Autism Training Collaborative
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Change is Needed
Enhancing staff training to benefit individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) across the life span. Convening, assessing, and planning then acting will make improvement to staff training achievable and sustainable.
An analysis of state data confirms that individuals with autism spectrum disorders in South Carolina often fail to earn high school diplomas, gain employment and live independently (State Performance Plan). Citizens with ASD often leave school without the skills to live meaningful lives. The Autism Society of America estimates that the lifetime cost of caring for a child with autism ranges from $3.5 million to $5 million, and that the United States is facing almost $90 billion annually in costs for autism.
The cause of such poor outcomes for our citizens in South Carolina with ASD is linked to ineffective and uncoordinated systems of staff training. The alarming rise in prevalence rates of ASD coupled with poor outcome data require improvements in how people are trained to work with individuals with ASD.
Project Autism Training Collaborative (ATC) will enhance staff training to benefit individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) across the life span. The four components of the project are
Convening, assessing, and planning--then acting--will make improvement to staff training achievable and sustainable.
Convening (the ATC Advisory Committee) The project coordinator will recruit members for the ATC Advisory Committee. The Advisory Committee will consist of highly skilled experts in the field of autism and training. The ATC Advisory Committee will monitor the progress of the project throughout the grant.
Assessing Systemic change is often illusive and difficult. It can”t be accomplished by a single agency or school district acting in isolation. It can”t be done just by having good intentions or blaming the current system for its failures. Our system currently makes the same mistakes over and over again because of our failure to assess. Acting without clear purpose only results in a waste of time, resources, and energy. Project ATC anticipates
- conducting interviews with multiple agencies, private providers, school district staff and others
- reviewing, evaluate, observe, and analyze training practices, materials, syllabi, objectives, outcomes, format, etc.
- examining current system processes to train and develop new professionals in the area of ASD as well as on-going professional development training
Once the task of collecting data on current statewide training is competed, a roadmap on how to bring it up to best practice, as well as a plan to help fill in the gaps and supplement current training will be developed. The achievement of developing a path to improve staff training across environments can’t be underestimated.
Planning Project ATC will deliver a written state training plan specifically designed to address the unique needs of our state. Anticipated questions that may be answered are:
- How does training support staff to acquire specific knowledge in ASD characteristics relevant to preschool, school age, and post school environments?
- How does training support staff to acquire specific knowledge to address the curriculum, program development, and instructional needs across the life span?
- How does training support the staff’s ability to assess for interventions including interventions for problem behavior?
- How does training support the staff’s ability to assess the content for individual programs?
- How is the competency of staff assessed?
Acting Upon completion of the first year of the project, sponsors of staff training using the training roadmap will be better able to maximize resources, reduce costs, enhance linkages, eliminate duplication, and promote and design more effective training. Once the training roadmap is complete, Project ACT will move to promote and organize a more coherent and systemic approach to staff training based on the recommendations of the training roadmap.
Project ATC is a grant awarded to the SC Autism Society and funded by The Developmental Disability Council of SC.
ATC Project is a grant awarded to the SC Autism Society and funded by The Developmental Disability Council of SC.