New Web-based Programs for Practitioners and Parents of Kids with Autism

Healthcare professionals and parents of children with autism can benefit from the tools provided by two new, web-based programs.

The Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD), the world’s largest autism treatment center that provides state-of-the art therapy, announces the launch of CARD eLearning and Skills, two breakthrough, web-based tools that provide training to parents and practitioners and allow the ability to assess and design treatment for children with autism and related disorders. CARD eLearning and Skills are based on the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), which has been empirically proven to be the most effective autism treatment and is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the U.S. Surgeon General. Both tools will be unveiled to educators at the Florida Education Technology Conference (FETC), held January 31—February 3, 2011, in Orlando, FL.

CARD eLearning is a 40-hour online training course designed to facilitate effective intervention for children with autism by equipping users with foundational knowledge in ABA. The training consists of nine video-based training modules which feature online note taking, quizzes, a final exam and certificate of course completion.

Skills is a program designed to give educators of children with autism access to the most comprehensive assessment of a child’s development available. The results of the assessment are linked directly to a set of eight curricula that provide individualized lesson plans with step-by-step instructions for teaching children with autism the skills they need. In addition, Skills provides charts and graphs that track treatment progress and the impact of various events (including other treatments and life events) on the child’s progress.

Dr. Doreen Granpeesheh, PhD, BCBA-D, founder and executive director of CARD and co-creator of Skills says, “My initial intent in developing Skills was to empower both parents and professionals. I wanted to provide the highest quality training, the most accurate assessment, and the most comprehensive curriculum for children with autism. Skills does all of that, and more.”

"Unlike other assessment tools for the treatment of autism and related disorders, Skills provides users with developmental milestones, prerequisites, and activity guides. Each lesson comes with supplemental worksheets and handouts to ensure that what the child learns applies to his or her real life. In addition, users can view Skills lesson videos and create an individualized treatment plan using this program,” says Skills co-creator Adel Najdowski, PhD, BCBA-D. “Skills was created with the goal of helping as many children affected by autism as possible. It is our mission to provide affordable global access to the highest quality ABA-based intervention in the world and to increase recovery from autism.”

Skills co-creator and CARD’s Director of Analytics Dennis Dixon, PhD says, “Teachers, parents and practitioners can use Skills as an effective management tool. The online program can evaluate treatment progress one child at a time. Plus, by allowing the user to look at progress across a number of children, the user can evaluate treatment integrity down to the individual therapist. Skills is based on empirically supported treatment. And while the system will automate a program for users, it allows users the flexibility to tailor the program to the child’s unique needs.”

Skills is an affordable program that provides everything that educators of children with autism need to design and implement a comprehensive behavioral treatment program in one easily accessible location.

Skills features:

1. 24/7 access to Skills from any computer from anywhere in the world with internet access

2. Almost 4,000 lesson activities covering the eight fundamental developmental areas

3. Easily accessible lesson activities and teaching guides

4. Printable, fun and creative worksheets

5. Clear, brief, and visually appealing videos

6. Allows parents, teachers and professionals to work together as a team

7. Detailed treatment progress and clinical timeline charts

8. Access to assessment, treatment, and progress tracking all in one place

9. Results of the individualized assessment are linked to a comprehensive set of curricula

10. Access to Individualized Educational Plan (IEP) goals and benchmarks tailored to lesson plans

11. Based on over 30 years of research on the principles of learning

12. Ability to see the effects of alternative treatments on learning rate

13. Lesson activities can be customizable to meet the child’s needs.

Adapted from materials provided by the Center for Autism and Related Disorders