<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=412613405606678&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">

Autism Resources and Community (ARC)

What can we tell you?

21152855_SpecialEd_ABA_728x90_Aug18.gif

Basic Matching Activities

Angela Nelson, J.D., Ed.M. By Angela Nelson, J.D., Ed.M. | 4/15/14 3:37 PM | About Autism | 0 Comments

Why Matching Activities for Children with Autism?

Note: These activities are excerpted from the Language Builder® ARIS Full Autism Curriculum developed by Stages Learning Materials.

What does matching teach a child? How can this be a step toward developing language? Matching skills are essential for language development for children with autism.

In ABA therapy matching skills typically follow a hierarchy from the easiest and most accessible matching activities using identical physical objects to the more complex and abstract notion of matching representations of objects, such as those found in specially designed picture cards. As the child advances in matching activities they are able to connect physical objects with cards that represent the objects: A big leap forward in the development of language skill learning! Research demonstrates that using a progression of matching activities using ABA therapy techniques provides children with scaffolding needed to develop language skills.

Stages Learning Materials has created Language Builder® Matching Kits specially designed to foster identical and similar matching activities using objects and cards. The Language Builder® series is used widely by researchers and ABA therapists.

 

The Hierarchy of Matching Activities   

  1. Start with identical objects (3D - 3D matching): Match apple with apple

Choose a 3D object to start with. Bowls and Cups, as offered in the Everyday Object Matching Kit are often a good first choice because they “nest,” which is a natural motivator for students to stack them together. Alternatively start with an object that is attractive or motivating to your particular student. If your student tends to engage in wheel-spinning stimulatory behavior, you may not want to start with wheeled vehicles.

  1. Sit in a chair or on the floor with the student
  2. Make sure you have the child’s attention
  3. Place 1 object in front of the student
  4. Hand your student the identical object and ask the student to match the objects
  5. Typical commands include “Match the Apples” “Put with Same” “Put Apple with Apple”
  6. Prompt if necessary
  7. Wait for the student to match the object correctly
  8. Reinforce the student

Once the student has mastered matching one object, you can then move through the list of identical objects to match. As the student becomes more competent matching identical objects in a field of one, you can then add more objects to the field so the student will have to scan the objects before matching.

 

  1. Next, match objects to pictures and pictures to objects (3D - 2D Matching): Match horse object with horse card.

Choose a 3D object to start with. The Language Builder® 3D - 2D Matching Kits, such as the Food or Animal kits, are perfect for this matching activity.  Start with an object that is attractive or motivating to your particular student. It is a good idea to choose an object with which your student has had significant success matching in the 3D - 3D matching activity.animal-matching-kit-1.jpg

  1. Sit in a chair or on the floor with the student
  2. Make sure you have the child’s attention
  3. Place 1 picture card in front of the student
  4. Hand your student the corresponding 3D object and ask the student to match the objects
  5. Typical commands include “Match the Apples” “Put with Same” “Put Apple with Apple”
  6. Prompt if necessary
  7. Wait for the student to match the object correctly
  8. Reinforce the student

Once the student has mastered matching one object to the corresponding photo card, you can then move through the list of identical objects to match. As the student becomes more competent matching object to card in a field of one, you can then add more objects to the field so the student will have to scan the objects before matching.  There are additional lessons designed for 3D - 2D matching at the end of this article.

 

  1. Next, advance to photo identical matching (2D - 2D): Match picture of car to picture of car.

Choose a card from the Language Builder® Picture Nouns set to start. Begin with a card that has an image that is attractive or motivating to your particular student. It is a good idea to choose an object with which your student has had significant success matching in the 3D - 3D, and 2D - 3D matching activities.

  1. Sit in a chair or on the floor with the student
  2. Make sure you have the child’s attention
  3. Place 1 picture card in front of the student
  4. Hand your student the corresponding picture card and ask the student to match the pictures
  5. Typical commands include “Match the Apples” “Put with Same” “Put Apple with Apple”
  6. Prompt if necessary
  7. Wait for the student to match the picture cards correctly
  8. Reinforce the student

Once the student has mastered matching one photo card to the corresponding photo card, you can then ask the student to match other identical pictures. As the student becomes more competent matching card to card in a field of one, you can then add more cards to the field so the student will have to scan the cards before matching.

 

  1. Finally, advance to photo similar matching: Match orange cat with white cat.

Choose a card from the Language Builder® Picture Nouns set to start. Begin with a card that has an image that is attractive or motivating to your particular student. It is a good idea to choose an object with which your student has had significant success with in previous matching activities. picture-nouns-lb-546971-edited.jpg

  1. Sit in a chair or on the floor with the student
  2. Make sure you have the child’s attention
  3. Place 1 picture card in front of the student
  4. Hand your student the corresponding similar but not identical picture card and ask the student to match the pictures
  5. Typical commands include “Match the Cats” “Put with Same” “Put Cat with Cat”
  6. Prompt if necessary
  7. Wait for the student to match the picture cards correctly
  8. Reinforce the student

 Once the student has mastered matching one photo card to the corresponding similar photo card, you can then ask the student to match other similar pictures. As the student becomes more competent matching card to card in a field of one, you can then add more cards to the field so the student will have to scan the cards before matching

 

Research on Matching: 3D - 2D is Essential

Basic matching is one of the first lessons taught in an Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) program for children with autism. Teaching early language skills to children with autism often begins with having children match identical objects. Before a child can learn that the picture of an object actually represents a real item (picture-object correspondence), the child may need to start learning by matching actual physical objects. It is often necessary to start by matching 3D objects such as cups or toy cars and later transition to matching identical images on cards (Blumberg & Hurley, 2007).

Teaching daily living skills to children with autism often depends on using activity schedules and sequencing charts. These tools are effective only at the point at which children have mastered the prerequisite skills of matching a 2D image to a 3D object (Haas, 2011). Until a child has the capacity to understand that a 2D image such as a picture of a toothbrush represents an actual object, being able to prompt a child to engage in brushing their teeth cannot be accomplished using an activity schedule or card. Some children will eventually be able to move from seeing an actual toothbrush, to recognizing a card that has a photographic image of a toothbrush, to recognizing the word “toothbrush.” Other children with more severe language delays will only be able to respond to 3D prompts (Baynham, 2007).

 

The Research Connection Between Matching Activities and Language Development

3d2dmatching.jpgIn a study using different types of photographs, symbols, and objects to teach language skills to 40 non-verbal subjects with autism the real objects proved to be much more readily recognized than any of the other representations of objects (Mirenda & Locke, 1989).

Typically developing infants and children under the age of three also learn from viewing 3D objects and often cannot process a 2D picture of an object until a later age. Researchers testing 5-month-old infants found that these infants could not understand 2-D images, but when presented with the same content in 3D representations infants were able to understand the objects. The researchers found that by examining 3D objects children naturally learn about objects in their world and that being able to examine a 3D object provides additional sensory information rather than just viewing a 2D image on a card (Mash & Boornstein, 2012).

 

The following are resources that can help support basic matching activities to promote language development:

Lesson Plans:

Resources for Matching Activities

Stages also offers 10 Memory Card Games that teach matching skills

 

References to Research on Matching and Language Development

Baynham, Tanya Yvonne. (2007). Training a non-match response: Toward a technology for determining controlling stimulus dimensions for two children with autism. University of North Texas, Dissertation. ProQuest Dissertations Publishing.

Blumberg, E.R. & Hurley, E. (2007). Enhancing Early Intervention for Parents of Young Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders: Information, Strategies, & Resources. New Brunswick, NJ: The Elizabeth M. Boggs Center on Developmental Disabilities.

Haas, Stephanie Iwanciow. (2011). “Teaching daily living skills to young adults with autism: the creation of a curriculum guide for special education teachers.” California State University: M.A. Thesis. Available: http://digitalcommons.csumb.edu/caps_thes/426 

Mash, C., & Bornstein, M. H. (2012). 5-month-olds’ categorization of novel objects: Task and measure dependence. Infancy, 17, 179-197.

Mirenda, P., & Locke, P. (1989). A comparison of symbol transparency in nonspeaking persons with intellectual disabilities. Journal of Speech and Hearing Disorders, 54, 131-140.

Angela Nelson, J.D., Ed.M. Angela Nelson received her BA and JD from UCLA where she studied and practiced behavior psychology under Dr. Ivar Lovaas, and her Ed.M. at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, with a focus on technology innovation and education. As Founder and CEO of Stages Learning Materials, Angela has created autism, special needs and early childhood curriculum products since 1997. In addition to her duties at Stages, Angela writes for multiple industry publications and is on the board of the Education Market Association. In her spare time, Angela makes a mean ginger scallion sauce, and attempts to adjust to non-LA weather.

Find me on:

Related posts

Follow us on social media!

We want to know what you think! Please share your questions and comments about this article, and participate in the dialogue.