Teaching Individuals with Autism to Request (Mand)

For many individuals with autism, functional communication skills can be limited, defective, or even non-existent. Some individuals have not yet learned that interacting and communicating with others can be fun, reinforcing, or valuable. The ability to request (mand) effectively for items, objects, and actions can lead to more meaningful social initiations and interactions, as well as a reduction in frustration and problem behavior. This full-day workshop is designed to help prepare participants to teach individuals with autism to mand for items, objects, and actions.


  • Define verbal behavior.
  • Select and create examples of the basic functions of language (verbal operants).
  • State the importance of teaching an individual to mand.
  • Implement the vocal manding procedure to teach an individual to request.
  • Expand an individual’s language skills by teaching them to request other items and actions needed to obtain their existing reinforcers.
  • Determine if an individual is a candidate for an alternative communication system.
  • List three benefits of using an alternative communication system for a non-vocal individual.
  • Identify four important considerations for choosing an alternative communication system.
  • Select initial sign targets to be taught.
  • Implement the sign request procedure to teach an individual to ask for things they want using sign-language.
  • Pair words with the delivery of reinforcement for items and activities not being targeted.
  • Employ an efficient and effective data collection system.