Proportional Reasoning Instruction for Middle School Students with ASD
The purpose of this study is to investigate the effects of schema-based instruction (SBI) and computer-assisted instruction on proportional word problem solving for middle school students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Previous studies have shown SBI to be an effective method for teaching addition/subtraction word problems to students with ASD, but the research has not investigated the effectiveness of SBI to teach other types of mathematical word problem solving for this population of students. Promising research suggests that SBI can be used effectively to teach students with learning disabilities to solve ratio and proportion problems, and this study seeks to extend what we know about teaching this important mathematical skill to students with ASD. A multiple-probe across participants single case research design will be used to investigate the following research questions: (1) What is the effect of SBI delivered through computer-assisted instruction on the proportional word problem solving of middle school students with ASD? (2) What is the effect of SBI delivered through computer-assisted instruction on generalization of proportion word problem solving to novel instructional stimuli? Results are expected to demonstrate a functional relationship between the computer-assisted schema-based instruction and the number of proportion problems that the participants solve correctly. Evidence of the effectiveness of SBI to teach proportion word problem solving to students with ASD will extend the literature base and provide support for using two evidence based practices (schema-based instruction and computer-assisted instruction) with a new population of students (middle school students with autism spectrum disorder). These findings would have implications for additional extentions of the use of SBI to teach other mathematical concepts to students with ASD, ultimately increasing their access to higher level math courses and subsequent employment opportunities.