GIANT Steps uses a combination of treatment approaches including behavior modifications using applied behavior analysis (ABA), Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS), social skills building, some principles of Greenspan’s Floor Time, and some principles of TEACCH (Treatment and Education of Autistic and Communication-handicapped Children. It was developed at the University of North Carolina by Eric Schopler, PhD, in the 1960’s. TEACCH uses pictures schedules, visual instructions, and visual organization.)
When a child begins our program, they start with the Core Attending Program that is taught in structured teaching sessions using tangible reinforcers such as treats or toys and social praise.
Two of the most important factors in effective behavior therapy are consistency and accurate data collection. In order for the child to learn, the teachers are trained to remain consistent from trial to trial. A discrete trial session, or commonly called a work session, is the amount of time that a child is expected to work. At least ten discrete trials are performed per session (20-30 minutes).
Data collection is essential in order to chart progress. The data is recorded promptly and accurately. When the child remains on task, he or she receives a positive mark. When he or she does not stay on task, a negative mark is recorded. The data is collected on the child’s point card. Each day the data is totaled and recorded in the child’s notebook. A daily home note is sent with information about what the child worked on throughout the school day and a brief summary of their progress. At the end of the week, teachers and aides average the totals and at the end of the month a summary is completed.
Other Methods Used
- Discrete Trial Sessions
- Relationship Building
- Floor Time
- Alternative Communication Methods
- Pre-School Activities
- Social Skills
- Psychiatric Evaluations
- Parent Education Classes
- Parent Support Groups
Alpine School District Services:
- Speech Therapy
- Occupational Therapy
- Adaptive Physical Education