Date of Defense


Date of Graduation




First Advisor

Kelly Kohler

Second Advisor

Richard Malott

Third Advisor

Brittany O'Grady


autism, echoics, imitation


A prerequisite to many things in life is the ability to communicate. Although this may mean many different things, such as verbal language, sign language, written language, and even icons, there must be some form of communication that may be utilized to get needs across. Many young children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are non-verbal, however there are also many children with ASD who have the ability to say words but are still not independently speaking. Reinforcing approximations to word sounds has been previously used as an effective way of increasing the child’s verbal repertoire (Shane, 2017). The present study evaluated whether Ross and Greer (2003)’s method of using imitation to build momentum and then presenting an echoic was an effective form of increasing verbal responses among a preschool-aged child diagnosed with ASD. The study is a changing-criterion design, that decreased the number of physical imitation prompts presented prior to the echoic. Prior to this study the participant had a high rate of physical imitation responses, but utilized few coherent words. He did not respond to any echoic probes during baseline. The intervention increased the participant’s frequency of echoics, resulting in an increase in spoken language.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Open Access

Thesis Presentation.pdf (1206 kB)
Defense Presentation