Description: Given that deficits in social communication and social interaction constitute the primary diagnostic criteria for autism spectrum disorders, an effective language and social skills assessment and intervention program is an essential component of an individual treatment program. The assessment process is necessary for identifying a child's strengths and weaknesses across a wide range of skills, and for comparing his skills to those of typically developing children. The assessment results should then guide the intervention. The current presentation will focus on a behavioral approach to assessment based on Skinner's (1957) analysis of verbal behavior. Participants will learn how an assessment tool based on Skinner's work, the VB-MAPP, can be used to identify a child's language, learning, and social skills, as well as potential barriers that may be impeding skill acquisition. Participants will then learn how to use the results of the assessment to identify a child's immediate and long-term intervention priorities, as well as potential intervention strategies that might be most beneficial for the child.
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