• Welcome to Room 168 - Autism Support 

     
    Hello families! My name is Alicia Bruno, and I am the Autism Support teacher for grades 6, 7, and 8 at Linglestown Middle School. Alongside me is my incredible team of paraprofessionals- Julie Eshenaur, Kathryn Grossnickle, and Terri Michelson. Each member of our team plays a crucial role in your child's success and development. Instruction and approaches to behavior are derived from the principles of applied behavior analysis. Language is one of the primary skill deficits we target through appropriate programming that is based off of B.F Skinner's Verbal Behavior. Programming is designed individually for each student based off of each assessment, which is typically done twice per year (fall and spring), as well as prior to any new program being implemented. We base all programming and instructional planning/decisions off of the results of your child's Verbal Behavior Milestones Achievement Placement Program (VBMAPP) and daily progress monitoring data.
     
    The VB-MAPP is a criterion-referenced assessment tool and skill tracking system that is designed for children with Autism. The VB-MAPP is based on B.F. Skinner’s analysis of verbal behavior, established developmental milestones, and research from the field of behavior analysis. There are five components of the VB-MAPP, and collectively they provide a baseline level of performance, a direction for intervention, a system for tracking skill acquisition, and a tool for outcome measures (Sundberg, 2005).
     
    The following operants are used for each student's program:
     
    Mand: Also known as a request. Ex: When thirsty and wanting water, a child asks and receives the specific reinforcer- in this case, water.
    Tact: Expressively labeling/naming objects, actions, events, relations, properties, etc.
    Listener Responding: Following instructions. Ex: "Sit" or "Give" or "Find the ____", "Put your plate in the sink."
    Motor Imitation: Imitating the motor movements of the instructor.
    Echoic: Imitating the vocal verbal behavior of the instructor.
    Intraverbal: Answering questions or filling in blankets without point-to-point correspondence. Verbal behavior controlled by other's verbal behavior. Ex: A child saying 'lamb' when you pause after saying 'Mary had a little ___" or answering 'pink' when asked, 'What is your favorite color?'
     
    Each student receives individual intensive teaching sessions to teach new skills. New information is taught through a process called error-less teaching to ensure the correct response. The students contact reinforcement immediately following the correct response. During intensive teaching sessions, maintenance of known skills are also driven to ensure skills are not lost. In addition, Manding sessions occur for each student to increase their ability to advocate for themselves, and request items they may want/need.  Higher level manding skills taught involve teaching students how to request for missing items, information, attention, and so on.
     
    The schedule for our classroom operates on the typical bell schedule, however, we divide each period into 20 minute segments/teaching sessions. The students attend physical education and creative arts, as well as lunch in the general education setting.  In addition, we have a Peer Buddy Program. Each student is paired with a peer buddy who works alongside them- running peer-to-peer manding sessions and maintenance of skills. We are so lucky to have such involved and passionate peer buddies who volunteer their time during Academic Enrichment to spend time with us!
     
    If you should have any questions or concerns during the course of the school year, do not hesitate to reach out to me! We look forward to another successful year of progress, growth, achieving more milestones, and most importantly- having fun! If we're not having fun, we're not moving forward! 
     
    Let's make it a great year!
     
    Mrs. Bruno
    (717) 657-3060 ext. 75331