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Comprehensive Program Planning (CPP) is a process that encourages parents and professionals to work collaboratively to address the multi-faceted needs of children with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD).  The process empowers a team to develop an individualized intervention plan based upon underlying deficits and student strengths, which is then implemented throughout the school day, and across all school settings. This module will provide an overview of the CPP process and some tools that can be used as teams work to complete the development of a comprehensive plan for a student with ASD.

  • What's Included
  • 50 pages
  • Pre/post-assessments
  • Optional $30 certficate
  1. Identify the steps to design a comprehensive program plan
  2. List five areas required for a comprehensive intervention plan using the Ziggurat Model (Aspy & Grossman, 2011)
  3. List the eight domains of the Underlying Characteristics Checklists (UCC; Aspy & Grossman, 2007b)
  4. Describe the Comprehensive Autism Planning System (CAPS; Henry & Myles, 2007a)
  5. Identify common pitfalls in intervention design for individuals with ASD

Module Authors

Barry Grossman, Ph.D.

Barry G. Grossman, Ph.D. is co-owner of the Ziggurat Group, which specializes in transdisciplinary assessment and comprehensive intervention for individuals with ASD. Dr. Grossman, along with his co-author, Dr. Aspy, wrote The Ziggurat Model-a book on designing interventions for individuals with autism spectrum disorder. The Ziggurat Model, which earned the Literary Achievement Award from the Autism Society of America, is being used successfully throughout the United States and internationally. Dr. Grossman serves on the Autism Society of America's Panel of Professional Advisors.

Ruth Aspy, Ph.D.

Ruth Aspy, Ph.D., is a licensed psychologist who specializes in assessment and intervention for individuals with autism spectrum disorders. She is co-creator of a comprehensive model of intervention. Along with Dr. Barry Grossman, Dr. Aspy has written The Ziggurat Model, winner of the 2008 Autism Society of America Award for literary book of the year. Dr. Aspy speaks internationally. She has experience in both clinical and school settings. Dr. Aspy has facilitated in the establishment of innovative training programs for parents of children with ASD.

Amy Bixler Coffin, M.S.

Amy Bixler Coffin, M.S. is the Autism Center Program Director at OCALI. She coordinates and provides regional and statewide trainings for districts and organizations; manages the consultation services provided by the Autism Center; leads the expansion of the Autism Internet Modules; supports the development of online learning offerings. Coffin has held positions as program director, director of special education, LI supervisor and intervention specialist. She has presented at national and state conferences, written articles and book chapters and has authored a book on supporting individuals with ASD within the community. Coffin is the 2016 recipient of the Kathe Shelby Leadership Award.

Wendy Szakacs, M.S.

Wendy Szakacs is an OCALI Regional Consultant for northeast /eastern Ohio. She develops evidence-based materials, provides technical assistance and professional development leading projects in social competence, bullying, behavior, communication, and executive function. Szakacs collaborates with regional partners in the creation and presentation of professional development to local school district staff and families. She has presented at local, state, and national conferences on various topics about autism spectrum disorder, including comprehensive program planning, structured teaching, social competence, challenging behavior, and executive function.

Julie Short, M.A.

Julie Short is a regional autism consultant at OCALI. She coordinates and provides regional and statewide PD, consultation services and technical assistance to improve outcomes for those with ASD. Short has participated on the National Community of Practice of Autism Spectrum Disorder. She is a member of the National Autism Leadership Collaborative and Statewide Autism/Low Incidence Collaborative. Short has co-developed online electronic book studies for autism focused professional learning communities. She is an adjunct professor at Shawnee State University. Prior to OCALI, Short taught elementary and middle school, teaching both general education and special education.

Denise Sawan Caruso, M.S., CCC/SLP

Denise Sawan Caruso, MA is a licensed speech/language pathologist in the state of Ohio. She has over 40 years experience working with children and adults with challenging behaviors, including autism spectrum disorder. She currently provides consultations, inservices and workshops to schools and families living and working with individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities. She has presented nationally on behavior, autism and parent/professional collaboration. She has served as a member of the Autism Society of Ohio board of directors for twenty years and was appointed as an ad hoc board member with the Autism Society of America.

Chris Filler, RN, BSN

Chris Filler is the Program Director Lifespan Transitions Center at OCALI. She has worked in the area of Transition and Adulthood at OCALI since 2007. As a registered nurse, Chris has worked with individuals with autism and developmental disabilities and their families for over 25 years. At OCALI, Chris' priorities focus on the development of resources and tools to support youth and adults with disabilities that are transitioning to adulthood, fostering collaboration among systems to improve delivery of education, and service and support for adults with disabilities. Chris led the development of the Ohio EF Transition Framework as part of the Ohio Employment First Initiative.

Shawn A. Henry, M.Ed.

Shawn A.Henry, M.ED. is the Executive Director at OCALI. I am engaged with state and national stakeholders to advance state and system-wide solutions to improve outcomes for individuals with autism spectrum disorder, sensory disabilities, and other physical and developmental disabilities. By holding leadership roles on national and state advisory boards, committees and interagency workgroups involving policymakers, educators, parents, individuals and other professionals, I stay closely connected and involved with stakeholders. My Comprehensive Autism Planning System has been utilized in districts across the country.

Brenda Smith Myles, Ph.D.

Brenda Smith Myles Ph.D., former professor at the University of Kansas, is a consultant and speaker on autism. She is a recipient of the Autism Society of America's Outstanding Professional Award, the Princeton Fellowship Award, and the Council for Exceptional Children Burton Blatt Humanitarian Award. Myles has made over 3000 presentations all over the world and written more than 300 articles and books. She was co-chair of the National ASD Teacher Standards Committee and Project Director for the Texas Autism Resource Guide for Teachers. In the latest survey by the University of Texas, she was acknowledged as the second most productive applied researcher in ASD in the world.

Module Content Provided By

Content for this module was provided by OCALI

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