Background: Teachers and Vocational Trainers feedback that students with a mild intellectual disability (with and without co-morbid Autism Spectrum Disorder) lacked the pragmatic skills necessary for them to be work ready. They were aged between 17 to 21 years old and are undergoing a structured programme of vocational education, aim at preparing them to be employable and to lead independent lives. A pragmatic skills programme was developed and dovetailed into their work skills training (WST) lessons. Purpose: This study explored the effectiveness of the pragmatic skills programme. Methods: In a single group observational study using pre/post-test design with a three-month follow-up, six students received pragmatic skills intervention during their WST lessons once weekly for four months from a speech and language therapist (SLT). Beyond SLT's presence, teacher and trainers would also request and reminded the students for the targeted behaviours during their WST lessons. Outcomes: All students utilised more pragmatic skills at post-test and at 3-month follow-up. Notable improvements were observed in their ability to initiate a simple speech act. When students showed regression at 3-month follow-up, it was still an improvement of their pre-test scores. Achieving a significant improvement in a new skill might provide an indicative resistance level against regression. Conclusions & Implications: The results of this study showed that all students utilised more pragmatic skills behaviours after the programme. Dovetailing the programme in the natural WST setting and constant attention on the targeted behaviours might also be the attributing factors.
Wendy Yeo, Association for Persons With Special Needs/ Delta Senior School, Singapore
Stream: Learning Experiences, Student Learning & Learner Diversity
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