Wh- Questions

WH- Questions

The objective of WH questions is for your child to be independently able to answer simple who, when, where why, what questions by either using words, approximations or an electronic device.

Typical children learn to communicate with others by observation, trail and/or error. Children with autism do not have the ability to just learn something by observation, trail and/or error. Therefore every skill a typical child has needs to be taught by repetition and practice to a child with autism. WH- questions are another building block to teach your child to communicate with you.

Wh- questions are Who, when, where, why and what questions.

Instructions for Lessons

  1. Sit on the floor at or at the table with your child.
  2. Engage your child by saying his name and or touching his arm.
  3. After you have your child’s attention take a book and read a line out of the book that you can use to ask a WH question. For example “The girl went to the mall.” Then ask your child “(Child’s name) Where did the girl go?”
  4. Perfect outcome: your child says “To the mall”, praise!

Not so perfect outcome:

  1. Your child answers “the girl”. Acknowledge the effort by saying “Nice try but try again.
  2. Next: Read the sentence again and ask the same question again.
  3. Then verbally prompt your child to say “To the mall”.
  4. Then ask your child again “Where did the girl go? If your child answers correctly, great, reinforce.
  5. If not repeat the steps from above. Repeat it three times and if your child still is not getting it move on to a different task and come back to it later. Also once your child gets the prompted instruction right, redirect your child to a simple task he/she has mastered and then go back to the original instruction to make sure your child got it.


It might take your child a while, a couple days maybe even a couple weeks, to grasp the concept of what is asked of him/her. Don’t get frustrated and stick with the program. Your child will get there! Reinforce (Praise) a right response or even if your child is trying really hard. In the video you will see a demonstration of how to run “WH questions” program.

Items you need:

Story books, Wh – question cards.

Autism Support Now offers ABA Therapy in Kansas City and throughout Southeast Missouri. Founded as an ABA self help video site in 2013 (by 501c3, Ella's Hope for Autism) ASN began offering in home ABA services in December of 2016 in Kansas City. In June of 2018 Autism Support Now, LLC opened it's second location in Cape Girardeau, Missouri.