Increasing Mand Variability in Preschoolers with Autism

Tyra P. Sellers, Utah State University

This work made publicly available electronically on June 10, 2011.


Language development and the ability to access reinforcement in young children with autism may be impeded by lack of behavioral variability in verbal behavior. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of simultaneously teaching multiple responses and extinction of repetition on producing varied verbal behavior in young children with autism. In particular, we examined the effects of these procedures on increasing the behavioral variability of mands used to request edibles in preschool children with autism. For all three participants, neither increasing mand repertoires via teaching multiple responses, nor extinction of repetition, by themselves or in combination were effective at producing stable behavioral variability. However, antecedent strategies (presence of visual cues) were effective at producing varied manding for all three participants.