Children with autism spectrum disorders
As the prevalence of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) continues to rise, families and educators are challenged with providing intensive, evidence-based practices in the least restrictive environment. Evidence exists for a variety of effective intervention approaches. Selection of appropriate interventions requires consideration of the individual needs of the child and family. An activity-based approach to early intervention combines strategies from a variety of evidence-based practices and allows for intensity of instruction through distributed opportunities for practice. Brief teaching interactions are elicited within the context of typical routines and activities throughout the day. Thus, intervention can be provided in inclusive classroom settings as well as at home, without disrupting the ongoing activities and routines. The purpose of the study was to determine the effects of collaborative planning for an activity-based approach to early intervention for children with ASD across school and home settings. Dependent measures included the combined rate of learning opportunities delivered by the teacher and parent across settings as well as the combined rate of the child's correct demonstrations for an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) goal. Teacher and parent perceptions of the value and effectiveness of collaborative planning for an activity-based approach to early intervention were also assessed using pre- and post-survey responses as well as information from a final interview. Participants were a preschool-aged boy with ASD, his mother, and his preschool teacher. A single subject, multiple-probe design was selected to analyze the effect of collaborative planning for an activity-based approach to intervention for a young child with ASD across school and home settings. The teacher and parent selected three matched routines that typically occur both at school and at home as the context for embedding activity-based learning opportunities to address a selected IEP goal. Results indicated that following collaborative planning meetings for each of the routines, there was both an increase in the collective learning opportunities delivered at school and at home, as well as a simultaneous increase in child outcomes for the targeted IEP objective in both settings. Responses from the teacher and parent pre- and post-surveys and final interviews provided social validation for the ease and practicality of collaborative planning for activity-based intervention. Both the teacher and parent felt confident in supporting the child's IEP goal within the context of typical daily routines. The teacher also expressed that the collaborative planning helped her to really focus on the child's individualized goal. Furthermore, both the teacher and the parent affirmed the intervention's potential for generalization. Collaborative planning to embed children's goals within the context of typical routines both at school and at home allowed for a collective increase in learning opportunities and related child performance on an individualized goal that may not have otherwise been possible. By including the parent as an active an equal decision maker in the educational planning process, intervention at school was enhanced and carried over into the home. The use of collaborative planning for activity-based intervention with both the teacher and the parent strengthened the power of instruction for an IEP goal by providing multiple and varied learning opportunities throughout the day and across settings, ultimately increasing child outcomes.
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Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
College of Education
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)
Salazar, Marisa J., "Effect of Collaborative Planning for an Activity-based Approach to Early Intervention for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders Across School and Home Environments" (2011). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 6642.