Let’s Talk: Teaching Learners with Autism Spectrum Disorder to Ask and Answer WH Questions


This presentation will review procedures developed by Dr. Francesca degli Espinosa to develop generalized responding to discriminating WH questions. Participants will be introduced to the Early Behavioral Intervention Checklist developed by Dr. Francesca degli Espinosa and review her sequencing of tacting skills from the beginner and intermediate levels.

This course includes 2 Learning CEUs.

Course Description

In this presentation, participants will be introduced to the research and teaching procedures developed by Dr. Francesca degli Espinosa to establish generalized responding and discrimination of WH questions. In her research and teaching procedures Dr. Espinosa uses autoclitic frames to establish discriminations between WH questions.

Examples of early discriminations include what is it? vs. what shape? vs. what colour? Additional discriminations include who is it? vs. what are they doing? This presentation will provide a progression of the teaching procedures implemented as a result of Dr. Espinosa’s research and presentations at the National Autism Conference held at Pennsylvania State University. This presentation includes video examples and resources for participants.

This course is one part of a four-part Verbal vs. Non-Verbal Behaviour Series that dives into the functional analyses of language by teaching learners with autism how to use verbal or non-verbal immediacy behaviours to communicate and deepen their relationships with their peers and loved ones. To view the other courses in this series, click here.


Participants will be able to:

  • Identify beginner and intermediate tact objectives
  • Describe what an autoclitic is and specific autoclitic frames which can be used to teach WH questions
  • Describe the procedure for teaching discriminations using autoclitic frames
  • Describe the procedures for teaching mands for information (asking WH questions)

2 Learning CEUs Available

The workshop is designed for those who: have or are pursuing BCBA/BCaBA/RBT; teacher; therapists; and others whose role uses ABA to design & implement programming to decrease behaviours and increase skill acquisition of individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder.


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