Verbal Behavior Therapy
Verbal Behavior Therapy teaches communication using the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis and the theories of behaviorist B.F. Skinner. Verbal Behavior is the actions of a person that are reinforced by a listener. It is a way of understanding the different purposes of language (e.g., a child may use language to ask for things, or to label things in his environment). Each child has their own method of communication – words, signs, augmentative devices, pictures, etc., but all children need to learn to be effective communicators. All skills are examined comprehensively to see if they are emerging evenly across all operants.
Most traditional language approaches differentiate between receptive (listener skills) and expressive (vocal) language. Skinner’s functional analysis of verbal behavior further analyzes vocal behavior according to its function. Mand (request), Tact (label) and Intraverbal (talking about things in the absence of those things) are all components of “expressive language.” Focusing on the reasons we say words rather than the form of the response allows us to more effectively teach functional language skills to children with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Our goal at Smart Scholars is to help our clients understand that communicating produces positive results.