In group setting. Children who were being

In
this journal article, teaching social behaviour to individuals diagnosed with
autism spectrum disorder using the cool versus not cool procedure in a small
group instructional format by Taubman Leaf, Mc Eachin Leaf and Tsuji Leaf was
published in Journal of Intellectual & Developmental Disability in February
2016.  Children with ASD have benefitted from this intervention as it helped
to reduce their symptoms and increase their social skills. The
intervention that was introduced to teach social skills is cool versus not cool
procedure. In this article, it was proven that this procedure works effectively
in a small group setting. Children who were being observed in this research
were able to demonstrate the target social behaviour and apply them in
different situations.

 

The
aim of the current research was to show the outcome on the cool (right) versus
non cool ( not right) procedure by assessing the intervention when it was
carried out in a small group for two children. They were taught how to mingle
with their friends. In this study, the teacher demonstrated a targeted
behaviour showing the right and wrong way to mingle with others while the child
observed.  He would have to differentiate the difference between good versus
bad behaviour by sharing his views/feedback. He would also have to role play
the right behaviour with the teacher.  Feedback was provided for him if he
did not role play it correctly. If he did it correctly, he would be praised.

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There
were three children between the ages of 3 to 9 years with ASD who were involved
in the study.  However, one child was removed from the study due to his
challenging behaviour. Andy and Edward were involved in the research
study.  Skills like displaying eye contact, taking initiative, making
verbal comments through game play and making the right remarks when he was
given a toy and tapping on friend’s shoulder instead of grabbing it to obtain
attention, were communicated to them. It took place in a room decorated as a
preschool classroom in a clinic in Hong Kong. 
It consisted of  five areas i)
baseline ii) intervention iii) intervention and roleplaying  iv) intervention plus role-playing and
feedback during real-life probes v)maintenance. These sessions will take place
5 days per week and last for 30 minutes for each session.

 

The
primary outcome of the present study is for each child to acquire skills of the
three targeted social skills during naturalistic probes with a friend who is a
client of the clinic where the research will be conducted. They are high
functioning kids whereas their friends who play with them outside the
intervention when it comes to maintenance. For the first skill of initiating play,
the real-life probe consisted of five trials, with approximately 30 seconds
between each trial, the second skill of commenting on toys, a real-life probe
consisted of five trials, with approximately 20 seconds between each trial. For
the third skill of gaining a peer’s attention, a real-life probe consisted of
three trials, with 30 seconds between each trial.

 

The results have proven that the study was successful.
The 2 pupils with ASD showed improvement in their social skills with the help
of the procedure. Initially, before the intervention, they were unable to display
the skills correctly.  Andy was able to display the skills he learnt by
displaying eye contact when the intervention was carried out. With the help of
role play and feedback from the teacher during the intervention, he was able to
display the correct procedure by inviting his peers to play with him together.
The result of his responsiveness to his friends shot up from 0% to 100%.
Furthermore, Edward displayed all the skills correctly after receiving comments
from his teachers and imitating the target behaviour.  The two children
will use these skills and apply what they had learnt in their classroom
setting.

 

In
general, Andy and Edward mastered 67% of the skills with teacher demonstration
alone and the additional 33% of skills with role-playing and feedback given by
his teachers. This shows that roleplay and feedback are essential in the
procedure.

 

Reflection

 I
always believe that it is essential for children with ASD to receive
intervention as they have a much greater chance of living independently,
getting a secure job and having long friendships and relationships when they
grow up to be adults. There are different approaches used for children with
Autism. However, there is no research evidence relating to some of these
approaches. Currently, social stories are introduced to my pupils for
intervention. While researching for my project, I was reading this article
regarding cool vs not cool. I felt that the method was amazing as research
confirms that the clinical experience of using this strategy in teaching social
skills and enabling students to monitor their own behaviour is more effective.

 

 

To
help them develop skills, I will focus on the target behaviour and engage my
pupils to identify the right versus wrong acts by letting them role play with
adults. With the feedback provided by them, they will understand the
differences between right and wrong. These differences can be used for me to
teach my pupils a variety of concepts which includes acting out behaviour like
showing empathy, waiting for turn, asking questions etc. They should display
such behaviour in school and at home. I can work with their parents by sharing information
with them. Parents can take them to places where they can put into practice
what they had learnt. Findings have proven that we can implement the program
more effectively in small groups rather than on individuals. I can implement
this in a group setting apart from doing my usual individual interventions.
E.g. 

Getting
another peer instead of an adult to do the intervention with the child using
the real-life probes.

 

I
was also thinking that instead of using the name of ‘cool’ or “not cool’ , we
can replace words that are suitable for the level of the child  that I am
supporting like good idea or bad idea, or great or not so great, smiley face or
sad face or thumbs up vs thumbs down.

 

This
intervention might be effective and useful for my pupils who have difficulties
in getting along with other peers of the same age. Having good social skills
are essential for them to get along with others.  More often, pupils with
Special Needs do not know how to handle interpersonal social situations that
involve following directions, holding a proper conversation, listening , giving
compliments or display proper behaviour during transition times.  These
are skills kids need to be able to have when they are in the main stream
setting. Therefore, with the intervention, I hope that my pupil will be able to
able to form meaningful bonds with others, empathize and interact appropriately
and have the skills to adapt in uncomfortable situations.

 

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