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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Paper Session #81
Examining Controlling Variables for Verbal Behavior: Implications for Language Interventions
Saturday, May 26, 2012
4:00 PM–4:50 PM
101 (TCC)
Area: VRB
Chair: Dean Smith (UK Young Autism Project)

Antecedent Control in Intraverbal Behavior: An Analysis and Implications for Teaching

Domain: Theory
DEAN SMITH (UK Young Autism Project), Svein Eikeseth (Akershus University College)

A common characteristic of the language deficit of children with autism (or other developmental disorders) is their failure to acquire a complex intraverbal repertoire. These children may learn a number of mand, tact, and listener skills, and some simple intraverbal responses, but fail to acquire more complex intraverbal relations. The difficulties with learning intraverbal behaviors may, in part, be related to the fact that the stimulus control for such behaviors is highly complex. The purpose of this paper is to provide an analysis of the type of antecedent control involved in the type of intraverbal behaviors typically taught to individuals with language delays. We will discuss3 types of antecedent control; discriminated operants, compound stimuli and conditional discriminations. Moreover, we will suggest a teaching curriculum that is specifically designed to establish these types of stimulus control. This teaching curriculum targets both speaker and listener skills, and is designed to establish the necessary prerequisites for the learning of complex intraverbal behaviors.

Verbal Behavior: Implications for Teaching Language to Children Exhibiting Immediate Echolalia
Domain: Theory
MICHAEL VOLTAIRE (Nova Southeastern University)
Abstract: This paper will review Skinner’s conceptual framework delineated in his book Verbal Behavior and will review some of the many studies that have investigated mand training in persons with communication deficits as a result of a developmental disability. Typically developing children exhibit echolalia that is considered a phase of normal development in which they attempt to process language. The persistence of echolalia after toddlerhood, however, is considered atypical and interferes with functional communication. While skinner has posited the functional independence of verbal operants (e.g., echoic, tact, mand, etc.), many studies have demonstrated that specific training may result in vocal responses occurring across a variety of situations/contexts. The question of whether echoic responding in children exhibiting immediate echolalia can be expressed as mands when the relevant motivating variables are present has not been investigated. This paper will explore the possibility of investigating such proposition, based on Skinner’s conceptual analysis of verbal behavior.



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