The Ziggurat Model: A Process and Framework for Designing Individualized Intervention Behavior Plans for Individuals of All Ages with ASD

September 9, 2022, from 9:00am - 4:00pm (EDT)

Presented by Melissa Dubie, M.S., Certified Ziggurat Model Trainer

This workshop will be presented virtually. 

Training Overview

The Ziggurat Model is a research-based model capitalizing on the student’s strengths to address underlying deficits. One component of the Ziggurat Model is the Underlying Characteristic Checklist (UCC), which is an informal assessment tool designed to identify characteristics across a number of domains (e.g., social, restricted patterns of behavior, communication, sensory, cognitive, and motor differences, emotional vulnerability, and any known medical or biological factors) associated with ASD. It is completed in conjunction with the Individual Strengths and Skills Inventory (ISSI) - a parallel tool for identifying strengths of the individual across the same domains. Then, the information from the UCC, ISSI, and the ABC-Iceberg will be funneled into the Ziggurat framework that guides instruction to ensure that complex needs are fully addressed. There are five tiers of the Ziggurat (e.g., sensory/biological, reinforcement, visual supports, task demands, and skills to teach) that each include evidence-based practices (EBP). The Ziggurat worksheet allows collaboration of everyone on the team to brainstorm using his or her own expertise on the best EBP’s to implement. The Ziggurat Model has been implemented in many districts successfully.


The participants will:

  • Learn to use the underlying characteristic checklist (UCC) at various age levels to identify the relationship of underlying characteristics of ASD with observable behavior.
  • Learn how to implement the Individual Strengths and Skills Inventory (ISSI).
  • Utilize an ABC-Iceberg to understand the antecedents, function of the behavior, and be able to define the behavior in observable terms.
  • Participate effectively as a team member in developing the Ziggurat worksheet to plan a comprehensive intervention.
  • Identify evidence-based practices on each of the five levels of the Ziggurat Model.


During the workshop, the presenter will:

  • Walk the participants through the entire framework of the Ziggurat Model including the UCC, ISSI, ABC-I.
  • Provide an overview of many of the evidence-based practices (e.g., visual supports, reinforcement, sensory integration, functional communication, social skills, video modeling, social narratives, prompting) and how to implement in the classroom to address the function of the behavior.
  • The group will focus on one student the presenter provides. This allows the participants to learn the process and understand the Ziggurat Model side-by-side with the presenter.

Who Should Attend

This workshop is geared for general and special education teachers, administrators, autism and behavior consultants, speech therapists, psychologists, counselors and families. It is a suggestion that participants come in pairs or small groups for the training; however, individuals are welcome.

Cost & Registration

Cost is $50.00 (USD)

  • All registrations are processed online by Indiana University (IU) Conferences. You may pay with a credit card, check, or purchase order. All registrations are final. No money will be refunded.
  • To access the Zoom meeting, a link will be sent to the email you use to register.
  • Please note – This is a virtual training using the Zoom webinar platform, so you will need a laptop, tablet, or smartphone to access the class.

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