Constructs: In my own research I will be measuring 3 variables as my constructs such as the following: 1) Verbal ability 2) Social interactions or the degree of participation in group work or plays 3) Gender Participants: 20 autistic children between the ages of 6 to 7 with identical IQ levels, both sexes, with equal number of participants- 10 to each Purpose: As researchers claim, autism is four times more prevalent in boys than girls. According to this claim I would like to test whether gender is an effective or dominant factor in determining children's progress both in verbal abilities and the kind of social interactions they encounter in the educational settings such as kindergartens or schools. Methodology: Instruments: CARS rating scale (childhood autism rating scale) developed by Eric in the early 1970's, it is based on observed behavior, professionals evaluate a child's relationship to people, body use, adaptation to change, listening response and verbal communication. AUTISM SCREENING QUESTIONNAIRE: a 40 item screening scale that has been used with children 4 and older to help evaluate communication skills and social functioning. Plus observations with the help of a professional team including a speech therapist to assess the amount of progress in verbal abilities and interacting with the children's care givers or parents during the research.
Procedure: As far as I'm concerned, the nature of this research lends itself to both qualitative and quantitative methods, in the sense that there needs to be a lot of close observations to assess the trend that the participants follow plus some numerical data which support the findings regarding verbal abilities. In assessing the degree of engagement or participation in group work there might be the use of some rein forces such as toys or chocolates. Here the main emphasis revolves around gender. Therefore an attempt should be made to have exactly the same conditions for both sexes. Since assessing the constructs focus more on gender it could have been more reliable to have a larger sample to be able to generalize the results, but considering the fact that research on autism is a difficult task and requires the cooperation of a professional team, working on large samples may not be possible or easy to deal with. This could be mentioned in the limitation part.
In this research 20 autistic children are being observed on a regular basis. The amount of daily or weekly hours devoted to the observations is designated after consulting with experts in the field. There will be no significant manipulation done to the participants except from the most suitable teaching techniques suggested by experts, which are done by the same instructor for both sexes or at least under exactly the same situation. Plus the ordinary class conditions in which the amount of participation or engagement during plays or other activities are being observed and evaluated.