Use of lag schedules to increase play variability across settings for a preschool child with Autism
Permanent link to Research Commons versionhttps://hdl.handle.net/10289/15097
The importance of play is becoming increasingly evident in the holistic development of young children. Play develops effortlessly in typically developing children, but in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), play needs to be taught explicitly. Children with autism have limited play variability and often display rigid and repetitive play behaviours, which negatively impact their social functioning and language development. Play in autism is a really important target behaviour. Teaching play can improve exposure to learning opportunities, social interactions and increase access to reinforcement, which in turn will improve language acquisition and communication skills. The primary objective of this study was to determine how lag schedules of reinforcement can increase the play variability of a boy, aged three, with limited play and social skills. A multiple probe design with a changing criterion design was used across three different play settings: wooden figurine and a doll’s house, water play and a fire station play set. Results showed that lag schedules were sufficient to increase the play variability for the participant across all three settings. Generalisation was seen to occur during normal play sessions across various play settings in the early childhood centre, with increases in peer interaction. The current study provides empirical evidence that supports the use of lag schedule of reinforcement to increase the average play variability in children with ASD.
The University of Waikato
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- Masters Degree Theses