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Our Work in Schools

By Laura Ferguson, MEd., BCBA, LBA

 

During the 2008-2009 school year, the training site project began in Jefferson County Schools under the guidance and partnership with the National Professional Development Center on Autism Spectrum.  The following year the KATC began to expand the project into other areas of the state.  This year the KATC will be working in all of the special education cooperatives throughout the state. Our work in the classroom involves monthly visits to support the local educational team in planning, implementing, and evaluating instruction. We work with the school team to select objectives and instructional plans for specified students as well as classrooms. Through the project our goal is to increase the school’s capacity for serving children with autism spectrum disorders by supporting their implementation of research-based strategies.

 

 

North Middle School

North Middle SchoolThis year I have had the privilege of working in North Middle School in Hardin County. Our training site involves working with several individuals on the autism spectrum. We work in several different classroom settings. The staff involved in the training site initiative were already displaying the use of evidence- based practices, but were very willing to learn about new and emerging practices in the field. The school had a strong display of visual supports, behavior plans, reinforcement systems, and communication instruction. Throughout this year the staff has demonstrated the ability to adapt to behavior changes directed by the district consultant and KATC staff. The staff has been excited to work with the project and to learn new practices for students on the autism spectrum.

 

 

 




Pride Elementary School

Pride ElementaryIt has been a pleasure to work in Ms. Deidra Hightower’s classroom at Pride ElementarySchool in Hopkins County.  The classroom is a self- contained unit that has individuals with a range of developmental disabilities. The environment and setup of the classroom is warm and encouraging. Entering the classroom within the first month of school beginning; the students and staff knew the routine and expectations. The staff involved in the training site initiative were already displaying the use of evidence- based practices, but were very willing to learn about new and emerging practices in the field. The school had a strong display of visual supports, and reinforcement systems. Students did not need verbal prompts to understand what was expected of them. The use of adapted materials made instruction obtainable for all students to master. Throughout this year the staff has demonstrated the ability to adapt to behavior changes directed by the district consultant and KATC staff. The staff has been excited to work with the project and to learn new practices for students on the autism spectrum.

 

 

 




Rockfield Elementary School

Rockfield ElementaryLast but not least, I have had the opportunity of working with a great team of teachers at Rockfield Elementary in Warren County. The school allowed us the opportunity to work in several classrooms throughout the building. From the beginning of the training site process, the staff was willing to work as a strong team to focus on evidence based practices for all students on the autism spectrum.  Throughout the year each teacher has embraced suggestions and modeled new practices to fidelity. The students at Rockfield have made tremendous progress, because of their commitment to implementing new procedures.

I look forward to continuing to work with the staff and students at Rockfield Elementary, Pride Elementary and North Middle for the rest of the school year.

 

 




Laura Ferguson is a certified behavior analyst and a Field Training Coordinator for the KY Autism Training Center. She provides direct training and technical assistance to education staff, social and community personnel, counselors, job coaches and families.

 

KY Autism Training Center Spring 2014 Newsletter April 2014

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