Stimulus Overselectivity in Autism, Down Syndrome, and
Typical Development
William V. Dube, Rachel S. Farber, Marlana R. Mueller, Eileen Grant, Lucy Lorin, and Curtis K.

Stimulus overselectivity refers to maladaptive narrow attending that is a common learning problem among children with intelle ctual disabilities  and frequently associated with autism.
The prese nt study contrasted oversele ctivity among groups of children with autism, Down syndrome, and typical development. The groups with autism and Down syndrome were matched for intellectual level, and all three groups were matched for developmental levels on tests of nonverbal reasoning and receptive vocabulary. Delayed matching-t o-sample tests presented color/form compounds, printed words, photographs of faces, Mayer-Jo hnson Picture Communication Symbols,  and unfamiliar black forms. No significant differences among groups emerged for test accuracy scores. Overselectivity was not statistically overrepresented among individuals with autism in contrast to those with Down syndrome or typically developing children.
Key Words: stimulus overselectivity; attention; matching to sample; autism; autism spectrum disorder; Down syndrome; children

Approximately 50 years ago, Dr. O. Ivar Lovaas and colleagues at the University of California-Los Angeles were among the first to apply the methods of behavior analysis to the treatment and education of children with autism. The goals of their program were to establish communication in these children and to decrease their maladaptive behaviors (Smith & Eikeseth, 2011). One aspect of the children’s behavior was described as follows:
Operationally, our data show that when autistic children are presented with multiple stimulus inputs, their behavior comes under the control of a range of input that is too restricted. This problem was referred to as ‘‘ stimulus overselectivity’’ (Lovaas, Schreibman, Koegel, & Rhem, 1971) because the children overselected a limited number of stimuli from those available in their environment. (Lovaas, Koegel, & Schreibman, 1979, p. 1237)

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Publicacion: 23/07/2016