Preparing Researchers, Educators, and Parents (PREP): Tools for Autism and Behavior

PREP is an interactive learning module designed to educate and provide resources to individuals who want to learn skills to educate individuals with autism. Currently our modules are geared to educators who are new to working with individuals with autism, although we are expanding to offer intermediate and advanced module in 2018-2020.

Interactivity

Sections within modules are embedded with videos and real life scenarios to help enhance the learning experience. Sections were created to keep learners engaged and to provide different examples for diverse learning styles.

Our Impact

Preparing Researchers, Educators, and Parents (PREP): Tools for Autism and Behavior. Awards No. 17185 and 20472. The opinions and conclusions expressed in this document are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the opinions or policy of the THECB.

About PREP


The PREP modules were created to improve accessibility of instruction in evidence-based practices for working with individuals with autism spectrum disorder. They have been developed with a focus on increasing the availability of high-quality services to people who might otherwise be unable to access such services, such as to those in rural settings, from low socioeconomic backgrounds, who are military-connected, and those with moderate to severe autism. These modules are designed to teach evidence-based practices using real-life examples and other interactive tools to make learning more effective, efficient, and enjoyable.

This project serves parents, caregivers, teachers, or service providers who provide direct services to individuals with autism up to age 22.

Online/Self-Paced

Sections can be taken at a pace convenient for the learner and learners choose content tailored to their needs.

PREP Team


Jennifer Ganz, Ph.D., BCBA-D

Jennifer Ganz, Ph.D., BCBA-D

Project Director

Jeni Ganz, Ph.D., BCBA-D, is the project director for PREP. She has been a professor of special education at Texas A&M University since 2008 and has provided services for individuals with autism and their families since 1996, as a teacher, consultant, behavior analyst, and project director/principal investigator. Her research focuses on working with natural communication partners to improve communication in individuals with autism.

Language proficiency: English, beginning Spanish

 

Kaitlyn Stein, M.Ed.

Technology Coordinator

Kaitlyn Stein, M.Ed, provides technical assistance for the PREP project. She is a fourth year counseling psychology doctoral student. While completing her undergraduate degree, Kaitlyn volunteered working with children with ASD at the Brazos Valley Rehabilitation Center. Her main research interests include therapeutic outcomes, therapeutic interventions, and counselor training.

Language proficiency: English

April Haas, M.Ed., BCBA

April Haas, M.Ed., BCBA

Project Coordinator

April Haas, M.Ed., BCBA is the project coordinator for PREP.  She is currently a Special Education doctoral student at Texas A&M and has been serving families and children with autism for 11 years. Her research focuses on working with children with autism and their peers to increase academic and social skills.

Language proficiency: English

 

Sandy Smith, M.Ed.

Research Scientist

Sandy Smith, M.Ed., has been in education for 25 years and has been involved with teaching/coaching behavior management at the elementary, secondary, and adult level.  She began her educational career as a paraprofessional before earning a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education with Specialization in Special Education from Southwest Texas State University. Her Masters is in Teaching with Administrator Certification from Schreiner University. She is currently a doctoral student in Special Education at Texas A&M. Her research interests include coaching classroom management, Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports, Emotional Behavioral Disorders, and ADHD. 

Language proficiency: English

Past Members


Kimberly Vannest, Ph.D. (2018-2019)

Kimberly Vannest, Ph.D. (2018-2019)

Project Director

Kimberly Vannest, Ph.D. served as the PREP project director from 2018-2019 and has been teaching and coaching since 1989. Her work includes research supporting students, educators and families in preventing or ameliorating emotional and behavioral challenges. She is now the department chair at the University of Vermont.

Lexi Mitchell (2018-2019)

Lexi Mitchell (2018-2019)

Module Developer

Ms. Mitchell was a module developer for PREP. Ms. Mitchell holds a Bachelor of Science in Visualization and is currently pursuing her Master’s of Science in Visualization for User Experience and Interactive Design. She has experience with designing interactive applications as well as rapid prototyping, and is proficient in the following coding languages: Javascript, CSS, and HTML5. In addition, Ms. Mitchell has five years of experience in computer graphics, digital and film editing, and graphic design.

Armando Bernal (2018-2019)

Content Creator

Armando Bernal, B.A. was the educational content developer graduate assistant for PREP. He is currently a special education teacher and special education master’s student at Texas A&M University. He has been serving families and children with autism for 3 years. He desires to move into a clinical format after graduation. It is there he plans to continue to work with children with autism.

Language proficiency: English

Kristi Morin, Ph.D., BCBA-D (2016-2017)

Kristi Morin, Ph.D., BCBA-D (2016-2017)

Project Coordinator

Kristi Morin, Ph.D., BCBA-D, is the previous Project Coordinator for PREP and is currently an assistant professor at Lehigh University. Dr. Morin has over 10 years of experience working with children with autism as a general and special education classroom teacher, behavior therapist, consultant, and researcher. Her research focuses on teaching educators to incorporate evidence-based practices for children with autism into their instruction.

Marcus Fuller (2017-2018)

Marcus Fuller (2017-2018)

Research Assistant

Marcus C. Fuller, M.Ed., is a Special Education doctoral student in the Department of Educational Psychology at Texas A&M University. Hailing from central Pennsylvania, Mr. Fuller holds Bachelors degrees in Psychology and Early Childhood Education from Bloomsburg University, as well as a Masters in Special Education from Shippensburg University. He is a certified general education teacher for pre-kindergarten – 4th and special education teacher kindergarten -8th, with experience in second grade classrooms and students with autism ranging from ages 8-21 years old. His research focuses on empowering families, paraprofessionals, and classroom teachers by helping them increase their implementation skills during interventions with children with behavior disorders, autism, and/or complex communication needs.  Currently, Mr. Fuller is focused on coaching models to improve professional development workshops for teachers.

Armando Sutedjo (2016-2017)

Technology Assistant

Armanto Sutedjo is graduate assistant who was responsible for instructional design and technology specialist for PREP. He is a doctoral student of Learning Sciences program with an interest in Educational Technology at Texas A&M University. His research focuses on game-based learning and instructional design to improve learners’ learning experience.

Andrew Patterson (2018-2019)

Andrew Patterson (2018-2019)

Research Scientist

Andrew Patterson was the research scientist for PREP and utilized his background in data analysis and project management.  After teaching Special Education and Social Studies for seven years with Coppell ISD, Andrew arrived at Texas A&M to study Geography and Communications with plans to position himself as a leader to bridge the gap between the sciences and general public.  Education is a key component of that plan as structured learning of the sciences begins in the classroom.

Language proficiency: English

Qing Wang (2018-2019)

Qing Wang (2018-2019)

Data Analysis

Qing Wang is a masters student in the Department of Educational Psychology at Texas A&M University. For the PREP Project, she conducted data cleaning, analysis, and interpretation for the data obtained through the Learning Management System. Qing’s research interests focus on quantitative and methodological issues, including multivariate statistics, regression analysis, and structural equation modeling.

Language proficiency: English, Chinese

Estefania Bueno (2018-2019)

Content Creator

Estefania Bueno is currently a graduate student and was a content creator and editor for PREP.  She currently works as an RBT at Florida Autism Center and has worked with children for 7 years. She is currently in the process of attaining an M.Ed in Special Education at Texas A&M, and plans to pursue her a doctoral degree as well.

Language proficiency: English, Spanish

Alyssa Besly (2016-2018)

Alyssa Besly (2016-2018)

Module Developer

Ms. Besly was a module developer for PREP. Ms. Besly holds a Bachelor of Science in Visualization and a Master of Science in Visualization at TAMU. She has experience designing an interactive multimedia educational site and is proficient in the following coding languages: Python, Javascript, C++, CSS, and HTML. In addition, Ms. Besly has five years of experience in 3D animation technology, film studies, digital editing, and graphic design.

Yan Li, M.S. (2017-2018)

Yan Li, M.S. (2017-2018)

Research Assistant

Yan Li, ME.D., BCBA, COBA, was a previous research assistant at PREP and is currently a case supervisor at Payne Behavioral Services in Columbus, Ohio. Yan’s job is focusing on developing evidence-based treatment plans for children with autism, monitoring clients’ learning progress, and providing parent training.

Language proficiency: English, Chinese

Melina Cavazos (2017-2018)

Melina Cavazos (2017-2018)

Technology Assistant

Melina Cavazos, M.Ed. provided technical support for PREP. She is currently a student at Texas A&M University in the School Psychology doctoral program, with a research interest in transition assessment. She currently works with children with disabilities and their families through psychoeducational assessment, counseling, and monthly family training sessions. She is also a proud older sister of a younger brother with autism.

Contact


For more information about our project, please contact our project coordinator, at haas2010@tamu.edu.

Figure 1.

County Distribution of areas served through PREP Modules

Figure 2.

Poverty rate of areas served through PREP Modules

Translate »