Inclusion of Elementary Students with ASD in Check-In/Check-Out

Principal Investigator(s):
Megan Carpenter
Grant Type:
Graduate Research
University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Charlotte, North Carolina
Year Awarded:
Education and School Aged Children


Over 25,000 schools across the country are implementing School-wide Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (SWPBIS). SWPBIS is a three-tiered framework that is built on the interconnectedness of data, systems, and practices to support the behavioral and social needs of all students in a school. All students receive Tier 1 supports, including instruction on appropriate behavioral expectations and acknowledgement through a school-wide acknowledgement system. Students who do not respond to Tier 1 strategies alone receive more intensive support at Tier 2.

Tier 2 instruction often takes the form of Check-In/Check-Out (CICO), an evidence-based practice that provides daily support for students who are not responding to Tier 1. CICO is a reinforcement-based strategy that involves a contingency contract with daily check-ins and check-outs with a respected adult. Throughout the day, students receive feedback from teachers at designated intervals. CICO is often adapted meet the needs of students.

Access to supports across all SWPBIS tiers may be particularly important for students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) who are more likely to exhibit challenging behaviors than their typically developing peers. However, students with extensive support needs, including those with ASD, are not always included in all tiers of SWBPIS. The body of intervention research involving CICO does not include students with ASD. Understanding the effectiveness and appropriateness of CICO for students with ASD is critical as CICO has been identified as an efficient strategy to support the behavioral needs of students and requires fewer resources than more intensive intervention strategies. Including students with ASD who have ESN in CICO implementation also can provide more inclusive opportunities in school-wide initiatives and general education classrooms for students with ASD. Given the promise of CICO for students with ASD, the purpose of this study is to determine the effects of traditional and adapted CICO on the challenging and appropriate behaviors of students with ASD.

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