ERIC Number: ED275093
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1986-May
Three Procedures for Increasing Vocal Response to Prompt and Initial Imitation in Down Syndrome Children: A Comparison.
Drash, Philip W.; And Others
The study sought to identify effective procedures for facilitating initial imitative vocal behavior in mentally retarded children, thus accelerating the initial stages of language acquisition. Three groups of Down syndrome children ages 6 months to 4 years (N=15) served as subjects in an examination of the relative effectiveness of three procedures for increasing vocal response to experimenter prompt: (1) positive reinforcement only; (2) light-out (room lights dimmed) combined with positive reinforcement; (3) visual screening (silk handkerchief placed across the face) combined with positive reinforcement. No more than three prompts were delivered under the screen for light-out and visual screening conditions, and a response to prompt removed the screen. Results showed that light-out and visual screening were equally effective in increasing the frequency of vocalizations to the therapist's prompt, and that both were significantly more effective than positive reinforcement alone. A clear advantage of light-out and visual screening was a rapid increase in the percentage response to prompt observed between baseline and the first 40 minutes of training. Combining positive social reinforcement for responses with light-out or visual screening for nonresponses increased the probability of vocalization. (JW)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Association on Mental Deficiency (110th, Denver, CO, May 25-29, 1986).