In this study three severely handicapped school-aged students were trained to cross the street. The students were provided preinstruction, instructional feedback, and selective repeated practice to acquire the skills to cross the street at partially controlled intersections; selective repeated practice was introduced only when physical assistance was required on those skills students found particularly difficult to learn; a rehearsal and model phase was eventually used to promote independent street crossing. Data were collected on the following training clusters: approach (walking to and stopping on the curb), look (looking behind, in front, left, and right), step (stepping off the curb when no cars were coming), and walk (walking quickly across the street and stopping on the other side). Results of the multiple baseline design indicated that instructional feedback was sufficient in training the approach and walk behaviors but selective repeated practice was required to establish the look responses. A partial reversal following withdrawal of instructional feedback suggested withdrawing all treatment components would result in total loss of behavior gains. Therefore, rehearsal in the form of performing the entire sequence with the trainer and then a trainer model was tried. This strategy increased the number of independent decisions to step and walk across the street. Generalization probes on untreated, partially controlled intersections suggested that each student used the newly acquired behaviors appropriately. Future research is suggested in the areas of training two-behavior versus four-behavior chains, using repeated practice to facilitate acquisition and teach independent decision making to severely handicapped students.
AAESPH Review – SAGE
Published: Sep 1, 1979