Wednesday, February 8, 2017

February 2017

February 2017

Cold Probe Data

By now you have received progress reports from your child’s teacher that indicate how many items or skills your child has “mastered.” This may leave you wondering how we decide when something is learned or “mastered.”
Skills targeted for teaching are “probed” or checked each day, relatively close to the start of your child’s school day, before those skills are worked on for the day. School staff present the targeted items and write down whether the student responded correctly or incorrectly. Students must respond correctly on the first try for the response to be scored as correct. When the student responds correctly on the set number of consecutive days (usually 3), the skill is considered mastered and a new target is chosen for teaching. Teaching occurs using the errorless teaching procedures described in our January newsletter.

When a student masters a skill, that skill is tracked on a skill tracking sheet, and the student’s graphs are updated to include the newly mastered skill. The total number of skills or items mastered are then reported to parents using progress reports or other means such as communication sheets and/or graphs.

Operant of the Month


Repeating or copying someone else’s motor movement. (Doing what you see someone else doing).

Ex. the student sees someone clap their hands, student claps hands, student is reinforced with general reinforcement (praise, treat, etc)
Individuals often look to the behavior of others in order to figure out how to do something or what they should be doing. Developing the ability to imitate others allows students to learn indirectly by copying a model. 

Important dates:
2/8/17: 2 hour data delay
2/16/17: Spartan Dress Down Day with $1 donation 
2/17/17: Act 80 Day: Teacher in-service day/No School for students
2/20/17: President's Day: No school for Teachers or Students

Thursday, November 3, 2016

October 31- November 4

This week have begun our new monthly lesson about taking care of yourself when you are sick. The unit provides lessons and activities about taking care of yourself when you’re sick and determining when you need to see a doctor. 

Instructional targets of this lesson are:
Reading: Build word recognition within daily living and vocational materials. Understand and apply vocabulary related to community, daily living and vocational situations. Appreciate the value of print material such as newspaper and magazines for informational and pleasure readings.

Community: Effectively ask and respond to questions within community, daily living and vocational activities. 

Daily living: Recognize and apply appropriate health habits and practices, including nutrition, fitness
and health care. 

Topic words: better, eat, doctor, feel, sick, take

Literacy words: book, title, illustration/picture, questions, why, story, author, read, what, where, cover, illustrator, answer, who. 

Members of the autism community know more than anyone, how important it is to have support. Often, support can come from value information in print. Below are some suggested reading materials regarding A.S.D. 

Monday, October 17, 2016

October 17-21, 2016

This week will address the topic of looking your best as presented in the unit titled, “Dress for Success.” The unit provides lessons and activities about the importance of looking your best to make a good first impression including activities in the Transition Passport: Personal Life, Community and Daily Living/Evaluation Tools. As we assist our young adults in the transition from school to work, it is necessary that they receive training in grooming and self-care skills. Grooming and self-care skills begin with knowing about yourself, your responsibilities and how to look your best. This unit will provide our young adults with the tools needed to learn about how to dress for success and make a good first impression.

  •  The unit stories help young adults learn the importance of choosing clothes that fit and  match to help you look your best. In the first story, a young man is trying to choose an outfit for an interview. With help from his sister he is able to choose an outfit that matches and is appropriate for the activity. In the second story, a young lady is going shopping for a new shirt. She tries on several shirts to determine her size and what fits best. Three articles offer more information and activities that give our young adults the opportunity to learn about choosing clothes that fit, how to match your outfit, and how to look your best to make a good first impression.

We are well on our way with our Verbal Behavior program and we are already seeing great gains with it! A major part of the programs success is base on Positive Reinforcement. 

What is Positive Reinforcement?

Reinforcement is a change in the environment following a behavior that increases the future probability of that behavior occurring under similar circumstances

Reinforcement ALWAYS INCREASES the probability of behavior (it doesn’t matter if the reinforcement is positive or negative)

Positive Reinforcement - something is added or gained that increases the probability of the behavior occurring again.

Negative Reinforcement - something is removed or taken away that increases the probability of the behavior occurring again.

Remember that reinforcement can consist of almost any event; do not think of reinforcement as being just something that is given to the child.  Any event that follows a behavior and makes that behavior more likely to occur in the future is reinforcement.

What does it mean to pair with reinforcers?

We offer reinforcers (valuable items/activities) to the child before working on any instructional demands. This means that staff deliver the reinforcers when the child is approaching them and/or remaining in their proximity without demanding anything of the child other than to not engage in problem behavior.

When pairing is done properly, kids want to be around us! They don’t mind working with us when the time comes, because a history of positive reinforcement has been established. The adults are seen as “givers”, a source of good things.

The result of pairing should be approach behavior!!

What is approach behavior?

Approach behavior refers to any behavior (movement and/or vocalization) of the child that indicates they want to be with you.

If we’re having fun, the students will be having fun and will want to be with us.  It is easier to teach someone who wants to be with us rather than someone who wants to run away from us.

Though no demands are placed at first, reinforcers are contingent (dependent) on approach behavior… the student has to look at us, or walk by us, or allow us to walk by him/her to get the reinforcer.  We do not chase… that would reinforce “walking away” behaviors!

When we start assessing and working with the students we need to assess their preferences.  Things the student prefers may serve as reinforcers.  You will be asked to fill out a Reinforcer Assessment in the beginning of the year.  There are many different reinforcer assessments available.