The Verbal Behavior Milestones Assessment and Placement Program (2008), commonly referred to as the VB-MAPP, is based on the work of B.F. Skinner (1957) who wrote the book entitled Verbal Behavior. The VB-MAPP brings together the procedures and teaching methodology of ABA and B.F. Skinner’s analysis of verbal behavior in an effort to provide a behaviorally-based language assessment program for all children with language delays.
Applied behavior analysis (ABA) has provided many successful applications to the learning and language problems faced by children with autism or other developmental disabilities. The Verbal Behavior Milestones Assessment and Placement Program (2008), commonly referred to as the VB-MAPP, is based on the work of B.F. Skinner (1957) who wrote the book entitled Verbal Behavior. The VB-MAPP brings together the procedures and teaching methodology of ABA and B.F. Skinner’s analysis of verbal behavior in an effort to provide a behaviorally-based language assessment program for all children with language delays. The advantages of this assessment are twofold. First, it is a developmentally-based criterion-referenced assessment tool that was field tested with typically developing children as well as children with ASD. Secondly, it assesses individual skills within each specific repertoire area in order to identify a child’s barriers to learning. By identifying these barriers, the teacher or clinician can develop more effective intervention strategies and allow for more effective learning. The Skills Assessment along with the Barriers Assessment provides a robust overall view of a child’s strengths and weaknesses.
The criterion-referenced VB-MAPP Assessment is broken down into 5 components:
1. The first component is VB MAPP Milestone Assessment, which assesses 24 common learning and language skills.
2. The second component is the VB MAPP Barriers Assessment. This portion of the assessment identifies possible interfering behaviors. By identifying these barriers, the clinician or teacher can develop specific intervention strategies to help overcome these challenges, which can lead to more effective learning.
3. The third component is the VB MAPP Transition Assessment. This component measures skills that are necessary
for learning in a least restrictive environment.
4. The fourth component is the VB-MAPP Task Analysis and Skills Tracking. This component provides a further breakdown of various skills and serves as a more complete and ongoing learning and language skills curriculum guide. There are approximately 900 skills presented covering the 16 areas of the VB-MAPP.
5. The final component is the VB-MAPP Placement and IEP goals. The placement guide provides specific direction for each of the 170 milestones in the Milestones Assessment as well as suggestions for IEP goals. The placement recommendations can help the program designer balance out an intervention program and ensure that all the relevant parts of the necessary intervention are included.
VB MAPP video clip of the Assessment by Mary Barbera
PowerPoint presentations on Verbal Behavior VB MAPP assessment on the iPAD
T-TAC ODU Library Resources:
1. Assessment: The Verbal Behavior Milestones Assessment and Placement Program; also available: the VB-MAPP materials kit
2. Book: The Verbal Behavior Approach: How to Teach Children with Autism and Related Disorder by Mary Barbera
Click on the following link to check out the new Virginia Autism Council Website for information about upcoming educational opportunities for personnel and caregivers supporting individuals with autism.
Sundberg, M.L. (2008) Verbal behavior milestones assessment and placement program. Concord, CA: AVB Press.
Skinner, B.F. (1957) Verbal Behavior. New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts.