|University of Pittsburgh
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Intraverbals are a type of verbal behavior that occurs when a verbal stimulus evokes a verbal response that has no point-to-point correspondence or formal similarity with the verbal stimulus (Skinner, 1957). One teaching procedure used to establish intraverbal skills is transfer of stimulus control procedure. Although a number of research studies have shown that transfer of stimulus control procedures appeared to be effective in teaching intraverbals for children with ASD, the gains observed in the training did not transfer, or generalize, to other people and settings. That is, merely the use of transfer of stimulus control procedures did not yield the generalization of intraverbal responses. The literature on generalization has emphasized that generalization does not occur unless specific procedures such as programming common stimuli are also provided (Stokes & Osnes, 1989; Stokes & Baer, 1977). In this study, the researcher investigated the effects of transfer of stimulus control procedures and a peer prompting procedure on the acquisition and generalization of intraverbals across peers without disabilities using a multiple baseline across three conversation scripts design. Two children with ASD and four typically-developing children participated in this study. Upon the intervention, both participants demonstrated increased contextually-appropriate intraverbal responses in a few sessions. Results also indicated that the combined approach showed promising generalization outcomes related to increases in correct intraverbals. Additionally, both participants required decreased number of adult-delivered prompts to converse with their peers during peer prompting sessions, indicating that they would maintain social interaction in the teacher’s absence. Considerations for interpretation and recommendations for future directions of this study are also discussed.