Matrix Training for Expanding the Communication of Toddlers and Preschoolers With Autism Spectrum Disorder

  • Corina Jimenez-GomezEmail author
  • Sandhya Rajagopal
  • Regina Nastri
  • Ivy M. Chong
Research Article


Children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) typically exhibit a range of social communication deficits. Presequenced stimulus arrangements, such as matrix training, can be used to facilitate generative responding. Accordingly, training procedures can lead to the acquisition of a greater number of targets that are not taught explicitly, with fewer learning trials. Matrix training provides a useful framework for selecting teaching targets to promote the emergence of untaught skills. Participants were 3 young boys diagnosed with ASD, who were taught noun-verb combinations of play actions as tact and listener responses. All participants learned the taught noun-verb targets and showed varying degrees of recombinative generalization to untaught targets. Across subsequent matrices, the rate of acquisition of new targets and the number acquired without direct teaching increased (i.e., recombinative generalization). This suggests matrix training stimulus arrangements can facilitate the acquisition of novel targets by teaching young children with ASD to recombine language components appropriately.


Tacting Listener responding Verbal behavior Matrix training Recombinative generalization Language Autism 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare they have no conflicts of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.


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Copyright information

© Association for Behavior Analysis International 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Scott Center for Autism Treatment and Florida Institute of TechnologyMelbourneUSA
  2. 2.May InstituteRandolphUSA

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