Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.)

Degree Granting Department

Child and Family Studies

Major Professor

Catia Cividini-Motta, Ph.D., BCBA

Committee Member

Kimberly Crosland, Ph.D., BCBA

Committee Member

Raymond Miltenberger, Ph.D., BCBA


functional independence, verbal operants


Children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) often require direct instruction to acquire communication skills and such skills are targeted in intensive communication training programs using the principles of applied behavior analysis (e.g., Peters-Scheffer et al., 2010). Because such intensive training programs can be costly and time consuming (National Conference of State Legislatures, 2017), any research on collateral effects of communication training can be beneficial. Mands and tacts are among the verbal operants targeted in communication training and research surrounding the functional independence of mands and tacts has yielded mixed results (e.g., Twyman, 1996; Petursdottir et al., 2005). The current study evaluated whether multiple exemplar training could assist in independent transfer from mands to tacts in children with an ASD, and the number of exemplars needed for independent transfer to occur was also examined. This study included two participants. For one participant, transfer from mand-to-tact occurred after two mands and tacts were directly trained. For the second participant, transfer from mand-to-tact occurred after two mands and one tact were directly trained.