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An Analysis of Rules and a Token Economy in an Inclusive Preschool Classroom

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Token economies are a type of behavioral reinforcement that are particularly useful in classroom settings for increasing student compliance, for both typically developing children and children with autism spectrum disorder. During this study, we implemented a token economy in an

Token economies are a type of behavioral reinforcement that are particularly useful in classroom settings for increasing student compliance, for both typically developing children and children with autism spectrum disorder. During this study, we implemented a token economy in an inclusive preschool classroom with tokens contingent on compliance to classroom rules. Three participants, two with a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder and one considered typically developing, were included in the study. Results indicated that levels of compliance increased for both the typically developing participant and participants with autism, and did not drop below baseline levels during the withdrawal phase, suggesting there was no lack of intrinsic motivation. Further, the typically developing participant and one of the participants with autism spectrum disorder had very similar levels of compliance, while the other participant had much higher levels of compliance throughout every phase, suggesting that the compliance levels for peers with more advanced repertoires with autism may differ from both typically developing peers and peers who have less developed repertoires. The implications of these results are discussed as they relate to compliance from an ABA perspective.

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2018-12

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Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Intervention for Adults with Autism

Description

Adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) commonly have co-morbid psychiatric symptoms which can decrease quality of life. Although many adults with ASD are achieving greater independence, including attending college, psychiatric symptoms are generally not well controlled in this group. Mindfulness

Adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) commonly have co-morbid psychiatric symptoms which can decrease quality of life. Although many adults with ASD are achieving greater independence, including attending college, psychiatric symptoms are generally not well controlled in this group. Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is a program that has successfully been used to reduce the stress, depression, and anxiety symptoms in many clinical and non-clinical groups and may also be effective for college-aged students with ASD. The present investigation assessed the demand, practicality, implementation, adaptation, and acceptability of an MBSR course for college students with ASD. A total of 22 participants completed the questionnaire containing 53 questions and were between the ages of 18 to 64. We found that the MBSR therapy is in high demand for individuals with ASD, and that the participants would be willingly complete the intervention techniques. Participants generally stated that a therapy course like MBSR may help reduce their symptoms, and that they were eager to enroll. Participants were willing to attend all 8 classes during the summer, with a preference for afternoons. Also, modifications including yoga and background music would be accepted by each participant as well as any additional modifications made to the course to meet the needs of the individuals with ASD. Next steps include enrolling and randomizing students into the MBSR course or control group, as well as collect pre- and post-intervention data. We hypothesize MBSR will reduce the psychiatric symptoms and stress levels of individuals in college with ASD, demonstrating its effectiveness in this vulnerable population.

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2018-05

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Addressing Childhood Trauma in the Classroom

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Over the past few years, the issue of childhood trauma in the United States has become significant. A growing number of children are experiencing abuse, neglect, or some other form of maltreatment each year. Considering the stressful home lives of

Over the past few years, the issue of childhood trauma in the United States has become significant. A growing number of children are experiencing abuse, neglect, or some other form of maltreatment each year. Considering the stressful home lives of maltreated children, the one sure sanctuary is school. However, this idea requires teachers to be actively involved in identifying and caring for the children who need it most. Traumatic childhood experiences leave lasting scars on its victims, so it is helpful if teachers learn how to identify and support children who have lived through them. It is unfortunate that teachers will most likely encounter children throughout their career who have experienced horrendous things, but it is a reality. With this being said, teachers need to develop an understanding of what traumatized children live with, and learn how to address these issues with skilled sensitivity. Schools are not just a place where children learn how to read and write; they build the foundation for a successful life. This project was designed to provide teachers with a necessary resource for helping children who have suffered traumatic experiences. The methodology of this project began with interviews with organizations specializing in working with traumatized children such as Arizonans for Children, Free Arts for Abused Children, The Sojourner Center, and UMOM. The next step was a review of the current literature on the subject of childhood trauma. The findings have all been compiled into one, convenient document for teacher use and distribution. Upon completion of this document, an interactive video presentation will be made available through an online education website, so that distribution will be made simpler. Hopefully, teachers will share the information with people in their networks and create a chain reaction. The goal is to make it available to as many teachers as possible, so that more children will receive the support they need.

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Date Created
2016-05

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In Andy's Shoes: A Children's Book and Manual on the Expression of Autism Spectrum Disorder

Description

The purpose of this project was to research the expression of Autism Spectrum Disorder in children and create a children’s book that can help the peers of individuals with a diagnosis to understand what the disorder entails and potentially gain

The purpose of this project was to research the expression of Autism Spectrum Disorder in children and create a children’s book that can help the peers of individuals with a diagnosis to understand what the disorder entails and potentially gain a new sense of empathy for peers of all levels of physical and mental abilities. The research component includes interviews with individuals deemed knowledgeable about ASD, including occupational therapists, behavioral analysts, and parents, as well as a literature review of research studies on the expression of Autism in children. This written portion of the project may also serve as a manual for individuals who have little to no knowledge of ASD, as it dives deeper into the content of the book and research, while remaining easily understandable and clear to those without any prior knowledge or experience with ASD. It could prove especially useful for those in professions that come into contact with individuals with Autism, but do not necessarily require psychology courses or training as a prerequisite for the role, such as teachers and some health professionals.

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2021-05

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Everything You Need to Know About Autism

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This research paper covers many topics related to autism, including causes, treatment, DSM changes, and more. It is a review of current literature and journals and aims to give the audience a better understanding of the disorders and to discuss the changes in diagnostic criteria and prevalence of ASD.

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Date Created
2021-05

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Integrating Music in the Classroom

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A look at the benefits of the integration of music in the classroom. This thesis focuses on how music supports brain development and how that affects the ways children learn the classroom. It also highlights how current teachers feel about

A look at the benefits of the integration of music in the classroom. This thesis focuses on how music supports brain development and how that affects the ways children learn the classroom. It also highlights how current teachers feel about integrating music in the classroom and the best practices used for integrating music. Lastly, this thesis contains strategies on how to integrate music in the classroom using the Common Core standards as well as personal compositions written using Common Core standards.

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Date Created
2013-05

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Standardizing the Quantification of Total Human Immunoglobulin (IgA and IgG) in Adult Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

Description

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder that not only affects communication and behavior with often co-occurring gastrointestinal (GI) issues such as constipation and diarrhea. Recent studies have shown that many GI and behavioral symptoms in individuals with ASD

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder that not only affects communication and behavior with often co-occurring gastrointestinal (GI) issues such as constipation and diarrhea. Recent studies have shown that many GI and behavioral symptoms in individuals with ASD are linked to dysregulated immune systems and altered gut microbiomes (bacteria and fungi). In fungal microbiota, a common GI commensal and opportunistic pathogen, Candida, has been found in higher abundance in children with ASD. Few studies have investigated total IgA and IgG levels in both blood and feces of ASD individuals with relatively mixed findings, showing either significantly higher or lower IgG and IgA abundance in ASD vs. TD (typically developing) individuals. Mixed results are likely due to a lack of a standardized method of immunoglobulin (Ig) quantification. In this study, we attempt to standardize an enzyme-linked immunoassay (ELISA) procedure to measure total IgA, total IgG, and anti-Candida albicans IgA and IgG levels in fecal samples of adults with ASD. Measuring Ig levels can reflect altered gut microbiota, GI tract, and immune status in ASD and potentially characterize Ig as a biomarker for ASD. Although we were unable to successfully standardize an Ig ELISA quantification method, SDS-PAGE confirmed the presence of IgA in fecal Ig extracts. Based on our ELISA results, we suspect that dilution factors of fecal Ig extracts need to be modified further to detect the IgA within the detection range. The experimental methodology in this study can be used as a reference to develop and improve a full-proof method of quantifying immunoglobulin from ASD fecal samples, which will help to reveal immune status in ASD.

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Date Created
2022-05

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Creating More Inclusive Spaces for the Autistic Community

Description

The goal of this study was to gain insights from adults on the autism spectrum regarding their recommendations for improving the accessibility of stores and restaurants. Four adults who indicated that they had a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder or

The goal of this study was to gain insights from adults on the autism spectrum regarding their recommendations for improving the accessibility of stores and restaurants. Four adults who indicated that they had a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder or Asperger’s Syndrome volunteered to participate in a qualitative interview. The questions that participants were asked centered around their experiences in stores and restaurants, current accessibility guidelines, the impact of COVID-19 on their experiences, and their recommendations for increased accessibility. Recommendations fell into two main categories: changes to the environment and accommodations that could be provided. Participants suggested multiple ways to reduce their sensitivities to noise in stores and restaurants like lowering the music, creating a quiet hour, or providing noise cancelling headphones. Further efforts are needed to fully understand the issue of accessibility for autistic individuals.

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2021-12