The Ziggurat Model
Ruth Aspy, Ph.D., and Barry G. Grossman, Ph.D.
Foreword by Gary B. Mesibov, Ph.D., Director of Division TEACCH
The Ziggurat Model won the Autism Society’s National award for Literary Work of the Year in Education.
The Ziggurat Model is a system for designing comprehensive interventions for all individuals with autism spectrum disorders.
The status quo of intervention is to treat the visible behaviors. This narrow, band-aid approach fails to address the true need—underlying hidden deficits—and provide for sustained change. No single solution is sufficient to resolve complex needs. The Ziggurat Model is a research-centered system that capitalizes on strengths in order to address underlying deficits. It is assessment driven and provides a framework that guides parents and professionals to ensure that complex needs are fully addressed.
There are five tiers of the Ziggurat which are each supported by research. As such, the model identifies essential areas required in the development of a research supported treatment plan.
Recent trends in special education law emphasize the use of scientifically based research approaches along with a focus on Response to Intervention (RTI). Additionally, there is a strong push in our schools for incorporating positive behavioral interventions and supports (PBIS) based on a functional behavioral assessment. The Ziggurat Model is consistent with these practices.
The Ziggurat Model is unique – simple to use and comprehensive. While it is easy to find volumes of information describing specific interventions, it is difficult to find information on how to develop an intervention plan.
Designed to simplify a complex process, parents and professionals will find the framework of the Ziggurat Model to be a useful guide in developing more thorough and effective interventions.
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Use the slideshow below to learn more about the Ziggurat Model. Scroll, using the arrows, and click on the desired image to open the page.