Ricki Hurtado

Major: 
Psychology
Mentor: 
Dr. Karen Toussaint
Current Research Topic: 
An Analysis of Subword Units during Auditory-Visual Matching to Sample
Abstract: 
A common practice in early intervention for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is teaching receptive language, a skill also referred to as listening skills. In receptive programs, a learner must be able to discriminate between different auditory instructions; however, many individuals with ASD have difficulty with receptive language programs. Previous research has not assessed learner’s ability to discriminate the components of spoken words prior to teaching receptive language programs. This study will focus on how the child can discriminate between subword units (onsets and rimes) within different stimuli or words. We will use a multi-element design to compare two teaching conditions: one with similar onsets but dissimilar rimes and the other will contain dissimilar onsets but similar rimes. Exploring these kinds of questions can help us better understand how to improve receptive identification programs for children with ASD.