The Effectiveness of Chaining to Increase Complexity of Echoics in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Language Delay


  • Rebecca Mallory Sam Houston State University
  • Stephen Bernier Sam Houston State University
  • Hyesuk Lee Park Sam Houston State University


autism, chining, complexity, echoics, language, verbal


The present study tests the effects of a chaining procedure to increase the complexity of correct echoic responses with multi-syllable words in two children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and language delays. Data on number of correct full echoics were collected within 1 or 2-min time blocks. During the intervention, each word was broken into two to four smaller segments and a chaining procedure was used to teach to echo the segments of a word in which a correct echoic of each segment functioned as a cue to move to echoing two segments together, and then move to echoing all of the segments of the word, which was the terminal response of the chaining procedure. Generalization of full echoic behavior was tested with a novel word. Results indicated clear differences in the level of correct responding between baselines and intervention conditions across the first two words with both of the participants. The percentage of correct full echoics with the word used for generalization probe increased from 10% to 100% with the participants.