A Training Module: Understanding and Managing Sensory and Behavior Issues in Children with Autism

ABSTRACT A TRAINING MODULE: UNDERSTANDING AND MANAGING SENSORY AND BEHAVIOR ISSUES IN CHILDREN WITH AUTISM by © Jessica Kathrine Ordaz 2009 Master of Arts in Education Special Education Option California State University, Chico Spring 2009 Sensory needs and the related behavioral challenges are prevalent in individuals with autism. With the increasing number of students with autism enrolled in special education classrooms, teachers and paraprofessionals should know what to do with these students to address these sensory issues and negative behaviors that accompany them. The purpose of the project is to develop a training module to teach classroom staff how to address these sensory needs and the related behaviors and, further, replace them with more appropriate activities. The written training module serves as a resource for teachers to use to understand the theories and practical implementation of providing appropriate replacement activities and as a training resource for specialists to ix use. The Sensory Processing Inventory Assessment is a practical tool for classroom staff to assess these behaviors and clearly develop a list of replacement activities to teach. To ensure that this training serves its purpose, three workshops were conducted using the training module. Overall, respondents felt that the training module was good, with some respondents rating it as excellent. Based on the survey results, changes in amount of information and the size of the font on each slide were made to the final training module. It will be necessary for professionals to continue to train on this subject and find more practical tools for classroom staff to better serve their students with autism.