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.


First Annual Autism Conference; Boston, MA; 2007

Event Details

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Invited Paper Session #7

A Behavioral Approach to Language Assessment and Intervention for Children with Autism

Saturday, February 3, 2007
1:30 PM–2:30 PM
Grand Ballroom
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Instruction Level: Basic
CE Instructor: Mark L. Sundberg, Ph.D.
MARK L. SUNDBERG (Sundberg and Associates)
Dr. Mark L. Sundberg, BCBA, received his doctorate degree in Applied Behavior Analysis from Western Michigan University (1980), under the direction of Dr. Jack Michael. Dr. Sundberg is a Licensed Psychologist and Board Certified Behavior Analyst who has been conducting language research with children with autism for over 30 years. He is the founder and past editor of the journal The Analysis of Verbal Behavior, and is the co-author (with James W. Partington) of the books Teaching Language to Children with Autism or Other Developmental Disabilities, The Assessment of Basic Language and Learning Skills: The ABLLS, and (with Jack Michael) A Collection of Reprints on Verbal Behavior. He has published over 40 professional papers, given over 400 conference presentations and workshops, and taught 80 college courses on behavior analysis, verbal behavior, sign language, and child development. Dr. Sundberg has received a number of awards including the 2001 "Distinguished Psychology Department Alumnus Award" from Western Michigan University.

Language training is usually the most important aspect of an intervention program for children with autism. However, there are many different theories as to what constitutes language, and currently a variety of cognitive theories underlie most assessment and intervention programs. Skinner (1957) provides a behavioral analysis of language that is an empirically sound and comprehensible conception of human language, and it lends itself well to a practical and data-based assessment and curriculum. Skinners analysis of verbal behavior is based on the same principles of behavior and basic research that underlie the teaching procedures of discrete trial training (DTT) and applied behavior analysis (ABA). Together, these two components of behavior analysis constitute a solid foundation for a day-to-day language intervention program. This presentation will describe the basic aspects of Skinners analysis of verbal behavior, and explain how it can provide a functional framework for language assessment and intervention for children with autism.

Target Audience: N/a
Learning Objectives: N/a



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