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SF-DDARIN members presenting at the SWABA conference, Sweden

Working Effectively in Classrooms: Considerations for Practical, Acceptable, and Effective Functional Analyses and Interventions 

Jennifer L. Austin, PhD, BCBA-D
University of South Wales

The use of functional analyses to inform treatment recommendations has long been established as best practice in behaviour analysis from both ethical and empirical standpoints. However, the practicalities of conducting functional analyses (and implementing subsequent interventions) in schools sometimes poses obstacles for behaviour analysts and the teachers with whom they work. The degree to which these obstacles can (and should) be overcome depends on a variety of factors that might be missed if one does not carefully consider the nature of the problems and the environments in which behaviours are expected to occur. Drawing upon nearly two decades of research and clinical work in schools, this presentation will consider the classroom, teacher and student variables that may be important in helping behaviour analysts design and implement more effective, practical, and acceptable classroom-based assessments and interventions.

Teaching Handwriting skills to Children with Autism

Corinna Grindle, Rina Cianfaglione, Elizabeth Corbel

There is a scarcity of research on teaching handwriting skills to children with autism. If teachers turn to published curriculum guides for children with autism for guidance, they find a lack of suitable tools for assessing children’s handwriting skills and knowledge and few structured and comprehensive teaching programs available. In this presentation I will describe a handwriting intervention derived from Handwriting Without Tears (HWT)- an intervention for typically developing children who are struggling in learning how to write correctly. The presentation will summarize the learning framework for the handwriting program and discuss how we modified the existing HWT manual to increase its utility for children with autism (e.g., by breaking down complex skills into smaller steps, providing clearer learning objectives and including additional learning prompts and generalisation opportunities). Results are discussed with reference to a significant improvement in the attainment of handwriting skills for children with autism after they had been taught using the program.