Concurrent Autism And ADHD Education Essay

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The researcher will implement the mixed methods research approach for the methodology of this research. The quasi-experimental design will analyze the effectiveness of four strategies: shadow teaching, behavior contracts, prevent-teach-reinforce, and classroom games in teaching students with concurrent autism and ADHD. The study will focus on students in elementary, middle, and high school with concurrent autism and ADHD who are mainstreamed in schools in Daviess County, Kentucky during the 2012-2013 school year.

First, qualitative data will be collected in the form of interviews and observations. Interviews will be conducted with students who have been diagnosed with both autism and ADHD in the elementary, middle, and high school setting. Interviews with the teachers in elementary, middle, and high school who teach students with concurrent ADHD and autism and utilize one or more of the aforementioned strategies will also be used. These interviews will identify the positive and negative effects of implementing each strategy and prove or refute the effectiveness of each strategy in the classroom setting. Observations of students with autism and ADHD in elementary, middle, and high school will also be used. The observations will provide an understanding of how the strategies are used in the classroom setting and how students with autism and ADHD respond to those strategies.

After qualitative data are collected, quantitative data will be collected in the form of a questionnaire, records of student performance, and records of student behavior in classrooms who utilize one or more of the four strategies with students with autism and ADHD. In this research, the independent variable is the strategy that is implemented in the general education setting. The dependent variable is student performance and response to the strategy. The results of this study will provide more information on concurrent ADHD and autism and analyze for effective strategies, how the strategies impact student learning, and which strategy is most effective for students with autism and ADHD in Daviess County, Kentucky.

Sampling

The research participants in this study are students who have been diagnosed with concurrent autism and ADHD at eighteen different schools. Participants will be both male and female in grades preschool through twelfth grade. Participants may be of different races and from different socioeconomic statuses. Participants will also be elementary, middle, and high school general education teacher who currently implement shadow teaching, prevent-teach-reinforce, classroom games, and/or behavior contracts in their classroom for students with autism and ADHD. Participants will be selected with assistance from the director of special education for the Daviess County Public Schools and principals from each school within the district. Once students who have concurrent autism and ADHD have been identified, parents, students, and teachers will be contacted for permission to interview and observe.

In order to ensure validity, the participants will be grouped into three different groups: students and teachers in elementary schools, students and teachers in middle schools, and students and teachers in high schools. Within the elementary group, there will be two subcategories: primary (preschool through second grade) and intermediate (third through fifth grade). There are twelve different elementary schools in the Daviess County Public School system. No more than five students will be chosen from each of the elementary schools. There are three middle schools in the district. No more than fifteen students will be chosen from each of the middle school. There are two high schools. No more than twenty students will be chosen from each high school. Teachers from each selected student will be interviewed for this study.

This case study is dependent upon students who are diagnosed with concurrent autism and ADHD and general education teachers of those students. Because of this, a set sampling from each school and grade level might not be possible to achieve. However, if possible, sampling will be as follows:

Elementary:

Primary Students

Intermediate Students

Total:

Students: School 1

3

2

5

Students: School 2

3

2

5

Students: School 3

3

2

5

Students: School 4

3

2

5

Students: School 5

3

2

5

Students: School 6

3

2

5

Students: School 7

3

2

5

Students: School 8

3

2

5

Students: School 9

3

2

5

Students: School 10

3

2

5

Students: School 11

3

2

5

Students: School 12

3

2

5

Totals

30

30

60

Middle:

6th

7th

8th

Totals

Students: School 1

5

5

5

15

Students: School 2

5

5

5

15

Students: School 3

5

5

5

15

Totals

15

15

15

45

High:

9th

10th

11th

12th

Totals

Students: School 1

5

5

5

5

20

Students: School 2

5

5

5

5

20

Totals

10

10

10

10

40

The number of students chosen in high school is greater than middle school based on the larger sample size of students. Likewise, the number of middle school students chosen is greater than that of elementary schools. Based on chart, this study will include 145 students with concurrent autism and ADHD in grades preschool through twelfth grade; 60 in elementary school, 45 in middle school, and 40 in high school. The researcher can use teacher help in administering the interviews. If there are more students than the chart outlined, for example, more than ten students with an autism and ADHD diagnosis in one of the elementary schools, the researcher will look at the grade levels of the students. The researcher will chose one from each grade level represented and chose the rest of the participants at random.

Teachers of each of those 145 students will also be interviewed. Teachers will be interviewed based on an online survey and an interview with the researcher. Building administrators can help the researcher in implementing the interview. Because some teachers might teach multiple students with autism and ADHD, they will only be interviewed one time. However, they will be asked about the positive and negative effects and effective of each strategy with each of the students they teach. From the interviews, the researcher will ask the teachers which strategy or strategies they implement.

After interviews and observations of students with autism and ADHD have been completed, the researcher will randomly choose 50% of the population to obtain quantitative data in the form of a questionnaire and academic and behavioral records. This process will be completed by assigning all participants a number and drawing 72 numbers at random. Each participant has an equal chance of selection. If no strategies in the study are being used with a student who is randomly selected, one will be assigned to the teacher, and the teacher will be asked if she would be willing to implement a particular strategy for the purpose of the study. If he or she declines, another participant will be selected at random.

After student participants of this study are chosen, consent from a parent or legal guardian will be sent home in the form of a letter. The letter will outline the purpose of the study, outline the methodology of the study, and will guarantee confidentiality of the participants. The letter will require their signature (See Appendix A).

Instruments and Materials

The instruments that will be used consist of interviews and observations. Two interview forms will be used; one for students and one for teachers. The interview form for students is marked as Appendix B. The form for students will include questions about how they feel about learning and strategies teachers have used to helped them in the classroom. The interview will be adapted based on the age of the participant.. This form will serve as grounds for developing a questionnaire for latter use in the study.

The interview form for teachers is marked as Appendix C. This form will include questions for the elementary, middle, and high school teacher about the strategies they employ in their classroom and the effectiveness of each strategy with students with autism and ADHD. The questions will ask for specific examples of how the strategy is implemented in their classroom, how the strategies have improved or not improved student behavior, the ease of implementation, and whether or not they would recommend the strategy to other teachers. This form will measure the effectiveness of each strategy through the teacher's perspective.

Observations will also be used in this case study. The observation form used in the case study will be marked Appendix D. Observations will be done by the researcher or school principals. During the lesson, the researcher will observe look for specific ways the teacher implements the strategies under investigation, how the student with autism and ADHD responds to the strategy, how the student's behavior has improved or not improved since the implementation of the strategy, and the ease of implementation in the classroom.

After interviews and observations are completed, results will be analyzed to create a questionnaire for seventy-two randomly selected participants. The questionnaire will include questions about each strategy and the perceived effectiveness (See Appendix E). Participants will respond to the questionnaire by giving each question a numerical ranking from 0 to 3. A score of a zero means the strategy was not effective or no change was noted. A score of a 1 means the strategy was somewhat effective or some change was noted. A score of a 2 means the strategy was effective or change was noticed. A score of a 3 means the strategy was very effective or a significant change was noticed.

Record of the seventy-two participants' academic progress and behavior progress will also be reported to provide concrete evidence of the strategies' effectiveness. Records will be obtained by requesting parental or guardian consent as outlined in Appendix A. The researcher will request documentation from general education teachers and special education teachers for behavior progress including behavior contracts, behavior plans, IEP or special education documentation, and anecdotal records each nine weeks. Reports of academic progress will include MAP data, progress reports, and student report cards each time they are given (See Appendix F). These records will be obtained by contacting building administrators. All records of students' performance will remain confidential.

Data Collection

Consent forms will be provided to the parent or legal guardian for student participants prior to the beginning of the study. Teachers who will participate in the study will also sign a consent form ensuring confidentiality and outlining the research (See Appendix A). The researcher will speak will school administrators and the director of special education to determine the eligibility status of students diagnosed with autism and ADHD and how many students with the diagnosis are enrolled in each school in the district. From there, a list of participants will be developed based on the chart outlined in the sampling section. The first round of interviews will occur within the first five weeks of school. The purpose of these interviews is to collect baseline data from students and teachers prior to beginning the strategies. Building administrators will be utilized in the implementation of the interviews and observations.

After data from interviews and observations are obtained, seventy-two participants and their teachers will be chosen to provide quantitative data in the form of a questionnaire and records. Data will be collected four times during the school year; at the end of each nine week grading quarter. Data will be obtained from building administrators, general education teachers, and special education teachers.

Data Analysis

When interviews and observations of students are complete, the researcher will import the results into three different spreadsheets: one for elementary school students, one for middle school students, and one for high school students. Each spreadsheet will follow the same basic format. Headings for each column will include student ID number in the first column and question number in each of the prior columns. Each row will supply data for a single student and their answers to each question.

Interviews with teachers will follow the same format. A spreadsheet will be created for elementary, middle, and high school teachers. Each spreadsheet will have a column for student ID number and question number. Each row will provide data for the teacher of each student and the answer to their questions.

From the interviews with students and teachers, a questionnaire will be developed to give to the seventy-two students and teachers randomly selected for observation through a quantitative study. The results from the questionnaire will be imported into a spreadsheet as well. The data for each question will be totaled and a mean score will be determined by adding the scores together and dividing by the number of participants. Strategies that were below the mean will be considered ineffective and strategies above the mean will be considered effective. The table in Appendix E will be used to collect data from the questionnaire.

Records of students' academic and behavioral performance will be analyzed by the researcher. Records of growth both academically and behaviorally will be displayed in a graph for each student. The graph will show change in behavior and academics over time. A sample of the graph is outlined in Appendix F.

Through the use of the qualitative data of interviews and observations, the research will gain a knowledge and insight into each of the four strategies and how they are implemented in the classroom. Through the use of quantitative data of a questionnaire and record of performance, the researcher will gain proof of the strategies effectiveness above and beyond observation alone. When analyzing the e data, the researcher will be able to look at the questionnaire, chart, and graphs and determine which strategies were effective in the elementary, middle, and high school classrooms and which ones are not.

Limitations and Delimitations

Because the study depends on students with autism and ADHD, the study has many limitations. One limitation is that the availability of students within each school. Some schools might not have the amount of students with autism and ADHD as outlined in the study. Other schools might have many students with autism and ADHD, but do not implement the strategies under review. Since the researcher only uses participants from a single county, the results of this study may not be able to generalize the findings. Teaching styles and student populations also differ from place to place. Because of this, further studies will be required to make generalizations about the positive and negative effects and effectiveness of each of the four strategies.

When interviewing and giving students in lower elementary grades a questionnaire, problems in validity may arise. For example, students may have to have the questionnaire read to them in order for them to understand the questions correctly. Another problem with validity is the importance of the interviews and questionnaires to students and teachers. If either party fails to see the importance of the research or does not feel like answering the questions, questions might not be answered accurately.

Teachers of students chosen to complete the qualitative data must also implement or be willing to implement one of the four strategies under investigation. If they do not or are not willing to implement a strategy for the purpose of research, the population size might decrease.

Appendix A

Parental Consent Form:

You have been selected to participate in a research study about effective classroom strategies for students with ADHD and autism. This form will outline the purpose of the study, remind you that participation is voluntary, and explain the potential benefits and risks of completing this study.

Purpose of Study:

You are being asked to participate in a study of four strategies: shadow teaching, prevent-teach-reinforce, behavior contracts, and the use of classroom games with students with concurrent ADHD and autism. This study will determine the effects of implementing these strategies with elementary, middle, and high school students and how these strategies do or do not help improve academic performance and behavior in students with this diagnosis.

Your child is being asked to participate in this study based on their medical diagnosis of concurrent ADHD and autism. As a member of the Daviess County Public School system, your name was given to me from the director of special education in order to obtain consent for this study.

Overview of Participation:

For this study, your child will be asked first to complete an interview with a researcher or with his or her school administrator. Your child will also be observed one time in the general education setting at his or her school. Results from the interview and observation will help develop the questionnaire to be used later in the study.

After the interviews, 50% of the sample interviewed will be randomly selected to participate in a second study. If selected for this study, educational records such as MAP data, behavioral data, progress reports and report cards will be obtained. Your child will also be asked to complete a questionnaire based on strategies being implemented by his or her teacher.

All materials obtained in this study will remain strictly confidential. Students will receive an ID number for the purpose of the study. Names will not be used in any report findings. If data is reported to other institutions or professionals, ID numbers will be used.

Benefits of the Study:

This study will provide parents, teachers, and school administrators with more information about concurrent autism and ADHD and how to best meet the educational needs of those students. The research will provide teachers with concrete evidence of which strategies are most effective for implementation with your child. There are no potentially harmful effects of participating in this research study.

Your signature below means you have voluntarily agreed to allow your child to participate in this study. If at any time you have questions or comments about the research, please contact the researcher at (). Thank you for considering participation.

Guardian: ____________________________________ Date:___________________

Researcher: ____________________________________ Date:___________________

Teacher Consent Form

You have been selected to participate in a research study about effective classroom strategies for students with ADHD and autism. Researchers are required to provide you with a consent form outlining the purpose of the study, to remind you that participation is voluntary, and explain the potential benefits and risks of completing this study.

Purpose of Study:

You are being asked to participate in a study of four strategies: shadow teaching, prevent-teach-reinforce, behavior contracts, and the use of classroom games with students with concurrent ADHD and autism. This study will determine the effects of implementing these strategies with elementary, middle, and high school students and how these strategies do or do not help improve academic performance and behavior in students with this diagnosis.

You are being asked to participate in this study because you currently teach a student with a concurrent autism and ADHD diagnosis for the 2012-2013 school year.

Overview of Participation:

For this study, you will be asked first to complete an interview with a researcher or with your school administrator. Results of the interview will be used to create a questionnaire for use later in the study. The student with autism and ADHD will also be observed one time in your classroom.

After the interviews, 50% of the sample interviewed will be randomly selected to participate in a second study. If selected for this study, educational records such as MAP data, behavioral data, progress reports and report cards will be obtained. If you are chosen and you do not implement one of the strategies under investigation, you will be asked to implement one in your classroom for the remainder of the year. You will to also be asked to complete a questionnaire based on how you feel about strategies being used.

All materials obtained in this study will remain strictly confidential. Students will receive an ID number for the purpose of the study. Your name will not be used or recorded at any time in the study. Data results of this study will also remain confidential. If data is reported to other institutions, student ID numbers will be used. Results of this study might be shared with other professionals; however, ID numbers will be used in lieu of names.

Benefits of the Study:

This study will provide parents, teachers, and school administrators with more information about concurrent autism and ADHD and how to best meet the educational needs of those students. The research will provide teachers with concrete evidence of which strategies are most effective for implementation with your child. There are no potentially harmful effects of participating in this research study.

Your signature below means you have voluntarily agreed to allow your child to participate in this study. If at any time you have questions or comments about the research, please contact the researcher at (). Thank you for considering participation.

Guardian: ____________________________________ Date:___________________

Researcher: ____________________________________ Date:___________________

*Both forms adapted from MSU.EDU

Dear Ethics Committee for Human Research,

Please review the attached research proposal. The purpose of this study is to determine the effectiveness of four strategies: shadow teaching, behavior contracts, the prevent-reinforce-teach model, and the use of classroom games for students with concurrent autism and ADHD. The study will focus on students with an autism and ADHD diagnosis in elementary, middle, and high school in Daviess County, Kentucky. Through this research study, educators in Daviess County will be able to determine which strategy is the most effective to use with students who have a dual diagnosis of autism and ADHD based on both qualitative and quantitative data.

There are no potentially harmful effects of participating in this research study. Students and teachers participating in this study will complete an initial interview with the researcher or school administrator outlining the strategies they currently use in their classrooms with students with autism and ADHD and how they feel about those strategies. Teachers and students will also be observed implementing these strategies. After the interviews, half of the original sample size will be selected for a questionnaire and will provide the researcher with academic and behavioral data four times during the school year. All participants' names and personal information, as data results will remain confidential and under lock and key for the duration of the study.

Copies of all the materials used in this research study are attached. Thank you for your consideration.

Reasearcher

Appendix B:

Interview Questions for Students:

How do you learn best in the classroom?

What are some things your teachers do that help you learn better?

What kind of things make you want to learn more?

If a teacher uses games in the classroom, will that help you learn better? How?

If a teacher uses a behavior contract just with you, how would that make you feel?

Do you think a behavior contract would help you better understand what is expected of you?

If a teacher taught you what you were supposed to do and gave you rewards when you did that, would that help you in the classroom?

Have you ever been in a classroom where there were two teachers in the room teaching? If so, how did that help you learn better?

Would you like for (insert name of special education teacher) to be in the classroom with you for part of the day? Why?

Appendix C

Interview Form for Teachers:

What grade/grades do you teach and how many years have you been teaching?

What are your greatest challenges with teaching students with autism and ADHD?

What are your greatest joys in teaching children with autism and ADHD?

Do you currently use, or have ever used, classroom games to teach students with autism and ADHD? If so, how do think that motivates students, increases academic performance, and decreases negative behaviors?

Do you currently use, or have you ever used, behavior contracts with students with autism and ADHD. If so, how do think that motivates students, increases academic performance, and decreases negative behaviors?

Do you currently use, or have you ever used, shadow teaching (collaboration with a special education teacher) with students with autism and ADHD. If so, how do think that motivates students, increases academic performance, and decreases negative behaviors?

Do you currently use, or have you ever used, the prevent-teach-reinforce model (intervene before problems arise, teaching students expected behavior, and reinforcing it when it is displayed) with students with autism and ADHD. If so, how do think that motivates students, increases academic performance, and decreases negative behaviors?

Would you be willing to implement one of the aforementioned strategies for the purpose of this study?

Appendix D:

DAVIESS COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS

BEHAVIORAL OBSERVATION

Student Name

Date

Site of Observation

Observer

Person responsible for student during observation

Observation Time: Beginning: Ending:

I. Target behavior of concern identified:

II. Social Environment

Large Group Small Group One other person

Physical Environment

Classroom Playground Cafeteria Gym Other

At a table On chairs in group At a desk On the floor At listening center At the chalkboard At learning center Other:

III. Task/Activity which the teacher has defined for the student:

On/Off Task Behavior Observation - Fill in all boxes

Directions: While the student is engaged in an activity, place a 1 if he/she is on task, and a 0 in the box if he/she is not. Look every 8-12 second interval at a peer of the same gender and do the same thing (0 or 1). Look back at the subject, 0 or 1, look at a different peer. Continue back and forth for a minimum of 15 minutes. (Use the Tab key to navigate through the table.)

Sub

Peer

Sub

Peer

Sub

Peer

Sub

Peer

Sub

Peer

Sub

Peer

Sub

Peer

Sub

Peer

Sub

Peer

Sub

Peer

IV. NARRATIVE: (How did student respond to direction; did student have necessary supplies; how did student interact with peers; how was student's attitude and motivation?)

V. In the judgment of the child's teacher, was the student's behavior typical of the student in this setting?

Yes No

Please explain:

VI. Comments and summary of observation:

Appendix E:

Questionnaire for teachers:

Directions: Please circle one number for each question

0- The strategy was not effective at all.

I would not use this strategy at all.

1- The strategy was somewhat effective.

I might use this strategy again.

2- The strategy was effective.

I will use this strategy again.

3 - The strategy was very effective.

I will definitely use this strategy again.

1. How effective was the use of classroom games in preventing negative behaviors in the classroom?

0

1

2

3

N/A

2. How effective was the use of classroom games in promoting positive behaviors in the classroom?

0

1

2

3

N/A

3. How effective was the use of classroom games in improving student learning?

0

1

2

3

N/A

4. How effective was the use of behavior contracts in preventing negative behaviors in the classroom?

0

1

2

3

N/A

5. How effective was the use of behavior contracts in promoting positive behaviors?

0

1

2

3

N/A

6. How effective was the use of behavior contracts in improving student learning?

0

1

2

3

N/A

7. How effective was the use of shadow teaching in preventing negative behaviors in the classroom?

0

1

2

3

N/A

8. How effective was the use of shadow teaching in promoting positive behaviors in the classroom?

0

1

2

3

N/A

9. How effective was the use of shadow teaching in promoting student learning?

0

1

2

3

N/A

10. How effective was the prevent-teach-reinforce model in preventing negative behaviors?

0

1

2

3

N/A

11. How effective was the prevent-teach-reinforce model in promoting positive behaviors?

0

1

2

3

N/A

12. How effective was the prevent-teach-reinforce model in improving student learning?

0

1

2

3

N/A

13. Would you implement the use of classroom games again with students with autism and ADHD?

0

1

2

3

N/A

14. Would you implement the use of behavior contracts again with students with autism and ADHD?

0

1

2

3

N/A

15. Would you implement the use shadow teaching again with students with autism and ADHD?

0

1

2

3

N/A

16. Would you implement the use of the prevent-teach-reinforce model again with students with autism and ADHD?

0

1

2

3

N/A

Questionnaire for teachers:

Directions: Please circle one number for each question

0- It did not help.

1- It helped a little.

2- It helped.

3 - It helped a lot.

1. How much did games help prevent bad behaviors?

0

1

2

3

N/A

2. How much did games help teach you good behaviors?

0

1

2

3

N/A

3. How much did games help you learn?

0

1

2

3

N/A

4. How much did behavior contracts help prevent bad behaviors?

0

1

2

3

N/A

5. How much did behavior contracts help teach good behaviors?

0

1

2

3

N/A

6. How much did behavior contracts help you learn?

0

1

2

3

N/A

7. How much did having two teachers in the room help prevent bad behaviors?

0

1

2

3

N/A

8. How much did having two teachers in the room help teach good behaviors?

0

1

2

3

N/A

9. How much did having two teachers in the room help you learn?

0

1

2

3

N/A

10. How much did the prevent-teach-reinforce help prevent bad behaviors?

0

1

2

3

N/A

11. How much the prevent-teach-reinforce model help teach you good behavior?

0

1

2

3

N/A

12. How much did the prevent-teach-reinforce model help you learn?

0

1

2

3

N/A

Appendix F:

Record of Student Data:

First Quarter:

Map Score: (See Attached)

Report Card (See Attached)

Special Education Progress Report (See Attached)

Behavior Documentation Comments:

Learning Progress or Data Comments:

Second Quarter:

Map Score: (See Attached)

Report Card (See Attached)

Special Education Progress Report (See Attached)

Behavior Documentation Comments:

Learning Progress or Data Comments:

Third Quarter

Map Score: (See Attached)

Report Card (See Attached)

Special Education Progress Report (See Attached)

Behavior Documentation Comments:

Learning Progress or Data Comments:

Fourth Quarter:

Map Score: (See Attached)

Report Card (See Attached)

Special Education Progress Report (See Attached)

Behavior Documentation Comments:

Learning Progress or Data Comments:

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