Basics - On Computer Lessons

TeachTown Basics is a computer-assisted instructional (CAI) program that delivers highly engaging On Computer Lessons.


Computer Curriculum

The program includes a comprehensive curriculum that addresses skills measured in standardized assessments (e.g., The Assessment of Basic Language and Learning Skills-Revised-ABLLS-R, Partington, 2008). The program was designed for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) between the ages of 2 to 7 years developmentally.

The curriculum includes the following learning domains with each domain having five levels:

  • Adaptive Skills
  • Cognitive Skills
  • Language Arts
  • Language Development
  • Mathematics
  • Social and Emotional Skills

The levels follow a developmental progression. Each increase in level reflects increasing linguistic, cognitive, and/or social complexity.

Before your child begins using TeachTown Basics, simply complete the Student Questionnaire. The Student Questionnaire is used to place your child at an individualized starting point in each of the six TeachTown Basics learning domains. TeachTown Basics automatically chooses computer lessons for him or her. Initially, it chooses lessons based on your answers to the Student Questionnaire. As your child moves through the curriculum, TeachTown Basics selects new lessons based on your child's progress.

How TeachTown Works

TeachTown Basics incorporates common techniques in Applied Behavior (ABA). Specifically, Discrete Trial Training (DTT) and Pivotal Response Training (PRT), prompting, reinforcement and generalization, which you can read more about in our Research section.

The program presents objectives in discrete tasks and guides learning through prompting and reinforcement. Your child chooses and starts a lesson by clicking on a building in the town scene. Child-choice keeps motivation and attention to task high. Depending on your child's previous history with the lesson, a pre-test, learning exercise, or post-test is presented. Maintenance tasks are interspersed throughout the exercises. Maintenance tasks help your child preserve previously learned skills and keep your child motivated and on task.

Each lesson follows the discrete trial model where the question or task is asked by presenting one or more images (e.g., a happy, sad, and angry face) with a vocal instruction (e.g., "Find the person that is happy"). Next, the child responds by selecting one of the images (e.g., clicks or touches [touch screen] the happy face). A correct response elicits a positive statement (e.g., "You did it!") followed by a brief (3 second) inter-trial interval (i.e., pause between trials) and the next task is presented. An incorrect response elicits an isolated lingering correct answer. Due to earlier findings, negative feedback is not included because of reinforcement potential. Children (particularly with ASD) in the pilot phase seemed to choose the incorrect images deliberately and repeatedly to hear the "negative" feedback (e.g., "Try again").

On Computer Curriculum
Domain Targeted Skills
Language Development Actions, Adverbs, Animal Vocabulary, Calendar, Classroom Vocabulary, Clues - Descriptors, Colors, Concepts, Environment Sounds, Fact Questions, Locations, Multiple Cues Animals, Multiple Cues Objects, Multiple Questions on a Stimulus, Music Instrument Vocabulary, Natural or Man-Made, Nature Vocabulary, Pronouns, Related Questions, Story Characters, Time Concepts, Tools, Transportation Vocabulary, Visual Comprehension, When Questions, Yes and No
Social and Emotional Skills Character Introductions, Character Identification, Choices, Emotion Causes, Emotion Synonyms, Basic Emotions, Eye Gaze, Face Matching, Friend Rules, Gestures, Imitation, Matching Characters, Multiple Cues Emotions, People Identification, Play Behavior, Possessives, Pretend Play, Problem Situations, Silly Stuff, Social Actions, Sports, Toy Vocabulary
Adaptive Skills Body Functions, Body Parts, Career Tools, Clothing Vocabulary, Community Associations, Community Helpers, Community Places, Community Signs, Food Vocabulary, Household Vocabulary, Multiple Cues Clothing, Measurement Tools, Money Identification, Coin Values, Occupations, Personal Needs, Room Functions, Safety, Seasons, Time Telling, Weather
Cognitive Skills Animal Features, Association Matching, Categories, Real and Pretend, Comparisons, Exclusion Categories, Features, Functions, Exact Matching, Non-exact Matching, Matching Categories, Matching Features, Matching Functions, Multiple Cues Shapes, Opposites, Same and Different, Sequencing, Seriation, Shape Vocabulary
Language Arts Contractions, First Sound Matching, Letter Identification, Matching Letters, Matching Words, Matching Letter Case, Sorting by First Sound, Matching Word to Picture, Matching Phrase to Picture, Missing Vowels/Spelling, Phonic Starts, Plurals, Punctuation, Rhyming, Sight Words
Mathematics Addition Facts, Fractions, Matching Numbers, Number-Quantity Matching, Math Symbols, Missing Numbers, Most or Fewest, Number Identification, Patterns, Subtraction Facts

The On Computer curriculum above is supported in TeachTown Basics by our Generalization Lessons

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"Both of my sons with autism love TeachTown! I don't think they even realize that they are doing work because they are having so much fun."

Jenny Maloni,

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