Educational Outreach Program

The Educational Outreach Program (EOP) at ATF Learning Difficulties Center envisions merging cutting-edge research in the neuroscience of social emotional engagement with practical implementation strategies in educational settings. Our primary focus revolves around cultivating a positive learning environment where social emotional learning competencies are integrated into a universal design for learning framework.

We aim to enlighten and motivate entire school communities by fostering sustainable changes within community-based educational systems.

Our approach involves training district and school personnel, nurturing sustainable leadership, and developing coaching teams. These teams will subsequently provide training and mentorship for school-based staff and families.

Through these methods, we strive to help school systems build internal capabilities in serving children with autism and other developmental disabilities, consequently reducing reliance on external expertise in the long term. Our training content, rooted in research on the neurodevelopment of social competence in children with and without vulnerabilities, facilitates the integration of accommodations into universal learning designs benefiting the entire student body.

Infant Toddler Community Outreach

ATF Learning Difficulties Center's Infant Toddler Community Outreach program endeavors to enhance the capacity of community systems to identify and support infants and toddlers at risk for autism, along with their families.

Our coaching and training model equips early childhood and Part C providers with the necessary knowledge and skills to coach caregivers on strategies to enrich early communication skills and social development in children at risk for autism. The ultimate aim is to establish a sustainable support system to optimize developmental outcomes for these children.

Additionally, our program engages in community-based participatory research to aid service providers in recognizing early signs of autism. This enables prompt connection to early intervention services, significantly impacting child and family outcomes. Web-based training targets members of community systems serving young children, enhancing their ability to identify and connect children with autism to trained early intervention providers.

Early detection and intervention significantly influence a child's trajectory. By empowering staff in various early childhood settings, we strive to maximize the potential of all children.

School Consultation Program

ATF Learning Difficulties Center's School Consultation program offers consultation, direct support, and training for school systems, particularly in addressing the educational and behavioral needs of children diagnosed with autism and related disorders. Our team comprises Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs) who provide behavior analytic services within schools, aiming to enhance students' skills while mitigating problem behaviors.

More about the program

Consultation services are not directly provided to a student, but these services are provided to teachers and other school staff to help guide their classroom services. Consultation services include, but are not limited to:

  • Monitoring student’s progress and the staff’s integrity when implementing behavioral procedures
  • Assisting school staff with individualized education plan (IEP) preparation and attending IEP meetings
  • Assisting school staff in recording and interpreting data for educational and behavioral programming

By consulting with school officials, our staff helps teachers and administrators design intervention strategies for students that take each school’s resources into account, developing case-specific solutions to complex problems that can be further applied to other students.

Direct services are provided in school systems with a consultant directly working with the student. These services involve behavioral and academic assessment techniques, treatment analyses and the implementation of academic and behavioral interventions. Direct services include, but are not limited to:

  • Behavioral or academic techniques (e.g., interviews, observations, functional behavior assessments (FBAs), assessment of basic language and learning skills - revised (ABLLS-R), assessment of functional living skills (AFLS), curriculum-based assessments)
  • Implementation of either academic or behavioral interventions, such as applied behavior analysis (ABA) teaching methods, toileting training and social skills training
  • Data collection for assessment or intervention evaluation
  • Hands-on training of individual school staff members

By working with school professionals, our staff can tailor intervention strategies to meet a child’s needs, a teacher’s resources and a family’s goals by offering training that teachers, administrators and parents feel confident implementing.

Training topics vary depending on the specific needs. Training typically centers on the following topics, but can include implementation for a variety of behavioral and educational topics either for individuals or for all children.

Training services include, but are not limited to:

  • Differential diagnoses of autism spectrum disorder
  • Working with children with autism and related disorders
  • ABA and verbal behavior teaching methods
  • Use and administration of the ABLLS-R and AFLS
  • Behavioral management, behavioral assessment and behavioral intervention
  • Classroom setup for effective behavioral management and increased academic engagement
  • Positive behavioral supports

The training services are useful for children with autism and related disorders, but they can be broadly applied to more effectively manage the behavioral or developmental issues among other students.

These services are provided as a three-year "train the trainer" model. Model classrooms include assessment and program development for up to eight children in a classroom with a teacher and at least two paraprofessionals. Teachers and paraprofessionals assigned to the model classroom attend a five-day training over the summer, typically during pre-planning. Topics include but are not limited to:

  • Introduction to ABA in education
  • Classroom setup and scheduling
  • Use an administration of ABLLS and/or AFLS
  • Effective program development
  • Functions of behavior and behavior management
  • Data collection and analysis

Intensive consultation and training for classroom staff continues until they are able to implement all procedures consistently. The level of consultation then decreases each year as the independence of the staff increases.