A conceptual analysis of request teaching procedures for individuals with severely limited verbal repertoires
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There have been many published reports of attempts to teach requests to individuals with severely limited verbal repertoires associated with developmental disabilities. Few of these studies used Skinner’s (1957) term mand to refer to the behavior taught, yet many seemed to be influenced by Skinner’s analysis. We analyzed procedures according to three variables: motivational conditions, supplemental stimulation, and consequences. Individuals with severely limited verbal repertoires provide unique opportunities to study how each of these three variables influence the acquisition of requests. Our analysis indicated that several different procedures were effective in teaching requests, however the degree of supplemental stimulation for the requests varied greatly. Future request teaching programs should consider how each of these three variables influences targeted responses as well as how these variables influence generalization from teaching contexts to nonteaching contexts.
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