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 Program Assessment
  Individualised ABA Program
  Program Planning and Team Direction
  Behaviour Management
  Integration Services
  Picture Communication and Functional Assessments
  Challenging Behaviours
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Program Assessment

The Psychoeducational Profile Revised (PEP-R) (Schopler, Reichler, Bashford, Lansing, Marcus, 1990) is used as the primary program assessment tool. The PEP-R offers a developmental approach to the assessment of children with autism or related developmental disorders. The PEP-R is an inventory of behaviours and skills designed to identify uneven and idiosyncratic learning patterns. For assessment purposes, it provides information on the child's level of functioning in key developmental areas such as Imitation and Motor Skills. Throughout the assessment the child is presented with a variety of toys and learning materials. This is done within a structured play environment. The child receives a score for each response they make during the assessment. Scores obtained on the PEP-R isolate a child's relative strengths, emerging skills and weaknesses. The results of the assessment are then interpreted to facilitate the development of an individualised ABA program for the child.

N.B: This is not an optional service. All clients who wish to obtain ABA services from IEC are required to participate in a program assessment.

Reference

Schopler, E., Reichler, R., Bashford, A., Lansing, M., & Marcus, L. 1990. The Psychoeducational Profile Revised (PEP-R). Austin, Texas: Pro-ed.

Individualised ABA Program

Following the program assessment, using the PEP-R, an individualised educational program is designed specifically to meet the needs of your child. Integrated Education and Communication encourage parents to prepare an outline of any area of concern, and to provide the case supervisor with any relevant reports from specialists that may assist in the development of the ABA program. The child's ABA program is then prepared using the PEP-R assessment results, as well as the child's developmental history. A training workshop or consultation is then arranged for the IEC case supervisor to explain the program developed for your child. Your IEC case supervisor will also provide you with a 'Program Folder' .

Program Planning and Team Direction

  • Design individualised educational programs based on he principles of Applied Behaviour Analysis.
  • Offer regular up to date programming and guidance in regular team meetings.
  • Provide recommendations for program generalisation and maintenance.
  • Design strategies to decrease challenging behaviours.
  • Staff development and training.

Behaviour Management

  • Conduct a thorough assessment of challenging behaviours.
  • Design strategies and interventions based on the assessment of the behaviour.
  • Design proactive and reactive strategies for long term success.
  • Follow up sonsultations and support.
  • Provide staff training for implementation of the designed intervention.

Integration Services

  • Guidance and advice for setup and extension of programs.
  • Problem solving for challenging or inappropriate behaviours.
  • Guidance for improving team management.
  • Co-ordination of communication between multidisciplinary teams.
  • Goal setting and evaluation.
  • Programming and material adaptions.
  • Staff development and training.

Picture Communication and Functional Assessments

  • Provide direct in the design or extension of non-verbal communcation systems.
  • Visual sequencing for generalising picture communication.
  • Strategies for generalising picture communication.
  • Incorporate picture communication into teaching sessions.
  • Staff development and training.

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Challenging Behaviours

IEC regularly receives enquiries from families seeking specialised services for children and adolescents with disabilities, who display challenging behaviours.

IEC offers qualified psychological assessment of challenging behaviours and will prepare an individualised intervention program to suit both client and family.

  • Challenging behaviours are; 'Behaviours of such intensity, frequency or duration, that the physical safety of the person or others, is placed in serious jeopardy, or behaviour which seriously limits the persons' access to ordinary settings, activities, services, experiences, and impedes on their ability to learn.' (Merson, Cunnings, Barrett, Hughes, McCool & Toogood, 1988); Behaviours such as self-injurious behaviour (e.g. hitting, pinching or slapping themselves), aggression towards others, property destruction such as throwing or breaking objects, tantrums, difficulty using the toilet etc.

IEC staff will carefully consider and assess the functional purpose of the behaviours i.e. what function does the behaviour serve?  Based on a comprehensive assessment of the challenging behaviour, interventions are designed according to the individual function of the behaviour using a combination of proactive and reactive strategies.

PROACTIVE STRATEGIES

  • Proactive strategies are those strategies designed to decrease the frequency and/or intensity of the problem behaviour over time.  Long term goals which empower the person to manage their own behaviours.
  • Teach an alternative skill that serves the same function as the challenging behaviour.
  • E.g. teaching a person to communicate through pictures rather than screaming and/or dragging, or teaching the person relaxation strategies so they are able to regulate their own emotions.

REACTIVE STRATEGIES

  • Reactive strategies are how we react to the challenging behaviour.
  • Reactive strategies are those strategies designed to decrease the frequency and/or intensity of the problem behaviour, during or just after the occurence of the behaviour
  • E.g. changing the reaction if they are attempting to gain attention.

NB. IEC does not support or implement aversive interventions.

Throughout the assessment phase, observational data is recorded and collated to identify patterns and factors contributing to eliciting, or maintaining the inappropriate behaviours.  This information assists the assessment conclusion as to why the particular behaviour is exhibited.

In order to accurately support the assessment phase, families and therapists are educated in data collection management and, are encouraged to submit the information to IEC for consideration in the assessment phase.

For example:

Date

Time

Initial

Antecedent

Behaviour

Consequence

15-02-07

7:00am

ADC

I asked sally to get out of bed.

Sally slapped her face 3 times.

I tried to help her out of bed but she kept slapping, so I left him there until she calmed down and got up herself. 

Following assessment, the psychologist will write a report outlining the assessment and recommendation strategies.  Families and care providers will be trained to implement the recommendations based on the assessment.  During implementation of the recommendations, IEC will support and monitor the implementation process, as well as update the program if required.

PROCESS

Step One: Client details

Complete and forward client details to:

Integrated Education & Communication, 182 Canterbury Rd, Blackburn, 3130

Include copies of all relevant reports and associated documentation.

Step Two: Initial Consultation

An initial consultation will be arranged with an IEC psychologist to discuss the behaviour, take a comprehensive history, and discuss any previous intervention attempts.

Step Three: Assessment

The psychologist will schedule observations with the family.  During this time, an IEC psychologist or senior therapist will be assigned to record behavioural data.  Families will also be trained  and encouraged to accurately record behaviour events to support the assessment process.

The observation period will vary according to circumstance, and an estimate of the number of observation sessions required will be discussed with the family following the initial consultation.

Please note, it is recommended the settings for the observations are varied, to ensure an accurate assessment.  Observations to be conducted at venues the person frequents such as home, school, and various public places.

Step Four: Written recommendations

Following assessment, the psychologist will detail specific recommendations based on the assessment of the challenging behaviour.  IEC do not support punishment methods, but work on a combination of proactive (long term goals) and reactive (how to react to the behaviour) to support the reduction in challenging behaviours.

Step Five: Training and Handover of the recommendations

On completion of the recommendations, IEC will organise a handover interview with the psychologist which will last approximatel 3 to 4 hours.  At this time a written report will be presented, in conjunction with a verbal summation of the assessment including findings and recommendations.  The psychologist will also demonstrate, and encourage the family support providers, to practice the report recommendations.

Step Six: Follow-up support and training

Weekly or fortnightly meetings are suggested to ensure IEC are regularly informed of behaviours in order to monitor the effectiveness of the intervention, as well as ensuring the strategies are updated as required.

Implementation

IEC psychologists will train family and support providers to implement the recommendations of the psychologist.

Depending on availability, IEC may offer to provide trained therapists/disability support workers, to work with the person to assist in the implementation of the psychologist's recommendations.

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