A Preliminary Investigation into Teaching Adolescents with Autism to Use Apps to Solve Problems

Published: 24 June 2024| Version 1 | DOI: 10.17632/5pp7tpvrwc.1
Sarah Frampton


Technology offers exciting possibilities for instruction with learners with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and limited research has evaluated the use of web-based applications (apps) as learning tools for this population. We taught two adolescents with ASD to use map, weather, and clock apps to answer questions about distance, temperature, and time on a worksheet (e.g., “What time is it in Cairo?”). The cities in these questions always varied to ensure the answers were always unknown. Training occurred for one app at a time in the manner of a multiple baseline design across behaviors. Training steps were progressively introduced to evaluate the components necessary for app use. Gavin progressed quickly through training with the first app and then demonstrated generalization across novel questions (i.e., with different cities), apps, and response modalities (i.e., answering vocally). Intervention was staggered across participants consistent with a nonconcurrent multiple baseline design. Phoebe required more intensive training and eventually demonstrated generalization across novel questions. We discuss the implications of expanding technology-based problem-solving skills and targeting more apps.



Special Education, Applied Behavior Analysis