Measuring and Manipulating Intervention Intensity

Jason Travers



This presentation from the 2023 Michigan Autism Conference aims to educate professionals on the crucial but often misunderstood concept of intervention intensity in autism education, highlighting that relying solely on time-based measures lacks precision and practicality. It will introduce methods for measuring and adjusting intervention intensity, incorporating common progress monitoring techniques, and provide practical examples and recommendations for data-based decision-making. This approach is designed to enhance the effectiveness of interventions for learners with autism through a more nuanced understanding and application of treatment intensity.

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Professionals know that intensive intervention is critical for attaining better outcomes for learners with autism, but relatively few understand and measure intervention intensity. While many may rely on number of minutes or hours per week as the indicator of intervention intensity, this is not a technically precise measure and does not offer much practical value. A technical understanding of intervention intensity may support professionals to more accurately determine when to intensify, supplement, or abandon an intervention by using common progress monitoring techniques. This keynote will introduce attendees to features of intervention intensity. Specific information about how intensity can be measured and manipulated as part of intervention planning and modification will be described. Recommendations for considering treatment intensity for data-based decision-making also will be covered along with practical examples that illustrate how to adjust the intensity of evidence-based practices for learners with autism.

About the Speaker

Jason Travers is a professor of special education and applied behavior analysis at Temple university where he also serves as coordinator for the undergraduate and graduate degree programs in these two areas of study. A former public school teacher for students with autism, Jason is an expert in autism and developmental disabilities, particularly the education and treatment of children and youth with disabilities and interfering behavior. His research has focused on various topics related to special education including sexuality education, under-identification of racially diverse children with autism in special education, evidence-based practice, unproven and pseudoscientific interventions, and meta-scientific issues and trends in single case experimental research. He has published over 70 journal articles and book chapters, one book on sexuality education for learners with ASD, and several other manuscripts for organizations like American Speech Hearing Association and Skeptical Inquirer. He currently is a consultant for the United States Department of Justice on investigations of unjustified restraint and seclusion of students with disabilities in public schools. He enjoys walking his two dogs and playing cooperative video games with his daughters, among other things.

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Below is the entire open-access version of this video. It does not contain embedded questions or interactions like the CEU version of the module.


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Jason Travers
Measuring and Manipulating Intervention Intensity
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