The present study investigated effects of interventions in which the participant was instructed to make gestures corresponding to vocal or visual stimuli, and mechanisms of acquiring receptive language through the mediation of gestures. The participant in the study was a boy (age 4 years 2 months at the start of the study) who had been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, and who had diffıculty acquiring receptive language relating to the names of things. He was given matching-to-sample tasks in which he was instructed to choose picture cards that corresponded to vocal stimuli. The following instructions were introduced successively: (a) make gestures corresponding to vocal stimuli, and (b) make gestures corresponding to visual stimuli (picture cards) presented together with vocal stimuli. He was given stimulus equivalence tests before and after the interventions. The results indicated that his acquisition of receptive language was facilitated better when he was instructed to make gestures corresponding to picture cards accompanied by vocal stimuli, compared to when only vocal stimuli were presented. Moreover, there were stimulus relationships among the 3 types of stimuli (vocal, gestural, and visual) after the interventions. The mediation of gestures appeared to be effective for his acquisition of receptive language. These fındings suggest that instructing the boy to choose a picture card corresponding to a vocal stimulus and make a gesture might have functioned as a joint control of his behavior.
The present study examined the relation between parents' awareness of educational support for their children with mucopolysaccharidosis and evaluation of their satisfaction with that support. Parents (N＝57) whose school-aged children had mucopolysaccharidosis and who were participating in a meeting of parents of such children completed questionnaires. Their responses on the items relating to their awareness of educational support for parents and their evaluation of their satisfaction with the support were analyzed using Fisher's exact test; responses referring to when the children were in preschool, elementary school, and junior high school were analyzed separately. When the parents were aware of individual and psychological supports for their children, they generally reported satisfaction. On the other hand, parents who indicated that there was no support when their children were in preschool and elementary school reported dissatisfaction. This appeared to be the result of the parents' lack of support from when their children were in preschool continuing to when they were in elementary school. These observations suggest that teachers should share the school's support policy with the parents, support any diffıculties that each family may be having, and be sensitive to their feelings.
The present study, which was conducted at a special needs junior high school for students with intellectual disabilities, aimed to demonstrate effects of schoolwide positive behavior support. Participants (N＝30) were given social skills training in a class on independent activities. In the students' regular classes, the teachers verbally praised students who independently greeted them, and used visual prompts if a student did not. In the independent activity class, students were given training in greeting their teacher appropriately, using accuracy and fluency training and peer tutoring. Accuracy and fluency training were also conducted in the morning classes by the regular class teachers. The dependent variable was the occurrence of students independently greeting their teacher. The baseline measurement indicated that 9 of the 30 students independently greeted their teacher. After instruction in the regular class and the independent activity class, 26 of the 30 students independently said greetings both to teachers who had given them training and to other teachers, and 23 of those students were found to have maintained this skill at a follow-up measurement 8 months later. A social validity survey of the teachers found that they reported that it had been necessary and effective to choose common objectives and use common instruction methods. The discussion points out the diffıculty in developing and implementing a system that reduces teachers' burdens without increasing the number of instruction methods that teachers have to use.
The present article reviews publications on the learning of children with profound and multiple disabilities. Because of the severity and overlap of these children's disabilities, it is not easy to set up suitable goals and curricula for them, and teachers at schools for children with special needs have a diffıcult time. However, regardless of the severity of these children's disabilities, it is important that they learn actively by themselves. The present review classifıed articles in the published literature on the learning of children with profound and multiple disabilities into the following categories: (a) the relation between children with profound and multiple disabilities and the teachers who try to communicate with them (kakawarite), (b) cognitive development and applied behavior analysis, (c) mass teaching and group learning, (d) joint attention, and (e) ecological psychology. Previous research has strongly emphasized the importance of teachers' actions and the setting for learning. The present review discusses the learning of children with profound and multiple disabilities from the perspective of cultural psychology.
Recent publications have pointed out the importance of assessing the preferences of individuals with severe to profound intellectual disabilities or autism spectrum disorders, and the effectiveness of using those preferences when doing interventions. Although many studies conducted outside of Japan have examined preference assessment procedures and intervention programs that are based on preferences, few such studies have been done in Japan. The present article presents an overview of published studies on procedures for assessing preferences, and reviews and discusses practical research articles published from 2011 to 2015 in Japan that dealt with interventions for people with severe to profound intellectual disabilities or autism spectrum disorders. In general, few practical studies have described procedures for systematically assessing preferences or explained how to incorporate the outcome of such assessments into intervention programs. The discussion suggests that in order to expand the use of the assessment of preferences for support plans for individuals with several to profound intellectual disabilities or autism spectrum disorders in Japan, methodological improvements are needed in the assessment of preferences and the provision of information to support staff in practical fields such as schools and support agencies.