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Oregon Autism Center Plan Revision 2 (2007)
Problem: Oregon Department of Education (ODE) has a tendency not to hire outside consultants to oversee students with autism/developmental disabilities or train teachers and aides in appropriate Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) procedures. This puts the onus on parents to learn and execute ABA for their own child and also continue to push ODE for this service in both Early Intervention and Special Education.
Design direct instruction curriculum, ABA evaluation system with graphical tracking, and on-line ABA programs via Open Education Resources (OERs). These OERs will be available for free under a Creative Commons or like licensing. They are usually created via a collaborative structure such as http://en.wikiversity.org, http://wikieducator.org, and http://en.wikibooks.org. Once curriculum and evaluation systems are designed and available for free, parents and educators can participate in honing the program and in spreading the word.
Acquire a building to house an Oregon Autism Center between Portland and Eugene. The center will be a hub for support groups, trainings, materials, and evaluations.
Offer free or low-cost ABA training and limited evaluations using ABLLS or free Open Education Resources (OERs) to parents with children with autism (especially newly diagnosed), school districts, Regional Directors, ESDs, and Early Intervention Programs.
Possibly offer free or low-cost Autism diagnosis by a specially trained medical doctor, psychiatrist, or psychologist with Ph.D.
Create and maintain the Autism Library with multimedia and print information and training materials.
- Create an autism community by creating an Oregon Autism collaborative effort through various websites (http://autismoregon.org, http://directinstruction.org, http://directinstruction.org/wiki, and http://yahoogroups.com/group/autism-oregon)
- Ensure parents and educators free or low-cost access to videos, books, e-books, power point slides, and curriculum all of which should be distribute on web
- Connect with Direct Instruction, marketing, writing, and communications departments and students at universities to assist in the development of materials and assessments. Try to develop internship or class projects through the universities.
- Create freely distrubuted web videos of examples of competently delivered ABA
- Urge the school districts, Regional Directors, ESDs, and Early Intervention Programs to mandate offering all parents the information about Oregon Autism collaboration
- Acquire a small building between Portland and Eugene to house an "Oregon Autism Center."
- Open the house to other autism nonprofit groups for their use. Charge a minimal fee for maintenance and insurance.
- Potentially hire a shared secretary and/or bookkeeper. Also consider shared phone lines to cut costs across many organizations (Bridgeway House, Autism Society of Oregon, HELP, POAC of Oregon, etc.)
- Give free or very low priced workshops through POAC of Oregon
- Purchase or get a grant for an LCD projector
- Assist in hiring and training of therapists for schools and home programs
- Maintain a checkout library of autism/ABA learning materials for parents, therapists, and people involved (books, VHS tapes, CDs, etc). Work with ODE/School for the Deaf to house and maintain the Autism Library.
- Write grants to continue the program indefinitely or until the state is able to maintain a program approved by parents/providers of children with autism
- Assist parents with placement
- Maintain and track costs using cost-cutting methods
- Find a way of receiving state/federal monies for autism professional, materials, and school for placement of children
- Create an atmosphere of education, membership activities, and solidarity
- Contract with an autism professional with appropriate qualifications, talent, and communication abilities to provide direct services to parents and children with autism (see below)
- Provide parents with needed guidance from an autism professional & provide training to parents
- Provide direct one-on-one ABA from autism professional to children. Hours will be minimal in order to keep autism professional up-to-date on each child but be cost effective and efficient with limited money.
- Offer free or low-cost evaluations and home program set ups.
All attempts possible will be made to hire and find funding for autism professionals in the state of Oregon with one or more of the following qualifications:
- Certified in ABA (BCBA or BCABA)
- Speech background (certified or licensed in a state)
- Masters degree in ABA, Special Ed, Early Intervention, Psychology, or related area
- Ability to work with children, train therapists, train parents, and communicate with all
- Salary of $60k/yr plus state-worker like benefits package