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New Research Article to be Published in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders!
The UCSB Koegel Autism is excited to announce that a new research study will soon be published in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders (JADD):
Koegel, R.L., Kim, S., & Koegel, L.K. (in press). Training paraprofessionals to improve socialization in students with ASD. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. DOI 10.1007/s10803-014-2094-x.
What's really impressive about this study is that all of the participants spent their lunch periods completely alone before their paraprofessionals were trained, never interacting socially with any other students, despite the fact that they had a one-on-one paraprofessional. In this project we taught paraprofessionals how to develop social clubs around the child with autism's interest and then to prompt the children to engage in cooperative interactions with their typically developing peers. After the paraprofessionals were trained, there was a dramatic increase in socialization between the children with autism and their peers. In addition to interacting on enjoyable projects, they also spent more time engaged in social conversation, an area that wasn't specifically targeted.
Paraprofessionals often spend more time than anyone else with a child with autism at school, especially during lunch and recess, but most have very little to no training. In spite of the fact that they have great intentions, too often we see them "hovering" or standing on the sideline - which doesn't help the child with autism and can even hinder social development. The nice thing about this program was that it didn't take long to train the paraprofessionals, which makes it an effective, inexpensive intervention for the schools. What's more, all of the paraprofessionals rated the workshop as very helpful. Just a small amount of training can go a long way in making a difference in a child with autism's social life.
If you are interested in reading the article now, the full article (abstract only to nonsubscribers) is available to JADD subscribers here. Please contact us at (805)893-2049 or at email@example.com for more information.
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