Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



College of Education and Human Services


Counseling, Rehabilitation Counseling & Counseling Psychology

Committee Chair

Reagan Curtis

Committee Co-Chair

Kimberly Floyd

Committee Member

Patricia Haught

Committee Member

Michael Mayton

Committee Member

Trevor Stokes


Children with autism display deficits in three core areas; communication, social interaction, and restrictive and repetitive behaviors. Deficits in communication often manifest in the form of maladaptive behaviors that serve to have the individuals needs and wants met. Additionally, children with autism may have difficulty generalizing learned skills to novel environments and with novel items. Naturalistic teaching procedures, such as incidental teaching, can promote generalization through the use of naturally occurring learning opportunities and reinforcers. The purpose of this study is to evaluate an incidental teaching procedure on the acquisition of both rate of manding behavior as well as a generalized mand repertoire. The results of this study indicate that educators can increase language production of students with ASD by creating an environment rich in motivating stimuli, contriving the environment to create situations where the learner initiates toward the instructor and using prompting strategies to expand language production. Rather than anticipating the learners wants/needs and meeting them, using the strategies described in this study will help teachers increase language production and the learner's ability to create novel language, rather than having to teach each concept in isolation as with more analog teaching procedures such as discrete trial training.