District Teachers Represent Moon Area at National Autism Conference

National Autism Conference

Moon Area School District (MASD) teachers Maureen Archer, Meghan Foust, Katelyn Schulmeister, and Sarah Knaus had the opportunity to represent the District at the 2018 National Autism Conference held at Penn State University from August 6-9, 2018. 

The National Autism Conference aims to bring together educators and families to further cultivate curriculum that best serves students across the spectrum.

Moon Area School District is one of the few districts to offer a K-12 Verbal Behavior program. Verbal Behavior is a method of teaching that uses the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) and focuses on the idea that a meaning of a word is found in their function. This initiative was started in the District to provide research-based programing to students with disabilities.

The teachers were approached by their Pennsylvania Training and Technical Assistance Network (PaTTAN) consultants to present on how they collaborate together to design and implement a K-12 model using Verbal Behavior techniques and procedures, especially targeting the area of manding. Manding focuses on teaching how to make requests and to help understand that communication produces positive results and is driven by motivation.

“It is a distinguished and rare honor for our Special Education Department to be selected as a model K-12 Verbal Behavior program during this national conference,” said Michael Haslett, MASD Director of Pupil Services.

“Our teachers work collaboratively to ensure that each student has the tools they need to continue developing their communication skills from kindergarten to graduation,” Haslett said.

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