Generalized Use of Past Tense Verbs in Children with Autism Following a Sufficient Exemplar Training Procedure

Sigmund ELDEVIK , Ellie KAZEMI, Greg ELSKY


The purpose of this study was to validate a procedure for sufficient exemplar training that can potentially lead to generalized responding. Based on this procedure, we taught four children with autism, generalized use of regular past tense verbs. We applied a non-concurrent multiple baseline design across the participants. The dependent variable was the number of verbs that needed to be trained for generalization to untrained verbs to occur. The number of verbs that needed to be trained varied considerably across participants as did the number of trials. We concluded that the procedure was validated and that it was easy to implement and it allows for individualization. We discuss the practical implications of our findings for teaching a wide range of skills using the same type of training procedure and data display strategies we provided in this study. 


Sufficient exemplar training, Autism, Generalized responding, Past tense

Paper Details

Paper Details
Topic Special Education
Pages 485 - 498
Issue IEJEE, Volume 9, Issue 2, Special Issue: Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD): Approaches to Training, Teaching, and Treatment
Date of acceptance 01 November 2016
Read (times) 452
Downloaded (times) 236

Author(s) Details


Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences, Norway


California State University, United States


Behavioral Learning Network, United States


Cooper, J. O., Heron, T. E., & Heward, W. L. (2007). Applied Behavior Analysis (2nd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Merrill Prentice Hall.

Greer, R. D., & Yuan, L. (2008). How Kids learn to say the darnedest things: The effect of multiple exemplar instruction on the emergence of novel verb usage. The Analysis of Verbal Behavior, 24, 103-121.

Jahr, E. (2001). Teaching children with autism to answer novel wh-questions by utilizing a multiple exemplar strategy. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 22(5), 407-423.

Jahr, E., Eldevik, S., & Eikeseth, S. (2000). Teaching children with autism to initiate and sustain cooperative play. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 21(2), 151-169.

Leaf, R., & McEachin, J. (1999). A work in progress. New York: DRL Books.

Lovaas, O. I. (2003). Teaching individuals with developmental delays: Basic intervention techniques. Austin, TX: Pro-Ed.

Maurice, C., Green, G., & Luce, S. C. (Eds.). (1996). Behavioral intervention for young children with autism: A manual for parents and professionals. Austin, TX: Pro-Ed, Inc.

Moerk, E. L. (1990). Three-term Contingency Patterns in Mother-Child Verbal Interactions During First-Language Acquisition. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 54(3), 293-305. doi: 10.1901/jeab.1990.54-293

Moore, J. (2008). Conceptual Foundations of Radical Behaviorism. NY: Sloan: Cornwall-on-Hudson.

Roid, G. H. (2003). Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scales, Fifth Edition, technical manual. Itasca, IL: Riverside Publishing.

Schumaker, J., & Sherman, J. (1970). Training Generative Verb Usage by Imitation and Reinforcement Procedures. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 5, 275-287.

Sparrow, S. S., Cicchetti, D. V., & Balla, D. A. (2005). Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales: Second Edition. Circle Pines Minnesota: AGS Publishing.

Stewart, I., McElwee, J., & Ming, S. (2013). Language Generativity, Response Generalization, and Derived Relational Responding. The Analysis of Verbal Behavior, 29, 137-155.

Sundberg, M. L. (2008). Verbal behavior milestones assessment and placement program: The VB-MAPP. Concord, CA: AVB Press.

White, R. O., Liberty, K. A., Haring, N. G., Billingsley, F. F., Boer, M., Burrage, A., Sessoms, I. (1998). Review and analysis of strategies for generalization. In N. G. Haring (Ed.), Generalization for students with severe handicaps: Strategies and solutions (pp. 15-45). Seattle and London: University of Washington Press.

Wunderlich, K. L., Vollmer, T. R., Donaldson, J. M., & Phillips, C. L. (2014). Effects of serial and concurrent training on acquisition and generalization. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 47(4), 1-15. doi:10.1002/jaba.154

Related Papers