Preschool Life Skills Using the Response to Intervention Model With Preschoolers With Developmental Disabilities

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Abstract

Teaching young children key social skills in preschool can increase prosocial behavior and reduce classroom behavior problems. Previous preschool life skills (PLS) programming has taught young children to request teacher assistance and tolerate delays or denials in the delivery of materials, friendship skills, and functional communication skills. The purpose of the current study was to extend the PLS literature by assessing the level of instruction necessary to teach children with autism spectrum disorders and developmental disabilities to respond to their name, request attention and assistance, and tolerate delays and denials. A multiple-baseline across-behaviors design was used to demonstrate the effects of instruction, differential reinforcement, and error-correction procedures that systematically increased in intrusiveness as necessary for participants to acquire skills. Five participants acquired skills using general instructional strategies, and 3 participants required individualized instruction to learn skills. The training required varied across participants and skills. Prebaseline and postmastery probes were conducted in the classroom with adults and peers to test for generalization. In general, participants showed poor generalization of the acquired skills with peers and adults.

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