Verbal Behavior Analysis: Inducing and Expanding New Verbal Capabilities in Children with Language Delays, 1st edition

  • R Douglas Greer
  • Denise E. Ross

Verbal Behavior Analysis: Inducing and Expanding New Verbal Capabilities in Children with Language Delays

ISBN-13:  9780205458370

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Help children develop language and verbal functions!


“This is definitely a book I will be purchasing for my professional use. I supervise student teachers in home-based programs as well as school programs and this book will be a perfect fit for the program implementation we currently present. Greer and Ross have produced an excellent accumulation of research compilation, assessment and program descriptions for implementation by professionals training and working with autistic children and adults.” 

-Dr. Irfa Karmali, Shelby Residential and Vocational Services


 “Overall, a very technically accurate book and one well suited to accompany a practicum component in verbal behavior. Very comprehensive and [does] a good job of covering most questions, concerns and issues [for] training others to implement verbal behavior strategies. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.” 

-Janet Goodman, University of West Georgia



Responding to the overwhelming demand for effective language development tools for children with no language and severe language delays related to autism and other disabilities, Douglas Greer and Denise Ross present newly identified methods to assist teachers and parents in their efforts to provide verbal capabilities to children. In their book Verbal Behavior Analysis, Doug and Denise describe how to help children produce novel and spontaneous verbal functions, acquire language incidentally, and become socially verbal. They carefully integrate the latest research, including many new findings, and present readers with a clear outline of the current state of the science of verbal behavior and its application to children with real needs. Behavior analysts, parents, and teachers will find the procedures applicable to all forms of language (signs, pictures, and voice-generating devices) while maintaining a strong emphasis on the vocal production of a child’s speech.

  • Describes how to teach children to be literate listeners, reducing the number of instructional times required to teach basic skills from four to ten times. (Chapter 3).
  • Presents the necessary procedures to teach children to become observational learners. (Chapter 5 and 7).
  • Offers practitioners methods for teaching children to acquire novel language and language usage incidentally, allowing children to expand their language without direct instruction. (Chapters 3, 5, and 6).
  • Demonstrates helping children to move from emergent speakers to readers, and learn to enjoy books in free time,  and  to read. (Chapter 6).
  • Introduces a verbal developmental scheme to guide instruction and aid practitioners in determining which children need particular interventions and when they need them, along with alternative tactics and strategies for solving learning problems. (Chapters 2 and 7).

Table of contents

Chapter 1:  Verbal Behavior Analysis and Verbal Development
Introduction to Verbal Behavior Analysis
The Relation Between Verbal Behavior Analysis and Basic and Applied Behavior Analysis
Protocols for Inducing New Verbal Capabilities
Selecting a Verbal Topography: Linguistic and Verbal Behavior Contributions
Research in Verbal Behavior Analysis
Developmental Milestones in Verbal Behavior
Chapter 1 Summary

Chapter 1 Endnotes


Chapter 2: Teaching and Learning Verbal Operants and Verbal Developmental Capabilities: Definitions and Measurement
Selecting Verbal Forms and Functions for Instruction
Conducting and Recording Probes
    Probe Mastery Criterion, Data Collection and Graphing
Presenting and Measuring Learn Units
    Presenting Learn Units
Recording and Graphing Verbal Behavior
    Training Graphs
    Generalization Graphs
Providing and Measuring Accurate Instructional Decisions
Research Based Tactics for Intervention
    General Tactics
    Generic Pre-Listener-to-Speaker Tactics
    Generic Tactics for Children with Reader-Writer Capabilities
    Generic Tactics for Teaching Teachers, Parents, and Behavior Analysts
The Learn Unit Context and Learn Unit Components
The Decision Protocol:  An Algorithm for Analyzing the Source of Learning Obstacles
     Identification of Decision Opportunities
    Trend Determination
    Learn Unit Context Analysis
    Selection of the Tactic
    Implementation of the Tactic
Details of the Analytic Algorithm
    Strategic Questions to Ask about Motivational Conditions and Setting Events
    Strategic Questions to Ask about Instructional Histories and Prerequisite Repertoires
    Prerequisite stimulus control
Measuring and Recording Developmental Milestones
Defining Verbal Milestones
Chapter 2 Summary



Chapter 3: Learning to Listen: Induction of the Listener Repertoire of Verbal Development
The Listener Role in Verbal Behavior
Instructional Sequence for Teaching Listener Repertoires
Basic Listener Literacy
     Sequence of Interventions to Induce Basic Listener Literacy (Table 3.1)
     Developing Initial Instructional Control: Five Basic Attentional Programs
Protocol Description for the Five Basic Attentional Programs
     The Five Attentional Programs: Attention Control to Teacher
     Listener Emersion Protocol to Develop Vowel-Consonant Control for Listener Responses
Other Prerequisites to Basic Listener Literacy
      Establishing Visual Tracking through Conditioning Eye Contact to Stimuli
      Sensory Matching or Establishing The Capacity for Sameness across Senses
      Conditioning Voices as Reinforcers
      Auditory Matching of Words
      Auditory Matching Steps
Inducing the Listener Component of Naming
Chapter 3 Summary

Chapter 3 Endnotes


Chapter 4: Basic Teaching Operations for Early Speaker Functions
The Behavioral Functions of the Speaker
Parroting and Echoics
Establishing Operations and Mands
Similarities and Differences between Mand and Tact Instruction
Echoic-to-Mand-Procedure (Level 1 of Mand Training)
Mand Function Instruction (Level 2 of Mand Instruction)
Echoic to Tact Training (Level 1 of Tact Training)
Tact Teaching Sequence (Level 2 of Tact Training)
Autoclitics with Mands and Tacts
Alternative Procedures for Teaching Echoic-to-Mand and Echoic-to-Tact Responses
    Stimulus-stimulus Pairing Procedure
    Rapid Motor Imitation
    Speaker Immersion
Inducing Transformation of Establishing Operations Across Mand and Tact Functions
Basic Visual Discrimination to Occasion the Advancement of Speaker and Listener Repertoires
Inducing Full Naming
The Importance of Tacts
Procedures for Rapid Expansion of Tacts through Direct Contact with Learn Units
Chapter 4 Summary

Chapter 4 Endnotes


Chapter 5: Inducing Advanced Speaker Functions and Correcting Faulty Vocal Behavior
Advancing Key Verbal Capabilities
Inducing and Expanding Tact and Intraverbal Capabilties
     Tact Capabilities
      Intraverbal Capabilities
Capability 1: Acquisition of new tacts by direct learn units
Capability 2: Recruitment of new tacts by using "wh" and "how" questions
Capability 3: Acquisition of new tacts incidentally via naming
Capability 4: Learning tacts from observation or indirect contact with contingencies received by others
Learning Tacts from Observation
      Instructional Procedure for Teaching Observational Learning of Tacts (Developing Tacts by Observing Others Receive Learn Units)
      Pre and Post-Intervention Evaluation Probes for Observational Learning of Tacts
      Yoked-contingency interventions
      Joint Yoked-contingency and Peer Monitoring Protocol
Intraverbal Capabilities and Social Interaction
Conversational Units
Capability 5: Learning Intraverbal Functions of Self-Talk
Capability 6: Acquisition of conversational units and related speaker-listener exchanged
      Pre and Post Assessment for Conversational Units and Sequilics
Acquiring the Listener Reinforcement Component of Social Exchanges
      General Game Board Description and Set-up
      Part 1: I spy, 20 questions
      Part 2-- 20 Questions: Tact and textual response
      Part 3-- Bingo
      Part 4-- Peer tutoring with the game board
      Part 5-- Group instruction with the game board
      Part 6-- Teaching empathy ("What can you do to help" program)
Capability 7: Learning deictic functions or taking the perspective of others
      Deictic Probes
Production program for emission of appropriate talking
Replacing Echolalia and Palilalia with Functional Verbal Behavior
      Fixing Improperly Learned Control of Echoic Responses
      Textual Test and Textual Stimulus Prompt Protocol
      Auditory Matching to Correct Faulty Echoic Responding
Replacing Vocal Stereotypy with Functional Verbal Behavior
      Assessing the function of vocal stereotypy
     Tact Protocol to Replace Palilalia
Chapter 5 Summary

Chapter 5 Endnotes


Chapter 6: Reading and Writing: Print-Goverened and Print-Governing Verbal Behavior
Scope and Purpose of the Print Control Chapter
Book Conditioning Protocol
   Stimulus-Stimulus Pairing Training/Test Trials for Conditioning Stimuli as Reinforcers for Observi
   Probes for Conditioning Reinforcement for Observing Books
Word-Picture Discrimination and Matching
    Tactics for Teaching Word-Picture and Matching Discrimination
     Using the Edmark ® Reading Series
Reading Comprehension from Hearing One's Own Textual Responses
     Multiple Exemplar Instruction Auditory and Visual Components of Reading Responses
Adding Print Stimuli to the Joint Control over Speaker and Listener Responding in the Naming Capability
Phonetic Reading for Textual Responding: Acquiring the Topography
Using the Auditory Matching Protocol in Solving Phonetic Reading Difficulties
Motivational Functions of Reading and Writing
      Establishing the "Need to Read"
Establishing the Topography of Writing
Establishing the "Need to Write"
Chapter 6 Summary



Chapter 7
Problems in Verbal Development, Current Solutions, and a Trajectory for More Solutions
Foundations of Speaker and Listener Capabilities
        When Attention to Teacher is Missing
        When Attention to Instructional Stimuli is Missing
        When the Capacity for Sameness is Missing
        When the Capability to be reinforced for attention to adult voices is missing
        Capability for Emitting Speaker Verbal Operants 
        When the Capability To Match Consonant/Vowel Combinations Of Spoken Words Is Missing Or Speech Is Faulty
        When Basic Listener Literacy Is Missing
        When there are Few Tacts in Repertoire: Expand the Tact Repertoire
        The Listener Capability Of Naming Is Missing; Implement The Multiple Exemplar Protocol For The Listener Component Of Naming 
        When Capability For Observational Learning of Tacts Is Missing
        When the Capability of Observational Learning of Tacts is Missing
        Fixing Faulty Echoic and Intraverbal Repertoires
Joining Speaker and Listener Capabilities
        How to Expand Tacts Before Naming is Present Continue Rapid Expansion of the Tact Repertoire
        Observational learning of tacts and the “Wh” repertoire
        Expanding observational learning of tacts and the observational learning capability 
        Inducing Observational Learning if it is Missing
Stages of Verbal Development
A Note on Scientific Evidence
Some Suggested Areas of Further Research

Published by Pearson (May 1st 2007) - Copyright © 2008