Autism Supports

teacher and student

Autism VBAutism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a complex developmental disability that emerges early in life and is the result of a neurological disorder that affects the normal functioning of the brain. As the name indicates, children diagnosed with ASD affect each individual different and to varying degrees. Every child with ASD is an individual, and like all individuals, has a unique personality and combination of characteristics. 

Persons with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) exhibit symptoms in 3 primary areas:

  1. Social communication/ social interaction
    1. Social reciprocity
    2. Verbal communication
    3. Nonverbal communication (body language, eye contact and empathy)
    4. Development, maintenance and understanding relationships
  2. Restricting, repetitive patterns of behavior, interests, or activities
  3. Developing functional academic/life skills

Some children with ASD also present with challenging behaviors and/or lagging skills in the areas of academics, leisure, vocational and independent living.

Pace addresses concern in the social communication and social interaction realm in a number of ways:

  • Frequent skill assessments using evidence based tools such as the VB-MAPP
  • Frequent motivation assessments to determine motivating items/activities/persons
  • Social skills lessons at the child’s level
  • Specialized classrooms trained in the use of applied behavior analysis (ABA) and verbal behavior (VB)
  • Consistent data collection and data analysis to determine effectiveness of programming

Pace addresses concern in the restricting and repetitive patterns of behavior, interests, and activities in a number of ways:

  • Working to find meaningful and functional replacement behaviors for repetitive behaviors
  • Expanding developmentally appropriate leisure skills
  • Increasing skills in the area of manding (requesting).

Pace addresses concerns regarding challenging behavior by:

  • Utilizing functional behavior assessments (FBA) to determine what is maintaining the challenging behavior
  • Addressing the challenging behavior by changing what happens before the behavior, teaching an alternative behavior and insuring the challenging behavior does not contact reinforcement.
  • Consistent data collection and data analysis to determine effectiveness of programming
  • Collaboration with mental health or social services as needed for comprehensive care

Pace addresses concerns regarding lagging academics, leisure, vocational and independent living by:

  • Providing instruction through a functional academic curriculum
  • Providing simulated and real life functional and work experiences within the community and/or work place (e.g., shopping, utilizing transportation, completing job tasks)
  • Exposure to leisure activities within school and the community
  • Identifying and teaching strategies necessary for independent functioning (e.g., using a schedule, following routines)

Pattan Autism Initiative