Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


41st Annual Convention; San Antonio, TX; 2015

Event Details

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Symposium #443
School-based interventions: Embedding and evaluating evidence-based approaches in UK schools
Tuesday, May 26, 2015
9:00 AM–9:50 AM
212AB (CC)
Area: EDC/AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Janet Elizabeth Whiley (TreeHouse School)

This symposium will comprise three talks on the topic of school-based interventions, with a common theme of integrating effective, evidence-based practices within UK educational contexts. The first talk in this symposium will discuss the implementation and evaluation of an ABA-based comprehensive model within an autism-specific school; the second talk will present data from a pilot study using an evidence-based reading program (Headsprout Early Reading) within an autism-specific school; and the third will present data on a number of studies exploring the use of Headsprout Early Reading with typically developing children in mainstream school settings, and with children with an intellectual disability in special school settings. This talk will discuss some of the implications for disseminating effective practices, and some of the challenges in scaling up delivery of the intervention whilst ensuring high quality, effective implementation.

Keyword(s): autism, education, reading

Translating evidence based practice into a comprehensive educational model within a UK-based autism specific school achieving and sustaining progress

JANET ELIZABETH WHILEY (TreeHouse School), Katy Lee (Ambitious about Autism), Richard P. Hastings (University of Warwick ), Emma F. Douglas-Cobane (n/a), Andrew Swartfigure (Ambitious About Autism), Esther Thomas (TreeHouse School), Gemma Griffith (Bangor University)

Research evaluations of Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA)-based interventions for children with autism demonstrate positive outcomes. However, little research has focused on the translation of these evidence-based interventions into service delivery models within existing education systems. In the present paper, we provide a brief description of the comprehensive ABA-based educational model used within TreeHouse School, London, UK. In addition, we analyse progress data over 12 months for learners attending the school. Fifty-three students with autism were tested and then re-tested with the Assessment of Basic Language and Learning Skills (ABLLS-R), and for 23 students a repeated Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales (VABS) assessment was available. Repeated measures t tests revealed statistically significant improvements over time on all ABLLS domains and for all VABS scores. These data provide preliminary evidence that an ABA-based educational model can be integrated into the UK system and produce positive outcomes for children.

Using Headsprout Early Reading with children Autism
ANDREW SWARTFIGURE (Ambitious About Autism), J. Carl Hughes (Bangor University)
Abstract: HeadSprout® reading basics are an internet based approach of explicit instruction in phonetic awareness, phonics and a strategy for sounding out words. Five male Participants with autism spectrum disorder were identified as being ready to learn to read using HeadSprout®. A pre and post-test design was implemented using two standardised tests, DIBELS and WRaPS. An additional test using the flash cards provided by HeadSprout® was administered and National Curriculum level reading scores taken. Follow up tests were conducted four weeks after cessation of the HeadSprout® programme. Results are discussed in the context of using HeadSprout® with children with autism spectrum disorder and the challenges and benefits of using this medium for teaching reading. Further data a year on from cessation is discussed and an additional follow up test using the WRaPS age equivalence two years after cessation is also presented.
Evaluating and disseminating effective reading instruction in mainstream and special school contexts.
EMILY TYLER (Bangor University), J. Carl Hughes (Bangor University), Richard P. Hastings (University of Warwick ), Amy Hulson-Jones (Bangor Univeristy), Michael Beverley (Bangor University), Bethan Williams (Bangor University/Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board)
Abstract: Many children have difficulties learning to read. In Wales (UK), 40% of children in mainstream schools were recently reported to be more than 6 months below their chronological reading age by the age of 11. For children in special schools in the UK (many of whom have an intellectual disability), there is a dearth of information on reading outcomes. However, the data that are available demonstrate very minimal progress for most children with an intellectual disability in this important skill. Over the past few years, we have conducted a number of research projects in mainstream and special school contexts to evaluate an online, computer-based reading program (Headsprout Early Reading). The results across these studies indicate encouraging outcomes for many children. This talk will discuss these outcomes, the implications for dissemination of effective practices in the UK, the challenges of scaling up whilst ensuring high quality implementation, and the next steps for further evaluation in different populations.



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