The reinforcing effect of contingent attention on verbal perseverations of two children with severe visual impairment.

Abstract

The frequency of verbal perseverations of two children with severe visual impairment was reduced using differential reinforcement of appropriate speech coupled with extinction of perseverative utterances. A reversal design in which baseline and intervention were alternated in an A-B-A-B sequence was employed to show the functional relationship between the target behaviors and the treatment procedure. There was a marked increase in appropriate utterances and a correlated decrease in perseverative ones. These findings suggest that this singular feature of the language of certain children with visual impairment is, under natural conditions, probably maintained by the attention provided by their caregivers.

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