The Autism Consortium

Founded in 1995, the Autism Consortium has been providing individualized training, consultation, and system support to school districts throughout the United States. Our services focus on individuals with autism across the spectrum, across age spans, and across levels of functioning. Located on the main campus of Nova Southeastern University – in the acclaimed demonstration and training facility, the Jim & Jan Moran Family Center Village – the Autism Consortium is a unit of the Mailman Segal Center for Human Development.

The Model

Our model of instruction for students with autism focuses on three separate goal areas: independent functioning, communication, and social interaction. We believe the path to these core goals rests on the development of a strong individual education program for each student and a highly structured classroom environment that allows meeting individual needs within the classroom context. The three areas of growth represent high-priority needs for all students with autism, from those being educated in self-contained special education environments to those included in general education setting. We believe that teachers must be trained in a wide variety of evidence-based strategies so they can develop programs that meet the individual needs of each student with whom they interact. In the area of independence, these strategies may include systematic instruction techniques, prompting and prompt fading, using independent work systems, following visual schedules, and using assistive technology. In the area of communication, these strategies may include using augmentative communication, milieu language teaching, Pivotal Response Teaching, and environmental arrangement strategies. In the area of social interaction, these strategies may include direct instruction, peer models, and Social Stories.

The Consortium's Areas of Expertise

  • Classroom organization
  • Visual cueing
  • Functional assessment of behavior
  • Positive behavioral support
  • Communication strategies
  • Social skills instruction
  • Transition
  • Applied behavior analysis
  • Curriculum development
  • Individualized education programs
  • Parent programming
  • System development
  • Collaborative teaming
  • Assessment of autism spectrum disorders
  • Inclusion models and strategies
  • Community-based instruction

Professional Development

The Autism Consortium provides professional development tailored to meet the needs and priorities of individual trainees. Programs are designed for:

  • School districts
  • Special and general educators
  • Family members
  • Behavior analysts
  • Mental health professional
  • Psychologists
  • Nurses
  • Occupational therapists
  • Speech-language pathologists

A variety or research-based formats are used to build knowledge and skills in paraprofessionals and professionals providing services and support to individuals with autism and their families. These activities include didactic workshops as well as job-embedded activities such as modeling and coaching in classrooms. The training programs include one-to five-day didactic workshops; train-the-trainer sessions; a monthly training series to meet the individual needs of a school district; family education programs; and month-long training programs located on NSU’s campus. Contact us for sample model agendas.

The Demonstration Classroom

The demonstration classroom is a hand-on training and consultation model in which the consultants spend one week in a self-contained classroom for students with autism or with multiple disabilities. The consultants work with the classroom staff to develop the classroom schedule, physical space, and staff member zoning plan. They work as a team to develop classroom materials, teaching programs for each student, and data collection systems. On the fourth day of the week, the consultants run the classroom to model a variety of teaching strategies demonstrated on the previous day. Monthly follow-up is typically provided to continue to develop the classroom as a model training site for the school district.

Training Series

Periodic training series are offered to a district based on the individual district’s training needs. Trainings may be one day to one week in length and typically consist of didactic training followed by consultation within the district.

Autism Consortium Consultation
Systemic support is provided on an individual student, classroom, school, or district–wide basis.

Mailman Segal Center provides consultation services, including program evaluation, program design, and curriculum development across age and severity levels.

Get More Information

To learn more about our Autism Programs, please contact:

Susan Kabot, Ed.D., CCC-SLP
Executive Director of the Autism Institute
Phone: (954) 262-7129