Behavior Analysis in Practice

, Volume 12, Issue 1, pp 194–198 | Cite as

Teaching Children with Autism Extended Verbal Utterances Under Audience Control in the Context of Show-and-Tell

  • Mark R. DixonEmail author
  • Anne Blevins
  • Jordan Belisle
  • Bambie Bethel
Brief Practice


The present study evaluated the efficacy of a discrete-trial-training procedure to bring extended verbal behavior under the convergent control of audience and contextual variables during a show-and-tell activity. Three children with autism were exposed initially to a baseline condition in which they were presented with a preferred item and asked to tell the class about it. Following low rates of responding, a differential reinforcement procedure was implemented that reinforced extending the verbal utterance word length beyond baseline levels allowing for an appropriate display of “show-and-tell” behavior. The results show that the procedures were efficacious in application with three children with autism, providing a method that can be conducted in classroom settings to teach a complex form of verbal operant behavior.


Audience control Autism PEAK Verbal behavior 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in this study which involved human participants was in accordance with the ethical standards of the institution and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained for participation in this research.


First author receives small royalties from sales of the PEAK curriculum.


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Copyright information

© Association for Behavior Analysis International 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mark R. Dixon
    • 1
    Email author
  • Anne Blevins
    • 2
  • Jordan Belisle
    • 1
  • Bambie Bethel
    • 2
  1. 1.Rehabilitation InstituteSouthern Illinois UniversityCarbondaleUSA
  2. 2.Collinsville School DistrictCollinsvilleUSA

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