Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are included in public education settings at increasing rates, but they frequently experience difficulties (e.g., disruption, noncompliance, aggression) with transitions during daily routines. Behavioral techniques to support transitions have been identified through single-subject research studies, but these strategies have not yet been tested in packaged interventions, which may be more easily implemented in school settings. We developed and evaluated Schedules, Tools, and Activities for Transitions (STAT), a manualized intervention of ABA-based supports to facilitate successful transitions for students with ASD (K-5) in self-contained classrooms. Across three sites (LA, Philadelphia, Rochester, NY), classrooms in under-resourced, urban school districts were randomized to treatment (STAT program) or waitlist control. Intervention components included antecedent-based strategies, teaching strategies, and reinforcement. STAT showed effects over waitlist on (a) teacher-nominated target problems (?2=13.996, p=0.003) and (b) classroom-based problem behavior (SSQ; Mcontrol = .67; Mtreatment = .72), but not on (c) classroom independence (ABAS; Mcontrol = 4.51; Mtreatment = 4.32). Teacher fidelity and ratings of implementation and buy-in were all acceptable-to-high. A teacher-mediated behavioral program was successfully implemented at multiple sites. It was beneficial for aspects of student behavior, feasible to implement with high fidelity, and perceived as sustainable in real-world settings.
|Abstract: Objective: The purpose of this investigation was to provide a preliminary exploration of (a) public school programming provided to students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) across the state of Michigan, (b) the extent to which public school approaches were evidence-based practices (EBP), and (c) how such practices vary by school district.
Method: A systematic sampling process was used to collect information from 194 school professionals from various socioeconomic backgrounds and geographical regions statewide. Educators used an online survey to report on practices they used with a single child with ASD in their classroom.
Results: All teachers report using at least one EBP, and four of the top five most commonly reported practices are empirically supported. However, not all of these practices are used frequently, and their use varies by geographic location.
Conclusions: The infrequent use of EBPs suggests a need for more training for educators. More research is needed into what factors predict the use of EBPs and how to better equip school professionals to work with students with ASD.|