Fayez Maajeeny


Background: Recent literature suggests that activity schedules increase engagement and independent play skills while decreasing interfering behaviors for students with autism. Therefore, in this study, four students with diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder were taught to use an activity schedules at free time to examine the effects of it on rate of self-stimulatory behavior. Methods: A multiple baseline design was used to examine these effects. The three students were given an activity schedule housed in a binder with five different recess activities. Activities remained constant throughout the study, but the order was changed. Students followed the activity schedule while experimenters tracked frequency of self-stimulatory behaviors. The frequency was then divided by the duration it took the student to complete the schedule to produce rate data. Findings: Results showed that all three students had high levels of self-stimulatory behavior prior to implementation of the schedule (range of subjects: 6.3 – 10.5 times per minute). With the implementation of the activity schedule, all three students had significantly decreased rates of self-stimulatory behavior (range of subjects: (1.5 – 2.2 times per minute). The consistent results show that activity schedules decrease the rate of self-stimulatory behavior at recess. Conclusion: These findings support previous research performed over the last several years and confirmed the effectiveness of activity schedules for students with autism.

Article visualizations:

Hit counter


autism; autism spectrum disorders; self-stimulation; activity schedule

Full Text:



American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed., DSM-V.). doi:10.1176/appi.books.9780890423349

Banda, D. R., Grimmett, E., & Hart, S. L. (2009). Activity Schedules: Helping Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders in General Education Classrooms Manage Transition Issues. Teaching Exceptional Children, 41, 16–21. doi:10.1177/004005990904100402

Carlile, K. A., Reeve, S. A., Reeve, K. F., & DeBar, R. M. (2013). Using activity schedules on the iPod touch to teach leisure skills to children with autism. Education and treatment of children, 36, 33-57. doi:10.1353/etc.2013.0015

Cuhadar, S., & Diken, I. H. (2011). Effectiveness of instruction performed through activity schedules on leisure skills of children with autism. Education and training in autism and developmental disabilities, 46, 386-398.

Gillis, J. M., Callahan, E. H., & Romanczyk, R. G. (2011). Assessment of social behavior in children with autism: The development of the Behavioral Assessment of Social Interactions in Young Children. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 5, 351-360.

Knight, V., Sartini, E., & Spriggs, A. D. (2015). Evaluating visual activity schedules as evidence-based practice for individuals with autism spectrum disorders. Journal of autism and developmental disorders, 45, 157–178. doi:10.1007/s10803-014-2201-z

Koyama, Takanori (2011). Use of activity schedule to promote independent performance of individuals with autism and other intellectual disabilities: A review. Research in developmental disabilities, 32, 2235-2242. doi:10.1016/j.ridd.2011.05.00

Krantz, P. J., MacDuff, M. T., & McClannahan, L. E. (1993). Programming participation in family activities for children with autism: parents' use of photographic activity schedules. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 26, 137-138. doi:10.1901/jaba.1993.26-137

Lee, S., Odom, S. L., & Loftin, R. (2007). Social engagement with peers and stereotypic behavior of children with autism. Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions, 9, 67 – 79. doi:10.1177/10983007070090020401

Machalicek, W., O’Reilly, M. F., Beretvas, N., Sigafoos, J., & Lancioni, G. E. (2007). A review of interventions to reduce challenging behavior in school settings for students with autism spectrum disorders. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 1, 229-246. doi:10.1016/j.rasd.2006.10.005.

Machalicek, W., Shogren, K., Rispoli, M., O’Reilly, M. F., Franco, J. H., & Sigafoos, J. (2009). Increasing play and decreasing the challenging behavior of children with autism during recess with activity schedules and task correspondence training. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 3, 547-555. doi:10.1016/j.rasd.2008.11.003

Morrison, K., & Rosales-Ruiz, J. (1997). The effect of object preferences on task performance and stereotypy in a child with autism. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 18, 127 – 137. doi:10.1016/S0891-4222(96)00046-7

Nuzzolo-Gomez, R., Leonard, M. A., Ortiz, E., Rivera, C. M., & Greer, R. D. (2002). Teaching children with autism to prefer books or toys over stereotypy or passivity. Journal of Positive Behavior Intervention, 4, 80 – 87. doi:10.1177/109830070200400203

O’Reilly, M., Sigafoos, J., Lancioni, G., Edrisinha, C., & Andrews, A. (2005). An examination of a classroom activity schedule on levels of self-injury and engagement for a child with severe autism. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 35, 305-311. doi: 10.1007/s10803-005-3294-1

Shaw, K. A., Maenner, M. J., & Baio, J. (2020). Early identification of autism spectrum disorder among children aged 4 years—Early Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network, six sites, United States, 2016. MMWR Surveillance Summaries, 69, 1. doi:10.15585/mmwr.ss6904a1


Copyright © 2015. European Journal of Special Education Research (ISSN 2501 - 2428) is a registered trademark of Open Access Publishing GroupAll rights reserved.

This journal is a serial publication uniquely identified by an International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) serial number certificate issued by Romanian National Library (Biblioteca Nationala a Romaniei). All the research works are uniquely identified by a CrossRef DOI digital object identifier supplied by indexing and repository platforms.

All the research works published on this journal are meeting the Open Access Publishing requirements and can be freely accessed, shared, modified, distributed and used in educational, commercial and non-commercial purposes under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).