Teaching Problem Solving to Increase Academic, Communication, and Social Skills

Judah Axe
4.67 out of 5
(12 customer reviews)



Problem solving involves manipulating stimuli to find solutions, often through internal strategies like self-questioning and visualizing. Analyzing problem solving is challenging as it often happens covertly. Limited research exists on teaching problem-solving strategies to individuals with disabilities, but potential benefits for children with autism include reduced rote responding and increased generalization. This presentation from the 2018 Michigan Autism Conference discusses conceptual analysis, previous research, and recent work on teaching problem solving to aid memory recall.

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Problem solving is defined as manipulating stimuli to increase the probability of arriving at a solution to a problem. When given a problem, such as a math problem or a question that involves recalling a past event, an individual arrives at a solution by engaging in a few behaviors, such as asking herself questions, drawing out possible solutions, and visualizing. A challenge of analyzing problem solving is it often occurs covertly, or within an individual’s skin. Although typically developing people engage in problem solving on a daily basis, there is limited research on teaching problem solving strategies to individuals with disabilities, especially in a behavior analytic framework. Two potential benefits of teaching problem solving skills to children with autism are less rote responding and more generalization. The presenter will provide a conceptual analysis of problem solving and review previous research on using problem solving to teach academic, communication, and social skills. The presenter will also describe his research on teaching problem solving to help children with autism recall past events, and he will recommend directions for research and practice.

About the Speaker

Judah B. Axe, Ph.D., BCBA-D, LABA, is an Associate Professor of Education and Behavior Analysis at Simmons College and the Director of the Special Education Program at Simmons. Dr. Axe received his M.A. and Ph.D. in Special Education and Applied Behavior Analysis from The Ohio State University. He conducts research with children with autism and related disabilities in the areas of verbal, social, and challenging behavior. Three current research topics are the effects of problem solving on recalling past events, the effects of echoic responding on multiply controlled intraverbals, and the effects of pre-session pairing on compliance and problem behavior. Dr. Axe serves on the editorial boards of The Analysis of Verbal Behavior, Behavior Analysis in Practice, and Behavioral Interventions. He has served as Chair of the Verbal Behavior Special Interest Group of the Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI), Co-Coordinator of the Verbal Behavior Area for the ABAI Conference, Chair of the Student Relations Committee of the Berkshire Association for Behavior Analysis and Therapy, and Trustee and the Continuing Education Coordinator of the Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies.

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Below is the entire open-access version of this video. It does not contain embedded questions or interactions like the CEU version of the module.

12 reviews for Teaching Problem Solving to Increase Academic, Communication, and Social Skills

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  1. Avatar

    Good presentation, it would be interesting to see them use scent as those can be very closely linked to memories in many.

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  2. Avatar

    Good information, I would have liked to see more options for instructing the visualizing process with students with visual deficits.

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  3. Avatar

    The speaker was knowledgeable and gave great tips. The videos he presented was also helpful.

    (0) (0)
  4. Avatar

    Great methods to help children problem solve and recall more effectively and independently.

    (0) (0)
  5. Avatar

    Interesting presentation!

    (0) (0)

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A portion of the proceeds from this module goes directly to the Michigan Autism Conference

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Dr. Judah Axe
Teaching Problem Solving to Increase Academic, Communication, and Social Skills
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