Date of Award:

2015

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Special Education and Rehabilitation

Advisor/Chair:

Thomas Higbee

Abstract

Children with autism often engage in repetitive behaviors and may not engage appropriately with leisure activities. Visual activity schedules are an effective way to promote independence and teach appropriate task engagement. Previous researchers have found that activity schedules are not only effective in teaching a range of skills, but also have been shown to reduce problem behavior. Paper-based activity schedules, while inexpensive and fairly easy to prepare, can be cumbersome. Socially, activity schedule books may also be stigmatizing. This study investigated the effectiveness of using an iPad to teach visual activity schedule following with preschoolers with autism. Findings from the current study add to previous research showing that technology-based activity schedules are an effective way to teach young children to engage in leisure activities independently. We also evaluated participants’ preferences for the iPad-based schedule versus the binder-based schedule and found that the iPad-based schedule was preferred for two of three participants.

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