School based social skills program intervention for elementary students

Table of Content

Ostmeyer and Scarpa created a study to test a school based social skills program intervention for elementary students with Autism Spectrum Disorder. This program would take students out of the regular classroom and place them into a separate program. Social skills are a prominent deficit in students with ASD and negatively affect academic performance.

A public elementary school was selected to implement a social skills program. Focus groups were created with fourteen school staff members and two mothers of students with ASD. The members of the focus group consisted of twelve teachers, 86% of which were female, and two school staff members. During each focus group, a presentation was shown of proper social skills interventions. Participants were then asked to complete a questionnaire involving questions on how schools can best implement a social skills program. The first question asked if a social skills program was needed and then the following questions asked specific questions regarding the program and education of peers. In total, there were eight questions on the scale and participants were asked to mark on a Likert scale of 1-5 how much they agreed or disagreed with the statement. After completing the eight questions, participants were asked to respond the three open-ended questions either by word of mouth or written if they were uncomfortable speaking in front of other participants. The three questions asked for advice from the participants on how to best implement the program. Ostmeyer and Scarpa were interested in seeing what specific skills the participants thought should be included in the social skills program and also for participants to list any concerns and suggestions they may have for the program. On top of the focus group questionnaires, researchers also conducted a total of six classroom observations of two male students with ASD. This allowed for researchers to directly witness social deficits within the classroom and hopefully design a social skills program to fill in the gap of social skills for students with ASD.

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Results of the qualitative questions indicate that participants worry that this program would be a large time commitment and be too distracting from inclusion. Furthermore, school staff did not want to implement a program that would remove students from the classroom that have worked so hard in the first place to be included. One suggestion received within the open questions part of survey said that this program would best be received if it could be easily implemented in the classroom. Results from the observational data indicate common problems for both students observed. Both students had challenges with listening fully to the lecture and staying in their seats. Also, students struggled with staying on task and following directions given by the teacher.

This study provided an interesting result. Although teachers, school staff, and parents indicated that they prefer not remove students with ASD from their classrooms for social skills intervention, it seems as if students observed could benefit greatly from such a program. This study would be best expanded to look at the possible benefits of a social skills program within the classroom.

Students with cerebral palsy are being included in typical classrooms at an increasing rate. Cerebral palsy is unlike other intellectual disabilities in that students with CP can have higher functioning intellectual capabilities, but they are masked by severe physical delays. Furthermore, students can still have learning disabilities, but they are not considered to be severe. The purpose of this study was to research both self-monitoring and self-graphing and the effects it has on academic productivity of students with CP in mathematics.

Sheehey, Wells, and Rowe’s study followed a 7-year-old boy named J.P who attended a public school in a western state with about 400 students. The school in the study adopted an inclusion program for first, fourth, and fifth grades. J.P. had been included in a first-grade classroom at the time of this study. The researchers note that he wore braces to assist in walking and struggled with fine motor skills; he often struggled to take things out of his desk. J.P. was able to read at his grade level but showcased lower than class average math scores. Oftentimes, J.P. lacked initiative to work on math independently and failed to finish assigned work. This study used both regular classroom materials—pen, erasers, crayons—and worksheets with 15 various math problems. Students were asked to record the number of correct answers on a bar graph and teachers were asked to record both the number of math problems finished as well as the number that were completed correctly on a line graph. The research design was a reverse A-B-A-B and dependent variables were both the number of math problems completed during a 5-minute interval and as well as the number of math problems completed correctly within a 5-minute interval while in class. The independent variable in this study was the combination of self-monitoring with self-graphing. Completing the graph after each correct answer allowed for J.P. to see his personal growth and also monitor ways for him to approve.

Results indicate that by mapping out his progress, J.P. increased both the number of problems completed and the percent completed correctly. For example, at the start of the intervention, J.P. was able to complete around 4-7 problems on the math assignment. By self-graphing, J.P. increased his frequency of problems to the range of 10-15. Self-monitoring and self-graphing also positively impacted the number of correct answers completed during the intervention. J.P. doubled his percentage of correct answers. J.P.’s teachers also reported that they were pleased with the outcome of the study and would use it again for J.P. and with other students. One teacher indicated a newfound confidence that J.P. upon completing math problems.

One major limitation with this study is that it only researched one student. Any results noted have to be taken with a grain of salt for they have only been validly tested once. Also, more research could be expanded to study self-graphing and self-monitoring for other academic classes and not just math.

The goal of this study was to compare both students with special educational needs successes within a separated classroom as well as within a regular classroom. Inclusion is a growing trend within special education and has been shown to improve social skills of students. This study took place in the Netherlands and lasted a total of four years.

In order to compare educational gains between special and regular education classrooms, students within both classrooms were selected to be studied. The researchers, Peetsma, Verger, Roeleveld, and Karsten, selected students to be matched and compared with from both regular and special educational classrooms. Students in regular classrooms were selected to be matched if they exhibited “at-risk” behaviors. Behaviors that were considered to be “at-risk” included low language or mathematics scores as well as a low assessment of motivation. The selected students were matched with students in special education classes based off of similar test scores and demographics—gender, ethnicity, and socioeconomic background. In total, there were 252 matches within the study and all participants were either 7 or 8 years old. Instruments used within the study include: tests on participants achievement with language and mathematics, questionnaires on both participant’s self-image and characteristic of education, and an interview guide on student’s development within their classroom. The guide was created to be used within interviews with researchers and involved questions ranging around self-image, social behavior, attitudes towards schoolwork, and need for individual treatment.

Within the first two years of research, some students showed greater benefits within regular classrooms and some students showed greater benefits being secluded in a special education classroom. Results suggest that different students require different educational needs. No specific framework of education should be generalized for all students with special educational needs. After four years, a gap did begin to grow between benefits of special and regular classrooms. Students in the regular classroom gained significant growth in both language and mathematic comprehension as compared to the students in special education classrooms.

The researchers note that students studied in both the special and general classrooms suffered non-severe delays and this research should not be generalized to more severe delays. Also, students that were identified as “at-risk” may or may not have had a learning disability. If these students did not have a learning disability, their educational gains had no significance when being compared to students with a disability. This is something the study did not point out, but this raises doubts on the study in general for you cannot compare apples to oranges.

An and Meaney conducted this study to research how physical education teachers practice inclusion of students with disabilities in their classes. It focused on teaching practices, influence of physical education teachers in the IEP process, and relationships with the parents of children with disabilities. The researchers believe that Bandura’s social-cognitive theory provides a starting base to examine both teacher’s perceptions and implementation of inclusion. This theory says that learning occurs through the interconnected facets: behaviors, environment, and personal factors.

To study the perceptions and inclusion practices of physical education teachers, the researchers created a criterion to first select from. This criterion required participants to have had taught for at least two years and had previous experience teaching students with disabilities. A brochure was sent to teachers of a school district in a suburb of a large mid-western city. In total, four elementary physical education teachers agreed to participate—two females and two males. Each teacher had one to two children with disabilities included into their general physical education class. Both female teachers were active in attending IEP meetings whereas the male teachers were not. To receive as much research input as possible, researchers used a combination of interviews and field studies. To first start the study, all four teachers were interviewed for at least 30 minutes but no more than 60 minutes. Researchers used the social-cognitive theory to create interview questions. The first round of questions geared around understanding the physical education program and the practices of each teacher. The second round of questions geared more towards teacher’s participation in IEP meetings and relationships established with parents.

The results of each interview were divided into three categories: learning engagement, adapting strategies to meet students’ needs, and expanding beyond educational goals. The group of findings report on the teacher’s opinions on how they prepared and included within their classroom. All four teachers emphasized during their interview that learning about the student and their physical and emotional needs was the most critical part of preparing for them in the classroom. Furthermore, both female teachers who actively attended IEP meetings felt this was a significant step in understanding the needs of the students. The second theme reported upon included the adaptiveness of teachers and their ability to cater the activity around students with disabilities. Adapting their classroom environment includes modifying activities for students and also holding special instructional sessions. One teacher did note that because some students did require additional instruction sessions, that it felt as if inclusion was not really being achieved. More so, the teachers raised the question that if students were still being taken out of the general classroom for specific instruction was inclusion even working in the first place. The third theme recorded from the teacher interviews revolved around moving beyond educational goals. One teacher believed that her job was to give the student the best possible chance of succeeding outside of the classroom and functioning in life after school. Again, she emphasized how important it was to attend the IEP meeting in order to see what goals were made for the student and how to cater her lesson around helping achieve those goals.

It is interesting how both female teachers consistently emphasized how important it was to be active in IEP meetings. In the future, it would be valuable to see if there was any difference in classroom instruction for the male teachers who were not active in the IEP meetings as opposed to the female teachers who were.

The goal of this study is to research how effective IEP training is for teachers of inclusive classrooms. The study aims to answer the following questions: How do inclusive classroom teachers perceive their own IEP competencies and is there a meaningful difference in teachers’ post-test scores on the teacher IEP Competence Scale.

This study uses a mixed-method approach through both qualitative and quantitative research. Quantitative research allowed for a wider number of participants studied which resulted in more research obtained. On the other hand, qualitative research like observations or interviews was valuable to perform a more thorough examination of participants. The first part of the study aimed to gather qualitative information by using interviews to determined teachers’ opinions on their educational needs and preparedness though the IEP program. Voluntary interviews were conducted in 24 inclusive classrooms during the school year of 2013-2014. Of the 24 teachers, 16 were female and 8 were male. This is a smaller gender gap than is prevalent in other studies of inclusion. Only 3 of the teachers had previously had training in IEP, but all of the teachers had previously taught at least one student with a disability in the regular classroom. After interviews were conducted, a quantitative pre-test/post-test with an experimental and control group was conducted to evaluate the IEP program. Teachers were randomly selected to participate. Both the experimental and control group were made up of 25 teachers. After each teacher was assigned to either the experimental or control group, 6 teachers opted out of the study; the study was then done on 19 teachers in both groups. The experimental group was made up of ten females and nine males and the control group were made up of eleven females and eight males. The experimental group went through the IEP training program developed by the researchers. An educational training was provided to the experimental group on how to apply specific classroom interventions rather than just being told what to do. Instructions were given on how to create a comfortable classroom environment for all students.

A substantial number of teachers interviewed reported that although IEP information was helpful for teaching, it oftentimes had inaccurate reports of information on students. Also, another portion of interviewees reported not being able to obtain the IEP information at all. The most alarming report, though, was that some teachers were even unaware that a student with special educational needs had even been placed in their classroom to begin with. It seems as though there was a large gap in what those in charge of IEPs thought was happening and what was actually implemented within the classroom. One positive outcome of the interviews is that teachers reported positive working relationships with the IEP teams. Findings from the second part of the study indicate a substantial growth of the experimental group after going through the IEP training. Teachers in the experimental group felt more comfortable implementing and evaluating the IEP plan established for each student with special educational needs.

There seems to be a gap between the IEP team’s plan and what was actually implemented in this study. This study could be furthered to research ways to decrease that gap. Also, this study presented a more even gender demographic compared to other similar studies.

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School based social skills program intervention for elementary students. (2022, Jul 13). Retrieved from

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