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J Appl Behav Anal. 2012 Summer;45(2):425-9. doi: 10.1901/jaba.2012.45-425.

Teaching children with autism to engage in peer-directed mands using a picture exchange communication system.

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  • 1Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center, USA.


We evaluated differential reinforcement of alternative behavior (DRA) plus prompting to increase peer-directed mands for preferred items using a picture exchange communication system (PECS). Two nonvocal individuals with autism participated. Independent mands with a peer increased with the implementation of DRA plus prompting for both participants. In addition, peers engaged in brief social interactions following the majority of mands for leisure items. These results suggest that teaching children to use PECS with peers may be one way to increase manding and social interactions in individuals with limited or no vocal repertoire.


autism; differential reinforcement of alternative behavior; mand; picture exchange communication system; social interactions

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