Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 42, Issue 3, pp 378–389 | Cite as

Using Explicit Instruction to Teach Science Descriptors to Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder

  • Victoria F. Knight
  • Bethany R. Smith
  • Fred Spooner
  • Diane Browder
Original paper


Science content is one area of general curriculum access that needs more investigation. Explicit instruction is effective for teaching students with high incidence disabilities a variety of skills, including science content. In this study, we taught three elementary aged students with autism spectrum disorder to acquire science descriptors (e.g., wet) and then generalization to novel objects, pictures, and within a science inquiry lesson via explicit instruction. A multiple probe across behaviors with concurrent replication across participants design measured the effects of the intervention. All three participants met criterion, some were able to generalize to novel objects, pictures, and objects within science inquiry lesson. Outcomes are discussed from the perspective of implications for practice and future research investigations.


Science content Explicit instruction Autism spectrum disorder 



Support for this research was provided in part by Grant No. R324AQ080014 from the U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, awarded to the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. The opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect the position or policy of the Department of Education, and no official endorsement should be inferred.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Victoria F. Knight
    • 1
  • Bethany R. Smith
    • 2
  • Fred Spooner
    • 2
  • Diane Browder
    • 2
  1. 1.University of KentuckyLexingtonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Special Education and Child DevelopmentUniversity of North Carolina at CharlotteCharlotteUSA

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