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Comparison of Therapist Implemented and iPad-assisted Interventions for Children with Autism

Lee A, Lang R, Davenport K, Moore M, Rispoli M, van der Meer L, Carnett A, Raulston T, Tostanoski A, Chung C

This study compares intervention delivered by a therapist to intervention delivered using an iPad for two children with autism. Further, this study evaluates the influence of choice between the conditions. Methods: Time on-task, challenging behaviour, session duration and correct responses were compared across conditions in an alternating treatment design. The effect of choice was evaluated in an ABAB design. Results: The iPad was associated with shorter intervention sessions, more time on-task and less challenging behaviour for one participant. There was no difference between conditions for the second participant. Both participants selected the iPad when given the choice and, although the effect of choice was modest, choosing was associated with more time on-task and less challenging behaviour. Conclusions: These data suggest that iPad-assisted intervention can be as effective as therapist-implemented intervention. Further, even for children for whom no differences between the interventions exist, offering a choice may be beneficial.