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J Autism Dev Disord. 2014 Jul;44(7):1659-70. doi: 10.1007/s10803-014-2037-6.

Using discrete trial training to identify specific learning impairments in boys with fragile X syndrome.

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Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Center for Interdisciplinary Brain Sciences Research, Stanford University School of Medicine, 401 Quarry Road, Stanford, CA, 94305, USA,


We examined whether discrete trial training (DTT) could be used to identify learning impairments in mathematical reasoning in boys with fragile X syndrome (FXS). Boys with FXS, aged 10-23 years, and age and IQ-matched controls, were trained to match fractions to pie-charts and pie-charts to decimals either on a computer or with a trained behavior analyst using DTT. Participants with FXS obtained significantly lower learning rates on the fractions to pie-charts task, and were more likely to perseverate on previously reinforced responses during learning compared to controls. These data suggest that DTT can be used to identify specific learning impairments in boys with FXS, as well as other low-functioning individuals with developmental disabilities.

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