Assessing stimulus control and promoting generalization via video modeling when teaching social responses to children with autism


  • We thank Crystal Rivera-Martinez, Jessica Lynn Jones, Rahonda Gary, and Keilt Robinson for their assistance conducting sessions and collecting data. We also thank Ellen Catoe and Kate Johnson-Patagoc for their support during the conduct of this study.


We taught social responses to young children with autism using an adult as the recipient of the social interaction and then assessed generalization of performance to adults and peers who had not participated in the training. Although the participants' performance was similar across adults, responding was less consistent with peers, and a subsequent probe suggested that the recipient of the social behavior (adults vs. peers) controlled responding. We then evaluated the effects of having participants observe a video of a peer engaged in the targeted social behavior with another peer who provided reinforcement for the social response. Results suggested that certain irrelevant stimuli (adult vs. peer recipient) were more likely to exert stimulus control over responding than others (setting, materials) and that video viewing was an efficient way to promote generalization to peers.