Behavior Analysis in Practice

, Volume 11, Issue 4, pp 479–495 | Cite as

Designing Receptive Language Programs: Pushing the Boundaries of Research and Practice

  • Vincent LaMarcaEmail author
  • Jennifer LaMarca
Discussion and Review Paper


Initial difficulty with receptive language is a stumbling block for some children with autism. Numerous strategies have been attempted over the years, and general guidelines for teaching receptive language have been published. But what to do when all else fails? This article reviews 21 strategies that have been effective for some children with autism. Although many of the strategies require further research, behavioral practitioners should consider implementation after careful review. The purpose of this article is to help behavior analysts in practice to categorize different teaching procedures for systematic review, recognize the conceptually systematic rationale behind each strategy, identify different client profiles that may make 1 strategy more effective than another, and create modifications to receptive language programming that remain grounded in research.


Autism Developmental disabilities Early intervention Instructional strategies Listener behavior Receptive language 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

This article has not been previously published and has not been and will not be submitted elsewhere during the review process.

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Association for Behavior Analysis International 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.LittleStar ABA TherapyCarmelUSA
  2. 2.Applied Behavior Center for AutismIndianapolisUSA

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