Do Student Characteristics Affect Teachers’ Decisions to Use 1:1 Instruction?
One-to-one instruction is a critical component of evidence-based instruction for students with autism spectrum disorder, but is not used as often as recommended. Student characteristics may affect teachers’ decisions to select a treatment and/or implement it. This study examined the associations between students’ clinical and demographic characteristics and teachers’ reported use of discrete trial training (DTT) and pivotal response training (PRT). Children’s higher sensory symptoms, lower social approach, lower verbal skills and higher self-regulation difficulties were associated with more frequent 1:1 DTT and PRT. Results suggest that teachers give more frequent 1:1 instruction to children with more observable impairments, do not match children to type of 1:1 intervention, and may inadvertently neglect other students for whom individualized intervention may still be beneficial.
Keywords1:1 Instruction Child characteristics Personalized medicine Teacher decisions
The research team would like to thank all of the children, parents and teachers who graciously gave their time to the study and the team of dedicated Clinical Research Coordinators who contributed to the success of the school intervention trial, Christine Spaulding, Rachel Ouellette and Max Seidman, as well as all the wonderful student interns who worked tirelessly on the project. We thank also the funder of the school intervention trial, the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), without which the research would not have been possible.
HJN conceived of the study, participated in its design, data collection and interpretation of the data, and led the drafting and revising of the manuscript; MP participated in the design, research and clinical coordination, interpretation of the data, writing and revising of the study and contributed to securing grant funding which supported the study; VL participated in the design, interpretation of the data, writing and revising of the study and performed the statistical analyses; KR participated in the design, clinical coordination and interpretation of the data of the study; MS participated in the design, research coordination, data collection and writing of the study; RRO participated in the design, research coordination, data collection and writing of the study; DC participated in the design and clinical coordination and treatment delivery of the study; BBM participated in the design, data collection, interpretation of the data, writing and revising of the study; GML participated in the design, interpretation of the data, writing and revising of the study; AS participated in the drafting and writing of the study; EMR participated in the research and clinical coordination and contributed to securing grant funding which supported the study; DSM gave mentorship on the design of the study and interpretation of the data, oversaw the research and clinical coordination and writing and revising of the study and secured the grant funding which supported the study; all authors read and approved the final manuscript.
This study was funded by two Grants from the NIMH, Institution No. 10048329: RCT of TeachTown in Autism Support Classrooms: Innovation and Exnovation, 5R01MH106175 (PI: Mandell) and an Institutional Research Training Grant, T32MH109433 (PI: Mandell).
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflicts of interest
All authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the Ethical Standards of the Institutional and/or National Research Committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
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