The Effects of Implementing Play with Students' On-Task Behavior in a Developmental Cognitive Delay Classroom

Date of Award

Winter 12-20-2018

Document Type

Project (696 or 796 registration)

Degree Name

Master of Science in Special Education


Graduate Studies

Committee Chair

Ximena Suarez-Sousa


DCD, Elementary, On-Task Behavior, Play Intervention, Minnesota



The purpose of this single-subject study was to determine whether the amount of play (4 daily play times versus 2 daily play times) would improve on-task behavior in school-aged students with Developmental Cognitive Disability (DCD) during work time. The study aimed at exploring the impact on sustained attention that would benefit performance on academic skills. The ABAB designed study was structured around two 2nd Grade girls with DCD throughout a course of seven weeks and data were recorded during a baseline, the play intervention, return to baseline, and return to play intervention. More frequent play breaks were implemented throughout their daily schedule and duration data were collected during their academic work times such as learning their letters and sounds, reading comprehension skills, math problem-solving skills, social skills, calendar math, and community signs, which provided insight into the effectiveness of this intervention. After analysis of the baseline and intervention duration data, the goal of the study was validated. During work sessions, the students stayed on-task 32% of the time before the first verbal prompt during baseline and increased their time-on-task to 53% during the second intervention. The number of verbal prompts for both students decreased from 33% to 11% of the time during work sessions.

Abstract only: No full text available.