2018: Gabrielle Lee

Western University

According to a recent report from China’s Ministry of Education, there are approximately 36.5 million school-aged children with intellectual disabilities (ID), autism spectrum disorders (ASD), and other developmental disabilities (DD), accounting for approximately 70% of students receiving special education services. However, these services may not be adequate to meet students' learning needs. Two major obstacles are the lack of evidence-based instruction adapted to Chinese culture and the lack of trained professionals to deliver this instruction. Currently, there are only 14 Board Certified Behavior Analysts in mainland China.


The integration of listener and speaker behaviors lays the foundation for naming, a behavioral cusp that expands a child’s learning without direct reinforcement. Most children with ID or ASD/DD do not acquire the naming capacity unless it is systematically and specifically targeted. Therefore, it is necessary to design such targeted instruction, as preparation for advanced learning.


For the project funded by the SABA grant, the researchers will develop computer-assisted naming instruction and provide training to special education teachers to implement it in their classrooms. The goals of the project are to (1) build technical capacity by training teachers to implement the computer-assisted naming instruction in their classrooms as a localized, long-lasting instructional approach for improving education for students with special needs and (2) empirically evaluate the effects of the training on the accuracy of implementation, student performance of the target behaviors, and student acquisition of the naming capacity. A manual will be developed, and a single-subject study will be conducted to examine the functional relationships between the program and accuracy of implementation, as well as student performance.


Gabrielle T. Lee, Ph.D., LP, BCBA-D, assistant professor in the Faculty of Education at Western University, London, Ontario, will implement this project with her collaborator, Xiaoyi Hu, Ph.D., BCBA-D, associate professor of special education at Beijing Normal University, Beijing, China.


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