Teaching Interactions – Strategies for Teaching Students with ASD by Autism Partnership

Teaching Interactions

 Teaching Interactions (TI’s) are another instructional format that can be invaluable in teaching children skills.  This instructional technique was developed at the University of Kansas as part of the Teaching Family Model for delinquent youth.  TI’s have several benefits as it allows for structured training of more complex, often sophisticated skills in a highly natural, interpersonal, expanded conversational format.  TI’s are designed to teach complex skills (e.g., social skills, problem solving, etc.).  They utilize shaping and reinforcement to teach a skill and rely on a task analysis format.  The teaching style is typically conversational and flexible in nature, providing the student multiple opportunities to participate in the teaching process.  Although flexible, the technique approaches teaching skills systematically, and requires planning for generalization.  Following are the 6 steps of a TI and both guidelines and considerations when utilizing this teaching technique.


  • Initiation & Labeling
  • Rationale
  • Demonstration
  • Practice
  • Feedback
  • Consequences

This is part of a guest series by Autism Partnership founders Ron Leaf, John McEachin and Mitchell Taubmann. Established in 1994, Autism Partnership is one of the nation’s premier agencies dedicated to providing intensive behavior intervention for children with autism and their families. They offer a comprehensive program and a variety of proven services, including in-home, in-classroom and one-on-one, as well as lectures and workshops. All programs are handled by expert staff and tailored to each individual child, family and caregiver, with the goal of helping that child achieve their best life. For more information, visit www.autismpartnership.com.

Changes to Definition of Autism to Exclude Many Currently Diagnosed on the Spectrum

A new study by an expert panel appointed by the American Psychiatric Association is examining the impact that the proposed changes to the definition of Autism under the DSM-V would have both on diagnosis and on access to services. The changes would almost certainly exclude high functioning individuals. For more complete details on the findings and the ramifications, read the full article New Definition of Autism Will Exclude Many, Study Suggests in the NY Times.

This obviously raises a lot of strong emotions in our community. How do you feel about the changes? Do you think it would affect the access that your children or students would have to services?

People with Disabilities to Vote with iPad

The state of Oregon provided iPads to voters with disabilities who may find it difficult to use a paper ballot in Tuesday’s election. The program is being tested and if successeful, will continue in January. Read more about this inititative in the Disability Scoop.

Special Needs Talk Radio has debuted!

Coffee Klatch, a corporation dedicated to providing resources and educational programs for families with special needs children, has a new sister company called Special Needs Talk Radio which features interviews with leading experts, advocates and more in the field of Special Needs. Special Needs Talk Radio debuted on September 6 and will present six new shows hosted by twelve different moderators. This new network is aimed at providing parents with the most current news and information covering a wide range of special education topics.

The network will present six shows that will be broadcasted weekly and are currently scheduled to run through mid-October. They cover topics from Parenting Issues, Raising children with ASD, Special Education and the Law, Inclusion and more. The website also offers interactive features that allow users to be actively engaged in the content by suggesting topics, making comments, and asking questions that can be answered during the live shows.

To find the show schedule and to learn more about each program and upcoming guests, visit:

Special Needs Talk Radio

Pick of the Week: Music in my Mouth – Songs for Speech & Language Skills

This CD with 26 original songs and the accompanying manual are designed to be used by SLPs, early educators and families to teach and practice a variety of skills related to the development of communication skills. Competence in communication is essential to a child’s personal, social, and academic success. Each song equips children with the concepts, behaviors, and self-talk skills that support the development of speech, language and social interaction. The manual provides detailed tips on how to integrate the songs with other activities.

Save 15% on Music In My Mouth this week only by entering the Promo Code BLOGMMM at checkout.

*Offer expires on October 4, 2011 at 11:59 pm EST. Not compatible with any other offer. Be sure there are no spaces after the Promo Code when you enter it at checkout.

Pick of the Week: Rainbow Sorting Crayons

Save 15% this week on our wonderful Rainbow Sorting Crayons. This charming sorting kit contains 48 manipulatives sorted by color into 8 large crayon containers. Use the objects for patterning, counting, color identification, 2-D to 3-D matching and language development.

Save 15% on the Rainbow Sorting Crayons through March 22 by entering the promo code BLOGRCX at checkout.

*Offer expires on March 22, 2011 at 11:59 pm EST. Not compatible with any other offer.

Defining ‘Essential’ Care

With healthcare reform underway, this article in the Wall Street Journal highlights the differences between habilitative services and rehabilitative services and how those definitions will impact future insurance coverage. The article specifically looks at coverage for children with Autism and whether early intervention services will be covered or considered reimbursable expenses. More specifically, if services defined as habilitative are indeed covered, families would be entitled to behavioral therapy as well as speech and OT. Opponents claim that the costs would be too high. What are your thoughts on the issue?

Pick of the Week: Be A Friend – Songs for Social Skills Training CD

This week’s pick for 15% savings is this lovely CD filled with songs specifically written to help teach invaluable social skills. Created by Dr. Jed Baker and music therapist Jeffrey Friedberg, Be A Friend motivates children to attend and learn. The catchy tunes include: Be a Friend; Hello; Personal Space; Eye Contact; Volume of Speech; Sharing; Turns; Ask to Play; Compromise; Compliment; Sensitive Topics; Teasing; Accepting No; Making Mistakes; Calm Down and Feelings. The songs on the CD are aimed towards children 2 – 10 years old generally, but mostly 4 – 8 year olds.

Today through March 8, visit our site at http://www.difflearn.com to save 15% on the Be A Friend: Songs for Social Skills Training CD by entering the Promo Code BLOGSSCD at checkout.

*Offer expires on March 8, 2011 at 11:59 pm EST. Not compatible with any other offer.

Pick of the Week: Emotions Flashcards

Emotions Flashcards Sale You’re in luck because this week’s pick is a whole CATEGORY of products! We’re highlighting our wonderful Emotions flashcards this week and offering them to you at a 15% discount. Click here to see the full list of products on sale this week. There are basics such as the Emotions Language Cards which are an ideal introduction to teaching feelings to young learners as well as the more advanced Faces & Feelings Listening Lotto which is a creative way to work on auditory processing and emotions. With 9 different sets of Emotions Flashcards on sale this week, you’re sure to find a set that’s right for your child or student.

Today through March 1, visit Difflearn.com to save 15% on our Emotions Flashcards by entering the Promo Code BLOGEM22 at checkout.

 *Offer expires on March 1, 2011 at 11:59 pm EST. Not compatible with any other offer.

Discoveries Program at the NY Metropolitan Museum of Art

We just found out about this program and think it’s fantastic! Discoveries is a Sunday program offered at the Metropolitan Museum of Art for adults and children with learning and/or developmental disabilities and their friends and family members.  Each Discoveries workshop focuses on a theme and includes a gallery tour followed by a related art activity. The program is free of charge but advance reservations are necessary. Here’s the upcoming schedule:

Guitar Heroes: Legendary Craftsmen from Italy to New York
March 20
11 am – Ages 6-17
2 pm – Ages 18 and above

April 10
11 am – Ages 18 and above
2 pm – Ages 6-17

Rooms with a View: The Open Window in the 19th Century
May 1
11 am – Ages 18 and above
2 pm – Ages 6-17

May 15
11 am – Ages 6-17
2 pm – Ages 18 and above

Group Residences and Organizations:

The Museum offers customized programs for adult group residences and other agencies that serve adults with developmental disabilities.  For scheduling and fee information, call (212) 650-2010 or email access@metmuseum.org.

For anyone living in or visiting New York, the museum is an absolute  gem and a lovely place to spend a day roaming about. We’re thrilled about the Discoveries Program!