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The SCERTS Model Barry M. Prizant, Amy Wetherby, Emily Rubin

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1 The SCERTS Model Barry M. Prizant, Amy Wetherby, Emily Rubin
A comprehensive educational approach for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders Charlotte Edwards, PsyD Tanya Kim, MA New Connections Academy 2007

2 Domains of the SCERTS Model Interdependent Trio
Social Communication Emotional Regulation Transactional Support WHY? Used at home, school, anywhere Used along with other methods Follows development: directly addresses the core developmental challenges & places learning within the context of natural environments (OT, SPEECH, nature hikes) ASK WHY these 3 domains? And collect answers. IMPORTANCE: SC: Although diagnostic schemes have evolved and changed over the years (like Attwood said), 2 criteria have remained constant: 1. the development of social-communicative abilities 2. development of social relationships ER: The inabilities to express themselves in the social realms Uncomfortable, etc comes off as looking like conduct disorder or commorbities, etc. TS: support is ongoing… many kids’ parents are most concerned about transitioning into real life and how much support they will need. We are the support/ transactional partners. Support is also needed across settings to be consistent in every day activities.

3 Why SCERTS Ongoing debate about what is most important to teach and what are the most effective methodologies for teaching children with ADS Recent review of two decades of research on educational interventions for children with Autism concluded there is no evidence that any one approach is more effective than another

4 Why cont Most important, the panel argued for the introduction of a new dynamic approach to include educational priorities to include, functional spontaneous communication, development of social relationships and play skills with peers and acquisition of functional abilities in meaningful activities The authors believe these priorities are fully consistent with the SCERTS model

5 SCERTS Social Communication Emotional Regulation Transactional Support
Recognized that the most meaningful learning experiences in childhood occur in everyday activities within the family and school contexts Framework is designed to target priority goals in social communication (SC) and emotional regulation (ER) by implementing transactional supports (TS) throughout a child’s daily activities and across social partners

6 SCERTS Respects and infuses expertise from a variety of disciplines
Regular and special education Speech-language pathology Occupational Therapy Psychology Social Work Medical Parents and family members

7 Social Communication Communicating and playing with others in everyday activities and deriving joy and pleasure in social relationships with children and adults Children must acquire capacities in two major areas of social-communicative functioning Joint Attention Symbolic Use Communicative means may be preverbal, such as gestures or use of objects to communicate or verbal, signs, picture symbol systems and/or speech ranging from single words to complex expressive language used in conversation

8 SC: 3 Stages of Social Communication Development
SOCIAL PARTNER: Child communicates with gestures & vocalizations LANGUAGE PARTNER: Child uses symbolic means to communicate shared meanings (oral language, sign language, picture symbols CONVERSATIONAL PARTNER: More advanced language abilities and social awareness of others. SP:are not symbol users (don’t pretend to cook food or feed a doll) but they do play at a sensory and motor level. >LANGUAGE PARTNER: modifier + object (more cookie), agent + action + object (mommy go bye bye) Conversational Where is Matt? Main goal is to attain JOINT ATTENTION: reciprocal social interactions with a variety of partners and across different social contexts.

9 Emotional Regulation An essential and core capacity that supports a child’s “availability” for learning For a child to be optimally “available” he or she must have the emotional regulatory capacities and skills to 1.Independly remain organized in the face of potentially stressful events that may be either positive or negative in nature (self-regulation)

10 ER cont 2. Seek assistance and/or respond to others' attempts to provide support for emotional regulation when faced with stressful, over stimulating or emotionally dysregulating circumstances (mutual regulation) 3. “Recover” from states of emotional dysregulation or “attentional shutdown” through self-and/or mutual regulation strategies (recovery from dysregualtion)

11 ER: Levels of Development

12 ER: Behavior Strategies
Simple motor activities or sensory- motor strategies that the child engages in to regulate his or her arousal level, remain alert, and self soothe. Examples: looking at one’s hands, seeking oral sensory input, etc. Johnny and chewing on erasers or anything…

13 ER: Language Strategies
The child becomes a symbolic communicator. Language strategies are words or other symbols that the child uses that regulate his or her arousal level. Imitative or creative use of symbols to engage in audible or observable self-talk as well as inner language. EXAMPLES: 1. child saying or signaling “ok” after falling down, 2. A child selecting the picture icon for “mad” from his or her communication book during play 3. And child stating, “don’t worry” when afraid.

14 ER: Metacognitive Strategies
A child’s ability to reflect on and talk about cognitive processes that support organization, decrease anxiety, and regulate attention and arousal to guide behavior. The process of internalizing a dialogue that requires coordinating different perspectives, which allows for greater social problem solving, inhibiting behavior based on social and moral rules, and using reflective problem solving( “If ___ happens, I can always do ____.”) For instance when faced with a challenge, the child can consider his ability to succeed or not succeed and regulate these thoughts by formulating a plan on how to complete the activity. The regulating plan might even be as simple as knowing they may request help from the teacher.

15 Transactional Support
The third and final core component of the SCERTS Model. The most meaningful learning occurs within the social context of everyday activities and within trusting relationships, transactional support needs to be infused across activities and social partners

16 TS cont 1. Interpersonal supports include adjustments made by communicative partners in language use, emotional expression and interactive style that help a child to process language, participate in social interaction, experience social activities as emotionally satisfying and maintain well-regulated states

17 TS cont 3.Family support includes educational support such as sharing of helpful information and resources, direct instruction in facilitating a child’s social communication, emotional regulation, daily living skills and implementing learning supports 2. Learning and educational supports include environmental arrangement or the ways typical settings and activities are set up or modified to foster social communication and emotional regulation

18 Transactional Support TS
Learning occurs in a social context. Thus, a child’s comprehensive program should not only address a child’s developmental progress, but also the progress of that child’s social partners (parents, teachers, siblings, and peers). Support must be given within everyday activities across settings, activities, and partners. Multisensory teaching approaches- visual, kinesthetic as much as possible. Pg. 33 Do’s & Don’ts

19 TS Example Goal Student Goals Partner Goals
Initiates conversations about a variety of topics Initiates & maintains conversations that relate to partner’s interest Requests information about others’ experiences Partner Goals Models a range of communicative functions & rules of conversation Uses supports to foster understanding of language and behavior. Friendship Map Example Pg. 48: Family Expectations for Services & Helpful Supports good to have parents fill out and find out about their concerns. Might be good for intake? Pg. 76 : Go through and ask what do we already do? What can we feasibly initiate in NCA? Pg : Goals that may be added to IEP?

20 SCERTS Model Approaches
Meaningful Activities & Purposeful Activities (MA& PA) Learning & Playing with Peers (LAPP)

21 Meaningful Activities & Purposeful Activities
Activity based intervention & joint activity routines Consistency & predictability Structure & flexibility Visually based with multimodal learning. Very distinct from primarily skill based approaches of repetitive,mass trial format. Kids with ASD can’t relate learned ideas into application or meaningfulness to life. IE. Go to the dentist to role play, or role play going to the store to buy something. *** ASD has difficulties generalizing so best to learn in the natural environment… so ideally all therapies are NOT pull outs but actually done within the classroom.

22 MA & PA Continuum Planned activity routines
Engineered activities and environments Modified natural activities and environments Naturally occurring events & environments Knowing that not ALL can be taught in a “natural setting”… Pg. 14 has more detailed information on this continuum

23 MA & PA: Types of Activities
GD: preparation or fabrication of a specific end product: food preparation, constructive play CTT: games or routines where the goals are shared enjoyment and reciprocity- sports TO: activities organized around a plot or a themes like daily living routines, prep for bedtime, going to a restaurant

24 Learning and Playing with Peers
Offers a child with ASD a systematic and semi-structured means to learn and apply social-communicative and play skills in predictable and supportive activities as well as natural activities. Predictable & Supportive to help with emotional regulation Natural to help general activities And obviously LPP is social communication

25 LAPP Planned activity routines Natural Interactions & Settings
Control for novelty Shared control & reciprocity Unconventional behavior & social play behaviors More motivated when familiar with the steps for the activity and their roles in participating. May start out these routines with one-on-one adult/child situation and then bring in other kids. EX: Social Partner Stage: Ring around the rosy Conversational Partner Stage: Red light green light Reduces the child worrying about ER because they know what’s going on and it opens them more up for learning and communicating with peers. Like the guy wanting to play FOUR SQUARE- he knows the rules… 2. Naturally occuring interactions & settings allow for reciprocal exchanges, shared positive emotional experiences btwn child and peers instead of just child and adult partners. 3. novelty = unpredictability = emotional/social dysregulation… be sure to systematically move from predictable to novel 4. ASD like to be in control of activity so turn taking is difficult. Examples of how to help: Social Partner Stage: puzzle (take turns passing a bowl of puzzle pieces) Language Partner Stage: visual support for who’s turn (spinner dial) Conversational Partner Stage: “talking ball” to take turns in convo. 5. Echolalia/ incessant questioning or repetitive manipulation of toys shouldn’t be a reason to keep from LAPP activities. TS should design strategies to systematically increase verbal/ nonverbal interactions to replace those unconventional reactions.

26 Continued… 6. Intrinsic motivation
7. Expressing a range of social-communicative intentions & functions 8. Enhancing skills of peer partners 9. Adult partner’s role 6. a- puzzle has definite start & end points: this will encourage completion of activity with peers as opposed to trains, blocks, legos which is indefinite end. b. have regular opportunities of movement like an obstacle course c. high interest activities * all these opportunities will create positive emotional memories of LAPP activities to promote future motivation. 7. Three types of intentions/ functions: a. behavioral (requesting, making choices) b. social interaction (requesting games, calling , greeting) c. joint attention (commenting, sharing and requesting information) Learning supports can be used like visual cue cards for “Julie, paint with me” or “all done” increases independence instead of relying on adult verbal cues. 8. Peer partners need help or training in waiting for the initiation of communication, reading communication attempts, responding in a manner that encourages continued interactions and supporting emotional regulation. 9. Creating natural activities, modeling SC, prompting, repairing breakdowns, offering repeated opportunities for predictable interactions, monitoring child’s ER, and providing TS.

27 What SCERTS Is and Is Not
Is a value based model with core values and principles that guide educational efforts

28 SCRETS Is and Is Not Is not a curriculum focused solely on training skills, but focuses on underlying capacities supports the development of functional skills, individualized for each child in a systematic and semi-structured, but flexible manner hierarchy of goals in social communication and emotional regulation informed by research on child development and based on each child’s needs and family priorities

29 Is and Is Not cont Is not exclusionary of other practices or approaches and flexible enough to incorporate from available approaches and teaching strategies SCERTS has been developed as a “next generation" model for working with children with ASD as a vehicle for helping to move education of children with ASD forward in a more comprehensive and meaningful manner

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