Commit and Act: The importance of teaching children with autism to discriminate questions

CE Hours available ( How do I get my CE? )

About This Course

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Although an increasing number of single-case studies have focused on teaching language skills to children with autism using Skinner’s (1957) analysis of verbal behavior in recent years, the majority have focused solely on establishing primary operants at the single word level. Nevertheless, from two to three years of age, neurotypical children naturally demonstrate generalized and multiply-controlled verbal behavior, including autoclitics: They are, for example, able to provide full-sentence answers to novel questions about ongoing and past events, to describe their own experiences, and to respond to a variety of Wh questions. The ability to discriminate questions is therefore one of the most fundamental listener and speaker skills, yet it is poorly understood and underappreciated by ABA curricula.

A program of instruction will be presented in which language objectives are organized along a continuum of increasing stimulus control complexity, and discussion provided of how best to move from teaching simple stimulus discriminations to mastery of complex verbal conditional discriminations. Special emphasis will be placed on the role of autoclitic frames and intraverbal control in teaching generalized question answering. The current presentation will focus on some recent research providing clinicians with a conceptually systematic framework for teaching complex and generalized verbal behavior to children with autism based on a Skinnerian analysis of verbal stimulus control.

Commit and Act is a non-governmental organization working to bring psychotherapeutic support to communities in need in Sierra Leone, Uganda, and Liberia. Their goal is to build a renewed sense of trust in the people they work with. To help individuals find the courage to rebuild their lives according to their own vision and values. Their local professional therapists counsel individuals and community groups.

PraxisCET is proud to help support his work. Proceeds from this presentation will go directly to Commit and Act, providing vital funding for the health and education services they provide in Sierra Leone and elsewhere.


October 20, 2020, 3 PM—5 PM EDT

Learning Objectives

Participants will be able to:
  1. Describe sources of multiple stimulus control in verbal behavior.
  2. Describe applied procedures that evoke transfer of stimulus control from tact to intraverbal repertoires without direct teaching of specific individual responses.

Continuing Education

Please review complete CE and conflict-of-interest disclosure information prior to registering. This course is jointly sponsored by Praxis CET and Institute for Better Health (IBH) and is approved for 2 CE Hours by the following:

  • BACB – Behavior Analysts
  • NBCC – National Counselors
  • NAADAC – Drug & Alcohol Counselors
  • NY State – Counselors and Social Workers
  • Other State Level Counselors, MFTs, and Social Workers
  • WESPSB – Educators
  • APA - Psychologist: Institute for Better Health, Inc is approved by the American Psychological Association (APA) to offer continuing education for psychologists. Institute for Better Health, Inc maintains responsibility for the program and its content.




Behavior Analysts, Educators, Teachers, Speech and Language therapists

Recommended Reading



degli Espinosa, F., Gerosa, F., & Brocchin–Swales, V. (2020). Teaching multiply controlled tacting to children with autism. European Journal of Behavior Analysis.

Palmer, D.C. On Intraverbal Control and the Definition of the Intraverbal. The Analysis of Verbal Behavior 32, 96–106 (2016).

Michael, J., Palmer, D. C., & Sundberg, M. L. (2011). The multiple control of verbal behavior. The Analysis of Verbal Behavior, 27(1), 3–22.

Refund and Cancellation Policy

We understand, sometimes things come up!

Praxis will offer a full refund to registrants of both live and live-online trainings who cancel their registration up to 14 days before the course or workshop start date, minus an administrative processing fee of $30 for a 2-day workshop or online course, and a $50 fee for a 4-day workshop. If cancelled within 14 days, no refund will be issued, however, a credit for the same amount will be applied toward another learning product, which expires within 1 year. Please contact us at to cancel a registration.