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The Verbal Behavior Approach: How to Teach Children with Autism and Related Disorders

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The Verbal Behavior (VB) approach is a form of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), that is based on B.F. Skinner's analysis of verbal behavior and works particularly well with children with minimal or no speech abilities. In this book Dr. Mary Lynch Barbera draws on her own experiences as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and also as a parent of a child with autism to explai The Verbal Behavior (VB) approach is a form of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), that is based on B.F. Skinner's analysis of verbal behavior and works particularly well with children with minimal or no speech abilities. In this book Dr. Mary Lynch Barbera draws on her own experiences as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and also as a parent of a child with autism to explain VB and how to use it. This step-by-step guide provides an abundance of information about how to help children develop better language and speaking skills, and also explains how to teach non-vocal children to use sign language. An entire chapter focuses on ways to reduce problem behavior, and there is also useful information on teaching toileting and other important self-help skills, that would benefit any child. This book will enable parents and professionals unfamiliar with the principles of ABA and VB to get started immediately using the Verbal Behavior approach to teach children with autism and related disorders.


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The Verbal Behavior (VB) approach is a form of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), that is based on B.F. Skinner's analysis of verbal behavior and works particularly well with children with minimal or no speech abilities. In this book Dr. Mary Lynch Barbera draws on her own experiences as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and also as a parent of a child with autism to explai The Verbal Behavior (VB) approach is a form of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), that is based on B.F. Skinner's analysis of verbal behavior and works particularly well with children with minimal or no speech abilities. In this book Dr. Mary Lynch Barbera draws on her own experiences as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and also as a parent of a child with autism to explain VB and how to use it. This step-by-step guide provides an abundance of information about how to help children develop better language and speaking skills, and also explains how to teach non-vocal children to use sign language. An entire chapter focuses on ways to reduce problem behavior, and there is also useful information on teaching toileting and other important self-help skills, that would benefit any child. This book will enable parents and professionals unfamiliar with the principles of ABA and VB to get started immediately using the Verbal Behavior approach to teach children with autism and related disorders.

30 review for The Verbal Behavior Approach: How to Teach Children with Autism and Related Disorders

  1. 4 out of 5

    Julie

    Great overview of the VB method to help me with my new caseload...written for BOTH parents and professionals, it read "like a novel" over coffee. Now I just need to re-read it and create some note cards to help me use the prompting more effectively in sessions. Great overview of the VB method to help me with my new caseload...written for BOTH parents and professionals, it read "like a novel" over coffee. Now I just need to re-read it and create some note cards to help me use the prompting more effectively in sessions.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Brian Denton

    This is a book for parents to use to employ the Verbal Behavioral variation of ABA therapy at home with their autistic children. It's probably very useful, I found much to employ, but it's primarily targeted for parents of children with either no or extremely minimal language skills. My son is much more advanced than that. Still, there are some tricks to getting your child to cooperate that I'll use with my boy moving forward. This is a book for parents to use to employ the Verbal Behavioral variation of ABA therapy at home with their autistic children. It's probably very useful, I found much to employ, but it's primarily targeted for parents of children with either no or extremely minimal language skills. My son is much more advanced than that. Still, there are some tricks to getting your child to cooperate that I'll use with my boy moving forward.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Justin Tapp

    I bought The Verbal Behavior Approach: How to Teach Children With Autism and Related Disorders to get some insights into the ABA methodology my son's therapists use. Barbera became a BCBA after her son was diagnosed with autism, and she includes personal anecdotes in with her writing. This book focuses on the practical and is a fairly quick read. Barbera stresses the importance of early diagnosis and intervention, ABA looks to saturate your child with as much therapy as possible (cost prohibitive I bought The Verbal Behavior Approach: How to Teach Children With Autism and Related Disorders to get some insights into the ABA methodology my son's therapists use. Barbera became a BCBA after her son was diagnosed with autism, and she includes personal anecdotes in with her writing. This book focuses on the practical and is a fairly quick read. Barbera stresses the importance of early diagnosis and intervention, ABA looks to saturate your child with as much therapy as possible (cost prohibitive for many). But she stresses the importance of parents as therapists, and this is something I have taken to heart. "A parent is a typical child’s first and best teacher, and that’s even more true for parents of children with autism there really is no way for you to take a backseat and be just a parent." "when asked how many hours per day a child should receive ABA/VB programming my answer is always 'during most or all of his waking hours.'" She gives a brief overview of what ABA is and how it differs from other approaches. I have a better understanding of the definitions that ABA uses, such as receptive language versus expressive language. "Two of the biggest misconceptions about the Verbal Behavior approach are that it is only useful for children who aren’t talking, and conversely that it is only useful for children who can speak. Neither is true." I found most of the book to be unhelpful, however, as our child does talk and already does a lot of the basics that she focuses on. ABA is better for children who are not communicating much. We were told in our child's evaluation that we were already using some methods similar to ABA that we'd just come up with on our own, so maybe he's just adapted. "less is more and the fewer words used, the easier it is for the child to process." One tool I gleaned from this book is the importance of continual positive reinforcement. We incentivize our son heavily, and find that it works. Many times we may want to stop incentivizing him, when it needs to continue for a many more successes, however. She also gives some useful tips on potty training we probably need to implement. Another area that requires some changes on our part are using fewer words, and perhaps his name less (although he already responds well to his name). I give this book 4 stars out of 5. If you have a young child with special needs and are wanting to learn about ABA, this is a great and encouraging place to start.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Tracy Boyd

    When I read this in 2009, there was nothing like it. Dr. Mary Barbera took the science of B.F. Skinner - translating it both professionally and personally, provding an evidence-based guide for evoking language and skills, including toilet training and self-help for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Apraxia of speech, Down Syndrome, or any number of developmental delays impeding langage acquisition and early developmental milestones. Over a decade later, I urge readers that are parents, or p When I read this in 2009, there was nothing like it. Dr. Mary Barbera took the science of B.F. Skinner - translating it both professionally and personally, provding an evidence-based guide for evoking language and skills, including toilet training and self-help for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Apraxia of speech, Down Syndrome, or any number of developmental delays impeding langage acquisition and early developmental milestones. Over a decade later, I urge readers that are parents, or practitioners in the field; this is a the first book you should read. I have notes in the margins. I have a second copy that I lend out. This is a must read. ❤

  5. 5 out of 5

    Reader

    Book is definitely geared to kids who are non-verbal or limited verbal skills. It didn't resonate for me because of that but it is very well written and gives an excellent foundation on ABA. It does get a little jargon heavy which she does make a good effort to make it understandable. But, since the examples didn't really relate to my child I found it hard to pick up. Book is definitely geared to kids who are non-verbal or limited verbal skills. It didn't resonate for me because of that but it is very well written and gives an excellent foundation on ABA. It does get a little jargon heavy which she does make a good effort to make it understandable. But, since the examples didn't really relate to my child I found it hard to pick up.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Gratiela

    Utilă pentru părinți și profesioniști la început de drum. Informațiile sunt explicate simplu, termenii specifici terapiei verbale și terapiei ABA sunt de asemenea explicați și puși în context, și sunt oferite câteva exemple și îndrumări despre decursul acestor terapii.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Ryk Stanton

    I’m going to be reading a lot of books about autism, I think, as I strive to help my son deal with his disability. This particular book is probably aimed at a younger child than mine is, but the information was helpful. Chapters 2 and 12 were especially useful.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Ly

    Suurepärane raamat nii vanemale kui spetsialistile kiire ülevaate saamiseks VB ideest ja kasutusvõimalustest. Kirjutatud lihtsas ja mõnusalt loetavas tekstis, palju näiteid igapäevaelust ja kirjaniku (kes on nii autistliku poja ema kui ka VBA terapeut) oma kogemustest.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Ashley

    Very informal and extra companion for my Verbal Behavior class.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Annie Wetherbee

    This is a wonderful book! It introduces the reader to ABA therapy and the Verbal Behavior Approach! It is a mother’s and professional’s perspective on helping children with autism.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

    A great overview of VB. Easy to understand and follow.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Amelia Rose

    Great resource, easy to read, good information.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Erin A.

    We reviewed this book through our son’s ABA provider - it was a 4 month parent training book club selection. Good intro into ABA with a verbal behavior approach.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Eatbugs

    rehashing of dated forms. i see why we did not use it for classes.

  15. 4 out of 5

    stephanie

    this is an excellent introduction to both VB and ABA, and is written in a way that parents and everyone really, can understand. there are a lot of excellent ideas in here about VB (verbal behavior), though i found some of her practices to be a bit problematic - for example, she recommends figuring out the ABC of any action your child makes. i am all for that, as a budding behaviorist. (A-antecedent/trigger, B-behavior/action, C-consequence/result). and i agree that trying to get rid of triggers this is an excellent introduction to both VB and ABA, and is written in a way that parents and everyone really, can understand. there are a lot of excellent ideas in here about VB (verbal behavior), though i found some of her practices to be a bit problematic - for example, she recommends figuring out the ABC of any action your child makes. i am all for that, as a budding behaviorist. (A-antecedent/trigger, B-behavior/action, C-consequence/result). and i agree that trying to get rid of triggers is excellent and worthy of your time. however, and this is the DBT behaviorist side of me coming out, there are times when your child will be forced to face the trigger, and you need to be able to figure out what to do on the spot so as not to make the situation worse. if your child throws a tantrum if he doesn't get candy when you take him to the grocery store, she suggests giving him a lollipop on the way. this way he will remain calm, and already have the candy. i might do that twice, or so. but then i would work on what happens when we go in and he doesn't have the lollipop. this isn't just a language deficit problem, this is a basic behavior problem. so. i was a little confused with that. i also think that sometimes she errs too much on the side of not "pushing" the kids - her theory is that kids should want to learn, and should be running over to the work table, etc. but all kids are going to have off days, and all kids are going to try to find short-cuts to the reward they know is coming. i also think she positively reinforces a little too much (ironic, i know) but if the goal is to get the child speaking, you need more than five minutes at a time of attention. all that said, she has a lot of great suggestions and insights into the more communication related problems - biting, pinching, etc. and she references a lot of excellent people - i highly recommend nancy kaufman's box of cards, for one. (one of the children i am working with LOVES the kaufman cards, and mands for them all the time.) i think this is a great introduction to VB, but now i want to find sandberg's book and figure it out for myself. still, it's really excellent, even though i know i spent the entire review criticizing parts of it. i just think you need to look at it, like anything, not as a bible, but as a guide.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Rozan

    This book is a great resource book for parents and professionals working with children diagnosed with autism or other disorders. It contains plenty of information on the basics of implementing a Verbal Behavior program to enhance the child's language skills. I highly appreciate how the author clearly defines and simplifies scientific terms so that it becomes easier to implement by parents and other professionals with no background in Applied Behavior Analysis. As a Speech Language Therapist and This book is a great resource book for parents and professionals working with children diagnosed with autism or other disorders. It contains plenty of information on the basics of implementing a Verbal Behavior program to enhance the child's language skills. I highly appreciate how the author clearly defines and simplifies scientific terms so that it becomes easier to implement by parents and other professionals with no background in Applied Behavior Analysis. As a Speech Language Therapist and a BCaBA, my favorite chapters were the one related to involving the parents in therapy and the explicit instructions on how to train the parents while listing the procedures and the attached appendixes. It honestly gave me a chance to put my self in the parents shoes and get a full picture on the difficulties they might be encountering while trying to transfer the therapy services in their home setting.

  17. 4 out of 5

    رهف

    كتاب باربيرا هذا جيد، لا يُغني بالطبع عن الاستعانة بالمحللين السلوكيين؛ لان برامج تقييم الاضطرابات النمائية وتنمية مهاراتها القائمة على مبادئ التعلم وعلم تحليل السلوك اوسع واشمل مما جاء في هذا الكتاب، كذلك هو التعامل مع المشكلات السلوكية.. الا انه مفيد في اطلاع الأهالي والمعلمين عما يجب تعليمه للاطفال في بداية اي تدخل لغوي- سلوكي قائم على السلوك اللفظي VB، فيعطيك تقنيات اساسية تُعينك على تعليم هذه المهارات... باربيرا تستخدم اسلوب دعم السلوك الايجابي في تعاملاتها؛ لا مكان للعقاب في تقنياتها هنا، كتاب باربيرا هذا جيد، لا يُغني بالطبع عن الاستعانة بالمحللين السلوكيين؛ لان برامج تقييم الاضطرابات النمائية وتنمية مهاراتها القائمة على مبادئ التعلم وعلم تحليل السلوك اوسع واشمل مما جاء في هذا الكتاب، كذلك هو التعامل مع المشكلات السلوكية.. الا انه مفيد في اطلاع الأهالي والمعلمين عما يجب تعليمه للاطفال في بداية اي تدخل لغوي- سلوكي قائم على السلوك اللفظي VB، فيعطيك تقنيات اساسية تُعينك على تعليم هذه المهارات... باربيرا تستخدم اسلوب دعم السلوك الايجابي في تعاملاتها؛ لا مكان للعقاب في تقنياتها هنا، إنما تستعيض عنه بتجاهل السلوك المشكل.. بعد قراءتي لكتابين في التدخل السلوكي المكثف اجد باربيرا تعرض كم مبسط مما وجدته فيما سبق، مما يجعل توسعة الاطلاع ضرورة بالنسبة للمعلمين.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    Introduction to VB. For those of you reading along, yes I did read a non-fiction book. Didn't you see that pig fly? This was pretty good, I thought. I didn't super understand VB before. I'm still not sure I exactly get the difference between VB and DTT. I thought the terminology added up fast, but I tend to over-explain simple concepts so it is quite likely she hit a happy medium. Introduction to VB. For those of you reading along, yes I did read a non-fiction book. Didn't you see that pig fly? This was pretty good, I thought. I didn't super understand VB before. I'm still not sure I exactly get the difference between VB and DTT. I thought the terminology added up fast, but I tend to over-explain simple concepts so it is quite likely she hit a happy medium.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    Incredibly valuable information. It's a shame the author has such a negative view of speech language pathologists. Her bias obscures her message at times. In fact, there are SLPs working hard to provide the kind of services she advocates. Other than that, this book is a fantastic resource for both parents and educators/therapists. Incredibly valuable information. It's a shame the author has such a negative view of speech language pathologists. Her bias obscures her message at times. In fact, there are SLPs working hard to provide the kind of services she advocates. Other than that, this book is a fantastic resource for both parents and educators/therapists.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Alexis

    This is a really helpful overview of the Verbal Behavior approach to ABA. It's aimed at both professionals and parents--I think it will be most useful to people who have some knowledge of ABA, but not necessarily pros. The technical language is well explained, but someone with no previous knowledge may get a little lost in the jargon. This is a really helpful overview of the Verbal Behavior approach to ABA. It's aimed at both professionals and parents--I think it will be most useful to people who have some knowledge of ABA, but not necessarily pros. The technical language is well explained, but someone with no previous knowledge may get a little lost in the jargon.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Leah

    Oh, how I wish I'd been given a copy of this book when our son started his ABA program! It's helped me to understand so many of the terms used by his therapists and was an encouragement to me, as a parent, to become more involved in his program. Oh, how I wish I'd been given a copy of this book when our son started his ABA program! It's helped me to understand so many of the terms used by his therapists and was an encouragement to me, as a parent, to become more involved in his program.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Dave

    A great resource for learning how to use principles of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) with children who are affected by Autism! It provides explanations in a plain and simple way, while also teaching the "technical terms" and encouraging data based decision making! This book is a gem!! A great resource for learning how to use principles of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) with children who are affected by Autism! It provides explanations in a plain and simple way, while also teaching the "technical terms" and encouraging data based decision making! This book is a gem!!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Paulette

    This book explains the components of the Verbal Behavior approach in a very user freindly way. I highly recommend it as it makes accessable the concepts of Verbal Behavior.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

    Excellent resource for those in special education and for parents.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Robert Murphy

    Based on the work of the founder of ABA, about getting kids to talk. More information than I could handle, less practical. Needs translating

  26. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    There are many ways to approach teaching, manding and reaching out to help children "find their voice". There are many ways to approach teaching, manding and reaching out to help children "find their voice".

  27. 4 out of 5

    Christina

  28. 5 out of 5

    Likos X

  29. 5 out of 5

    sue harvey

  30. 4 out of 5

    Niloofar Naraghi

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