Christina Whalen, Debbie Moss, Aaron B. Ilan, Manya Vaupel, Paul Fielding, Kevin MacDonald, Shannon Cernich, and Jennifer Symon
Autism: The International Journal of Research and Practice
All students (n=47) were in the Los Angeles Unified School District in self-contained autism classrooms. Students were either in preschool or K-1 classrooms and were qualified as primary eligible for autism services.
Table 1: Participant characteristics at intake
Between subjects, randomized by classroom - treatment group (received TeachTown: Basics) vs. control group (regular special education program)
All students assessed in the beginning, mid-point, and end of the school year; students in the treatment group received 20-minutes/school day on the computer and 20-minutes/school day off the computer using the TeachTown: Basics program with teacher implementation for the 2008-2009 school year. Students were assessed using the following measures:
Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test, 3rd Edition (PPVT-III): Measurement of receptive language (i.e. comprehension) (Dunn, & Dunn, L., 1997).
Expressive Vocabulary Test (EVT): Measurement of expressive language (i.e. speaking) (Williams, 1997). The Brigance Inventory of Early Development: The Brigance provides a developmental age-equivalent for various skill areas (e.g. receptive language) (Brigance, 2004)
There was a statistically significant difference at the p > .0001 level from the pre-tests to the post-tests using the TeachTown: Basics software. On average, preschool students mastered lessons in about 43 minutes and K/1 students mastered lessons in about 52 minutes. With the exception of those students who did not master any lessons, all treatment group students (n=15) mastered an average of 5-6 lessons (20-24 concepts/targets). Students who used the TeachTown: Basics program more often mastered more lessons in the program (p<.05) and students who mastered more lessons performed better on the Brigance (p,.05). Preschool students had significantly larger increases then the control group on the PPVT (p<.05) and performed better on the EVT than the control group, but not with significant results. K-1 students performed better on both the PPVT and the EVT, but, results were not significant.