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Comparing Tangible Symbols, Picture Exchange, and a Direct Selection Response for Enabling Two Boys with Developmental Disabilities to Access Preferred Stimuli

  • Laura Roche
  • Jeff SigafoosEmail author
  • Giulio E. Lancioni
  • Mark F. O’Reilly
  • Larah van der Meer
  • Donna Achmadi
  • Vanessa A. Green
  • Debora Kagohara
  • Dean Sutherland
  • Christopher Rayner
  • Peter B. Marschik
ORIGINAL ARTICLE

Abstract

We compared how quickly two boys with developmental disabilities learned to use tangible symbols, picture exchange, and a direct selection response to access cartoon videos. Intervention, aimed at teaching the boys to use each option, was evaluated in a multiple-baseline across participants and alternating treatments design. Following intervention, the boys were allowed to choose among the three options. Both participants learned to access six cartoon videos using the three options at comparable rates. Following acquisition, both boys most often chose to use tangible symbols. These findings are consistent with previous studies reporting comparable acquisition rates and a preference among communication options. The present study extends the literature by including a comparison of tangible symbols and a direct selection response. Our results provide additional support for the use of tangible symbols as a communication option for children with developmental disabilities.

Keywords

Augmentative and alternative communication Autism spectrum disorders Developmental disability Direct selection Picture exchange Tangible symbols 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This research was supported by a grant from the New Zealand Government through the Marsden Fund Council, administered by the Royal Society of New Zealand; and by Victoria University of Wellington, The University of Canterbury, and The New Zealand Institute of Language, Brain & Behaviour.

Declaration of Interests

The authors report no conflicts of interest. The authors alone are responsible for the content and writing of this paper.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Laura Roche
    • 1
  • Jeff Sigafoos
    • 1
    Email author
  • Giulio E. Lancioni
    • 2
  • Mark F. O’Reilly
    • 3
  • Larah van der Meer
    • 4
  • Donna Achmadi
    • 4
  • Vanessa A. Green
    • 4
  • Debora Kagohara
    • 4
  • Dean Sutherland
    • 5
  • Christopher Rayner
    • 6
  • Peter B. Marschik
    • 7
  1. 1.School of Educational PsychologyVictoria University of WellingtonWellingtonNew Zealand
  2. 2.Department of Neuroscience and Sense OrgansUniversity of BariBariItaly
  3. 3.Meadows Center for Preventing Educational RiskThe University of Texas at AustinAustinUSA
  4. 4.School of Educational PsychologyVictoria University of WellingtonWellingtonNew Zealand
  5. 5.School of Health Sciences, College of EducationUniversity of CanterburyChristchurchNew Zealand
  6. 6.School of EducationUniversity of TasmaniaHobartAustralia
  7. 7.Institute of Physiology, iDN-Interdisciplinary Developmental NeuroscienceMedical University of GrazGrazAustria

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