Using an Art Therapy Antecedent Intervention to Improve Behavior of a Child with Autism in Group Activities

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Bongratz, Angie
Master of Arts in Art Therapy
Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) often exhibit inappropriate, off-task behaviors in a large group classroom activity. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether an art therapy antecedent-based intervention helped reduce the off-task behaviors of a child with ASD in group activities. Using a single-subject reversal design, the researcher evaluated the effects of the art therapy antecedent-based intervention done immediately before a large group activity on the behavior of a child with ASD. The A-B-A-B design was used and repeated as a sequence of a baseline period (A) followed by an intervention (B). Data was collected through three sources: interviews, observations and journal. A partial interval recording method was used during observations of baseline large group activities. One first grade student with ASD characteristics was selected by teacher referral. Criteria for choosing art materials and activities was based on the individual participant’s abilities, preferences and interests and recommendations from the Expressive Therapies Continuum (ETC). The results of the study showed a very small increase in off-task behaviors. Further research was indicated.