Observational and Incidental Learning by Children with Autism during Small Group Instruction

  • Jennifer R. LedfordEmail author
  • David L. Gast
  • Deanna Luscre
  • Kevin M. Ayres
Original Paper


This study evaluated the acquisition of incidental and observational information presented to 6 children with autism in a small group instructional arrangement using a constant time delay (CTD) procedure. A multiple probe design across behaviors, replicated across 6 participants, was used to evaluate the effectiveness of the CTD procedure and to assess each student’s ability to read another student’s words and identify related pictures. Generalization was assessed in natural conditions using a pre- and post-test paradigm. Results indicate that, despite their documented deficits in social awareness and imitation, students learned observational and incidental information during small group instruction. Educational implications with regard to small group instruction are discussed.


Autism Observational learning Incidental learning Small group instruction Instructive feedback Sight word reading Constant time delay (CTD) 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jennifer R. Ledford
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • David L. Gast
    • 2
  • Deanna Luscre
    • 2
  • Kevin M. Ayres
    • 2
  1. 1.T. Carl Buice SchoolGwinnett County Public SchoolsSugar HillUSA
  2. 2.Communication Sciences and Special Education DepartmentUniversity of GeorgiaAthensUSA

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