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Using Tablet Computers as Instructional Tools to Increase Task Completion by Students with Autism

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American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting,


This single subject design study (ABAB) investigated the effects of using iPads[R] in a classwide academic intervention to increase independent task completion and basic math skills of seven students diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) enrolled in a special education school for students with moderate to severe disabilities. An additional purpose of the study was to identify the advantages of and challenges to using iPads[R] for classroom instruction. Traditional basic math instruction was used for the baseline phase, while a basic math skill app on an iPad[R] was used for the intervention phase. Math probes were completed and the results recorded for four to five sessions for each of the four weeks of the study. Data on level of teacher prompting and presence of noncompliant behaviors were collected during every phase. Descriptive and visual analysis techniques were used to analyze the data. Findings expand current knowledge of the use of instructional technology with students with ASD and single subject design to document the effect of evidence-based practices in special education. Results were mixed for math skill development but indicated an increase in independent task completion as demonstrated by a decrease in noncompliant behaviors and teacher prompt levels. Findings suggest iPads[R] can be an effective instructional tool to enhance learning and independence. Contributions, limitations, and future research are presented. (Contains 2 figures and 3 tables.)


O'Malley, P., Lewis, M.E.B. & Donehower, C. (2013). Using Tablet Computers as Instructional Tools to Increase Task Completion by Students with Autism. Presented at American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting 2013. Retrieved August 7, 2020 from .

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