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Prompting and different reinforcement effects on teaching structured play

EDEX 715 Project Tracy Young Prompting and differential reinforcement effects on teaching structured play The University of South Carolina

Prompting and different reinforcement effects on teaching structured play INTRODUCTION

The student, Howard, that I created and implemented an instructional program for has a diagnosis of autism. I currently work with him in a preschool setting with typically developing, same-age peers. I spent time observing Howard and found that a problem he had within the classroom was he was his lack of social interactions. He tended to sit alone in centers and interact with the toys. When he was near a peer, there was no social interaction between Howard and the peer. Howard also did not respond to his peers when they would speak to him. I decided to create a task analysis of a structured play skill in order to increase social interactions between Howard and his peers. I chose the game Memory because Howard is able to identify matching images and non-matching images and it is a game that most of his peers know how to play. The game is already in the manipulatives center at his preschool. This skill has social validity in that it fosters meaningful inclusion of Howard with his non-disabled peers. I used a task analysis to teach the skill using a constant time delay procedure and differential reinforcement. Doyle, Wolery, Gast, & Ault (1990) found that using a constant time delay procedure was effective and efficient in teaching preschoolers chained behaviors. More specifically, Ault, Wolery, Fast, Doyle, and Eizenstat (1988) found that individuals with autism can be taught using a constant time delay prompting procedure. This research demonstrates that my instructional program has previously shown to be effective and has lead to rapid acquisition of a chained behavior; the chained behavior in my situation is playing Memory with a peer. Wall & Gast (1997) found that using a constant time delay procedure is effective in teaching leisure skills, such as Jenga and UNO, to individuals with intellectual disabilities. Playing a game of Memory is a

Prompting and different reinforcement effects on teaching structured play leisure skill as well as a social skill for Howard. These studies used differential reinforcement to teach desired skills. Positive reinforcement was provided when desired a step or response occurred and not provided if the response did not occur. The purpose of my project was to examine the effects of constant time delay prompting procedures and differential reinforcement on increasing the social interaction of a child with autism during structured play with peers. METHODS 1. Participant Description: Howard is a 3 year old boy that has been diagnosed with autism. He attends a full day preschool with typically developing same age peers. Howard has limited functional

speech but can imitate words and phrases. He follows routines in the classroom and does not usually display problem behaviors. The few problems behaviors that I have observed are due to sudden changes in routine. Howard prefers playing with animals during center time. He plays alone or near peers but never interactively with peers. He does not speak or respond to his peers unless prompted to do so by his teacher or myself. Howard does speak to adults some; he will greet them and communicate wants and needs to his teachers, parents, and myself. Howards biggest challenge is his lack of social interaction and social skills with peers. In past experiences Howard was able to learn routines and new skills in a relatively fast time span; he has a short acquisition period and he has been able to maintain and generalize previously learned skills. Howard already is able to identify matching and non matching items and pictures. I feel that teaching Howard how to initiate and play the game Memory with a peer is a great

Prompting and different reinforcement effects on teaching structured play way to work off of one of Howards strengths and improve his social skills at the same time. 2. Setting Description: The intervention takes place in Howards preschool classroom during center time. Whenever Howard enters the manipulatives center the intervention will take place. The manipulatives center has a variety of games, puzzles, and small manipulatives. Memory is already a game option in the center. The game will be played at the table that is located within the center; there are chairs for Howard and a peer to sit at and play the game. The intervention and assessment will both occur in the natural environment during the

natural time in which Memory would be played as a way to promote generalization. The peer that Howard interacts with will also vary depending on what other children are present in the center at the same time as him. This will also promote generalization of the skills across people. I will assess the skill at the first chance for game play on Mondays and Tuesdays; these are the first two days of the week that I work with Howard and will be able to see how well the skill is being maintained over the weekend. The other days and other opportunities to play Memory will be instructional trials. 3. Target Behavior Definitions: 1. Play Memory: see task analysis for what this behavior looks like. 4. Behavioral Objective: Howard will independently play Memory with a peer by completing 80% of the steps in the task analysis for 5 consecutive assessments.

Prompting and different reinforcement effects on teaching structured play 5. Recording System: I used a task analysis of the skill, playing Memory, as my recording system. It was used for baseline, intervention, and assessment. I chose a task analysis as my recording system because it works well to break down the skill of playing Memory into steps and this way I can assess Howard and see what steps he may or may not be struggling with and I can adjust my intervention or the steps if needed based the data. Howard could either complete the step independently or not. If he completed the step independently then I circled 0 on the task analysis and if he did not complete the step independently within 3 seconds then I circled CP on the task analysis and used a controlling prompt to ensure desired response.

I collected baseline and I assessed. I collected baseline for 3 trials at the first opportunity of playing Memory, then I began the intervention and ran instructional trials. I assessed two times a week, Mondays and Tuesdays, using a 3 second time delay procedure. (See attached task analysis). 6. Design: AB 7. Baseline: I conducted baseline in the natural environment and in the same setting that teaching occurred and under the same conditions as teaching; during center time and in the manipulatives center. I waited 3 seconds to see if Howard could do the step of the task analysis and if he did not complete the step then I used a controlling prompt to complete the step. The controlling prompt used was a full physical prompt, with the exception of steps 1, 7, 9, 13, and 15 in which the controlling prompt was a verbal prompt in order to

Prompting and different reinforcement effects on teaching structured play

ensure desired verbal response. I did this with each step to see Howards current level of performance prior to the intervention. 8. Intervention: My intervention consisted of the following procedures: a. Preference Assessment: Prior to beginning intervention, I conducted a preference assessment. I used information on his preferences from teacher and parent interviews and from my knowledge and experience with Howard. I also did a free access preference assessment in the classroom. I found that Howards preferences include, toy animals, verbal praise, attention from me or teacher, and physical attention such as a pat on the back or a high-five. b. Antecedent Procedures: 1. Prompting: I used response prompts that consisted of the use of a constant time delay and controlling prompts for each step during instruction and controlling prompts during assessment if the step was not completed independently within the 3 second time delay. The controlling prompt used was a full physical prompt; hand over hand completion of the step. The controlling prompt was different for steps 1, 7, 9, 13, and 15; a verbal prompt was used as the controlling prompt for these steps. 2. Task Analysis: The skill was broken down teachable steps. I conducted instruction and assessment of the skill. For instruction, a controlling prompt was used with a 0 second time delay for each step. For assessment, Howard was given 3 seconds to complete the step independently and if he did then I circled 0 for independent on the data sheet and if he did not complete the step within the 3 seconds, I used a controlling prompt to guarantee the desired response and I circled CP for controlling

Prompting and different reinforcement effects on teaching structured play prompt on the data sheet. At the end of assessment, I added up the number of steps completed independently and divided it by the total number of steps in the task analysis in order to get a percent of steps completed independently. Errorless learning procedures were used during instruction and assessment. The procedure for this was implemented as follows: 1. Stop the performance immediately following an error in behavior, 2. Provide direct and simple feedback to the Howard about the desired response, 3. Re-present the task at the point

prior to the error and provide a controlling prompt to ensure correct response, 4. Provide heavy positive reinforcement of desired behavior. 3. Consequence Procedures: Differential reinforcement was used to promote acquisition of the desired behavior. Howard was provided with verbal praise or physical praise from me after a desired behavior occurred and no reinforcement was provided when an undesired behavior occurred. The reinforcement schedule is shown on the task analysis. 9. Maintenance and Generalization: A maintenance check of the skill was conducted almost 2 weeks after Howard met his behavioral objective. Howard was still able to complete 100% of the steps independently according to the maintenance check. This skill is durable because he has the opportunity to play Memory several times a day and it has a natural consequence; when he completes the game, he can play with the toy animals that are located in the same center that Memory is played in. Generalization of the skill was promoted through the use of two different memory games; 2 different sets of pictures were used and mixed throughout

Prompting and different reinforcement effects on teaching structured play

instruction. Memory is also a game that Howard now plays at home with his parents and peers in the neighborhood so it is used across settings and with different peers. RESULTS Graph
Memory
100% 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% 3/14/2011 4/4/2011 3/7/2011 4/11/2011 4/18/2011 2/28/2011 3/21/2011 3/28/2011 4/25/2011 Baseline Intervention Maintenance

Percent of steps completed independently

Date

According to the graph, Howard did 0-6% of the steps of the task analysis independently. Once intervention began he acquired more of the steps. The graph shows an upward trend of acquisition of the skill. Overtime, Howard did more and more steps independently and this is displayed on the graph, the percent of steps completed independently goes up. Howard met his behavioral objective on 4/12/11. The intervention stopped, but access to playing memory was still available and Howard continued to play the game with his peers. On 4/25/11, about two weeks after the intervention ended a maintenance check was done. This point shows that Howard independently completed 100% of the steps of the task analysis independently overtime.

Prompting and different reinforcement effects on teaching structured play DISCUSSION The results of the instructional program show that using a constant time delay prompting system and differential reinforcement to promote structured peer interactions is effective. Howard was able to acquire the skill of playing Memory with a peer by

completing 100% of the steps independently. In baseline, Howard could perform only 06% of the steps of the task analysis but after the intervention he now can complete 100% of the steps of the task analysis independently. Having social interactions through playing Memory is a skill that is available daily during centers at school providing Howard with opportunities to perform the skill. During intervention multiple stimuli were used and a variety of peers played the game which increased his generalization of the skill. His parents also play the game with him at home and encourage him to play the game with peers in the neighborhood. Howard now is able to have social interactions with a variety of peers in a variety of settings. Meaningful inclusion in the classroom is now accomplished. His peers view him as a valued member of the classroom because he interacts with them and plays a game with them. He is more socially included within the class, which is the ultimate goal of inclusion. The limitations and unusual events of my project were that I could not control what some of the other peers did during the game. There were a few instances in which the peer would cheat or not know how to play Memory. This made it difficult to instruct both the peer and Howard. This did not happen too often, but when it did, I simply ran an instructional trial for Howard and for the peer in order to complete the game. Another limitation of my project is that I was the only person assessing and instructing. It would

Prompting and different reinforcement effects on teaching structured play have been better if I had other teachers in the classroom run the same intervention in order to increase generalization of the skill. Factors that may inhibit generalization of the instructional program to other

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learners are that Howard already knew how to identify matches and non matches before learning how to play Memory. A student with a similar behavioral objective of promoting social interaction through structured play may not be able to identify matches and non matches, so a different structured activity could be used. Also, all task analysis are individualized and this one was made for Howard and the steps were broken down into chunks that Howard could handle; the steps may need to be broken down more or less depending on the individual. The behavior was maintained and this was shown by the maintenance check that was conducted 2 weeks after instruction ended. I thought about maintenance and generalization of the skill while I was creating the program. I wanted to make sure that Howard would have the opportunity to perform the behavior overtime and that the behavior would have a natural consequence. I also used different stimuli and peers in order to promote generalization of the skill and did this from the beginning of the intervention. Based on my results of the study, I would encourage teachers to teach structured play to increase social interactions among preschoolers with autism. Teachers should use a task analysis with constant time delay procedures and differential reinforcement to teach the skill. This project not only increased Howards social interactions, but it also taught him a leisure skill. Other leisure skills and structured play can be taught using the same methods in order to promote more social interactions and more leisure skills.

Prompting and different reinforcement effects on teaching structured play


Task Analysis for Memory (game with peer)

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Observer________________________________________ Date____________ Objective: Howard will independently initiate and play Memory with a peer by completing 80% of the steps of the task analysis for 5 consecutive assessments. Directions: Teaching: -For each step hand over hand complete the step with Howard -For steps 1,7, 9, 13, 15 tell Howard what he needs to say. -Follow reinforcement schedule on the task analysis below Assessment: -For each step, wait 3 seconds -If Howard completes the step independently within 3 seconds circle 0 -If Howard does not complete the step within 3 seconds, hand over hand complete the step with Howard. Circle CP *For steps 1, 7, 9, 13, 15 tell Howard, say (blank). -Follow reinforcement schedule on the task analysis below -Write total number of steps completed independently at the bottom. Reinforcement: Follow reinforcements on Task Analysis Step Prompting Reinforcement 1. After entering manipulatives center, O CP NA Howard says (in peers direction) play game 2. Howard waits for response O CP NA 3. gets Memory off the shelf O CP Great Job getting the game! Pat on the back 4. brings to the table with peer O CP NA 5. takes lid off box O CP NA 6. sets out cards; face down O CP Nice job setting up! High-five 7. says go first to peer 8. waits while peers turns over 2 cards 9. says my turn 10. turns over 2 cards 11. if matched puts together and sets aside 12. if not a match, turns cards back over 13. says your turn 14. repeats steps 8-13 until game is finished (all matches matched) 15. says good game, clean up 16. puts cards back in box 17. puts lid on box 18. puts game on shelf O O O O O O O O O O O O CP CP CP CP CP CP CP CP CP CP CP CP NA NA I like how youre taking turns! Pat on the back NA Way to go! You got a match! High-five Great try! NA NA Super game! Pat on the back NA NA Awesome job cleaning up! Howard can now play with animals for 3-5 minutes.

Number of steps completed independently: ______/18

Prompting and different reinforcement effects on teaching structured play References

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Ault, M. J., Wolery, M., Gast, D. L., Doyle, P. M., & Eizenstat, V. (1988). Comparison of response prompting procedures in teaching numerical identification to autistic subjects. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 18, 627-636. Doyle, P. M., Wolery, M., Gast, D., & Ault, M. (1990). Comparison of constant time delay and the system of least prompts in teaching preschoolers with developmental delays. Research in Development Disabilities, 11, 1-22. Wall, M. E., & Gast, D. L. (1997). Caregivers use of constant time delay to teach leisure skills to adolescents or young adults with moderate or severe intellectual disabilities. Education and Training in Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities, 32, 340-356.