AN ACTIVITY THEORY BASED SOCIAL SKILLS INTERVENTION FOR CHILDREN WITH AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDER
1 University of Dundee (UNITED KINGDOM)
2 Omar El-Mukthar University (LIBYA)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2015 Proceedings
Publication year: 2015
Conference name: 9th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 2-4 March, 2015
Location: Madrid, Spain
Abstract:The purpose of this paper was to extend the findings of previous studies on social skills generalization in children with autism. An activity theory based social skills intervention was used to teach basic initiating and continuing skills to four children from five to twelve years old that have high functioning autism. This study sought to determine whether a social skills intervention delivered through behavior modification and direct instruction with a cumulative teaching design would be effective in promoting generalization of the skills to leisure time during recess. The use of peer facilitators in promoting the development of social skills has been successful and was used in this study. However, even with the use of peer facilitators, generalization has been problematic in the literature (Strain, 1986). Children were observed in class and during recess to determine if skills were present in either setting at baseline. A multiple probe technique was used to document baseline and intervention levels of the nine skills during class and recess. All four of the children generalized their use of these skills during the intervention and follow-up. Generalization in the oldest child was observed one year later, at home, in class and increases are seen in the older children. The younger children generalized the use of skills to the classroom and during recess, but their increases are small and considered "seeds" of their social skills to be nourished and supported by continued behavior modification and built on by further teaching. The outcome for this teaching design is very promising for the purpose of promoting generalization of skills for children with autism. This design is flexible enough to serve primary through secondary children and children who may have performance as well as skill deficits, and those who are not fluent or who do not use them in all settings or with all agents.
Keywords: Activity, Social Skills, Autism Spectrum Disorder.