The objective of manding is for your child to be able to request a desired item by using approximations, signs, gestures, and words, PECS and or electronic communication device.
What to do
I’m using a train as my example item and I’m using sign language as your child’s way of communication.
- Sit at the table or on the floor with your child.
- Put the train in front of your child.
- Engage your child by saying your child’s name or touching your child’s arm.
- Hold up the item and say “What do you want?”
- Perfect outcome: your child signs “train”, you hand your child the train. Praise!
- Not so perfect outcome: your child just grabs the train.
- You take the train from your child, making the statement “you want the train and sign train”, then put the train back in front of your child and ask “What do you want?” Prompt your child to sign “train”. Hand your child the train. Take the train away, put it in front of your child again and say again “What do you want?” your child sign train. You give your child the train. Praise! OR your child grabs the train again. Then making the statement “you want the train and sign train”, then put the train back in front of your child and ask “What do you want?” Prompt your child to sign “train”. Hand your child the train. Take the train away, put it in front of your child again and say again “What do you want?” This might go on for a while. Your child is learning the very basics of communication and it should be your focus in the very beginning of ABA therapy. Repeat the steps above as often as needed. Set yourself a limit of how many times you will let your child try without success and then move on to the next item on the list. I’d say around 15 times. Once your child has mastered the desired item, have your child do something completely different and then come back to step 4 to make sure your child really got it.
Manding is a very basic program and should be the first program you work on when you start ABA therapy. It teaches your child the very basic of communication: requesting a desired item. It will give your child the basic tool for letting your know what he/she wants. It will be hard in the beginning because your child might not understand the concept of manding yet but once your child understands the basics it will improve your lives a great deal. Hang in there and don’t give up! Your child will get there. If you have any further questions or concerns please feel free to contact us.
Items you need
-books -your child’s favorite toys -your child’s favorite snack/drink -your child’s favorite food your child’s favorite lovey -any kind of toy –