Establishing qualifying a generalized autoclitic repertoire in children with autism spectrum disorder
Todd Owen and Nicole Rodriguez
Skinner (1957) described autoclitics as secondary verbal operants that are controlled by a feature of the primary verbal relationship (e.g., tact, mand). Among the various types of autoclitics described by Skinner is the qualifying autoclitic, which extends, negates, or asserts a speaker’s primary verbal response and modifies the intensity or direction of the listener’s behavior (Howard & Rice, 1988; Skinner, 1957; Speckman et al., 2012). In the only study to date on teaching qualifying autoclitics, Howard and Rice (1988) established generalized qualifying autoclitics that indicated weak stimulus control (e.g., “like a [primary tact]”) with four typically developing preschool children. However, generalization to newly acquired tacts was limited. The current study aimed to extend Howard and Rice to children with autism spectrum disorder using simultaneous teaching procedures, validating the stimuli, and testing for generalization using naturalistic stimuli.
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