Education | Practicum in Therapeutic Interventions with Children
P696 | 5534 | Dr. Karen Gavin


The purpose of this practicum is to provide you with experiences that
you need to step into the role of school psychologist as an
intervention and systems change agent for children experiencing
difficulties in learning or behavior. Through these experiences, you
will develop a working knowledge of a variety of interventions for
social and emotional, developmental, and academic deficits. Through
discussion of these experiences, we will seek to develop an
understanding of forces that may facilitate or hinder implementation
of interventions with children through discussion and practice in the
areas of consultation and systems change.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS:

1-2 days per week at practicum site, depending on registration.

1.  Participation in at least one case at the Institute for Child
Study Clinic or another approved practicum site.

2.  Behavioral Intervention Projection: Students will use the
behavioral intervention methods outlined in the readings and class
discussions to design and carry out a direct intervention (see
attached handout for complete description of intervention project and
timeline).

3.  Meet with on-site supervisor on a weekly basis; have practicum
evaluation completed by supervisor at each site (Evaluations due on
Wednesday of Finals Week).

4.  Attendance and active participation in weekly discussion sessions
and faculty supervision, evidencing knowledge of any readings that may
be assigned.

5.  Development of Practicum Objectives, detailing how you expect your
practicum placement to help you reach goals you have set for yourself
in the areas of intervention and consultation (Due: February 1-
Absolute!).

SCHEDULE OF ASSIGNMENTS:
Practicum Objectives Due:  February 1st
Behavioral Intervention Project:
Description/Summary: February 21st
Final Report Due: April 26th
Practicum Evaluations: Due the Wednesday of Finals Week

Practicum Assignment/Finding a Case

This year's practicum arrangements involve both the Institute for
Child Study Clinic and outside placement. Some of you may be in the
Clinic, some in an outside placement, some in both. If you are
assigned to the clinic, your work in both the IU-based clinic and at
Clear Creek Elementary will factor into your evaluation for this
practicum. Thus you are expected to take part in all activities of the
Clinic and Clear Creak that are required if you are assigned to the
Clinic.

One of the ongoing difficulties in P696 is to ensure that you have a
case that is appropriate for your Behavioral Intervention Project. You
are not expected to make your project succeed. Since these are real
world interventions, a certain proportion will probably not succeed.
Thus, there is great deal of room for flexibility on these projects.
But communication is essential. If you are in a situation where you
believe you may have difficulty finding a case to work on, or if at
any time you think your case may make it difficult to meet timelines
in the project, please contact me without delay. In short, the general
rule of thumb is that instructor flexibility on timelines and
requirements will vary in direct proportion to the amount and
timeliness of communication about the problem.

P692 Outline for Intervention Project
Spring, 2001

The format and organizational structure for the intervention project
will be APA style.  In preparing the content of the final report,
however, think about the process of what you did as much as the end
product.  I would estimate that the paper would run about 10 pages
double-spaced.

Introduction

Briefly review the literature relevant to this topic. What have others
done with this behavior or intervention? What did they find?  What are
the weaknesses in this area?  How might your intervention clarify or
extend previous findings? What is the purpose of this particular
intervention?  The intervention chosen may be any of those considered
in class, as well as other empirically validated strategies not
considered in class.

Method
Subject/Referral Question:  Who initiated the referral? What were the
presenting problems?  Is there background information relevant to the
project? (i.e., current placement, previous history of
academic/behavior problems, severity of the problem as reported by
teacher)

Problem Definition: Based on your problem identification interview,
define the target behavior. What is the topography of the behavior?
Who perceives it to be a problem, and in what context(s)? Why did you
choose this behavior vs. others that might be a problem?  (See Barnett
et al.)  What environmental conditions might be maintaining it?  What
methods or treatments have been tried previously? Include any of the
steps from Witt and Elliott's framework that help you better define
the behavior (or alternately, if you have had a difficult time
reaching problem definition, use that framework to help define where
the process of problem definition broke down).

Functional Assessment/Hypotheses.

Description of Intervention:  Based on the target behavior definition
and baseline data, what type of intervention will be used?  Who will
implement the intervention and what special resources will be
required?  How does this address contingencies hypothesized to be
maintaining the behavior?  What factors did you consider when setting
up your program?  What are the possible obstacles or sources of
resistance to be faced in setting up this type of program?  What
resources were necessary to implement the program? Comment on the
social validity and potential generalizability of the intervention.
What steps have you taken to ensure that intervening on this
particular problem is important to the student's overall adaptation?
Description of Evaluation Strategies: What type of measure(s) will be
used to monitor progress on the target behavior? How frequently will
data be collected? Who will collect it? What are the possible problems
with this strategy? What type of design will be used to evaluate
treatment effectiveness?  What will the criteria be to establish that
a positive change took place?

Results

Describe the implementation of the program itself.  How long did the
program run?  How well did it run, including any unexpected problems
you encountered in its implementation?  Estimate the treatment
integrity of the intervention.  Were there any unintended side
effects, positive or negative?  Include graph of baseline (at least 3
data points over one week) and intervention phase(s) (at least 8 data
points over 3 weeks). Interpret the data: how well did the
intervention appear to work?  What type of data do you have supporting
the social validity of the intervention?

Discussion:

What do the results mean? Did your project have its intended effects?
Why or why not? If there were unintended side effects, discuss why you
think they occurred.  How did those in the child's environment react
to the intervention? Are these results similar or different from what
others have found? Would you consider the program a success from a
clinical standpoint? from an experimental standpoint?  Why or why not?
If you consider the program less than successful, please analyze both
your consultation and the intervention itself.  Were there factors in
the classroom, school, or home environments that unexpectedly
interfered with treatment integrity?  What would you do differently
next time either in terms of the consultation, treatment procedures,
or assessment strategies?

Meetings, Deadlines and Drafts:

We will meet once individually to talk about your project (between
1:00 and 4:00, March 6 and March 7).  Other meetings may be arranged.
As noted, a description/status report of the project is due February
21.  This should be a one to two page summary of the status of your
project, including description of subject, definition of behavior,
(Subject, Intervention Description, Evaluation Strategies), and as
complete a problem definition as you are able to write.  In addition,
please turn in drafts of sections to get ongoing feedback on the
following schedule:

Description/Status Report-by February 21 (Wednesday)
Methodsóby March 9th (Friday)
Introductionó by March 30th (Friday)
Results & Discussionóby April 13th (Friday)

The final project is due on, Thursday April 26.