Skip to main content
Log in

Learner Preference Between Massed- and Alternating-Trial Sequencing when Teaching Stimulus Relations to Children with Autism

  • Brief Practice
  • Published:
Behavior Analysis in Practice Aims and scope Submit manuscript

Abstract

Two children with autism were assessed for preference between intersession distribution of mastered and unknown instructional trials on a computerized matching-to-sample task consisting of 12 total learning opportunities. Choice responses yielded presentation of either massed-trial sequencing (six unknown/six mastered stimuli relations or vice-versa) or alternating-trial sequencing delivery (alternation of unknown and mastered stimuli relations) followed by reinforcement for correct responses. An extinction condition served as an experimental control. Both children demonstrated a preference for the alternating-trial sequencing condition, and implications for instructional programming and possible effects to delays to higher rates of reinforcement are discussed.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Subscribe and save

Springer+ Basic
EUR 32.99 /Month
  • Get 10 units per month
  • Download Article/Chapter or Ebook
  • 1 Unit = 1 Article or 1 Chapter
  • Cancel anytime
Subscribe now

Buy Now

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2

Similar content being viewed by others

References

  • Brainard, D. H. (1997). The psychophysics toolbox. Spatial Vision., 10(4), 433–436.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Browder, D. M., & Shear, S. M. (1996). Interspersal of known items in a treatment package to teach sight words to students with behavior disorders. The Journal of Special Education, 29, 400–413.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Brown, F. (1991). Creative daily scheduling: a nonintrusive approach to challenging behaviors in community residences. Research and Practice for Persons with Severe Disabilities, 16, 75–84.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Cote, C. A., Thompson, R. H., Hanley, G. P., & McKerchar, P. M. (2007). Teacher report and direct assessment for preferences for identifying reinforcers for young children. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 40, 157–166.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  • DeLeon, I. G., & Iwata, B. A. (1996). Evaluation of a multiple-stimulus presentation format for assessing reinforcer preferences. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 29, 519–533.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  • Demurie, E., Roeyers, H., Baeyens, D., & Sonuga-Barke, E. (2012). Temporal discounting of monetary rewards in children and adolescents with ADHD and autism spectrum disorders. Developmental Science, 15(6), 791–800. doi:10.1111/j.1467- 7687.2012.01178.x.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Dunlap, G. (1984). The influence of task variation and maintenance tasks on the learning and affect of autistic children. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 37, 41–64.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Dunlap, G., & Kern, L. (1993). Assessment and intervention for children within the instructional curriculum. In J. Reichle & D. P. Wacker (Eds.), Communicative approaches to the management of challenging behaviors (pp. 177–203). Baltimore,: Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co..

    Google Scholar 

  • Dunlap, G., & Koegel, R. L. (1980). Motivating autistic children through stimulus variation. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 13, 619–627.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  • Dunlap, G., Kern-Dunlap, L., Clarke, S., & Robbins, F. R. (1991). Functional assessment, curricular revision, and severe behavior problems. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 24, 387–397.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  • Dyer, K., Dunlap, G., & Winterling, V. (1990). The effects of choice making on problem behaviors of students with severe handicaps. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 23, 515–524.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  • Fisher, W. W., Piazza, C. C., Bowman, L. G., Hagopian, L. P., Owens, J. C., & Slevin, I. (1992). A comparison of two approaches for identifying reinforcers for persons with severe and profound disabilities. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 25, 491–498.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  • Graff, R. B., & Karsten, A. M. (2012). Assessing preference of individuals with developmental disabilities: a survey of current practices. Behavior Analysis in Practice, 5, 37–28.

    PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  • Green, C. W., Reid, D. H., White, L. K., Halford, R. C., Brittain, D. P., & Gardner, S. M. (1988). Identifying reinforcers for persons with profound handicaps: staff opinion versus systematic assessment of preferences. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 21(1), 31–43.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  • Leaf, J. B., Sheldon, J. B., & Sherman, J. A. (2010). Comparison of simultaneous prompting and no-no prompting in two-choice discrimination learning with children with autism. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 43, 215–228.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  • Leaf, J. B., Leaf, R., McEachin, J., Taubman, M., Ala’i-Rosales, S., Ross, R., Smith, T., & Weiss, M. J. (2016). Applied behavior analysis is a science and, therefore, progressive. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 46(2), 720–731.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Lee, D. L. (2006). Facilitating academic transitions: an application of behavioral momentum. Remedial and Special Education, 27, 312–317.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Mace, F. C., Hock, M. L., Lalli, J. S., West, B. J., Belfiore, P., Pinter, E., & Brown, D. K. (1988). Behavioral momentum in the treatment of noncompliance. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 2(21), 123–141.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Neef, N. A., Iwata, B. A., & Page, T. J. (1977). The effects of known-item interspersal on acquisition and retention of spelling sight-reading words. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 10, 738.

    Article  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  • Pelli, D. G. (1997). The VideoToolbox software for visual psychophysics: transforming numbers into movies. Spatial Vision., 10(4), 437–442.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Reichow, B. (2012). Overview of meta-analyses on early intensive behavioral intervention for young children with autism spectrum disorders. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 42, 512–520.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Roll-Pettersson, L., Alai-Rosales, S., Keenan, M., & Dillenburger, K. (2010). Teaching and learning technologies in higher education: applied behaviour analysis and autism; “necessity is the mother of invention”. European Journal of Behavior Analysis, 11, 247–259.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Rowan, V. C., & Pear, J. J. (1985). A comparison of the effects of interspersed and concurrent training sequences on acquisition, retention, and generalizations of picture names. Applied Research in Mental Retardation, 6, 127–145.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Sarokoff, R. A., & Sturmey, P. (2004). The effects of behavioral skills training on staff implementation of discrete-trial teaching. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 37(4), 535–538.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  • Schreibman, L. (1975). Effects of within-stimulus and extra-stimulus prompting on discrimination learning in autistic children. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 8, 91–112.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  • Smith, T. (2001). Discrete trial training in the treatment of autism. Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities, 16, 86–92.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Tullis, C. A., Cannella-Malone, H. I., Basbigill, A. R., Yeager, A., Fleming, C. V., Payne, D., & Pei-Fang, W. (2011). Review of the choice and preference assessment literature for individuals with severe to profound disabilities. Education and Training in Autism and Developmental Disabilities, 46(4), 576–595.

    Google Scholar 

  • Vaughn, B. J., & Horner, R. H. (1995). Effects of concrete versus verbal choice systems on problem behavior. AAC: Augmentative and Alternative Communication, 11, 89–92.

    Google Scholar 

  • Weiss, M. J. (2001). Expanding ABA intervention in intensive programs for children with autism: the inclusion of natural environment training and fluency based instruction. The Behavior Analyst Today, 2(3), 182–187.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Windsor, J., Piche, L. M., & Locke, P. A. (1994). Preference testing: a comparison of two presentation methods. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 15, 439–455.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgment

The authors would like to thank Mark R. Dixon for the comments on the previous draft of this manuscript.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Paulo Guilhardi.

Ethics declarations

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from parents of all participants included in the study.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Guilhardi, P., Smith, J., Rivera, C. et al. Learner Preference Between Massed- and Alternating-Trial Sequencing when Teaching Stimulus Relations to Children with Autism. Behav Analysis Practice 10, 77–82 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40617-016-0140-1

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s40617-016-0140-1

Keywords

Navigation