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Autism: Family Life - Tactics for Getting Normal Again
Autism continuing education social worker CEUs

Section 16
Interventions that Increase School-age Children's Social Interactions at Home and in School

CEU Question 16 | CEU Answer Booklet | Table of Contents | Autism
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Interventions that Increase School-Aged Children’s Social Interactions with Adults
Several different successful approaches for increasing interactions of school-age children with adults have been reported. These have included self-management strategies, teaching sociodramatic role-play usingautism Family Life counselor CEU pivotal teaching responses, and video-modeling techniques, as well as more straightforward adult instruction.

Self-Management Techniques
Koegel, Koegel, Hurley, and Frea (1992) reported a multiple baseline across settings and four subjects focused on increasing appropriate verbal responses to others’ social initiations. Training was conducted across several settings. Children used a wrist counter to tally frequencies, which were converted to points and exchanged at intervals for small (mainly edible) rewards.

The reinforcement schedule was thinned drastically (1:30) within the first few training sessions. Each of the children demonstrated rapid improvement in appropriate responding that remained at high levels across the rest of the study, as well as in collateral decreases in inappropriate language and disruptive behavior. Withdrawal of the procedure for two subjects resulted in decreases in responding.

 Pivotal Response Training (PRT)
Thorp, Stahmer, and Schreibman (1995) used PRT to teach sociodramatic role play to three verbal boys with autism in a multiple baseline across participants probe design, with children selecting preferred materials, adult modeling and shaping procedures used, approximations reinforced with task-related reinforcers, and high levels of success assured. While the training focused on play acts with objects, measures of social engagement and initiations were also collected. The procedure resulted in increased amounts and complexity of sociodramatic play that generalized across settings, increased appropriate language, decreased inappropriate language, increased appropriate social engagement, and decreased inappropriate social behavior. Social initiation was affected less by the training. This also essentially replicates the Stahmer (1995) study.

Video-Modeling Techniques
Charlop and Milstein (1989) reported the successful use of video modeling to teach conversational skills. Three high-functioning boys with autism repeatedly watched an experimental videotape containing simple appropriate conversations and then reproduced the conversations with an adult. All children rapidly acquired reciprocal conversational speech from these scripts, with improvements generalized to other people and topics and maintained over a 15-month follow-up period.

Direct Instruction
Coe, Matson, Fee, Manikam, and Linarello (1990) reported a direct instruction procedure using multiple baselines across three 6-year-old children, two with autism, to play ball with an adult. Four steps in the chain were taught using primary reinforcers. Three (pick up, throw, initiate) were taught at the same time. The last (praise) was taught after acquisition of the others. All three children increased both verbal and nonverbal behaviors associated with ball play, with initiation being
the hardest to acquire. However, no data involving maintenance or generalization were reported.
- Rogers, SJ, Interventions that facilitate socialization in children with autism, Journal of Autism and Development Disorders, Oct 2000, Vol. 30
The article above contains foundational information. Articles below contain optional updates.

Personal Reflection Exercise #9
The preceding section contained information about interventions that increase school-age children's social interactions.  Write three case study examples regarding how you might use the content of this section in your practice.

Online Continuing Education QUESTION 16
What four approaches are used to increase interactions of school-age children with adults? Record the letter of the correct answer the CEU Answer Booklet.

 
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