Date Approved

6-1-2017

Embargo Period

6-2-2017

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

MA School Psychology

Department

Educational Services and Leadership

College

College of Education

First Advisor

Callueng, Carmelo

Second Advisor

Dihoff, Roberta

Subject(s)

Children with autism spectrum disorders--Education; Safety education

Disciplines

Early Childhood Education | Special Education and Teaching

Abstract

Studies on children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) show limited research on topics involving safety, especially those that relate to fire evacuation procedures. Current research provides minimal information for understanding and practicing fire safety procedures. This topic requires more research to ensure that these children are able to understand and follow safety procedures during a fire to prevent and reduce injury and death. The research questions advanced in the study were: 1) Is video modeling an effective approach for teaching fire safety skills to children with ASD? 2) Does the teaching approach result in generalization of fire safety skills in novel settings? 3) Does the teaching approach result in maintenance of fire safety skills at least two weeks after termination of training? The participants were three young children aged three to five years diagnosed with ASD from a private preschool and kindergarten in New Jersey. Each child completed a training series that comprised of a video model displaying an evacuation procedure to teach fire safety at the sound of an alarm. Skill maintenance was assessed two weeks after teaching. Generalization occurred during a school wide mandated fire drill. Findings indicated that video modeling is a highly effective approach for teaching children with ASD fire safety skills. The current study also found that children with ASD were able to generalize skills learned in novel settings and retain skills two weeks after training discontinued.

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