Teaching Symbolic Relations in Down Syndrome through Equivalence-Based Instruction: A Case Study

Ángel Eugenio Tovar, Alvaro Torres-Chávez


A procedure for establishing equivalence classes in a participant with Down syndrome was implemented. The classes were composed of written words (A), pictorial representations (B), digit numbers (C), and auditory words (D) representing metro stations. In the training phase, we implemented a successful procedure for enhancing perceptual discrimination of written words when presented as sample stimuli (A), and we established a reduced number of stimulus relations: AB, BC, DA, from which the participant was able to derive full stimulus classes that included derived relations between stimuli that had not been trained before: BA, CB, AC, CA, DB, and DC. The study encompassed a total of 7 sessions, and by the end these, the participant showed correct mappings between written words, pictures, auditory words, and digits. We detail adaptations to traditional training procedures that facilitated learning in the participant with Down syndrome. We argue that procedures based on equivalence instruction are beneficial for the establishment of symbolic and communicative repertoires in individuals with developmental disabilities.



Down syndrome, symbolic behavior, word object mappings, learning disabilities, equivalence class formation, reading.

Full Text:


DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5514/rmac.v47.i2.81165

Editor in Chief:

Dr. Carlos J. Flores-Aguirre


ISSN: 0185-4534

ISSN Electrónico: 2007-0802