The Repository @ St. Cloud State

Open Access Knowledge and Scholarship

Date of Award


Culminating Project Type




Degree Name

Special Studies: M.S.




College of Liberal Arts

First Advisor

Kimberly Schulze

Second Advisor

Eric Rudrud

Third Advisor

Maud Selasie Dogoe

Keywords and Subject Headings

autism, language, receptive labelling, discrimination learning, conditional discrimination, combined blocking


Many behavioural intervention programmes use the simple-conditional method, involving first simple and then conditional discriminations, to teach conditional discriminations, such as receptive labelling, to individuals with autism. Other methods utilised with such individuals include the conditional-only method, involving only conditional discriminations. These methods have been compared in the past (Grow, Carr, Kodak, Jostad, & Kisamore, 2011). Results show that more errors are associated with the simple-conditional method and more reliable, efficient results with the conditional-only method in comparison. Combined-blocking procedures have also been shown to be effective in teaching conditional discrimination (Saunders & Spradlin, 1989, 1990, 1993).

This study compared the effectiveness of all three methods in teaching receptive labelling to individuals with ASD. Two adults and one child with ASD participated. Two participants mastered all discriminations in all conditions. One participant mastered all discriminations in two conditions. The simple-conditional method required the most number of training sessions to reach mastery for two participants., and the combined-blocking required the most sessions for the third participant. Errors were calculated as a percentage of the total number of trials and the conditional- only method was associated with the highest percentage of errors for all three participants.



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