Special Education and autism: How to Manage Challenging Behaviors in the Classroom

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Applied behavior analysis (ABA) is most commonly used in special education classes to treat behavioral problems among special needs students. However, many of the theories and precepts common in education in general today have also grown out of the science of behavior analysis.

The story of applied behavior analysis in education, first introduced in the United States, is inextricably tied to the significant increase in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) diagnoses among school-age children that emerged in the mid-1990s. Suddenly, classrooms were overwhelmed with special needs children who exhibited sometimes severe behavioral issues, impacting both their own education and the schooling of others. Towards the end of the same decade, in 1999, a report ("Mental Health: A Report of the Surgeon General") was released confirming that ABA was one of a few scientifically valid treatments for autism. Today both parents and school administrators are increasingly concluding that such treatments offer the best outcomes for children.

Although ABA techniques are used widely for children with ASD, they are also effectively used with special education students of all stripes, and often in general education classrooms as well.
This course is addressed to teachers, professionals and teaching assistants working in both mainstream and special education environments. Participants will learn more about autism and how to best support children with ASD in the classroom.

Participants will also learn more about the science of behavior and its applications (ABA) in the classroom. The course will focus on strategies that use positive reinforcement and will help participants to successfully manage challenging behaviors not only for children with ASD but also for the whole classroom. From a general overview of autism and ABA to more advanced subject matter like dealing with challenging behavior, this training has something to offer to education professionals.

Day 1
Welcoming of participants
Course outline
Ice-breaking activities
Introduction to Autism and ABA

Day 2
Preference assessments: learn with hands-on activities how to conduct a preference assessment in order to identify students’ motivations and preferences
Theoretical and practical activities to help understand autism, learn how to observe students’ behavior.
Operand conditioning: Positive/negative reinforcement and Positive/ negative punishment *
*Punishment is one of those words that has a negative connotation in the real world, but in the world of ABA, it merely has 1 meaning: decreasing behavior.

Day 3
Theoretical and practical activities to learn:
Functions of behavior
Data collection
ABC data
Monitoring Behavior
Behavior Support Plan (learn how to create a personalised behavior support plan)
Assessments used for students with ASD

Day 4
Good behavior game: a classroom management game for the whole classroom
Reinforcement schedules: the different schedules of reinforcement and when to use them
Classroom environment: learn how to adjust the classroom environment to support students with ASD
Visuals: create visuals to use with students

Day 5
Final activities
Evaluation of the course
Diploma awarding

Organizator kursu
Nicosia, Cypr

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