Unstuck and on Target!: An Executive Function Curriculum to Improve Flexibility for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders by Katie Alexander, Lauren Kenworthy, Lyn Cannon, Monica Adler Werner, Laura Gutermuth Anthony (Paperback, 2011)
For students with autism spectrum disorders, problems with flexibility and goal-directed behavior can be a major obstacle to success in school and in life. But flexibility and goal-setting can be taught just like any other skill--and this how-to manual equips professionals with simple, real-world ways to help students with ASD develop this critical aspect of executive function.A classroom-based intervention approach for high-functioning students ages 8-11, this invative guide gives special educators and other service providers ready-to-use lessons that promote cognitive and behavioral flexibility in everyday situations, from compromising with peers to handling schedule changes. Developed by a multidisciplinary team of researchers and front-line professionals, the 27 lessons in Unstuck and On Target!are tested and proven. Students in field tests reported clear benefits, including increased ability to compromise and focus on larger goals.reflect the learning style of students with ASD. Explicit, step-by-step routines, activities, and scripts build on the natural strengths of students with ASD and ensure that they make progress.target specific skills every student needs to learn more effectively, participate successfully in the classroom, reduce stress, get along with others, set and achieve goals, problem solve, complete tasks independently, and more.free up teacher time. Educators will spend less time supporting students with flexibility challenges and more time on teaching.fit easily into any curriculum. Lessons are easy to use and don't require extensive planning.make learning fun, with engaging games, role-plays, stories, and lively class discussions.ensure generalization. Take-home worksheets for each lesson strengthen the home-school connection and help students transfer their new flexibility skills to other settings.Ready for any professional to pick up and use, this complete guide gives users clear instructions, materials lists, and modifications for each lesson, plus invaluable Teacher Intervention Tips that help general educators reinforce the lessons throughout the school day. And with the included CD-ROM, it's easy to print all of the game cards, student worksheets, and other materials needed to conduct the lessons.With this effective, user-friendly approach to executive function intervention, students with ASD will develop the flexibility skills they need to reach their goals, enjoy healthy relationships, and succeed in school and in the community.Help students with ASDhandle unexpected eventscope with disappointment and frustrationkeep an open mindnavigate disagreements with friendsset and achieve goalsdistinguish a big deal from a little deal learn how to compromisecreate a Plan B when Plan A doesn't work
Lynn Cannon, M.Ed., is a special education coordinator at the Ivymount School. She is responsible for helping to develop and oversee the social learning and academic curriculum for the lower and middle school students at Ivymount School. Ms. Cannon is the director of Take2 Summer Camp, a program designed to develop interaction skills and social thinking in children ages 8-12. Prior to her work at Ivymount School Lynn was a classroom teacher at the Lab School of Washington, in Washington DC. Ms. Cannon has been a major contributor to the development of the intervention. She has led all of the data collection, the implementation of the intervention and the training of the teachers in the pilot feasibility and development trial. Lauren Kenworthy is the Director of the Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders at Children's National Medical Center and is an Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Pediatrics, and Neurology, The George Washington University Medical School. She has specialized in the neuropsychological assessment of children with social learning disorders and executive dysfunction for over 15 years. In addition, Dr. Kenworthy has published over 20 peer reviewed papers investigating autism and executive function, as well as developing the most widely used assessment tool in the field, the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF; Gioia, Isquith, Guy, & Kenworthy, 2000). For over 10 years, Katie C. Alexander has dedicated her work to serving individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), their families, and the professionals who support them. Katie is an occupational therapist who has conducted research on cognitive behavioral intervention for adolescents with Asperger's Disorder and has provided trainings and presentations both nationally and at the state level. Recently, Katie served as the founding program director for the Model Asperger Program at Ivymount School (MAP), where she led the development and implementation of a model, evidence-based educational programming, including intervention targeting social competency, positive behavior supports, and executive function. Katie has since authored two textbook chapters and continues to develop programming for individuals with ASD and participate in the research collaboration between the Ivymount School and Children's National Medical Center. Monica Adler Werner, M.S., is the Director of the Model Asperger Program (MAP) at the Ivymount School. In that capacity she has spearheaded the development of a social learning curriculum that emphasizes problem solving, self advocacy and self regulation. Ms Werner has been a major contributor to the development of the intervention. In addition, she is a co-founder of Take2 Summer Camp, a program designed to develop social thinking, problem solving and skills. She also serves as an ad hoc public reviewer of NIMH autism grants. Dr. Laura Anthony is a clinical and developmental psychologist at the Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders at Children's National Medical Center and an Assistant Professor in the Departments of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and Pediatrics, Children's National Medical Center (CNMC) at the George Washington University School of Medicine & Health Sciences (GWU). She leads the intervention program at the Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders, an active interdisciplinary evaluation, treatment, research and training clinic. Dr. Anthony has expertise in developing clinical interventions and over 20 years of extensive experience in studying and treating behavioral rigidities (executive dysfunction) and stereotyped behaviors in children with developmental disorders. In addition, she and Dr. Kenworthy were awarded an ASD supplement to CNMC's Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disorders program to provide interdisciplinary training in the evaluation, treatment and research with children with ASD.
Katie Alexander, Laura Gutermuth Anthony, Lauren Kenworthy, Lyn Cannon, Monica Adler Werner