What is a mand?
A mand is a type of verbal behavior that involves making a request or demand. Specifically, a mand is a verbal operant where the speaker asks for something that they want or need, such as a preferred item, attention, or assistance.
Manding is considered a functional form of communication, as it allows the speaker to communicate their desires or needs to another person. In contrast, other types of verbal behavior, such as echoic or intraverbal behavior, do not serve a specific function or request.
Manding is an important skill to teach individuals with communication difficulties, as it allows them to effectively and efficiently communicate their wants and needs, which can reduce frustration and challenging behavior. This is because the challenging behavior may be what the individual is using as a mand to get what they want. By teaching an appropriate mand, they can access the desired wants and needs.
Teaching an individual to mand is important for several reasons:
- Communication: Manding is a type of functional communication where the individual requests what they want or need. By teaching manding, individuals with communication difficulties can learn an effective way to communicate their wants and needs to others.
- Independence: Being able to mand allows individuals to become more independent and take control of their environment. They no longer have to rely on others to anticipate their needs or desires, and can instead communicate directly what they want.
- Socialization: The ability to mand also helps individuals initiate and maintain social interactions. By being able to request items or activities that others can provide, individuals can engage in shared activities with others and build relationships.
- Behavior management: Teaching manding can also be used as a proactive strategy to prevent problem behavior. When individuals are able to effectively communicate their needs and desires, they are less likely to engage in challenging behavior to get what they want.
Overall, teaching manding is an important component of communication and behavior management for individuals with communication difficulties.
So how do I teach manding?
- Identify a highly preferred item or activity that the individual wants or needs.
- Wait for a declaration of MOtivation
- Present the item or activity and say the corresponding label or word for the item/activity, and then immediately give it to the individual.
- Repeat this process multiple times, gradually fading out the presentation of the item and emphasizing the verbal label/word.
- Prompt the individual to say the label/word before presenting the item, gradually fading out the prompt over time.
- Reinforce the individual for saying the label/word by immediately providing the item/activity.
It’s important to remember that teaching manding is highly individualized and may require different strategies for different learners. Additionally, seeking guidance from a behavior analyst or speech-language pathologist can be beneficial in creating a comprehensive and effective plan.
Take our CEU “R-E-Q-U-E-ST Find Out What It Means To Me #MandingLikeABoss” to learn more.