The Effects of Echolalia on Acquisition and Generalization of Receptive Labeling in Autistic Children

Document Type



Psychology (CMC)

Publication Date



This investigation, consisting of two experiments, was designed to assess the effects of autistic immediate echolalia on acquisition and generalization of receptive labeling tasks. Experiment 1 addressed whether autistic children could use their echolalia to facilitate acquisition. The results indicated that incorporating echolalia (echo of the requested object's label) into the task before manual response (handing the requested object to the experimenter) facilitated receptive labeling. Experiment 2 was designed to determine the effects of incorporating echolalia into task response on acquisition and subsequent generalization. These results indicated that echolalia facilitated generalization for echolalic autistic children but not for functionally mute autistic children. The results of the experiments are discussed in terms of stimulus control. Additionally, it is proposed that perhaps in certain cases, echolalia should not be eliminated, but used to advantage in receptive responding.

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© 1983 Society for the Experimental Analysis of Behavior

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