Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 43, Issue 9, pp 2015–2025 | Cite as

Acquisition of Multiple Questions in the Context of Social Conversation in Children with Autism

  • Rebecca A. Doggett
  • Anna M. Krasno
  • Lynn Kern Koegel
  • Robert L. Koegel
Original Paper


Verbal initiations, such as questions, are essential components of social conversation often lacking in children with autism. Building on research showing that single questions can be taught in isolation, this study used a multiple baseline design to investigate whether a self-management intervention was effective for teaching concurrent acquisition and discrimination of three social questions in the context of conversation. Following intervention, participants rapidly increased their appropriate use of all three questions in a conversational context and maintained these gains over time. The participants also used questions appropriately with partners uninvolved in treatment. Additionally, the occasional presence of appropriate questions during baseline coupled with rapid improvement during intervention support theories that a lack of question-asking may be motivation-based rather than ability-based.


Autism Intervention Conversation Question-asking Communication Self-management 



The authors wish to express appreciation to Eunice Feng for her assistance with data analysis. This research and preparation of the manuscript were partially supported by NIH research grant #DC010924 awarded to Robert L. Koegel, Ph.D. Lynn and Robert Koegel are also partners in the firm Koegel Autism Consultants, LLC. We would also like to express our sincere appreciation to the families that participated in this research.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rebecca A. Doggett
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Anna M. Krasno
    • 1
    • 2
  • Lynn Kern Koegel
    • 1
    • 2
  • Robert L. Koegel
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Counseling, Clinical, and School Psychology DepartmentUniversity of CaliforniaSanta BarbaraUSA
  2. 2.Koegel Autism CenterUniversity of CaliforniaSanta BarbaraUSA
  3. 3.Yale Child Study CenterYale University School of MedicineNew HavenUSA

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