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SCERTS Part 1: A Comprehensive Educational Framework for Autism

presented by Barry M. Prizant, Amy Laurent & Emily Rubin

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This course introduces the SCERTS Model, an evidence-based, comprehensive, multidisciplinary educational approach and framework designed for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and related disabilities. Participants will learn about the core values and guiding principles underlying practice in the SCERTS Model. The neurodevelopmental basis of social development is reviewed as a foundation for identifying highest priority goals and objectives, and the three domains of SCERTS - Social Communication, Emotional Regulation, and Transactional Support are introduced. Participants are also introduced to observation and action planning within the SCERTS Model.

Meet Your Instructors

  • Barry M. Prizant, PhD, CCC-SLP

    Barry M. Prizant, Ph.D., CCC-SLP has more than 40 years experience as a clinical scholar, consultant, researcher and program consultant to children and older persons with Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and related developmental disabilities and their families. He is both the Director of Childhood Communication Services (CCS), a private practice, and an Adjunct Professor in the Artists and Scientists as Partners Group, Brown University. Barry has served as a tenured Professor of Communication Disorders at Southern Illinois University and Emerson College, where he developed specialty tracks in language disabilities and autism in the Master’s and Doctoral programs. He also was Founder and Director of the Communication Disorders Department at Bradley Hospital, with an Associate Professor Appointment in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry in the Brown University Program in Medicine, and was an Advanced Post-Doctoral Fellow in Early Intervention at UNC-Chapel Hill. Barry has developed family-centered programs for newly diagnosed toddlers with social-communication disabilities and ASD and their families in hospital and university clinic settings, and consults widely to schools and agencies in New England as well and nationally and internationally, from early intervention through high school settings. He has published more than 120 articles and chapters on autism, childhood communication disorders and child development, has given more than 700 seminars and workshops at national and international conferences and has served on the Editorial Board of six scholarly journals and writes a regular column for Autism Spectrum Quarterly. Barry has received widespread recognition and many honors in his career. He was an invited speaker at the United Nations for World Autism Awareness Day (April, 2013) and received the Divine Neurotypical Award of the Global and Regional Asperger Syndrome Partnership (www.grasp.org), for contributions to improving quality of life for persons with autism spectrum disorders. Barry also was the recipient of the 2005 Princeton University Eden Foundation Award for career contributions in autism, Fellowship in the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and the Massachusetts Speech-Language Hearing Association Clinical Achievement Award on two occasions.

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  • Amy Laurent, PhD, OTR/L

    Amy Laurent, Ph.D., OTR/L is a developmental psychologist and a registered pediatric occupational therapist. Currently in private practice, Amy specializes in the education of children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and related developmental disabilities. The majority of Amy’s work involves collaborating with and supporting early intervention teams, school teams, and families. Her consultative services focus on the creation of educational programs and environments that facilitate children’s active engagement and learning at home, in schools, and throughout their communities. The SCERTS Model, of which she is a coauthor, along with differentiated instruction and developmental theory guide her practice. Amy is an adjunct faculty member for the School of Education at the University of Rhode Island, Kingston, RI. She teaches courses focused on Research Methodology for educators. Previously, she has served as an adjunct faculty member for the Communication Disorders Department at Emerson College and at the University of Rhode Island. In these roles, she developed graduate courses focused on preparing clinicians to meet the needs of children with autism, as well as the needs of their families. Amy’s current research interests involve examining the relationship between characteristics of young children diagnosed with Autism and strategies used by parents to support them within the context of natural routines and play. Her publications focus on social communication and emotional regulation in individuals diagnosed with ASD. She frequently lectures and provides training throughout the United States and internationally on the SCERTS Model, and other topics related to therapeutic and educational intervention for children with ASD.

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  • Emily Rubin, MS, CCC-SLP

    Emily Rubin, MS, CCC-SLP is the Director of the Educational Outreach Program at the Marcus Autism Center in Atlanta, GA, an affiliate of Emory University and an NIH Autism Center of Excellence. She is a speech-language pathologist specializing in autism, Asperger’s Syndrome, and related social learning disabilities. As a former adjunct faculty member and lecturer at Yale University, she served as a member of their Autism and Developmental Disabilities Clinic. She has also served as an instructor for the Communication Sciences and Disorders Department of Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts where she has developed courses to prepare graduate level students for addressing the needs of children with autism and their families. More recently, she has joined the team at the Marcus Autism Center, affiliated with Emory University, as an educational outreach specialist. Her publications have focused on early identification of autism, contemporary intervention models, and programming guidelines for high functioning autism and Asperger’s Syndrome. She recently participated as a member of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association’s Ad Hoc Committee on Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), a committee charged with developing guidelines related to the role of speech-language pathologists in the diagnosis, assessment, and treatment of ASD. She lectures internationally and provides consultation to educational programs serving children and adolescents with autism and related developmental disorders.

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

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  1. Introduction

    1. Introduction

    This chapter identifies the three domains of The SCERTS Model, and the core values and guiding principles underlying practice in SCERTS. Characteristics of SCERTS are explained as to how they address the need for a comprehensive educational approach in autism.

  2. Social Neurodevelopment

    2. Social Neurodevelopment

    Chapter two emphasizes that an understanding of autism is gained from the “inside out.” Current research in the neurodevelopmental basis of social development is reviewed along with the core challenges faced by individuals with autism at different stages. This provides a foundation for identifying the highest priority goals and objectives for individuals who are before words, emerging language, or conversational.

  3. SC, ER, and TS domains

    3. SC, ER, and TS domains

    This chapter highlights the relationships among the domains of social communication, emotional regulation, and transactional support. Each of these domains, which present challenges to individuals with ASD and their partners, has an impact on an individual’s overall social communicative competence. SCERTS prioritizes intervention in each of these domains to support participation in daily activities and meaningful relationships.

  4. Applying the SCERTS Practice Principles

    4. Applying the SCERTS Practice Principles

    Chapter four introduces the SCERTS Observation and Action Planning checklist as a tool for efficiently implementing transactional support in everyday activities. A video case example of a student in a classroom setting will be reviewed to illustrate how to use this tool can be used to identify what is already working and possible next steps.