| Scientific Findings
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Scientific Findings

Preschool Outcomes 2013-2014

Mean:IntakeDischarge
Age3 years 10 months5 years 3 months
Attending Level*346
Classroom Compliance**46%75%
Testing:
Language1 year 7 months3 years 3 months
Cognition1 year 10 months3 years 8 months
Personal/Social1 year 6 months3 years 7 months
Self Help2 years3 years 11 months

Elementary Outcomes 2013-2014

MeanIntakeDischarge
Age3 years7 years 8 months
Attending level152
Classroom Compliance30%63%
Testing
Language1 year4 years 1 month
Cognition1 year 1 month5 years 3 months
Personal / Social1 year 7 months3 years 7 months
Self Help1 year 7 months4 years 1 months
Curriculum and Educational Strategies

Educational, behavioral, pre-vocational, and vocational programming is individualized and is based on Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) methodology. The classrooms are divided into learning centers that correspond to the aforementioned standards.

Curriculum and Instructional Strategies

The curriculum at the Pingree Center addresses a broad range of developmental areas with the ultimate goal of preparing children for success in a less restrictive environment with their peers and siblings. We use evidenced-based practices included in the National Autism Center’s National Standard Report such as discrete trial training, reinforcement, incidental teaching/naturalistic teaching strategies, task analysis, visual supports, schedules, prompting, modeling, time delay, video modeling, and social narratives to teach children new socially significant behaviors, skills, and concepts.

Pingree Center Research Connections

The Carmen B. Pingree Autism Center of Learning has extensive research connections to several universities in ground breaking research. These connections include UCLA, Stanford University, Utah State University and the University of Utah studying genetics, prevalence rates, basic research, medical and behavioral treatments, and educational interventions. These research efforts have continued over the past 25 years studying the etiology of autism, evidence based treatments, cutting edge educational techniques, and improving the quality of life for children on the autism spectrum and their families.

The research connections to the University of Utah have been extensive and productive. The Department of Psychiatry and the Department of Educational Psychology have had numerous research projects focusing on genetic causes, the long term outcome of autism, medical treatments, applied behavior analytic (ABA) teaching techniques, and social skills training. The Department of Educational Psychology has implemented sophisticated eye tracking technology to investigate the social interactions of children on the autism spectrum. Faculty and members of the department have researched and published several studies focusing on behavioral interventions for parent training, managing severely challenging behaviors, and effective ABA teaching techniques. Recent studies have focused on using animated technology, peer modeling, using parents as therapists, and peer coaching to teach social skills to children on the spectrum. These studies using the Superheroes Multimedia Social Skills program have not only emphasized effective techniques, but also using those effective techniques to facilitate the everyday use of these social skills in the child’s natural environment. Individual families who participate in these studies benefit in their understanding of autism and in the positive feelings of helping in the advancement of autism research.  In turn, many of the educational research practices have been and will be utilized in enriching the Pingree Center curriculum and training future teachers at the center.

For example, the Superheroes program has served as a foundation for a million dollar, five-year federal grant to train school psychology graduate students to use evidence based training procedures to teach social skills and train parents to be their own in home ABA therapist for their children. This approach uses the award winning ABA internet Rethink Autism parent training program to reach parents on waiting lists who would otherwise not receive services and thus miss the valuable early years “window of opportunity” for their children to receive services.