to discriminate between various stimuli.

Higher order conditioning: this is when a neutral stimulus can cause the conditioned response sense if it had been associated with the conditioned stimulus.
Describe Skinner's basic principals in operant conditioning:
Skinner’s basic principle of operant conditioning is as follows: a response followed by a reinforcer is strengthened and is therefore more likely to occur again. Skinner used the term reinforcer instead of reward to describe the consequence that increases the frequency of a behavior. A reinforcer is the stimulus that increases the frequency of a response it follows.
Three important conditions for operant conditioning:
The reinforcer must follow the response.
The reinforcer must follow immediately.
The reinforcer must be coupled with the response. This means that the reinforcer must be appropriate and linked to the response, a example, rewarding students in a class that deserve it versus rewarding all students because you feel sorry for some of the students.
Name three types of reinforcers
Positive reinforcement: involves the presentation of the stimulus after the response. Positive reinforcement has the effect of increasing the response.

Negative reinforcement: Negative reinforcement increases a response through the removal of the stimulus, usually an adverse or unpleasant one. For example, the removal of guilt or anxiety can be a very powerful negative reinforcer.

Punishment: Remember positive and negative reinforcement increasethe responses they follow. Punishment is likely to decrease those responses.
Name five factors that influence the effectivness of a reinforcer
Timing: It is very important that the reinforcement immediately follows the desired behavior.
Magnitude and appeal: The larger and more appealing the enforcer, the faster a response will be learned and the more frequently it will be displayed.

Consistency: Reinforcement needs to be consistent in relation to the desired action. This can be a one to one relationship, however it does not need to be always in this pattern. Reinforcement can occur with a ratio schedule, a variable ratio schedule, or an interval schedule.

Stimulus control: Students or organisms can learn when an appropriate response can be given after a stimulus, for example students know that is appropriate to leave class after the bell rings.

Stimulus generalization: Organisms can learn how to give a response to similar stimulus, thus the stimulus becomes generalized.
Name some criticisms and concerns of behaviorism
Attempts at changing behavior ignore cognitive factors that may be interfering with learning, such as a learning disability.

Reinforcement of particular predetermined behaviors sometimes interferes with maximal learning and performance over the long run. Students can perform along at a level where they get the minimum amount of work done to receive the reinforcement instead of being challenged to excel.

Extrinsic reinforcement of a behavior that already has an intrinsic motivation can affect the intrinsic motivation. For example a student who is intrinsically motivated to do superior work and becomes actually dependent on external rewards when that reward replaces the internal or intrinsic reward.

Possible effects of aversive stimuli: (1) Escape and (2) Avoidance of learning:

Students can learn how to escape or avoid behavior is that result in unpleasant responses. For example, if a student has very unpleasant experiences in test taking and resulting anxiety occurs, the student can learn how to avoid taking tests. This can be skipping school on days of tests, or disruptive behavior. Whenever such stimuli are presented repeatedly, and an organism cannot avoid or escape or otherwise end the stimuli, the organism will eventually give up and passively accept those stimuli. This is the phenomenon of learned helplessness. People exhibit these symptoms when they cannot control the occurrence of aversive events. Learned helplessness has been postulated as an explanation of clinical depression.
What are the disadvantages of using punishment as a reinforcer.
A punished behavior is not eliminated, is only suppressed.
Punishment sometimes leads to an increase in the punished behavior because students get more attention when being punished.
The student might not recognize the punishment being linked to a specific behavior.
Punishment can often result in undesirable emotional responses and may even lead to escape or avoidance behaviors.
Punishment may lead to aggression.
Punishment does not illustrate the correct behavior.
Punishment may even cause physical or psychological harm.
"Why should we use ABA and not another approach when working with children with autism?"
ABA is DATA driven. It is a dynamic approach to changing behavior that is based on analysis of the data. Data is taken every time work is done with a student, and changes to teaching strategies can be made based on that data - that day! It is generalizable. It has been proven to generate behavior change that LASTS. Most importantly, it is supported by years of research. There is a reason ABA has come up in the discussion of teaching children with autism for the last 30 years...because it WORKS. Keep this in mind in your search for ways to help your child.
You say ABA is based on behaviorism. When I think of behaviorism, I think of B.F. Skinner and his research with teaching rats to push levers! How does that possibly relate to my student?"
Well, ABA is the application of behavioristic principles to behaviors of social significance. ABA uses the science of behaviorism to change measurable behaviors that have significance to the participants involved, in a way that demonstrates a functional relationship (i.e., that the changes in one variable reliably led to changes in another), and which uses effective, completely and precisely defined procedures to generate behavior change that lasts over time. We can systematically change behaviors that are important for the child, and show that the methods we used were the cause of the change.
"What is discrete trial instruction?"
Discrete trial instruction (DTI) is a special form of teaching used to maximize learning for students who struggle with more traditional methods, and who require repetition to learn. DTI relies heavily on the antecedents and consequences of behavior. DTI differs from other instructional methods because it relies heavily on intensity and structure. It is designed to be a formal, exact unit of teaching. During teaching sessions, one must create multiple moments of teaching.
Are discrete trial training and ABA the same thing?
There is a WIDESPREAD misconception (even by many people in the field!!) that ABA and discrete trial instruction are the same thing. They are not. Discrete trial instruction is just one of many teaching strategies that utilizes the principles of ABA. There are many other ABA teaching strategies. It is important not to “jump on the bandwagon” of new teaching strategies. What IS important is to teach with data-based, empirically validated teaching strategies. The following is taken from the description of services provided by Douglass Outreach and I feel that it represents a comprehensive ABA program incorporating:

· functional analysis

· antecedent interventions

· functional communication training

· discrete trial instruction

· incidental teaching

· precision teaching/fluency based intervention

· natural environment training

· task analysis

· any other DATA-BASED, empirically validated treatment strategies

· curricula incorporating a developmental checklist, the Assessment of Basic Language and Learning Skills (ABLLS), and B.F. Skinner’s classifications of verbal behavior