About the Work Group on Autism Research and Training

The Life Span Institute Autism Training Program


The mission of the Life Span Institute Autism Training Program is to increase the number of qualified service providers in Kansas to support home and community-based services, who can then facilitate program development, implementation and coordination of interventions for people with ASD in multiple environments including home, community, and school.

Training Overview

The ATP gives trainees a basic understanding of evidence-based strategies to increase learning and decrease behaviors that interfere with learning to improve the functional skills and social-communicative ability of children and youth with ASD and their families.

The ATP also includes a short-term goal of training the service providers (Intensive Individual Support Providers) who are participating in the Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services Kansas Autism Waiver program. The ATP is partially funded through the State of Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services in collaboration with the University of Kansas Life Span Institute.

Program Description

The ATP is a unique training program launched in April of 2008 that is major component of the Kansas Center for Autism Research and Training (K-CART) at the University of Kansas. The ATP trains professionals, paraprofessionals, family members and others to provide services to people with Autism Spectrum Disorders and their families if they meet other additional qualifications.

The ATP training modules have been developed and piloted with over 50 individuals working with families to provide language and early skill development for children and youth with autism (Heitzman-Powell & Buzhardt, 2005). The modules require approximately 40 hours of participation with learning evaluated using pre-post assessments. Each training module is completed prior to the initiation of experiential learning.

Content topics include (1) autism characteristics including basic screening, (2) measuring and recording data, (3) principles of behavior, (4) teaching strategies, (5) conducting teaching sessions, (6) variables that affect behavior, (7) behavior reduction strategies, (8) determining the function of behavior, (9) peer networks and social skills, and (10) team meetings and wrap around services.

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