Methods of working with children with ASD

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Enter the terms you wish to search for. This product could help prepare an employee, student, or potential employee more efficiently — and at their methods of working with children with ASD — to work with a child.

250,000 grant from the National Institute of Mental Health to address the acute need for professionals trained in behavioral intervention, according to a statement released by UMass Lowell. One in 68 children have been identified with autism spectrum disorder, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Between 2000 and 2010, the number of children diagnosed with autism increased by 119. The virtual child can be used to help train new employees, college students, special education teachers, paraprofessionals and even parents, Serna said.

It provides and opportunity for trainees to practice teaching methods they already learned in a more traditional setting. Serna gave the example of practicing discrete trial training, which is a highly structured approach to teaching a child where a practitioner provides many trials that include the delivery of instruction, the response of the child, a prompt for the correct response, and positive praise or error correction for the child. The tool also gives feedback to the user. If the trainee implements the procedure correctly he or she can move on to the next lesson. However, if the user does not implement the skill correctly, the software provides feedback until the user has mastered the technique. The project is still in its infancy but the researchers have already successfully developed a similar product that was also interactive. However, instead of an animated child, they used a child actor to produce video clips, Serna said.