Teresa Hayden

Date of Defense





In this study, a prompt-free approach was used to establish spontaneous requesting in the communication of two nonspeaking autistic boys. The prompt-free approach is unique in that the clinician waits for the child to initiate all interactions and gives no prompts of any kind. Thus, it teaches spontaneous communication from the beginning. The subjects were low-functioning autistic boys, ages eleven and nine. A food item and a picture of the item were used with each boy in the intervention. The purpose of the first step of the procedure was to teach the boys to spontaneously touch the picture to request the food item with the item in sight. The second step involved moving the food item further away to prepare the boys to request an item that they could not see. Because of the limited duration of the project and unavoidable absences of the subjects and clinicians, only the first two steps of the procedure could be implemented. The procedure was successful in teaching the boys to touch the picture to request the food item when the item was in sight. Data on the remaining steps of the procedure are needed to completely determine the success of the prompt free procedure with these boys.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Campus Only