Archive for the 'Professsional development' Category

Autism encounters with law enforcement

Have you ever fretted about what would happen if someone who has not learned to comply with commands encounters someone who expects immediate compliance? Suppose further that the person who relies on immediate compliance might escalate his or her demands for compliance when the other person, say a child who has behavior problems, does not immediately comply.

In a family or a classroom we might call this a “power struggle.” In the language of Patterson and his colleagues (Patterson, 1982; Patterson & Reid, 1970; Patterson, Reid, & Dishon, 1992), it’s the reciprocal escalation that forms the coercion cycle. When it occurs between an officer of the law and a child with Autism, I’d call it a recipe for disaster, even a nightmare scenario. It’s one about which I’ve written previously, more than once.

Here’s an example of that nightmare come true, as reported by Susan Ferriss of the Center for Public Integrity:

Diagnosed as autistic, the sixth-grader was being scolded for misbehavior one day and kicked a trash can at Linkhorne Middle School in Lynchburg, Virginia, in the Blue Ridge Mountains. A police officer assigned to the school witnessed the tantrum, and filed a disorderly conduct charge against the sixth grader in juvenile court.

Just weeks later, in November, Kayleb, who is African-American, disobeyed a new rule — this one just for him — that he wait while other kids left class. The principal sent the same school officer to get him.

“He grabbed me and tried to take me to the office,” said Kayleb, a small, bespectacled boy who enjoys science. “I started pushing him away. He slammed me down, and then he handcuffed me.”

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Little Keswick to feature talk by Ross Greene

The Little Keswick Foundation for Special Education, a philanthropic group associated with the Little Keswick School in central Virginia, announced that Ross Greene, author of The Explosive Child and Lost at School, will speak at its 16th Annual Education Symposium scheduled for 10 October 2013 from 7:00 to 9:00 PM at Piedmont Virginia Community College’s V. Earl Dickinson Center. The session, entitled “Collaborative & Proactive Solutions: Understanding and Helping Behaviorally Challenging Kids (and their Caregivers),” is open to the public and there is no admission fee.

A child psychologist, Ross Greene has taught courses for the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and the Department of Psychology at Virginia Tech. He is founder of Lives in the Balance, a non-profit devoted to explaining and supporting his theraputic approach, called “Collaborative Problem Solving.” In addition to his books, Professor Greene has published research articles in well-respected journals such as Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, American Journal of Psychiatry, and Journal of Emotional and Behavioral Disorders.
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CEC pre-conf session on MH and PBIS

The Council for Exceptional Children will host an “Institute on School-based Mental Health and Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports” prior to its annual convention in Denver in April 2012. Readers of EBD Blog understand the importance of MH and its connections with schools for many students. This session, chaired by Krista Kutash and George Sugai, promises to help educators make and strengthen appropriate connections. Learn more about building positive bridges between mental health and positive school environments.

CCBD Webinar on seclusion and restraint coming soon

The Council for Children with Behavior Disorders of the Council for Exceptional Children will present a Webinar 8 March 2012 entitled “Physical Restraint and Seclusion in Schools: Issues, Policies and Practices.” This is a terrifically important issue for practitioners and administrators.

Federal legislation is pending that, if passed, would regulate the use of physical restraint and seclusion procedures for students in school settings. This webinar will discuss the legislative, policy, and practice issues that have arisen because of the deaths and injuries of students due to these procedures. The webinar will provide an overview of the content that will be covered in more detail during the strand on restraint and seclusion at the CEC Convention & Expo in April 2012.

The session, which runs from 4:00PM – 5:00PM ET, requires registration for a fee ($114; save lots if you’re a CEC member!). Visit the CEC page devoted to the CCBD Webinar on seclusion and restraint to learn more. Entire teams can register for the price of one and later download the slides for review.

Webinar on FBA and positive behavior support plans


Tim Lewis

If you and your colleagues need to obtain a good foundation on the use of functional behavioral assessment and positive behavior support plans, there is an opportunity coming to satisfy that need.Tim Lewis will present another Webinar under the auspices of the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC), and this one is entitled “Designing Individual Student Positive Behavior Support Plans Through Functional Behavioral Assessment.” It is scheduled for Tuesday 25 October 2011 from 4:00 to 5:00 PM (Eastern Time, US).

Professor Lewis is among the leaders in the area of Emotional and Behavioral Disorders and positive behavior interventions and supports (PBIS). He co-edits the journal Behavioral Disorders and co-directs major projects on PBIS. Follow this link to learn more about the event and how to register for it; it is the third in a series of Webinars on the topic of PBIS that Professor Lewis is providing via CEC. (I don’t have a financial interest in them; I’m just shilling for them for free here.)

Addressing bullying via PBIS


Tim Lewis

Do you want to learn how to do something about bullying in schools? Here’s a way to get started.

Under the auspices of the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC), Tim Lewis will present an online seminar (“Webinar”) entitled “Addressing Bullying Behavior Through Schoolwide Positive Behavior Supports” on Thursday 20 October 2011 from 4:00 to 5:00 PM (Eastern Time, US). Professor Lewis, who teaches and conducts research at the University of Missouri, has a wealth of experience and expertise in the area of Emotional and Behavioral Disorders and positive behavior interventions and supports (PBIS), so this an excellent opportunity to get a good grounding in how to use the features of PBIS to help a school manage bullying problems. Follow this link to learn more about the event and how to register for it; it is one in a series of Webinars on the topic of PBIS that Professor Lewis is providing via CEC. (I don’t have a financial interest in them.)

Denny Reid in C’ville!

Dennis Reid, a renowned researcher and clinician who for more than 35 years has worked with individuals who have Autism, will speak on 22 September 2011 on “Evidence-Based Strategies for Promoting Enjoyment among People with Autism” in Charlottesville (VA, US). The talk by Mr. Reid, which is free and open to the public (but registration is required), is part of the Virginia Institute of Autism (VIA) Autism Speaker Series and is sponsored by VIA and the University of Virginia Children’s Hospital. It is scheduled for 5:30-6:30 at St. Anne’s-Belfield Greenway Rise Campus, Randolph Hall Auditorium. To register, go to VIA’s Web site viaschool.org or call (434) 923-8252.

For those who are unfamiliar with Mr. Reid’s research, he has an extensive record of work in behavior analysis, having published repeatedly in the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis. He’s based at the Carolina Behavior Analysis and Support Center in Mogantown (NC, US) which, oddly, doesn’t seem to have a Web site.

ASAT newsletter pending

Do you want to know more about evidence-based interventions for Autism? Are you weary of wading through a lot of over-hyped-and-not-well-tested methods hoping to find one gem? Do you come back to EBD Blog because you pine for trustworthy news about Autism?

There is an alternative, another source: The Association for Science in Autism Treatment has a regular newsletter and a new one is about to be released. If readers hustle their bustles, they can register in time to receive the next issue which includes (according to a mailer I received)

  • A feature article in which Dr. Thomas Zane discusses the adoption of Fad Treatments in Autism.
  • Four research article summaries (ranging from treatment comparisons to prevalence of adults with autism).
  • Spotlight on a new organization Advancing Futures for Adults with Autism.
  • Two Clinical Corners (Food Selectivity and Help with the Dentist).
  • Consumer Corner (Review of Transition Resources for Adolescents and Adults with Autism).
  • An in-depth group interview about fostering positive portrayals of science-based treatment in the media.

…and for the rest, you’re just going to have to read to find out!

Here’s a link to register for the newsletter: http://www.asatonline.org/signup. I encourage folks to do.

And, if you ever forget how to find ASAT, you don’t have to poke around looking for this message. Just check over there in the siderail. You’ll find it listed in the “Web Resources.”