General information

Teaching janitorial skills to the mentally retarded
results show rapid response acquisition, skill generalization and maintenance of newly learned behavior

Authors: A J Cuvo, R B Leaf, and L S Borakov
Source: Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis 1978 Fall; 11(3): 345-355.

Abstract: A task analysis of janitorial skills required for cleaning a restroom was performed. Six subtasks with a total of 181 component responses were identified. Subjects were required to progress through a series of four prompt levels ordered generally from more to less direct assistance for 20 of the most difficult component steps. Another series of four prompts, ordered from less to more direct assistance, was used to teach the other 161 responses. Subjects progressed to the next more intense prompt level contingent on a failure to respond appropriately with less assistance. A multiple baseline across subjects as well as the six subtasks was employed to evaluate the efficacy of the procedures. Six moderately retarded adolescents were trained in their public school. The results show rapid response acquisition, skill generalization to a second restroom, and maintenance of the newly learned behavior. The present research provides evidence of a model for analyzing and training vocational skills to the mentally retarded.