Comprehensive Autism Planning System

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The Comprehensive Autism Planning System for Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders and Related Disabilities – Second Edition by Shawn Henry and Brenda Smith Myles

The Comprehensive Autism Planning System (CAPS) is designed to provide an overview of a student’s daily schedule by time and activity as well as the supports that she needs during each period. Following the development of the student’s IEP, all educational professionals who work with the student develop the CAPS. Thus, the CAPS allows professionals and parents to answer the all-important question for students with an ASD: What supports does the student need for each activity? The CAPS is a list of a student’s daily tasks and activities, the times they occur, along with the all-important delineation of the supports needed to support student success. In addition, the CAPS includes space for making notations about data collection and how skills are to be generalized to others settings.

The CAPS model may be used alone or in combination with the Ziggurat Model.  Each of these models is strong, but together they are even stronger.

The Ziggurat Model and the CAPS are a valuable resources for public school professionals who must remain in compliance with federal and state guidelines. Specifically, recent trends in special education law emphasize the use of scientifically based research approaches. In addition, there is a strong push for incorporating positive behavioral interventions and supports (PBIS) based on a functional behavioral assessment. The Ziggurat Model and CAPS are consistent with these practices. First, evidenced-based interventions are incorporated in the Ziggurat and the CAPS model. Both also emphasizes a proactive, positive approach by requiring reinforcement and antecedent-based interventions. Finally, the Ziggurat Model and CAPS promote collaboration and communication among parents and professionals.

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