applied behavior analysis (ABA)

a scientific approach to designing, conducting, and evaluating instruction based on empirically verified principles describing functional relations between events in the environment and learning


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(ABA=altering learning environment to meet needs of learners, particularly with autism)

Asperger syndrome

at the mild end of the autism spectrum

impairments in social interaction, no language delay, average/above average intelligence



  • repetitive, stereotyped behaviors
  • intense interest in a part. subject
  • preoccupation with one’s own interests
  • clumsiness, lack of fine-motor skills
  • difficult to make eye contact
  • adheres to routine and are inflexible
  • difficulty judging personal space/feelings
  • reading at early age
  • perfectionist



a neurobehavioral syndrome marked by qualitative impairments of social interaction and communication, and by restricted, repetitive, and stereotyped patterns of behavior

(first described by Leo Kanner)

  • difficulty relating to others in a typical manner
  • extreme aloneness/isolation
  • resistant to physical contact
  • speech deficits
  • food preferences
  • obsessive desire for repetition
  • bizarre, repetitive behavior-(rocking)
  • lack of imagination
  • normal physical appearance

autism spectrum disorders (ASD)

five disorders of childhood subsumed under the term ASD (previously PDD), differentiated from each other by age of onset and severity of symptoms

  • autistic disorder
  • Asperger syndrome
  • Rett syndrome
  • childhood disintegrative disorder
  • pervasive developmental disorder-not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS)

autistic disorder

onset before age 3;

  • impairment of social interaction
  • impairment of communication
  • restricted, repetitive, stereotyped patterns of behavior, interests, and activities

autistic savants
people with extraordinary ability in an area such as memorization, mathematical calculations, or musical ability while functioning at the mental retardation level in all other areas
behavior trap

taking advantage of students’ obsessions and turning a perceived deficit into a strength

  • baited with virtually irresistible reinforcers that “lure” the student to the trap
  • only a low-effort response already in the student’s repertoire is necessary to enter the trap
  • interrelated contingencies of reinforcement inside the trap motivate the student to acquire, extend, and maintain targeted academic/social skills
  • they can remain effective for a long time

childhood disintegrative disorder
shares the behavioral characteristics of autistic disorder, but begins;begins after 2 and sometimes before 10 and;medical complications are common
discrete trial training (DTT)

1 on 1 sessions of a routinized sequence of contrived learning trials is presented as child and teacher sit at a table


each sequence consists of an item presented, child’s response, and reinforcement (positive for a correct response, ignored/corrected for incorrect/nonresponses)

verbatim repetitions of what people around them have said, noncontextual speech phrases without any apparent communicative purpose (immediate or delayed)
facilitated communication (FC)

a communication partner (facilitator) provides physical support to assist an individual who cannot speak or whose speech is limited to typing on a keyboard or pointing at pictures, words or other symbols on a communication board


eventually discredited as scientific evidence showed the facilitator as influencing the outcome

joint attention

early developing social communication skill in which two people use gestures and gaze to share attention with respect to interesting objects or events


children with ASD often show deficits in joint attention

pervasive developmental disorders-not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS)

children who meet some, but not all, of the qualitative or quantitative criteria for autistic disorder


have significant impairments in socialization with difficulties in either communication or restricted interests

a compulsive, recurrent consumption of nonfood items
Rett syndrome

a distinct neurological condition that begins between 5 and 30 months of age following an apparently normal early infancy



  • head growth slows
  • stereotypic hand movements
  • unsteadiness and awkward gait
  • severe impairments in language and cognitive abilities
  • seizures are common


social stories

explain social situations and concepts, including expected behaviors of the persons involved, in a format understandable to an individual with ASD


descriptive, directive, perspective, and affirmative sentences

a pattern of persistent and repetitive behaviors such as rocking in a sitting position, twirling, flapping hands, humming, or gazing
loss of the ability to process and use language, may be expressive or less commonly receptive
articulation disorder

a child is at present not able to produce a given sound physically; the sound is not in his repertoire of sounds






(ex. “yeh me yuh a da wido”=let me look out the window)

augmentative and alternative communication (AAC)

a diverse set of strategies and methods (unaided or aided) to assist individuals who cannot meet their communication needs through speech or writing

  • a representational symbol set or vocabulary
  • a means for selecting the symbols
  • a means for transmitting the symbols

speech is very rapid, with extra sounds or mispronounced sounds-clutterer may be oblivious to his disorder, but can improve fluency by monitoring his speech

interactive exchange of information, ideas, feelings, needs, and desires


encoding, transmitting, and decoding messages


  • a message
  • a sender to send the message
  • a receiver who responds to the message

communication disorder
an impairment in the ability to receive, send, process, and comprehend concepts or verbal, nonverbal, and graphic symbols systems
language forms that result from historical, linguistic, geographical, and sociocultural factors
a group of speech disorders caused by neuromuscular impairments in respiration, phonation, resonation, and articulation
expressive language disorder
may have limited vocabulary for her age, be confused about the order of sounds or words, and use tenses and plurals incorrectly
fluency disorder
an interruption in the flow of speaking characterized by atypical rate, rhythm, and repetitions in sounds, syllables, words, and phrases
print symbols or letters

a formalized code used by a group of people to communicate with one another-consist of a set of abstract symbols and a system of rules for combining those symbols into larger units


are not static, but grow and develop with the culture/community

the smallest elements of language that carry meaning, can be sounds, syllables, or whole words
phonological disorder
ability to produce a given sound and does so correctly in some instances but does not produce the sound correctly at other times
linguistic rules governing a language’s sound system

a set of rules governing how spoken language is used to communicate

  • using language to achieve various communicative functions and goals
  • changing language according to the conversational context
  • following rules for conversations and storytelling

receptive language disorder
serious difficulties in understanding language or expressing themselves through language
the meaning of words and combinations of words
the oral production of language
speech impairment

when speech deviates so far from the speech of other people that it

-calls attention to itself

-interferes with communication

-provokes stress in the speaker of listener


3 different types

  1. articulation disorders
  2. fluency disorders
  3. voice disorders

a fluency disorder marked by rapid-fire repetitions of consonant or vowel sounds, especially at the beginning of words, prolongations, hesitations, interjections, and complete verbal blocks
the system of rules governing the meaningful arrangement of words into sentences
voice disorder
the abnormal production and/or absences of vocal quality, pitch, loudness, resonance, and/or duration which is inappropriate for the individual’s age/sex

45 different sound elements in the English language


(ex. pear vs. bear, only one phoneme prevents the words from being the same)

ASL -American Sign Language
legitimate visual-spatial language of deaf culture in which the shape, location, movement pattern of the hands, intensity of motions, and facial expressions communicate meaning and content
auditory training

for young children with hearing loss begins by teaching awareness of sound, teaching the child to learn and listen and to learn by listening instead of simply learning to hear



-a parent might draw attention to a sound such as a doorbell ringing, hiding a sound and having the child locate it

behavior observation audiometry

a passive assessment procedure in which the child’s reactions to sounds are observed


sound presented at an increasing level of intensity until a response is reliably observed

cochlear implant
bypasses damaged hair cells and stimulates the auditory nerve directly, surgically placed under the skin behind the ear
cued speech
supplements oral communication with a visual representation of spoken language in the form of hand signals that represent the 45 phonemes of spoken English-used in conjunction with speech
deaf culture

people who are deaf who do not view their hearing loss as a disability and consider the term “hearing impairment” inappropriate and demeaning because it suggests a defiiciency


Deaf is spelled with an upper case “D”, don’t prefer person first language, but instead use terms such as teacher of the Deaf, school for the Deaf and Deaf person

oral-aural approach
speech is essential if students who are deaf are to function in the hearing world, use training in producing and understanding speech
total communication
the use of a variety of forms of communication to teach English to students with hearing loss
in what ways does vision impairment affect learning?

o   Attendance

o   Social skills/reading cues and faces

o   Lack of access to visual learning

o   Congenital- ex. colors, can’t imagine them

o   Literary references to concepts, information that visually surrounds you that you learn about because you see it

placement options for the blind

o   Residential (traditional schools for the blind typically have multiple disability students rather than just blind)

o   Resource room (part time in a classroom for students with visual impairments, other part in regular classroom)

o   Regular class

§  With itinerant

orientation and mobility (O&M) instruction
considered a related service by IDEA and is included in the IEP that uses specific techniques (trailing, squaring off, arms as bumpers) and mobility devices (a shopping cart, suitcase on wheels) to teach students to understand their environment and maneuver through it safely and effectively
sight-guided technique

a simple method of helping a person with visual impairments to travel

-offer assistance, allow them to take YOUR arm, walk at a normal pace-describing obstacles, allow them to seat themselves by guiding their hand to the chair

legal blindness
visual acuity of 20/200 or less in the better eye after correction with glasses or contact lenses OR a restricted field of vision of 20 degrees or less
social isolation in students with visual impairments
limited common experiences with sighted peers, inability to see and use eye contact, facial expressions, and gestures during conversation
process of obtaining visual information
eye collects light from objects and focuses image on the retinaoptic nerve transmits image to the visual cortex
physical disabilities and health impairments

extremely varied, different on an individual basis as well, affect academic performance


ex. asthma, ADD or ADHD, diabetes, epilepsy, heart condition, hemophilia, Tourette syndrome, sickle cell anemia

cerebral palsy

a disorder of voluntary movement and posture


may experience paralysis, extreme weakness, lack of coordination, involuntary convulsions

seizure disorder thought to be triggered by sensory, physical, psychological factors (fatigue, anger, surprise, hormonal changes, withdrawal, patterns of light/sound/touch)
generalized tonic-clonic seizure (grand mal)
most conspicuous and serious type of seizure but NOT a medical emergency unless it lasts a very long time or unless the seizures occur frequently without a return to consciousness between seizures
absence seizure (petit mal)

far less severe than tonic-clonic, but may occur more frequently, usually a brief loss of consciousness occurs lasting from a few seconds to half a minute or so


may stare blankly, flutter or blink eyes, grow pale, drop what they are holding-may be viewed as daydreaming or not listening


consistently exhibiting difficult attention and inappropriate movement, inability to stay in task, impulsive behavior, and fidgeting impair their ability to learn and increase the likelihood of unsatisfactory interactions with others

(served under behavioral disorders and learning disabilities for IDEA)

educational approaches to students with low-incidence disabilities



making choices

communication skills

recreation and leisure skills

Renzulli’s definition of giftedness
above average ability+skills for task commitment+creativity=when all 3 spheres are developed do we truly have students that are gifted and can contribute to society
Piirto’s pyramid of talent development

  1. talent (art, music, academic, interpersonal)
  2. intellectual competence (IQ)
  3. personality attributes (resilience, self-esteem)

plus “lucky stars”

Bloom’s Taxonomy

revised from nouns to verbs

–> remember, understand, apply, analyze, and evaluate

cultural interpreter
creates bridges of understanding between school and home culture
cultural reciprocity
understanding how differing values and belief systems may influence families’ perspectives, wishes, and decisions
respite care
short-term care of a family member with disabilities to provide relief for parents from caretaking duties