service delivery systems. One advantage of these programs’ university affiliations is the relatively low-cost labor pools of students, who range from undergraduates to graduate students to post-doctoral fellows. In a number of programs, the bulk of the direct services are provided by supervised college students. In addition to obvious cost advantages, the reliance on student labor provides the opportunity to expand expertise in the autistic spectrum disorders to future professionals.

Elaborate training and supervisory systems have been developed to accommodate the training and supervision needs of the student personnel. For example, Children’s Unit provides a 1-week initial orientation with lectures, observation, and a weekend “immersion” training session (Romanczyk et al., 2000). Student trainees must pass a written exam on program policies and procedures, and they are videotaped in interactions with children before and after training. Following initial training, there are weekly supervision and feedback sessions, as well as two objective performance reviews each year.

In the UCLA Young Autism Project, the primary therapists are undergraduates who have worked for a minimum of 6 months under supervision (McEachin et al., 1993). Supervisory staff must have a master’s degree in psychology and 2 or more years of experience with the intervention program. This project, like many of the others, has packaged both manuals (Lovaas et al., 1981) and tapes (Lovaas and Leaf, 1981) to standardize personnel training. The Young Autism Project is also engaged in large-scale program replication activity. There have been published outcome reports on systematic (or partial) replications at the May Center in New England, (Anderson et al., 1987) and at UCLA with children with pervasive developmental delays-not otherwise specified (Smith et al., 2000b).

Standardization of the training protocols has permitted most of the programs to be replicated outside the administrative umbrella of the original site. Having developed replication formats early on in the process of building a statewide system, TEACCH has now been replicated internationally (in Denmark, France, Norway, Sweden, and Switzerland). TEACCH offers well-known teacher training workshops in North Carolina and at other locations around the country. A number of the programs were developed as model demonstration programs (Denver, Individualized Support Program, LEAP, and Walden) with support from the U.S. Department of Education, and these grants came with the requirement that the models be packaged and tested in replication sites.

In an evaluation of one of these model replications (Rogers et al., 1987), the Denver Model was disseminated to four public schools by using a standardized teacher training approach. Preservice training included a 6-hour introductory workshop, a 1-day visit to the new site to determine needs and resources, and a 40-hour training institute (which



The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement