Evaluating Visual and Verbal Prompts: Acquisition of Grocery Shopping Skills in Adolescents with Autism

Karina Lynn Morales, Fordham University


The present study involves investigation of the effectiveness of visual and verbal prompts in the acquisition of grocery shopping skills among adolescents with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Advances in technology have the potential to assist in developing more independence among individuals with ASD when learning an essential daily living skill (DLS) such as grocery shopping. This study sought to test the theoretical approach of prompting technique strategies using pictures versus verbal recordings using technology. Three adolescents between the ages of 13 and 17 years old and diagnosed with ASD were participants. An alternating treatment three-phase single case experimental design was used to examine two treatments, verbal and visual prompting. For each phase, data were collected through direct observations by the principal investigator in a 1:1 arrangement in the participant’s local grocery store, which offered a community-based instruction format. Visual inspection was conducted to inspect the data collected. Visual analyses showed Participant 1 had greater skill acquisition of grocery shopping for one item when using verbal prompts via an MP3 player recording than visual prompts via a picture schedule. For Participant 2 and Participant 3, greater acquisition was found when using visual prompts than verbal prompts, indicating that a picture schedule may be slightly more effective than the MP3 recorder. The results indicated that all participants in the study benefited from both visual and verbal prompts in skill acquisition of grocery shopping. Visual prompts using a picture schedule showed greater skill acquisition than verbal prompts via MP3 player as a form of technology for two of three participants.

Subject Area

Disability studies|Behavioral psychology|Psychology

Recommended Citation

Morales, Karina Lynn, "Evaluating Visual and Verbal Prompts: Acquisition of Grocery Shopping Skills in Adolescents with Autism" (2021). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI28315958.