Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


32nd Annual Convention; Atlanta, GA; 2006

Event Details

Previous Page


Symposium #174
CE Offered: BACB
Clinical Application of A Stimulus-Stimulus Pairing Procedure for Increasing Verbal Behavior of Young Children with Autism
Sunday, May 28, 2006
1:30 PM–2:50 PM
Regency V
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Robert LaRue (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, Rutgers University)
Discussant: Mary Jane Weiss (Rutgers University)
CE Instructor: Lara Delmolino, Ph.D.

Verbal behavior deficits are central to the communication impairments of individuals with autism. Development of a vocal verbal behavior repertoire can be challenging when a learner demonstrates a lack of spoken language. Previous research and clinical demonstrations have suggested the efficacy of a stimulus-stimulus pairing procedure to develop or expand the vocal repertoire of learners with absent or limited functional vocal behavior. This session reports the impact of a stimulus-stimulus pairing procedure for two young children with autism. In the first paper, procedural variations and comparison to previously documented strategies are highlighted. In the second paper, one learners development of a vocal echoic and mand repertoire are presented, along with a discussion of other generalized effects. The third paper reports the collateral effects of the procedure demonstrated in two learners who showed a significant decrease in stereotyped vocalizations. Clinical implications and future directions will be discussed.


Methodological Variations in the Clinical Application of a Stimulus-Stimulus Pairing Procedure to Increase Functional Speech in Children with Autism.

LARA M. DELMOLINO (Rutgers University), Joelle Lugo (Rutgers University), Jacqueline J. Wright (Rutgers University)

The literature regarding the efficacy of a stimulus-stimulus pairing procedure to increase the vocal verbal behavior of young children with autism has been promising but mixed. The current paper presents a model of implementation for use of a stimulus-stimulus pairing procedure to increase the verbal mand and echoic repertoires of two young learners with autism. Specifically, the current paper describes the impact of the stimulus pairing procedure within individual pairing sessions, and over the course of time, an aspect which has not been extensively explored in the literature. In addition, the current paper describes how the use of the pairing procedure was systematically transferred to a contingent reinforcement procedure over the course of its implementation, and presents data regarding the subsequent impact of this shift. Further, the current clinical application utilized a variety of stimuli in the pairing component of the procedure, rather than one specific stimulus paired with each target speech sound. The clinical utility of these procedural variations will be discussed.


Development of a Vocal Mand and Echoic Repertoire with a Stimulus-Stimulus Pairing Procedure: Acquisition and Generalized Effects.

JOELLE LUGO (Rutgers University), Lara M. Delmolino (Rutgers University), Karitssa Fernandez (Rutgers University), Stacy Leibross (Rutgers University)

The effects of a stimulus-stimulus pairing procedure on the production of appropriate speech sounds in a six-year-old boy with autism are presented. The student presented with a limited repertoire of speech sounds and used a picture system to communicate. Sounds were identified that the student did not emit when asked and had never been heard to emit. Using a multiple baseline design across sounds, a pairing procedure was implemented in which the instructor repeatedly produced the target sound while delivering preferred items non-contingently. The student's production of the target sound was recorded before, during, and after pairing sessions. The pairing procedure produced a measurable increase in the students production of the sound during and immediately after pairing sessions. This improvement was augmented by adding contingent reinforcement for production of the target sound in the second phase of the procedure. Probe data indicated that during the course of the procedure, the student acquired the ability to produce the sound on request and began to utilize the sound communicatively in other settings. These data support the potential contribution of the stimulus pairing procedure for increasing the vocal repertoires of individuals with autism where other procedures have been ineffective


Collateral Changes in Stereotypic Vocal Behavior during a Stimulus-Stimulus Pairing Procedure: Effects in two Learners with Autism.

LARA M. DELMOLINO (Rutgers University), Joelle Lugo (Rutgers University), Karitssa Fernandez (Rutgers University), Stacey Leibross (Rutgers University)

While research and clinical case studies have demonstrated the impact of a stimulus-stimulus pairing procedure on the development of vocal verbal behavior for learners with extremely limited or absent vocal speech, there is very little literature regarding the impact of such strategies on the rates of non-functional stereotyped vocal behavior. For two learners with autism exposed to a stimulus-stimulus pairing procedure, targeted increases in functional vocalizations were accompanied by significant decreases in non-functional vocalizations and other stereotypic behavior. These changes occurred predictably during the periods immediately following the stimulus-stimulus pairing procedure, and the degree of reduction increased over time and exposure to the pairing procedure. Changes in stereotyped behavior were documented although these behaviors were not targeted specifically. Clinical and theoretical implications of these findings will be discussed.




Back to Top
Modifed by Eddie Soh