Date Approved

8-21-2017

Embargo Period

8-22-2017

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

MA Special Education

Department

Interdisciplinary and Inclusive Education

College

College of Education

First Advisor

Kuder, Sydney J.

Second Advisor

Accardo, Amy

Subject(s)

Autistic children--Education (Preschool); Play

Disciplines

Special Education and Teaching

Abstract

This study examined the effects that discrete trial training could have on the functional play skills of four male preschool students diagnosed with autism. In order to determine the effectiveness of discrete trial training as an intervention, baseline data was first collected for two weeks on the four students through observations of a thirty minute group playtime in the morning of their MD preschool classroom. The baseline data demonstrated that all four students were only engaging in functional play for a limited amount of time. Next, a discrete trial training program was created for each individual student focusing on functional play skills. The teacher implemented discrete trial training as an intervention method for seven weeks. During these seven weeks, the four students continued to be observed once a week during the thirty minute group playtime to monitor how often each student was engaging in functional play. The results over the seven weeks demonstrated an increase in the amount of time all four students engaged in functional play. These results suggest that discrete trial training can increase the amount of time preschoolers spend engaged in functional play skills during group playtimes.

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