How to teach children and adults with autism to answer?
The ability to correctly answer “Yes” and “no” to the question — this is a very complex skill that includes various operations. In my experience, at first the child needs to learn Mande-reaction Yes/no [speech reactions that allow you to get what you want]. For example, the answer “Yes” or “no” to the question “do You want biscuits?” Only then you can try to teach the child the beat-reactions Yes/no [verbal reactions, which allow to obtain social promotion]. For example: “This bed?” And then intraverbal reactions Yes/no [verbal response that is called another voice response and encouraged socially, the conversation]. For example: “the Cow quacks?” It is best to begin with an assessment of how the child is able to answer Yes/no for each operation.
I worked very hard on teaching my son with autism and a few other children mandé-reactions Yes/no. Teaching a child to say “no” or shaking the head to indicate “no” you can start from an early age as alternatives to problem behavior, such as shouting and throwing objects. However, in order to start training the word “Yes”, you need to make sure that the child has a very important basic skills.
I recommend not to teach the child mandé-reaction “Yes”, until he learns to spontaneously ask more than ten different items, as it lies before my eyes and out of sight. I often meet children with defective mandé-reaction “Yes”, because it’s too early to start learning to say “Yes”. As a result, these children say “Yes” every time someone has something to offer (“I Want candy?” or “You tickle?”), but they are not able to spontaneously request desired objects (candy) or actions (the Tickler), denoting the object or action name. Very often this leads to problematic behavior.
If children learned spontaneously to ask a lot of different objects and actions out of sight, I start to teach them mandé-reactions Yes/no. First, I take three items that the child loves (and almost certainly will take them or will ask), and three items that the child likes, and is likely to alienate (raisins or another hated food, some video).
I use these items during short (10-15 minute) sessions of training mandé-reactions Yes/no. I ask, “do You want ___?” and simultaneously hold the object in front of the child, prompting him to answer “Yes” or “no”, then immediately ask this question without hints.
With some children I use text clues — written the words “Yes” and “no”. Text and/or verbal prompts should be very careful to decline due to the repetition of the question without prompting.
Here is an example of a sample with a prompt, followed by test without clues:
Show your child raisins (favorite food) and say, “I Want a raisin?”, give the verbal “no”, shook her head, and/or showing on the card with the inscription “no.” The child should say “no” or shake his head. If he did, immediately get a text tooltip (if it was) and again ask the question: “do you Want a raisin?” If the child answers “no” without being prompted, remove the raisins.
I try to create a variety of different situations for learning, offering both what the child wants and what a child wants, and picking up the results of samples for these short sessions mandé-reactions Yes/no. Once the child confidently demonstrates this skill without prompting for six different subjects (3 and 3 favorite unloved) in sight, I start to work on generalization of skills to other subjects, as well as removing from view those items for which the skill is perfected.
You should also ensure that not to accept sloppy answers, such as “pretzel, Yes.” For Mande-reactions Yes/no answer should be “Yes” or “no”. Be careful not to use questions in Yes/no non-academic situations as long as the child has mastered this skill to perfection. Otherwise, the child may lose their ability to spontaneous requests.
Beat response Yes/no (answers to questions like “is This a pen?”, “It’s blue?”, “I stand?”) — this is a much more difficult skill, and one should not teach his child, until he learned mandé-reactions Yes/no in case of items out of sight (the answers to the questions “do You want ketchup to the sausage?” or “You have an ice cream?”) In addition, the child must be confident skills tact-reactions by naming the objects, their characteristics, actions and so on.
I had successful experience of teaching children with the ability to Mande-responses “Yes” and “no”, have had problems with the beat-reactions Yes/no. I started this training in the context of Mande-reactions. When my son was beat responses “Yes” and “no”, if he spontaneously asked me chips, I took the chips and asked: “is It the chips?” He said “Yes” and got the chips. As soon as he fixated the perk, I took the packaging with another product is, when it requested the chips, and asked: “is It the chips?”… he said no, I took the other box and asked: “is It the chips?”… he said no, and I finally got out the chips. Eventually (and randomly) the answer was “Yes”, and he got chips.
I then moved to the beat-reactions Yes/no with pictures without component requests. I started with the question “is It an Apple?” It was the only question, and I had a set of cards with a variety of apples and cards that were as far away from the apples.
As soon as the beat-response Yes/no mastered (correct answers to questions like “is This your bed?”, “This car?” when showing random images), you need to teach children to answer “Yes” or “no” to questions concerning the features, functions, and categories (“it’s got wheels?” or “can we eat It?”)
As for intraverbal reactions Yes/no questions, it is very important that the instructor himself knew the answer to the question that he asks. For example, we could ask, “have You ever ridden on a boat?”, if you don’t know, rode the pupil on the boat or not. Many children and adults with autism often (and wrong) answer “Yes” because you do not understand complex language. This is why I don’t usually aim training intraverbal reactions Yes/no. I directly teach mandé-reactions and the beat-reactions, and then I let intraverbal reactions Yes/no develop more gradually (and I teach only basic, functional and important intraverbal reactions Yes/no).