Retention of Struggling Students:
Is it the Right Choice?
Patricia A. Horne
Our Lady of the Lake University
GRADE RETENTION: Is It Right For Struggling Students? 2 Introduction
THE FIVE W’S OF CULTURAL DIVERSITY 3 Background
The use of ABA principles and techniques to treat people with Autism live happy and productive lives has grown quickly in recent years. According to information provided by the Autism Organization, ABA is used all over the world and is recognized as a safe and effective treatment. http://www.autismspeaks.org/whatisit/index.php There have been many studies done in a variety of settings all examining effects of ABA methods on social behaviors. Donald Baer completed the first published study on ABA in 1968 and there was another study by O. Ivar Lovaas done in 1987. These studies both took a look at using behavior modification interventions on Autistic children. The idea was to use early intervention to teach alternate, socially appropriate behaviors. In the study by Lovaas, subjects were assigned to one of two control groups, one that received 40 hours per week of one-to-one treatment, and the other 10 hours or less. Both treatment groups received treatment for at least two years. The follow up indicated the groups that received the additional treatment did much better in achieving normal intellectual and educational functioning (Lovaas, 1987). Much of the data I reviewed revealed great success in implementing applied behavior analysis in treating Autistic children in replacing or reducing inappropriate behaviors. According to many reports, ABA is considered by many researchers to be the most effective therapeutic approach in treating children with Autism, but in order for the program to be effective, both parents, educators, and other care providers need to be trained (http://autism.healingthresholds.com/therapy/applied-behavior-analysis-aba). How effective is ABA in reducing aggressive behaviors in Autistic students? There’s actually quite a bit of interest in ABA, an increase in demand for the service, and several universities across the United States are involved in studies on the use of ABA. In a THE FIVE W’S OF CULTURAL DIVERSITY 4 paper published just a decade ago, Tris Smith carefully studied outcome investigations of ABA programs and found convincing evidence that ABA treatment programs have increased adaptive behavior and reduced inappropriate behavior. He also mentioned that this program may raise IQ and other standardized scores, and even reducing the need for special services. Mr. Smith suggest research is needed to confirm results on IQ and test scores (Smith, 1999). The organization, Autism Speaks, has grown into the nation's largest autism science and advocacy organization, dedicated to funding research into the causes, prevention, treatments and a cure for autism; increasing awareness of autism spectrum disorders. With several medical professionals with field experience in Autism and behavior intervention programs, they support the use of ABA with children of all ages, with and without disabilities, in many different settings (Green G, Brennan L., and Fein, D. 2002) Several studies have been done on the effectiveness of ABA. My particular interest is will ABA work with aggressive behavior in Autistic students and I found no study that targeted aggression specifically but targeted social behaviors in general. There is a gap in the literature because I found no study that focused specifically on aggressive behavior and provided the data to support that. I will use the data from the student records at my school to fill in the gap. Reviewing the...