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ERIC Number: ED209817
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980
Pages: 35
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
Facilitation of Communication Responses through Naturalized Sensory Reinforcement in Blind Mute/Profoundly Retarded Adults.
Crawford, Michael E.
The literature on symbolic forms of communication was reviewed, and an experimental program was designed to teach a single set of vocabulary to a group of four institutionalized profoundly retarded blind/mute adults through the use of gestures. Literature about deaf/blind persons suggested the use of coactive movement techniques and facilitation of body image and body schema. Behavior therapy studies supported the use of manual communication with varied contingency and experience variables. Finally, from experimental and behavioral psychology, the use of systematic training and engineered environments seemed appropriate considerations. Three phases were planned within the design: first, an attempt was made to identify reinforcers maintaining self stimulatory behaviors and sensory extinction procedures were then implemented; second, Ss were taught a simple set of vocabulary through the use of gestures in a controlled environment; and third, the adaptation and generalization of high frequency words from the training room to daily situations was facilitated. The teaching strategy involved sensory input, motor output, and reinforcement. Applying the general behavioral principle of reinforcement, Ss learned to respond appropriately after exposure to the teaching strategy and reinforcement contingencies. Among recommendations were the following: although generalization to the living environments was not highly effective, the use of naturalized reinforcers and success encountered in the training room suggest future potentials; greater training success was experienced with receptive object identification concepts than with expressive action related words; and elaboration for future experimental teaching strategies might include discriminating between two objects by touch and signing given a verbal cue. (SB)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A