An exploratory analysis of task-interspersal procedures while teaching object labels to children with autism

Valerie M. Volkert, Dorothea C. Lerman, Nicole Trosclair, Laura Addison, Tiffany Kodak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

21 Scopus citations


Research has demonstrated that interspersing mastered tasks with new tasks facilitates learning under certain conditions; however, little is known about factors that influence the effectiveness of this treatment strategy. The initial purpose of the current investigation was to evaluate the effects of similar versus dissimilar interspersed tasks while teaching object labels to children diagnosed with autism or developmental delays. We then conducted a series of exploratory analyses involving the type of reinforcer delivered for correct responses on trials with unknown or known object labels. Performance was enhanced under the interspersal condition only when either brief praise was delivered for all correct responses or presumably more preferred reinforcers were provided for performance on known trials rather than on unknown trials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)335-350
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of applied behavior analysis
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 2008



  • Autism
  • Behavioral momentum
  • High-probability instructional sequence
  • Interspersal procedures
  • Reinforcer potency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Philosophy
  • Applied Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science

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