The Continuum of Task Discussion

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Please keep the answers separate.

1. Discuss the continuum of task demands. What are some things to consider when determining the appropriate level of difficulty for a given task demand? (Also consider the variations that may need to happen with student age, maturity, and cognitive capabilities.)

Respond to student discussion board:

For learning to occur the task demand must fall between being too easy and too excessive within the range known as the zone of proximity. This will allow students to achieve the task based on their abilities. To find the appropriate level of task demand, these questions must be answered first to give the teacher the opportunity to decide if the task is right for the student:

  1. Is the task to hard?
  2. What is the lesson about?
  3. Is the student capable of completing the task independently?

Questions 1 and 2 involve identifying prerequisite and component skill deficits and question 3 involves reducing the demands of a task. These questions will also help the teacher determine whether there are underlying skill deficits.

2. How can special interests be used to motivate students to persevere when provided new or more challenging tasks?

Respond to student discussion board:

(Hanna) Students with autism are often described as having restricted repetitive patterns of behavior, interests, and activities (Lindgren & Doobay, 2011). When a student has minimal interest in a new or challenging task, using an effective reinforcer can increase the motivation to complete it (Rao & Gagie, 2006). When a student knows he/she will receive a preferred task/item once they’re done an unpreferred task, they are more likely to do it. It is really important that a student understands that he/she is going to be reinforced after a new or challenging work task is demanded. This can occur by using visual supports. By using a visual schedule and a First-Then visual, the student will have better understanding of when the preferred task/item is going to appear throughout the day. For example, a student will know that trampoline time comes after math time. Then, during math time they’ll know, First: sorting shapes; Then: trampoline time. This will decrease anxiety and the unknown, which will help lower the “problem” behaviors and increase desired ones (Rao & Gagie, 2006).

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