Teaching Language to Children with Developmental Disabilities Using Combined Direct Reinforcement and Stimulus-Stimulus Pairing
Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy
Dr. Richard W. Malott
Dr. Stephanie Peterson
Dr. Ron Van Houten
Dr. Steven Ragotzy
developmental disabilities, autism, Mand, tact, automatic reinforcement, direct reinforcement
Several researchers have used stimulus-stimulus pairing (the pairing of speech sounds with established reinforcers) to increase the frequency of specific vocalizations in children with disabilities. However, only a few addressed the utility of stimulus-stimulus pairing to increase functional language, and none combined stimulus-stimulus pairing and direct reinforcement. The present study combined stimulus-stimulus pairing and direct reinforcement to successfully teach 2 to 10 functional mands in 21–49 7-minute sessions with four children with developmental disabilities with low verbal repertoires. Following mand training, two children were taught 10 tacts for pictures using the combined direct reinforcement and stimulus-stimulus pairing procedure in a maximum of 38, 10-trial sessions. After both mand and tact training, the children’s responding generalized outside of training sessions, in novel locations and with novel instructors.
Fronapfel-Sonderegger, Brighid Helene, "Teaching Language to Children with Developmental Disabilities Using Combined Direct Reinforcement and Stimulus-Stimulus Pairing" (2012). Dissertations. 15.
Fifth Advisor: Dr. Timothy Weil