Two ASU students researching education strategies for students with autism

ASU students Shannon Cleary (left) and Tara Boyd (right) are combining their interest in autism with research projects guided by faculty expert, Juliet Hart Barnett. (Used with permission.)

ASU students Shannon Cleary (left) and Tara Boyd (right) are combining their interest in autism with research projects guided by faculty expert, Juliet Hart Barnett. (Used with permission.)

Profiles in Brief – Two students using their interests to make a difference in autism education.

“We can’t prepare teachers fast enough to work with students having autism in their classrooms,”

said associate professor Juliet Hart Barnett of ASU’s Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College

ASU senior Tara Boyd, journalism major, and Shannon Cleary, a sophomore majoring in secondary math education, are Barrett Honors College students who first met Hart Barnett through the class titled “Orientation to Educating the Exceptional Child.”

Boyd spent two months meeting with Hart Barnett before they finalized her research topic – developing five criteria for evaluating iPad apps designed for use with children with autism. Her literature review of past research showed that, typically, these students were using “icon cards” with pictures on them to communicate their needs to their teacher. Boyd and Hart Barnett teamed up to study replacing this decidedly low-tech approach with using the iPad as a more effective instructional tool.

“If you search the iTunes store, you’ll find more than a hundred apps designed for helping children having autism,” Boyd said. “We wanted to come up with reliable criteria that teachers can use to determine which app is best-suited for their students’ needs.”

As a future math educator, Cleary became interested in how students having autism may struggle with learning math while taking SPE 222 with Hart Barnett last year. She asked the professor if she could work with her, and together they developed the idea of researching mathematics intervention strategies for these students at the secondary level.

Hart Barnett is working with both students to have their findings published in education academic journals.

Excerpts reprinted with permission from Arizona State University.

Originally posted 2013-11-12 01:26:20.

Top Stories and Breaking News

Researchers hope to revolutionize autism diagnosis through Autism & Beyond app

New York — A team of researchers from Duke are hoping to revolutionize how autism is diagnosed in young children through an iPhone app called ‘Autism & Beyond’. The researchers are working closely with Apple in hopes of improving how autism is diagnosed in children today. Due to the surge of the number of children […]

Autism book nominated for Samuel Johnson Prize

London — Steve Silberman’s “Neurotribes”, a book that explores autism, has been nominated for a Samuel Johnson Prize.  Autism Daily Newscast book review can be read here. The Samuel Johnson Prize is the leading literary award-giving body in the U.K. It recognizes non-fiction books written in the English language, and has been named after essayist […]

Children with autism in minorities face more hurdles than their peers

Rochester, N.Y. — Families caring for children with autism in minorities face more hurdles than other families who are going through the same challenges. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said that children of minorities often get a diagnosis much later than their Caucasian peers. According to the center, children of color are […]

News In Brief About News In Brief

These are short news articles that report quickly on breaking events or snapshots of news for quick coverage. They are not as in-depth but a synopsis.