Children with autism spectrum disorders need imitation due to its application for learning other behaviors. Behavior analysis has procedures for effectively teaching imitative behaviors. Imitation can only be considered mastered, however, when imitation of untaught behaviors occurs. To explore the relationship between taught and untaught imitative behaviors, Accuracy Building and Frequency Building to a Performance Criterion (FBPC) was provided to a four-year-old girl with autism. Twelve motor movements were taught during instructional sessions while another three remained untaught/unreinforced. The first set of three motor imitations occurred in the Accuracy Building condition where the child received prompts, corrections, and reinforcement. Upon achieving the exit criterion of 100% correct, the FBPC condition began and the participant built frequency, or practiced the taught imitative behaviors until meeting a performance criterion. Imitation of untaught behaviors was assessed in every third instructional session. A repeated acquisition design revealed the combination of Accuracy Building and FBPC led to the stimulus control of taught imitative behaviors. In addition, the behavioral fluency of taught imitations contributed to the steady growth of untaught behaviors indicating the participant had learned imitation.
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