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Although the use of data is important for informing inclusive practice, research into Australian early childhood educators’ data practice is limited. Types of data collected in early childhood settings and the use of these data were investigated. Surveys completed by 105 early childhood educators across Australia indicated that anecdotal written records, photos, and children’s work samples were the predominant data collection strategies used for both children with and without additional needs. More educators reported that they collected counted or timed behaviour data for children with additional needs than for those without additional needs. One third of educators did not indicate that they collect this type of data. The majority of educators indicated that they value the use of data in their practice, reported that they use data for progress monitoring and modification of activities to meet the needs of individuals with additional needs, and perceived that they were confident in using the data collection strategies that they nominated. The data that these Australian early childhood educators used were predominantly qualitative, suggesting that training is needed for educators to collect and utilise both qualitative and quantitative data to assist with instructional decision-making.
The inclusion of students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is increasing, but there have been no longitudinal studies of included students in Australia. Interview data reported in this study concern primary school children with ASD enrolled in mainstream classes in South Australia and New South Wales, Australia. In order to examine perceived facilitators and barriers to inclusion, parents, teachers, and principals were asked to comment on the facilitators and barriers to inclusion relevant to each child. Data are reported about 60 students, comprising a total of 305 parent interviews, 208 teacher interviews, and 227 principal interviews collected at 6-monthly intervals over 3.5 years. The most commonly mentioned facilitator was teacher practices. The most commonly mentioned barrier was intrinsic student factors. Other factors not directly controllable by school staff, such as resource limitations, were also commonly identified by principals and teachers. Parents were more likely to mention school- or teacher-related barriers. Many of the current findings were consistent with previous studies but some differences were noted, including limited reporting of sensory issues and bullying as barriers. There was little change in the pattern of facilitators and barriers identified by respondents over time. A number of implications for practice and directions for future research are discussed.
Groups are increasingly used to deliver behavior change interventions, but such interventions are seldom based on theory and research on social group processes. A consequence of this is that existing group interventions are often heterogenous and difficult to evaluate. The social identity approach addresses important questions relevant to the design and delivery of group interventions for supporting behavior change. Drawing on this approach, the social identity model of behavior change explains how group processes can be harnessed in behavior change interventions. The model prioritizes the establishment of shared social identity among intervention group members and outlines how, through six core group resources, social identification can shape delivery of intervention content to achieve behavior change. Evidence for the key resources specified in the model is presented, and a step-by-step guide provided, to support the operationalization of the model’s principles in practice.
We describe an ultra-wide-bandwidth, low-frequency receiver recently installed on the Parkes radio telescope. The receiver system provides continuous frequency coverage from 704 to 4032 MHz. For much of the band (
), the system temperature is approximately 22 K and the receiver system remains in a linear regime even in the presence of strong mobile phone transmissions. We discuss the scientific and technical aspects of the new receiver, including its astronomical objectives, as well as the feed, receiver, digitiser, and signal processor design. We describe the pipeline routines that form the archive-ready data products and how those data files can be accessed from the archives. The system performance is quantified, including the system noise and linearity, beam shape, antenna efficiency, polarisation calibration, and timing stability.
Extant research addressing implicit factors related to intervention decisions made by parents of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is limited and findings have been inconsistent. In the present study, 74 parents of preschoolers with ASD were surveyed regarding intervention use. The possible relationships between implicit parent factors (education level, age, causal beliefs about ASD, complementary and alternative medicine [CAM] use, and family income) and child factors (time since diagnosis, and perceived severity of ASD), and the number and type of interventions used were examined. Consistent with previous research, only a small number of significant relationships were found, including that family income, parent use of CAM, mother’s education, parent belief in an unknown aetiology of ASD, and time since child’s diagnosis were all related to the number of interventions used. Some specific findings of previous research were not replicated in the present study (e.g., neither beliefs in environmental aetiology of ASD nor parent education levels were related to the use of specific CAM interventions), indicating that factors affecting decision-making may not be consistent across samples. Nevertheless, future research including an expanded range of possible implicit factors with more diverse samples may provide a more accurate predictive model of parent decision-making.
In Canada, recreational use of cannabis was legalized in October 2018. This policy change along with recent publications evaluating the efficacy of cannabis for the medical treatment of epilepsy and media awareness about its use have increased the public interest about this agent. The Canadian League Against Epilepsy Medical Therapeutics Committee, along with a multidisciplinary group of experts and Canadian Epilepsy Alliance representatives, has developed a position statement about the use of medical cannabis for epilepsy. This article addresses the current Canadian legal framework, recent publications about its efficacy and safety profile, and our understanding of the clinical issues that should be considered when contemplating cannabis use for medical purposes.
Rapeseed is a popular cover crop choice due to its deep-growing taproot, which creates soil macropores and increases water infiltration. Brassicaceae spp. that are mature or at later growth stages can be troublesome to control. Experiments were conducted in Delaware and Virginia to evaluate herbicides for terminating rapeseed cover crops. Two separate experiments, adjacent to each other, were established to evaluate rapeseed termination by 14 herbicide treatments at two timings. Termination timings included an early and late termination to simulate rapeseed termination prior to planting corn and soybean, respectively, for the region. At three locations where rapeseed height averaged 12 cm at early termination and 52 cm at late termination, glyphosate + 2,4-D was most effective, controlling rapeseed 96% 28 d after early termination (DAET). Paraquat + atrazine + mesotrione (92%), glyphosate + saflufenacil (91%), glyphosate + dicamba (91%), and glyphosate (86%) all provided at least 80% control 28 DAET. Rapeseed biomass followed a similar trend. Paraquat + 2,4-D (85%), glyphosate + 2,4-D (82%), and paraquat + atrazine + mesotrione (81%) were the only treatments that provided at least 80% control 28 d after late termination (DALT). Herbicide efficacy was less at Painter in 2017, where rapeseed height was 41 cm at early termination, and 107 cm at late termination. No herbicide treatments controlled rapeseed >80% 28 DAET or 28 DALT at this location. Herbicide termination of rapeseed is best when the plant is small; termination of large rapeseed plants may require mechanical of other methods beyond herbicides.
The ability to generate narratives is important for literacy development. Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have been found to generate less complex narratives than typically developing peers. This pilot AB study was designed to investigate the efficacy of a brief intervention procedure to develop the macrostructure of original fictional narratives based on a realistic scenario in one child, aged 9 years 8 months, with autism spectrum disorder and language disorder. The intervention targeted the characters, setting, problem, feelings, and fix of fictional narrative. Intervention involved the use of macrostructure icons, pictures to support the generation of narratives, clinician modelling, and the participant telling the entire narrative each session. The participant received 12 training sessions of 4–6 minutes each and the intervention was effective. Areas for future research include implementation of a stronger research design and investigation of generalisation to fantasy-based fictional narratives.
This study provides an in-depth examination of the understanding and implementation of cognitive–behavioural approaches (CBA) by Australian teachers of students with both autism spectrum disorder and intellectual disability. Semistructured interviews were completed with 13 New South Wales teachers and several themes emerged. Interviewed teachers appeared to have limited knowledge about CBA; their description of the application of CBA and their reported practices included few features specific and unique to CBA. They primarily perceived CBA as a tool for behaviour management; addressing emotion was a theme but addressing cognition was not a salient feature of their practice. Most teachers seemed unaware of the potential of CBA in fostering generalisation or maintenance, and important student characteristics appeared to be seldom considered in teacher planning of their CBA programs. Directions for enhancing teacher knowledge and supporting their practice of CBA are suggested.
Many scholars agree that the Internet plays a pivotal role in self-radicalization, which can lead to behaviors ranging from lone-wolf terrorism to participation in white nationalist rallies to mundane bigotry and voting for extremist candidates. However, the mechanisms by which the Internet facilitates self-radicalization are disputed; some fault the individuals who end up self-radicalized, while others lay the blame on the technology itself. In this paper, we explore the role played by technological design decisions in online self-radicalization in its myriad guises, encompassing extreme as well as more mundane forms. We begin by characterizing the phenomenon of technological seduction. Next, we distinguish between top-down seduction and bottom-up seduction. We then situate both forms of technological seduction within the theoretical model of dynamical systems theory. We conclude by articulating strategies for combating online self-radicalization.
A pilot study of the effectiveness of guided access to websites that provide information on intervention options for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) was conducted with 12 parents of preschool-aged children with ASD. Guided access to reliable websites that included information about the efficacy of interventions for ASD (Raising Children Network, 2006–2014; Research Autism, 2006–2014) was provided in the format of a DVD presentation. The guidelines for choosing interventions provided on the Raising Children Network (2009) website were reiterated and assistance was provided with navigation and interpretation of the sites. Participants reported the guided access to reliable websites as useful and also reported an increased level of confidence in making intervention decisions after using the package. However, the guided access did not appear to influence the factors that parents considered important in decision-making, their understanding of the level of research support for interventions, nor their desire to use different interventions. Implications for future research and attempts to disseminate information to parents are discussed.
In the abovementioned article by Sng, Carter, & Stephenson, Figure 2 is incorrect. The phase change line from ‘Baseline’ to the ‘Intervention’ is cropped and in the wrong place. These two errors may mislead readers of the article.
Scripts in written or auditory form have been used to teach conversational skills to individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), but with the proliferation of handheld tablet devices the scope to combine these 2 formats has broadened. The aim of this pilot study was to investigate if a script-based intervention, presented on an iPad conversational app, would be effective in teaching basic conversation skills within a school setting. A multiple baseline with probe design across scripts was employed to teach a student with ASD on-topic responses. Experimental control was demonstrated across 2 of the 3 baselines. Surprisingly, a substantial degree of generalisation was evident, which may have compromised demonstration of experimental control. This app may be a practical and effective tool for teaching on-topic responses to an individual with ASD, and further research is warranted.
Extant research on sources of information about interventions used by parents of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has provided a general overview of sources used. However, it has provided little insight into why parents view certain sources as reliable or trustworthy, or how useful parents found the information provided to them by the sources and why. This paper provides a qualitative analysis of interviews conducted with 12 Australian parents of preschool-age children with ASD. Participants discussed the factors related to their perceptions of the reliability and trustworthiness of sources used, as well as the usefulness of the information provided. Parent ratings of the reliability of sources were influenced by factors including the firsthand experience of other parents, the parent's relationship with the source, and their beliefs about the sources’ intentions. A number of parents reported that sources provided either information of limited use or an overwhelming amount of information. Considerable variation was reported in the usefulness of information provided to parents. Recommendations regarding research and practice are offered.
Offload delay is a prolonged interval between ambulance arrival in the emergency department (ED) and transfer of patient care, typically occurring when EDs are crowded. The offload zone (OZ), which manages ambulance patients waiting for an ED bed, has been implemented to mitigate the impact of ED crowding on ambulance availability. Little is known about the safety or efficiency. The study objectives were to process map the OZ and conduct a hazard analysis to identify steps that could compromise patient safety or process efficiency.
A Health Care Failure Mode and Effect Analysis was conducted. Failure modes (FM) were identified. For each FM, a probability to occur and severity of impact on patient safety and process efficiency was determined, and a hazard score (probability X severity) was calculated. For any hazard score considered high risk, root causes were identified, and mitigations were sought.
The OZ consists of six major processes: 1) patient transported by ambulance, 2) arrival to the ED, 3) transfer of patient care, 4) patient assessment in OZ, 5) patient care in OZ, and 6) patient transfer out of OZ; 78 FM were identified, of which 28 (35.9%) were deemed high risk and classified as impact on patient safety (n=7/28, 25.0%), process efficiency (n=10/28, 35.7%), or both (n=11/28, 39.3%). Seventeen mitigations were suggested.
This process map and hazard analysis is a first step in understanding the safety and efficiency of the OZ. The results from this study will inform current policy and practice, and future work to reduce offload delay.
The components of quality educational planning for students with moderate and severe intellectual disability are well established, but schools and special educators may not always achieve a desirable standard. This article reports on the change in quality of documentation related to individual planning and programming over a span of 4 years in a special school enrolling high-school-aged students with moderate to severe intellectual disability. The school implemented a program of professional learning, led by school staff, directed at improving planning and programming. There were significant changes in the quality of short-term goals and documentation of teaching programs. There was an increase in the quality of long-term goals but this did not reach significance. Instructional objectives were introduced in the final year of the study, and were not part of previous documentation. There was no evidence of implementation of formal monitoring procedures over the time span of the study. The difficulties observed and the changes as a result of the professional learning reflect those reported elsewhere in the literature, and demonstrate that a school commitment to improving program quality can have positive results.
With the increasing number of treatment and intervention options for parents of children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) in recent years, the number and types of interventions that parents are choosing to use has become of interest. In the present paper, the authors review 41 articles (describing 42 studies) presenting quantitative data on intervention choices of parents of children with ASD. Speech therapy was the most commonly reported intervention for both current and lifetime use. Across the studies, parents were reported to be using a variety of interventions, from those with strong empirical support, such as applied behaviour analysis (ABA), to others that lacked such support, such as dietary interventions. Some differences in the data presented across studies may be attributed to the range of different methodologies used to collect the data. Recommendations for future research, including those related to collecting treatment usage data more consistently, are discussed.
Although qualified special educators are more likely to provide effective teaching for students with disabilities and special education needs, it seems many teachers in special education and support positions are not qualified for this role. The study reported here provided analysis of 219 job advertisements for special education positions in order to ascertain what employers required of applicants for special education positions. Advertisements represented all states and sectors in Australia, although the sample does not fully reflect the relative numbers of schools in each state. Most positions were for class teachers or for teachers providing support within and across schools. Special education qualifications and experience in special education were not common criteria for employment. The concerns raised by this finding are addressed through suggestions for formal recognition for special educators and accreditation of teacher education programs preparing special educators.