Stimulus overselectivity in typical development: Implications for teaching children with autism

Sarah R. Reed, Aubyn Stahmer, Jessica Suhrheinrich, Laura Schreibman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Stimulus overselectivity is widely accepted as a stimulus control abnormality in autism spectrum disorders and subsets of other populations. Previous research has demonstrated a link between both chronological and mental age and overselectivity in typical development. However, the age at which children are developmentally ready to respond to discriminations involving simultaneous multiple cues has not been established. Thirty-seven typically developing preschoolers completed a task requiring response to simultaneous cues (color and shape) to establish the age at which typically developing children can successfully respond to multiple cues. Results demonstrate that typically developing children under 36 months of age have difficulty responding to multiple cues. Implications for behavioral treatment for autism are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1249-1257
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2013


  • Autism
  • Behavioral treatment
  • Development of conditional discriminations
  • Overselectivity
  • Pivotal response training

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Medicine(all)


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