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Chapter 12 By Meg Lipper ABA 553 Assessing Autism Interventions.

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1 Chapter 12 By Meg Lipper ABA 553 Assessing Autism Interventions

2 Author: Thomas Zane, Ph.D, BCBA Founder and director of the Center for Applied behavior Analysis at The Sage Colleges in Troy, NY Masters in Psychology at Western Michigan University Doctorate in Applied behavior Analysis at West Virginia University Licensed psychologist in NY and MA Teacher training Staff development *Evidence based practice in Autism

3 Introduction Parents of children with autism and other developmental and learning disabilities are often confronted by an overwhelming selection of treatment options, most of which are not scientifically validated. Fads Can Be Harmful o Waste Time o Waste Money o Falsely raises hope and expectations o Distract from effective treatments

4 Concerns About Pseudoscience Set of ideas based on theories put forth as scientific when they are not scientific -The Skeptics Dictionary (http://skepdic.com/pseudosc.html) Not actively promoted, but it is tolerated Consistent : revolving door of Fad Treatments Wacky or Novel Often fail to effectively educate children with developmental disabilities

5 Why are Fads Adopted as Treatments? Consumers in the field may lack o Education o Have lower criterion for what they consider a valid treatment

6 Why are Fads Adopted as Treatments? Recommendation by pediatrician or other doctor School Other parents Media – Positive Public Recognition: Internet, Books, Television Do you think these sources reliably recommend interventions based on the objectivity of the evidence?

7 Why are Fads Adopted as Treatments? Parents are in a vulnerable position -Doing Something is better than doing nothing -When parents are dedicated and enthusiastic they except claims without validation. Worrall (1990) suggested that because of the need to help students with learning and behavioral problems, there is a pressure to try any technique or strategy for which there is even minimal proof or logic to suggest effectiveness.

8 The Cost of Special Education Fads Waste money that could be put towards instructional programs that have been proven effective with empirical evidence $1,200 per pupil school year $12,474 per pupil NJ, $15,000 o NJ Coalition for Special Education Funding Reform o Not updated nationwide due to funding

9 The Cost of Special Education Fads I'm afraid the most current national SE expenditure data is what you have so at least you can say with confidence that it is the latest available. The reason that the data have not been updated is that we don't have the funding from the government that we had for the study. I have developed a personnel-based index to provide an estimate of comparative special education resource allocations across states. It does not provide a dollar amount, as in 99/00, but is a basis for comparing states. If this is of possible interest, I can send it - Tom Tom Parrish, Ed.D. Managing Research Scientist American Institutes for Research 2800 Campus Drive, Suite 200 San Mateo, CA

10 The Cost of Special Education Fads IDEA – Individuals with Disabilities Education Act o Federal law established 1974 o Regardless of Federal and State funding, public schools are obligated and must provide a free and appropriate education for every child with a disability. o This law states that all educational treatments must be empirically validated. o Law requires schools to create IEPs to meet the needs of each student classified as disabled.

11 Popular Un-validated Treatments Cognitive Skills and Academics o Irlen lenses Reading Recovery Whole Language Autism o CST (Craniosacral Therapy) o FC (Facilitated Communication) o AIT (Auditory Integration Therapy)

12 Cognitive Skills & Academics US department of education (2000) states more than ½ of students labeled with a learning disability have serious reading deficiencies. Irlen lenses -also known as The Irlen Method o Founded by Helen Irlen Use of colored overlays and filters to improve the brains ability to process visual information.

13 Irlen lenses There is skepticism that scotopic sensitivity syndrom (The Irlen Syndrom) even exists (weiss 1990). Lack of comprehensive research data

14 Reading Recovery Short term intervention of one on one tutoring for first graders with an under developed reading skill repertoire. lowest – achieving first graders 30 minute lesson each school day o weeks o Trained reading recovery teacher

15 Whole Language Non-traditional Non-phonics based o Does not focus on specific skills Children need direct instruction Whole language is learner-centered (Goodman, 1989), in that the student is the focus, not the content of the instruction.

16 Autism ASD –including Asperger, Autism, and PDD o CST (Craniosacral Therapy) o FC (Facilitated Communication) o AIT (Auditory Integration Therapy) Other Treatments o Educational - ABA, Developmental Education o Medical - Sensory Diet, Secretin o Physical - Sensory Integration

17 Craniosacral Therapy Also known as: o Cranial Manipulative Therapy o Neural Organizational Technique o Craniopathy Gentle strategy that focuses on changing, through physical manipulation, the craniosacral system of the body, consisting of the cerebrospinal fluid that envelopes the brain and is contained in the spinal cord.

18 Craniosacral Therapy CST apparently can do it all. o Autism o Learning disabilities, dyslexia o ADHD, emotional difficulties o Infantile disorders, colic, bedwetting o Post-traumatic stress disorders o Orthopedic problems o Traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries o Color blindness. (Ferreri &Wainwright, 1985: Upledger, n.d.)

19 Craniosacral Therapy Any method related to chiropractic therapy is considered to be lacking a strong research base regarding effectiveness and should be judged as potentially harmful to children with autism (Gleberzon & Rosenberg- Gleberzon, 2001).

20 Communication and Language Augmentative & Alternative Communication Intervention (e.g.; light,1999) Uses procedures which include: o Sign language o Computers and other electronic speaking devices o Facilitated Communication o PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System)

21 Communication and Language Facilitated Communication o Augmentative communication fad o Little empirical evidence to support effectiveness o No Benefit, doesnt work Consists of individuals tapping on a keyboard with a facilitator holding their arm, shoulder, or wrist.

22 Auditory Integration Therapy Listen to music through headphones Digitally modified Eliminate sound frequencies o 20 Sessions o 30 Minutes each

23 Auditory Integration Therapy Gravel (1994) pointed out that there is in fact, no difference in hearing sensitivities between children with and without autism. Researchers have used placebo treatment along with AIT and showed that AIT is no more effective than listening to regular music or no music at all (Yencer, 1998; Zollweg, Vance, & Palm, 1997).

24 Minimizing Fads in the Future Everyone in the Field o Special Education Teachers o Teacher Trainers o Psychologists o Therapists o All other Professionals Training o Need to be trained in the scientific method, and how to use educational strategies that have empirical basis.

25 Questions or Comments?

26 Reference Jacobson, J.W., Foxx, R.M., & Mulick, J.A., (2005). Controversial therapies for developmental disabilities, fad, fashion, and science in professional practice. Lawrence Erlbaum.


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