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Transforming engagement: a case study of building intrinsic motivation in a child with autism

Emerson, Anne; Dearden, Jackie


Jackie Dearden


This longitudinal case study of 10 year old girl with autism and severe communication impairment measures the impact of the MORE (Means, Opportunities, Reasons and Expectations) approach to enhancing engagement and communication proposed by Emerson and Dearden (2013a). Through detailed observation of video data over a period of 28 months engagement behaviours including interaction with adults and following adult directions increased whilst resistant behaviours such as kicking, hitting and pushing adults away decreased. Fluctuation between different ‘states’ demonstrated that the frequency and duration of engagement was influenced by the MORE approach and an emphasis on developing intrinsic motivation. In order to enable further efficacy research core features of the intervention and the changes in engagement over time are described.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Apr 25, 2016
Online Publication Date Aug 31, 2016
Publication Date Mar 29, 2017
Deposit Date Jul 28, 2016
Publicly Available Date Oct 1, 2018
Journal British Journal of Special Education
Print ISSN 0952-3383
Electronic ISSN 1467-8578
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 44
Issue 1
Pages 8-25
Keywords Autism; case study; engagement; intrinsic motivation
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Jackie Dearden, Anne Emerson, Tom Lewis, Rebecca Papp. (2016) Transforming engagement: a case study of building intrinsic motivation in a child with autism. British Journal of Special Education which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.


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