Incorporating Verbal Behavior Instruction Into Everyday Activities for Children With Autism
Mark L. Sundberg, Ph.D., (B. F. Skinner Foundation)
Abstract: The most common behavioral methodology used for working with children with autism is typically identified as discrete trial training (e.g., Lovaas, 2003), and usually involves a variety of structured table-top teaching activities. Another general behavioral methodology has been collectively identified as naturalistic teaching approaches (LeBlanc, Esch, Sidener, & Firth, 2006), and involves a variety of activities that are conducted in the context of a child’s naturally occurring daily events (e.g., play, meal time, self-care). Both methodologies are necessary for an effective program, but they each require unique teaching skills and curricula. This presentation will suggest a framework for teaching in the natural environment guided by Skinner’s analysis of verbal behavior. The main focus will be on developing a curriculum that includes natural environment training (NET) activities to teach manding, tacting, listener skills, intraverbals, matching-to-sample, imitation, social skills, and play skills, while making language instruction relevant to the child functional and fun.
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