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REDUCING VERBAL OUTBURSTS DURING INSTRUCTION Purpose: Prepare and enact intervention strategies to reduce verbal outbursts and

other problematic behaviors of hardto-reach students by studying the impact of certain strategies through the actions of a single student struggling with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Hypotheses: 1. Unclear classroom expectations Ambiguous classroom expectations create tensions resulting in apathy towards acceptable behaviors, especially students with ASD. Furthermore, students struggling with limited selfawareness or perspective can experience greater anxiety in uncomfortable situations. 2. Inability to communicate frustrations Students struggling with ASD commonly struggle with coursework due to an inability to communicate the tasks were too challenging, confusing, or uninteresting. Over time, these frustrations create a sense of failure. Unsurprisingly, repeated failure generally manifests as some form of disengagement. 3. Combination of both This reflects the complexity of explanations for misbehavior as a combination of actions by the teacher and student. Each party is responsible in some way as reflected by educational research articles. Intervention Strategies: Power card strategy Teacher utilizes visual aids to draw attention to student behaviors which do or do not meet expectations, each behavior with its own image or color. I utilized double-sided card with two colors: green for behaviors meeting expectations and red to highlight disruptions. Peer group mentoring I selected a group of students who meet classroom behavior expectations to be in a group with the problem student and model acceptable behaviors. Furthermore, the students provided emotional support and academic collaboration for each days lesson and activity. Road map for lesson I provided a plan at the beginning of each class using the individual work system model (from TEACCH) consisting of the task the students need to complete, the work needed for completion, progress points, and actions to take upon completion. On top of that, I provided the topics and amount of time devoted to each exploration. Results: The power card strategy required significant amounts of instructional time in order to consistently provide the student with feedback regarding classroom behavior. Peer group mentoring provided feedback more consistently than the power card strategy while using classroom instruction time more effectively. Providing the lessons structure provided students with clear behavioral and conceptual expectations for the lesson. The road map significantly reduced disruptive questions at the beginning of lessons Conclusion Consequences for Instructional Practice: 1. Intervention methods must be applicable to a wide-range of students in order to manage instructional time effectively. 2. Providing students with the lessons objectives and the pathway for reaching that goal can decrease anxiety and disruption while maintaining high levels of student engagement.

Sources: Gagnon, E. (2001) "Power cards: using special interests to motivate children and youth with asperger syndrome and autism" Autism Asperger Publishing Co.

Hume, K. et al (2009) "Increasing independence in autism spectrum disorders: a review of three focused interventions" Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 39(5), 1329-1338

Lanou, A. et al (2012) "Case studies using strengths and interests to address the needs of students with autism spectrum disorders" Intervention in School and Clinic, 47.3(1), 175-182