About Dick



Psy 3570 Practicum with Special Populations

What is the Advanced Autism Practicum?

The Advanced Autism Practicum is a course designed to further advance students’ skills in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) treatments for children with autism. It is the highest level practicum course offered at Croyden Ave School and the Kalamazoo Autism Center through Western Michigan University. Students who have shown exemplary performance at the Basic and Intermediate practicum level may apply to the Advanced Autism Practicum.

What will I do in the Advanced Autism Practicum?

In the Advanced Autism Practicum you have the opportunity to author a discrete trial procedure for the child you work with. Although all of the procedures you have been using are beneficial to the children’s overall development, it is difficult to tailor each procedure to each child’s individual needs. After identifying a deficit in your assigned child’s repertoire, you will create a procedure similar to those found in the Early Childhood Developmentally Delayed (ECDD) classroom and at the Kalamazoo Autism Center. Throughout the semester you will implement and monitor this procedure. You will be responsible for writing a paper about your experience and presenting your data to the Advanced Autism Practicum TAs and the other practicum students.

Along with authoring your own procedure, you will choose to get experience in handling “red dots” or conducting another individual project.  A “red dot” is when a child has trouble mastering a specific phase of a procedure. As an Advanced Practicum student, you will identify possible problems with the phase, and rewrite a new phase.  Other possible individual projects include rewriting outdated procedures to implement, implementing a token economy, or conducting a functional assessment.


Who can take the Advanced Autism Practicum?

The Advanced Autism Practicum is for exemplary students who have been through both the Basic and Intermediate Practicum. Since there is a significant amount of responsibility in the Advanced Autism Practicum, it is required to complete the Basic and Intermediate Practicum to gain the experience necessary at Croyden or the Kalamazoo Autism Center.  After completing both practica you will fill out an application for entry into the Advanced Autism Practicum.

Why should I take the Advanced Autism Practicum?

One of the reasons to take the Advanced Autism Practicum is to obtain more experience at Croyden or the Kalamazoo Autism Center. By now you have fallen in love with the children and are looking for every opportunity to stick around. The Advanced Practicum provides the perfect opportunity to gain more experience not only with discrete trial procedures, but also with other ABA techniques such as functional assessments and creating new procedures and sub-phases.


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