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Murphy, C & Barnes-Holmes D
Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Teaching important relational skills for children with autism Spectrum Disorder and Intellectual Disability Using Freely Available (GO-IRAP) Software
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Abstract: The current article is a brief summary of recent research in relational responding with an emphasis on the Ghent Odysseus Implicit Relational Assessment Procedure (GO-IRAP) for teaching this important skill to children with diagnosed autism. Relational responding, especially derived (emergent, untaught) relational responding is thought to be related to complex human cognition such as language and other symbolic understanding (e.g., algebra, maths). Research has indicated that fluent and flexible relational responding is correlated with higher scores on standardized ability/ IQ tests, and that even quite complex relational skills may be taught to children with autism using Multiple Exemplar Training (MET) with other behavioural principles such as positive reinforcement. The GO-IRAP is an interactive computerised teaching programme conceptualized by Professor Dermot Barnes-Holmes and colleagues, which has been made freely available to practitioners and parents. This is a teaching tool designed to assess and teach relational responding from basic nonarbitrary/ physically-based relations such as coordination (same-different), comparison (greater-lesser), opposition, temporal (before-after, hierarchy, deictic relations (I-YOU), and arbitrary relations (.50=50%; X=Y) including Derived Relational Responding (DRR; teach A is greater-than B and B is greater-than, test if child derives (untaught) B is smaller than A, C is smaller than A, A is bigger than C). The current article provides some examples of the diverse relations that can be taught, and stimuli and feedback that can be presented; notably, ongoing research with the GO-IRAP may bring further refinements. ABA treatment programmes, in which language and communication have been traditionally targeted as a priority [15]. Noted limitations, however, were that ABA largely failed to target emergent, novel speech utterances, or the generativity that is characteristic of human language [1]. This was thought to be due to the absence of a complete and comprehensive behavioural account of these more complex aspects of human language and cognition. Relational frame theory/ Derived relational responding: A modern behavioural language theory termed Relational Frame Theory [RFT; 1] has expanded the behavioural research agenda into the more complex areas of human language. The theory encompasses phenomena such as generativity, irony, sarcasm, and humour (readers unfamiliar with RFT may find it useful to commence with Torneke's [16] account, which is readily understood). Of fundamental importance is Derived Relational Responding (DRR), which was documented in early behavioural research investigating the stimulus equivalence phenomenon. The kernel of Stimulus Equivalence (SE) and DRR is that human language entails derived, emergent or untaught responding. For example, if language-able humans are taught that A is same-as (equivalent to) B, they can derive B as equivalent to A without being taught this bi-directional relations. If they then learn B same-as C relations, they can derive A same-as C and C same-as A relations without direct teaching. Sidman's research [2] showed that when a boy with intellectual Show less Full-text available · Article · Jan 2017 · Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
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