Case Studies in Autism Education

Submit a Poster Proposal

Proposals due: Friday, June 18

Early submissions are encouraged!

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Category Description

Submissions for acceptance in this category will be evaluated based on relevance to the fields of autism assessment, intervention, staff training, basic conceptual understanding, and program design. Preference will be given to studies that include measures of inter-observer agreement for the dependent and independent variable, as well as data related to treatment fidelity.

Submission Criteria

  1. Case studies with supportive data: These proposals will examine the effect of an intervention on a single person or group.
    1. The proposal will include definitions of both dependent and independent variables.
    2. Experimental control does NOT need to be demonstrated. The use of an AB design will be explicitly stated.
    3. Baseline measurements of dependent variables are required for all submissions.
    4. Preference will be given to proposals that include IOA and treatment integrity data.
    5. If study involves problem behavior reduction, Functional analysis, or at a minimum FBA data, required.
    6. Submitted case studies must describe actual practices to be considered for acceptance.
    7. This category does not include data derived primarily from verbal reports. Direct measures must be included for consideration.
    8. Data will be included and presented in a form that allows visual analysis. Posters should include graphs and charts allowing a fairly efficient analysis of the data.

Sample Proposal

Title of Poster Presentation: Teaching Rehearsal Strategies to Perform Multiple-Step Directions in the Natural Environment

Primary Presenter: Karen Chambers

Role: Lead Teacher

Additional Presenters: Deb Sunbury, Jessica Williams, Darren Lewis, and Matt Mansfield

Roles: Internal Coach, Consultant 1, Consultant 2, and Consultant 3

School District/Intermediate Unit/Agency: Center School District

Poster Description/Topic: Does teaching rehearsal strategies to select multiple items from an array establish joint control as a generalized controlling variable for the performance of multiple specified instructions in the natural environment?

Subjects: A second-grade male student diagnosed with autism.

Study Design: Study was conducted within an ABAC single-subject design. The following phases were implemented:

  • Phase 1 (Baseline): 3 step directions in classroom
    • Three-step, in-classroom directions, developed from known tact, listener-responses, and echoic skills, were presented to student.
    • The presentations of the individual skills were randomized.
  • Phase 2 (Intervention): Prompting repeated overt echoics of the manded stimuli, the student was taught to select multiple items from an array following the frame, “give me X, Y, and Z”
    • 3 teaching trials per day were provided, while 1-4 sessions were run per day.
    • Mastery criteria was 100% accuracy for 3 out of 4 days
  • Phase 3 (Return to Baseline): Procedures were identical to phase 1
    • Mastery criteria was 100% accuracy for 3 out of 4 days
  • Phase 4 (Procedural Modifications): Procedures were identical to Baseline, however prior to the delivery of the three-step instructions the student was prompted with the rule, “say it out loud”

Measurement of Independent and Dependent Variable:

  • Independent Variable: Training self-echoic behavior to perform 3-step manded stimulus-selections from an array
  • Dependent Variable: Percentage of independently performed 3-step manded compliance tasks within the classroom environment

Interobserver Agreement (IOA): To determine interobserver agreement, one-third of the data were scored by either an independent Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) or a school district internal coach. The additional observers were trained in the operational definitions of each variable within the current study and how to determine if the participant successfully performed selection or compliance tasks. IOA was calculated using the trial-by-trial method, in which the number of trials on which observers agreed was divided by the total number of trials. This proportion was multiplied by 100 in order to convert it to the percentage of agreements between the two observers. IOA was collected for 16% of all trials and the data collectors achieved 100% agreement on the calculations.

Data Display: Please see graph below. The graph visually documents the dependent variable data points across the four phases of the study, with vertical phase change lines marking the changes in conditions.

sample study phases