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Inclusive Education and Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders

Michael McSheehan
Clinical Assistant Professor Communication Science & Disorders University of New Hampshire

Jack 4th Grade November:

Jack with Assistant

General Education Classroom

Jacks Desk

Benefits Special Education Policy General Education Policy
No Child Left Behind accountability Common Core Standards College & Career Ready

Reflection Through a Student Q&A

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Disability impacts us all, whether by age, disease, accident, birth, or by whatever means, it impacts us all. It is a part of life, and the sooner we as a society learn to value the unique contributions of every person, the better off we ALL will be. If we live long enough, we will be disabled in some way. What kind of society do we want to live in? One where we are excluded or ignored and cant participate in the things that are most important to us and with the people we care about? Or one where we are respected and invited and empowered to contribute? Musgrove, 2011 11/1/2011

Currently there are: 350,000 infants and toddlers receive early intervention. 6.7 million Children and youths receive special education and related services.
1/110 for ASD in the general population 11/1/2011

Benefits to General Education Setting

Meet individual goals and objectives and also get access to and support in learning gradelevel standards, curriculum and instruction. Kluth 2011 Fisher & Frey, 2001 Jorgensen, McSheehan, & Sonnenmeier, 2009 Kasa-Hendrickson & Kluth, 2005 Kinney & Fischer, 2001 Kliewer, 2008 Kluth, 1998 Martin, 1994 Rubin et al. , 2001 Ryndak, Morrison, Sommerstein, 1999 Savarese, 2007 11/1/2011

Benefits to General Education Setting

In addition, teachers often find that communication skills blossom when learners have regular opportunities to interact, share, and express themselves Kluth, 2011 McSheehan, Jorgensen, & Sonnenmeier, 2009 Kluth, 1998 Marin, 1994 Savarese, 2007 11/1/2011

Finally, Students stand to make gains in social skills and competencies in inclusive classrooms. Kluth, 2011

Martin, 2994 Ritter, Michel, & Irby, 1999 11/1/2011

If thats not enough, there is federal law

The Preamble to IDEA 2004 says: Disability is a natural part of the human experience and in no way diminishes the right of individuals to participate in or contribute to society. Improving educational results for children with disabilities is an essential element of our national policy of ensuring equality of opportunity, full participation, independent living, and economic self-sufficiency for individuals with disabilities. 11/1/2011

Three really important words the Preamble are, improving educational results. In 1975, there were over a million children with disabilities who were not allowed to attend school. Then, the focus was on gaining access. Now, it must be on results. Compliance means nothing if students are not growing in the knowledge and skills they will need to be successful upon leaving school. How do the services being provided lead to better outcomes? --Musgrove, 2011

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Special Education Policy: Getting In

Education for All Handicapped Children Act (PL 94-142)
Revolutionized American education policy

FAPE IEP LRE Assess and ensure effectiveness of special education Financial assistance

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Free Appropriate Public Education 1970 = 1/5 students with disabilities were educated in American schools Every student with a disability can receive educational supports and services at public expense 11/1/2011


Individualized Education Framework for Program curriculum and instruction Its not the whole program outlines indicators, priorities, supports

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Least Restrictive Environment
IEP Team decide to the maximum extent appropriate, children with disabilities are educated with children who are not disabled removal from regular educational environment occurs only when the nature or severity of the disability of the child is such that education in regular classes with the use of supplementary aids and services cannot be achieved satisfactorily. (IDEA 1990, PL 101-476, 612 [a][5] 11/1/2011


Where are SE students served? State data Fall 2006

The percentage of SE students served in the least restrictive setting varies dramatically by state from 78% in ND to 10% in VA Placements in separate facilities range from 2% of all children in SE in several states to 16% in NJ An inclusion index, constructed for this presentation, suggests that the least inclusive state, VA, is about twice as restrictive as the most, ND

Special Education Policy: Setting the Stage for Inclusive Schools

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) of 1990 (PL 101-476) Civil rights for students with disabilities Spirit and provisions from PL 94-142 maintained

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Special Education Policy: Expanding inclusion

1997 IDEA Reauthorization Spirit and provisions from PL 94-142 maintained
IEP goals must address involvement with and progress in the general curriculum Include students with disabilities in general stateand district-wide assessments with appropriate accommodations and modifications Alternate assessments based on alternate achievement standards
Participation Access & Progress

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Special Education Policy: Expanding inclusion

IDEIA 2004
Spirit and provisions from PL 94-142 maintained

HQT Research-based instruction 3-year IEPs

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Evidence-Based Practices and Current Federal Initiatives

In 2001 the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) emphasized the need for scientifically-based research and the use of evidence-based practices in the field of education.

The NCLB act defines Evidence-Based Practice (EBP) as the use of practices, interventions, and treatments which have been proven, through data based research, to be effective in improving outcomes for individuals when the practice is implemented with fidelity.
No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, Public Law 107-110
Presented by Lana Collet-Klingenberg, Ph.D. 19 NH 11th Annual Autism Summer Institute, August 11, 2009

Evidence-Based Practices & Current Federal Initiatives

IDEA aligns with NCLB in its use of terminology related to evidence-based practice, i.e., scientifically based research ( 300.35) and emphasizes its importance in sections on educational placements ( 300.116) as well as personnel development ( 300.207), and related funding.
Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004, Public Law 108-446
Presented by Lana Collet-Klingenberg, Ph.D. 20 NH 11th Annual Autism Summer Institute, August 11, 2009

Example of Evidence Based Practices Guidelines

Evidence-Based Practices
Antecedent-based interventions Computer-aided instruction Differential reinforcement Discrete trial training Extinction Functional behavior assessment Functional communication training Parent-implemented intervention Picture Exchange Communication System Pivotal response training Prompting Reinforcement Response interruption/redirection Self-Management Social narratives Social skills training group Speech generating devices Task analysis Time delay Video modeling Visual supports

ASD & Inclusive Education Think Tank

Evidence Based Practices for Students with Autism that Promote Participation in and Learning of the General Education Curriculum in the General Education Classroom.

Students with disabilities placed in general education classes score higher on standardized assessments of reading and math.
Blackorby, J., Chorost, M., Garza, N., & Guzman, A. (2003). The academic performance of secondary students with disabilities. In M. Wagner, C. Marder, J. Blackorby, R. Cameto, L. Newman, P. Levine, et al. (Eds.), The achievements of youth with disabilities during secondary school. A report from the National Longitudinal Transition Study2 (NLTS2; pp. 414). Menlo Park, CA: SRI International. Wagner, M., & Blackorby, J. (2004). Overview of findings from wave 1 of the special education elementary longitudinal study (SEELS). Menlo Park, CA: SRI International.

What does the research say about placement and outcomes?

Data from two longitudinal studies of nationally representative samples of students with disabilities (SEELS and NLTS-2) when controlling for SES, age, gender, disability type, and severity of disability found: spending more time in general education classrooms related independently to greater engagement, achievement, and social adjustment of students with disabilities at school (Blackorby, Knokey, Wagner, Levine, Schiller, & Sumi, 2007; Wagner, Newman, Cameto, & Levine, 2006).

30 years of Support for Inclusive Ed

No studies conducted since the late 1970s have shown an academic advantage for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities educated in separate settings.
Falvey, M. (2004). Toward realizing the influence of Toward realization of the least restrictive educational environments for severely handicapped students. Research and Practice for Persons with Severe Disabilities, 29(1), 910.

Case Study - Jack

Included in grades 1 - 3 4th grade at age 10 Autism Initial communication system: gestures (2 finger pt.) some signs, vocalizations Go-Talk (9 messages) No reliable yes/no Home - 3 sibs, active, interpret needs

Described by team: Jack functions at the 2 yr. level

Baseline - SGD 9 Items

Jack 4th Grade November:

Jack with Assistant

General Education Classroom

Jacks Desk

Jack Spring of 4th Grade: Enhancing Participation

Adult Aides, then fades

Go Talk with 9 messages for Social Studies

10 months later

What are all students doing?

Adapted Grade level novel

Rewritten by team members to late 1st - early 2nd grade level, maintaining essential content for general education quizzes/test.

Classmate Paired Reading

Membership: Jack is both in the classroom and with the other students.

Participation: In general instruction A means to communicate all the time.

Independent Silent Reading

Students with disabilities should be regarded as regular education students first, and they should receive the special education and related services guaranteed under IDEA, Duncan said.
In order to help them succeed, all students should have access to high-quality, grade-level instruction aligned to college-and career-ready standards. Students wont meet high standards until they are given access to the regular education curriculum that includes the educational content needed to demonstrate academic competency.

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General Education Policy

Race to the Top Common Core State Standards College & Career Ready

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Common Core and Students with Disabilities

Students with disabilitiesmust be challenged to excel within the general curriculum and be prepared for success in their post-school lives, including college and/or careers.


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Using the Common Core Standards to Address Instruction

Teachers should apply strategies for linking to grade level content instruction identify clear instructional goals and objectives so that the construct being measured is not compromised identify the construct being measured during an assessment so that student performance measures what is intended That results in student work that reflects appropriate constructs in reading, mathematics, and science
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Developing a system of assessments supported by curriculum, instruction, and professional development to ensure that students with significant cognitive disabilities achieve increasingly higher academic outcomes and leave high school ready for postsecondary options.
For more information, contact Project Director Rachel Quenemoen at or 612-708-6960. The contents of this presentation were developed under a grant from the Department of Education (PR/Award #: H373X100002, Project Officer, However, the contents do not necessarily represent the policy of the Department of Education and no assumption of endorsement by the Federal government should be made.


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College and Career Readiness

Among the goals of Race to the Top is to increase dramatically the number of students who graduate from high school ready for college and career.
Expose more students to rigorous curricula. Align high school curricula with college entrance requirements. This definition presents a challenge in discussing students with significant cognitive disabilities.

What if.. these were the facts of YOUR life?

Fact 1: You have a cognitive impairment with a low IQ score. Fact 2: You can sign your name but reading/writing skills are minimal. Fact 3: There are no inclusive post secondary education programs in your community. Fact 4: Most individuals with IEPs like you go to day programs. Except well. Fact 5: There is an extensive waiting list for the day program Fact 6: Your family has a tradition of affiliation with a particular college.
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How would you proceed or want those acting on your behalf to proceed?


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Career Readiness for All

Preparedness for workplace refers to the reading and mathematics knowledge and skills needed to qualify for an occupations job training program; it does not necessarily mean that the qualifications to be hired for a job have been met (NAGB, 2009). Sample pathways include:
Apprenticeship programs Community College certification Job training programs On the job training Vocational technical institutes
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Career and College Ready for All

Components in a Comprehensive Definition of College Readiness for typical high school students
Key Cognitive Strategies
Problem solving, reasoning, analysis, interpretation, critical thinking

Key Content
Full Access to the general curriculum to maximize life long learning

Academic Behaviors
Self monitoring, time management, using information resources, social interaction skills,

Contextual Skills and Awareness

Seeking help with admissions, procedures, group interaction skills (Conley, 2007) 11/1/2011



Did You Know?

The Higher Education Opportunity Act includes two major provisions that may facilitate entry into higher education for students with intellectual disability
Implementation of Model Demonstration sites. Availability of financial aid if enrolled.


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Survey Findings on College Programs for Students with Intellectual Disability

(Think College, 2009)


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Heres what Kearns et al recommend.

Maximize communicative competence
Provide full access to the academic content for life-long learning Develop appropriate social skills Develop independent work behaviors Develop support access skills
(Kearns, Kleinert, Harrison, Shepard-Jones, Hall, Jones 2011)
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Imagine educational practices in which learners with significant disabilities have the same learner outcomes as students without disabilities.
Kleinert & Kearns, 2001 p. 21


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Inclusive Education and Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders

Michael McSheehan
Clinical Assistant Professor Communication Science & Disorders University of New Hampshire