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Academic Interventions

The roots of many contemporary intervention strategies for students with AS/HFA stem from
two programs. The Treatment and Education of Autistic and Communication-Handicapped
Children (TEACCH) is a program aimed at integration of students with AS/HFA. The
underlying philosophyis that children with ASD are missing skills that they cannot learn but
can compensate for through visual supports and other forms of structure (Deschenes, 2000, pg.
445). A key component of the TEACCH program is the collaboration involving all of the human
support available, but especially parents as co-therapists. The other program is the Young
Autism Program (YAP), an intensive forty hour a week program aimed at teaching children,
one skill at a time, all the skills the child needs to be able to participate independently in all
facets of daily living (Deschenes, 2000, pg.445).
Many programs mix and match intervention strategies. For example, the Developmentally
Appropriate Treatment for Autism Project (DATA) blends existing AS/HFA strategies without
regard to the theoretical background from which the strategy was initially developed
(Deschenes, 2000, pg. 446). This approach uses whatever techniques, or combination of
techniques, that work for an individual child. Regardless of the strategy settled upon, some
general instructional suggestions for teachers include: make events predictable, carefully explain
expectations, and foster a positive learning environment (Deschenes, 2000, pg. 447). And perhaps
the most integral aspect of all intervention programs hinges upon the imperative that great
educational gains are made when teachers treat students with ASD as if they are capable of many
of the things that students without ASD are capable (Deschenes, 2000, pg.440).
However, continuing into 2007 with a review of social skills interventions, Rao, Beidel, and
Murray suggest that results of such integration programs are often mixed and dependent upon
multiple and indefinable variables; while largely successful at integrating students in some
degree of sociability, much work remains to be done in order to provide relevant and efficacious
interventions for children with AS/HFA (Rao et al., 2007 pg. 6).
With regard to Maurice, we are recommending the general intervention strategies mentioned
above to be considered as integral components of Maurices Intervention Program, in addition to
the fine tuned, case-specific techniques that follow.
The first intervention strategy we are recommending is Social Competence Intervention (SCI).
SCI is a technique that was delivered in a clinical afterschool program, aiming to integrate the
three social cognitive deficiencies that are common to many students with AS/HFA: emotion
recognition, theory of mind, and executive functioning, by working on understanding facial
expressions, sharing ideas, taking turn in conversation, recognizing feelings and emotions in self
and others, and problem solving. (Stichter, Herzog, Visovsky, Schmidt, Randolph, Schultz, and
Gage, 2010, pg.1075). SCI is an intensive program, designed to systematically teach discreet
skills as part of a whole, interconnected to emerge as social competence (Stichter et al., 2010,
pg. 1075). Lesson plans are guided by a consistent structure that allow[s] for teacher
instruction, skill modeling and opportunities to practice skills with peers in structured and
naturalistic activities (Stichter et al., 2010, pg. 1075).
Young adults with AS/HFA have also been shown to respond positively to simplified strategy
instruction. It should be pointed out; however, that the hows of learning must be taught to
childrenin an explicit format, and external support in the use of strategies may be needed
(Whitby, Travers, and Harnik, 2009, pg. 5). Maurice experiences difficulty with reading
comprehension, Whitby et al. identify many strategies such as graphic organizers, mnemonic
instruction, and summarization as having been proven to help all learners. These strategies while
potentially being helpful for students with AS/HFA, have not been researched nor proven to be
highly effective for AS/HFA students. In this case, they cite OConnor and Kleins 2004 work in
anaphoric cueing, the strategy that involves guiding a student in identifying the antecedents of
pronouns as a way of resolving the repetition of anaphora. (look up Definition) (Whitby et al.,
2009, pg. 5).
A complimentary skill to reading comprehension is in expressing oneself through the art of
writing. Writing is an exceedingly complex task that involves creating a balance between rules
and voice, addressing concerns in audience, and requiring reflection upon purpose. Whitby et al
identify Graham, Harris, MacArthur, and Schwartzs 1991 Self-Regulated Strategy Development
(SRSD) as an effective tool for a student with AS/HFA to access the writing process, especially
if it is outlined visually on a poster that hangs on a nearby wall. (Whitby et al., 2009, pg. 5) A
simple mnemonic tool to have students recall is POW-TREE: (P)ick my idea; (O)rganize my
notes; (W)rite and say more; (T)opic sentence:tell what you believe; (R)easons: three or more,
Why do I believe this, Will my readers believe this; (E)xplain reasons, say more about each;
(E)nding:wrap it up right! (Harris, 2003).
Behavioral Interventions
Our general recommendations on addressing Maurices behavioral problems would include
training in social skills; that would include educating his peers as well as the teacher population
on campus. Training should provide Maurice with scaffolding to rely upon in unfamiliar settings,
as well as practice time in order to develop consistent and desired results. Some work with
mindfulness meditation practices, in addition to a yoga asana practice that focuses on restorative
and relaxing poses while teaching foundational basics of relaxation would also be of paramount
import in helping Maurice deal with unanticipated anxiety.
When in an unstructured environment such as Physical Education class, Maurice is very likely to
comment inappropriately toward females. Often times these comments are understood by the
receiver as offensive and abrasive. He engages in these off-color comments because he has
trouble recognizing social cues and expectations, but also because he is seeking attention, if not a
reciprocal relationship from these young women. The problems can be exacerbated by the
presence of short gym uniform shorts as this has proven to be too much of a stimulus for him to
reasonably be able to handle.
With regards to this problem behavior, since variables in the setting are relatively fixed, focusing
on the desired behavior would our first objective. We would like to teach Maurice through video
films demonstrating positive and equitable interactions in the gym setting so that these women
do not feel uncomfortable and Maurice himself feels not only integrated but listened to.
Maurices ideal situation would likely include understanding how to speak with these women so
intimately that it develops into a committed reciprocal loving relationship. This skill would have
to be a teacher taught skill, reinforced by peers, teachers and guiding mentors. It would involve
teaching Maurice standard introductions that are socially acceptable, practicing these skills so
that he can become so dexterous in using them that he might potentially become improvisational
in their usage.
An alternative replacement behavior that we would recommend is

We would recommend developing a Positive Behavior Support Plan (PBS) that addresses these
problem behaviors. The plan should be developed with Maurices direct input since the success
or failure of such a plan depends upon his acceptance of the terms and he has proven capable of
identifying with the recommendations.

Bullet points with major points.
Academic Interventions
SCI is an intensive program, designed to systematically teach discreet skills as part of a
whole, interconnected to emerge as social competence (Stichter et al., 2010, pg. 1075).
In an effort to help with reading comprehension, we recommend anaphoric cueing, the strategy
that involves guiding a student in identifying the antecedents of pronouns as a way of resolving
the repetition of anaphora. (Whitby et al., 2009, pg. 5).

Behavioral Interventions
Works cited
Blumberg, R. (2014). Learning Disabilities [Lecture notes]. Retrieved from
https://socs.tcnj.edu/learning disabilities.
Deschenes, C. (2000) Adapting Curriculum and Instruction in Inclusive Classrooms, Cole Publishing
Harris, K., Schmidt, T., Graham, S., (1998). Every child can write: Strategies for composition
and self-regulation in the writing process. In K. Harris, S. Graham, and D. Deshler (Eds.),
Advances in Teaching and Learning (pp.131-167). Cambridge, MA: Brookline Books.
OConnor, I.M., and Klein, P.D. (2004). Exploration of strategies for facilitating the reading
comprehension of high-functioning students with autism spectrum disorders. Journal of Autism
and Developmental Disorders, 34(2), 115-127.
Rao, P.A., Beidel, D.C., Murray, M.J. (2007). Social Skills Interventions for Children with
Aspergers Syndrome or High-Functioning Autism: A Review and Recommendations. Springer
Science+Business Media LLC 38, 353-361.
Stichter, J.P., Herzog, M.J., Visovsky, K., Schmidt, C., Randolph, J., Schultz, T., Gage, N.
(2010). Social Competence Intervention for Youth with Aspergers Syndrome and High-
Functioning Autism: An Initial Investigation. Springer Science+Business Media LLC, 1067-
Whitby, P.J.S., Travers, J.C., Harnik, J. (2009). Academic Achievement and Strategy Instruction
to Support the Learning of Children with High-Functioning Autism. Beyond Behaviors, 3-9.