Mississippi Department of Education held Autism Institute on Gulf Coast

I recently returned from a conference sponsored by the Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) put on for the Autism Institute which has yearly conferences in MS to train teachers and personnel to better meet the needs of kids with autism in our state. This year, it was our pleasure to have Emily Rubin, MS, CCC-SLP, talk to us about autism and strategies to make us more successful working with this population. Emily talked about how important visual strategies are for the organization of individuals who have autism. One idea she specifically talked about for school settings is the use of a “help box.” This is a visual/written strategy that gives reminders to children when they have many steps to follow. This universally designed help box assists students in an inclusive environment without pointing to learning differences.

Emily is one of the coauthors of the SCERTS model which focuses on goals related to the Social Communication, Emotional Regulation, and Transactional Supports needed to make kids with autism successful. SCERTS allows professionals to focus on the key aspects of development that are important for individuals with autism. Some of the key aspects of SCERTS are child-centered programming in natural situations and settings that are developed based on growth and development. Another great thing about SCERTS is you can use it along with other programs, such as Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), TEACCH, verbal behavior, and with Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC).
SCERTS is a model that I personally have used for over six years with students who have challenges with social skills, communication, behavior, and those who need specific supports in place from the adults they work with. I feel confident using SCERTS because it teaches individuals with autism in a natural, fun environment. You can read more about SCERTS here or you can fill out a contact form to begin a SCERTS assessment for your child. If you are a professional or are interested in purchasing your own copy of the SCERTS manuals, follow the link below: