Original Paper

Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 39, Issue 10, pp 1420-1434

First online:

Using a Personal Digital Assistant to Increase Independent Task Completion by Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder

  • Linda C. MechlingAffiliated withDepartment of Early Childhood and Special Education, University of North Carolina Wilmington Email author 
  • , David L. GastAffiliated withUniversity of Georgia
  • , Nicole H. SeidAffiliated withUniversity of North Carolina Wilmington

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In this study, a personal digital assistant (PDA) with picture, auditory, and video prompts with voice over, was evaluated as a portable self-prompting device for students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Using a multiple probe design across three cooking recipes and replicated with three students with ASD, the system was tested for its effectiveness in increasing independent performance across the multiple step tasks. In addition, data were recorded for the number and types of prompts used by the students across time. Results indicate that the students with ASD were able to adjust the prompt levels used on the PDA and to maintain their ability to use the device to independently complete recipes over time.


PDA Autism spectrum disorder Self-prompting