Answering Yes and No Questions {Verbal & Nonverbal Procedures}

Level 2: Expressive Language

Teaching the ability to answer yes and no is extremely important and functional. Think of how often ask our students questions that require a yes or no response. The idea of yes and no is somewhat vague. The answer highly depends on the question and we need to ensure that our kids even understand the question before we expect the correct response.

Teach Using Concrete Questions


Before making it complicated and working on more subjective questions based on opinion – start with some concrete questions that you know the answer to. You don’t know the answer to the “Do you want a sandwich?” question but you do the answer to the “Is this a dog?” question.

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Is this a banana?


Is this a cat?

Use Errorless Learning to Initiate Responding

If you student is brand new to this skill or really struggling – considering using an errorless learning approach. Errorless learning helps students learn the correct response and prevent a habit of incorrect answers. Check out our video tutorial below.

Yes and No

Take Data

It’s important to take careful data on this skill because we want to see consistent improvement and fade prompts accordingly. These data sheets and program guides are included in the Discrete Trial Goals and Programs Set 3.

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Use Visuals or AAC Devices for Students who are Nonverbal

Just because your student is nonverbal doesn’t mean they cannot join in on the fun! Use visuals, AAC device, or a Yes/No app to give your student the opportunity to answer these types of questions. Follow the same protocol as above just use the visuals or AAC option when the student is responding!



This app is Answers: YesNo and is free!





This post is part of the Cooking Up Communication Summer Series!

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  1. Very good idea

  2. Hi Sasha/Amber! thanks for putting up the video and information! I have one question…. When you present the YES/NO card to the student, is this only for students who can read? In case you have a student who can’t read, do I model the word YES/NO to him first till he gets that? Thanks!

  3. Yes! You could even use a visual cue in addition.

  4. Love this idea! I have started this with one of my kiddos..on the data sheet, if you are using the prompt yes or no cards, if the student correctly says what is on the card, do you count this as a correct tally but just make a note that you are using prompting cards? This has been awesome, it’s amazing what can slip through the cracks when a student is “verbal” but has really just been copying others!

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