ERIC Number: ED467134
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2002-Apr
Freeing the Child: Using Action Research on Visual Learning Strategies To Develop Children with Autism.
Boswell, Laura; Nugent, Peg
Teacher action research using both qualitative and quantitative methods of data collection were used to examine impacts of using visual learning strategies on five preschool children (ages 3-5) with autism in a self-contained classroom. During the six weeks of the study, pictures representing nine learning areas and specific developmental activities were used for giving directions, helping children make appropriate choices, helping them follow sequences, and scheduling the days activities. Data were collected using a parent survey, checklists, observations, videotapes, parent reports, and developmental scales. Results indicate the listing of the days events in picture form gave structure to clarify communication, support transitions, and help student understanding. The greatest benefit seemed related to age, with the older children being more easily redirected to the expected activity. Picture sequences were found to help the older students become more independent when performing the steps of a routine such as hand-washing, however, the younger two were inconsistent in their responses. Social stories also had a positive effect on the older children when families incorporated stories into their routines at home. Choice boards that allowed students to select their snacks were effective for all, while a situation board was effective with the older participants. (Contains 41 references.) (CR)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (New Orleans, LA, April 1-5, 2002).