Graduation Date

12-2015

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department or Program

Education

Department or Program Chair

Jacqueline Urbani, Ph.D.

First Reader

Madalienne F. Peters, Ed.D.

Second Reader

Elizabeth Truesdell, Ph.D.

Abstract

There has been an increase in the number of children identified and served, in school settings, and in the community at large, under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA.) Many school-based programs focus on mainstreaming students with disabilities. However, few programs exist for children between the ages of 5 and 9 who need positive behavior intervention services because they lack socially appropriate interaction skills.

The research literature revealed that students who lack appropriate social interaction skills are often placed into mainstream general class settings, where results of student improvement in social interaction skills are mixed. There is a gap in the research on the effectiveness of targeted instruction in social interaction skills for a specific subset of the population, ones who need intensive instruction in positive interpersonal communication skills.

The purpose of this program evaluation study is to measure the progress of students with social skill deficiencies served under IDEA in a non-public school setting. I, as the teacher/researcher, collected data on students’ verbal social skills, which followed targeted teaching strategies that focused on the development of social skills, specifically verbal interaction skills. Results indicated that students who had targeted instruction in their social interaction skills showed improvement in their ability to communicate positively with others in a school setting. Data also showed that attendance did not play a factor in the overall gains towards students’ individualized goals.

Keywords: positive intervention behavioral support, social skill deficiencies, verbal interaction

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