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Keywords:

  • communication training;
  • extinction;
  • infants;
  • modeling;
  • physical prompting;
  • reinforcement;
  • sign language;
  • delay

Existing research suggests that there may be benefits to teaching signing to hearing infants who have not yet developed vocal communication. In the current study, each of 4 infants ranging in age from 6 to 10 months was taught a simple sign using delayed prompting and reinforcement. In addition, Experiment 1 showed that 2 children independently signed in a variety of novel stimulus conditions (e.g., in a classroom, with father) after participating in sign training under controlled experimental conditions. In Experiment 2, crying and whining were replaced with signing when sign training was implemented in combination with extinction.