Improving the Lives of Students with Autism by NOT Focusing on their Disability (CP)
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Morten Haugland, Ph.D., BCBA-D Presented at the 2017 Michigan Autism Conference
Abstract: This presentation will share how Haugland Learning Center (HLC) and its staff use the science of human behavior to improve educational functioning for children with autism. HLC is a private school in Ohio serving more than 300 students with an autism diagnosis. Focus will be on how our professional values and philosophy plays a role in the services we provide. Too often behavior analysts focus on the autism diagnosis and “canned” treatment approaches, missing the Analysis part of ABA. As a result, progress may be limited lending ammunition to those criticizing our science. This presenter believes that our values and how we approach interventions for individuals with autism play a significant role in the level of improvement for those we serve. HLC’s values include the statements: “Having Autism is not an excuse for lower expectation” and “Kids don’t fail because they have autism, but because they are not taught”. HLC is focusing on education rather than treatment and sets high expectations for all students. Staff are not allowed to use the label of autism as an excuse for a students’ failure to learn. Our students make significant improvements in academic and social functioning through focus on effective instruction based on our science. Data will be presented showing how the Morningside Model of Generative Instruction have produced great improvement across all academic areas. A critical overview of the components of our program will be shared.