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

J Autism Dev Disord. 2013 Jun;43(6):1249-57. doi: 10.1007/s10803-012-1658-x.


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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Autistic Disorder / rehabilitation
  • Child Development / physiology*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Color Perception / physiology
  • Cues
  • Discrimination Learning / physiology*
  • Discrimination, Psychological / physiology*
  • Female
  • Form Perception / physiology
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Visual Perception / physiology*