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.


38th Annual Convention; Seattle, WA; 2012

Event Details

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Invited Paper Session #180
CE Offered: BACB

The Role of Problem Solving in Teaching Complex Verbal Repertoires

Sunday, May 27, 2012
11:00 AM–11:50 AM
303/304 (TCC)
Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Research
Instruction Level: Intermediate
CE Instructor: Linda A. LeBlanc, Ph.D.
Chair: Anna I. Petursdottir (Texas Christian University)
LINDA A. LEBLANC (Auburn University), James E. Carr (Behavior Analyst Certification Board)
Linda A. LeBlanc, Ph.D., BCBA-D, MI Licensed Psychologist is a professor of psychology at Auburn University and the director of its applied behavior analysis graduate program. Dr. LeBlanc received her Ph.D. in 1996 from Louisiana State University and previously served on the psychology faculties at Claremont McKenna College (1997-1999) and Western Michigan University (1999-2008). Her current research and clinical interests include the behavioral treatment of autism and developmental disabilities across the lifespan, behavioral gerontology, verbal behavior, and technology-based interventions. Dr. LeBlanc has published over 70 articles and book chapters and is a current associate editor of Education and Treatment of Children and Behavior Analysis in Practice and a former associate editor of the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis. She serves as an editorial board member for Behavioral Interventions, Behavioral Modification, European Journal of Behavior Analysis, Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, Research in Developmental Disabilities and The Behavior Analyst. Dr. LeBlanc serves on the Board of Directors of the Association for Professional Behavior Analysts and the Alabama Autism Provider Network and has worked with state agencies in both Michigan and Alabama on improving identification and education and treatment practices for individuals with autism and improvement of training and professional preparation systems for autism providers.

Language training curricula for individuals with developmental disabilities often include programs that teach expressive or intraverbal categorization in which the learner is taught to answer questions such as "What toys do you have at home?" or "Tell me the names of some animals." Although such repertoires are undoubtedly important, some instructional approaches instill these repertoires as rote intraverbal chains. However, it is apparent that many sophisticated learners answer such categorical questions not through rote learning but by first engaging in other (often covert) problem solving responses. In this presentation, I will share the results of two investigations in which preschool-aged children were successfully taught verbal and visual imagining strategies to answer questions about category membership. The implications of these studies for teaching language to individuals with developmental disabilities will be discussed and some recommendations toward that end will be provided.

Target Audience:


Learning Objectives: _
Keyword(s): categorization, intraverbal behavior, problem solving



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