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 MODULE: Time Delay


Who Can Use Time Delay and Where Can It Be Used?

Time delay procedures can be used by a variety of professionals including teachers, special educators, therapists, paraprofessionals, early interventionists, and families in different educational and community-based environments. Many team members use time delay intuitively during instructional activities throughout the day. For example, a teacher might ask a child if he wants more milk at snack and then wait for a response, or a parent presenting her toddler with two books at bedtime and waiting for him to make a choice between the two before providing assistance . The steps for implementation offered in this module simply provide team members who work with learners with ASD a systematic process for planning, implementing, and monitoring time delay procedures that they might already be using.

Having paraprofessionals implement time delay procedures is particularly important since they often spend a large portion of the day with learners with ASD as they move with them from class to class. Research suggests that paraprofessionals in general education school-aged settings can successfully implement embedded instructional procedures with a high degree of fidelity during ongoing classroom routines and activities (Jameson et al., 2007). For example, a paraprofessional may cue a learner to go to his next class by pointing to his schedule. The professional may then wait for him to check his schedule independently before providing any additional prompts.

Although the majority of the evidence-based research studies were conducted in clinic-based settings, research with other populations indicates that time delay procedures can be used across the day in a variety of settings, activities, and situations (e.g., small group, individual work, inclusive, self-contained) to teach target skills (Walker, 2008;

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