Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


First Annual Autism Conference; Boston, MA; 2007

Event Details

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Invited Paper Session #13

Improving Outcomes for Students with Autism: The Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004, Evidence-Based Interventions, and Progress Monitoring

Sunday, February 4, 2007
9:00 AM–10:00 AM
Grand Ballroom
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Instruction Level: Basic
CE Instructor: Mitchell Yell, Ph.D.
MITCHELL YELL (University of South Carolina)
Dr. Mitchell Yell is a Professor in Special Education in the College of Education at the University of South Carolina (USC) in Columbia, South Carolina. Prior to coming to the University of South Carolina, Dr. Yell was a special education teacher in Minnesota for 12 years. During this time he taught in elementary, middle, and secondary classrooms for students with mild mental retardation, learning disabilities, emotional and behavioral disorders, and autism. He received his Ph.D from the University of Minnesota in 1992. His professional interests include special education law, evidence based interventions for children and youth with disabilities, school wide positive behavior support, and progress monitoring. For the past 16 years Dr. Yell has conducted extensive research on legal issues in special education. His primary goal has been to extrapolate principles from legislation and litigation, communicate them to parents, teachers and administrators in a clear, nonlegal manner, and to assist school districts in the formation of legally sound, research-based, policies. He has published over 60 journal articles, 2 textbooks (The Law and Special Education, 2 nd edition, and No Child Left Behind published by Merrill/Prentice Hall) 12 book chapters, and has conducted numerous workshops on many aspects of special education law. Since coming to USC, Dr. Yell has directed the teacher-training program in emotional and behavioral disorders at USC. He is also the lead author of the forthcoming textbook Educating Students with Emotional and Behavioral Disorders in General and Special Education Classrooms, also published by Merrill/Prentice Hall. Finally, he has recently started working on The Special Education Resource Book: Developing and Implementing Legally Sound and Educationally Appropriate Special Education Programs, to be published by Sopris West. He has conducted numerous local, state, national, and international workshops.

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (hereafter IDEIA) places increasing pressure on teachers of students with disabilities to improve student outcomes. Two ways in which the law accomplishes this is by (a) requiring individual education program (IEP) teams to identify and use evidence-based interventions (called peer-reviewed research in the law) in developing students special education programs, and (b) requiring that teachers collect and use data to monitor students progress in their programs. The objectives of this session are to (a) provide an overview of the IDEIAs requirement regarding evidence-based interventions and progress monitoring; (b) explain how this requirement will change the ways in which teachers will be required to educate students in special education and that parents will work in IEP teams; and (c) describe a process for ensuring that students receive scientifically validated treatments and that teachers collect formative data to monitor student progress. Additionally, the session will include a question and answer period to address other legislative and litigative issues in the education of students with autism.

Target Audience: N/a
Learning Objectives: N/a



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