Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 45, Issue 5, pp 1408–1418 | Cite as

Using WatchMinder to Increase the On-Task Behavior of Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder

  • Lisa FinnEmail author
  • Rangasamy Ramasamy
  • Charles Dukes
  • John Scott
Original Paper


This study assessed the use of WatchMinder™, a vibrating prompt watch, and self-graphing on the on-task behavior of students with autism spectrum disorder in an elementary special education setting. Using a multiple baseline across subjects design, results showed an immediate increase in on-task behavior when the intervention was introduced. Participants maintained high levels of on-task behavior during the follow-up phase. Implications for expanded self-monitoring treatment packages are discussed.


Autism spectrum disorder Self-monitoring Tactile prompting WatchMinder Self-graphing Classroom intervention 



The authors thank Elisa Cruz-Torres for assisting us with graphing.


  1. Amato-Zech, N. A., Hoff, K. E., & Doepke, K. J. (2006). Increasing on-task behavior in the classroom: Extension of self-monitoring strategies. Psychology in the Schools, 43, 211–221. doi: 10.1002/pits.20137.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Anderson, A., & Wheldall, K. (2004). The who, what, where, when, and why of self-monitoring of student behavior. Australasian Journal of Special Education, 28(2), 30–64.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Anson, H., Todd, J., & Casseretto, K. (2008). Replacing overt verbal and gestural prompts with unobtrusive covert tactile prompting for students with autism. Behavior Research Methods, 40, 1106–1110.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Bjorklund, D. F. (2012). Children’s thinking: Cognitive development and individual differences. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth/Cengage Learning.Google Scholar
  5. Blick, D. W., & Test, D. W. (1987). Effects of self-recording on high school students’ on-task behavior. Learning Disability Quarterly, 10, 203–213.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Briesch, A. M., & Chafouleas, S. M. (2009). Review and analysis of literature on self-management interventions to promote appropriate classroom behaviors (1988–2008). School Psychology Quarterly, 24, 106–118. doi: 10.1037/a0016159.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Callahan, K., & Rademacher, J. A. (1999). Using self-management strategies to increase the on-task behavior of a student with autism. Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions, 1, 117–122. doi: 10.1177/109830079900100206.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Farrell, C. A., & McDougall, D. (2008). Self-monitoring of pace to improve math fluency of high school students with disabilities. Behavior Analysis in Practice, 1(2), 25–26.Google Scholar
  9. Gast, D. L. (2010). Single subject research methodology in behavioral science. New York, NY: Routledge.Google Scholar
  10. Green, J. M., Hughes, E. M., & Ryan, J. B. (2011). The use of assistive technology to improve time management skills of a young adult with an intellectual disability. Journal of Special Education Technology, 26, 13–20.Google Scholar
  11. Holifield, C., Goodman, J., Hazelkorn, M., & Heflin, L. J. (2010). Using self-monitoring to increase attending to task and academic accuracy in children with autism. Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities, 25, 230–238. doi: 10.1177/1088357610380137.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Joseph, L. M., & Eveleigh, E. L. (2011). A review of the effects of self-monitoring on reading performance of students with disabilities. The Journal of Special Education, 45, 43–53. doi: 10.1177/0022466909349145.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Koegel, R. L., & Koegel, L. K. (1990). Extended reductions in stereotypic behavior of students with autism through a self-management treatment package. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 23, 119–127.CrossRefPubMedCentralPubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. Lee, S., Simpson, R. L., & Shrogen, K. A. (2007). Effects and implications of self-management for students with autism: A meta analysis. Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities, 22, 2–13. doi: 10.1177/10883576070220010101.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Legge, D. B., DeBar, R. M., & Alber-Morgan, S. R. (2010). The effects of self-monitoring with a MotivAider on the on-task behavior of fifth and sixth graders with autism and other disabilities. Journal of Behavior Assessment and Intervention in Children, 1, 43–52.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Mancina, C., Tankersley, M., Kamps, D., Kravits, T., & Parrett, J. (2000). Brief report: Reduction of inappropriate vocalizations for a child with autism using a self-management treatment program. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 30, 599–605.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. McDougall, D., Morrison, C., & Awana, B. (2012). Students with disabilities use tactile cued self-monitoring to improve academic productivity during independent tasks. Journal of Instructional Psychology, 39(2), 119–130.Google Scholar
  18. Miller, K. J., Fitzgerald, G. E., Koury, K. A., Mitchem, K. J., & Hollingsead, C. (2007). KidTools: Self-management, problem solving, organizational, ad planning software for children and teachers. Intervention in School and Clinic, 43, 12–19. doi: 10.1177/10534512070430010201.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Milley, A., & Machalicek, W. (2012). Decreasing reliance on adults: A strategic guide for teachers of students with autism spectrum disorders. Intervention in School and Clinic, 48(2), 67–75. doi: 10.1177/1053451212449739.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Parker, D., & Kamps, D. (2011). Effects of task analysis and self-monitoring for children with autism in multiple social settings. Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities, 26, 131–142. doi: 10.1177/1088357610376945.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Richards, S. B., Taylor, R. L., & Ramasamy, R. (2014). Single subject research: Applications in educational and clinical settings. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.Google Scholar
  22. Sebag, R. (2010). Behavior management through self-advocacy. Teaching Exceptional Children, 42(6), 22–29.Google Scholar
  23. Soares, D. A., Vannest, K. J., & Harrison, J. (2009). Computer aided self-monitoring to increase academic production and reduce self-injurious behavior in a child with autism. Behavioral Interventions, 24, 171–193. doi: 10.1002/bin.283.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Trammel, D. L., Schloss, P. J., & Alper, S. (1994). Using self-recording, evaluation, and graphing to increase completion of homework assignments. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 27, 75–81.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. Van Hulle, A., & Hux, K. (2006). Improvement patterns among survivors of brain injury: Three case examples documenting the effectiveness of memory compensation strategies. Brain Injury, 20, 101–109.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. Wilkinson, L. A. (2008). Self-management for children with high-functioning autism spectrum disorders. Intervention in School and Clinic, 43, 150–157. doi: 10.1177/1053451207311613.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lisa Finn
    • 1
    Email author
  • Rangasamy Ramasamy
    • 1
  • Charles Dukes
    • 1
  • John Scott
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Exceptional Student Education, College of EducationFlorida Atlantic UniversityBoca RatonUSA

Personalised recommendations