Modified Incidental Teaching Sessions: A Procedure for Parents to Increase Spontaneous Speech in Their Children with Autism

Student Co-author

CGU Graduate

Document Type



Psychology (CMC)

Publication Date



In this study, traditional incidental teaching was modified and a new naturalized parent training speech program, modified incidental teaching sessions (MITS), was designed. We then compared the efficacy of MITS with traditional incidental teaching and discrete trial. Using a multiple baseline design across and within children, with an alternating treatments design, we examined both the acquisition and, more importantly, generalization of target phrases for MITS as well as the comparison methods. Parents of three children with autism were trained to deliver MITS, traditional discrete trial, and incidental teaching in their home. Results indicated that MITS led to acquisition for all children, whereas only one child acquired the behavior with traditional incidental teaching, and two children acquired the behavior with discrete trial. Importantly, MITS also led to the generalization of target phrases, whereas no children generalized the target phrases with the incidental teaching and discrete trial conditions. These promising results are discussed in terms of maximizing the effectiveness of incidental teaching and the potential to provide naturalistic teaching strategies for parents that are associated with rapid and durable treatment gains.

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