ERIC Number: EJ1083432
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Dec
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
Teaching Observational Learning to Children with Autism
MacDonald, Jacquelyn; Ahearn, William H.
Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, v48 n4 p800-816 Dec 2015
Observational learning (OL) is critical for the acquisition of social skills and may be an important skill for learning in traditional educational settings. Although OL occurs during early childhood in the typically developing population, research suggests that it may be limited in children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The purpose of the present study was to develop an assessment to test for the presence of OL across a variety of tasks. If OL was deficient, we sought to teach it by training specific skills. Six participants who had been diagnosed with ASD demonstrated deficits in OL. After an initial assessment, a multiple-probe design across OL tasks showed that training produced acquisition of these skills across multiple exemplars. After training, 5 of the 6 participants engaged in OL across multiple tasks and task variations, demonstrating generalization. For 1 participant, generalization of performance did not occur across tasks but did occur within task variations.
Descriptors: Observational Learning, Skill Development, Interpersonal Competence, Autism, Pervasive Developmental Disorders, Evaluation Methods, Training, Instructional Effectiveness, Generalization
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A