Many behavior analysts who serve children with autism spectrum disorder may have contact with the child’s school. They may also be involved in the development of the child’s IEP. If not directly involved, oftentimes parents bring up their concerns regarding the child’s IEP with the behavior analyst. Therefore, it is helpful to have some possible intervention and accommodation strategies readily available to recommend if this is your area of practice.
Booth (1998) provides a generous list of potential IEP accommodations that may be used for children with various special needs such as ADHD or Autism Spectrum Disorder. Not all accommodations will work for all kids, so choose the strategy or strategies that would be most suited for the particular child you are working with.
While accommodations are often necessary and, in some cases, needed long-term, it is also helpful to consider how we can teach the child to develop new skills that will help him to be more successful in the general education classroom as well as to not need as many accommodations if possible.
Here are some examples of possible IEP interventions or accommodations you could recommend:
- Allow a low-distraction work area particularly for tests if needed.
- Provide the child with a seating location near the instructor
- Prepare the child about upcoming changes or transitions in the routine
- Provide opportunities for movement for children with hyperactivity, such as by offering opportunities to walk in the hall, go get a drink from the water fountain, or run an errand for the teacher (preferably contingent on working appropriately for a period of time).
- Be clear about expectations, such as writing down assignments or expectations for the child.
- Provide the child with written highlights from the teacher’s lectures.
- Provide the child with a weekly or monthly schedule of activities and assignments.
- Break large assignments into smaller parts for the child.
- Provide positive reinforcement for appropriate class participation and task completion in the form of praise and possibly a point or token system.
- Provide visual cues for things such as daily schedules or for staying on task.
- Read the test material out loud if this is an issue for the child.
- Provide the child with a plan of action for study skills related to the subject being taught.
- Provide daily assistance with using a planner.
- Help the student create and use an organization system.
Reference: Booth (1998)
Image credit: designer491 via Fotalia