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IES Contract

Title: iPrompt to Improve Teaching Students with ASD
Center: NCSER Year: 2011
Principal Investigator: Tedesco, Robert Awardee: HandHold Adaptive, LLC
Program: Small Business Innovation Research in Special Education      [Program Details]
Award Period: 2 years Award Amount: $849,488
Type: Phase II Development Award Number: EDIES11C0040

Product Video Demonstration:

Purpose: Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are neurodevelopmental disabilities characterized by deficits in social competence, communication skills, and behaviors that are restricted and repetitive. ASD are one of the fastest growing disability categories in the country, with recent prevalence rates of 1 in 110 children. Many students with ASD rely on visual supports to engage in learning in education settings. The purpose of this project is to fully develop a product to allow teachers to customize and present different visual supports in supporting students with ASD.

Project Activities: Phase I work demonstrated the feasibility of a prototype to assist students in staying on task, organizing and sequencing time, and transitioning between activities. In Phase II, the team will increase the product's usability and accessibility, and will add new features requested by users such as visual checklists and training materials for easier implementation. All features will be developed to ensure that the product is easy to operate and incorporate into education practice. Once complete, a pilot study will be conducted to test implementation feasibility, the usability of the technology, and the promise of the product to improve both teacher instruction and the behaviors of students with ASD. The sample will include 10 special education instructors and approximately 40 students with ASD.

Product: The iPrompt software will be for use on iPhones, iPads, and Androids. Teachers will employ the product with flexible and unobtrusive strategies to support students with ASD. The main components of iPrompt will be a video modeling library, a community media library, a teacher's manual, and video modules to support teacher use. Features to support students with ASD will include picture schedules, visual countdown timers, and choice prompts to help set expectations, ease transitions between activities, increase attention to tasks, and develop social skills.