ABS103 - Working With Families & Teams

Outline info
Last revision date 2018-07-13 14:32:29.827
Last review date 2018-07-13 14:32:29.829

Subject Title
Working With Families & Teams

Subject Description
This subject presents the student with theories, terminology and applications underlying current approaches to teamwork and working with the families of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. The focus will be on effective collaboration with a multi-disciplinary team, which is essential to successful intensive behavioural intervention. Students will develop the interpersonal, job-oriented skills necessary to problem-solve as team members in a flexible, empathetic, resourceful, and productive manner.

Credit Status
One Credit toward the Autism and Behavioural Science Ontario Graduate Certificate Program.

Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this subject the student will be able to:

1. Use appropriate interpersonal skills and problem solving techniques in working with children, families, clinical teams and service providers
2. Evaluate and respond effectively to family variables that impact on the treatment of individuals with ASD
3. Interact with child and family with sensitivity and flexibility with regard to culture, race, ethnicity, language, religion and socio-economic status
4. Communicate limitations of their expertise, role, or responsibility to families and service providers and refer to supervisors as appropriate
5. Communicate effectively with clinical supervisors and service providers about the need for services for families of individuals with ASD.

    Vocational Learning Outcomes: Autism and Behavioural Science Program
1. Assess and analyze the characteristics, skills, and behaviour of individuals with ASD to effectively implement evidence-based behavioural interventions.
2. Design and implement effective behavioural intervention plans under appropriate supervision and based on the principles of Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA).
3. Evaluate the effectiveness of behavioural intervention plans based on the principles of ABA.
4. Work collaboratively with families, teams, service providers, and the broader community to respond to the learning and behavioural needs of individuals with ASD.
5. Design, implement, and evaluate as part of a team, ABA based transition plans for individuals with ASD.
6. Comply with established ethical principles and professional guidelines.
7. Provide leadership in the promotion and provision of services to meet the needs of individuals with ASD and their families.
8. Evaluate empirical evidence in order to select appropriate interventions for individuals with ASD.

Cheating and Plagiarism
Each student should be aware of the College's policy regarding Cheating and Plagiarism. Seneca's Academic Policy will be strictly enforced.

To support academic honesty at Seneca College, all work submitted by students may be reviewed for authenticity and originality, utilizing software tools and third party services. Please visit the Academic Honesty site on http://library.senecacollege.ca for further information regarding cheating and plagiarism policies and procedures.

All students and employees have the right to study and work in an environment that is free from discrimination and/or harassment. Language or activities that defeat this objective violate the College Policy on Discrimination/Harassment and shall not be tolerated. Information and assistance are available from the Student Conduct Office at student.conduct@senecacollege.ca.

Accommodation for Students with Disabilities
The College will provide reasonable accommodation to students with disabilities in order to promote academic success. If you require accommodation, contact the Counselling and Disabilities Services Office at ext. 22900 to initiate the process for documenting, assessing and implementing your individual accommodation needs.

Acceptance into the Autism and Behavioural Science Graduate Certificate Program.

Topic Outline

Strengths approach vs deficits focus
Teamwork - individual differences
Interpersonal communications
Developing teamwork skills
Group problem - solving and decision-making
Cross-Cultural relations and diversity
Family systems theory
Double ABCX theory
Challenging systems family theory
Impact of ASD on family
Culturally sensitive intervention

Mode of Instruction

The Faculty of Continuing Education & Training offers subjects in alternative modes.
This allows the student to take the Autism and Behavioural Science Ontario Graduate
Certificate Program subjects in:
     1.  the traditional classroom
     2.  on-line
     3.  mixed mode - a combination of in-class and independent study

This subject will be delivered  via lecture, assigned readings,
exercises, group discussions and independent study.

Prescribed Texts

You and Others: Reflective Practice for Effectiveness in Human Services
By Linda McKinlay & H. Ross, Pearson Education (Allyn & Bacon),
(13 digit: 978-0205465149)

Beyond the Autism Diagnosis, A Professional's Guide to Helping Families
By Marion O'Brien & Julie Daggett, Brookes Publishing, ISBN#1557667519

Required Web Readings

The following two articles can be obtained through the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis (JABA) link http://seab.envmed.rochester.edu/jaba/

1. Allen, K.D., & Warzak, W. J. (2000). The problem of parent nonadherence in clinical behavior analysis: Effective treatment is not enough. JABA, 33 (3), 373-391.

2. Jacobs, H.E. (1991). Ya shoulda, oughta, wanna, or laws of behavior and behavioral community research. JABA, 24 (4), 641-644.

3. The following article can be obtained through a link on the Kids Mental Health Ontario website. http://www.kidsmentalhealth.ca/documents/EBP_autism.pdf Also available in French on this link

4. Perry, A., & Condillac, R. (2003). Evidence-Based Practices for Children and

Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorders: Review of the Literature and Practice Guide. Toronto: Children‘s Mental Health Ontario. Read selected sections only:

Section 5.1: Family Stress

Section 5.2: Models of Family Impact

Section 5.3: Siblings

Section 5.4: Family Based Interventions

Section 5.5: Summary Regarding Family Research and Intervention

5.  The following article can be obtained through a link on the Ontario Ministry of Education website http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/document/reports/speced/panel/speced.pdf

6.  Education for All: The Report of the Expert Panel on Literacy and Numeracy Instruction for Students with Special Education Needs, Kindergarten to Grade 6. (2005). Read selected sections only:


Historical Context

Today‘s Context

What We Believe


For the team project, your group will be responsible for selecting and reading ONE of the following articles (article selection will be agreed upon with instructor prior to the due date of the team project proposal).

*Can be retrieved from Journal on Developmental Disabilities link on the Ontario Association on Developmental Disabilities (OADD) website.

**Can be retrieved from the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis (JABA) link.

1. Clare, L., Garnier, H., Gallimore, R. (1998). Parents‘ developmental expectations and child characteristics: Longitudinal study of children with developmental delays and their families. American Journal on Mental Retardation, 103 (2), 117-129.

2. *Jones, J., & Passey, L. (2004). Family adaptation, coping and resources: Parents of children with developmental disabilities and behaviour problems. Journal on Developmental Disabilities, 11 (1), 31-46.

3. **Kohr, M.A., Parrish, J.M., Neef, N., Driessen, J.R., &, Hallinan, P. (1988). Communication skills training for parents: Experimental and social validation. JABA, 21 (1), 21-30.

4. Maurice, C. (2001). Recovery: Debate Diminishes Opportunities. Retrieved from: Association for Science in Autism Treatment (ASAT) website

5. Minnes, P., Nachshen, J., & Woodford, L. (2003). The changing role of families. In I. Brown, & M. Percy. (Eds.), Developmental Disabilities in Ontario 2nd ed. (663-676). Canada: Ontario Association on Developmental Disabilities.

6. *Nachshen, J. (2004). Empowerment and families: Building bridges between parents and professionals; theory and research. Journal on Developmental Disabilities, 11 (1), 67-75.

7. O‘Brien, M. (2007). Ambiguous loss in families of children with autism spectrum disorders. Family Relations, 56, 135-146.

8. *Perry, A., (2004). A model of stress in families of children with developmental disabilities: Clinical and research applications. Journal on Developmental Disabilities, 11 (1), 1-16.

9. Stuart, S. K., Flis, L.D., & Rinaldi, C. (2006). Connecting with families: Parents speak up about preschools services for their children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Teaching Exceptional Children, 39(1), 46-51.

10. Yuen, S. (2003). Seeing with new eyes: Metaphors of family experience. Mental Retardation, 41 (3), 207-211.


“Please note that a direct link to purchase a discounted eTextbook will be available as an option to students taking the course online on the first day of access to the course”.


Textbooks and readings above plus

Autism and Behavioural Science Graduate Program Semester I & II 2010 DVD Algonquin College - Part # 88880074050

Reference Material

1. Anderson, M. (2007). Tales from the table: Lovaas/ABA intervention with children on the autistic spectrum. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers

2. Baer, D.M., Wolf, M. & Risley, T. R. (1987). Some still-current dimensions of applied behavior analysis. JABA, 20 (4), 313-327.

3. Bailey, J., & Burch, M. (2006). How to Think Like a Behavior Analyst: Understanding the Science that Can Change Your Life. Mahwah: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Inc.

4. Brown I., & Percy, M. (Eds) (2003). Developmental Disabilities in Ontario 2nd ed. Ontario Association on Developmental Disabilities.

5. Dubrin, A.J. & Geerinck, T. (2006). Human Relations: Interpersonal, Job-Oriented Skills 2nd Canadian ed. Toronto: Pearson Prentice Hall Inc.


Access to free online journals

1. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis (JABA) (link to free on line journal articles) http://seab.envmed.rochester.edu/jaba/

2. Ontario Association for Developmental Disabilities (OADD) (has a link to a free online journal (Journal on Developmental Disabilities) www.oadd.org

Useful websites

1. ABACUS: Help for Parents website (a listing of Autism ABA providers serving Ontario) www.abacuslist.ca

2. ABA International website (Association for Behavior Analysis International (see link to: Consumer Guidelines for Selecting and Evaluating Behavior Analysts Working with Individuals with ASD) http://www.abainternational.org/Special_Interests/AutGuidelines.pdf

3. Autism Ontario website www.autismontario.com

4. Autism Society of Canada website (see link to: Life with ASD: Resources for Families and Caregivers)  

5. Canadian American Alliance Research Consortium website (ASD-CARC) www.autismresearch.ca

6. Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies website (see link to: Autism and ABA) http://www.behavior.org/autism/

7. Centre for Childhood Disability Research website www.canchild.ca

8. Conference Board of Canada website www.conferenceboard.ca and

9. Lovaas Institute website www.lovaas.com

10. Ministry of Children and Youth Services website (see link to: Services for Children with Autism) http://www.gov.on.ca/children/english/programs/needs/autism/index.html

11. Ministry of Education website (see link to: An Explanation of IEP in Ontario)



1. Thames Valley Children‘s Centre. (2008). Autism and Behavioural Sciences Program: Disk 1. Discussing Grief: ―After the Diagnosis‖, ―My Friend Nicky‖, ―Isaiah‖ and ―Dads‖, ―The Value of Parent Involvement‖

2. Thames Valley Children‘s Centre. (2008). Autism and Behavioural Sciences Program: Disk 2. ―Team Work‖

3. The following DVD can be purchased from the National Film Board
Bartlett, S. (Producer/Director), & LeRose, M. (Producer/Director). (2003). Autism: The Road Back. Canada: Knowledge Network of the National Film Board of Canada.

4. The following DVD can be purchased from Autism Ontario
 Meet my Brother

5. The following DVD can be purchased from Starfish Specialty Press
Family to Family: A Guide to Living Life when a Child is Diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (Producer) Kelly Luchtman. Higganum, Conn (2004)

Promotion Policy

Grading Policy
A+ 90%  to  100%
A 80%  to  89%
B+ 75%  to  79%
B 70%  to  74%
C+ 65%  to  69%
C 60%  to  64%
D+ 55%  to  59%
D 50%  to  54%
F 0%    to  49% (Not a Pass)
EXC Excellent
SAT Satisfactory
UNSAT Unsatisfactory

For further information, see a copy of the Academic Policy, available online (http://www.senecacollege.ca/academic-policy) or at Seneca's Registrar's Offices.

Grading is based on the following marking scheme:


-Application of principles           15%
-Team project                             40%
-3 Case studies                          15%
-Midterm test                              15%
-Final test                                   15%
Total                                          100%

  • Assignment 1: 15%
  • Assignment 2: 15%
  • Assignment 3: 15%
  • Discussions (3@5%): 15%
  • Team Project: (Part 1: 5%, Part 2: 15%, Part 3: 15%, Part 4: 5%):40%

Modes of Evaluation

To pass this subject, students must achieve the learning outcomes of the subject.  This is demonstrated by the student's successful completion of the term work and final exam/evaluations.  The student must pass both the term work and final exam/evaluations to pass the subject.  A passing grade in the Autism and Behavioural Science Ontario College Graduate Certificate is a minimum of "C" (60%).   If the student passes the term work, but fails the final examination, the student may be awarded a Supplemental Grade at the discretion of the Promotion Committee.

Assignments are due at the beginning of the class on the dates specified.  Should extenuating circumstances arise, please contact your Instructor immediately, prior to when  your assignment is due, so an appropriate course of action can be established. Late assignments are subject to grade penalties and will not be accepted beyond two weeks after the assignments due date.  

Students unable to complete any formal evaluations without sufficient documented reason, will be given a grade of zero for the missed assessment(s).


Assignments (3@15% each) 45%
Discussions (3@5% each) 15%
Team Project: Part 1 5%
Part 2 15%
Part 3 15%
Part 4  5%

This Ontario College Graduate Certificate program in Autism and Behavioural Sciences was made possible by a grant from the Ministry of Training, College and Universities © Queen’s Printer for Ontario 2005


Approved by: Lisa Harfield