Introduction to Verbal Behavior

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Using Applied Behavior Analysis in the SchoolsBy Tracy Vail,MS,CCC/SLP Speech/Language Pathologist Let’s Talk Speech and Language Service, Inc


What is Applied Behavior Analysis?The Science of learning Tells us why people do what they do Looks at the contingencies of behavior (What happens before and after) to analyze the function Helps us determine how the environment can be modified to improve learning


What is Behavior?Anything that can be seen, felt and counted by either an individual or others in their environment. Which of these are behaviors? Saying cookie, thinking about a cookie, touching a cookie, dreaming about a cookie, baking a cookie, looking at a cookie, reaching toward a cookie


What is a Discrete Trial?Antecedent/Stimulus Response/Behavior Consequence (neutral, reinforcement, punishment) How we manipulate these contingencies determines whether a behavior will increase or decrease.


Contingencies (Function Alt.) Evocative Function Altering Reinforcement Soc. Med + Soc. Med – Auto + R Auto – (s-delta) Extinction CSS MO SD Punishment Positive Punishment Negative PunishmentAntecedent/Stimulus Response Consequence


ReinforcementIncreases the likelihood that a behavior will occur again in the future. 4 categories or “buckets” of behaviors based on the reinforcement history What serves as a reinforcer is highly variable. Must be contingent on the behavior you want to increase Is not a “thing” but an effect on the behavior. If a behavior is increasing, something is reinforcing it. If a child bites in circle time and is put in time out then comes back and bites again, what served as a reinforcer?


How do you create new Reinforcers?“Pair” or associate the new thing/person with something the child already finds reinforcing. The new thing/person becomes a “conditioned” reinforcer. Learn the child and be the provider of “all good things”


Pair Sounds/Talking with Fun!


BE the Reinforcer!


Motivation OperationTemporarily Increases the value of a reinforcer. Temporarily Increases the behaviors that have been consequated by that reinforcer in the past. Ex:If in the past, when I wanted to have some juice, I said “juice”, I’m more likely to say juice again when I want it. Without motivation, you have no reinforcer. Without a reinforcer, you cannot increase behaviors. If you aren’t increasing behaviors, you aren’t teaching! :0)


Socially Mediated Positive ReinforcementBehaviors that have a history of being reinforced by getting things/attention from people. Increase by capturing motivation, teaching appropriate behavior and reinforcing. Decrease by determining reinforcement history, not allowing it to “work” anymore and teaching a replacement behavior to get the same need met.


Socially Mediated Negative ReinforcementBehaviors that have been reinforced by escape or delay of demands involving people. To increase, determine motivation and teach appropriate communication to get need met. To decrease, determine reinforcement history, don’t let it work anymore and teach a replacement.


Automatic Positive ReinforcementBehaviors that are reinforced because they feel good. Often known as “stims” Are self-reinforcing. The more they do it, the more they will do it in the future. Teach appropriate ways (or places) to get the sensory need met, limit time spent, and pair with people.


Automatic Negative ReinforcementBehaviors I do because they remove a “bad” or uncomfortable feeling. Figure out what part of the environment is affecting the child then either desensitize or compensate. Desensitization: gradual exposure with heavy reinforcement for increased tolerance.


Self-Stimulatory Behavior


So What is Teaching?Increasing adaptive or new behaviors that will allow the child to be more successful in the world and decreasing behaviors that are maladaptive or that will cause the child to have difficulty in the world.


DO Don’t follow negative behavior with reinforcement Remove a child from a reinforcing activity to begin teaching Give directions to do things you can’t prompt Give directions without getting compliance Kill reinforcers by placing too many demands Teach errorlessly Fade in demands Teach to Fluency Prompt Quickly Fade prompts Make sure all questions have answers Find numerous reinforcers Correct errors Have fun!


Build Motivation (MO)Establish Reinforcers- everyone wants something! Start with non-verbal connection then add verbal How does the child respond to the environment? Be playful- play as children play Build anticipation Do the unexpected Create routines Gradually change the routines Stay connected to find reinforcers Be animated Pair yourself and talking with reinforcement


Transfer Procedures/PromptingTeach a new behavior by starting with a behavior that you know the child can already do. The child is more likely to repeat the same behavior under a different condition Once the behavior is taught under the new condition, gradually fade the prompt New learning is build on old learning The learning remains “errorless”


Teaching Procedure for TransfersTransfer trial- Use the mastered skill to evoke the desired behavior then present the new SD to get the same behavior. Disractor trial(s)- Present a mastered task or two Independent trial- Re-present the new SD to evoke the behavior and reinforce correct response heavily


Correction ProcedureUse whenever the child responds incorrectly Give the SD + the response Wait for the echoic Repeat the SD Wait for the response Run a distractor trial (something the child can do easily) Repeat the SD


What to Teach Early Learners??People are fun (even kids!) Words are valuable I can learn Playing is fun and teaches me lots of things about the world.


Verbal Behavior- Verbal Operants (Skinner)Antecedent/Stimulus Behavior ConsequenceMand Motivation Says “car” gets car Echoic “Say car” Says “car” social/secondary Tact Car present Says “car” social/secondary Intraverbal “We ride in the ..”Says “car” social/sec.


Verbal OperantsMands- “I talk, I get” Tacts- I can label things in the environment under a variety of conditions Receptives- I can follow directions, do what others tell me to do Imitation/Echoics- I can do/say what others do/say Intraverbal- What I say is dependent upon what others say but is not the sameWhat purpose does the communication serve to the speaker and listener?


Pairing Sounds with Fun!


Imitate All Sounds Produced

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Last Updated: 8th March 2018

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