Journal of Behavioral Education

, Volume 1, Issue 4, pp 367–397 | Cite as

The use of ecobehavioral assessment to identify naturally occurring effective procedures in classrooms serving students with autism and other developmental disabilities

  • Debra M. Kamps
  • Betsy R. Leonard
  • Erin P. Dugan
  • Brenda Boland
  • Charles R. Greenwood


A real need exists for the development of effective instructional procedures for students with autism and other developmental disabilities in community-based settings. The purpose of the present project was twofold: a) to conduct an ecobehavioral analysis of classroom instruction in order to provide a description of naturally occurring effective procedures; and b) to experimentally validate the effectiveness of those procedures across teachers and classrooms. Twenty-four subjects from six different classrooms participated in Study 1. An ecobehavioral analysis model was implemented with systematic observations to measure environmental effects on student performance. These observations, along with informal observations conducted by the experimenters, were used to provide data-based and qualitative descriptions of naturally occurring classroom procedures and events. Study 2 sought to experimentally determine functional relationships between the identified effective procedures from Study 1 and levels of student academic responding and learning. Twenty-one subjects from 5 classrooms participated in a series of single-subject designs to test the intervention procedures during small group instructional sessions. Intervention groups were characterized by a variety of media materials interspersed with verbal interactions, frequent rotations of materials, fast-pacing, group (choral) responding, and student-to-student interactions. Results, based on procedural checklist data and criterion-referenced assessments, indicated reliable replications across teachers and students for the identified naturally occurring effective procedures with increased student learning during interventions.

Key words

ecobehavioral assessment autism effective procedures 


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Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Debra M. Kamps
    • 1
  • Betsy R. Leonard
    • 2
  • Erin P. Dugan
    • 2
  • Brenda Boland
    • 3
  • Charles R. Greenwood
    • 4
  1. 1.Autism Research Project, Juniper Gardens Children's Project (JGCP)University of KansasUSA
  2. 2.Autism Research Project, JGCPUSA
  3. 3.Kansas Public School DistrictKansas City
  4. 4.University of KansasUSA

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