Recently, researchers conducted a study to help children with autism improve these skills through self-management.
What is Self-Management? To put it very simply, self-management means that you are aware of your own behavior and you know how to control and monitor it. Skills associated with self-management include
- setting your own goals,
- setting-up your environment to make achieving your goals more likely (such as making a to-do list or packing your backpack for school before you go to sleep each night),
- monitoring your behavior and progress toward your goals, and
- rewarding yourself for success (Reference: Association for Science in Autism Treatment).
Self-management is a research-based intervention. There are various benefits to using self-management. It can help skills generalize to new environments. Self-management systems can also be easily transferred into new environments. In other words, if a child learns to monitor his own behavior one-on-one with a special education teacher, he can also learn to use self-management strategies when he goes to an inclusion art class with his peers.
How Was the Study Set-Up? This recent study looked at whether self-management would help three children with autism (ages 4, 9, and 14) sustain social interactions. To use self-management, each student was given a chart that contained visual cues for what they were supposed to do in a conversation. The chart also included small boxes where the students could give themselves “conversation points” when they used the conversation skills.
What Were the Results? The study results suggested that the students improved their social conversation skills by showing more elaborate responses and asking on-topic questions.
For full results and more details about the study, please read the complete article:
“Using Self-Management to Improve the Reciprocal Social Conversation of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder” by Lynn Kern Koegel, Mi N. Park, and Robert L. Koegel.
Journal: Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders (2014) 44:1055–1063. DOI 10.1007/s10803-013-1956-y
All personal opinions in this post are those of Positively Autism, and do not necessarily represent those of the authors or publisher of this study. The video below is not associated with the authors or publishers of this study.