A Case Study of Cross-Disciplinary Collaboration: Designing Effective Teaching Methods for Individuals With Developmental Disabilities


This case study demonstrates the importance of collaborative research for scientific advancement. The study shows the benefits of networking at conferences and reaching outside one’s own discipline or area of expertise to gain alternative viewpoints. The case involves the design and testing of an intervention for teaching children with intellectual disabilities to match to sample. Matching skills are foundational for teaching language and numerical skills to children in this population. The intervention involved collaboration between basic cognitive psychologists interested in visual attention and behavior analysts. The intervention was successful in establishing matching-to-sample performances in the children, and did so very rapidly relative to other training procedures. Evidence for generalized usefulness of the technique with other stimuli and relations is provided.

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