Efficacy of the daily report card intervention for high-functioning children with autism spectrum disorder: A multiple-baseline study
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The present study examined the Daily Report Card (DRC) intervention in high-functioning students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The DRC is a commonly employed behavioral intervention for treating children with disruptive and off-task behaviors in schools. To implement a DRC, teachers and parents work collaboratively to create an operationalized list of a child’s target behaviors (e.g., interrupting, noncompliance, academic productivity), set specific criteria for meeting each behavioral goal (e.g., interrupts three or fewer times during math instruction), and provide home- or school-based privileges contingent on the child’s performance. Although high-functioning students with ASDs would likely benefit from this structured intervention, it has never been examined as a stand-alone intervention with this population. To address this gap, the present study utilized a multiple baseline design with four students. Systematic direct observations were used before and after implementation to measure academic engagement, disruption, and social engagement. Standard Mean Difference and Tau effect sizes were calculated for each participant and target. Teachers also completed an acceptability and feasibility measure of the intervention post-completion. In general, effect sizes demonstrated significant improvement on both academic engagement and disruptive behavior targets, but varied results for social engagement. Teachers rated the DRC as an acceptable and feasible intervention for use with high-functioning students who have ASD. A discussion of the use of this intervention in schools and future directions for research follows.