Skill Acquisition by Children with Autism: Influence of Prompts

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Greg Reid McGill University

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Douglas Collier Indiana University

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Michelle Cauchon McGill University

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Visual, verbal, and physical prompting systems promote motor skill acquisition in learners who are autistic (Collier & Reid, 1987). The purpose of the present study was to contrast the effectiveness of two instructional models, one that emphasized visual prompting and one that stressed physical prompting. Both models were designed to teach autistic children a bowling skill that was subdivided into 19 task analytic steps. All four subjects received 120 trials under both instructional models in a counterbalanced fashion. It was hypothesized that physical prompting would be the most effective model, but only limited support was generated in this regard. The subjects did benefit from carefully designed instruction, however, thus replicating previous findings.

Request reprints from Greg Reid, Department of Physical Education, McGill University, 475 Pine Ave. West, Montreal, P.Q., Canada H2W 1S4.

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