The Analysis of Verbal Behavior

, Volume 24, Issue 1, pp 69–85 | Cite as

Discrete Trial Instruction vs. Mand Training for Teaching Children With Autism to Make Requests

  • Heather K. Jennett
  • Sandra L. Harris
  • Lara Delmolino


The present study compared the effects of discrete trial instruction (DTI) and mand training on the acquisition of independent requests in 6 children with autism. Two multiple-probe designs across participants were conducted with 3 participants receiving mand training followed by DTI and the other 3 receiving DTI followed by mand training. Eye contact and challenging behaviors were also assessed across conditions. Results indicate that 5 of 6 participants made more independent requests and acquired requesting faster in the mand training condition, had slightly better eye contact in the DTI condition, and fewer challenging behaviors in the mand training condition. Overall, the results indicate that mand training is a more efficient method for teaching children with autism to make requests.

Key words

Mand training motivating operations discrete trial instruction autism 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. American Psychiatric Association (2000). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (Text Revision). Washington DC: Author.Google Scholar
  2. Delprato, D. J. (2001). Comparisons of discrete-trial and normalized behavioral language intervention for young children with autism. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 31, 315–325.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Drash, P.W., High, R.L., & Tudor, R.M. (1999). Using mand training to establish an echoic repertoire in young children with autism. Analysis of Verbal Behavior, 16, 29–44.PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  4. Drash, P.W., & Tudor, R.M. (1993). A functional analysis of verbal delay in preschool children: Implications for prevention and total recovery. Analysis of Verbal Behavior, 11, 19–29.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  5. Dunn, L.M., & Dunn, L.M. (1997). Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test—Third Edition. Circle Pines, MN: American Guidance Service, Inc.Google Scholar
  6. Fisher, W., Piazza, C. C., Bowman, L. G., Hagopian, L. P., Owens, J. C., & Slevin, I. (1992). A comparison of two approaches for identifying reinforcers for persons with severe and profound disabilities. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 25, 491–498.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  7. Horner, R.D., & Baer, D.M. (1978). Multiple-probe technique: A variation of the multiple baseline. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 11, 189–196.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  8. Koegel, R.L., Camarata, S., Koegel, L.K., Ben-Tall, A., & Smith, A.E. (1998). Increasing speech intelligibility in children with autism. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 28, 241–251.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Koegel, R.L., O’Dell, M.C., & Koegel, L.K. (1987). A natural language teaching paradigm for nonverbal autistic children. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 17, 187–200.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Koegel, R.L., Koegel, L.K., & Surratt, A. (1992). Language intervention and disruptive behavior in preschool children with autism. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 22, 141–153.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. Koegel, R.L., Russo, D.C., & Rincover, A. (1977). Assessing and training teachers in the generalized use of behavior modification with autistic children. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 10, 197–205.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  12. Laraway, S., Snycerski, S., Michael, J., & Poling, A. (2003). Motivating operations and terms to describe them: Some further refinements. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 36, 407–414.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  13. McGee, G.G., Krantz, P.J., & McClannahan, L.E. (1985). The facilitative effects of incidental teaching on preposition use by autistic children. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis18, 17–31.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  14. Miranda-Linne, F., & Melin, L. (1992). Acquisition, generalization, and spontaneous use of color adjectives: A comparison of incidental teaching and traditional discrete-trial procedures for children with autism. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 13, 191–210.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. Neef, N.A., Walters, J., & Egel, A.L. (1984). Establishing generative yes/no responses in developmentally disabled children. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 17, 453–460.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  16. Shafer, E. (1994). A review of interventions to teach a mand repertoire. Analysis of Verbal Behavior, 12, 53–66.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Skinner, B.F. (1957). Verbal Behavior. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, Inc.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Sundberg, M.L., & Michael, J. (2001). The benefits of Skinner’s analysis of verbal behavior for children with autism. Behavior Modification, 25(5), 698–724.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. Sundberg, M.L., & Partington, J.W. (1998). Teaching Language to Children with Autism or Other Developmental Disabilities. Pleasant Hill, CA: Behavior Analysts, Inc.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Association of Behavior Analysis International 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Heather K. Jennett
    • 1
  • Sandra L. Harris
    • 2
  • Lara Delmolino
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Behavior PsychologyKennedy Krieger InstituteBaltimoreUSA
  2. 2.Rutgers, The State University of New JerseyUSA

Personalised recommendations