Autism and Behavior Support

  • Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) affects behaviors such as social interaction, communication and development of relationships with others. Support for teachers who provide instruction to students with Autism Spectrum Disorders in Alexandria City Public Schools is provided by an Autism Resource Specialist and a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA).

    Tenets of Best Practice: Effective instruction for students on the Autism Spectrum should include the following:

    1. Intervention approaches should be individualized to match a child's current developmental level and his or her profile of learning strengths and weaknesses.
    2. Intervention for young children should be based on our current knowledge of child development.
    3. An intervention approach should directly address the core characteristics of ASD.
    4. Intervention approaches should demonstrate a logical consistency with their long-term goals and teaching protocols.
    5. Intervention approaches should be derived from a range of sources.

    ACPS utilizes a wide variety of teaching strategies which may or may not include some of the following for students with ASD: Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), TEACCH (Treatment and Education of Autistic and Related Communication Handicapped Children), Picture Communication Exchange Systems (PECS), Social Skills Teaching, Structured Teaching, The STAR (Strategies for Teaching based on Autism Research) curriculum, SCERTS (focusing on social communication, emotional regulation and transactional support) and various sensory strategies.

    Behavioral Support

    When a student's behavior is interfering with the learning process of that student or others, it may become necessary to consider the development and implementation of specially designed behavior interventions and services in order to support the student and classroom environment. The behavior support staff are available to consult and collaborate with the student's school-based team to assess the needs of the student and develop strategies that will increase opportunities for student success in the areas of academic, behavioral, and social skills.

    Behavior services are provided to support school-based teams through assistance with Functional Behavior Assessments (FBAs) and Behavior Intervention Plans (BIPs), verbal de-escalation, physical restraint techniques, and professional learning opportunities in the areas of behavior and classroom management strategies.

    Strategy Resources

    Virginia Resources