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Applied Behaviour Analysis

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By bungalow
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Title
To investigate and reflect on the use of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) with students who have Autism. Aims
The aim of my project was to gain knowledge of Applied Behaviour Analysis and its effectiveness in working with children with Autism.

My focus questions ask
• What are the key principles underlying Applied Behaviour Analysis and how and why it benefits children who are autistic?

• What is involved in setting up an Applied Behaviour Analysis program in the classroom environment?

Both focus questions have helped me to investigate ABA, implement strategies that ABA employ and reflect on the program as a whole.

I became part of a withdrawal program established for the purpose of intensive early intervention based on the principles of ABA. Harris, (2002 p19) explains “Applied Behavior Analysis takes basic principles in behaviour science and emphasizes the intensity that is needed for particular children”. As I progressed through my journey I discovered that ABA was indeed an extremely effective intervention program for autistic children. I felt that the whole process was a huge learning curve which in turn has had positive affects on my future practice.

PARTS OF THE REPORT

Rationale
Explains why I embarked on this particular topic, process I used in decided topic, list of research strategies to achieve aims, Kemmis & McTaggarts (1988) Action Research Planner model

Process
-What were the key principles underlying Applied Behaviour Analysis and how and why this benefits children who are Autistic, discussion of trials, repetition and prompting.

-What is involved in setting up an Applied Behaviour Analysis Program – Discussion of reflective journal, reviewing literature and mentor teacher.

- Further discussion of Kemmis and McTaggarts (1988) Action Research Planner model Reflective Discussion - Introduces overall feelings about evidence obtained
- What this means for teachers
- What this means for educators
- What planned strategies worked well Conclusion

- Aims re-stated
- Inclusively, accepting and providing for all

Context

ABA is carried out in an early childhood education setting. I completed my action research project in a large government school in a low socio economic area in the northern suburbs. The program had been operating successively for three years. This school valued ABA as an integral part of the Special Education Scheme for children with intellectual disabilities for not only Austism but Attention Decifit Disorder (ADD) and Global Developmental Delay (GDD).

Professional background
I am currently completing a Minor in Special Education with Murdoch University. In previous prac placements I have worked with primary age students whom have intellectual disabilities. Prior to completing this action research I only had minimal experience and exposure to students with Autism. Working as part of an intensive treatment program designed for small groups of students with Austism was something I knew I could benefit from. This is because I would learn skills from implementing specific teaching strategies. I understand from my previous working experiences that Autistic children certainly have different learning needs that need to be developed. So, I went into my action research open minded and willing to learn new information and because of this I learnt so much.

Learners
The class consisted of five students, four of which were boys. Most of these students were Autistic with two other students having elements of Global Developmental Delay (GDD), Dysplasia and Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). This in turn resulted in most students having very little oral language with a few students being completely non verbal. Other problems in the classroom ranged from receptive and expressive difficulties, non compliance, tantrums, poor attention, low motivation, defiance towards discipline and poor fine motor movement. For the purpose of my study I focused my action research towards the benefits of an ABA program with children who have Autism. Location
The program operated in a regular classroom within the school. This program worked effectively because the school had ample funding and resources to support it. The classroom organisation and physical layout was very different to that of a regular classroom. I feel that this may have impacted on why ABA was so effective. This will be explored fully in my reflective discussion.

RATIONALE

‘Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) - the application of an operant model of learning to educational settings - is undoubtedly the most researched (and possibly the most frequently debated approach) to class and behaviour management in contemporary educational psychology’ Arthur (2003 p160). Applied Behaviour Analysis is based on Skinner’s (1963) classic studies in operant conditioning. It is concerned with socially relevant uses of behaviourist and behaviour modification principles. The principles and strategies of Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) can be used to enhance the development of positive behaviours in students. Smith & Lovaas (1993 p 30) state ‘extensive research has shown that children with autism do not learn readily from typical environments, but many children with autism can learn a great deal given appropriate instruction’. ABA focused on teaching students with autism small, measurable units of behaviour systematically. I gained knowledge of ABA and it’s effectiveness in working with children with autism. I conducted action research into Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) in a special needs centre by trialling a number of different ABA principles and teaching strategies.

I chose this project topic because I hoped to use some of the elements of Applied Behaviour Analysis to assist me in helping autistic students learn in any teaching environment. I believed my teaching practice would be improved because the strategies I practised in action would enable me to learn how I could promote effective learning and identify effective reinforcers for students (in particular those who may have behavioural and intellectual disabilities such as autism). Hultgren (1998 p2) explains how ‘autistic individuals often learn more slowly. They have short attention spans, extremely low motivation and difficulty understanding abstract concepts’. Some students with severe autism may indulge in ‘stimming’ and may not be able to control some of the physical symptoms of their neurological disorder which can include ‘repetitive rocking, head banging, apathy, fear of change, insistence on preservation of sameness, lack of interest in people, severe speech disorders with frequent mutism, and extreme aloneness’ add McInerney & McInerney (2006 p 320).

As a special education teacher I felt that it was my duty to obtain information through implementing available intervention methods. ABA has an abundance of scientific evidence which suggest that this method can produce comprehensive and lasting improvements. Smith & Lovaas, (1993 p 29) argue that ‘no other treatment for autism offers comparable evidence of effectiveness’. I feel I need to trial this for myself.

I used aspects of different reflective processes and models to determine my project, mainly I found that Peters (1991) DATA model: describe, analyse, theorise and act assisted me the most. I did not consider any other topics because I felt there was a lot I had to learn in regard to early intervention methods for students with Autism. I therefore addressed my personal feelings of wanting to learn more ways I could help students with autism learn in the classroom. Boyd & Myers (1988 p 261) explain that ‘addressing my personal feelings is an important part of the reflective process, as important as describing the physical details of an event’. I then described an ‘incident or common practice that represents some critical aspect of my work’ (O’Connor & Diggins 2002 p39). Due to the fact that I would be teaching special needs students, I made the decision to gain knowledge of Applied Behaviour Analysis. Then implement strategies in order to assess its effectiveness in helping students with autism. Peters (1997) state that I ‘needed to consider the context because as O’connor & Diggins (2002 p16) agree it’s ‘the first step in reflecting on your teaching practice’. Whilst I conducted my action research I needed to ‘look back on the situation and describe it, noting: the number of adults in the room and their relationship with children, how many children are present, their age and stage of development, acknowledging interactions between class mates and adults and the environment, routines and other relevant information’ O’Connor & Diggins (2002 p39).

By undertaking this project I felt that I have become more capable in the way I teach students with autism. This is because the project has further enhanced my knowledge about how autism can affect learning. “This high status given to feelings is a significant characteristic of reflection” states O’Connor & Diggins (2002 p22) . Through the practice of my implementation of structured teaching strategies I was able to make significant contributions to the education of special needs students in the future. “Action research is essentially a strategy for addressing local needs and directions for development” describes Arthur ( 2001 p 219).

The next step of the DATA model was analysis. This is where I considered why ABA operated as it does. I began to ‘uncover values, beliefs, rules and motives that later formed the basis for my practice’ (O’Connor & Diggins, 2002 p39). I began engaging in reflective conversations with friends, family and other teachers which helped me to clarify my own views on ABA. ‘At this stage I was analysing the situation, and others views and ideas are part of that analysis’(O’Connor & Diggins, 2002 p39) this was a crucial step in the reflective process.

The Theorise stage of the DATA model helped me to ‘look at alternative ways of approaching my practice by taking the theory I uncovered at the analysis stage and deriving new theory’ (O’Connor & Diggins, 2002 p40). I found that I had developed a new way of thinking about ABA and decided on what I would like to try in my action research project. I now had realised within myself what was important to me and why. That was acknowledging and practising strategies that would help me better cater for students with autism in my classroom.

Implementing Discrete Trial Training (DTT) as part of my action research enabled me to improve my teaching skills. The Trials focus on ‘repetition’ which Hultgren, (1998 p4) explains ‘is an important method of learning for students with autism’. This is due to the fact that ‘children with autism don’t learn well through observation’ (Hultgren, 1998 p 3). Priorities in the trials for students vary according to their specific objectives, which are always based on communication, social skills and behaviour (areas that students with autism often need help with). DTT consists of an instruction, a prompt, an opportunity to respond and feedback. If completed successfully the student is rewarded. I practised trials so I was able to improve my skills in these specific areas. These trials were done in a structured teaching situation, in the course of everyday activities over a period of time. I spread these trials out so I could implement my action research in cycles. This spiral or cyclical nature of my action research ‘emphasises reflection as an ongoing process and in time would encourage me to build on each on my reflections’ (O’Connor & Diggins (2004 p48).

Over the course of my project I employed the research strategy of reviewing theoretical literature. ‘A theoretical lens can guide the reflective practitioner. It is a useful tool to guide change and justify the change you wish to make’ argue O’Connor & Diggins (2004 p42). Reviewing literature helped me when I was grappling with an idea or situation. I believed that by referring to theories throughout my project I would be able to utilise ‘proven thoughts of others that help to explain reality’ (O’Connor & Diggins, 2002 p27). Researching this way enabled me to back up any claims I made, find out reasons why ABA is set up the way it was (second focus question) or used strategies or resources the way it did. It provided me with the information I needed to support my own understanding of ABA.

Using a reflective journal enabled me to record information and reflect on my concerns and interests throughout my action research first hand. ‘Reflection is a vital component of learning and remembering’ explain Marshall & Rowland (1998 p65). ‘If following an experience you take the time to create personal space to reflect on that experience, to let your impressions, feelings and ideas about it gel in your mind- you are more likely to remember the experience and be able to draw on it in a new situation’ Marshall & Rowland (1998 p65). Journal writing enabled me to see my own skills and knowledge about ABA develop overtime. I felt this was important because my reflections had displayed my thoughts on ‘how theory is related and translated into practice’ (O’Connor & Diggins, 2002 p58). I believed that in this action research I would ‘need to see the flow of events rather than isolated instances’. Holly (1987). Having a mentor teacher enabled me to ‘develop my knowledge and practice in a positive way” (O’Connor & Diggins 2004 p30). I had plenty of formal and informal discussions, even an interview. ‘Colleagues offer a range of experiences that you can draw on when you are reflecting on your own practice. A reflective conversation with a colleague can reveal so much for a beginning teacher. Their experiences can provide you with the answer you have been seeking to overcome a challenge, uncertainty or difficulty in your own practice’ explains O’Connor & Diggins (2004 p 42). My mentor teacher made me feel comfortable and supplied me with an invaluable wealth of information to consider when implementing aspects of ABA and what is involved in setting up the environment.

In my plan I had missed out the evidence I had obtained from implementing my teaching strategies through Discrete Trial Training (DTT). The criteria for mastery through trials are 90 – 100 % correct across three sets of ten trials, across three staff. I recorded and collected data from trials that I conducted with students to use as evidence in my project. Through trials I looked at the benefits of other teaching strategies such as repetition and prompting students with feedback or reinforcers within the trials. This helped me answer my first focus question on Why ABA is beneficial for students with autism?.

My timing had also altered from when I did my plan. I wrote that I would attend the centre for four full days. After reading my tutors feedback and talking with my mentor teacher I had decided this would not work. It was more beneficial for me to conduct my action research in smaller sessions across the next few months. So with this in mind I attended the centre 10 x 3 hour sessions. This is because I felt I would be able to draw solid conclusions from the trials I conducted in these times. It also provided me with reflections that flowed and developed as time passed which ‘encouraged me to build on each of my reflections to produce new reflections’ (O’Connor & Diggins 2004 p47) upon my next visit.

In conclusion Kemmis & McTaggarts (1988) Action Research Planner “Plan, Act, Observe and Reflect” guided me throughout my action research. This action research framework is most appropriate for ‘participants who recognize the existence of shortcomings in their educational activities. Who would like to adopt some initial stance in regard to the problem, formulate a plan, carry out an intervention, evaluate the outcomes and develop further strategies in an iterative fashion’ (Kemmis & McTaggarts, 1988). At the end of this project I had confidently applied teaching strategies which promoted and enhanced autistic students learning.

PROCESS

My first focus question was “what are the key principles underlying Applied Behaviour Analysis and how and why it benefits children who are Autistic?
I investigated and practised Discrete Trial Training (DTT). DTT is a key principle underlying any ABA program because this was the way students were learning such skills. The criteria for mastery through trials are 90-100% across three sets of tens trials. Trials were conducted in structured teaching situations and in the course of everyday activities. As part of my action I implemented teaching strategies such as repetition. I learnt how repitition is an extremely effective strategy to use when teaching students with autism. This is due to the fact that Autistic students don’t readily learn through observation.

I also practiced prompting throughout trials. Prompts were something additional to the instruction to ensure that children made the correct response. I practiced both visual and verbal prompts with Tyler to assist him with learning. Evidence piece 1 is an example of the trials that Tyler takes everyday, several times a day. This item of evidence illustrates how Tyler became less reliant on prompts overtime. Evidence piece 2 is a graph that was used as a basis of comparison between Tyler and other students in the class. This graph displays Tyler as having a marked overall improvement when working independently throughout a fifteen minute work session.

Priorities in trials for Tyler were based on communication, social skills and behaviour. Through collaboration with my mentor teacher I was able to create a checklist for successful inclusion. Evidence piece 3 clearly displayed Tyler’s progression and improvements he had made over the semester. Skills such as communicating his want ands desires, completely his work at his desk independently, and raising his hand to seek teacher attention were all areas of improvement which had been practiced through trials. Through my data collected it was clear Tyler was successfully learning skills that would benefit him throughout his schooling years. However, I needed to continue through this action research spiral to discover more about how, why and what made the implementation of these teaching strategies so effective for Tyler.

Using a journal as part of my action meant that I could record pertinent observations in various forms. Evidence Piece 4 was a reflection I wrote after my first visit to the centre. In this particular observation I stated how I was a little discouraged about a program that removed children from regular classrooms to such an intensive environment. Evidence Piece 5 was an observation I made towards the end of my time. In this particular observation my views on an ABA program had completely changed. I recorded information about how Autistic students learn differently to ‘regular’ students. I reflected on some of the challenges these students were facing and through literature began to make connections on how this program was in fact highly beneficial for these students.

I soon felt one hundred per cent convinced that these students needed to learn the skills that this program was teaching them. I believe keeping a reflective journal enabled me to see my own skills and knowledge about ABA develop overtime. Kemmis & McTaggarts (1988) argue that “reflection is having a good hard look at evidence of what went on”. Each mini cycle I underwent reinforced the notion that ABA supported autistic students in every way.

My second focus question was what is involved in setting up an Applied Behaviour Analysis Program in a classroom environment. My observation on classroom arrangement and organisation, Evidence piece 6 demonstrated how a class that employs ABA was very different to that of a regular classroom which I was used to. Differences in student – teacher ratio’s and the practice of one on one teaching meant there was a lot for me to learn. However after working in this setting I believed an ABA environment wasn’t as difficult to create as I first thought. I chose to review literature as one of my research strategies to support my own understanding of ABA. Through reviewing literature I was able to collect a useful document that specifically explained the beginning steps for setting up an ABA classroom, Evidence Piece 7.

It didn’t take long to figure out that an ABA program was extremely rigid. The teaching strategies I was implementing were a major component of the set Programs and daily schedule for Tyler, Evidence piece 8 who was more than happy to be part of a very controlled and predictable daily routine. Through this mini cycle of action research I had arrived at the conclusion that the ‘external’ features of this ABA program were crucial in order to help Autistic students learn better. Something I believe would help me to cater for these particular students in the future.

I was lucky enough to conduct an interview with my mentor teacher throughout my action research project, Evidence piece 9. In the interview my mentor teacher provided me with honest responses in regard to her own thoughts on the effectiveness of ABA as an early intervention strategy. My mentor teacher said that she could see improvements in students’ behaviour after a reasonable short period of time (approximately 8 sessions). Evidence piece 10 contains parents’ positive feedback and responses which exemplifies the notion that an ABA program was not just working at school but also having an overall positive effect on students behaviour at home also.

My action research process was a journey. The elements of the process “plan, act, observe and reflect” are often called the ‘moments’ of the action research cycle” explain Kemmis and McTaggart, (1988). “Moments are not necessarily discreet events in the cycle because even as we begin to act, we already begin to reflect. But the ‘moments’ are the main focus of activity at a particular time” explains Grundy, (1995 p12). As I progressed through my action research I felt my journey unfolding in a cyclical or spiral rather than linear nature. By continually undertaking mini cycles of ongoing reflection I felt that I built up a bank of knowledge on ABA. Due to this I was more responsive to its effectiveness. Kemmis and McTaggarts (1988) state that a “cyclic process in most circumstances enhances responsiveness”. With each step of my action research giving light to other mini action cycles I began to realise how “in this cyclic process it is crucial for each step to be proceeded by planning and followed by review “. Kemmis and McTaggart (1988).

REFLECTIVE DISCUSSION Individuals have different orientations to their study. Marshall (1999 p 31) describes orientation as “all those attitudes and aims that express the students individual relationship with a unit of work”. Throughout this action research I was identified as a student who is ‘personally’ orientated. This is because I was concerned with self improvement and with using this action project for professional development. I knew that my action research in the special needs field would be somewhat challenging, however I persevered. In turn I felt as if I became personally involved because I was testing my own abilities. As a result I not only became a more knowledgeable teacher but also parent and person along the way.

A psychologist with twenty years experience with ABA argues that one of the difficulties about an ABA program is its implementation. “When you are going to school districts and proposing something a little different than what the school system is used to doing there is a great deal of resistance’. (Alberto & Troutman, 1995p 240). I too relate to this because I also felt apprehension and discouragement towards ABA because it was ‘different’ in the way it removed students from ‘regular’ classrooms. Only after my action research I felt this notion of resistance change.

Through this action research I felt as if I had “opened up the door for possibility and real improvement” (Grundy, 1995 p18). This is because I had become better educated on early intervention strategies such as ABA. I had learnt ways I could help autistic children learn in my future practice. “Grundy (1995 p10) state “The improvement towards which action research is directed is not only improvement in the results of action; even though the results are clearly important. Action research is concerned about improvements in the ‘action’ of professional practice”.

One of my focus questions asked whether ABA benefited students and through evidence I discovered that it did. However, I realise that although I may never teach a program which specifically employs ABA, I will definitely be able to apply certain aspects which will help me teach more effectively in the future and enhance my professional growth.

By observing and reflecting on classroom setting and layout of chairs, tables, resources and visual aids I formed a better understanding about Autism itself. I learnt some general rules such as ‘making oral language short and brief, expect eye contact when talking to students, do not allow cuddles, when they pick up or carry things make them use two hands, allow as much independence as possible, and above all always reinforce for when you see them doing correct or appropriate responses. Hultgren, 1998 p4 adds how often autistic students can be easily distracted by “noise level, movement of others, windows and air conditioning” and often “have difficulty learning in large groups” (Hultgren ,1998 p4). By acknowledging this I will now know to create “well planned spaces that can potentially eliminate many frustrations and potential conflicts” for autistic students”. (Arthur, 2005 p288).

Discrete Trial Training (DTT) is a central part of the program for each student. At first I felt the trials were indeed repetitive and somewhat unnecessary, so I must admit I felt discouraged by this practice. ‘Critical reflection does not mean finding something wrong, rather it means learning to identify both strengths and weaknesses’ (O’Connor & Diggins, 2002 p16). I soon learnt the strength of trials is the focus on prompting and repetition. Hultgren, (1998 p4) explains prompting and repetition as an important method of learning for Autistic children. Similarly, through conducting trials I learnt how autistic students learn more slowly. I believe I have been equipped with the skills to adopt teaching strategies like “prompting, immediate feedback, using very clear language and where possible systematically teaching skills”. (Knight, 1987 p372). Trials produced me with evidence that Tyler learned really well through this form of instruction. I feel that knowing that these strategies were effective for him will impact on the way I teach all students in the future.

ABA effectively used prompts such as reinforcers to reward appropriate behaviour. I felt that this process permitted me to appreciate positive reinforcements for what they were, an effective teaching and learning strategy. I felt that they were so effective as I had witnessed first hand how they motivated autistic students to learn, who according to Schloss, J. & Smith, M. (1994 p72) “have very low motivation”. Arthur, (2003 p178) explains that “it is important that reinforcers are powerful and that the person receiving them be in a relative state of deprivation, thus enhancing their motivation and interest in getting it”.

By working in a special education centre I had experienced how demanding special needs students were, in particular autistic students. Quay, C (1999p163) states “Aggressive, disruptive, or non-compliant behaviours demand attention and control if tasks are to be completed, learning is to be accomplished and social harmony is to be maintained”. I felt that each new mini cycle enabled me to reflect and make new discoveries on ABA and autism and when I did I would anxiously hope to align my discoveries with literature. I felt that by doing this I could identify what I was observing. It felt good to know that what I was observing in action would eventually be established in theory. For this reason I felt that my planned strategy of reviewing literature was an effective and useful one.

Adopting a spiral research process helped me to grow and become wiser as time went on. This is because I felt the information I observed was positively impacting on my teaching practice. I felt that by challenging my own beliefs in regards to what was the best way to teach autistic students I was becoming better. I felt that I was making informed judgements in my own teaching and learning, this in itself was rewarding. The knowledge I had gained in each cycle would teach me to provide the best possible education for young autistic students. I had become an “educators who would effectively guide their students behaviour to provide consistent, predictable interactions, interactions which would be sensitive to their perspectives”.(Arthur, 2005 p288).

Undertaking my action research in a cyclical nature enabled me to foster a deeper understanding of given situations. I felt that by including active participants in my action research my eventual interpretation of information was richer. “Action outcomes can usually be achieved only with some commitment from those most affected. One of the most important ways of securing that commitment is through involving those affected” state Kemmis & McTaggart (1988). My mentor teacher was extremely supportive because she participated and encouraged free information flow in meaningful discussions. O’Connor & Diggins, (2004 p42) state that “this provides a wealth of perspectives on a situation that may relate to your own position”. I felt as if I had formed a genuine partnership in the light of this ABA program. She enabled me to learn so much as I acted and I valued and appreciated what she had achieved for her students in the ABA program. O’Connor and Diggings (2002 p30) state ‘often a reflection may lead you to change the way you interact with children and colleagues’.

Another strategy I felt worked really well throughout this spiral research process was using a reflective journal. This is because it enabled me to constantly “refer back to my observed information in order to pave the way for my future planning” (Kemmis & McTaggart (1988). As a result I felt as if I was able to successfully answer all my focus questions. I felt that my research was a “form of self-reflective enquiry” (Kemmis & McTaggarts , 1988) because as it unfolded it made me “improve the rationality and justice of my own educational practice”.(Grundy, 1995 p13).

Although I was glad that I had achieved my aims in regard to ways I could help autistic children learn, I felt as if I didn’t have very good evidence on whether ABA was beneficial for all students enrolled in the program. When commencing my research I was advised by my mentor teacher that it would be valuable to have only one child as my case study and although this was not my intention, I agreed. However, I believe that I may have arrived at different results if I had of studied other children who were participating in the program?. Perhaps they would not have displayed as much progression as Tyler did. Needless to say, Tyler was a responsive student who didn’t view me as a distraction which could have been problematic when conducting trials. Now I believe having an active participant like Tyler meant I was able to really get to know more about Autism as a neurological disorder and how it personally affects students learning.

Due to the fact that behaviour modification principles have been around for some time I thought I wouldn’t have any problem supporting my short term evidence with long term theoretical links. Unfortunately I was wrong. I felt annoyed that I couldn’t back up my short term evidence of ABA’s effectiveness with long term studies. In saying that I did the best I could and managed to obtain evidence of my student’s improvements for last term. This at least provided me with evidence of improvement that exceeded beyond my own time frame in the ABA program.

I felt that I fulfilled my action research aims for a number of reasons. Firstly, I felt I effectively evaluated the effectiveness of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) in the classroom and discovered ABA as another form of needs based grouping within a mainstream school. In doing this I believe I have become a more informed, effective special needs educator. I discovered more about Autism and through the teaching strategies that I implemented improved my own skills as a teacher. I was able to partake in an extremely rewarding experience for any teacher which was to see first hand the positive difference ABA has made to Tyler’s school and home life. Also, I became a valued member of an early intervention team.

Now as I look towards the future I will certainly be implementing aspects of this program into my own classroom practice in order to benefit Autistic students. (Kemmis & McTaggart, 1988) state action research is achieved when you “improve your educational practice by means of your own practical actions and by means of your own reflections upon the effects of those actions”. I felt I capitalised on my understanding through every mini cycle and in doing so I gained professional development in regard to ABA , autism and above all the benefits of action research.

Reference List Alberto, A. & Troutman, A. (1995) Applied Behavior Analysis for Teachers New Jersey : Merill Publishing Company Arthur, M. (2001). Designing effective teaching interventions Chapter 5 in P. Foreman (ed) Integration and Inclusion in action (2nd edn,. Pp139-168). Sydney : Harcourt. Arthur, M (2003) Classroom Management: Creating Positive Learning Environments, Australia: Nelson Publishing Boyd, R. D., and Myers, J. G. (1988). ‘Transformative education’. International Journal of Lifelong Education 7, No. 4, 261-284 Grundy, S. (1995) Action Research as Professional Development. Perth: Affiliation of Arts Educators, pp. 8-18 Harris, S & Weiss, M (2002) Behavioural Intervention: For young children with Autism.
Australia

Holly, M .L (1987). Keeping a Personal – Professional Journal. Chapter 5 in O’Connor and Diggins Reflective practice for Early Childhood Educators (pp 51-59) New Zealand: Open Mind Publishing Hultgren, (1998) Applied Behaviour Analysis What is it? Autism Society of Connecticut: Hartford Kemmis, S., & McTaggart, R. (1988). The action research planner. Victoria: Deakin University Press Knight, V. & Marsh, A. (1987). Applied Behavior Analysis New York : Macmillian Publishing

McInerney, D & McInerney, V (2006) Educational Psychology: Constructing Learning, Australia: Pearson Education Marshall, L (1999) A Learning Companion: Your Guide to practising Independent Learning, Australia : Published by Murdoch University O’Connor, A. & Diggins, C. (2002). ‘On Reflection’ Reflective Practice for Early Childhood Educators New Zealand: Open mind publishing Peters, J. (1991). ‘Strategies for reflective practice’.Professional Development for Educators of Adults. New directionsfor Adult and Continuing Education. R. Brockett (Ed.). San Franciso: Jossey- Bass. Schloss, J. & Smith, M. (1994) Applied Behavior Analysis in the Classroom MA: Paramount Publishing

Skinner, B .F (1963). Operant behaviour. American Psychologist, 18 503-15 Smith & Lovaas (1993) Applied Behaviour Analysis in G. Green (2004) Early Behavioural Intervention What does research tell us? Australia: Western Australian Department of Education and Training (2001) The Reflective teacher: Using Action Research to improve teaching, (pp 1-84) DET : East Perth

Quay, C (1999) Handbook of Disruptive Disorders New York, Plenum Publishers…...

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