The goal of any good ABA/VB program is to identify the child’s naturally occurring motivation, capture it, and use it to help him learn. In doing so, we can begin to add new, more typical or appropriate desires to his list of motivating items while making his less appropriate motivators less important to him.
Verbal Behavior is both a philosophy of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) and a series of evidence -based teaching techniques that focus the principles of ABA on the acquisition of language skills. In the book titled Verbal Behavior, Skinner (1957) introduced and described new terms to refer to language processes from a behavioral perspective (e.g., mands, tacts, intraverbals). Although Skinner did not discuss interventions to promote language development for children with autism spectrum disorder, many professionals have recently applied Skinner’s concepts to develop teaching procedures for children with autism and call their procedures “Verbal Behavior” or “Applied Verbal Behavior “(Association for Science in Autism Treatment, n.d.).
ABA in the Classroom
The goal of any good ABA/VB program is to identify the child’s naturally occurring motivation, capture it, and use it to help him learn. In doing so, we can begin to add new, more typical or appropriate desires to his list of motivating items while making his less appropriate motivators less important to him. Reinforcement is the major principle that has been driving ABA and its successes over the years. This principle states that anything that happens after a behavior and increases the likelihood of that behavior recurring is a reinforcer for that behavior. Completing a reinforcement checklist to obtain this information is invaluable to any teacher instructing students with autism. Additionally, Verbal Behavior offers a detailed understanding of motivation. Motivation is the reason a child will attempt a skill the very first time and reinforcement will help to develop internal motivation and require less external motivation the next time. Using motivation and reinforcement in unison will create an ever-increasing desire to accomplish any skill to which these two principles are consistently applied (Schramm, n.d.).
Robert Schramm’s second edition book titled “Motivation and Reinforcement: Turning the Tableson Autism”
“The Verbal Behavior Approach: How to Teach children with Autism and Related Disorders”, byMary Lynch Barbera.
Both titles are available for checkout from the TTAC ODU lending library
Schramm, Robert (n.d.). Motivation and reinforcement: the verbal behavior approach to ABA autism intervention. Retrieved from http://www.lulu.com/items/volume_53/800000/800489/2/print/800489.pdf
Skinner, B. F. (1957). Verbal behavior. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.
Association for Science in Autism Treatment (n.d.). Verbal behavior/applied verbal behavior.