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Using Telepresence Robots to Improve Disruptive Behavior in Students with Emotional Disturbance

  • Author(s): Youkhanna, Valencia
  • Advisor(s): Erchul, William
  • et al.

Problem-solving consultation in school settings has been found to be an effective service delivery method to support educators struggling to address behavioral concerns for students with Emotional Disturbance (ED). Despite the benefits, many barriers to service providers, such as lack of time and competing obligations, restrict opportunities to offer problem solving-consultation to high-need schools that are otherwise unable to receive services. The caseload of a typical school psychologist often exceeds the levels specified in best practices, suggesting that it can be highly challenging for professionals to offer behavioral services to educators outside their necessary role for assessing special education eligibility. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness and acceptability of telepresence robot problem-solving consultation (TRPSC) for reducing disruptive behaviors for the ED population. Using a randomized multiple baseline design, the proposed study will examine behavior outcomes of four middle school students as well as the effectiveness and acceptability ratings by educators of the TRPSC process in self-contained ED classrooms. Educators will be involved in the consultation process and implement a behavior intervention plan (BIP) generated through teleconsultation for students with ED engaging in disruptive behaviors. It is hypothesized that implementing a BIP using TRPSC will result in (a) a decrease in students’ disruptive behaviors, (b) acceptable ratings of the teleconsultation process by teachers, and (c) ratings by educators of the consultant and BIP as effective.

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