As Behavior Analysts, we have a strong understanding of HOW people learn. Our science gives us incredible tools to customize our teaching approach to meet learners’ diverse skill sets.
But let’s not forget – while ABA answers the HOW, we must also determine WHAT to teach.
So how do we get started? The good news is, there are amazing curricula available commercially, so there is no need to reinvent the wheel.
And when we find the right materials, scope, and sequence, we can focus on what we do best – presenting the content in a way that is effective for our learners, and analyzing their ongoing progress in a meaningful way.
Identifying and Operationalizing Curricula for Learners with ASD
Dr. Stacey Shook, BCBA-D, QBA, IBA, LBA, Director of Northwest Behavioral Associates, has created a process for selecting commercially available curricula, and using them to develop individualized curricula with meaningful data collection protocols. She encourages fellow BCBAs to do the same, following these 6 steps:
- Refer to the developmental scope and sequence to determine the target domain/skill
- Cross reference your learner’s current skill repertoire with the developmental scope and sequence and identify missing component skills:
- Account for learner’s unique learning history
- Account for meaningful use of the skill in learner’s current and future environments
- Consider age, educational placement, community integration, and family dynamics
- Consider component skill “branches” and create an individual scope and sequence for the target domain/skill for the learner
- Evaluate the learner’s current goals and intervention package dosage to determine the number of new programs that can be introduced
- Review your organization’s available curricula, materials, and data collection templates to use/modify
- Start writing! Make sure you know the question you are asking, so you can develop appropriate data collection measures
Sample Curricula used at Northwest Behavioral Associates
We’ve compiled a list of some of Dr. Shook’s favorite commercially available curricula for learners with ASD. We hope you can use this list to build a robust materials library for your organization!
Did you know? All Motivity customers have access to the NBA Community Library, which contains data collection templates for these curricula, and more. Schedule a demo to see it in action.
- Four Square Writing Method, Judith S. Gould, Evan Jay Gould
- Visualizing & Verbalizing, Nanci Bell
- The Story Grammar Marker, Maryellen Rooney Moreau, Holly Fidrych
- Math-U-See, Steve Demme
- No Glamour (Listening Comprehension, Sentence Structure, Social Language & Behavior Cards), Various authors
- Seeing Stars, Nanci Bell
- I am Special: Introducing Children and Young People to their Autistic Spectrum Disorder, Peter Vermeulen
- Autism: What Does it Mean to Me? Catherine Faherty
- A “5” Could Make Me Lose Control, Kari Dunn Buron
- DBT Skills Training Manual, Second Edition, Marsha M. Linehan
- DBT Therapeutic Activity for Kids and Caregivers, Carol Lozier
- The Source for Executive Function Disorders, Sussanne Phillips Kelley
Independent Skills Domain
- Explore Budgeting, Judi Kinney, Jo Reynolds
- Edmark Functional Words Series, Pro-Ed Publishing
- Real World Writing, Evan Moor
- Relationship Development Intervention with Young Children: Social and Development Activities for Asperger Syndrome, Autism, PDD, and NLD, Steven Gutstein, Rachelle K. Sheely
- Manual of Exercises for Expressive Reasoning, Linda Zachman
- Handbook of Exercises for Language Processing (Auditory Processing, Language, Elementary, 1 – 5), Andrea M. Lazzari
- Listening from the Beginning to the End, Jean Gilliam Degaetano
- A Smart Girl’s Guide: Knowing What to Say, Patti Kelley Criswell, Brenna Hansen
- Character Building Activities for Kids, Darlene Mannix
- Social Thinking Worksheets for Teens and Tweens, Michelle Garcia Winner
- Castle Logix by Smart Games
- Easy Does It for Apraxia – Preschool, Robin Strode, Catherine Chamberlain
Theory of Mind
- Teaching Children with Autism to Mind Read: A Practical Guide, Julie A. Hadwin, Patricia Howlin, Simon Baron-Cohen