2009 CEC Annual Convention and Expo, April 1-4, 2009
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2009 CEC Annual Convention and Expo, April 1-4, 2009 Seattle, Washington. The Effectiveness of Simultaneous Prompting Procedure Delivered in Small Grup Teaching Arrangement on Teaching Question Answering Skills to Children with Autism. Müjgan ALTUNEL, M.A. Oğuz GÜRSEL, Ph.D.

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M jgan altunel m a o uz g rsel ph d anadolu university eskisehir turkey gurselogz gmail

2009 CEC Annual Convention and Expo, April 1-4, 2009

Seattle, Washington

The Effectiveness of Simultaneous Prompting Procedure Delivered in Small Grup Teaching Arrangement on Teaching Question Answering Skills to Children with Autism

Müjgan ALTUNEL, M.A.

Oğuz GÜRSEL, Ph.D.

Anadolu University, Eskisehir-Turkey


Children with autism
Children with Autism

  • Difficulties in social interactions and playing with peers,

  • Delays in language development, no response to his/her name and sounds, unusual speech

  • Stereotype behaviors, problems with following the daily routines (Turnbull, Turnbull III, Shank, Leal, 1995)

Why we teach sosyal communication
Why we teach sosyal communication?

  • Asking questions and answering questions are two of the ways of of communication in social life.

  • W..? questions are critical in social communication...

  • Who?, What?, When?, Where?, Why? & How? are crucial also in language development.To understand and answer these questions are important for all of us....

  • However, children with autism have difficulties to understand and answer these questions...Therefore, they need to receive training on this issue...(Thimann & Goldstein, 2005; Secan, Egel & Tilley, 1989)

M jgan altunel m a o uz g rsel ph d anadolu university eskisehir turkey gurselogz gmail

  • Simultaneous Prompting (SP)

    • In SP procedure the teacher delivers the target stimuli and controling prompt simultaneously.

    • The students does not have an opportunity to respond independently during training sessions.

    • Therefore, probe sessions are needed to test the transfer of stimulus control.

  • Small Group Teaching

    • Small group teaching is a way of teaching same or different skills in group(s) including at least two students who might show similar or different learning characteristics...

Purpose of the study
Purpose of the Study

  • The present study was conducted to examine effectiveness of SPwith small group arrangement on teaching to answer questions starting with “when”,”where” and “what happens”.

  • Research Questions

    • Will students maintain the acquired behaviors over time (4, 7 and 9 weeks after training)?

    • Will students generalize the acquired behaviors across different persons and material?

    • Will students acquire instruction feedback stimuli provided to them on consequent events after the correct responses during instrucional trials


  • Participants

    • Participant were three male children with autism.

    • Their ages were between 5 and 7 years old.

    • All participants attended the same class at the same private special school.

    • None of the them had history with simultaneous prompting

  • Prerequisite Behaviors

    • Attending to audio and visual stimuli for at least five minutes

    • Following verbal instruction

    • Having turn-taking skills

    • Identifying and selecting the reinforcements

M jgan altunel m a o uz g rsel ph d anadolu university eskisehir turkey gurselogz gmail

  • Setting

    • All sessions were condected at the students’ classroom.

    • Instruction sessions were conducted in small group teaching arrangement.

    • Each session was recorded.

  • Materials

    • Index cards (10cmx15cm) conatinimng the photos and pictures related with resarch questions “Where…?” “When…? and “What happens”

    • Camcoder, Data recording forms

    • Reinforcers were selected by the children and consisted of objects

M jgan altunel m a o uz g rsel ph d anadolu university eskisehir turkey gurselogz gmail

  • Experimental Design

    • A multiple probe design across behaviors with probe condition was used and replicated across subjects

  • Dependent Variable

    • The dependent variable of the study was answering

      for Orkun; “Where.?”,

      for Tarkan; “When.?” and

      for Yavuz; “What happens.?” questions.

  • Independent Variable

    • The independent variable of the study was simultaneous prompting delivered in small group teaching arrangement.

Selection of target behaviors
Selection of Target Behaviors

  • Target behaviors were selected from IEP’s of each students.

  • Questions were prepared based on participants’ daily life situations and places.

  • Screening session were conducted for determining target behaviors for each student. Two consecutive screening sessions were conducted for each student. Screening sessions were conducted individually to identify the prospective target stimuli for each student.

  • Correct and incorrect responses ignored during screening sessions.

  • 3 sec. intervals were used between responses and trials.

  • The most functional questions for which participants could not give right answers during screening sessions were chosen as target behaviors.

Full probe daily probe sessions maintenance and generalization sessions
Full Probe, Daily Probe Sessions, Maintenance and Generalization Sessions

  • Full probe were conducted before introducing the intervention to first training set and after criterion met for each training set.

  • Daily probe sessions were conducted immediately prior to each training sessions except first training sessions.

  • Since participants were not given a chance to response independently in teaching with simultanious prompting, teaching data were gathered during daily probe sessions.

  • In full probe and daily probe sessions, correct responses resulted in verbal praise; incorrect or no responses were ignored.

  • Full probe, daily probe, maintenance and generalization sessions were conducted in one to one teaching arrangement.

Instruction sessions
Instruction Sessions Generalization Sessions

  • Instruction sessions were conducted in small group design.

  • In instruction sessions, three trials were carried out for target behaviors of teaching sets.

  • Response intervals were determined as 5 sec., intervals between trials were determined as 3 sec.

  • Responses during instruction with SP were scored as correct, incorrect and no response

  • Reinforcers were used for correct responses. For incorrect responses, controling prompt were presented again.

M jgan altunel m a o uz g rsel ph d anadolu university eskisehir turkey gurselogz gmail

  • Instruction Sessions Generalization Sessions

    • Target behaviors were presented randomly to participant students.

    • In order to learn by observing, instruction sessions were open to all participant students.

    • As criteria, 100 % correct responses during three consecutive daily probe sessions were determined.

  • Learning by observing

    • In the current study, in addition to examining the effectiveness of simultaneous prompting procedure delivered in small grup teaching, in what level learning by observing happenned were also explored. For this purpose, peer-dyads (pairs) were organized. Each participant was responsible both his/her behaviors and his/her peer’s behaviors.

Data collection
Data Collection Generalization Sessions

  • Effectiveness Datas

    • Target behaviors of this study were countable behaviors. Therefore, trial recording system for descrete behaviors were used to gather data and show them in graph.

  • Reliability

    • Interobserver reliability and procedural reliability data were collected in this study.

    • Reability data were collected at least 30% of all experimental sessions

    • Interobserver reliability was found 100% for all students;

    • In all sessions, 100% procedural reliability was obtained for teacher behaviors.

RESULTS Generalization Sessions

  • The results of the study showed that simultaneous prompting delivered in small group teaching arrangement was effective on teaching answering “Where.?”, “When.?” and “What happens. ?” questions. (See., Figure 1, 2, 3)

  • Follow-up data also revealed that students mainteaned acquired behaviors between 85-100% at 4th, 7th, and 9th weeks after training.

  • Generalization data showed that students (93 % for Orkun, 100% for Tarkan, and 89% for Yavuz) were generalized what they had learned to people, settings, and time.

  • Learning by observing were also recorded at different levels for students.

M jgan altunel m a o uz g rsel ph d anadolu university eskisehir turkey gurselogz gmail

Orkun Generalization Sessions

M jgan altunel m a o uz g rsel ph d anadolu university eskisehir turkey gurselogz gmail

Yavuz Generalization Sessions

Results regarding learning by observing
Results regarding Learning by Observing Generalization Sessions

  • It was observed that learning by observing occurred at high level for all students. Participant students were learned behaviors which had not been taught to them during small group design.

    Pairs ve Öğretimi Acquisition

CONCLUSION Generalization Sessions

  • SP delivered in small group was effective on teaching the target behaviors to three students with autism.

  • Students were able to maintain the acquired behavior over time (i.e., 4, 7, 9 weeks after training).

  • Students generalized the acquired behavior across people, settings, and materials.

  • Students acquired some of the target behaviors of their peers.

  • It might be said that small group design for social interaction skills were more beneficial than individual teaching.

  • In small group designs, student can learn behaviors that were not taught directly to them.

Limitations Generalization Sessions

  • The study is limited with three students who were receiving special education in individual and small group designs in private special education center in Bursa in Turkey.

  • Since Tarkan moved to a different institution during the study, only one follow-up data was gathered for him.

  • The study is limited with “where, when, what happens” questions.

Suggestions Generalization Sessions

  • The study can be replicated with different “W...?” questions, in diffeerent settings.

  • Future research should be conducted to examine similar effects when teaching chained skills with SP delivered in the small group

Main references
Main References Generalization Sessions

Gürsel, O., Tekin-İftar, E., & Bozkurt, F. (2006). Effectiveness of simultaneous prompting in small group: The opportunity of acquiring non-target skills through instructive feedback and observational learning. Education and Training in Developmental Disabilities, 41, 225-243.

Colozzi, G.A., Ward, L.W. & Crotty, K.E. (2008). Comparison of simultaneous promting procedure in 1:1 and small group instruction to teach play skills to preschool students with pervasive developmental disorder and developmental disabilities. Education and Training in Developmental Disabilities.43 (2), 226-248.

Collins, B.C., Gast, D.L., Ault, M.J., & Wolery, M. (1991). Small group instruction: Guidelines for teachers of studentas with moderate to severe handicaps. Education and Training in Mental Retardation, 26, 18-32.

Loncola, J. A. (2004). Teaching Social Communication Skills to Children With Autism. Doktora Tezi. Chicago: University Of Illinois.

Thiemann, K., & Goldstein, H. (2005). Peer-Mediated and Text-Based Communication Interventions for Elementary Students with ASD. Annual Convention of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, San Diego, CA.