Improving Working Memory of Children With Autism
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|ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT04209452|
Recruitment Status : Terminated (COVID-19)
First Posted : December 24, 2019
Last Update Posted : November 12, 2020
Existing findings suggest that challenges in working memory (WM) of children with autism are common (Habib, Pollick, Melville, & 2019). The WM malfunction can last across the lifespan and individuals with autism exhibit large WM impairments in both phonological and visuospatial domains (Habib, Harris, Pollick & Melville, 2019). Despite the well-documented effects of WM impairments, little research has been dedicated to strategies for improving the working memory of children with autism.
Previous research found that individuals who verbally repeat a previously presented stimulus (i.e., rehearsal) tended to perform better than those who do not rehearse (Bebko, Rhee, Ncube, & Dahary, 2017; Joseph, Steele, Meyer, & Tager-Flusberg, 2005). In addition, among studies that investigated WM in children with autism, Baltruschat et al (2011a; 2011; 2012) conduct studies using positive reinforcement. Their results reveal that the positive reinforcement appeared to have produced better working memory.
The present study intends to investigate if training children with autism to use rehearsal strategy would improve their working memory. In addition, the investigators are also interested to see if reinforcement is a critical component that may provide additive effects beyond the effects of rehearsal. The investigators intend to randomly assign children to four different conditions: control, rehearsal, reinforcement, and rehearsal + reinforcement conditions. The results of this study should provide empirical evidence for practitioners to improve WM in children with autism.
|Condition or disease||Intervention/treatment||Phase|
|Autism||Behavioral: Rehearsal strategy Behavioral: Reinforcement Behavioral: Rehearsal strategy and reinforcement||Not Applicable|
|Study Type :||Interventional (Clinical Trial)|
|Actual Enrollment :||15 participants|
|Intervention Model:||Factorial Assignment|
|Masking:||None (Open Label)|
|Official Title:||Improving Working Memory of Children With Autism Through Instruction on Rehearsal Strategy and Reinforcement|
|Actual Study Start Date :||January 15, 2020|
|Actual Primary Completion Date :||November 10, 2020|
|Actual Study Completion Date :||November 10, 2020|
No Intervention: Control
No intervention will be provided for participants enrolled in the control group.
Participants will receive instruction on rehearsal strategy.
Behavioral: Rehearsal strategy
Teaching children to cumulatively rehearse numbers as they are being said.
Participants will receive reinforcement for correct recall.
Providing reinforcement for correct recall after a delay.
Experimental: Rehearsal + Reinforcement
The participants in this group will receive instruction on rehearsal strategy and reinforcement for correct recall.
Behavioral: Rehearsal strategy and reinforcement
Teaching children to cumulatively rehearse numbers as they are being said, AND providing reinforcement for correct recall after a delay.
- Change in percent recall [ Time Frame: Before, during, and up to 2 weeks after intervention. ]Participants will hear a sequence of digits or words (range from 1 to 9 stimuli) and then will be asked to recall the serial order after a delay (e.g., 9, 12, or 15 s). Percent correct recall of serial order will be calculated for all sequences as well as for each sequence size and delay. Change of percent recall from before, during, and after the intervention will be measured.
- Change in percent strategy used. [ Time Frame: During the intervention, and up to 2 weeks after intervention. ]Percentage of trials in which a rehearsal strategy or another memory strategy is used will be calculated during and after the intervention. We will code the strategies used by participants and calculate the percentage of trials in which a rehearsal strategy or another strategy they used.
To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.
Please refer to this study by its ClinicalTrials.gov identifier (NCT number): NCT04209452
|Jingdezhen Kindkids Autism Rehabilitation and Training Center|
|Jingdezhen, Jiangxi, China|
|Sunshine Special Education Center|
|Taizhou, Zhejiang, China|
|Shanghai Xuhui Clover Children Healthy Garden|
|Principal Investigator:||Chengan Yuan, PhD||Arizona State University|
|Principal Investigator:||Erin Rotheram-Fuller, PhD||Arizona State University|