Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.

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50th Annual Convention; Philadelphia, PA; 2024

Workshop Details


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Workshop #W28
CE Offered: BACB
Echoic Assessment and Program Planning for Early Speech Learners
Friday, May 24, 2024
8:00 AM–3:00 PM
Marriott Downtown, Level 4, Franklin Hall 3
Area: AUT/VRB; Domain: Service Delivery
CE Instructor: Barbara E. Esch, Ph.D.
BARBARA E. ESCH (Esch Behavioral Consultants, LLC)
Description: Echoic skills, the ability to repeat a speech model, play a major role in early speech development. One such role is to establish sound-making as a reinforcing activity. Another is to fast-track the learning of other important vocal language skills, beyond just repeating what is heard. These critical skills include asking for, commenting on, or having conversations about things, people, activities, and the like. No matter the age of the early speech learner, it is useful to assess and track echoic skills as the foundation of a set of complex behaviors that result in vocal-verbal language. In this presentation, Dr. Esch will discuss the role of the echoic verbal operant within overall vocal language learning, how echoic skills are analyzed in terms of syllable complexity and why this is prioritized over precise articulation for beginning speakers, and how to use echoic assessment information to build a beginning speech-language program. As the basis for this workshop, Dr. Esch will show and discuss materials from her newly-published EESA: Early Echoic Skills Assessment and Program Planner, Guide and Protocol. Attendees will complete worksheets and program planning tasks from the Work Packet contained in the EESA's Protocol manual, with the goal that, by the end of the workshop, attendees will have a sample beginning speech program for their unique learner.
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) Identify the components of syllable complexity and describe how these affect acquisition of speech skills (2) Recognize characteristics and utility of the 5 EESA-R test groups (3) Distinguish accurate from inaccurate syllable complexity codes
Activities: The workshop format will consist of lecture, video observation, guided practice, and individual or small-group completion of programming worksheets.
Audience: n/a (submitted as "Basic" level instruction)
Content Area: Practice
Instruction Level: Basic
Keyword(s): Echoic Skills, Speech assessment, Speech programming, Speech training

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