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Teaching “how?” mand-for-information frames to children with autism


  • We thank Maria Teresa Trejo, Estevan Medina, Adriana Marsiglia, Melissa Nissen, and Adeline Low with their assistance with data collection. We also thank the families of our participants for their kind support.

Address correspondence to Sarah Lechago, Behavior Analysis and General Psychology, University of Houston–Clear Lake, Houston, Texas 77058 (e-mail:


The current study extends the mand-for-information literature by examining a method to teach mand-for-information frames, targeting 2 frames for the “How?” mand (“How do I?” and “How many?”). Using separate behavior chains to target the 2 frames, we taught 3 children with autism to emit mands for information with 1 behavior chain and assessed generalization with the remaining behavior chains. Behavior chains that the participants were unable to perform independently and that produced a desirable outcome for the participant (e.g., tornado water) were used to contrive the relevant motivating operation. For all 3 participants, mands for information generalized across motivating operations and response topographies.

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