Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy
Dr. Richard W. Malott
Dr. Stephanie Peterson
Dr. Ron Van Houten
Dr. Carmen Jonaitis
Autism, behavior analysis, imitation, teaching
Some children with autism are unable to acquire imitation despite receiving early intensive behavioral intervention (EIBI) meant to teach that and other important skills. Many EIBI programs use physical-prompting hierarchies either as a component of the discriminative stimulus or the correction procedure following an error (Lovaas, 1981; Maurice, Green, & Luce, 1996). But even after lengthy exposure to these teaching techniques, some children still do not acquire imitative repertoires. In the present study, working with students who were not acquiring imitative repertoires, we started with shaping the initial imitative responses as a method to gain stimulus control and then introduced physical prompting to establish the other imitative motor responses. The primary differences from common EIBI teaching methods were the initial use of shaping, and also starting with a longer duration of the model’s actions and reducing that over time. Then, antecedent physical prompting was introduced, with considerations for the position of the prompts and response-effort requirements. As a result, all three students acquired a variety of imitative responses and some showed some generalized imitation.
Mrljak, Jennifer, "Teaching Students who have Difficulty Mastering lmitation" (2017). Dissertations. 3191.
Fifth Advisor: Dr. Steven Ragotzy