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Educating Children with Autism
alized curriculum targets goals in social, emotional, language, adaptive behavior, cognitive, and physical developmental areas. The curriculum blends a behavioral approach with developmentally appropriate practices (Strain and Cordisco, 1994; Strain and Hoyson, 2000).
Pivotal Response Model at the University of California at Santa Barbara Beginning in 1979, components of the current model were evaluated in applications with children of varied ages. In recent years, the primary focus has been on early intervention. Using a parent education approach, the ultimate goal of the Pivotal Response Model is to provide individuals with autism with the social and educational proficiency to participate in inclusive settings. In early stages, this model used a discrete-trial applied behavior analysis approach, but there has been a shift toward use of more naturalistic behavioral interventions. The overriding strategy is to aim at change in certain pivotal areas (e.g., responsiveness to multiple cues, motivation, self-management, and self-initiations). Intervention consists of in-clinic and one-on-one home teaching, and children concurrently participate in special education services in the schools. Specific curriculum goals are targeted in areas of communication, self-help, academic, social, and recreational skills (Koegel et al., 1998).
Treatment and Education of Autistic and Related Communication Handicapped Children (TEACCH) at the University of North Carolina Schoolof Medicine at Chapel Hill This program was founded in 1972 as a statewide autism program that serves people with autistic spectrum disorders of all ages. Regional centers provide regular consultation and training to parents, schools, preschools, daycare centers, and other placements throughout the state. There is one demonstration classroom. TEACCH is based on a structured teaching approach, in which environments are organized with clear, concrete, visual information. Parents are cotherapists and taught strategies for working with their children. Programming is based on individualized assessments of a child’s strengths, learning style, interests, and needs, so that the materials selected, the activities developed, the work system for the child, and the schedule for learning are tailored to this assessment information and to the needs of the family. TEACCH has developed a communication curriculum that makes use of behavioral procedures, with adjustments that incorporate more naturalistic procedures along with alternative communication strategies for nonverbal children (Watson et al., 1989; Marcus et al., 2000).
The University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) Young AutismProject The development of this program was based on earlier research with older children and adolescents with autism; its applications to young children with autism began during the 1970s. The behavioral interven-