Autism Spectrum Disorders in the Social Context

Sophia is a seven-year-old client diagnosed with autism spectrum (ASD) disorder at the age of 5. She has significant difficulties in completing assignments whenever her mother does not supervise her. The parents are also concerned about the decreased social interactions in their child. She lives in the suburbs of the town with her parents who work in town. She has one sibling aged two years with no signs or symptoms of cognitive or behavioral disturbances. Therefore, adequate family interventions are needed to raise the family competencies in caring for the child with ASD.

Areas of Strengths, Resilience, and Protective Factors

The child shows several positive signs of improved behavioral and cognitive functioning. First, she is brilliant in solving simple arithmetic tasks and reading tests. Second, she shows exemplary skills in articulating words compared to other students. She is strong-willed to solve mathematics puzzles despite taking a longer time to complete calculations. The protective factors include a loving, caring, and supportive family who hired a care provider to look after Sophia whenever they are not at home. Additionally, they have enrolled their child in weekly appointments with the psychiatrist to improve her behavioral temperaments.

Goals and Objectives for the Client

The treatment plan aims to attain stability of the behavioral symptoms and improve the child’s cognitive capacity. Specifically, treatment is tailored to enable the child to be relaxed with fewer episodes of irritability. Other objectives involve improving the attention span of the client to improve the homework completion. Furthermore, the goal of interventions is to strengthen the self-perception of the child. Enhanced self-esteem is instrumental in improving the sociability of the child (Verschuur et al., 2021). Confidence is required to promote homework completion even when there is no help from her parents.

Target Problems and Behaviors

Interventions are directed to decreasing the incidence of certain undesirable behaviors and correcting specific problems. The targeted disorders include difficulty in completing assignments when alone and on time due to lack of attention. Other problems include improving the sociability of the child both at home and school. Effective communication with her peers and family is crucial to promoting relief of the symptoms of ASD (Verschuur et al., 2021). Identifying the potential problems and ineffective traits is the gold standard for practical behavioral and cognitive difficulties.

Theoretical Perspective and Empirical Studies

The first article aimed to determine how an instructor can use it to motivate students to learn. It is a case study of an instructor’s observation of his student’s reading and comprehension difficulties with ASD and a literature review on improving the learning abilities in autism (Cerga-Pashoja et al., 2019). Like Sophia, the student in this study had substantial disruptions in attention and learning competencies after a comprehensive assessment. Several strategies were identified for improving the student’s motivation to learn including giving explicit instructions to the students during the lesson (Cerga-Pashoja et al., 2019). Encouraging the child and giving rewards such as toys to play with after accomplishing their assignments to motivate children with ASD to learn. Acknowledgments should also be given when the child maintains a commendable attention span or displays polite behaviors (Cerga-Pashoja et al., 2019). Finally, this study identified visual representations as a strategy to improve children’s motivation to learn. Additional studies with larger samples are required to determine the strategies for motivation for learning in ASD clients.

The second article analyzed how English teachers motivated students with ASD to enhance their English language learning. It also targeted to identify the teaching methodologies and learning materials available for motivating learners. This study involved interviewing three teachers with experience in instructing junior pupils with ASD (Nilsson, 2020). The stresses on the affirmation of academic improvement by students. Furthermore, instructors need to continuously restate the importance of the learning material to children to motivate them to learn. Teachers need to tailor the learning information according to the personal preferences of the learners. Additionally, teachers should use learning materials that provide visual and auditory support of the unit content (Nilsson, 2020). This study identified a lacuna of research articles to determine the effectiveness of methods used in L2 English classes to instruct students with ASD. Clients with ASD need exercises that enhance interactive activities which provide audio to the materials.

The aim of the third article analyzed was to compare motivation and attitude of children with ASD who attended ten sessions of reading with or without a dog. The study involved nine children between the age of 7 to 11 years who were randomly assigned to two groups (Uccheddu et al., 2019). One group was made to read to a dog handled by an expert, while the other group had no dog intervention. It was found out that the overall attendance of students with autism who attended the reading sessions aided with a dog was at 100% compared to 75% of those children with no dog intervention for reading. These findings show that reading to a dog has a positive effect in improving the motivation and attitude of children with autism to read (Uccheddu et al., 2019). The limitation of this study is the small sample size and the biases due to differences in parenting styles. The authors call for additional studies to identify the impacts of this intervention on improving cognitive and reading capabilities.

Applicability of the Interventions

The findings of these articles are influential in meeting the learning needs of Sophia. First, applying positive reinforcements is imperative in improving the motivation of the child. The intervention plan constitutes giving acknowledging and motivating the child with gifts, including toys. Second, the use of interactive boards is critical for promoting the effective learning outcomes of the child (Nilsson, 2020). The teaching plan incorporates interactive websites, which provides for the visual and voice of the learning content as well as clarification of complex vocabularies in the study. The learning materials utilized in this intervention direct the child on what to do if they find the assignment challenging.

Independent Variable

The study was aimed to determine the cognitive abilities and task completion rates of the client. The other goal of this study was to determine the factors that motivate the child to learn. In this study, math and reading tasks in line with the child’s education level were utilized. The child was given simple reading and math tests covered in school and encouraged to complete them quickly within a given timeframe. Sophia was promised to be rewarded whenever she finishes the task alone and on time. Other tasks which Sophia prefers were also included in the study.


The intervention involved administering a reading or math problem to the child. The child was then observed for any challenges faced during the homework and the period for completing the task. The child was allowed to choose the preferred pens and pencils for the assignment. Motivational strategies were incorporated within the functions. She was promised incentives after meeting the objectives. Some of the motivating statements include, “you will go to play when you finish.” Moreover, other target works were embedded within the more manageable tasks.

Plan Implementation and Fidelity Checks

The study was conducted in the client’s home environment for convenience. The parents of the child were incorporated into the study. They were taught to assess the variables of interest, including the motivational studies to be used. The clinician strived to attend all the sessions to effectively collect data and gain essential skills to correct attention and task completion deficits. The clinician also conducted data collection of the effects of using motivation.

Research Design and Procedure

This research study utilized the pretest-posttest control design to arrive at the conclusions. In this design, the clinician randomly conducts data collection for the experimental and the control groups. Different days are allocated for collecting data on the other variables under study. The clinician records the influence of motivation on the child’s homework completion and timeframe to complete the task. The data collection process occurs concurrently with the task completion rates of the child. Before the data collection, the motivating factors of the child were identified in collaboration with her parents.


The variables to be measured include latency, which is the child’s timeframe to complete a task. It was calculated from the period when the instruction was issued when the client finished the job. The second variable analyzed was the rate of finishing simple math or reading assignments per minute. The third variable studied was the incidences of disruptive behaviors displayed by the child. The client’s time deviated by screaming, running, or doing other things apart from doing the assignment was recorded. Additionally, the length of time of the child’s concentration was recorded to indicate her interest in the task.


Data will be collected using interviews to identify the factors that affect the child’s reading and concentration skills. The results of these findings will be recorded for future analysis. Additionally, the reading and concentration skills of the child will be observed for three months. The clinician in collaboration will determine the best interventions applicable for motivating the child. They will also evaluate the effectiveness of motivation in improving the reading capacities of the child.

Interview Questions

The following are questions that the interviewer asked to identify the factors influencing the child’s task completion.

  • What do you find challenging in doing your homework?
  • How do you feel when doing homework?
  • What do you do when the homework is difficult?
  • What motivates you to complete your homework on time?

Research design, Pre-intervention, and Post-intervention

The research design used in this study was a recording of the narrative from the sessions. Careful documentation of the client’s behaviors was also performed. Before the intervention, Sophia was taught the importance of paying attention to her reading. The parents and the clinician promised her reinforcements if she maintains an effective reading strategy. After the intervention, the child was given something to eat and allowed to play with her toys. The care providers also complimented her and encouraged her of her progress.

Procedure, Goals, and Measures

The interview was conducted at the child’s home when the child was doing the homework. The questions were explained to the child to improve her completion. A simple language was used to enhance her comprehension of the interview information. Rewards, including toys and favorite snacks, were offered to the child to strengthen her cooperation. This interview aimed to determine the child’s attitude towards assignments. It also aimed to identify the motivating and hindering factors during homework completion. The table below shows the chart where the daily observations of Sophia would be recorded.

Subjects day 1 day 2 day 3 day 4 day 5 day 6 day 7


Quantitative Results

Several findings were observed regarding the child’s latency, task completion, and concentration time frames in completing tasks. Initially, the child struggled to complete simple arithmetic and reading studies before the intervention. It was identified that completing tasks improved when there were reinforcements with a cake or a toy. Additionally, the child showed more prolonged attention span when the clinician and the parents continuously reminded her to stay focused. The completion rates of the client on the preferable tasks were also high. Home works that were perceived to be difficult had higher incidences of deviations. Sophia showed significant improvements in staying focused on the study with continued interventions.

Qualitative Results

The qualitative analysis of the child identified certain factors which impacted her learning outcomes. The child stated that complex tasks make her irritated. She also likes doing home works that use “cartoons to pass information.” Moreover, the child is motivated to complete the assignment on time to eat the chocolate and cakes offered by her parents. Sophia also likes to finish the tasks to get a chance to play with her toys. The utilization of the interactive websites significantly improved the completion rates of the assigned work.

Analysis of Change

Several changes were noted during the research period on the reading habits of Sophia. First, the child’s attention span improved twice a fold when promised to be given a favorite snack or toy. Second, the client displayed reduced deviations during the learning activity when her parents reminded her of the study goals. Third, the child’s confidence levels were enhanced by utilizing the interactive audiovisual boards to complete the homework. Overall, the learning competencies of the child improved following the interventions. The following table shows the results from Sophia’s behavioral chart analysis.

Subjects Week 1 Week 2 Week 3

Discussion, Limitations, and Threats

This study shows that the learning and task completion rates of the child with autism are significantly improved when motivation strategies are applied in education. Moreover, motivation enhanced the desire to learn and the attention span of the client. The use of interactive audiovisual study resources improved the completion rate (Verschuur et al., 2021). The continued reminding of the child of the assignments’ goals and objectives is imperative in fostering improvement in her academic performances. Engaging the child in preferred academic tasks and using interactive boards increase the child’s resolve to stay focused on the job. Furthermore, the use of motivation was found to be significant in reducing disruptive behaviors. These undesirable acts hinder the practical completion of simple reading or math jobs by the child with ASD. However, the findings of this research study are limited by the small sample size used. The pretest-posttest experimental design provides channels for threats to the internal validity of the results. Future research is required to determine the amount of motivation needed to produce children with autism spectrum disorder’s independent learning abilities. The plan of action for the child involves the continued use of motivational strategies identified to foster good academic performances. The application of motivation in clinical practice can be effective in improving the motivation of clients with ASD to read.


Cerga-Pashoja, A., Gaete, J., Shishkova, A., & Jordanova, V. (2019). Improving reading in adolescents and adults with high-functioning autism through an assistive technology tool: A cross-over multinational study. Frontiers in Psychiatry, 10, 546. Web.

Nilsson, C. (2020). Motivating students within autism spectrum disorder to develop their L2 English language: Teaching methods for motivation in Swedish secondary schools. Web.

Uccheddu, S., Albertini, M., Pierantoni, L., Fantino, S., & Pirrone, F. (2019). The impacts of a Reading-to-Dog Programme on attending and reading of nine children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Animals, 9(8), 491. Web.

Verschuur, R., Huskens, B., & Didden, R. (2021). Training teachers to implement classroom pivotal response teaching during small-group instruction: A pilot study. Developmental Neurorehabilitation, 24(2), 85–97. Web.

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PsychologyWriting. (2023, January 6). Autism Spectrum Disorders in the Social Context. Retrieved from


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"Autism Spectrum Disorders in the Social Context." PsychologyWriting, 6 Jan. 2023,


PsychologyWriting. (2023) 'Autism Spectrum Disorders in the Social Context'. 6 January.


PsychologyWriting. 2023. "Autism Spectrum Disorders in the Social Context." January 6, 2023.

1. PsychologyWriting. "Autism Spectrum Disorders in the Social Context." January 6, 2023.


PsychologyWriting. "Autism Spectrum Disorders in the Social Context." January 6, 2023.