Applied Behavior Analysis
If you are using Applied Behavior Analysis in your teaching techniques, you may find the following information of interest. The teaching program and data collection form are available for download here (PDF 153K).
- The use of visual supports for children with autism has been documented as an effective teaching strategy. In particular, the use of picture activity schedules has been thoughtfully described in a publication by Lynn McClannahan and Patricia Krantz (see resource list). PlaySteps books are a form of activity schedule broken down in more detail in order to help the learner see the sequence of a specific play construction. This 'embedded schedule' task can be taught to mastery first, then added to the learner's main schedule in the play area to increase independence.
- Prompting with PlaySteps books begins with full physical assistance and gradually decreases as the learner begins to initiate the pointing, page turning and building process.
- For data collection purposes, prompts for each part of
the task are tracked separately.
- Set Up: retrieving the play materials or basket from the shelf and placing them on the table with the book
- Task Completion: opening the PlaySteps book, pointing to the pictures (as described in the directions) and putting the correct pieces together
- Put Away: placing the completed structure and the book back on the shelf.
- As you work with the learner, keep the data sheet nearby and note on the chart each time a prompt is used in the appropriate section. When the task is completed, total the number of prompts needed for each of the task components to the right of each section. This allows you to have a clear picture of exactly which part of the process is difficult for the learner, and to adjust teaching accordingly. Results can be graphed after each practice session to monitor progress.
- Remember to avoid using verbal prompts while teaching. You want the learner to focus on the pictures as the instructional cue, not on the adult.
Teaching sequence for PlaySteps:
- Given the PlaySteps book and the correct number of toy parts, the learner completes the play construction using the complete picture sequence.
- Given the PlaySteps book and the correct number of toy parts, learner completes the play construction using only the last picture (the completed structure).
- Given the correct number of toy parts, learner completes the play construction without visual supports.
- Given a collection of toy parts, learner completes the play construction without visual supports.
We hope your child or student enjoys getting this start with beginning play skills. Please share your feedback and suggestions. email@example.com
Hodgdon, Linda A. (1995)Visual Strategies for Improving Communication. Volume 1: Practical Supports for School and Home. Quirk Roberts Publishing.
Wolfberg, P.J. (1999). Play and imagination in children with autism, New York: Teachers College Press, Columbia University