Teaching young children with autism graphic symbols embedded within an interactive song

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Simpson, Kate
Keen, Deb
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2010
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Abstract

Difficulties in motivation have long been identified as a challenge for children with autism and their educators. Some research has suggested that music can be a motivating and engaging learning context for children with autism but few systematic studies have investigated the use of music as a teaching context for communication skills for these children. In this study, young children with autism were taught graphic symbols embedded in an interactive song. Three boys, aged 3-4yrs, with an Autism Spectrum Disorder participated in a single subject multiple baseline design study. The participants were taught to receptively label animal symbols. Animal names were embedded in a song and the animal symbols were simultaneously presented on an Interactive Whiteboard (IWB) using a PowerPoint presentation. Participants were required to correctly select the symbol corresponding to the animal named in the song by touching the symbol on the IWB. The use of the interactive song facilitated the receptive labelling task for all participants. Results were maintained for the three participants at follow-up. Overall, there was little generalization of these results to other contexts. Implications of the results for educators, issues with generalization of learning to other contexts, and the need for further research are discussed.

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Journal of Developemental and Physical Disabilities

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22

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2

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© 2009 Springer Netherlands. This is the author-manuscript version of this paper. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. The original publication is available at www.springerlink.com

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Special education and disability

Psychology

Allied health and rehabilitation science

Clinical sciences

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