Faculty Advisor

Dr. Stephanie Peterson



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Simple and conditional visual and auditory discrimination repertoires are critical components of many skills necessary for daily functioning, including communication, academic, and daily-living skills (Green, 2001). When auditory discrimination is not under instructional stimulus control, it can result in delayed acquisition of new skills and limit academic progress. The purpose of this study was to teach auditory discrimination to children with autism who had little to no progress on classroom procedures that required auditory discrimination, such as selecting an object from an array when given the name of the object as the direction. Auditory discrimination was taught starting with teaching a particular motor response in the presence of an environmental sound, then slowly introducing other sound and response pairings. We used a variety of teaching methods based on the learners’ progress (e.g., trial-and-error, shaping, and physical prompts). This set of interventions was implemented with three children enrolled in an early elementary special education classroom and were not demonstrating auditory discrimination under instructional stimulus control. Two children mastered the discrimination between a sound SD and no-sound SΔ and the discrimination between a sound SD and sound SΔ. One child discriminated between three auditory SDs, but did not maintain over time.