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    Behavioural Methodologies to Teach Relational Responding to Preschool Children with Diagnosed Autism

    Dennehy, June (2017) Behavioural Methodologies to Teach Relational Responding to Preschool Children with Diagnosed Autism. PhD thesis, National University of Ireland Maynooth.

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    The current study combined recent behavioural teaching methodologies, Promoting the Emergence of Advanced Knowledge (PEAK; curriculum for relational training, assessment and teaching tool) and Teaching-Implicit Relational Assessment Procedure (T-IRAP, an interactive computerised teaching programme) to teach relational responding to eight pre-schoolers with diagnosed autism. Combining PEAK and T-IRAP could have advantages for teaching and for students' learning outcomes in applied settings. Fluent relational responding has been found to correlate with higher scores on standardised measures, thus before commencing relational training, measures on a range of standardised tests were taken with four of the participants, and tests were repeated post-training. Results were that PEAK and the T-IRAP were successfully combined to teach relational responding with four participants. Two of these pre-schoolers successfully learned to respond to same/different relations on the PEAK/T-IRAP independently while the remaining two participants required prompts to do so. Participants who showed greater fluency (higher speed and accuracy) in responding to same/different relations showed increases in scores on the Bracken School Readiness Assessment, Reynolds Intellectual Assessment Scales (Odd Item Out Subtest) and the PEAK Direct Training Module. The research also investigated effects of using feedback from the T-IRAP as part of a self-management strategy with three of the participants. Results indicated that one participant successfully learned to self-record T-IRAP feedback using a line graph intervention while this intervention did not appear to be effective for the remaining two participants. Additional results indicated that self-recording T-IRAP feedback using a colour block chart was more effective than a line-graph chart in increasing participant accuracy scores on the PEAK/T-IRAP with one participant, but speed of responding was not impacted by type of chart used. Behavioural Observation of Students in Schools (BOSS) data were collected for seven participants and results indicated that all participants showed more on-task behaviours and less off-task behaviours when engaged with the PEAK T-IRAP in comparison to their usual table-top work (which involved various targets taken from their educational plans). Finally, a pilot study showed that one participant aged five with diagnosed autism successfully learned analogy relations, often considered too complex for early learners, using a T-IRAP procedure. Findings are discussed in terms of further research in combining recent behavioural teaching technologies such as PEAK and T-IRAP with applied behaviour analysis to teach basic and advanced relational responding repertoires in children with autism.

    Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
    Additional Information: Thesis presented in part-fulfilment of the requirements for the Doctorate in Psychological Science (Behaviour Analysis and Therapy)
    Keywords: Behavioural Methodologies; Teach Relational Responding; Preschool Children; Diagnosed Autism;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Science and Engineering > Psychology
    Item ID: 8762
    Depositing User: IR eTheses
    Date Deposited: 07 Sep 2017 09:50
      Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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