Signature Assignment: Verbal Behavior
Verbal behavior therapy teaches communication using the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis. Verbal Behavior Therapy motivates a child, adolescent or adult to learn language by connecting words with their purposes. The student learns that words can help obtain desired objects or other results. In addition, students learn how to use language to make requests and communicate ideas, but more importantly, it focused on on why humans use words.
B.F Skinner wrote the book, Verbal Behavior in 1957. He believed that verbal behavior was a result of operant condition, a learned behavior caused by socially mediated and natural world phenomenons. Basic components of verbal behavior include: mand, echoic, tact and intraverbal.
Verbal behavior therapy begins by teaching mands, or requests, as the most basic type of language. For example, the individual with autism learns that saying “cookie” can produce a cookie. Immediately after the student makes a request, the therapist reinforcers lesson by repeating the word and presenting the requested item. This teaches the child that properly requesting for an item yields a positive result,in doing so, positive reinforcement is used to increase the probability of the request happening again in the future.
Verbal Behavior Therapy also uses errorless learning. The therapist provides immediate and frequent prompts to help improve the students communication. These prompts become less intrusive as quickly as possible, until the student no longer needs promoting. For example, the therapist may hold a cookie in front of a child face and say “cookie”, to prompt a response from the child. Next, the therapist would hold up the cookie and make a “c” sound, to prompt the response. After that, the therapist might simply hold a cookie in the child's line of sight and wait for the request. The ultimate goal, in this example, is for the student to say “cookie” when he or she wants a...