Universal Supports Assessment and Planning Tool (USAPT)
The concept behind Universal Supports is derived from the extensive research in the area of school-wide positive behavior support. Universal Supports are system-wide supports and strategies to prevent a majority of problem behaviors in general education settings. Applied to students with ASD, Universal Supports involve the implementation of classroom or building-level evidence-based supports and strategies. These strategies are considered critical for the vast majority of students with ASD, and have been identified as highly effective practices in teaching and supporting students with ASD in integrated environments. In whole, these supports and strategies provide students with ASD a solid foundation for learning and can be individualized to meet the unique needs of each student.
The USAPT is designed to measure two main areas of support within school buildings/programs. The first main area is foundational supports. Foundational supports, processes and relationships are necessary to have established before implementing specific educational supports for students. It is essential for schools to have effective team processes, guiding principles, and a commitment to working with families established before attempting to improve other support systems. If these three systems are not in place, then even the best efforts to improve other areas will yield limited success. The second area of support consists of specific strategies to help students with ASD function independently and develop appropriate social behavior.