The purpose of the present study was to examine the method and the possibility of teaching moderately mentally retarded (MR) children to read Japanese syllabic characters (Kanamoji) through the formation of the act of analyzing the syllabic structure of words (ASSW). In experiment 1, which aimed at ascertaining the development of coordination and its relation to the acquisition of the act of ASSW, the following tasks were given to 6 to 12-year-old moderately MR and 3-4 year-old normal children. Tasks: 1) a reading test of kana-moji, 2) an articulation test, 3) the task of articulating and separating words into-syllables, 4) the task of clapping hands rhythmically coordinating with a series of pulses, 5) the tasks of moving hands in reciprocal coordination, 6) the tasks of pronouncing syllables of given words one at a time in sequence at intervals of 0.3, 1.0 and 2.0 sec. As results, the following facts were ascertained: 1) MR children's insufficient ability of ASSW proved to be related to poor coordinate function and articulatory disorders. 2) Although even a child with extremely poor coordinate function and with severe disorder in articulation was found to be able to articulate syllables of a word in sequence coresponding one to one to hand claps, as long as the syllabic structure of the word was simple such as mama, papa, momo (a peach) 3) Children who had not acquired the act of ASSW, proved to be unable to pronounce each syllable of the words aloud in sequence at longer interval (2.0 sec.) without the help of vocal-coordinating motor acts. 4) The main determinant of dfficulty of the tasks of separating a word into syllables, was found to be the length of the pause between syllables pronounced. This experiment brought us the following hypothesis: Learning to separate words into syllables in the tasks which demand the longer interval, will not only make a child separate words more precisely, but also cause him to pay voluntary attention to the syllabic components of words. Experiment 2: Bassed on these facts and hypothesis, the following 4 steps training program was constructed for moderately MR children in preparation to the formation of the act of ASSW. 1) A child learns to separate the words into syllables, clapping his hands. 2) He learns to separate the words into syllables, jumping into circles one after another. 3) He learns to syllabify the words, putting small wooden dolls on bases placed at 10cm intervals, pronouncing one syllable for each doll. Then the intervals are made gradually longer; 30cm, 50 cm, 1m, 2m. Then he learns to abstruct the first and/or last syllable of words. 4) He learns to construct a word, putting small wooden kana-blocksone at a time on the same characters below the picture of the word, pronuncing the syllable. And 3 steps training program was prepared to teach them to read and construct words in Kanamoji. According to these programs, nineteen moderately MR school children from 6 to 12 years old, who had no knowledge of kana-moji and had not yet acquired the act of ASSW, were trained individually and/or in small groups. As a result, most MR children (9 out of 11) with no deficiency in speech proved to be able to learn the act of ASSW. And as for children with severe speech deficiency, 3 out of 8 children had acquired this act in training period. Out of 11 children who acquired the act of ASSW, eight underwent the training of Kanamoji. As a result, most of them (7 out of 8) showed rapid progress in learning to read Kanamoji. These experiments suggest the high possibility of teaching MR children to read Kanamoji under the condition of elaborated training program.
Behavior therapy techniques were applied to the therapeutic education of an 8-year-old mute autistic boy from January 1969 to June 1970 by the author. This paper intends to describe the process of verbal behavior formation training for the child. At the first step, playing at seesaw with the child contingently after his spontaneous meaningless vocalizations, the author succeeded in strengthen his vocalizations. Subsequently the author tried to shape those vocalizations into a word yaritai (wanna do), using successive approximation method. It took 13 sessions (almost 2 months) for him to speak yaritai clearly. Contrary to the author's expectation, he did not show much progress in using the word which he had acquired ; also another speech training through conditioning generalized imitation proved to be very difficult for him. On the other hand, the author found that the child's behavior system, which might support the verbal behavior, had not been well formed and he stayed on the sensory-motor intelligence level. Then, as a second step, author devised teaching sequence based on sensory-motor training. At first, the child was trained to fit the form-boards, and the problems were gradually made more and more difficult ; i. e., he was required to discriminate forms or sizes between several form-boards presented simultaneously before him. Through that training, he modified his stiff manipulatory responses and acquired a well-coordinated sensory-motor system. Furthermore, with modified WGTA, extensive discrimination learning training of forms, colors, and sizes between vavious visual stimuli was also given and the child showed significant progress and acquired the discrimination learning set. After the formboards training, the child got the set to lay the objects on their appropriate pictures through systematic picture-picture matching training. As a final goal, the letters-objects matching training was introduced. The training consisted of fading in he letters as final cues and fading out the pictures as prompts. As a result, letters-objects matching behavior was almost errorlessly established, and the child was able to use letters as the signs of corresponding objects. The behavior characteristics of autistic children were also discussed. A hypothesis, that stereotypic behaviors and the tendencies to keep the sameness were caused by the spontaneous fear to excessively novel or complex stimuli, was proposed. For, some disorders in the orienting response system (including orienting reflexes and voluntary investigatory activities) prevented the assimilation and accommodation processes of autistic children. Consequently, adaptation level formed through prior experience did not reach as high as those of normal children. Therefore, even interesting and approach-investigation provoking stimuli which were optimally discrepant from adaptation level for normal children might extraordinarily be discrepant for autistic children and make them avoid those stimuli and cause the peculiar withdrawal syndrome. In this discussion an attempt was mabe to show the importance of sensory-motor training for severely retarded autistic children.
It is said that the category-words of a category scale must be differenciated from each other in strength of their semantic meanings and be arranged in order of strength of their semantic meanings. If the category-words not differenciated from each other in strength of their semantic meanings are used to construct a category scale, inconsistency may occur between the category-word order of the given category scale and the category-word order of the semantic meanings understood by the subjects and their judgment process with the category scale may be confused. The purpose of this study is to investigate the order effects of category-words on the subjects' judgment process with category scales which include the category-words undifferentiated from each other in strength of the semantic meanings. From our experiment, we get the following results: (1) The category-word order of a category scale must fulfill the following conditions: A. Expressive validity: The category-word order of a category scale must possess an expressive consistency. a. Example of the category scale with the high expressive validity. _??_ b. Example of the category scale without the validity. _??_ B. Validity of strength of semantic meanings: The category-words of a category scale must be differenciated from each other in strength of th e semantic meanings. Dochiratomoienai (neither long nor short) and amarinagakunai (not so long) should not be included in the same category scale, because the significant difference in strength of their. semantic meanings is not found between the words -55% of the 327 students judged “dochiratomoienai (neither long nor short)” is longer thri “amarinagakunai (not so long)” in paired comparison (X2=3.12, P>0.05)-. C. Validity of category-word order: The category-words of a category scale must be arranged in order of strength of their semantic meanings. Judgment process with a category scale which does not fulfill these three conditions must be confused. (2) when a category scale which possesses the high expressive validity but lacks the validity of strength of the semantic meanings is given, the subjects have a strong tendency to judge according to the category-word order of the given category scale. (3) When the category-word order of a category scale possessing the high validity of strength in the semantic meanings is not identical with the category-word order of strength of the semantic meanings understood by the subjects, the subjects rearrange the category-word order of the category scale according to their semantic understanding. So the expressive validity and the validity of strength of the semantic meanings are more important factors th an the validity of the category-word order in order to construct a category scale.