Research Study On Four Special Education Day School Students Essay

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Durand and Carr carried out this single-subject study with four special education day school students diagnosed with autism or pervasive developmental disorder who engaged in stereotypic behaviors (hand flapping and body rocking). The purpose of the study was to determine whether there may be social functions to behavior, often referred to as self-stimulatory, that had commonly been assumed to serve sensory functions. All experiments were conducted with the child and the experimenter in a room next to the child’s classroom. Data was taken by two assistants behind a one-way mirror.
In the first experiment, there were three conditions: 1. a baseline condition in which the children did five minutes each of a match-to-sample task and a receptive-labeling task. Timed commands, social comments and verbal praise were given on a variable ratio 3 schedule for correct answers (“No that’s not right” after wrong answers which were infrequent) and resulted in attention in every scoring interval. Hand flapping and body rocking were ignored; 2. a Decreased Attention condition, in which the child performed the same match-to-sample task as in baseline except it had been manipulated to be easy (based on a pre-assessment) The child received the same three forms of attention but all during the same interval. This left two intervals with no attention; 3. an Increased Task Difficulty condition in which the receptive-labeling task was presented but was manipulated to be more difficult based on…

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