Best Practices for Mand Training
Children with autism and other developmental disabilities often have limited functional language to request access to preferred items/activities. B.F. Skinner (1957) used the term "mand" to refer to this type of language. In the absence of functional mands, behaviors such as "tantrums," aggression, or self-injury may be more likely to develop because these behaviors might produce access to preferred items or events. Thus, it has been recommended that mands be targeted early in behavioral treatment. A large literature exists to support mand training procedures, and there are many nuances to consider in order to ensure that such training is successful. This presentation will emphasize the functional importance of mands, considerations for early mand training, and critical literature-based teaching strategies.
Maximizing Stimulus Control: Best Practices for Teaching Receptive Language
Discrimination training is one of the most important components of early intensive behavioral interventions. In order to design effective discrimination training procedures, behavior analysts and teachers must understand the critical differences between simple and conditional discrimination procedures. This presentation will review research findings that inform our understanding of stimulus control with a specific application to receptive language programming as described in Grow and LeBlanc (2012). Receptive language refers to responding appropriately to another person's spoken language (e.g., responding to your name, following directions, responding to names and features of objects). This presentation will include 5 critical best practices for designing and implementing programming for receptive language. In addition, this presentation will include the potential negative effects for deviating from these recommendations and strategies for troubleshooting and eliminating stimulus control problems that may have been created by prior non-optimal programming.