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J Intellect Dev Disabil. 2006 Dec;31(4):196-203.

Effects of embedded instruction versus discrete-trial training on self-injury, correct responding, and mood in a child with autism.

Author information

1
The University of Tasmania, Australia. Jeff.Sigafoos@utas.edu.au

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Embedded instruction and discrete-trial training are both recommended for teaching children with autism, but there is little research available comparing the two. The present study compared embedded instruction with discrete-trial training for a 12-year-old boy with autism.

METHOD:

An initial functional analysis indicated that the boy's self-injury was maintained by escape from task demands. Instructional sessions to teach adaptive behaviours were conducted under two conditions: (i) during embedded instruction, learning trials were inserted into ongoing activities at a rate of approximately 1.5 per minute; (ii) during discrete-trial training, instructional opportunities were incorporated into structured sessions at a rate of 4 per minute. In both conditions, the system of least prompts was used to teach relevant target responses. Effects of the two teaching formats were evaluated using an ABABA design.

RESULTS:

Higher rates of self-injury and fewer correct responses occurred during discrete-trial training. Mood ratings were also lower during discrete-trial training.

CONCLUSIONS:

The results suggest that self-injury, correct responding, and mood may be sensitive to the type of instructional format. Although discrete-trial training can be highly effective, it may be preferable to start with embedded instruction when the child presents with self-injurious escape behaviour.

PMID:
17178531
DOI:
10.1080/13668250600999160
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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