Training Parents to Use the Natural Language Paradigm to Increase Their Autistic Children's Speech

Document Type



Psychology (CMC)

Publication Date



Parents of four nonverbal and four echolalic autistic children were trained to increase their children's speech by using the Natural Language Paradigm (NLP), a loosely structured procedure conducted in a play environment with a variety of toys. Parents were initially trained to use the NLP in a clinic setting, with subsequent parent-child speech sessions occurring at home. The results indicated that following training, parents increased the frequency with which they required their children to speak (i.e., modeled words and phrases, prompted answers to questions). Correspondingly, all children increased the frequency of their verbalizations in three nontraining settings. Thus, the NLP appears to be an efficacious program for parents to learn and use in the home to increase their children's speech.

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© 1988 Society for the Experimental Analysis of Behavior

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