Attention Training in Autism as a Potential Approach to Improving Academic Performance: A School-Based Pilot Study

Mayra Muller Spaniol*, Lilach Shalev, Lila Kossyvaki, Carmel Mevorach

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study assessed the effectiveness of an attention intervention program (Computerized Progressive Attentional Training; CPAT) in improving academic performance of children with ASD. Fifteen 6–10 year olds with ASD attending a mainstream and a special school were assigned to an experimental (CPAT; n = 8) and active control (computer games; n = 7) group. Children were assessed pre- and post-intervention on measures of behavioural symptoms, cognitive skills and academic performance. The intervention was conducted in school twice a week for 8 weeks. Children in the CPAT group showed cognitive and academic improvements over and above the active control group, while children in both groups showed improvements in behaviour. Results suggest that attention training is a feasible approach to improving academic performance in this population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)592-610
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Volume48
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2018

Funding

FundersFunder number
University of Birmingham
Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior2903/13-0

    Keywords

    • Academic performance
    • Attention training
    • Autism
    • Computerized training
    • School-based intervention

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