Academic journal article Kuram ve Uygulamada Egitim Bilimleri

Teaching Inclusion Preparation Skills to Children with Developmental Disabilities

Academic journal article Kuram ve Uygulamada Egitim Bilimleri

Teaching Inclusion Preparation Skills to Children with Developmental Disabilities

Article excerpt

Abstract

The general purpose of the present study was to examine the effectiveness of simultaneous prompting embedded in activities for teaching preparatory skills to children with developmental disabilities. Furthermore, determining the perspectives of the teachers about the skills taught to the participants and also to themselves were targeted. Depending on the performance and characteristics of the participants and the observations conducted in the classroom, three skills were determined to be taught to three children with developmental disabilities. The effectiveness of simultaneous prompting embedded into teaching activities for teaching these skills to children with developmental disabilities was planned. A multiple probe design across behaviors was used and replicated across subjects. Also, the perspectives of the teachers about the skills taught to the participants and themselves were determined through interviews conducted by the researchers. The participants of the study had Down syndrome with an age range of 36-44 months. The target skills taught to the participants were: (a) following two step instructions provided in group activities, (b) participating in group activities by raising his/her hand, and (c) nodding the head when asked "Do you want ?". The effectiveness results of the study revealed that all three participants acquired the target skills at criterion level. Moreover, two of the participants maintained the skills in the inclusive environments where they were placed seven weeks after the study was completed. Furthermore, the social validity data revealed that the preschool teachers of the two participants were very pleased about having the participants in their classes, the participants' skills acquisitions and also about being informed about inclusion and children with special needs at the beginning of the school year.

Key Words

Preparatory Skills for Preschool Inclusion, Developmental Disabilities, Single Subject Design, Simultaneous Prompting.

A number of professionals and trainers mention that an important part of learning occurs in the early childhood years. Early childhood is as important as the normally developing children for the children with developmental disabilities. If children with developmental disabilities cannot benefit from the opportunities of early intervention in their early childhood years, most important learning ages would be lost when they reach elementary school ages (Barnett, 1995; Gomby, Larner, Stevenson, Lewit & Behrman, 1995; Yoshikawa, 1995).

An essential milestone in the lives of children with developmental disabilities is covered during transition to an inclusion environment in pre-school education. Inclusion is providing education opportunities for children with special needs by providing the necessary support services in the least restrictive environments (Kircaali-Iftar, 1992). Since children with developmental disabilities are being included to the pre-school, it is very important to teach the behavioral requirements and skills to these children before they are placed into classes (Guralnick, 2001, Odom & Diamond, 1998).

Preparatory skills are also called as the "classroom survival skills" in some of the studies in the literature (Noonan & McCormick, 1997; Rule, Fiechtl& Innocenti, 1990; Salisbury & Vincent, 1990; Guralnick, 1990). In order to teach these skills to children with developmental disabilities, appropriate prompts should be used, natural reinforces should be provided to their correct responses, and adaptations should be made for them to reach these reinforces by themselves (Cavallaro & Haney, 1999; Klein, Cook & Richardson-Gibbs, 2001; Kemp, 2006).

Rule et al. (1990) found that teachers could teach various skills to children with developmental disabilities through using appropriate prompts, and reinforces. By doing this, it is hoped that the child would get used to the school easily and the teacher would be more comfortable with the child while teaching these skills to the child. …

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