Dyer, K., Sulzer‐Azaroff, B., & Bondy, A. (May, 2006). Teaching Picture Discrimination to Children with Autism: “Traditional Match‐to‐Sample” Training vs. “Naturalistic PECS” Training.

Poster presented at the 32nd Annual Association for Behavior Analysis Convention, Atlanta, GA.
Abstract: Picture discrimination, essential to any picture‐based communication program, often is taught through “match‐to‐sample” (MTS) requests for object‐picture pairings. We compared that method to the match‐to‐sample approach inherent in the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS). In the traditional MTS condition, we showed the children a picture and asked them to match it to one of a set of objects. Correct matches were rewarded with an item preferred by the child, but unrelated to the sample stimulus; errors were followed with an error correction procedure. In the “naturalistic PECS” condition, a child‐preferred and a non‐preferred item were displayed. Next, s/he was shown two pictures, each of which corresponded to the items. When s/he handed one of the pictures to the therapist, s/he received the matching item. If the child chose a picture representing an item known to be non‐preferred, an error correction procedure followed. Four of 5 children required fewer trials to criterion in the “naturalistic PECS” condition than the “MTS” training condition.

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