S+ versus S− Fading in Prompting Procedures with Autistic Children

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Psychology (CMC)

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The purpose of this investigation was to assess the relative effectiveness of two prompt-fading procedures for teaching difficult visual discriminations to autistic children. Both prompt procedures involved within-stimulus fading where manipulation occurred on the relevant component of the discrimination. One procedure involved fading first along the S+ stimulus, while holding the S− stimulus constant. The other procedure involved fading first along the S− stimulus, while holding the S+ stimulus constant. Eight autistic children were each taught two discriminations, one by each of the prompt procedures. Results indicated that for all but one child, the discriminations were acquired significantly faster, with fewer errors, when the S+ stimulus was faded first. These findings are related to the literature on the effects of stimulus novelty on selection and learning.

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