Volume 33, Issue 4 (2004)
Preparing Teachers in Evidence-Based Practices for Young Children With Autism
Dorothea C. Lerman, Christina M. Vorndran, Laura Addison, Stephanie Cantrucci Kuhn
Abstract. Efforts to transfer research findings on autism into public schools would benefit from further evaluation of teacher preparation models. The purpose of this study was to evaluate a model program that was designed to prepare current teachers in evidence-based practices for children with autism. Drawn from the extensive literatures on caregiver teaching and behavioral interventions, this relatively comprehensive program was designed to be feasible within the constraints of typical school settings. Four certified special education teachers and a teacher-in-training participated in an intensive university-based summer program that incorporated both didactic and performance-based instruction. The teachers were taught a relatively large number of specific skills within three areas that have been the focus of extensive study for children with developmental disabilities (preference assessment, direct teaching, and incidental teaching). Results suggested that the teachers mastered all of these skills during role play and then implemented them successfully with 6 children who participated in the program. Teacher preparation also was associated with increases in correct task responses and communication among the children.
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