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.


Eighth Annual Autism Conference; Louisville, KY; 2014

Event Details

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Invited Paper Session #16
CE Offered: PSY/BACB

Incorporating Verbal Behavior Instruction Into Everyday Activities for Children With Autism

Sunday, March 2, 2014
10:30 AM–11:20 AM
Grand Ballroom A-B (Suite Tower)
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Instruction Level: Basic
CE Instructor: Mark L. Sundberg, Ph.D.
Chair: Robert K. Ross (Beacon ABA Services)
MARK L. SUNDBERG (Sundberg and Associates)
Dr. Mark L. Sundberg, BCBA-D, received his doctorate in applied behavior analysis from Western Michigan University in 1980 under the direction of Dr. Jack Michael. Dr. Sundberg serves on the Board of Directors of the B. F. Skinner Foundation. He is the author of the Verbal Behavior Milestones Assessment and Placement Program (VB-MAPP), co-author of the original Assessment of Basic Language and Learning Skills (ABLLS) assessment tool, and the book Teaching Language to Children with Autism or Other Developmental Disabilities. He has published more than 50 professional papers and four book chapters. He is the founder and past editor of the journal The Analysis of Verbal Behavior, a twice past president of the Northern California Association for Behavior Analysis, and a past chair of the Publication Board of the Association for Behavior Analysis International. Dr. Sundberg has given more than 600 conference presentations and workshops, and taught 80 college courses on behavior analysis, verbal behavior, sign language, and child development. He is a licensed psychologist who consults for public schools in the San Francisco Bay Area that serve children with autism. His awards include the 2001 Distinguished Psychology Department Alumnus Award from Western Michigan University, and the 2013 Jack Michael Outstanding Contributions in Verbal Behavior Award from the Verbal Behavior Special Interest Group.

The most common behavioral methodology used for working with children with autism is typically identified as discrete trial training (e.g., Lovaas, 2003), and usually involves a variety of structured table-top teaching activities. Another general behavioral methodology has been collectively identified as naturalistic teaching approaches (LeBlanc, Esch, Sidener, & Firth, 2006), and involves a variety of activities that are conducted in the context of a child's naturally occurring daily events (e.g., play, meal time, self-care). Both methodologies are necessary for an effective program, but they each require unique teaching skills and curricula. This presentation will suggest a framework for teaching in the natural environment guided by B. F. Skinner's analysis of verbal behavior. The main focus will be on developing a curriculum that includes natural environment training (NET) activities to teach manding, tacting, listener skills, intraverbals, matching-to-sample, imitation, social skills, and play skills, while making language instruction relevant to the child functional and fun.

Target Audience:

Psychologists, behavior analysts, practitioners, graduate students, and anyone interested in learning more about developing a curriculum that includes natural environment training activities.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the event, participants should be able to: --Describe how B. F. Skinner's analysis of verbal behavior can be applied to language instruction in a child's natural environment. --Explain how motivating operations (MOs) and stimulus control (SDs) in the natural environment may be different from MOs and SDs in a structured teaching session. --Give five examples of daily activities and describe how instruction on five different verbal operants or related verbal skills can be incorporated into that activity.
Keyword(s): natural environment, naturalistic teaching, Trial training



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