The Spectrum Education Center currently offers group social skill intervention, PEERS®, to our community members with autism. Kristine Turko, Director of the Spectrum Education Center is a certified PEERS provider. PEERS® for Adolescents is a 14-week evidence-based social skills intervention for motivated students with autism in middle school or high school who are interested in learning ways to help them make and keep friends.
PEERS - PEERS® for Adolescents is a 14-week evidence-based social skills intervention for motivated students with autism in middle school or high school who are interested in learning ways to help them make and keep friends. The intervention occurs via group therapy sessions that are held weekly for 90 minutes. The first 30 minutes consists of a didactic lesson that includes role-play demonstrations, behavioral rehearsal exercises, and performance feedback. The next 45 minutes consists of peer mentoring with UMU students who help group members practice the goal behaviors that were introduced in the lesson. The final 15 minutes is spent reviewing the lesson as a group and talking about ways that the students can practice utilizing the new skills. The following is an outline of the social skill topics covered during the 14-week session:
- Conversational skills, trading information
- Conversational skills, two-way conversations
- Conversational skills, electronic communication
- Choosing appropriate friends
- Appropriate use of humor
- Peer entry, entering a conversation
- Peer entry, exiting a conversation
- Group social events
- Good sportsmanship
- Rejection, teasing and embarrassing feedback
- Rejection, bullying and bad reputations
- Handling disagreements
- Rumors and gossip
- Conclusion and graduation
Two PEERS groups are held yearly, 14-week sessions each Fall and Spring semester. To apply to the PEERS program or to learn more contact email@example.com.
Registered Behavior Technician Training
Registered Behavior Technician (RBT) certification allows credentialed individuals to provide behavior analytic services, while working under the guidance of a BCBA. The RBT credential is a highly sought after commodity. The RBT is primarily responsible for the direct implementation of behavior-analytic services. Legislation in some states mandates that all paraprofessionals who work with students with autism have the RBT credential.
The Spectrum Education Center offers RBT training to those interested in earning the credential. Applicants must be 18 years of age, possess a minimum of a high school diploma or national equivalent, complete 40 hours of training, complete a criminal background check, pass the RBT Competency Assessment, and pass the RBT exam. Spectrum’s program includes the required 40 hours of training, competency assessment, and exam preparation. To apply to for training or to learn more about the program contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Educators in NorthEast Ohio benefit from access to professional development services at the Spectrum Education Center. Professional development sessions can be tailored to the needs of the organization, and state-of-the-art classroom and meeting space is available on Mount Union’s campus to host your staff training.
Training: Spectrum’s director, Kristine Turko, is a certified instructor for the Ohio Child Care Resource and Referral Association. Contact Spectrum to schedule professional development at your school. Regularly offered topics of instruction include:
- Peer-Mediated Instruction and Intervention (PMII)
- Social Narratives (SN)
- Visual Supports (VS)
- Early Identification
- Cognitive Differences
- Parent Implemented Intervention
- Reinforcement (R+)
- Task Analysis (TA)
The Spectrum Education Center is hosts PEERS (Program for the Education and Enrichment of Relational Skills) every semester. PEERS is an intervention for adolescents in the community with autism who would like help making and keeping friends. The success of the program depends on the hard work of PEERS mentors. PEERS mentors are UMU students who are trained to help adolescents with autism develop their social skills. PEERS mentors are enrolled in SPE 210, a 2-credit course. Students enrolled in the class meet as a group once a week.
Mentors will learn about ways to successfully interact with people who have autism and encourage their development of appropriate social skills. Each mentor will be paired with a PEERS group member. Students in SPE 210 meet with the PEERS group for 90 minutes each week, in addition to attending the weekly class meeting.
Specifically designed for undergraduate students, the Spectrum Internship Program provides professional training and education related to autism intervention and advocacy in the form of a semester-long immersive experience. The program provides unique experiential learning opportunities for undergraduate students and is unlike any other program in the country.
Students accepted into the Spectrum Internship Program gain applied experience through placement in internships, while taking complementary coursework and earning credits towards graduation. In addition, students earn the credential of Registered Behavior Technician while enrolled in the program.
The Spectrum Internship Program features the integration of:
- Experiential learning in the field of autism and disability services
- Registered Behavior Technician training and certification
- Weekly seminars and professional training at clinical sites
- Exclusively designed undergraduate coursework on developmental disabilities
- Collaborative experience with peers in the program
Students work approximately 24 hours per week in their internship positions at highly respected clinical sites and receive valuable onsite training from clinical staff. Additionally, interns complete rigorous coursework focusing on theoretical content related to developmental disorders.
Students are awarded credits for the completion of the program’s academic coursework and internship experience. Spectrum facilitates and monitors the internship process: student selection, placement, evaluation and instruction.