Effects of teaching generalized identity matching on picture preference assessment for persons with developmental disabilities

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Michalyshyn, Chelsey Alycia
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Research suggests that individuals with severe developmental disabilities are able to indicate preferences during direct preference assessments with objects. However, they may not have the discrimination skills to respond effectively to pictures. Recent research has begun to focus on identifying and teaching individuals the skills needed to indicate their preferences using pictures, due to the practical advantages of presenting choices with pictures versus objects. Further, it has been suggested that generalized identity matching may be associated with successful performance during picture preference assessments. The present study evaluated whether teaching generalized identity matching with pictures would lead to improved performance on picture preference assessments. Two adults, one male and one female, diagnosed with moderate to severe mental retardation, with limited to no speech, and varying degrees of physical impairments participated in the study. Before training, participants were able to indicate their preferences using objects but not with pictures and they were unable to perform generalized identity matching. Participants were trained on an object-picture matching-to-sample relation in a multiple baseline across tasks design. Individual data showed that neither Participant 1 nor Participant 2 met the pass criterion (80% or higher correct responses) on at least one generalized identity matching task after one training task was taught. Further, both participants showed improved concordance between preference assessments using objects and pictures of the same objects after mastering one training task respectively. These findings were independent of the accuracy of responding during the generalized identity matching post-assessment for each participant. These results suggest that the ability to respond accurately on generalized picture-picture identity matching tasks may not be related to performance on picture preference assessments (i.e., for individuals to indicate their preferences with pictures).
Picture, Preference, Assessment, Generalized, Identity, Matching, Developmental, Disabilities