An assessment of error-correction procedures for learners with autism


  • We thank JoAnna Jones for her assistance in conducting sessions and collecting data and Brandt Kail for his assistance with data collection.

Address correspondence to Dorothea C. Lerman, University of Houston–Clear Lake, 2700 Bay Area Blvd., MC 245, Houston, Texas 77058 (e-mail:


Prior research indicates that the relative effectiveness of different error-correction procedures may be idiosyncratic across learners, suggesting the potential benefit of an individualized assessment prior to teaching. In this study, we evaluated the reliability and utility of a rapid error-correction assessment to identify the least intrusive, most effective procedure for teaching discriminations to 5 learners with autism. The initial assessment included 4 commonly used error-correction procedures. We compared the total number of trials required for the subject to reach the mastery criterion under each procedure. Subjects then received additional instruction with the least intrusive procedure associated with the fewest number of trials and 2 less effective procedures from the assessment. Outcomes of the additional instruction were consistent with those from the initial assessment for 4 of 5 subjects. These findings suggest that an initial assessment may be beneficial for identifying the most appropriate error-correction procedure.