Multimedia-based functional sight vocabulary instruction for children with autism: a comparative study of self-directed vs. adult-directed learning




Jabeen, Iffat

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The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of children with autism's self-directed learning in comparison to adult-directed learning. Three children with autism were the main participants of this study and their parents were the interventionists who delivered instruction during the adult-directed condition. Self-directed learning involved learning functional sight vocabulary words by children with autism on their own using multimedia-based instruction delivered through an iPad. During the adult-directed condition, parents delivered the multimedia-based instruction using an iPad. The effectiveness of each intervention was examined based on how many words each child learned during each condition. A single-subject alternating treatment research design embedded in a multiple baseline across participants was utilized to study the comparative effects of the two interventions. Results of the study varied for the three participants. Two children displayed gains in functional sight word vocabulary learned during both instructional conditions while the third child showed gains only in target words learned during the adult-directed condition. Findings of this study have implications that parents can assume the role of educators for their children with autism.


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Autism, Functional sight word vocabulary, Multimedia-based instruction, Self-directed learning



Interdisciplinary Learning and Teaching