Princeton University Library Catalog

Strategies to Improve Auditory-Visual Conditional Discrimination Skill Deficits in a Child with Autism

Hanson, Mikala [Browse]
Senior thesis
Hambrick, James [Browse]
Comer, Ronald [Browse]
Princeton University. Department of Psychology [Browse]
Class year:
105 pages
Summary note:
This study uses a single-case experimental design to examine the impact of imitation and other behavior analytic teaching strategies on the auditory-visual conditional discrimination ability of John, a four-year-old African American boy diagnosed with autism. In past protocols regarding the hierarchy of conditional discrimination tasks described by Green (2012), John progressed through each of the visual conditional discrimination levels, but struggled to attain mastery in the auditory-visual conditional discrimination level. We proposed that implementation of an imitation protocol within a standard discrete trial teaching (DTT) procedure would help improve his ability to acquire auditory-visual conditional discrimination. Study 1 first sought to show that standard DTT was ineffective for John. The next phase of the study sought to implement a modified DTT procedure with an added imitation protocol. Study 2 was implemented as a result of stimulus control and preferential responding difficulties, and sought to incorporate both imitation and exposure to improve John’s skills. Results showed that standard DTT was ineffective, as expected. Furthermore, study 2 results indicated that John was able to successfully distinguish between different sounds when using the modified protocol consisting of both an exposure-only and an imitation condition before DTT procedure. The findings do not suggest a generalization to human-speech sounds, however, and two more steps towards achieving auditory-visual conditional discrimination still need to be tested (word-to-sound association and word-to-object association) in future study. The implications of the study were discussed, and an additional chapter regarding the underrepresentation and underidentification of African- American children with autism in autism research was included.