Meta-analysis of Tablet-Mediated Interventions for Teaching Academic Skills to Individuals with Autism

  • Katherine Ledbetter-Cho
  • Mark O’Reilly
  • Russell Lang
  • Laci Watkins
  • Nataly Lim
Original Paper

Abstract

Portable touch-screen devices have been the focus of a notable amount of intervention research involving individuals with autism. Additionally, popular media has widely circulated claims that such devices and academic software applications offer tremendous educational benefits. A systematic search identified 19 studies that targeted academic skills for individuals with autism. Most studies used the device’s built-in video recording or camera function to create customized teaching materials, rather than commercially-available applications. Analysis of potential moderating variables indicated that participants’ age and functioning level did not influence outcomes. However, participant operation of the device, as opposed to operation by an instructor, produced significantly larger effect size estimates. Results are discussed in terms of recommendations for practitioners and future research.

Keywords

Autism ASD Portable electronic device Academics iPad iPod 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The research described in this article was supported in part by Grant H325H140001 from the Office of Special Education Programs, U.S. Department of Education. Nothing in the article necessarily reflects the positions or policies of the federal government, and no official endorsement by it should be inferred.

Author Contributions

KLC contributed to the formulation of the review questions and procedures, conducted initial searches, provided summaries of the included studies, and wrote the first draft of the manuscript. MO and RL contributed to the formulation of the review questions and procedures and the writing of the final manuscript. LW and NL contributed data coding and analysis. All authors have approved the final version of the manuscript.

Supplementary material

10803_2018_3573_MOESM1_ESM.docx (50 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 49 KB)

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Asterisk denotes articles included in the current meta-analysis

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Katherine Ledbetter-Cho
    • 1
    • 2
  • Mark O’Reilly
    • 1
  • Russell Lang
    • 2
  • Laci Watkins
    • 3
  • Nataly Lim
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Texas at AustinAustinUSA
  2. 2.Texas State UniversitySan MarcosUSA
  3. 3.University of AlabamaTuscaloosaUSA

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