Training and generalization of yes and no as mands in two autistic children

  • David W. Hung


This study presented a practical and replicable procedure to train and generalize the use of “yes” and “no” as mands by a nonverbal boy and a previously echolalic girl, both diagnosed as autistic. The procedure used systematic modeling and reinforcement with detailed criterion for introducing and terminating the training stimuli. The subjects were first trained to use yes and no to mand three food items, following the stimulus question “Do you want ...?” and presentation of a food item. The teachers then tested the subjects for generalization of the two mands to successive sets of new food items. The results showed that the nonverbal subject needed to be trained on five sets of food items before generalization occurred. The previously echolalic subject generalized and maintained the two mands after being trained on only one set of items. The study thus demonstrated that the procedure was effective in training two useful mands for the autistic children, and that after such training, the behavior may then generalize to new items without training. Specific response patterns and the importance of intermittent modeling and arrangement of reinforcers in the training are discussed.


Food Item School Psychology Response Pattern Specific Response Autistic Child 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Baer, D., & Guess, D. Receptive training of adjectival inflections in mental retardates.Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 1971,4, 129–139.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Bernal, M., & North, J. A survey of parent training manuals.Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 1978,11, 533–544.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Frisch, S., & Schumaker, J. Training generalized receptive prepositions in retarded children.Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 1974,7, 611–621.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Guess, D. A functional analysis of receptive language and productive speech: Acquisition of the pleural morpheme.Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 1969,2, 55–64.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Guess, D., & Baer, D. An analysis of individual differences in generalization between receptive and productive language in retarded children.Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 1973,6, 311–329.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Guess, D., Sailor, W., Rutherford, G., & Baer, D. An experimental analysis of linguistic development: The productive use of the pleural morpheme.Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 1968,1, 225–235.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Hung, D. Teaching mute retarded children vocal imitation.Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, 1976,7, 85–88.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Hung, D. Generalization of “curiosity” questioning behavior in autistic children.Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, 1977,8, 237–245. (a)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Hung, D. New directions in the teaching of autistic children: Evaluation towards the establishment of a functional teaching manual.Research Report 0N00667, Ontario Ministry of Education, 1977. (b)Google Scholar
  10. Lovaas, O. I.The autistic child: Language development through behavior modification. New York: Irvington Publishers, 1977.Google Scholar
  11. Lovaas, O., Berberich, J., Perloff, F., & Schaefer, B. Acquisition of imitative speech by schizophrenic children.Science, 1966,151, 705–707.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Lovaas, O. I., Koegel, R. L., Simmons, J. Q., & Long, J. S. Some generalizations and follow-up measures on autistic children on behavior therapy.Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 1973,6, 131–165.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Matson, J., & Ollendick, T. Issues in toilet training normal children.Behvior Therapy, 1977,8, 549–553.Google Scholar
  14. Rincover, R., & Koegel, R. L. Setting generality and stimulus control in autistic children.Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 1975,8, 235–246.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. Rutter, M., Greenfield, D., & Lockyer, L. A five to fifteen year follow-up study of infantile psychosis: II Social and behavior outcome.British Journal of Psychiatry, 1967,113, 1183–1199.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Skinner, B. F.Verbal behavior. New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts, 1957.Google Scholar
  17. Wing, L.Autistic children: A guide for parents and professionals. New York: Brunner/Mazel, 1972.A1260002 00003 CS-SPJRNPDF [HEADSUP]Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • David W. Hung
    • 1
  1. 1.Rotary School Autistic ProgramToronto

Personalised recommendations