Vol 5, No 2 (Dec, 2016)

Table of Contents


Acquisition of Picture Exchange-Based vs. Signed Mands and Implications to Teach Functional Communication Skills to Children with Autism

Sang S. Nam, Ph.D., BCBA, & Young S. Hwang, Ph. D California State University, San Bernardino Abstract: A literature review was conducted to describes important concepts involved in functional analysis of verbal behavior as well as to evaluates empirical research findings on acquisition of picture exchange-based vs. signed mands to suggest instructional implications for teachers and therapists to teach functional communication skills to children with autism. Research findings indicate that children with autism acquire picture exchange responses to mand for reinforcing items more easily and rapidly than signed responses. There is also a strong relation between motor imitation, matching skills and sign language acquisition. It is suggested that both motor imitation and matching skills be examined to teach manual signs to children with autism. Speech is the most common response form, but writing, typing, signs, pictures, gestures, or eye gaze should also be considered for manding. A decision making process is proposed to determine a proper communicative form considering abilities and environmental conditions of a child concerned.

Effects of Digital-Based Math Fluency Interventions on Learners with Math Difficulties: A Review of the Literature

Lauren E. Cozad and Paul J. Riccomini The Pennsylvania State University Abstract: Mathematical proficiency serves as a foundation for student success in the classroom and real world. One component of mathematical proficiency is fluency with basic facts. Frequently, students with mathematics difficulties struggle to become proficient and fluent in the four basic operations. Interventions are available to help develop and promote fluency for students. Digital-based interventions, such as programs on computers or tablet applications, are one avenue by which students are able to acquire and maintain fluency. These digital tools are becoming increasingly more common and available in today’s classroom. Eight studies on digital-based fact fluency were identified through a systematic search of the literature and analyzed to determine their effects. Study participants were elementary aged students with mathematics difficulties. Results of this synthesis indicate that digital-based interventions are an effective instructional technique for increasing fact fluency with students demonstrating mathematics difficulties. Implications research and practice are discussed.

Our Students’ Minds Matter: Integrating Mindfulness Practices into Special Education Classrooms

Danielle Magaldi, Ph.D. Lehman College, City University of New York Jennie Park-Taylor, Ph.D. Fordham University Abstract: This article explores the usefulness of mindfulness practices in special education classrooms. Mindfulness is defined as the ability to regulate and control one’s attention with an orientation toward the present moment. Mindfulness practices of breathing, imagery, movement, reflection, and acceptance exercises are described along with research on the social, behavioral, and attentional effects following mindfulness interventions. The article concludes with practical considerations for special educators considering implementing mindfulness practices into curriculum, along with future directions for mindfulness in the field of special education.

Review of the book Uniquely Human: A Different Way of Seeing Autism

Erika M. Baril, MA, CCC-SLP University of New Hampshire

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