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Doctoral Dissertation Announcement
Candidate: Nicholas L. Weatherly
Doctor of Philosophy
Title: A Comparison of Maintenance-Training Methods for Children Diagnosed with Autism
Dr. Richard Malott, Chair
Dr. James Carr
Dr. Ron VanHouten
Dr. Steve Ragotzy
Date: Wednesday, July 2, 2008 12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
2734 Wood Hall
The current study evaluated the effects of three different training methods on skill maintenance within a public school classroom for children diagnosed with autism. Two training methods involved the use of either a continuous reinforcement schedule or a thinned partial reinforcement schedule during 20 overlearning training sessions following skill acquisition. The third training strategy was a no-overlearning control condition. Three children were taught two curricular programs (e.g., matching, imitation, and picture identification) apiece, with each program involving all three training methods using a multi-element design. Overlearning using a thinned partial reinforcement schedule consistently produced greater maintenance across all participants, while there were no consistent differences in the other two training methods.