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.


43rd Annual Convention; Denver, CO; 2017

Workshop Details

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Workshop #W48
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Developing Vocal Verbal Behavior: Foundation Skills and Target Selection for Early Speech Learners
Friday, May 26, 2017
8:00 AM–3:00 PM
Hyatt Regency, Centennial Ballroom C
Area: AUT/VRB; Domain: Service Delivery
CE Instructor: Barbara E. Esch, Ph.D.
BARBARA E. ESCH (Esch Behavior Consultants, LLC)
Description: Failure to acquire vocal behavior presents teaching challenges for those who are responsible for helping an individual learn to speak. When vocalizing is weak or nonexistent, there is little behavior that can come under the control of verbal contingencies (e.g., mand, tact, intraverbal) and, thus, functional speech may not develop. Key to establishing vocal verbal behavior is the establishment of the echoic repertoire, but this, too, requires certain foundation skills to support such responding. This workshop will describe critical skills required to support early speech learning, how to assess these skills, and how to appropriately select and sequence targets to achieve fluency in vocalizing and, in turn, how to establish those vocalizations as functional (communicative) responses. A brief review of behavioral research supporting development of vocal verbal behavior will describe the conceptual basis for such evidence and application consistent with behavior analytic practices. The content will include a focus on developing an integrated speech acquisition program to be guided by both speech and language clinicians and behavior analysts. Outcomes will instruct practices that can be utilized by classroom teachers across a student's school day. Workshop content has obtained credibility, as demonstrated by the involvement of the broader practice, education, and science communities in studying or applying the findings, procedures, practices, or theoretical concepts.
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the workshop, participants will be able to: (1) Describe vocal skills that are preliminary and prerequisite to functional speech; (2) Describe a method to assess existing vocal (speech) repertoires; (3)Describe how to analyze assessment information for appropriate speech target selection; (4) Explain which speech targets to prioritize sequentially and why; (5)List at leasttwo behavioral treatments to increase vocalizations.
Activities: Workshop activities will include: Lecture, video observation, practice, targeted reading/handouts
Audience: Intermediate. Speech pathologists, behavior analysts, classroom teachers, program directors, clinicians, and anyone responsible for helping individuals acquire functional speech skills
Content Area: Practice
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): articulation, speech, vocal training, vocal-verbal behavior



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