The Canadian Academy of Health Sciences recently published a report entitled, “Autism in Canada: Considerations for Future Public Policy Development – Weaving Together Evidence and Lived Experience” (CAHS, 2022). The report involved collaboration with, and input from, Autistic people/people with Autism and professionals representing a wide range of disciplines and regions across Canada. The report makes a number of recommendations that reflect the lived experiences of Autistic people/people with Autism and the best available research evidence.
Among the recommendations, the Autism in Canada report indicates that, particularly for younger children with ASD, some of the best outcomes may be achieved through the use of Naturalistic Developmental Behavioural Interventions (NDBI). These approaches use behavioural principles to teach skills prioritized for the individual learner in the natural environment. The focus is on embedding skill development into the learner’s everyday activities, social interactions, and routines to support generalization and maintenance of those skills.
One example of a Naturalistic Developmental Behavioural Intervention for learners with ASD in schools is Classroom Pivotal Response Teaching (CPRT). CPRT provides educators with specific strategies, based on the principles of Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA), to get and maintain the learner’s attention, maximize motivation, and support skill building.
Amber Fitzgerald, M.A., BCBA, is the Project Manager for the Autism Intervention Research Network on Behavioural Health at the University of California – Davis. Amber holds a Master’s Degree in Special Education, and is a former public school teacher. She has been working with children and youth with ASD and their families in various community, educational, and clinical settings for more than 15 years.
Autism in Education is pleased to welcome Amber Fitzgerald to share a 2-part series focused on transferring evidence-based strategies for learners with ASD into the classroom and school setting, through the lens of her work and research on Classroom Pivotal Response Teaching.
Webinar recordings coming soon.
- Classroom Pivotal Response Teaching – Part 1 (The Basics)
- Classroom Pivotal Response Teaching – Part 2 (Classroom Application and Examples)