Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.)

Degree Granting Department

Graduate School

Major Professor

Catia Cividinni-Motta, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Kimberly Crosland, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Raymond Miltenberger, Ph.D.


alternative and augmentative communication (AAC), communication modalities, mand training, verbal behavior


McGreevy, Fry, and Cornwall (2014) developed an assessment within the Essential for Living (EFL) manual for clinicians to identify which communication modality should be used for each individual. This assessment identifies an AAC based on the learner’s skills, level of problem behavior, similarities between AAC and vocal community, and size of the verbal community. However, to date, no research has evaluated if this assessment identifies the communication modality that will result in faster acquisition of mands in individuals with ASD. Thus, the purpose of this study was to compare acquisition of mands across a modality identified by the EFL communication modality assessment and two other commonly used modalities. A secondary purpose was to determine if participants acquire mands using the mode of AAC identified by EFL. Finally, a third purpose was to determine if the communication modality identified by EFL communication modality assessment matches the modality currently used by the individual. Findings showed that although all three participants acquired mands across the three communication modalities, mands in the modality of communication recommended by the EFL assessment were acquired faster only by 1 out of the 3 participants.