Presentation on theme: "Use Of Electronic Media To Promote Acquisition of Action Verbs"— Presentation transcript:
1 Use Of Electronic Media To Promote Acquisition of Action Verbs and PrepositionsCreated in:Autism Language Program,Children’s Hospital BostonHoward Shane, Ph.D.
2 This work is funded by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research of the U.S. Department of Education, under grant number H133E The opinions contained in this presentation are those of the grantee and do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. Department of Education.
3 Contributors to this presentation AcknowledgementContributors to this presentationPatients and parents in the Autism Language ProgramMonarch School students, parents, and staffModel Autism Program, Boston Public SchoolsSharon Shaham, James Sorce, Meghan O’Brien, Marie Duggan & John Costello (Center for Communication Enhancement, Children’s Hospital Boston)
4 Today’s Agenda Overview of Teaching Language Concepts Program (TLC) Why is learning language concepts difficult for some persons with ASD?Why are visuals needed?Three Phases of InstructionDynamic Scene CuesStatic Scene CuesElement CuesDeveloping Effective and Efficient Implementation Procedures for Teaching Element CuesUsing typically developing childrenAdapting and applying findings to individuals with autism
5 Overview of VIPGoalUtilize visual supports to teach learners on the autism spectrum how to better communicate during everyday home, school and community interactions.Key ingredientsVisual language for comprehension and expressionA ‘closed language’ with restricted pragmatic opportunity -- targeting basic communicative operationsMentors and learners use the same visual symbolsUse of advanced computer and video technologies
6 What is Visual Immersion? A symbol-rich environmentAn environment where visual symbols clarify spoken language, support expressive communication, assist with transitions, and facilitate learning.Used in home, school, and communityEasy access toNon-electronic symbolsElectronic Screen Media (Monitors and TVs)
7 What Does VIP Target? Seven concrete Communicative Operations : Protests/RefusalsRequestsDirectivesCommentsQuestionsSocial conventionsTransitionsVIP is not intended to teach advanced communicative operations:Abstract concepts: “…with liberty and justice for all.”Passive voice: “The book was read by the boy.”Complex syntactic structures: “If he hadn’t checked the weather in the morning, then he would have forgotten to bring his umbrella.”Figurative language: “She flew to the bookstore.”Humor : “Why did the chicken cross the road?”VIP provides foundation for more advanced language-based intervention programs
8 VIP: Three Instructional Settings Natural setting:Familiar, everyday people,objects, actions, locations and events as opportunities to overlay language. Takes advantage of adding language to already learned behavioral skills:Daily living/self-help routinesOperational knowledgePreferred play routinesTabletop setting:A controlled environment involving one-to-one instructionVirtual setting:Electronic (television or computer) display for presentation of materialsSetting selection varies as a function of child and the skill to be learned.
9 Overview of Teaching Language Concepts Program (TLC)
10 Why Teach Language Concepts? Autism Language Program (ALP):Population: Moderate to severe autism (from initial diagnosis to adulthood)Core deficit: Difficulties with language comprehension and expression, in addition to pragmatic language skillsComprehension:Children on the spectrum often experience difficulty comprehending spoken language and/or auditory processing impairment (Novick et al., 1980; Boddaert et al., 2003).Many children are able to follow routine-based, familiar directives, but have not yet demonstrated comprehension of more abstract linguistic concepts (e.g., verbs, prepositions, attributes)Expression:50% of individuals with autism spectrum disorders do not use speech functionally (Wetherby and Prizant, 2005; Lord & Paul, 1997; Rutter, 1978)Many children are able to reliably use PECS to request and label, but have not yet developed the ability to describe, comment, or ask questions
11 Model of Language Comprehension (Typical Development) Short-TermMemoryLanguageProcessorSpokenLanguageComprehension
12 Model of Language Comprehension (Moderate-Severe ASD) Short-TermMemoryLanguageProcessorVerbalInformationComprehension= Clinical insight suggests these impairments are due to:Attention to auditory stimuliNot understanding language as meaningful/symbolicFleeting nature of spoken languageLanguage processor ‘broken’Combination of theseLanguage comprehension is often compromisedOccasional comprehension of noun labels and familiar directives (in context)Impaired comprehension of relational linguistic concepts (e.g., verbs, prepositions,attributes)
13 ‘Teaching Language Concepts’ (TLC) Program A visual instruction system for hard to learn language concepts (e.g., verbs, prepositions and attributes).TLC is a closed visual languageInstruction in the virtual environment (video clips), tabletop environment (photographs, toy figurines and miniature objects), and natural environments (home, school and community)
15 TLC Instructional Phases: Learner progresses through all/some of three phases of visual language symbols, from concrete to abstract representations:Dynamic Scene Cues: full-motion video clips of action scenes
16 Bypassing Spoken Language Comprehension Using Dynamic Scene Cues (Moderate-Severe ASD) VerbalInformationImitation(as inferred fromdynamic scene cues)Short-TermMemoryVisualInformation(dynamic scene cues)*Note: No involvement of language processor requiredfor comprehension of dynamic scene cues
17 TLC Instructional Phases: Learner progresses through all/some of three phases of visual language symbols, from concrete to abstract representations:Dynamic Scene Cues: full-motion video clips of action scenesStatic Scene Cues: photographs that capture a prototypical moment in the action scene
18 Bypassing Spoken Language Comprehension Using Static Scene Cues (Moderate-Severe ASD) VerbalInformationImitation(as inferred fromstatic scene cues)Short-TermMemoryVisualInformation(static scene cues)*Note: No involvement of language processor requiredfor comprehension of static scene cues
19 Implications of Static Scene Cue Mastery Use of dynamic and static cues bypasses language processorDue to load on language processor when using elements, some children may use static scenes as their communication systemMastery of static scene cues is a significant accomplishmentCan be used to promote general understanding and communication related to:Daily Living SkillsPlayTransitionsRequestingCommentingClarifyingDirectives
20 TLC Instructional Phases: Learner progresses through all/some of three phases of visual language symbols, from concrete to abstract representations:Dynamic Scene Cues: full-motion video clips of action scenesStatic Scene Cues: photographs that capture a prototypical moment in the action sceneLanguage Element Cues: graphic icons representing each of the individual linguistic components that comprise an action scene (e.g., subject, object, verb, preposition, adjective, etc.)
22 Symbolate: Language Comprehension? Stringing symbols together does not automatically result in comprehension.Learners must first have a knowledge of language elements and semantic relationships, as provided in VIP.Paradoxically, stringing symbols together may actually interfere with comprehension.
23 Model of Visual and Spoken Language Comprehension (Moderate-Severe ASD) Comprehension ofVerbalRepresentationVerbalInformationShort-TermMemoryLanguageProcessorVisualInformation(element cues)Comprehension ofVisualRepresentation(element cues)
24 Clinical Observations About Element Understanding Some label elements without meaning attached (echolalic-like)Some comprehend agent and object elements -- struggle with relational elementsSome comprehend isolated elements -- difficulty interpreting element stringsWhat improves element comprehension?Immersion in symbol-rich environmentMass trials across multiple settings and communication partnersComputer-based instructionPersistence over extended periodBottom line: A more effective, efficient way of teaching language elements must be developed.
25 TLC 3 Phases: Clinical Observations Progressing fromDynamic Scene Cues to Static Scene Cues -- is easyNo involvement of language processor requiredStatic Scene Cues to Element Cues -- is difficultRequires involvement of language processorButThe payoff is worth it -- foundation for generative languageGoal: Combine language element cue vocabulary with their understanding of semantic relationships to generate novel sentences for expressing requests, comments, replies, etc. in natural settings.
26 The Empirical Challenge Can we better understand the process?Can we expedite the process?
27 Developing Effective and Efficient Implementation Procedures for Teaching Element Cues
30 The TLC ApproachStrategy: First study typical children, then apply findings to children with autismRationale:Not yet literateAble to verbalize thought processComplianceSubjects: Ages 3 yrs, 11 mos to 6 yrs, 4 mosProcedure: General task - sequence three linguistic elements: left-to-right reading orderagent + action + objectagent + preposition + objectExperimenter provides no spoken language to label elementsLearner demonstrates comprehension of element string by acting out directivesMultiple design-prototype-test cycles to refine TLC instructional approach
31 Iteration 1: Top-Down Approach - Sequentially Through Three Instructional Phases Iteration 1 ProcedureLearner presented withDynamic scene cues; imitate actionStatic scene cues; imitate actionElement cues; demonstrate comprehension by acting out directivesFor each instructional phase, learner viewed the visual cues and was provided with spoken prompt, “Now you do it!”
32 Iteration 1: Top-Down Approach Sequentially Through Three Instructional Phases Outcome:Able to accurately imitate dynamic and static cuesDifficulty understanding task when presented with element cues (often attempted to match objects to elements rather than carry out directive)Difficulty comprehending left-to-right sequence of ‘reading’ elementsDifficulty understanding meaning of verb/preposition (abstract) symbolsDifficulty comprehending de-contextualized element strings.Tendency to act on objects in a familiar manner (e.g., ‘man on ladder’ rather than ‘man climbs ladder’)
33 Iteration 2: Modified Top-Down Approach Modifications to Iteration 1 Procedure:Introduced visual template to focus attention on left-to-right order of elements, and presented elements in left-to-right sequenceIntroduced Mixed Display (Static scene cue along with Element cues) and demonstrated association between scene cue and its elementsTo enhance understanding of task expectation:Presented task as ‘game’ to discover meaning of the relational (verb or preposition) symbolExperimenter modeled the task
35 Iteration 2: Modified Top-Down Approach Outcome:Initially learners did not appear to attend to the relational element -- verb or preposition (e.g., “You don’t need that one”)Still initially attempted to match the agent and object elements to their physical objectsGiven repeated trials, demonstrated comprehension of the individual elements, but continued to experience difficulty with the left-to-right ‘reading’ order for elements
36 Iteration 3: Bottom-Up Approach Modifications to Iteration 2 ProcedureInstruction started at element rather than dynamic phasePresented elements on computer monitorExperimenter modeled the taskGuided discovery to select combination of element strings to play corresponding video clipThen moved to tabletopPresented non-electronic task with identical element cues and physical objects;Experimenter modeled the taskLearner encouraged to create element strings to direct the actions of communication partners
37 Software Applications Learning Together with MusicPuddingstone Place
40 Iteration 3: Bottom-Up Approach Outcome:Older learners were able to execute each directive presented and label each elementYounger learners had difficulty attending to screen and task; more likely to engage in their own independent play with the materials
41 Iteration 4: Modified Bottom-Up Approach with Compelling Scenes Modifications to Iteration 3 Procedure:Created ‘fun’ scenes depicting engaging, motivating activities using human models and life-sized objectsClicked on message window to activate video clip of corresponding element string (in hopes of enhancing attention to relational element)Presented learner with an ‘agent’ element cue representing him/herselfEncouraged learner to use elements to direct his/her own play and actions of communication partners
43 Iteration 4: Modified Bottom-Up Approach with Compelling Scenes Outcome:Actively engagedSuccessfully combined elements - although still initial tendency not to attend to relational element (verb or preposition)Prepositions more difficult than verbs
44 Iteration 5 Modifications to Iteration 4 Procedure: Focus attention to relational element (verb or preposition):Animated relational elementClick on relational element to play video
45 Key Ingredients to Teaching Element Cues Present elements electronicallyGuided discovery with element combinations (to play video)Provide children with symbols representing themselves and familiar communication partners to allow them to direct the activityBegin instruction with fun, motivating tasks. Gradually expand to language-arts activities.Animate center elements to direct attention to element and enhance likelihood of comprehension
46 Directions for future TLC research Improve symbolsAnimated symbols (verbs, preposition, attributes)Generalization of language skills targeted in TLC to natural settingFacilitating generative language