What Equivocal Data From Single Case Comparison Studies Reveal About Evidence-Based Practices in Early Childhood Special Education

Jennifer R. Ledford, Erin E. Barton, Jessica K. Hardy, Katie Elam, Jordan Seabolt, Meredith Shanks, M. L. Hemmeter, Ann Kaiser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Although comparison studies are important in early intervention/early childhood special education (EI/ECSE), results of well-designed comparison studies are likely to be unpublished because of undifferentiated or differently differentiated results across participants. The purpose of this article is to highlight the utility of comparison designs in the identification of evidence-based interventions for individual children. We present results from three single case comparative studies analyzing embedded and massed-trial instruction, high- and low-fidelity instruction, and small group versus 1:1 instruction conducted in ECSE settings. All participants learned all targeted behaviors in both instructional conditions and learned no behaviors assigned to control conditions. Results suggest that evidence-based practices are not a “one-size-fits-all” conclusion and that data-based decision making is critical even when empirically supported interventions are used.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)79-91
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Early Intervention
Volume38
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2016
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • comparison designs
  • evidence-based practice
  • single case design

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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