Document Type


Date of Degree

Summer 2018

Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In

Psychological and Quantitative Foundations

First Advisor

O'Brien, Matthew J

Second Advisor

Ehly, Stewart

First Committee Member

Assouline, Susan

Second Committee Member

Schuh, Kathy

Third Committee Member

Nikolas, Molly


The present study investigated the use of stimulus-stimulus pairing (SSP) as the first step to build an echoic repertoire with children with no vocal communication skills. We began with echoic probes to establish the child did not have the target sound in their echoic repertoire, then implemented SSP to increase the rate of the target vocalization, and systematically added direct reinforcement, and a delay, until the participant responded in 80% of trials; we then implemented echoic training. We conducted this procedure with 3 young children with autism. This procedure was effective for one of three participants, and her echoic learning history immediately generalized to other sounds. For the other two participants, SSP increased the rate of vocalizations; however, they did not respond in enough trials to move to echoic training before withdrawing from the study. This study provides preliminary evidence for the use of SSP as part of echoic training for children with limited functional communication.


autism, echoic, stimulus-stimulus pairing, vocalization


vi, 76 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 60-64).


Copyright © 2018 Deva P. Carrion