1. What was the purpose of the study? That is, what were the researchers trying to find out; what are the research questions?

2. How many participants were included in the study? State each participants’ age, sex, and any diagnosis?

3. List the operational definitions of all target behaviors.

4. State how the data were measured and graphed.

5. In your own words, provide a description of all the experimental procedures used in the study.

6. Summarize level, trend, and variability for one participant.

7. What contributions to the science and practice of ABA did this article provide? In other words, what was the main take away point(s) of this article?  

8. Extra Credit: What is the social validity of this experiment or procedure. Consider habilitation and how the individual’s like may have been improved.





Activity schedules are often used to facilitate task engagement and transition for children with
autism. This study evaluated whether conditional discrimination training would serve to transfer
the control from activity-schedule pictures to printed words (i.e., derived textual control). Two
preschoolers with autism were taught to select pictures and printed words given their dictated
names. Following training, participants could respond to printed words by completing the
depicted task, match printed words to pictures, and read printed words without explicit training
(i.e., emergent relations).

DESCRIPTORS: activity schedules, autism, conditional discrimination, derived stimulus
relations, stimulus equivalence


Activity schedules are commonly used to cue
children diagnosed with autism to perform tasks
independently (McClannahan, MacDuff, &
Krantz, 2002). Activity schedules usually consist
of binders with one picture per page that
children are taught to open, turn the pages, look
at the pictures, and engage in the corresponding
task (MacDuff, Krantz, & McClannahan,
1993; McClannahan & Krantz, 1999). When
children start learning to read, it may be
developmentally appropriate to replace the
pictures with printed words. Although McClan-
nahan and Krantz recommend using within-
stimulus fading for this task, conditional
discrimination training (i.e., matching to sam-
ple, MTS) may be a viable alternative for
transferring control from pictures to printed
words in activity schedules (Lalli, Casey, Goh,

& Merlino, 1994). One potential advantage of
an MTS procedure is the possibility of
emergence of untaught responses (i.e., stimulus
equivalence). If taught to select pictures when
given the dictated names (AB) and printed
words when given the same dictated names
(AC), participants may match pictures and
printed words (BC, CB) and label pictures
(BD) and printed words (CD) without direct
training (Sidman, 1994).

Rehfeldt and colleagues have demonstrated
that learning to relate dictated words to their
corresponding pictures and printed words via
MTS discrimination training resulted in accu-
rate mands using printed words instead of
pictures (Rehfeldt & Root, 2005; Rosales &
Rehfeldt, 2007). Other emergent relations were
also evident without direct training, including
matching words to pictures, pictures to words,
and naming pictures and words. Sidman (2004)
has suggested that matching words and pictures
is a prerequisite for reading with comprehen-
sion; thus, MTS seems to be an efficient way to
teach socially important skills that should be
evaluated with children with autism.

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the
use of MTS conditional discriminatio

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