The Analysis of Verbal Behavior

, Volume 34, Issue 1–2, pp 100–123 | Cite as

An evaluation of lag schedules and prompting methods to increase variability of naming category items in children with autism spectrum disorder

  • Katie M. WiskowEmail author
  • Ashley L. Matter
  • Jeanne M. Donaldson


A lag schedule of reinforcement is one way to increase response variability; however, previous research has been mixed with regard to the necessary parameters to increase variability. For some individuals, low schedule requirements (e.g., Lag 1) are sufficient to increase variability. For other individuals, higher lag schedules (e.g., Lag 3) or a lag schedule in combination with prompting is needed to increase variability. We evaluated the efficiency of different within-session progressive lag schedules to increase response variability with 2 children with autism. Results showed that increasing the lag criterion across sessions increased variability to levels similar to beginning with a high lag schedule for one participant. When lag schedules did not increase variability for the second participant, we compared a variety of prompting procedures. Results of the prompting evaluation showed that a tact-priming procedure was effective to increase varied responding.


Autism Lag schedule Intraverbals Priming Prompting Variability 



We thank Batool Alsayedhassan for her assistance in collecting data.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Supplementary material

40616_2018_102_MOESM1_ESM.docx (68 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 68 kb)


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Copyright information

© Association for Behavior Analysis International 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Katie M. Wiskow
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ashley L. Matter
    • 2
  • Jeanne M. Donaldson
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Psychology and Child Development, College of ScienceCalifornia State University, StanislausTurlockUSA
  2. 2.Trumpet Behavioral HealthDublinUSA
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyLouisiana State UniversityBaton RougeUSA

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