Amy Laurent, Ed.M, OTR/L is a pediatric occupational therapist who holds a Master’s degree in Special Education. Currently in private practice, Amy specializes in the education of children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and related developmental disabilities. The majority of Amy’s work involves collaborating with and supporting school teams and families. Her consultative services focus on the creation of educational programs and environments that facilitate children’s active engagement and learning at home, in schools, and throughout their communities. The SCERTS Model, of which she is a co-author, along with differentiated instruction and developmental theory guide her practice. She works with educational teams in K-12 schools, pre-schools, and early intervention programs.
In addition to her role as a consultant, Amy serves as an adjunct faculty member for the Department of Communicative Disorders at the University of Rhode Island and for the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at Emerson College in Boston, MA. At these institutions, she teaches undergraduate and graduate courses focused on preparing graduating clinicians to meet the needs of children with ASD and the needs of their families. (see training page for information) Additionally, she is a co-developer of the SKIP (Super Kids Interactive Play) Program at the University of Rhode Island.
Her publications, including a chapter in the Handbook of Autism and Pervasive Developmental Disorders (3rd ed) have focused on emotional regulation in children and adolescents with ASD and its impact on later social competence. She frequently lectures and provides training throughout the United States and internationally on the SCERTS Model and other topics related to therapeutic and educational intervention for children with ASD.
Her private practice is affiliated with Communication Crossroads, Childhood Communication Services, and Childhood Communication Seminars.
Amy conducts assessments using the SCERTS Assessment Process (SAP), at the request of families, school systems, and/or agencies. The SAP is a curriculum-based assessment designed to identify areas of strength, as well as areas of need in a child’s developmental profile. Specifically, a child’s social communicative and emotional regulatory abilities are assessed through direct observations of the child in his home, school, and community environments. The SAP also assesses the effectiveness of the interactive and educational supports provided by the child’s communicative partners. By observing both the child and the child’s partners, a greater understanding of factors that lead to the child’s social competence and success can be achieved.
In addition to documenting a child’s current developmental profile in relation to social communication and emotional regulation skills, the SAP is used to develop meaningful and motivating educational goals which are designed increase a child’s confidence and competence in their daily lives. Recommendations for interpersonal supports and learning supports (e.g., visual supports and activity modifications) designed to be employed by the child’s partners throughout day in an effort to facilitate the child’s development are also generated.
Two different formats are utilized to accomplish assessments.
-The first format is offered for local clients. This format involves the use of caregiver questionnaires, interviews with family members and educational staff, and direct observation of the child in at least two different environments (e.g., home, school, community). At the completion of the assessment, a comprehensive written report is provided to document the child’s current developmental profile in each of the areas assessed and to provide recommendations for goals/objectives that may be included in the child’s IEP/IFSP. A follow up meeting to review the assessment results and report may be scheduled at the request on the client.
-The second format is offered for clients at a distance. This format involves the use of caregiver questionnaires, interviews with family members and educational staff, and video-based observations of the child. Video footage for this assessment is typically gathered by the family or educational team members following specified guidelines and sent to Amy for review. At the completion of the assessment, a comprehensive written report is provided to document current performance levels in each of the areas assessed and to provide recommendations for goals/objectives that may be included in the child’s IEP/IFSP. A follow up meeting to review the assessment results and report may be scheduled at the request of the client. This may be done via phone or video conferencing (e.g., SKYPE).