CHAPTER forms of stereotypy. Scientists have adjusted these

CHAPTER 3: METHODOLOGY

Vocal
stereotypy is a common issue in young children with autism spectrum disorder
and may significantly impede with the social conduct of those who engage in the
behavior. Assortments of antecedent-based and consequence-based systems have
been utilized to lessen stereotypic practices (Rapp and Vollmer, 2005). Despite
the fact that the treatment of vocal stereotypy presents remarkable
difficulties, a large portion of the interventions intended to diminish such
vocalizations have been initially created to treat other forms of stereotypy.
Scientists have adjusted these techniques to manage the particular
complications characterized by vocal stereotypy (Lanovaz, 2011). The main objective
of this study will be to extend the research on evidence-based strategies to
decrease vocal stereotypy in students diagnosed with autism
spectrum disorder.

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Design

The research will
follow a mixed methods model of quantitative and qualitative methods.  The purpose of
mixed method design is to be able to answer multiple questions in a single
study when the research is complex. A mixed method design will deepen
understanding and provide a wider perception of what is being studied. A
clearer standpoint of the research study can be achieved when incorporating
multiple methods rather than a single. It is justified through these reasons,
as well as by increasing validity in a research study that includes multiple
questions.

This
design will be appropriate for the following research to determine the effects
on vocal stereotypy using response interruption and redirection (RIRD) aimed to
decrease the behavior. The independent variable will be the treatment and the
dependent variable will be the behavior, or rate of vocal stereotypy.

Participants

The
research for this study will take place in an early childhood special education
preschool classroom located on an elementary school campus in Southern
California.  The school receives funding
from State and Federal Categorical Programs and is located in a low-income
community.  This school provides
elementary education for students kindergarten to sixth grade for approximately
376 students (California Department of Education, 2017).  The primary objective of the early childhood
special education program located on campus is to provide services to eligible
students, more specifically for students who reside within the school district
area. 

There
will be 15 students in the class where the action research will be conducted.  This is a unique special education classroom
in that it provides an inclusive environment for early childhood students. Students
with special needs account for 74% of the classes’ demographics and are on
Individual Education Programs (IEP) while typical developing students from the
community are only 26% of the demographics. 
Of the 15 students in the classroom 80% are three years old and 20% four
years old.  The race and ethnicity of the
class is made up of 87% Hispanic and 13% other (non-Hispanic).

The
staff includes one credentialed early childhood special education teacher and
three additional paraeducators. This classroom differs from a typical preschool
classroom because it has specialized academic instruction as in there are more
visuals, differentiated instruction, staff are highly qualified, smaller
teacher child ratio, and there are accommodations and mortifications
implemented to help students succeed. The participants used in my study will
have a diagnosis of an autism spectrum disorder and exhibit symptoms of vocal
stereotypy.

There
will not be any sampling bias because the participants will be chosen solely on
whether they have autism and engage in vocal stereotypy. The sampling error
will be relatively low due to the intentional assignment and characteristics
required in order to allow the sample to represent a specific population. Through
this research, it is hoped that findings will conclude if RIRD is successful
for treating vocal stereotypy. External validity and generalization may be low
due to the specific characteristics of the research and participants. RIRD may
be useful for other repetitive behaviors, such as motor stereotypy, however
evidence will support only vocal stereotypy.

Keeping
the three principles, respect for persons, beneficence, and justice, in mind
will allow the research to be designed in an ethical manner. When working with
individuals with disabilities, respect for such persons is imperative and must
be upheld. Regardless of intellectual or cognitive abilities, each individual
has the right to choose to be involved in a research or study. Special
protections are in place to avoid individuals with low cognitive abilities from
being taken advantage of. When or if the child is not capable of giving consent there must be assent of the participant and written
consent of the parent
or legal guardian. Individuals will be assigned identification codes to
maintain confidentiality when reporting on the research.

This
study will help the participants to avoid engaging in vocal stereotypy in order
to exhibit appropriate and functional behaviors. Minimal potential harm to the
participant will be considered and the experiment will not be pursued if there is
risk of harm. Justice will allow all participants to be able to equally receive
the same outcomes. It would be unethical having prior speculation that one
group would be harmed or that one group would greatly benefit over the other.

Instruments

            Each patient will
participate in a functional analysis prior to the start of the program to
determine the influences that cause or maintain the vocal stereotypic
behaviors. A functional analysis establishes the relationship between stimuli
and response. The function of the vocal stereotypy behavior will be
operationalized and determined. A direct observation tool in the form of an ABC
chart will be utilized to outline details of the setting and incidences of
vocal stereotypy. “A” signifies the antecedent, or the action or setting
immediately before the target behavior. “B” refers to behavior, or the observed
conduct. “C” suggests the consequence, or what happens immediately after the
observed behavior. ABC charts provide information regarding the child’s
environment and events surrounding the target behavior.

Survey
questionnaires will be utilized to gather information on the occurrence of
vocal stereotypy in the participants. This instrument will collect, analyze,
and interpret the views of the parents, or legal guardians, on the incidences of the target behavior. Event
recording will also be conducted by the teacher to document the frequency of
vocal stereotypic behaviors. Event recording provides information on the amount
of times the student is observed engaging in the target behavior.

Procedures

            All participants will be administered a functional
analysis. Additionally, teachers will document observations of vocal stereotypy
behaviors using an antecedent-behavior-consequence method. Parents of each
participant will complete a survey questionnaire prior to the start of
treatment. The teacher will also gather baseline data through event recording
from observational periods in the classroom. During the first few sessions
where RIRD is implemented, teachers will provide more prompts and verbal
reinforcements. However, as the study continues there will be less prompting
and more independent initiation from participants to discontinue vocal
stereotypy. Data collection tools, or event recording, will be developed to
document occurrence of vocal stereotypy during intervention period. After intervention,
the parents will complete the same survey questionnaire to determine their
perception on present levels of vocal stereotypy. The teacher will gather
information on occurrence of vocal stereotypic behaviors post-treatment with
and event recording method.

Data Collection

My action research
project intends to explore whether RIRD is effective on decreasing vocal
stereotypy in young individuals with autism. To understand and document this
question, my data collection will explore the behaviors occurred before,
during, and after intervention. When the research project begins, students will
have already been exposed to the aforementioned strategy and will have had
opportunities to experience it in their daily routines. The data collection
will then focus on how students utilize or respond to RIRD as well as examine
the learning and growth that occurs during this research project. 

            By
collecting data on RIRD results during and after, I will have a quantitative reasoning
if this strategy promoted effective results. This will not only document if the
students benefited from RIRD, but it will also help me understand the outcomes
that correlate with the students’ engagement of vocal stereotypy and its
function. Data collection has to take place over several months to ensure
students have the opportunities to be exposed to the RIRD. The qualitative data
will provide me with a better understanding of the environments and events in
which vocal stereotypy occurs.  

Data Analysis

Examples
wherein levels of vocal stereotypy from event recording pre-intervention will
be higher than levels of vocal stereotypy in post-intervention will determine
that RIRD diminished engagement in vocal stereotypy. On the off chance that
levels of vocal stereotypy will be lower in the pre-intervention results than
in the post-intervention, we will presume that the treatment did not
successfully decrease the rate of vocal stereotypy. A t-test for dependent
means will assess the difference between occurrences of vocal stereotypy at
pre- and post-RIRD. A significant difference will be determined using this
statistical method. A t-test for dependent means is the most appropriate test
to analyze the data due to the dependence of post-intervention results on
pre-intervention data.

 CHAPTER 3: METHODOLOGY

Vocal
stereotypy is a common issue in young children with autism spectrum disorder
and may significantly impede with the social conduct of those who engage in the
behavior. Assortments of antecedent-based and consequence-based systems have
been utilized to lessen stereotypic practices (Rapp and Vollmer, 2005). Despite
the fact that the treatment of vocal stereotypy presents remarkable
difficulties, a large portion of the interventions intended to diminish such
vocalizations have been initially created to treat other forms of stereotypy.
Scientists have adjusted these techniques to manage the particular
complications characterized by vocal stereotypy (Lanovaz, 2011). The main objective
of this study will be to extend the research on evidence-based strategies to
decrease vocal stereotypy in students diagnosed with autism
spectrum disorder.

Design

The research will
follow a mixed methods model of quantitative and qualitative methods.  The purpose of
mixed method design is to be able to answer multiple questions in a single
study when the research is complex. A mixed method design will deepen
understanding and provide a wider perception of what is being studied. A
clearer standpoint of the research study can be achieved when incorporating
multiple methods rather than a single. It is justified through these reasons,
as well as by increasing validity in a research study that includes multiple
questions.

This
design will be appropriate for the following research to determine the effects
on vocal stereotypy using response interruption and redirection (RIRD) aimed to
decrease the behavior. The independent variable will be the treatment and the
dependent variable will be the behavior, or rate of vocal stereotypy.

Participants

The
research for this study will take place in an early childhood special education
preschool classroom located on an elementary school campus in Southern
California.  The school receives funding
from State and Federal Categorical Programs and is located in a low-income
community.  This school provides
elementary education for students kindergarten to sixth grade for approximately
376 students (California Department of Education, 2017).  The primary objective of the early childhood
special education program located on campus is to provide services to eligible
students, more specifically for students who reside within the school district
area. 

There
will be 15 students in the class where the action research will be conducted.  This is a unique special education classroom
in that it provides an inclusive environment for early childhood students. Students
with special needs account for 74% of the classes’ demographics and are on
Individual Education Programs (IEP) while typical developing students from the
community are only 26% of the demographics. 
Of the 15 students in the classroom 80% are three years old and 20% four
years old.  The race and ethnicity of the
class is made up of 87% Hispanic and 13% other (non-Hispanic).

The
staff includes one credentialed early childhood special education teacher and
three additional paraeducators. This classroom differs from a typical preschool
classroom because it has specialized academic instruction as in there are more
visuals, differentiated instruction, staff are highly qualified, smaller
teacher child ratio, and there are accommodations and mortifications
implemented to help students succeed. The participants used in my study will
have a diagnosis of an autism spectrum disorder and exhibit symptoms of vocal
stereotypy.

There
will not be any sampling bias because the participants will be chosen solely on
whether they have autism and engage in vocal stereotypy. The sampling error
will be relatively low due to the intentional assignment and characteristics
required in order to allow the sample to represent a specific population. Through
this research, it is hoped that findings will conclude if RIRD is successful
for treating vocal stereotypy. External validity and generalization may be low
due to the specific characteristics of the research and participants. RIRD may
be useful for other repetitive behaviors, such as motor stereotypy, however
evidence will support only vocal stereotypy.

Keeping
the three principles, respect for persons, beneficence, and justice, in mind
will allow the research to be designed in an ethical manner. When working with
individuals with disabilities, respect for such persons is imperative and must
be upheld. Regardless of intellectual or cognitive abilities, each individual
has the right to choose to be involved in a research or study. Special
protections are in place to avoid individuals with low cognitive abilities from
being taken advantage of. When or if the child is not capable of giving consent there must be assent of the participant and written
consent of the parent
or legal guardian. Individuals will be assigned identification codes to
maintain confidentiality when reporting on the research.

This
study will help the participants to avoid engaging in vocal stereotypy in order
to exhibit appropriate and functional behaviors. Minimal potential harm to the
participant will be considered and the experiment will not be pursued if there is
risk of harm. Justice will allow all participants to be able to equally receive
the same outcomes. It would be unethical having prior speculation that one
group would be harmed or that one group would greatly benefit over the other.

Instruments

            Each patient will
participate in a functional analysis prior to the start of the program to
determine the influences that cause or maintain the vocal stereotypic
behaviors. A functional analysis establishes the relationship between stimuli
and response. The function of the vocal stereotypy behavior will be
operationalized and determined. A direct observation tool in the form of an ABC
chart will be utilized to outline details of the setting and incidences of
vocal stereotypy. “A” signifies the antecedent, or the action or setting
immediately before the target behavior. “B” refers to behavior, or the observed
conduct. “C” suggests the consequence, or what happens immediately after the
observed behavior. ABC charts provide information regarding the child’s
environment and events surrounding the target behavior.

Survey
questionnaires will be utilized to gather information on the occurrence of
vocal stereotypy in the participants. This instrument will collect, analyze,
and interpret the views of the parents, or legal guardians, on the incidences of the target behavior. Event
recording will also be conducted by the teacher to document the frequency of
vocal stereotypic behaviors. Event recording provides information on the amount
of times the student is observed engaging in the target behavior.

Procedures

            All participants will be administered a functional
analysis. Additionally, teachers will document observations of vocal stereotypy
behaviors using an antecedent-behavior-consequence method. Parents of each
participant will complete a survey questionnaire prior to the start of
treatment. The teacher will also gather baseline data through event recording
from observational periods in the classroom. During the first few sessions
where RIRD is implemented, teachers will provide more prompts and verbal
reinforcements. However, as the study continues there will be less prompting
and more independent initiation from participants to discontinue vocal
stereotypy. Data collection tools, or event recording, will be developed to
document occurrence of vocal stereotypy during intervention period. After intervention,
the parents will complete the same survey questionnaire to determine their
perception on present levels of vocal stereotypy. The teacher will gather
information on occurrence of vocal stereotypic behaviors post-treatment with
and event recording method.

Data Collection

My action research
project intends to explore whether RIRD is effective on decreasing vocal
stereotypy in young individuals with autism. To understand and document this
question, my data collection will explore the behaviors occurred before,
during, and after intervention. When the research project begins, students will
have already been exposed to the aforementioned strategy and will have had
opportunities to experience it in their daily routines. The data collection
will then focus on how students utilize or respond to RIRD as well as examine
the learning and growth that occurs during this research project. 

            By
collecting data on RIRD results during and after, I will have a quantitative reasoning
if this strategy promoted effective results. This will not only document if the
students benefited from RIRD, but it will also help me understand the outcomes
that correlate with the students’ engagement of vocal stereotypy and its
function. Data collection has to take place over several months to ensure
students have the opportunities to be exposed to the RIRD. The qualitative data
will provide me with a better understanding of the environments and events in
which vocal stereotypy occurs.  

Data Analysis

Examples
wherein levels of vocal stereotypy from event recording pre-intervention will
be higher than levels of vocal stereotypy in post-intervention will determine
that RIRD diminished engagement in vocal stereotypy. On the off chance that
levels of vocal stereotypy will be lower in the pre-intervention results than
in the post-intervention, we will presume that the treatment did not
successfully decrease the rate of vocal stereotypy. A t-test for dependent
means will assess the difference between occurrences of vocal stereotypy at
pre- and post-RIRD. A significant difference will be determined using this
statistical method. A t-test for dependent means is the most appropriate test
to analyze the data due to the dependence of post-intervention results on
pre-intervention data.

 

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