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.


36th Annual Convention; San Antonio, TX; 2010

Event Details

Previous Page


Symposium #141
CE Offered: BACB
Capitalizing on Stimulus Equivalence in Teaching Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders: From Research to Practice
Sunday, May 30, 2010
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
203AB (CC)
Area: AUT/EDC; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Rosemary A. Condillac (Brock University)
Discussant: W. Larry Williams (University of Nevada, Reno)
CE Instructor: John Molteni, Ph.D.
Abstract: Stimulus equivalence, as described by Sidman (1994) has the potential to enhance learning rates and the efficiency of teaching methodologies, though it is infrequently reported to be used in clinical practice (Condillac, Giewercer & Small, 2008). This symposium will include three papers that demonstrate the use of teaching strategies designed to facilitate the emergence of equivalence relations when teaching children with autism, and the effectiveness of those strategies. The first paper is an applied research study designed to teach the cardinal value of money to 3 school-aged children with autism in an AB within participant design. The second paper is a field effectiveness study designed to teach 5 children with autism reading skills using a within-participant multiple-probe across word sets design with teaching implemented by the child’s usual IBI therapists in a school setting. The third paper is a clinical case description of the systematic expansion of a picture exchange communication repertoire. The three papers demonstrate the effective enhancement of teaching strategies using method designed to capitalize on the emergence of equivalence relations thereby increasing the efficiency of teaching. The importance of the scientist-practitioner model and the application of research findings into everyday clinical practice will be emphasized.
Using Stimulus Equivalence to Teach Monetary Skills to School-Age Children with Autism
DANIELLE SAVONA SOLTI SAVSOL (Brock University), Tricia Corinne Vause (Brock University)
Abstract: The present study evaluated the use of teaching procedures designed to achieve stimulus equivalence (SE) in teaching monetary skills to school-aged children with autism. An AB within-subject design with periodic probes was used. At pre-test, three participants demonstrated relation DA, an auditory-visual relation (matching dictated coin values to printed coin prices). Using a three-choice match-to-sample procedure, with a multi-component intervention package, these participants were taught two trained relations, BA (matching coins to printed prices) and CA (matching coin combinations to printed prices). Two participants achieved positive tests of equivalence, and the third participant demonstrated emergent performances with a symmetric and transitive relation. In addition, two participants were able to show generalization of learned skills with a parent, in a second naturalistic setting. The present research replicates and extends the results of previous studies by demonstrating that stimulus equivalence can be used effectively to teach an adaptive skill to children with autism.
Field effectiveness of stimulus equivalence for teaching reading skills to children with Autism
Lisa Danielle Giewercer (Brock University), ROSEMARY A. CONDILLAC (Brock University)
Abstract: Stimulus equivalence is a phenomenon that was first investigated by Sidman in 1971 (Sidman, 1994). Despite considerable research in the laboratory, stimulus equivalence applications in clinical settings have been limited (Vause, Martin, Marion and Sakko, 2005). We will present the results of a study investigating the emergence of stimulus equivalence when teaching reading skills to young children with Autism. Participants are 5 children with Autism, and their IBI treatment staff using a within-participant multiple-baseline across stimuli procedure. Prior to training, participants were able to match picture to dictated name and could name the pictures when asked. They were taught to matching printed names to dictated names using standard matching to sample procedures for the first word set. Baseline assessments were then repeated in order to determine whether the participants were subsequently able to name the written words, match the picture to the words, and match the words to the pictures without further training. This procedure continued across two more sets of words. Equivalence was achieved by 3 participants without further teaching, while two participants showed less favourable results. Results and implications for practice will be discussed.
Clinical applications of stimulus equivalence-based teaching strategies: An illustrative clinical case example
PAUL SZIKSZAI (Surrey Place Centre), Heather J. Cushing-Gordon (Aisling Discoveries Child and Family Centre)
Abstract: Stimulus equivalence (SE) research has provided potential methods to increase rates of learning via emergent relations. This in turn can result in efficient and economic teaching strategies (Stromer, Mackay, Stoddard, 1992). One intended goal of intensive behavioural intervention (IBI) for children with autism is to increase the learning trajectory of students (Lovaas, 1987), however, the use of stimulus equivalence teaching strategies within IBI settings have been reported infrequently (Condillac, Geiwercer, & Small, 2008). Although the experimental rigor typical within SE research is difficult to obtain in clinical settings, it may still be possible to use strategies from research when designing curriculum for individual students. We will present a case example where text to picture matching programs for one learner was expanded to include identification of textual verbs. Textual representations of verbs were then incorporated into the learner's augmentative communication system to create verb+ noun requests (I want- verb-noun). Although one verb was introduced and targeted at a time, generalization of creating verb-noun requests was observed resulting in the learner using appropriate verb-noun combinations with verbs that remained in baseline.



Back to Top
Modifed by Eddie Soh