Some Guidelines for the Use of Stimulus Modifications in Teaching Response Topography to People with Developmental Disabilities

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Colleges, School and Institutes


The use of stimulus modifications in teaching involves altering the materials of a task in order to simplify its execution. Though their use in teaching stimulus discriminations to people with developmental disabilities has been extensively investigated, less attention has been given to their utilization in teaching response topography. This paper offers some general guidelines about their use for this purpose. In relation to their design, it is suggested that the aim should be to reduce the demands made by task components, to eliminate components, and/or to increase the attentional value of the discriminating features of the response topography. In relation to their application, guidelines are suggested about when they should be employed in conjunction with response prompts; when they should be used, either alone or in conjunction with response prompts, in preference to response prompts alone; whether one or a series of modifications is required; and at what point during teaching should probe trials on the unmodified task be introduced.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)153-165
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Developmental and Physical Disabilities
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1998