Teaching Mathematics Word Problem Solving to Students with Autistic Spectrum Disorder

Xiaojun Ma, Purdue University


Under the current educational climate, it is emphasized that all students, including students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), be provided with equal learning opportunities. Also, reform-based math instruction calls for the development of students’ conceptual understanding and problem-solving skills. The need for developing effective instruction that emphasizes teaching high level mathematical thinking and skills has arisen. The current study evaluated the effects of conceptual model based instruction (COMPS) with the concrete-representational-abstract (CRA) sequence on teaching addition/subtraction word problem solving to students with ASD. An adapted multiple probe design across participants was adopted to establish the functional relationship between the intervention and students’ performance on part-part-whole word problems. Results indicated that the participants’ problem-solving performance on the criterion tests improved dramatically after the intervention was applied. In addition, they were able to successfully generalize their skills to solve problems with new contexts. The findings of this study provided several implications for relevant research in this area.




Xin, Purdue University.

Subject Area

Special education|Mathematics education|Disability studies|Instructional Design

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