THE KEY TO MAINTAINING STAFF PROVISION OF MEANINGFUL ACTIVITIES: MONITORING AND FEEDBACK
The most evidence-based means of maintaining desired staff performance over time is to formally monitor staff work behavior and provide feedback about the quality of the observed performance (see Alvero, Bucklin, & Austin, 2001, for a review and summary). For our purposes, monitoring refers to systematic observation of meaningful activity involvement of center participants as described in Chapter 5, Assessing Meaningful Versus Nonmeaningful Task Participation. Providing feedback refers to the delivery of supportive and corrective feedback as discussed in Chapter 6, A Staff Training and Supervision Plan to Increase Meaningful Activities. This approach to maintaining staff performance has been
Quality Activities in Center-Based Programs for Adults with Autism. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-809409-9.00007-1
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shown to promote involvement of adults with developmental disabilities including autism in meaningful activities within center-based programs across years (Parsons et al., 1987) and even decades (Reid et al., in press). The remainder of this chapter focuses on how the monitoring and feedback approach should be applied to maximize its effectiveness.
The most evidence-based means of maintaining staff provision of meaningful activities for adults with autism in center-based programs is for clinicians and supervisors to regularly monitor staff performance and provide feedback to staff.
Maintaining staff performance in the manner to be discussed involves a formal process for monitoring and providing feedback. The approach requires use of a structured observation tool that results in quantitative data about meaningful task involvement of center participants as well as provision of feedback according to a set protocol (again, as described in Chapter 5, Assessing Meaningful Versus Nonmeaningful Task Participation and Chapter 6, A Staff Training and Supervision Plan to Increase Meaningful Activities). However, monitoring can also be provided informally by a clinician and supervisor.