Hands-on autism consultation is sometimes the most efficient method of supporting staff and students in schools when they are working with students with autism, behavioral concerns, or have other special needs. As a Board Certified Behavior Analyst-Doctoral I have spent the last 20 years providing consultation to schools, agencies and families.
Forms and Functions of Consultation:
Individual Visits to Support Existing Personnel
In this type of consultation, I typically make one to three visits to a district to provide feedback and support for existing personnel to assist with focused tasks. Often in these situations the staff benefits from having an outsider look at programming from a different perspective and I can provide feedback and ideas that can help to move them forward with a roadblock in programming or development. One form type of consultation has taken is providing an overview of behavioral services within the district to assist the behavior specialists with the growth of the need for and access to their services throughout the district and defining their roles in relation to the rest of the educational team. Sometimes this type of consultation has taken the form of assisting the district in establishing a specific type of programming for a small subset of students (e.g., those with more significant behavioral needs than the district was accustomed to). This type of consultation is also helpful when districts are establishing an autism specialist or coach position to help determine the focus of that role and help mentor the specialist to provide support to other teachers. Reports or summaries are typically developed in collaboration with the staff to provide a tentative road map of next steps.
Individual Student Consultation
As described this type of consultation focuses on individual students, typically students with challenging behaviors but sometimes students for whom the district has had difficulty determining appropriate services or placement. This type of consultation often involves completing a functional and/or educational evaluation of the student and providing recommendations and training, if needed, to support the student’s needs and address the challenge. Attendance and consultation on the student’s IEP is also sometimes part of this type of consultation to work with the educators and family to craft an appropriate program. Reports are included to support the evaluation and consultation process.
This type of consultation includes working with the program administration to design and implement an evaluation of the overall set of services provided in regards to the mission and vision of the organization as well as students’ and staff needs. It typically involves several days (dependent on the size of the organization) of observation onsite along with extensive review of records, lesson plans and documentation, and interviews with staff. A formal report is provided that includes an overview of strengths and weaknesses of the program along with recommendations for resources, training, and supports with an emphasis on providing cost-effective solutions. I have provided this type of consultation on a one-time basis as programs were undergoing changes (e.g., integrating 2 programs) and as an ongoing yearly evaluation to help districts continue to grow and develop in the services they provide to students.
I have worked with school districts over years to both develop and maintain their programming for these students through professional development, coaching and ongoing assistance. Typically this type of consultation begins with a program evaluation (described above) and continues to provide ongoing support to the program through district-wide and classroom-based consultation and assistance with individual cases as needed. This model typically involves regular visits to the district that include classroom visits, individual assessments as needed, and professional development to help to build capacity within the district for serving students with autism and other special needs. Reports are provided as needed based on the visits with targeted recommendations for classroom-based assessments to help development continue to move forward.
Areas of Expertise:
- Classroom organization and design for effective instruction
- Applied Behavior Analysis, including discrete trials and more naturalistic strategies
- Functional assessment of challenging behavior and behavioral support
- Positive Behavioral Support
- Data collection and analysis
- Visual cueing strategies
- Communication strategies
- Social skills instruction
- Curriculum assessment and development
- Supporting students with ASD in general education
- IEP development and monitoring
- Running effective IEP meetings
- Leadership development
- Parent programming
- Community-Based Instruction
Fees for consultation are established prior to the visit and are billed at a flat rate that includes travel so costs can be predicted by the district.
For more information, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org