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Teaching “Then-Later” and “Here-There” Relations to Children with Autism: an Evaluation of Single Reversals and Transformation of Stimulus Function

Abstract

The present study demonstrates the utility of relational training for teaching Then-Later and Here-There deictic relations for two children with autism. Mutually entailed single-reversal relations, transfers of stimulus function, and transformations of stimulus function were also evaluated for each participant. The methods were adapted from the PEAK-T curriculum. Results for both participants support the utility of relational training for teaching children with autism basic perspective-taking skills. Both participants were able to generalize the perspective-taking skills to novel sets of stimuli, and demonstrate mutually entailed responding during single-reversal tasks. Both participants were also able to demonstrate transformations of stimulus function for both Then-Later and Here-There deictic relations.

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Correspondence to Mark R. Dixon.

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Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in this study which involved human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institution and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

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Informed consent was obtained for participation in this research.

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The last author receives small royalties from sales of the PEAK curriculum.

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Highlights

1. Children with autism were taught perspective-taking skills.

2. Following training, skills transformed to new tasks.

3. Relational frames were established in the participants.

4. Implications for treating children with autism are provided.

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Barron, B.F., Verkuylen, L., Belisle, J. et al. Teaching “Then-Later” and “Here-There” Relations to Children with Autism: an Evaluation of Single Reversals and Transformation of Stimulus Function. Behav Analysis Practice 12, 167–175 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40617-018-0216-1

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s40617-018-0216-1

Keywords

  • Autism
  • Transformation of stimulus function
  • Perspective taking
  • Relational frame theory