AAPC Publishing Releases Building Independence: How To Create and Use Structured Work Systems

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Structured work systems designed with strategies for organizing environments, developing and organizing materials and adjusting the ways materials are presented are critical to motivating and fostering independence in people with autism spectrum disorders.

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This book's combination of targeted techniques, evidence-based guidelines and classroom-friendly practices will have students soaring as teachers implement these clearly defined strategies.

Authors Christine Reeve, PhD, BCBA-D, and Susan Kabot, EdD, CCC-SLP, draw upon evidence-based research on independent work systems to present the characteristics and benefits of structured work systems in their new, well-illustrated book, Building Independence: How to Create and Use Structured Work Systems. Since 1990, studies conducted on preschool-, elementary- and middle school-aged children have suggested that children with autism spectrum and related disorders are visual learners who benefit from a structured work system that allows them to start and complete tasks with a visual schedule, practice skills mastered, generalize skills to new situations and learn to work independently.

Specifically, effective structured work systems help learners, and later workers, focus on what needs to be completed, how much work is involved, how to know when the work is finished and what has to be done next, and as such, they a critical role in helping to maintain skills and moving toward independence. Structured work systems have proven to be essential in practicing and mastering skills in the areas of fine-motor, cognition-preacademics, language concepts, constructive play, academics (reading, math and writing) and vocational tasks.

Written to be user-friendly, indeed “walking the talk” of the ideas behind independent work systems, Building Independence: How to Create and Use Structured Work Systems includes activities, charts of commonly used materials, full-color photographs of systems for different age levels and a range of systems, ending with a series of frequently asked questions and answers based on the authors’ long history of helping to implement work systems. Finally, the specially designed Structured Work Systems Competency-Based Checklist provides a framework for observation that may be conducted by a teacher, special education administrator, principal or job coach as a first step in planning a work system.

“Structured work systems are critical for many individuals with autism spectrum and related disorders at school, home and in the community. Reeve and Kabot offer a clear description and practical guidelines for implementing structured work systems from assessment through progress monitoring. The structured work systems and specific activity examples provide a starting point for developing and organizing tasks that the reader can then build upon. The text is especially beneficial for beginning teachers and individuals new to working with students with ASD or to implementing structured work systems.” – Chris Carnahan, EdD, assistant professor, University of Cincinnati; co-author of Quality Literary Instruction for Students With Autism Spectrum Disorders – Winner of the Textbook Excellence Award "Texty" (2011)

About the Authors:
Christine E. Reeve, PhD, BCBA-D, has more than 20 years of professional experience working with children, families and schools on autism, inspired by one sister with autism and another sister who teaches children with special needs. During her 13 years at Nova Southeastern University's Mailman Segal Institute, Reeve served in a variety of roles, including director of the therapeutic intervention program for children with significant behavioral issues and autism and consultant for the Autism Consortium, providing consultation and training to school systems across the country. Reeve owns and directs a school consultation practice providing professional development to school systems concerning students with autism, low-incidence disabilities and challenging behavior. Reeve also serves as adjunct faculty and a dissertation advisor for Nova Southeastern University. Author and co-author of several books, including Setting up Classroom Environments That Support Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders, Reeve maintains a blog regarding school-related information about autism spectrum disorders at reeveautismconsulting.blogspot.com.

Susan Kabot, EdD, CCC-SLP, is the executive director of the Autism Institute at Nova Southeastern University, where she oversees the Baudhuin Preschool; Starting Right, a parent-child early intervention program for children 18-36 months; the Autism Consortium, which provides outreach services to school districts around the country; and the Unicorn Children's Foundation Clinic. Kabot also teaches autism courses at both the master's and doctoral level at NSU and serves as a dissertation chair and member. Kabot has been active at the local, state and national level in a variety of organizations addressing the needs of individuals with autism, their families and the professionals who serve them. Kabot was appointed to the Florida Developmental Disabilities Council by former Florida Governor Crist and serves on the Health Care and Self-Advocacy Leadership Task Forces. Kabot is a member of the Panel of Professional Advisors for the Autism Society of America. With Reeve, Kabot is the co-author of several books, including Setting up Classroom Spaces That Support Students With Autism Spectrum Disorders. Kabot is the mother of three sons. Her middle son, Michael, has autism.

About AAPC Publishing
Established in 1999, the mission of AAPC Publishing is to be the first source for practical solutions related to autism spectrum and related disorders. AAPC Publishing is an independent publisher, targeting professionals and parents alike. AAPC Publishing strives to offer publications at affordable prices so that important resources are available to anyone with an interest in the autism spectrum.

For media inquiries, please contact marketing(at)aapcpublishing(dot)net.

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