Teaching individuals with autism spectrum disorder to ask questions: A systematic review

Tracy Raulston, Amarie Carnett, Russell Lang, Amy Tostanoski, Allyson Lee, Wendy Machalicek, Jeff Sigafoos, Mark F. O'Reilly, Robert Didden, Giulio E. Lancioni

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


This review involved a systematic search and analysis of studies aimed at teaching individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) to ask questions (i.e., teaching mands for information). A systematic search of databases, reference lists, and journals identified 21 studies that met predetermined inclusion criteria. Included studies were then summarized in terms of (a) participant characteristics, (b) dependent variables (e.g., types of question-asking skills that were taught), (c) intervention procedures, (d) research designs, and (e) outcomes. All 21 studies reported that participants acquired or improved in the targeted question-asking skills. The most common intervention components included (a) echoic prompts and systematic fading procedures (e.g., time delay), (b) positive reinforcement via provision of requested information and/or access to preferred items or activities, and (c) contriving situations to motivate specific questions (i.e., creating establishing operations). Implications for practitioners and directions for future research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)866-878
Number of pages13
JournalResearch in Autism Spectrum Disorders
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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