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Autism Education and Treatment with PowerPoint Software

Award Information
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Branch: National Institutes of Health
Contract: 1R41HD049199-01
Agency Tracking Number: HD049199
Amount: $100,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Solicitation Year: N/A
Award Year: 2004
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): N/A
Award End Date (Contract End Date): N/A
Small Business Information
United States
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 (781) 642-0165
Business Contact
Phone: (803) 233-0541
Research Institution
55 Lake Avenue North
Worcester, MA 01655
United States

 Nonprofit college or university

DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): PowerPoint(R) multimedia software is ubiquitous in our schools but its capacity for teaching children with autism spectrum and related disorders barely has been realized. This STTR (Phase I) project will begin to change this state of affairs by researching and developing empirically derived multimedia teaching tools. Encouraged by early-stage feasibility work, we evaluate a package to train teachers to use PowerPoint(R) to deliver activity schedules to improve children's independent play and social skills. Our proposed use of multimedia software does what typical off-the-shelf software does not - it embeds photos, sounds, and videos to convey meaning in a context that maximizes learning among things that are heard, watched, said, and done away from the computer. The PowerPoint(R) lessons are linked to a child's individualized educational plan focusing on functional verbal skills. The independence fostered by activity schedules makes the learning outcomes remarkably different from, but complementary to, those achieved by other teaching methods. Even greater independence is achieved when a child learns to use activity schedules presenting sequences of multimedia cues for what to say and do during play. The Specific Aims of Phase I are as follows: Aim 1 verifies fidelity of each teacher's use of Notebook and PowerPoint(R) activity schedules and that a child's independent play and social initiations improve (with multiple baseline designs). Aim 2 evaluates each teacher's skill acquisition and consumer feedback resulting from how-to training in PowerPoint(R) activity schedules (with multiple baseline designs and consumer satisfaction survey). Aim 3 examines the commercial potential of an emerging PowerPoint(R) training package (with independent consultation and critique). In Phase II, a refined and expanded "PowerPoint(R) for Special Educators" will include other visual learning components (e.g., picture communication, picture reading, and social story activities) and be evaluated in schools, clinics, and homes.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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