The use of visual schedules and work systems to increase the on-task behaviour of students on the autism spectrum in mainstream classrooms

Macdonald, Libby and Trembath, David and Ashburner, Jill and Costley, Debra and Keen, Deb (2018) The use of visual schedules and work systems to increase the on-task behaviour of students on the autism spectrum in mainstream classrooms. Journal of Research in Special Educational Needs . ISSN 1471-3802

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Abstract

Apparent differences in executive function can lead to challenges for students on the autism spectrum in mainstream settings. Difficulties with staying on-task and transitioning between tasks or task elements can interfere with students’ participation in educational activities and lead to stress and anxiety. While the use of visual supports, such as visual schedules and work systems, has been shown to be effective in supporting students to stay on-task in special education and autism-specific settings, there is little research to support the use of these strategies by teachers in mainstream classrooms. This study evaluated the use of visual schedules and work systems in supporting four students on the autism spectrum to stay on-task and work independently in a mainstream setting. These strategies were implemented by teachers as inclusive practices, and evaluated using observations within the natural classroom environment to examine their feasibility in mainstream settings. All participants demonstrated improvements in on-task behaviours. Results for other, secondary, dependent variables were mixed, with some students showing reduced off-task behaviours and increased productivity. The implications for clinical practice and future research directions are discussed.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Macdonald, L., Trembath, D., Ashburner, J., Costley, D. and Keen, D. (2018), The use of visual schedules and work systems to increase the on-task behaviour of students on the autism spectrum in mainstream classrooms. J Res Spec Educ Needs, which has been published in final form at doi:10.1111/1471-3802.12409. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.
Keywords: autism spectrum disorder, visual schedules, work systems, on-task behaviour, mainstream classrooms
Schools/Departments: University of Nottingham, UK > Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Education
Identification Number: 10.1111/1471-3802.12409
Depositing User: Costley, Dr Debra
Date Deposited: 22 Jan 2018 09:12
Last Modified: 24 Jan 2018 06:41
URI: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/49187

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