Students and Teachers Actively Reading Together
The purpose for the research project is to develop and evaluate the feasibility and acceptability of an adaptive shared reading intervention for preschool children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) using a sequential multiple-assignment randomized trial (SMART) design. We will sequentially randomize two cohorts of preschool children with ASD (N=30) to different instructional interventions based on their response to the first-stage intervention. The first-stage intervention will be traditional dialogic reading delivered in small groups of 3-4 students. Classrooms will be randomized to either an â€œearly decisionâ€ (4 week) condition or a â€œlate decisionâ€ (8 week) condition. At the decision point, childrenâ€™s vocabulary knowledge will be assessed through a researcher-developed screening tool based on target vocabulary contained in books that children will encounter during the intervention. Children who are either â€œhigh-performersâ€ or â€œfast developersâ€ will continue with the group dialogic reading intervention. All other children (i.e., â€œslow to respondâ€) will be randomized to one of two intensified instruction conditions. This proposal is related to an application submitted to the Institute of Education Sciences for a larger four year development project that is currently under consideration.