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Baruni, R. R., Rapp, J. T., Lipe, S. L., & Novotny, M. A. (2014). Using lag schedules to increase toy play variability for children with intellectual disabilities. Behavioral Interventions, 29(1), 21-35.


The author’s objective is to investigate how lag schedule brought about an increase in new toy plays among children exhibiting little or no correct toy play. This was done in the effort to increase the interaction of the children among themselves to improve their cognitive responses.

Summary of literature review

The assumptions on this article were made upon reflection by the authors on existing literature relevant to the research question. In the diagnosis of intellectual disability the focus is may be place on maladaptive characteristics like repetitive behaviorism and a limited set of play skills (Bodfish, Symons, Parker, & Lewis, 2000; Honey, Leekman, Turner, & McConachie, 2007). According to Lee, McComas, &Jawor, (2002), to increase play skills, a program of disparity reinforcement techniques is to be used even though these methods are never effective in encouraging variable play with the toys. According to Singh &Millichamp (1998), play skills is defined as the ability to be able to manipulate the play materials available to a child either independently or within a social situation. Children having disability will engage in limited play skills creating a disability that hinders their social interactive skills (Honey et al., 2007).

The effects of lag schedule on reaction variability are investigated by use of basic preparations even though few experiments have been conducted on human participants. Most of the investigations have nonetheless concentrated on communication responses. The use of lag in studies has increased due to t use of lag schedules in clinical utilities. (Cammilleri& Hanley, 2005; Esch et al., 2009; Lee et al., 2002; Lee &Sturmey, 2006; Napolitano et al., 2010). In the one of the initial use of the toy test variable in play variabilitySummary of methodology

The sample size used by the author was made up of three children with having intellectual disability.  The primary variables used cumulative toy play across sessions and the percentage time of engagement of the toys per session. Data was collected using software on laptops. There were three sessions per day and the investigation was done three days a week.

Summary of findings and results

The author used the exploratory component of the investigation and produced fairly accurate findings.  It was found that the found that out of total of nine novel toy plays across four sessions there was a registered engagement with car decrease across the sessions. The paraprofessional agreed that the kids enjoyed the toy paly but did not agree on the extent of the enjoyment of the games.

Summary and conclusion

The toy play improved the children’s social interactions. Though the interaction cumulatively was found to decline with time, it is a good starting point as this means that there is a chance for improvement of the interactive skills of the children with enough effort.

Reaction to the article

This article is well researched and the experiments were well founded. The sample population however was very small. This is bound to produce inaccurate results. It also does not concur with the literature reviewed and so casts doubt on its authenticity.


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