Japanese students with developmental disabilities often exhibit difficulties in reading, particularly in Kanji (ideogram) reading, and in acquiring the equivalence relations between pictures, written words, and sounds. Previous research suggested that one student with autism could acquire Kanji reading along with equivalence relations through stimulus pairing training. However, maintenance rates tended to be very low, possibly due to the lack of picture stimuli. In this study, we examined the acquisition and maintenance of Kanji reading skills through stimulus pairing training using corresponding pictures for six students with developmental disabilities. We prepared stimulus pairs consisting of picture stimuli that the students could name along with a corresponding Kanji character that they could not read. All students successfully acquired and maintained the Kanji reading skills through this procedure. These findings suggest that the nameability of picture stimuli in stimulus pairing training may facilitate the acquisition and maintenance of equivalence relations for reading.
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