included 20 hours of didactic presentations, 8 hours of guided observation, and 12 hours of individual consultation on plans for implementing the model in the new site). Program implementation was monitored with videotaped samples, and formal feedback on teacher performance was provided to replication site staff at 6-week intervals across a period of 4 months. The trainers also conducted at least two 2-day follow-up visits to each replication site. Multidimensional program evaluation data (including surveys of trainee satisfaction, pre- and post-knowledge tests, a model implementation checklist that was completed with objective scoring of videotaped teacher performances, and measures of child change) documented the effectiveness of this comprehensive training model.

The model programs are being directed and implemented by teams of professionals who have had extensive training and experience in early autistic spectrum disorders intervention. It is unlikely that similar child outcomes can be achieved if expertise in autistic spectrum disorders is not readily available. However, the use of student personnel and replication demands have driven the preparation of training formats that could be effective in expanding the number of personnel qualified in education of young children with autistic spectrum disorders.

Ongoing Objective Assessment of a Child’s Progress

Although the assessment measures varied, all ten programs reviewed have a mechanism for tracking the progress of individual children, and the systems for ongoing assessment permit timely adjustments in the child’s intervention plan. As would be predicted by both the goals and associated methodological trends, the programs with a developmental orientation tend to rely on standardized assessment instruments, while the applied behavior analysis programs include a component for direct observation and measurement of specific target behaviors. However, the behavioral programs also collect standardized assessment data for purposes of program evaluation, and the developmental programs have means for ongoing tracking of child progress.

Specific issues pertaining to assessment are discussed in Chapter 2 of this report; this section emphasizes the unique methods of assessment that are used by the selected programs. However, as noted in Chapter 2, nearly all of the programs have collected data using the Childhood Autism Rating Scale (Schopler et al., 1988), the Vineland Scales of Adaptive Functioning (Sparrow et al., 1984), and one of several available.

The Developmental Intervention Model uses an instrument called the Functional Emotional Assessment Scale (FEAS), which is used to assess developmental levels of emotional, social, cognitive, and language functioning at the time of the initial evaluation and at each follow-up visit to the clinic (Greenspan and Wieder, 1997). Detailed therapist notes written



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