Teaching children with autism to request help with difficult tasks

Nicole M. Rodriguez, Megan A. Levesque, Victoria L. Cohrs, Jessica J. Niemeier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


We taught three children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder to request help using an interrupted chain procedure during which we manipulated task materials such that the child was either incapable or capable of independently completing a link of a behavior chain. We initially observed undesirable generalization of requests for help during capable trials when teaching was introduced during incapable trials for two participants and to a lesser extent for the third participant. However, with repeated exposure to differential prompting and reinforcement across incapable and capable trials, differential responding was observed across EO-present and EO-absent trials for all three participants during both teaching sets and one generalization set that was never exposed to teaching procedures. These findings suggest that it is important to consider the antecedent conditions under which the response should occur when teaching children to request help.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)717-732
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of applied behavior analysis
Issue number4
StatePublished - Sep 1 2017


  • autism
  • contrived establishing operations
  • generalization
  • help
  • interrupted chain
  • mands
  • requesting assistance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Philosophy
  • Applied Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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