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The Verbal Behavior Milestones Assessment and Placement Program (The VB-MAPP): Field-Test Data from Typical Children and Children with Autism Chair: Mark.

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Presentation on theme: "The Verbal Behavior Milestones Assessment and Placement Program (The VB-MAPP): Field-Test Data from Typical Children and Children with Autism Chair: Mark."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Verbal Behavior Milestones Assessment and Placement Program (The VB-MAPP): Field-Test Data from Typical Children and Children with Autism Chair: Mark L. Sundberg Presenters: Mark L. Sundberg & Lisa Hale Mike Miklos William A. Galbraith

2 The VB-MAPP: An Overview and Field-Test Data from California, Indiana, and Oregon Mark L. Sundberg, Carl T. Sundberg & Lisa Hale,

3 The Roots of a Verbal Behavior Assessment Skinner’s analysis of verbal behavior (1957) Happy 50th Anniversary! Jack Michael, teacher of Skinner’s analysis of verbal behavior (starting in 1955) Joseph Spradlin, applications to the developmentally disabled “The Parsons Language Sample” (1963)

4 The Purpose of a Language Assessment

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8 Determine the operant level of a child’s verbal (and related) skills Compare to typical language development data Identify language acquisition and learning “barriers” If and where to begin intervention (placement) Establish IEP goals Design an individualized curriculum/intervention program Teaching strategies (e.g., AC, DTT-NET, inclusion, in-home) Is the intervention program working? Why or why not? A tool to demonstrate learning, track progress, make changes, provide outcome measures

9 Behavioral Language Assessment The verbal operant is the functional unit (form and function) Environmental variables are viewed as the relevant sources of control for verbal responses, rather than cognitive or biological variables Each verbal operant involves separate sources of control (independent variables), thus each must be assessed Most verbal responses are under multiple sources of control More complex verbal behavior is comprised of various combinations of the verbal operants Speaker and listener as separate repertoires Criterion-referenced assessment

10 Verbal Behavior Milestones Assessment and Placement Program: The VB-MAPP Based on Skinner’s (1957) analysis of verbal behavior Based on typical language development milestones By identifying milestones, as opposed to a task analysis of individual skills, the focus can be sharper, and the direction clearer Field test data from approximately 60 typically developing children Field test data from over 100 children with autism The body of empirical research that provides the foundation of Behavior Analysis Empirical research on Skinner’s analysis of verbal behavior

11 Verbal Behavior Milestones Assessment and Placement Program: The VB-MAPP There are four components of the VB-MAPP The VB-MAPP: Skills Assessment contains 165 verbal behavior milestones across 3 developmental levels (0-18 mos., mos., mos.), and 16 different verbal operants and related skills The VB-MAPP: Skills Task Analysis provides a further breakdown of the 16 different skill areas in the form of a checklist for skills tracking The VB MAPP: Barriers Assessment examines 22 common learning and language barriers faced by children with autism The VB-MAPP: IEP Goals provides over 200 IEP objectives directly linked to the skills and barriers assessments, and verbal behavior intervention program (Sundberg, in preparation)

12 Verbal Behavior Milestones Assessment and Placement Program: The VB-MAPP Skills Assessment The assessment is designed to identify the child’s existing language and related skills An assessment should probe a representative sample of a repertoire Typical verbal milestones can provide the frame for the sample Typical verbal milestones can help to avoid focusing on only minor steps Typical verbal milestones can help to avoid targeting skills for intervention that are developmentally inappropriate IEP goals can match the milestones, not individual skills

13 Verbal Behavior Milestones Assessment and Placement Program: The VB-MAPP Skills Assessment The 16 skills assessed on the VB-MAPP include: The elementary verbal operants (e.g., echoic, imitation, mand, tact, intraverbal) The listener skills Vocal output Play and social skills Visual perceptual skills, and matching-to-sample Grammatical and syntactical skills Group and classroom skills Beginning academic skills

14 Verbal Behavior Milestones Assessment and Placement Program: The VB-MAPP Skills Assessment The milestones are broken into three developmental levels Level 1: 0-18 months Level 2: months Level 3: months The scores for each skill are approximately balanced across each level There are 5 items and 5 possible points for each skill area

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17 VB-MAPP Level 1: Tact

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33 Verbal Behavior Milestones Assessment and Placement Program: The VB-MAPP Barriers Assessment It is important to find out what a child can do (The VB-MAPP Skills Assessment), but also important to know what they can’t do, and analyze why they can’t do it The VB-MAPP Barriers Assessment is a tool that is designed to identify and score 22 different learning and language acquisition barriers Once a specific barrier has been identified, a more detailed descriptive and/or functional analysis of that problem is required There are many ways that a verbal repertoire or related skill can become defective, and an individualized analysis will be necessary to determine what the nature of the problem is for a specific child, and what intervention program might be appropriate

34 Verbal Behavior Milestones Assessment and Placement Program: The VB-MAPP Barriers Assessment Common Learning and Language Acquisition Barriers Instructional control (Escape/avoidance) Behavior problems Defective mand Defective tact Defective motor imitation Defective echoic (e.g., echolalia) Defective matching-to-sample

35 Verbal Behavior Milestones Assessment and Placement Program: The VB-MAPP Barriers Assessment Common Learning and Language Acquisition Barriers Defective listener repertoires (e.g., LD, LRFFC) Defective intraverbal Defective play and social skills Prompt dependent, long latencies Scrolling responses Defective scanning skills Failure to make conditional discriminations (C D s) Failure to generalize

36 Verbal Behavior Milestones Assessment and Placement Program: The VB-MAPP Barriers Assessment Common Learning and Language Acquisition Barriers Weak or atypical MOs Response requirements weakens the MO Self-stimulation Articulation problems Obsessive-compulsive behavior Reinforcement dependent Does not attend to people/materials

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41 Thank You! For an electronic version of this presentation go to:


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