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Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities, Article Review Example

Pages: 1

Words: 361

Article Review

The purpose of this research is to assess whether using a combination of visual supports for children with autism is effective in facilitating their transition between activities. The rationale for this study is that since autistic children are difficult to teach, it is essential to determine methods that will assist them with this process. A major contributor to their lack of ability to learn is the amount of time it requires for them to switch between activities. Therefore, this research is being utilized to examine a combination of visual supports during activity transition that may decrease this transition time.

Two young boys were recruited to the study, including a seven year old and a five year old. Both boys were formally diagnosed with autism according to the DSM-IV. Furthermore, observation indicated that both children had difficulty transitioning between activities. The independent variable is visual support for the transitioning of activities. The dependent variable was the maximum transition time, in which each participant was given up to ten minutes to transition to the next activity after verbal and visual cues. To collect data, the observers used frequency counts to score the number of cues given by the caregiver and the number of times that the participant did not respond in less than ten minutes. A stopwatch would be started when the cue was given and ended when the child transitioned to the next activity.

A single-subject reversal design was used for this study. Baseline conditions were measured using verbal prompts, physical prompts, and proximity control. These conditions were then compared to intervention using verbal cues. It was found that visual prompts are useful to reinforce the verbal prompts that are given. When the students were given visual prompts in addition to verbal prompts, it took them less time to transition between activities. While the authors believe this information is reliable, they do call for a need for further studies. In particular, it would be useful to conduct a similar study with a larger sample size.

References

Dettmer S, Simpson RL, Myles BS, Ganz GB. (2000). The Use of Visual Supports to Facilitate Transitions of Students with Autism. Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities. 15(3): 163-169.

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