Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science



First Advisor

Dixon, Mark


The purpose of the study was to evaluate the efficacy of the procedures described in the PEAK-E curriculum in teaching addition skills to children with developmental disabilities. In the present study, three participants were taught to match sample addition problems (A) to a number of pictures (B) corresponding to the sum of A (A-B), and to match sample pictures (B) to textual numbers (C) (B-C). They were then tested to see if they could match sample addition problems (A) to with the textual numbers (C) that were the solution of the addition problems A (A-C). Following mastery of the A-B and B-C relations, none of the participants were able to demonstrate the derived transitive A-C relation. An additional training phase was conducted across all participants whereby two of the five stimulus classes were provided “equivalence” C-A training (matching the textual number C to the equation A), after which all of the participants were able to demonstrate the derived transitive A-C relations across all stimulus classes without direct training of any of the stimulus classes. The results expand on previous research evaluating behavioral approaches to teaching math skills by showing how the development of equivalence class can result in the untrained emergence of novel math skills. Keywords: Stimulus Equivalence, PEAK, Addition, Autism, Developmental Disabilities




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