A Comparison between iPad-Assisted and Teacher-Directed Reading Instruction for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

  • Farah El ZeinEmail author
  • Cindy Gevarter
  • Brian Bryant
  • Seung-Hyun Son
  • Diane Bryant
  • Min Kim
  • Michael Solis


We conducted an alternating treatment research design to investigate the effects of a multicomponent reading comprehension intervention on reading comprehension performance and task refusal behavior of three elementary students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This study also sought to investigate the effects of utilizing teacher-directed instruction (TDI) in comparison to iPad® -assisted instruction (IAI) as the primary mode of instructional delivery during reading sessions. The multicomponent intervention during the TDI sessions consisted of teaching text preview strategy (i.e., looking at text and picture, making predictions), identifying the main idea of each paragraph using a graphic organizer, and the use of a token economy system. Whereas IAI treatment sessions consisted of the use of an iPad® application that focused on identifying main idea paired with implementing a token economy system for task completion. Three elementary students identified with ASD participated in this study. Results indicate that the multicomponent intervention implemented during both conditions was associated with improved performance on curriculum-based measure (CBM) probes during TDI and IAI treatments, with an indication that the TDI treatment was more effective in increasing accuracy of responding on CBM probes in comparison to the IAI condition. Findings from this study also indicate that both treatment conditions (TDI and IAI) were associated with a reduction of task refusal for the three participants with fewer occurrences of the challenging behavior during IAI in comparison to TDI treatment.


Autism Reading comprehension Task refusal Teacher-directed instruction iPad® -assisted instruction Intervention 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Prior to participation in this study, an informed consent was obtained from each participant’s legal guardian.

Conflict of Interests

The authors declare no conflict of interest that is directly or indirectly related to the results of this study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Farah El Zein
    • 1
    Email author
  • Cindy Gevarter
    • 1
  • Brian Bryant
    • 1
  • Seung-Hyun Son
    • 1
  • Diane Bryant
    • 1
  • Min Kim
    • 1
  • Michael Solis
    • 1
  1. 1.Cleveland State UniversityClevelandUSA

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