CSI Overview

The Classroom SCERTS Intervention Project (CSI) is a public school-based, intervention program for students with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) in Kindergarten through 2nd grade. CSI provides services by training and guiding teachers to implement SCERTS in the classroom setting. This is done through a combination of SCERTS workshop training and coaching that utilizes a regular schedule of team meetings, classroom observation, and video review. In addition, the CSI website is used as a cumulative resource for enhancing teacher competence in the SCERTS Model. The model addresses the special needs of young students with ASD by having teachers learn how to implement goals and objectives within everyday classroom activities and settings consistent with to ensure the level of intensity needed for meaningful outcomes and consistent with the IDEA.

The purpose of this manual is to describe the theoretical framework of CSI and provide a comprehensive step-by-step delineation of the CSI implementation process. This manual was designed to implement CSI with students who have been diagnosed with or are at-risk for ASD from K-2nd grades. The manual explains how CSI autism coach works collaboratively with school teams to identify the most critical goals and objectives for the student and coaches classroom staff on how to implement SCERTS within functional and meaningful classroom activities.

Theoretical Framework

Students with ASD require a comprehensive program that integrates evidence-based practices drawing from research on autism, child development, and special education. Recent research, current federal and state legislation, and accumulated experience with young children with ASD have converged on the elements that were integrated into CSI. 

SCERTS is based on the seven following principles:

  1. Social Communication goals emphasize functional use of language and communication in natural Settings
  2. A child’s Emotional Regulation and its effect on communication, interaction, and learning and arousal states are monitored continuously
  3. Approaches to problem behavior are integrated with Social Communication and Emotional Regulation
  4. Environments are arranged and activities are designed to foster motivation and encourage initiation of communication
  5. Transactional Supports are used to promote active and independent participation in activities
  6. Learning and playing with peers is an essential component of education
  7. The development of positive relationships among professionals and family members is the foundation for successful collaboration.


Children in Kindergarten through 2nd grade attending schools participating in the CSI project who have been identified as having ASD.