What is your approach to intervention and what teaching methods do you use at FLC? Is it "Discrete Trial Training" (DTT), "Natural Environment Teaching" (NET) "Fluency Based Instruction" (FBI), etc.?

We believe that there is a critical importance of individualizing the programs and the intervention to the learner, that is, to address the “goodness of fit” framework (Bailey et al., 1990) in matching interventions to learners. Individualization requires that we attend to all of the aspects of the learner’s environment, to the learner’s characteristics and skills, to the quality of implementation, and to the maintenance of skills (Cummings, 1999).

The inclusive message is that people with autism and other developmental disorders learn in a variety of ways and through a variety of instructional procedures, and that the broad spectrum of empirically validated approaches should be utilized.  In addressing the question of which teaching procedure/ method of intervention is the most effective, it is recommended that we do not put all our eggs (resources, assets, hopes) in any single procedural basket because, like all of us, people with autism must learn to learn, from their surrounding environment, in a variety of ways. These include direct instruction, incidental teaching, television, computers; from their parents, teachers and peers. Also from auditory, pictorial and textual cues. There are many evidence based intervention procedures that accomplish these different but equally important objectives (Weiss, M.J., 2000).

An over emphasis on any particular approach diminishes the potential influence of our intervention efforts, and threatens the individualization which is a hallmark characteristic of ABA. It is imperative that the application of these procedures be done in the context of a thorough assessment of the learner’s strengths, weaknesses, and needs. It is also important to monitor the functionality of these interventions. Finally, it is particularly important to be open to changing instructional procedures when the data does not indicate adequate progress (Krantz, 2000).