Miranda Schehr
Expert Name: Miranda Schehr
Expert Title: Miranda Schehr
Company Name:  Step By Step Academy
Company URL: www.stepbystepacademy.org
Short Bio: Miranda Schehr, BCaBA, is the Clinic Transition Director of Step by Step Academy (SBSA), a non-profit treatment center for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). As a clinic transition director she directs the treatment plans of multiple clients through management, training and supervision of clinical staff. Before her involvement with SBSA she worked as an Intervention Specialist in Applied Behavioral Services, where she was responsible in the implementation of treatment of multiple clients and their families through teaching and training in the classroom and home environments. Her extensive experience in the field of Behavior Analysis allowed her to successfully conduct presentations, workshops and conferences on topics: PECS for Parents: learning and using the first 3 phases of PECS with your child in the home; Implementing Direct Instruction Curricula with Learners with Autism Spectrum Disorders; Differentiated Instruction; and Introduction to Applied Behavior Analysis. Miranda is from Columbus, Ohio. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Mild-Moderate Special Education at Xavier University, Cincinnati, OH, completed a graduate coursework in Behavior Analysis in the University of North Texas, Denton TX; and she is anticipating the completion of her Masters of Education in Cognitive and Behavioral Disabilities at the Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, FL, in August 2012. Miranda is affiliated with the Association for Applied Behavior Analysis International; Ohio Association of Behavior Analysts; Council for Exceptional Children; and Association for Direct Instruction.

What are task bins and how can they help in the home?

Task bins emerged out of TEACCH-style structured classrooms.  Similar to file folders, task bins are visually structured learning tasks that allow for frequent repetition of a skill to allow for mastery or maintenance of a skill.  

Tasks bins are beneficial for students who
•    Are working on fine-motor skills and need repeated practice
•    Have fine motor skill deficits and are unable to manipulate pictures or 2-d stimuli
•    Are unable to consistently recognize, discriminate and understand pictures
•    Are learning close-ended work/vocational tasks
•    Are visual learners and can attend to tasks for prolonged periods of time
Task bins help increase students ability to work independently, or without adult/teacher prompting or redirection.  

Task bins are set up with a close-ended activity in a bin or container.  Close-ended means that the activity has a natural ending such as being out of pieces or everything having a place.  These tasks can be set up to run from left to right with a finished bin at the end for the student to place completed work in or in a multi-drawer bin.

In a school or clinical setting, task bins can used like file folders to work on skills such as fine motor, pre-academic, vocational/self-help, and increasing independent work duration.

At home, task bins can be set up for some of the same reasons and more including, teach and maintain close-ended tasks and chores such as sorting silverware, folding clothes.  Task bins can also be used to keep students engaged in activities so parents can get things done like cooking dinner or talking on the phone.  

Task bins can be expanded to include open-ended activities such as independent play by teaching students to use timers.  You can teach your child to get out a play activity, start a timer, play with the toy/activity until the timer goes off then clean up, put the bin away and move onto the next task.  It’s a great way to inter-mix work and play tasks!  The same way work tasks can be increased for longer independent work time, the timer can be set for varying amounts of time to both increase the duration of playing with lesser preferred toys and activities that the student doesn’t currently play with and to decrease the amount of time playing with toys when the student has a limited play repertoire.