Equivalência de estímulos e o ensino de habilidades rudimentares de leitura para alunos com autismo
Millan, Ana Elisa
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Considering the importance of reading instruction to people with autism, using low-cost strategies that can be applied by the majority of teachers, this study aimed to verify the emergence of relations between printed word and picture, dictated word and printed word and naming words, with the instruction of relations between different stimuli (pitcture – printed word) and between stimulus and response (naming words), using multiple-sample matching-to-sample (MTS) procedure applied with students with autism. In this study, the words taught were previously selected by the researcher. Four students with a previous diagnosis of autism and enrolled in a special school participated of this study. In order to characterize the participants, we used two instruments: the Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS) and the Assessment of Basic Learning Abilities (ABLA). The general procedure was composed of seven steps: 1) familiarization between participants and researcher; 2) identification of preference items; 3) evaluation of behavioral and discriminative repertoires; 4) pre-test to evaluate the general reading repertoire; 5) teaching the first unit composed of nine words; 6) teaching the second unit composed of nine words; and 7) post-test evaluation of the general reading repertoire. A pre and post-test design was used to evaluate the general reading repertoire and a multiple baseline design between blocks of words in each unit. Multiple-sample matching-to-sample procedure was used to teach the relation between pictures and printed words. In this procedure, each student’s attempt was composed of three sample stimuli and three comparison stimuli. The participant should match each of comparison stimuli with the corresponding sample stimulus. Also picture naming relation was taught. Tests assessed the emergence of relations between printed words and pictures, and between dictated words and printed words and naming printed words. Two participants (P1 and P2) required a low number of trials in multiple-sample matching-to-sample (MTS) procedure attempts to achieve the learning criteria of the tasks and presented emergence of relations not directly taught. Another two participants (P3 and P4) had difficulties in achieving the learning criteria of that procedure. For these participants, it was necessary to carry out a remedial educational procedure using the matching-to-sample to teach the relation between dictation and printed word. The results showed that the procedure did not favor the maintenance of the performances taught between dictated word and printed word and allowed the partial emergence of relations between stimuli (picture and printed word, printed word and picture). Future studies should consider the behavioral characteristics of the participants as a resource for teaching planning.