UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The impact of a visual activity schedule for teaching swimming to children with disabilities Larryant, Bernardus


As a physical activity, swimming has many sociological and safety benefits (Brenner, Saluja, & Smith, 2003; Rogers, Hemmeter, & Wolery, 2010). Past research has investigated different methods for teaching swimming lessons to children with autism and other developmental disabilities (Jull, 2012; Pan, 2010; Pan, 2011; Rogers et al, 2010; Yilmaz, Birkan, Konukman, & Yanardag, 2010). However, no research to date has specifically examined the impact of a visual activity schedule (VAS) during swimming lessons. Moreover, the focus of past research has been mainly on 1:1 instruction, rather than group instruction. The purpose of this study was to determine the effectiveness of a VAS in a group swimming lesson. Three participants with autism and other developmental disabilities participated in 14 30-minute group swimming lessons taught by a qualified instructor. A single-subject reversal (ABAB) design was used to examine the effect of VAS on child cooperation. Skill acquisition was assessed by comparing the videos from the beginning and the end of the study. Social validity was assessed by surveying participants’ parents about the perceived effectiveness of the VAS and their overall satisfaction with the program. The results showed no significant difference in child cooperation among the three participants between baseline and VAS phases, primarily because compliance was high for all three children during baseline. However, skill acquisition was observed across all three participants. In terms of social validity, all parents reported that they were satisfied with the way the study was conducted as well as the progress they saw on their child. The results are explained with reference to instructor training, generalized compliance, and the impact of group intervention.

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