Authors: McCarthy J, Light J, McNaughton D
Title: The effects of internet-based instruction on the social problem solving of young adults who use augmentative and alternative communication
Source: Augmentative and Alternative Communication 2007 23(2): 100-112
Year: 2007
Research Design: Single Case Design

Individuals with disabilities who require augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) systems typically face considerable challenges in their educational, vocational, and living situations. Developing effective problem solving skills is important to maximizing outcomes. Current problem-solving programs do not address the unique needs of individuals who use AAC in terms of instructional content and instructional format. The current study implemented a single-subject, multiple probe across subjects design to investigate the effects of an online instructional program designed to teach problem solving to young adults who use AAC. The participants were taught to: (a) describe the problem; (b) outline many possible solutions to the problem; (c) identify the outcomes of the top two solutions; and (d) take action with the best solution. All five participants (ages 18-20) successfully completed the program and learned to implement the elements of effective problem solving in their solutions to hypothetical problems with at least 80% accuracy after instruction. Furthermore, participants demonstrated evidence that they could generalize the strategy to problems in their own lives and that they could maintain their skills in implementing the strategy at least 3 months after the instructional program was completed. Results, implications for practice, limitations, and future research directions are discussed.

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