This glossary contains terms identified in all of the learning modules that are highlighted. Definitions are provided as individual definitions upon hover within the learning module or by selecting the link to that individual term. Use the Glossary of Terms link within Module Resources to access this cumulative list of all the glossary terms and definitions available throughout the learning modules.

acquisition trial

a task that the child has yet to learn or is in the progress of learning; usually these are considered harder relative to tasks that have been mastered, or learned (i.e., maintenance tasks)

activity matrix

An activity matrix is used to plan out when, where, and how various learning opportunities will be provided in natural settings. For each part of a routine or schedule, examples are provided of how each major objective can be targeted within each activity on that schedule or routine. See the ASD Toddler Module on Naturalistic Intervention for more information.

activity reinforcers

includes tickles with Dad, going outside, time to play games on iPad, and access to a bubble blower


In this module, affect is overt behaviors linked to emotions such as happiness, interest, and enthusiasm.


Events that happen right before a behavior occurs.

antecedent manipulations

These are interventions that change aspects of the environment, including how other people behave, that occur prior to the behavior. These interventions tend to be used preventatively and proactively. There are many practices that fall under this category.

applied behavior analysis (ABA)

(1) a therapeutic intervention for learners with autism and other pervasive developmental disorders
(2) a discipline devoted to the understanding and improvement of human behavior by focusing on defined, observable behaviors of social significance and demonstrating a reliable relationship between the procedures employed and the behavioral change.

attention maintained

This means that attention provided right after a behavior, either positive or negative in nature, acts to reinforce and thus maintain and continue the behavior. This behavior is said to be attention maintained.


prior to developing and implementing an intervention we need to gather information from multiple sources to better understand the interfering behavior prior to designing and implementing an intervention strategy

baseline data

data collected on the toddler's current performance level prior to implementation of intervention

behavior function

Behaviors have purposes, or reasons why, they occur. Many purposes are communicative in nature, whereas others are automatically reinforced (e.g., self-stimulatory behaviors). Functions can be to obtain something (e.g., tangibles/activities, social attention, self-stimulation) or to avoid/escape something (e.g., work/demands, feared stimuli).

behavior intervention plan (BIP)

A behavior intervention plan consists of:
a. a definition of the interfering behavior; usually included in the hypothesis statement
b. evidence-based practices used to decrease the interfering behavior
c. objectives that can be used to indicate progress; can be drawn from the IFSP or drafted when writing the BIP; should be observable and measurable so that the effectiveness of the intervention strategies can be monitored accurately

behavioral momentum

This is a principle of applied behavior analysis (ABA). This is the tendency for behavior to persist once an environmental change gets that behavior going through many successes in a row and high rates of reinforcement. Practitioners will often apply this principle by providing many easy (usually successful) tasks in a row, followed by a harder task once the momentum for producing the behavior was “built up” through the easier tasks that occurred just immediately prior.

carrier phrases

this term comes from speech and language pathology; refers to a statement where a sequence of words stays the same and is used often in a routine (e.g., “ready, set, go”); gradually, a pause is provided as a “fill-in-the blank” opportunity for the last word in the sequence (e.g., “ready, set, …”). In this example, the child is then expected to fill in that blank during the pause by saying “go.” Usually a natural reinforcer occurs after the third word in the phrase (e.g., you throw the desired ball to the kid after “go” is spoken)

chained task

a series of behaviors or skills that include a number of steps put together to form a complex skill

collateral effects

These are positive side effects, or indirect effects, of an intervention. For example, improving communication directly through intervention can lead to an overall decrease in challenging behavior, even though the challenging behavior was never directly addressed in the intervention.

communicative attempt

Any behavior that may serve a communicative function, through any modality (e.g., verbalization, gesture, facial expression, vocalization).

communicative intent

This term comes from developmental psychology and speech/language pathology. This occurs when a behavior (e.g., an utterance, a gesture, a facial expression) serves to convey a message to an adult, and thus has a purpose or function. The act is intended to communicate something. Babbling usually does not demonstrate communicative intent.


when a behavior is explicitly provided a consequence; the consequence is a positive reinforcer that is defined by the effect it has on the behavior – it increases the behavior occurring just prior; the consequence is the contingent result of the behavior


a consequence occur contingent on, or after, a behavior. It can be positive OR negative in nature. It does not have to be negative.


in this module, a contingency refers to the consequence, or positive reinforcement, being provided by a parent or practitioner only as a result of the attempted desired behavior by the child

continuous reinforcement

a schedule of reinforcement when reinforcement is delivered each time the toddler uses the skill or behavior until the skill or behavior is learned

controlling prompt

the prompt that is used which results in the toddler performing the skill correctly; the last prompt in a least-to-most prompt hierarchy; can be any of the other types of prompts described above and is individualized for the toddler and skill

correspondence checks

Correspondence checks are used to make sure the child is appropriately matching words with actual objects/activities. That is, are they appropriately discriminating objects based on relevant language cues? If they ask for a red ball, do they grab the red ball or do they grab the green ball (without providing them additional cues)? Conduct a correspondence check by letting the child take the object to see if it matches – or corresponds to – their verbal request.


(or task direction) the “bridge” used to help the toddler identify the target stimulus and then engage in the target skill or behavior;

example: a parent wants their toddler to ask for more cereal at breakfast table; the target stimulus would be no more cereal in his bowl; the cue the parent might use is “All gone.”


This is used to gradually decrease a child’s fear or discomfort with specific stimuli through gradual and planned exposure. This is the process of gradually moving children through a series of hierarchical steps based on the level of comfort of each step. The child starts with the easiest level of exposure they could possibly tolerate. The child is not moved to the next step, or next level of exposure, until they are calm and have very low levels of discomfort. Children can be provided competing reinforcement as they move through the steps; the process can also be made more fun by incorporating child preferences and perseverations.

differential reinforcement of alternative behavior

reinforcement is provided for a specific, alternative response to the challenging behavior; functional communication training (FCT) is an example; challenging behavior is not reinforced

differential reinforcement of other behavior

reinforcement is provided as long as a certain behavior, usually challenging behavior, did NOT occur did not occur for a specified time

differentially reinforcement

Certain behaviors are reinforced while other behaviors are simultaneously not reinforced. See DRA and DRO.

discrete skills

single skills of a short duration

discriminative stimuli

These are stimuli that occur before the behavior (i.e., they are antecedent) and become “linked” to certain behaviors; they signal reinforcement. It is a cue that provides the child information about what to do.

duration data

data collected to measure the length of time that the toddler engages in the skill or behavior


Echolalia is repeating or “echoing” what another person has said; echolalia is categorized as delayed or immediate

environmental arrangement

This involves parents or practitioners making explicit effort to arrange parts of the child’s everyday environments in order to give a reason for the child to use certain behaviors, usually communication.

errorless learning

The procedures designed to reduce incorrect responding as toddlers acquire new skills.

errorless prompting strategies

prompting strategies that avoid allowing the child to make errors or mistakes; errors that the child could possibly end up learning; the child is provided more assistance up front so that the child meets a lot of success and learns the behavior or sequences of behaviors without the “error”; these extra prompts are faded so that learned behaviors are transferred to more natural cues; most-to-least prompting hierarchies tend to be errorless

event sampling data

data collected to measure how frequently a skill or behavior is used by marking every time that the toddler engages in the skill or behavior


the process used by an interventionist to add words to a verbalization made by a toddler to encourage increased number of words used; for example, if the toddler says, “Go,” one might expand this statement with, “Go, car! Fast!”


gradually reducing the prompt by reducing the intensity, increasing the response interval, or location of the prompt


The reinforcement and feedback provided after a toddler’s response are critical for teaching the target skill. When toddlers use skills successfully or respond accurately, feedback should be highly positive and descriptive so that toddlers know exactly what they did that was correct. Positive feedback (i.e., reinforcement) increases the likelihood that the target skill will be used correctly in the future. With prompting procedures, correct responding should be reinforced even when it is prompted. Feedback for responding incorrectly (i.e., incorrect use of target skill) is delivered either by ignoring the incorrect response or by applying a correction procedure. The latter type of feedback generally consists of either interrupting toddlers when they begin to respond incorrectly and repeating or stopping the trial.

fidelity of implementation

This is the level at which parents and practitioners implement, or practice, an intervention as it was intended to be implemented. For instance, how well does the parent or practitioner implement all of the PRT components? Sometimes this is called treatment fidelity, intervention fidelity, treatment integrity, or procedural integrity. Fidelity of implementation is covered in Step 6 and a form is provided in this module.

frequency data

used to measure how often the toddler engages in the skill or behavior

frequency log

A data collection process that is used to record each occurrence of a particular behavior (also known as event sampling.

functional behavior assessment

refers to a set of behavioral assessment procedures aimed at determining the function, or purpose, of a child’s behavior – usually challenging behavior. FBA is used to inform a function-based behavior support plan (BSP); an FBA represents best practice for addressing challenging behavior in children with autism spectrum disorder

functional communication training

An evidence based intervention that is designed to decrease the occurrence of the interfering behavior and increase the use of more appropriate replacement behaviors.

functional engagement

This refers to a child manipulating objects, participating in activities, and interacting with others, in a way that is developmentally meaningful and “as intended.” Non-functional engagement is usually repetitive, restricted, and not developmentally meaningful (e.g. stereotypy and/or many self-stimulatory behaviors). For instance, instead of opening and closing a door on a toy truck constantly, and child might open the door to put the person figurine into the truck, close the door, and then drive the truck around a racetrack, or push the truck back and forth between a parent.

functional replacement behaviors

Once the purpose, or function, of the child’s challenging behavior is determined, the parent or practitioner teaches an appropriate (and more efficient) behavior that serves the very same function for the child. The maintaining consequence for the replacement behavior is the same as the maintaining consequence for the challenging behavior. For instance, the child is taught to ask for a “break” instead of engage in challenging behavior to escape a demand or task.

functions of behavior

Behaviors typically fall into two categories of function: to get or obtain something desired, to escape or avoid.


an individual’s response in settings where no treatment or intervention has taken place. Stimulus generalization refers to performance under conditions (e.g., in other settings, with other persons) other than those that were present during the initial learning. That is, the learned behaviors are demonstrated in untrained settings; response generalization refers to changes in behavior similar to those directly treated; the learned behaviors appear in other related behaviors

gestural prompt

Type of prompt that uses gestures to cue toddlers to use a particular behavior or skill (e.g., pointing to the car)


When sequencing the prompting hierarchy, early interventionists determine which type of prompt provides a learner with:
a. the least amount of assistance,
b. more information, and
c. the most amount of assistance (i.e., enough to be correct).

hypothesis of behavior

A hypothesis statement should be based upon the assessment results and describes the best guess of the purpose of the behavior in sufficient detail.

idiosycratic social reinforcers

This is used when a parent or practitioner provides enjoyable social activities (i.e., social reinforcers) right after a joint attention act, such as pointing at a picture or saying a comment. Simply put, these reinforcers are: (1) individually identified (and often unique) for each toddler, and (2) they are social. They are social because the rewarding aspect of the activity centers around interaction with the adult. Common examples include exaggerated tickling and chasing.

immediate echolalia

This occurs when a child immediately echoes the last sentence or last few words of what was just spoken. Usually immediate echolalia is not functional or occurs because the child does not understand the language input and how to respond accurately.

incidental learning opportunitites

These are learning opportunities that come up within everyday situations and may not be specifically planned.

incidental teaching

naturally occurring situations in a child’s daily routines and activities to provide language learning opportunities to facilitate a toddler’s language learning

instructional antecedents

Antecedents that are provided for teaching or assistance purposes, which include specific discriminative stimuli or cues, as well as prompts. Examples include questions, instructions, statements, choices, and various prompts such as gestural prompts.

interest inventory

a checklist used to gather information from informed family and other caregivers about the toddler's preferences; provides information on activities that are reinforcing as well as the frequency of these activities within family routines

interfering behavior

Unlike typical challenging behavior that all children exhibit, interfering behaviors that require an FBA, negatively impact the family’s quality of life due to intensity, duration, type, and impact on safety, learning, and the toddler’s development.

Intermittent reinforcement

A schedule of reinforcement during which reinforcement is not given every time a toddler uses a skill/behavior. Reinforcement is given based on an agreed upon ratio of behavior or interval of time. Intermittent reinforcement supports the toddler's maintenance of the skill/behavior.

Interval scheudle

A schedule of reinforcement during which reinforcement is provided after a certain amount of time has passed.


Professionals who deliver early intervention services to the toddler and family and may include developmental specialists, speech language, occupational therapists and others.

joint attention

There are three components of joint attention, including a child, another person such as a parent, and some interesting object or event occurring around them. The child and the parent engage in joint attention behaviors (e.g., points, eye gaze alternation, vocalizations, comments, showing/bringing/giving, etc.) in order to share attention on the interesting item/event. The function is typically about socially sharing interest in the object/event with each other; language and social learning often takes place during joint attention.

language sample analysis

an assessment method frequently used to analyze the complexity of an individuals’ spontaneous language use and natural communicative behaviors; this method has features not available in formal testing and offers ecological validity

learning environments

any location where interventions are being used with a learner, be it at home, school, or elsewhere in the community


communication that is symbolic (e.g., words, signs)

maintaining consequences

These are consequences from the social and nonsocial environment that reinforce and thus maintain the occurrence of the behavior, even if that behavior is challenging behavior. That is, challenging behavior can naturally lead to these consequences. These resulting consequences end up making those challenging behaviors continue to occur because they are effective for the child. Generally, maintaining consequences can include obtaining things like attention, items/events, and/or sensory stimulation, or can include the avoidance/escape from a demand, a task, a social situation, an event, a place, or a feared stimulus (e.g., a dog).


Maintenance occurs when acquired behaviors remain learned over time. Parents and practitioners usually want acquired skills to be maintained over time.

maintenance trials/tasks

These tasks have been mastered or learned by the child. Usually these are considered “easier tasks” relative to tasks that the child has yet to learn or is in the progress of learning.


a procedure that extends incidental teaching incorporating a question, choice, or direction (mand) into the activity prior to initiating a modeling procedure

milieu teaching

a form of incidental teaching in which the teacher takes advantage of the learner’s interest in the things around him, the ‘milieu’, to provide learning opportunities for the learner; prompting and questioning are used to encourage the learner’s interest


verbal or visual demonstration of the correct response requested of a toddler

model prompt

Showing the toddler what to do by performing the target skill or behavior. A full model prompt can be either verbal if the skill being taught is verbal or motor responses if the skill being taught involves moving a body part. Example of a partial model prompt: showing the toddler only part of the target skill


These are grammatical aspects of language skills – the smallest units of meaning in utterances. They are composed of phonemes, or sounds, and convey a language concept. Examples of morphemes include progressive [-ing] endings, plurals, and possessives.


Motivation is defined as a high degree of child responding and initiating within social and learning environments, which is accompanied by positive child affect (i.e., happiness, interest/enthusiasm, and pro-social behavior; see Table 1 for a Likert scale).

multiple cues

All objects and activities have multiple attributes, and so they can be described in different ways. A block can be described as a block, a green block, a small block, a big red block, a bumpy block, etc. These different attributes are multiple cues and can be understood as adjectives when teaching verbal skills.

natural change agents

These are parents, relatives, members of communities, and everyday practitioners that are usually present in the child’s environment and can be the primary interventionists for children with autism.

natural contingencies

Behaviors that occur naturally in everyday situations lead to logically related consequences, such as natural reinforcers, from both the social and non-social aspects of the environment. For instance, if a toddler yells “mommy!” when they have awoken from a nap, and mom goes into the child’s room, a natural contingency has occurred whereby mom’s entering of the room to attend to the child is contingent on a certain communicative behavior by the child.

natural reinforcer

An example of a natural contingency, a natural reinforcer is defined as a reinforcer that has a direct relationship to the child’s behavior and the task. That is, the reinforcer (a consequence) is logically related to a chain of antecedents and responses. In everyday situations (i.e., outside of planned intervention), these types of reinforcers are likely to reinforce and maintain related child responses. Also see, natural contingencies. Examples include, receiving a toy after asking for it or receiving a turn on the swing after requesting "swing".

natural stimuli

These are objects or events that can elicit and evoke behaviors within everyday situations, and should be the primary instructional stimuli in PRT. Common natural stimuli include toys, as well as objects in homes and communities that are usual aspects of daily routines.

naturalistic Intervention

a collection of practices including environmental arrangement, interaction techniques, and behavioral strategies. These practices are designed to encourage specific target behaviors based on insights into the learner’s interests and to provide responses that build more elaborate learner behaviors that are naturally reinforcing and appropriate to the interaction

naturally occurring contexts

These are situations, including physical settings, that usually occur within a child’s everyday routine. The child is regularly a part of the naturally occurring context. Examples include playing at home, playing at the neighborhood park, and eating during afternoon snack time.

negative reinforcement

evidence-based practice used to increase toddler's use of target skill behavior which is usually a replacement for an interfering behavior; negative reinforcement is the removal of an object or activity that the toddler does not like (e.g., staying at the table at dinner?) when the toddler doesn't the identified target behavior or skill


Objects and events are composed of multiple cues, but children with autism are often good at focusing on a specific detail or aspect of a stimulus. In doing so, they may not attend to multiple cues of the item/activity. This is sometimes called, over-selectivity. Further, children may focus on seemingly less relevant cues of the stimulus.

parent-implemented intervention

and evidence-based practice where parents directly use individualized intervention practices with their child to increase positive learning opportunities and acquisition of important skills; arents learn to implement such practices in their home and/or community through a structured parent training program

partial participation

This occurs when a child does certain steps of a task in collaboration with a parent or practitioner, so that the child and adult together can accomplish the task successfully. This can be thought of as scaffolding a task so that children can meaningfully participate in a relatively advanced task, but at their own level.

physical prompt

touching the toddler to help him/her use the target behavior or skill (e.g., tapping a toddler’s hand to cue him put stack a block, putting hand over toddler’s hand to help him/her wash hands). Can be either full physical (e.g. hand-over-hand) or partial physical (e.g. tap, nudge, light push, etc.).

positive reinforcement

The strategy that adults use first when trying to teach new skills or behaviors. Positive reinforcement refers to the presentation of a reinforcer after a toddler uses a target skill/behavior, therefore encouraging him/her to perform that behavior again in the future.

preference assessment

Assessments help team members identify activities, materials, etc. that are motivating to the toddler with ASD and might be used during an intervention to decrease interfering behaviors and increase more appropriate behaviors.


communication that is pre-symbolic (e.g., gestures, vocalizations)

Premack's principle

Sometimes called “grandma’s rule,” this involves providing an instruction that arranges activities so that a more preferred task (high probability activity) occurs only after a less preferred task (less probable activity) occurs. These instructions usually are provided in a “first [less preferred], then [preferred]” format. For instance, “first play catch, then jump on the trampoline.”

primary reinforcers

reinforcers which satisfy a physical need by making the toddler feel good (e.g., food, liquids, sleep)


a prompt is any help given to toddlers that assist them in using specific skills. Prompts can be verbal, gestural, or physical.

prompt dependence

When a toddler responds to the prompts instead of the cue or task direction.


Any help given to a toddler that assist them to use a specific skill. Effective prompting helps support a child to complete an activity correctly.

prompting hierarchy

Is a system of prompts that go from either least assistance to most assistance (i.e., least-to-most) or from most assistance to least assistance (i.e., most-to-least; errorless prompting). The goal of using a prompting hierarchy is to balance using prompts for teaching purposes, with fading prompts for increasing independence.

prompting procedures

A systematic way of providing and removing prompts or assistance so that learners begin to perform skills independently. Prompting procedures rely on reinforcing correct responses - both those that are (both prompted and unprompted).

rangible reinforcers

objects that the toddler with ASD acquires after displaying the skill/behavior; examples include stickers, toys, crackers, and popcorn

ratio schedule

a schedule of reinforcement during which reinforcement is delivered after the toddler does the skill/behavior a specific number of times (e.g., every time, every other time, every 5th time)


This is a naturalistic strategy where parents and practitioners immediately repeat the general content a child’s utterance, but add or change something to the original utterance in order to teach a language skill or elaborate on the child’s current level. For instance, if a child says “a ball” and parent might immediately respond with, “a ball’s bouncing!” Sometimes these are called “expansions,” but they can also be corrective in purpose.

receprocal social smiling

This is back and forth smiling and eye contact between a parent/practitioner and a child, particularly infants and young toddlers.

reciprocal imitation

back and forth functional imitation between a parent or practitioner and a child during natural interactions, particularly during play


The process by which a consequence (in the form of an item, activity, or event) is delivered immediately after a behavior and increases the likelihood that the behavior will occur in the future., or at least be maintained.


Reinforcement describes a relationship between toddler behavior and a consequence that follows the behavior. This relationship is only considered reinforcement if the consequence increases the probability that a behavior will occur in the future, or at least be maintained.

reinforcement fading

a systematic process of the removal of reinforcer or removal of primary reinforcer in exchange for secondary reinforcer; fading supports generalization of the skill/behavior across people, places, and activities by limiting the toddler's reliance on the less natural reinforcer

reinforcement sampling

a systematic process used to observe toddler's response to various potential reinforcers as they are presented; the purpose is to take note of potential reinforcers and mild aversives to try when implementing reinforcement.

reinforcer sampling

an informal inventory of items and activities that are of particular interest to the toddler

response classes

Groups of responses that have the same function.


occurs when the reinforcer is overused; may lead to the toddler's loss of interest in the reinforcer

secondary reinforcers

reinforcers that are objects or activities that the toddler has grown to like, but doesn't need biologically (e.g., tickles, stickers, ball play)


Self-management is a strategy where children learn to self-monitor, self-evaluate and discriminate their own behaviors, and finally self-reinforce based on those self-evaluations.


Self-regulation refers to a group of skills and processes that allow children to appropriately respond to their environment by controlling their own behavior.

sensory reinforcers

activities or sensations the toddler enjoys experiencing such as sitting in a rocking chair, getting lotion applied to hands, or playing with a favorite spinning top


Following the toddler’s movements without touching them.

shared attention

the ability of a learner to engage another's attention to share enjoyment of objects or events

shared control

Generally, shared control occurs when both the adult and child play important roles in controlling the learning interaction. For instance, children choose the activity, but parents control the delivery of natural reinforcers contingent on attempts at target behaviors by the child. Thus, shared control also helps to set up, or establish, a situation where natural reinforcers can be provided contingent on attempts at target behaviors (see Step 2.7 on Natural Reinforcers). Sometimes this is called briefly “restricting access” to a child chosen item/activity. There are many ways of creating shared control in order to increase a toddler’s attending and establish a toddler’s motivation to interact and try during the naturalistic learning opportunities.

social reinforcers

verbal praise (e.g., "You did it! You put the ball in!"), "high fives", and general body language indicating approval

social validity

This refers to (1) how meaningful/significant the target behaviors are; (2) how acceptable, feasible, and satisfactory the treatment procedures are; and (3) how meaningful/significant the outcomes of the intervention are. Sometimes this is called “consumer satisfaction.”

standardized behavior rating scales

These types of rating scales provide a standardized form to observe the toddler behavior.

stereotypical behavior/stereotypy

This includes repetitive and/or ritualistic movements, postures, or vocalizations that are seemingly nonfunctional. Behaviors sometimes referred to as “stimming” can be called stereotypy.


These are objects or events in the environment that can elicit and evoke behaviors.

structured play group

A re-occurring, adult facilitated play group of a handful of children with and without disabilities which includes structured routines, rules, and supports for learning.

--structured play groups

Reoccurring, adult facilitated play groups of a handful of children with and without disabilities which includes structured routines, rules, and supports for learning.

See also: visual boundaries , visual prompt, visual schedule, visual supports
target behavior

The behavior or skill that needs to be increased or decreased and is the focus of the intervention.

target stimulus

the “thing” or “situation” to which we want the learner or toddler to respond to by performing the target skill

team members

includes the parents, other primary caregivers, early interventionists on the IFSP team, and child care providers

testing the hypothesis

It is important to know that the behavior hypothesis (derived from all data collected) is accurate and the interfering behaviors are, in fact, serving the purpose as we had hypothesized.

time delay

a practice that focuses on fading the use of prompts during activities; used in conjunction with prompting procedures such as least-to-most prompting, simultaneous prompting, and graduated guidance; a brief delay is provided between the initial requests and any additional instructions or prompts

time delays

A brief three to five second pause or delay is provided as an antecedent, sometimes with an “expectant wait,” prior to providing a more intrusive prompt, in order to give the child an opportunity produce the behavior independently.

time sampling data

data collected after a certain amount of time has passed (e.g., every 5 minutes) to measure how often the toddler engages in the skill or behavior

treatment fidelity

This is the level at which an intervention is implemented as it is intended to be implemented and follows procedures specific to the intervention.


trial refers to the three components that are critical to implementing prompting procedures and that are used during an activity or routine to teach a target skill. There can be multiple trials during an activity or routine.


a single thought expressed by a speaker; may be a single word, a phrase, a grammatically incorrect sentence or a complete sentence

verbal prompt

spoken words, signs or statements that help toddlers with ASD acquire target skills (e.g., “push car,” “feed baby”)

visual boundaries

A specific type of visual support that use furniture arrangement, labeling, and color coding to make the use of a particular space more obvious

See also: structured play groups
visual prompt

type of prompt; pictorial or object cues that provide toddlers with information about how to use the target skill or behavior (e.g., picture of a toothbrush to cue to pick up the toothbrush or the showing the actual object, the toothbrush)

See also: structured play groups
visual schedule

A visual representation of a change in a routine or activity. For toddlers with ASD, simple visual schedules (indicating the next activity) may consist of a “transition object” or “transition card”. These are used to support the toddler to successfully transition (move) from one activity to the next activity.

If the toddler requires three-dimensional representations to gain meaning from activities (e.g., not yet able to match photos in activities or respond to picture cues), an object should be selected as the appropriate format. A transition object may be either
a) an object that will be used in an activity (functional object such as a toy which will be the first activity or a favorite activity that will be used first such as bubbles), or
b) an object that is symbolic of an activity (representational such as a piece of a puzzle or a bubble wand).

A transition card is appropriate if the toddler understands two-dimensional representations (e.g., understands pictures or photographs or be able to match pictures).

See also: structured play groups
visual supports

Any tool presented visually that supports a toddler as he or she engages in activities and routines throughout the day. Visual supports provide key information in the form of objects, photographs, drawings, or print to help learners focus on the important information being provided, better understand communication, and express themselves.

See also: structured play groups
within stimulus prompt

This is a special type of prompt where a change is made directly to physical properties or features of the learning stimuli to increase the likelihood that the child will display the target skill. Examples include changing the volume/emphasis of auditory stimuli, and the shape, size, or color of visual stimuli.