Reducing Repetitive/Inappropriate mands

Objective: To reduce repetitive or inappropriate mands to obtain items and activities by teaching the appropriate mands.

Candidates for This Program: Student’s whose behavior has been determined to be a function of obtaining items, activities, and attention (e.g., “chip, chip, chip, chip,” “Can I want to have a chip”, “Chip…yes”, etc.) when the teacher would deliver the reinforcer for appropriate asking.

Procedure during: When the behavior occurs during daily routines:

  • When the repetitive response occurs immediately hold up your hand to signal the unavailability of the manding opportunity to the learner.
  • The instructor should then begin to count to 5 silently. If the learner does not emit the repetitive or inappropriate mand for the entire interval while you are counting, prompt the mand and if the mand is emitted deliver the item.
  • If during the count interval, the learner continues to repetitively or inappropriately mand, start your count over again. Continue this process until the learner has not emitted the inappropriate/repetitive mand for the entire interval. However, if you repeat the count for many trials without reaching the count then discontinue by merely walking away without comment. The opportunity to mand is no longer available to the learner. If the learner moves away from you insure their safety but do not follow. If and when the student returns to you and again emits a repetitive or inappropriate mand, again run the count procedure described.
  • Set up many opportunities per day for the child to practice this skill. Continue during the process to teach appropriate mands for reinforcers.
  • Collect data on each manding opportunity using the attached data sheet.
  • Count the total number of appropriate mands daily.
  • Count the total number of appropriate mands.
  • Divide the total number of appropriate mands by the total number of manding opportunities to get the percentage of daily appropriate mands.