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ERIC Number: ED526580
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 135
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1245-3441-1
Using Sensory Interventions to Promote Skill Acquisition for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders
Van Rie, Ginny L.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Georgia State University
Individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) have documented sensory processing difficulties across the lifespan; however there is limited empirical support for the sensory-based interventions that have become ubiquitous with the population. This study was conducted to address this need and examine the effect of sensory-based interventions on skill acquisition for five elementary-age students with ASD. Proponents suggest that sensory-based interventions can be used to facilitate optimal levels of arousal so that children are available for learning. A single-case alternating treatments design was used to evaluate functional relations between the two sensory-based antecedent interventions and correct responding on expressive identification tasks. Upon visual analysis of the graphed data, functional relations were apparent for two participants. A positive relation between one sensory activity and correct responses was evident for a third student, but his rate of skill acquisition was too slow to verify a functional relation during the study. Results were undifferentiated for two students; one reached mastery criteria with both sensory-based interventions, while one made only modest improvement in expressive identification. Hierarchical linear modeling (HLM) was used to identify predictors of growth. Scrutiny of the results of the level-1 analysis revealed that there were significant differences among the participants at the start of the study (tau[subscript 00] = 388.46, chi[superscript 2](4) = 45.97, p less than 0.001) and that all of the students made significant gains during the study (beta[subscript 10] = 2.35, t(4) = 3.43, p less than 0.05). Using treatment as a predictor in Model 2 resulted in the finding of no significance for the sensory-based interventions in predicting growth. The two biggest level-2 predictors of student growth were age (beta[subscript 11] = 0.055, t(2) = 6.403, p less than 0.001) and IQ (beta[subscript 22] = 0.21, t(2) = 13.41, p less than 0.001). Although not clinically significant, Childhood Autism Rating Scale scores as a level-2 predictor of growth may have practical significance. Implications for mixed-modality research and applied practice are discussed. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Childhood Autism Rating Scale