04 SES 05 B, A Fresh View Of Research-Based Interventions With Autism
This case study examines collaboration between preschools and health care (habilitation centers) concerning implementation of Intensive Behavioral Intervention (IBI) involving children with Autism in regular community-based preschools. Many countries, including Sweden, have agreed to support the principles of inclusion regarding all children. This can be interpreted as meaning that preschools should meet the needs of all children and create inclusive communities (cf. Nilholm & Göransson, 2017). A goal of the present project is to contribute to a deeper understanding of the barriers and facilitators when IBI is implemented in regular preschools and between different organizations collaborate. Research suggests that IBI is an evidence-based practice that contributes to different kinds of learning for many children with ASD but outcomes in “real-life” preschool settings are smaller than in research settings (Eldevik, Berg Titlestad, Aarlie, & Tønnesen, 2019). As a theoretical tool to understand learning, we use the Didactic Triangle (Zierer, 2015). The Didactic Triangle (Zierer, 2015) has not prior to our study been used as a tool to conceptually understand implementation of IBI in preschools. The present study uses the three cornerstones building the Didactic Triangle; teacher, student, and subject (Gidlund & Boström, 2017). Our hypothesis is that by using the Didactic Triangle we will contribute to developing an understanding of how collaborations between organizations can be organized in relation to learning. Accordingly, this study contributes to understanding how practices with different theoretical roots co-exist within preschool, especially Nordic didactics and behaviorism (Hopmann, 2007; McGee, Morrier, & Ala’i-Rosales, 2019). A recent overview of influential research on ASD done with the SMART format (Systematic Mapping and Analysis of Research Topographies, Nilholm, 2017) is also presented and the findings of the case study are discussed in relation to that overview.
The research we will present has an ethnographic qualitative case study approach (Yin, 2009) and describes two community-based preschools in Sweden. This method was chosen in order to contextualize research findings and deepen knowledge of topic (cf. Yin, 2009). In both preschools, a five-year-old boy diagnosed with autism was in focus. The preschools were chosen as “good examples”, based on their history of working with Intensive Behavioral Interventions (IBI) and having skilled direct care preschool staff with university degrees working with the children with autism. We observed that the preschool staff implemented IBI, used positive reinforcement, and individualized practices based on the child’s initiative and interests. This also included involving other children in the different activities. Practices were done in self-contained rooms as well as together with the other children. Data were collected during a 12-month period through multiple sources including semi-structured individual interviews, a focus group interview, field notes, and observations at preschools and habilitation centers. The different materials from the case-study were combined and analyzed using the Didactic Triangle as a theoretical framework with the following pre-determined categories: the student, the teacher, and the subject. Direct content analysis (Hsie & Shannon, 2005) was used. The findings will be related to a recent overview using the SMART format (Nilholm, 2017). The study follows ethical principles of the American Psychological Association and the Declaration of Helsinki, including informing the participants about the research and their rights and consents. The project was ethically approved through the Department of Child and Youth Studies, Stockholm University, Sweden.
Based on the Didactic Triangle, we will present a model of collaborations between organizations with different epistemological roots in relation to learning. The model will put focus on collaboration in relation to factors such as needs for competence, learning objectives, and preschool administration. In addition, this small-scale case study suggests that for some children, despite the inclusive ideal and regular preschool placement, activities in preschool take place “at the side”. Finally, we will discuss different factors that can be important to consider concerning inter-organizational collaboration and how the case study contribute with knowledge in relation to e.g. the research-to-practice gap and need for more research targeting inclusion as noted in the overview.
Eldevik, S., Berg Titlestad, K., Aarlie, H., & Tønnesen, R. (2019). Community implementation of early behavioral intervention: Higher intensity gives better outcome. European Journal of Behavior Analysis, 1–18. Gidlund, U., & Boström, L. (2017). What is inclusive didactics? Teachers’ understanding of inclusive didactics for students with EBD in Swedish mainstream schools. International Educational Studies, 10(5), 87–99. Hopmann, S. (2007). Restrained Teaching: The common core of Didaktik. European Educational Research Journal, 6(2), 109–124. Hsie, H.-F., & Shannon, S. E. (2005). Three approaches to qualitative content analysis. Qualitative Health Research, 15(9), 1277–1288. McGee, G. G., Morrier, M. J., & Ala’i-Rosales, S. (2019). Contributions of university lab schools to behavior analysis. European Journal of Behavior Analysis, 1–18. Nilholm, C. (2017). SMART – ett sätt att göra forskningsöversikter [SMART - A Way to do Research Overviews]. Lund: Studentlitteratur. Nilholm, C., & Göransson, K. (2017). What is meant by inclusion? An analysis of European and North American journal articles with high impact. European Journal of Special Needs Education, 32, 437–451. Yin, R. K. (2009). Case-study research; designs and methods (4th ed.). Los Angles: Sage Publications. Zierer, K. (2015). Educational expertise: The concept of ‘mind frames’ as an integrative model for professionalisation in teaching. Oxford Review of Education, 41(6), 782–798.
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