Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


33rd Annual Convention; San Diego, CA; 2007

Event Details

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Symposium #50
International Symposium - Teaching Spelling and Handwriting to Children with Developmental Disabilities Using Constructed-Response Matching to Sample
Saturday, May 26, 2007
2:30 PM–3:20 PM
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Harry A. Mackay (Praxis, Inc., Northeastern University)
Discussant: Harry A. Mackay (Praxis, Inc., Northeastern University)
Abstract: This symposium examines recent research conducted in Japan and the USA showing constructed-response matching-to-sample procedures (Mackay, 1985; Dube et al., 1991) to be effective in teaching spelling, handwriting, and word-processing skills to children with mental retardation, cerebral palsy, autism, and ADHD as well as typically developing children. Both tabletop and computer based methods have been developed. The procedures require students to construct printed words (letter by letter), Kanji characters and compound Japanese syllables to the same words and characters (copying) and to dictation and pictures. Data suggest that computer-based training provides good support for the teaching of handwriting, which then is well maintained. In addition, occurrence of extensive transfer (e.g., emergence of spelling to pictures after training of spelling to the dictated picture names) is consistent with results of research on equivalence classes. The work presented has important implications for instructional practices used in teaching spelling and writing and points to needed analyses of the prerequisite skills that underlie more complex spelling and writing performances. New directions for research and application, (e.g., use of differential outcomes and matrix training techniques), will be discussed.
Constructed Response Spelling: A Classroom Application.
SHARI DAISY (Simmons College), Michael J. Cameron (Simmons College)
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to examine the effectiveness of constructed-response spelling procedures with school-age children. Four students with developmental disabilities participated in the study as part of a classroom-based implementation of constructed-response procedures. An alternating treatment design was used to assess the effectiveness of the constructed-response strategy versus traditional spelling instruction. The dependent variable was the percent of words spelled correctly on weekly spelling tests. Results indicated that mean spelling scores were higher during the constructed-response condition than during traditional instruction for all children. The relationship between spelling proficiency and literacy development is discussed.
Reading and Writing Instruction Based on Constructed Matching-to-Sample.
HIROSHI SUGASAWARA (Keio University, Japan), Jun'ichi Yamamoto (Keio University, Japan)
Abstract: The students with developmental disabilities often showed some difficulties for acquiring reading and/or writing skills that consist of the systematic relations between spoken syllables (auditory stimuli) and printed characters (visual stimuli). We examined whether these students could read and write Japanese Hiragana characters after training of constructed response matching to sample (CRMTS) with the differential outcome (DO) procedure by computer-based teaching. The CRMTS procedure was to teach character by character, word-construction responses to each sample stimulus. The DO procedure was to provide the spoken (by the computer) syllable as the particular differential stimulus that followed selection responses on each trial. The results showed that the students acquired appropriate word-construction responses, and could read and write Hiragana characters without direct training. These results were discussed in terms of the effect of the constructed matching to sample with the DO on the acquisition and transfer of reading and writing skills and applicability to the computer-based home teaching.
Teaching Handwriting of Chinese Characters to Children with ADHD.
MASAKO TSURUMAKI (Fukushima University, Japan)
Abstract: This presentation will show that exposure to an arbitrary constructed-response matching-to-sample procedure improved the acquisition of handwriting behavior for Chinese characters in children with Attention-Deficit/ Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). The children had learned to write Hiragana to Chinese characters, a form of transcription, but made errors. However, they disliked handwriting drill that aimed to provide practice in writing Chinese characters. This research tried to facilitate the performance by using computer-based constructed-response matching-to-sample training. Sample stimuli were Hiragana (Japanese cursive syllabary), and comparison stimuli were components of Chinese characters in this procedure. The children were given two tests before construction training. They made many errors in handwriting Chinese characters to Hiragana and but were more accurate in handwriting Hiragana to Chinese characters. After construction training both performances improved and were maintained well for three months after training. The results show that computer training in construction of Chinese characters (from their components) to Hiragani samples may improve transcription from Hiragani by hand. The relations between constructed-response matching-to-sample tasks, transcription and reading will be discussed. Additional data are being collected and the training procedure is being enhanced to make errors less likely for some children.



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