In versus not cool procedure in a small group

In
this journal article, teaching social behaviour to individuals diagnosed with
autism spectrum disorder using the cool versus not cool procedure in a small
group instructional format by Taubman Leaf, Mc Eachin Leaf and Tsuji Leaf was make
public in Journal of Intellectual & Developmental Disability in February
2016.  Children with ASD have benefited from this intervention as it helped
to reduce their symptoms and increase their social skills. The
intervention that was introduced to teach social skills is cool versus not cool
procedure. Result has shown that this procedure works effectively in a small
group setting. Children who were being observed in this research were able to
demonstrate the target social skills and execute them in different situations.

 

The
aim of the current research was to show the outcome on the cool (right) versus
non cool ( not right) procedure by evaluating the method when it was carried
through in a small group for two children. They were taught how to mingle with
their friends. In this study, the teacher would show a targeted behaviour
showing the right and wrong way to interact with others while the child
observed.  He would have to make the contrast between good versus bad
behaviour by sharing his views/feedback. He would also have to role play the
right behaviour with the teacher.  Feedback was provided for him if he did
not role play it correctly. If he did it correctly, he would be praised.

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Three
children between the ages of 3 to 9 years with ASD were involved in the
study.  However, one child was removed from the study due to his
challenging behaviour. Andy and Edward took part in the research study. 
Skills like displaying eye contact, taking initiative, making verbal comments
through game play and making the right remarks when he was given a toy and
tapping on friend’s shoulder instead of grabbing it to obtain attention, were
communicated to them. It took place in a room decorated as a preschool
classroom in a clinic in Hong Kong.  It
consisted of five areas i) baseline ii) intervention iii) intervention and
roleplaying  iv) intervention plus
role-playing and feedback during real-life probes v) maintenance. These
sessions will take place 5 days per week and last for 30 minutes for each
session.

 

The
primary outcome of the present study is for each child to acquire skills of the
three targeted social skills during real-life probes with a friend who is a
client of the clinic where the research will be conducted. They are high
functioning kids whereas their friends who play with them outside the
intervention when it comes to maintenance. For the first skill of initiating play,
the real-life probe consisted of five trials, with approximately 30 seconds
between each trial, the second skill of commenting on toys, a real-life probe
consisted of five trials, with approximately 20 seconds between each trial. For
the third skill of gaining a peer’s attention, a real-life probe consisted of
three trials, with 30 seconds between each trial.

 

The results have proven that the study was successful.
The 2 pupils with ASD showed improvement in their social skills with the help
of the procedure. Initially, before the intervention, they were unable to display
the skills correctly.  Andy was able to display the skills he learnt by
displaying eye contact when the intervention was carried out. With the help of
role play and feedback from the teacher during the intervention, he was able to
exhibit the correct procedure by inviting his peers to play with him together.
The result of his responsiveness to his friends shot up from 0% to 100%.
Furthermore, Edward exhibited all the skills correctly after receiving comments
from his teachers and imitating the target behaviour.  The two children
will use these skills and apply what they had learnt in their classroom
setting.

 

In
general, Andy and Edward acquired 67% of the skills with teacher demonstration
alone and the additional 33% of skills with role-playing and feedback given by
his teachers. This shows that roleplay and feedback are essential in the
procedure.

 

Reflection

 I
always believe that it is essential for children with ASD to receive
intervention as they have a much greater chance of living on his/her own , obtaining
a secure job and having long friendships and relationships when they grow up to
be adults. There are different approaches used for children with ASD. However,
there is no research evidence relating to some of these approaches. Currently,
social stories are introduced to my pupils for intervention. While searching
information for my project, I was reading this article regarding cool vs not cool.
I felt that the method was amazing as research confirms that the clinical
experience of using this strategy in teaching social skills and enabling
students to monitor their own behaviour is more useful than adults reading
social stories to pupils.

 

 

To
help them develop skills, I will concentrate on the target behaviour and engage
my pupils to identify the right versus wrong acts by letting them role play
with adults. With the feedback provided by them, they will understand the
differences between right and wrong. This procedure can be used for me to teach
my pupils a variety of concepts which includes positive behaviour like
displaying empathy, waiting for turn patiently, asking questions politely etc.
They should display such behaviour in school and at home. I can work with their
parents by sharing information with them. Parents can take them to places where
they can put into practice what they had learnt. Findings have proven that we can
carry out the program efficiently in small groups rather than on individuals. I
can implement this in a group setting apart from doing my usual individual
interventions. E.g. 

Getting
another peer instead of an adult to do the intervention with the child using
the real-life probes.

 

Hibernating

 

I
was also thinking that instead of using the name of ‘cool’ or “not cool’ , we
can replace words that are suitable for the level of the child  that I am
supporting like good idea or bad idea, or great or not so great, smiley face or
sad face or thumbs up vs thumbs down.

 

This
intervention might be effective and useful for my pupils who have difficulties
in getting along with other peers of the same age. Having good social skills are
vital for them to get along with others.  Constantly, pupils with Special
Needs do not know how to handle interpersonal social situations that involve
following directions, holding a proper conversation, listening , giving
compliments or display proper behaviour during transition times.  These
are skills kids need to be able to have when they are in the main stream
setting. Therefore, with the intervention, I hope that my pupil will be able to
able to form meaningful bonds with others, empathize and interact appropriately
and have the skills to awkward situations.