Research categorised under the heading ‘Academics’ covers areas such as supporting individuals to read, write, do maths and complete other academic curricular programmes, eg. IT skills and science targets. This area also includes strategies for accelerating academic learning.


Providing an Echoic Model in Tests for Stimulus Equivalence to Increase Correct Responses to Trials. Kate Hewett, Louise Stock and Mariann Szabo – Jigsaw CABAS School

It is important children learn more than we directly teach them. This study focused on using a procedure to induce a more efficient method of learning in children diagnosed with autism. They were taught to label items as they matched them to induce a larger matching repertoire than was directly taught. This paper was presented in poster format at the 8th International CABAS Conference (New York) in 2016.

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Stimulus Equivalence is a technical term to describe a process where children learn more than directly taught. For example, if children are taught A is the same as B and A is the same as C then, without further teaching, children should acquire that B is the same as A, C is the same as A, B is the same as C and C is the same as B. This study focused on inducing stimulus equivalence in children diagnosed with autism. They were taught to echo the names of items as they matched them. Initially, without echoing the names, children learnt to match items (A to B and A to C), but no further matching was shown without additional direct teaching. Once the children started echoing the names of items as they matched them they were able to match more items than were directly taught.

Link to poster

The Effects of Novel Token Economies on Academic Responding of an Adolescent diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder – Gemma Reeder

Token economies can be used to help motivate individuals to respond to academic programmes in a classroom setting. Individuals gain tokens by responding to academic tasks and can exchange tokens for a choice of rewarding activities or items. The number of educational objectives met increased for the participant in this study when the novel token economies were in place.  This study was submitted for the CABAS® Master Teacher Rank.

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This research project focused on an 18-year-old young adult diagnosed with autism and the token economy was used to help him meet more educational objectives. A new token board was presented to the participant after each reinforcer exchange. Types of token boards included using race tracks, filling containers with boxes and using puzzle pieces. Some token economies were re-presented to the participant, but only after 3 days. More educational objectives were met when the novel token economies were in place.

Link to study