Teaching Children with Autism Self-Initiations as a Pivotal Response

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The purpose of this study was to assess whether children with autism could be taught a child-initiated query as a pivotal response to facilitate the use of grammatical morphemes. Data were collected within the context of a multiple baseline design across two children who lacked the use of temporal morphemes. Results of the study indicated that both children learned the self-initiated strategy and both acquired and generalized the targeted morpheme. Additionally, generalized use of the self-initiation into other question forms and concomitant increases in mean length of utterance, verb acquisition, and diversity of verb use occurred for both children. These generalized effects and the applications of this procedure across linguistic targets are discussed.

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