The participants will be four boys with autism. The boy’s age’s range from 8 to 12 years old, grades second to fifth, who are enrolled in an applied behavior analytic (ABA) based public school program. Each participant had received diagnosis from an outside agency prior to the program. Participants were selected based on parental requests for their children to independently complete tasks at home and to increase on task behavior. The teachers also agreed that the participants also needed structure leisure time. The participants have previous experience using the Ipad and Ipod touch at school finding and listening to music, playing games, and to complete teacher instructed programs. Participants can respond to a timer, engage in several leisure activities, and independently follow activity schedule given in a book format. Participants were recently taught various skills using a delayed reinforcement procedure in which preferred snacks or pennies were conveyed upon on task behavior and correct responses.
Before the study all participants independently engaged in conversation with instructors. Ian is 9 years old with extensive vocabulary; he was able to speak in 5 to about 8 word sentences. Brian 8 years old, along with Ryan 9 years old, and Neil 12 years old had limited vocabularies; they spoke in 2 to about 5 word sentences. Neil and Ian were able to comment on their peer’s activities and started conversations with them thereafter. Ryan was comfortable with communicating with the assistance of augmentative alternative communication book (AAC).
I-pad and I-pod touch are personal handheld digital devices designed and marketed by Apple, assistant with media, music, used as a game console, and Wi- Fi mobile. Individual picture activity schedules (containing animated symbols, scene cues) were downloaded to the device, to teach the participants fun ways to self-help with communication skills and to become more independent in their leisure time. Each picture had an icon of the standard touch clock on the bottom of the screen. Participants will have the option to exited all pictures and timer. Upon activity selection participants can advance to other apps or activities by moving his finger on the right side of the screen and sliding it to the left side of the screen. When the timer stopped participants stopped the activity and returned to the main screen.
A multiple stimulus without replacement preference assessment (DeLeon &Iwata, 1996) will be conducted three times before the study to identify the participant’s motor skills and social skills for the activities. Participants will pick one out of the 15 activities on the device, once they made a selection, they will receive access to the item for 10 seconds and the other items will be temporarily removed to prevent confusing and multiple selections. This process will continue until all items are selected and used. The reinforce assessment for individuals with severe disabilities (Raidsd & Amari, 1996) was given as a concept mastery routine to the parents of the participants to identify possible snacks and prizes reinforcers at home. The 10 most snacks and prizes were used as an incentive for the study. Before the I-pad and I-pod touch sessions, the participants were presented with 10 snacks and prizes and allowed to select just one to earn for that session’s work.
Calculating the average selection preference for each session then a rank of order of the top 10 preferred activities summarized data. On task behavior will define the participant visual attention to appropriate components related to his schedule, looking at scene cues schedules, and transitioning from one activity to another. Off task behavior will define the participant using the device in a manner other than the given activities such as the Internet and engaging in unruly behavior, for example tantrums. Some of the general activities include listening to music, educational songs, watching on task videos, movie clips and educational games. Data will be collected using time sampling with a 10 second observation period for the first 10 minutes of each session.
Data analysis will be used to identify components required to complete the chain of activities. A survey will be used with questions for pre and post intervention, and videos of the participants. Based on data Ian percentage of correctly completed activities will increase in range of (85-100) during intervention sessions with the mastery of all schedule components for 10 sessions. Based on data Neil’s percentage of correctly completed activities will increase in range of (50- 65) during intervention sessions for 10 sessions. Based on data Brian percentage will increase in range of (64-100) during intervention session’s mastery of all schedule activities within 14 sessions. Based on data Ryan percentage of correctly completed components will increase in range of (85-100) with mastery of all schedule components within 11 sessions.
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From the tables of data summarized and collected, the participants had an average age of nine and half years. The results indicate that the average number of minimum words spoken by the participants ranged from 2.75 to 5.75 words with subject 1 scoring the highest number of spoken. Participants were subjected to a series of activities and the number of correctly completed activities. From the table below, it clearly indicates that the minimum percentage of completed components of activities before the program was 71. After the program it is envisaged that the percentage of correctly component activities increased to 91.25 after the program. It was noted that subject one and three will perform better after the program.
The table below shows the averages of key indicators scored for all the four participants. The mean provided the basic summary statistics for the raw data collected....