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The ICONz® Program: Improving Teacher Response to Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders(ASD)


Dr. Russell R. Johnson, PhD, NCSP - University of Pittsburgh Pennsylvania Dept. of Public Welfare

Edith L. Trees Charitable Trust


This research study is the first school-based application to test  the  ICONz®  program that prepares teachers to help students with ASD.  It evaluates the effectiveness of the ICONz® approach in improving student skills in dealing with social, communication and problem solving challenges. 

The ICONz® research program consists of social concept cues which are used along with the ICONz®  curriculum. The ICONz®  social concept cues present specialized visual cues designed to help individuals learn, remember, and apply basic social skills. There are nine symbols that serve as a powerful visual language to activate social behaviors learned from the accompanying  ICONz® curriculum. Each ICONz®  image represents a social skill necessary for controlling behavor and communication with others. Groups consist of 8-10 individuals of middle or high school age.  Each group will proceed through the curriculum, totaling 24 lessons. 

Parents also receive ICONz® training, have monthly ICONz® club meetings, and provide feedback. This project will provide objective evidence about the effectiveness of the ICONz® Curriculum in improving teacher effectiveness with students with ASD and enhancing the students; capabilities and potential in the classroom.


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