Vista Outreach Services
Vista Outreach Services offer a range of affordable services to support students with autism spectrum disorders and the professionals who serve them in Central Pennsylvania.
An Affordable Solution
With the alarming increase in autism’s prevalence in recent years, many school districts have faced a daunting challenge in meeting the professional needs of their staff and the educational needs of children with autism. Consultant rates can often exceed $300 to $400 per hour. Vista delivers a flexible range of services delivered by qualified staff at a fraction of the cost at which others charge.
The School Based Access Program (SBAP)
Many school districts participate in the Commonwealth’s School Based Access Program (also known as “SBAP” or “ACCESS”). School districts enrolled in the SBAP program can access a restricted fund maintained by the Pennsylvania Department of Education (“PDE”) under a program which provides federal reimbursement through Medicaid funds for medical/behavioral health related services provided by qualified staff to students enrolled in the the local school district. The funds in this account are available for disbursement to schools for reimbursement of certain purpose expenditures upon approved requests made to the PDE by the school. Common approved expenditures include curriculum materials, Personal Care Assistant salaries and benefits, and professional consulting services.
Vista’s Outreach Services are fully reimbursable under the Commonwealth’s ACCESS program. Upon payment for Vista’s Outreach Services, school districts can apply to PDE for disbursement of funds from the schools SBAP account for up to full reimbursement for Vista’s Outreach Services expenditures.
Training & Support
Vista Outreach consults to the IEP team regarding instructional strategies, curriculum choices, and adaptations to improve student performance, generalization, and maintenance. We provide guided practice for different instructional strategies and behavior support plans to the IEP team. We assist teachers in ordering or creating materials to meet student needs. We assist the IEP team in determining items and activities, which function as reinforcement and how to use them contingently to maximize student performance. We help teams understand how autism spectrum disorders affect participation within educational and community settings.
Behavior Plans & Intervention
Vista Outreach designs appropriate data collection methods and when appropriate, trains IEP team members to collect data. We collect and analyze functional assessment data to determine why contextually inappropriate behaviors are occurring. We lead the IEP team in designing a behavior plan based on this data driven functional assessment. We demonstrate intervention techniques required to implement the behavior plan and provide feedback to staff implementing the plan.
Data Collection & Analysis
Vista Outreach instructs the IEP team in data collection methods in order to make analysis optimally useful. We analyze data to determine future needs for intervention. We present data in visual displays to make it understandable to all team members.
“The Vista Outreach Consultant gave invaluable support in person, by email, and on the phone throughout the year. Every communication was exceptional. She always gave supportive, invaluable advise and solutions. You always feel like an equal team member, not just a client.”
We assist staff in preparing for the IEP process by determining strengths and needs and present levels of education, and by generating goals and objectives and specially designed instruction. We participate in the IEP process and attend parent conferences, team meetings, and IEP meetings at the IEP teams’ request.
Classroom Design & Consultation
Vista Outreach assists districts in designing a district-run autism support classroom. We assist personnel in setting up the physical structure of the classroom. We consult to the classroom throughout the year regarding grouping students, planning lessons for individuals and groups, and managing student behavior and the classroom.
Social Skills Intervention
Vista Outreach conducts assessments to determine areas of social skill need. We provide individualized or small group intervention for the student(s). We design generalization plans to transfer social skills into other school settings. As part of social skills intervention, we offer a specialized type of social skills instruction, disability awareness training. This intervention teaches students which characteristics of an autism spectrum disorder apply to him. The ultimate goal of this training is to use this knowledge to assist in problem solving and behavior change.
Vista Outreach provides parent and staff training on a variety of topics related to autism spectrum disorders and their effective treatment.
“I was impressed with the help that Vista provided in developing an appropriate behavior modification plan for one of our students. Information was gathered and assessed to determine the function of the student’s problem behaviors. [Vista’s Outreach Consultant] was able to take this data and chart his area of weaknesses. She then determined modifications that would stop these problem behaviors, and it really worked for both the student and the teacher.”
Outreach Services Personnel
Kendra Peacock is the Supervisor of Vista Outreach Services. Kendra has been involved with the Vista Foundation® since 2003. She is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst who has worked in the field of behavior analysis focusing on the education and treatment of students with autism spectrum disorders for the past 10 years. Her interests include developing educational and behavioral interventions to maximize students’ success within educational environments. Kendra has presented at professional conferences such as The Association for Behavior Analysis International and Association for the Advancement of Behavior Therapy.