HomeIAMURE International Journal of Mathematics, Engineering and Technologyvol. 2 no. 1 (2012)

Realistic Mathematics Approach, Mathematical Communication and Problem-Solving Skills of High- Functioning Autistic Children: A Case Study

Maria Theresa Bolo-kalaw

Discipline: Mathematics, Psychology, Cognitive Learning



This study involved an investigation of the effectiveness of the Realistic Mathematics Education (RME) approach in developing mathematical communication and problem-solving skills of six children diagnosed with autism but classified as high - functioning. This research-based instructional pedagogy based upon real life experiences was implemented over the course of two months. The A-B-A Single-Subject research design was employed using the principles of discrete trial training to mark the students’ progress. Two data sets were analyzed - the first data consisted of pre and posttest performance of the students evaluated using a rubric. The second data consisted of baseline, intervention and post –intervention performance of the students collected through recorded video clips and classroom observation forms. The six subjects were observed under the baseline condition until the dependent variable stabilized. Then the experimental treatment, three lessons using RME approach, were introduced by the teacher participants and the subjects were again observed to determine whether a change occurred in the mathematics communication skills and the problem-solving skills of the children after the implementation of the approach. The study showed that the training of teachers and the exposure of the students to the RME approach led to an improvement of the students’ ability to communicate mathematically and solve problems meaningfully.