Peggy HallidayPeggy Halliday is a board certified associate behavior analyst who has specialized in autism education for the past ten years. She is the Director of Outreach Services at the Virginia Institute of Autism (VIA) in Charlottesville, VA. VIA is a non-profit organization which provides a day school and other resources for families, educators, and other professionals seeking services, training or information about autism and evidence-based interventions. The Institute operates a year-round school for students ages 2-22, a 700-volume library, training workshops, internships for undergraduate and graduate students and teachers, and customized trainings for schools. Peggy supervises a wide range of outreach services, including development and supervision of comprehensive, home-based early intervention programs incorporating naturalistic, incidental, and structured teaching using the principles of applied behavior analysis; training for parents and home instructors; skills assessments, functional behavior assessments and intervention plans, and consultation on Individual Education Plan goals. She has presented trainings and workshops at state and national conferences.
Host: How does educating a child with autism differ from educating other children?
Peggy Halliday: Children with autism don t learn in the same way that typical children learn and in school, a lot of education that takes place tends to be observational learning and what that means is the teacher will stand in front of the classroom and interact with one child, the rest of the kids are not getting one on one attention from that teacher but they are learning by watching the interaction between teacher and the other child.
Children with autism are often not able to do this because they are not good observers, they are not able to imitate and so, sitting in a classroom where they are expected to learn by seeing what s going on in this way is often not a way that they are able to learn.
Another very popular way of teaching kids who are typically developing is through discovery learning.