Sample Proposal – Case Studies in Autism Education

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