This set of legal briefs was contributed by attorney Mary Jane White. She wrote:
"This will be helpful for families to download and take to their local counsel--a good personal injury trial lawyer could read this stuff and begin to make a very credible case of it. You can find a good trial lawyer by looking at the IDELR, Individuals With Disabilities Law Reporter (in the law school library) and seeing who is representing parents in your state. The names of the lawyers and their cities are given at the beginning of each case--a reference librarian at the law library can help you learn where to look. If you can't find a good special education lawyer, contact a member of ATLA, Association of Trial Lawyers of America--these are the plaintiffs' trial bar--the really good litigators, which is what you need."
*************** Sumlin Notes *********************
[Re-post from 3/97 in answer to someone who was having their first consultant workshop:]
If you have a video recorder, or can borrow one, tape the entire workshop (we found that our first workshop and the impression our consultant made with this first "presentation" was very important -- we were able to narrow three days onto 3 two-hr. videotapes) and give those who can't attend a copy asap. If you can't get hold of a video recorder, audio record and/or take notes on the visuals and make copies for the therapists (and anyone else who has lots of contact with your child -- grandparents, family members, etc.). We continued doing this (both videotaping and taking notes) for therapists, whether they attended or not, for all the follow-up [workshop]s too.
Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is the science of human behavior and learning that began with the work of B.F. Skinner over 70 years ago. Skinner taught us that learning can be accelerated by arranging the learning environment and consequences of behavior in classrooms. Teachers or parents who actively work to organize the learning environments of their students to accelerate learning are more effective than those teachers who instead rely on the student to organize his environment.
Through many years of research in the field of ABA, we have learned that the important parts of the learning environments that we need to organize are:
What we do to make a behavior occur.
What we do after the behavior occurs to make it stronger in the future. In other words, if we want a child with autism to learn to come to us every time we call him then we have to
do something to make the behavior occur (call him) and then
What is ABA?
Applied behavior analysis is the extension of operant (focus on observable behavior in individuals) methodology to the modification of human behavior.
History of ABA (very brief):
Watson & Raynor (1920): Conditioned a phobic reaction in an I I month old child.
Hull (1943): Stimulus- response learning theory
Skinner (1953): Extended operant principles to human problems. Criticized the psychoanalytic approach and adopted a philosophical position of radical behaviorism (only observable behavior can be the subject of scientific investigation).
Eysenck(1959): Defined behavior therapy as an applied science (as opposed to psychotherapy).
Behavioral treatment applied to autism focuses on increasing behavioral deficits and decreasing behavioral excesses.
'ABA' is a general term. There are several different behavioral treatments for many disorders including autism.
Behavioral Treatments/Programs for Autism
I don't know what it is about gizmos in helping kids with autism but there is getting to be a bit of a list. Here's one: Child Guard - wireless monitor that alerts you when your child begins to wander off. Yes, for $30 you can keep track. Of course, this might be a little better than a child leash.