Martin, R. J., Cavanaugh, B., Levato, L., Fontechia, K., Hoch-heimer, S., Iadarola, S., ... & Anderson, C. M. (2021). Modular Approach to Autism Programs in Schools (MAAPS): a Feasibility Study. Contemporary School Psychology, 1-11.
We examined the feasibility of a modular intervention system for helping teachers provide school-based interventions for autistic students, known as the Modular Approach to Autism Programs in Schools (MAAPS).
Educators do not always use evidence-based interventions (EBIs). MAAPS was designed to help educators identify interventions that are more applicable to the specific needs of their students, and provide educators with the training and support necessary to implement them. We conducted a feasibility study to determine whether MAAPS can be effective and whether this approach is acceptable to teachers.
MAAPS was implemented with 12 teachers and 15 of their students over the course of a school year. Coaches met with teams of teachers and other stakeholders (parents, other educators) to set goals for students and identify interventions. Teachers were then trained on the interventions and coaches helped teachers during implementation.
Coaches were able to provide training and coaching to teachers with fidelity, and teachers were able to implement modules effectively with ongoing support. Teachers also found MAAPS to be useful and acceptable, though they also provided suggestions for improvement. Many of the students who received intervention made progress toward individual goals.
We used what we learned from this feasibility study to make important modifications to MAAPS, such as reducing the number and length of team meetings and adding new modules.
We have since conducted a randomized-controlled trial (RCT) of MAAPS with additional teachers and students and we are currently conducting another, larger RCT to further test its efficacy.