What is the Verbal Behavior Approach? – Applied Behavior Analysis Procedures

What is the Verbal Behavior Approach? – Applied Behavior Analysis Procedures


Dr.Mary Barbera: I didn’t create the Verbal
Behavior Approach, I followed other professionals in the field. Namely, Mark Sundberg, Dr. Jack Michael, Dr.
Vincent Carbone and many others who’ve influenced my ideas about ABA and the Verbal Behavior
Approach. So this will be about the differences between
a traditional ABA approach like the [Lovaas Approach] versus the Verbal Behavior Approach
to ABA. Hi I’m Dr. Mary Barbera, autism mom, Board
Certified Behavior Analyst, and best selling author of the Verbal Behavior Approach, How
to Teach Children with Autism and Related Disorders. I’m not sure if you know this yet but I recently
started a Podcast called, Turn Autism Around with Dr. Mary Barbera. I’m going to try something a little bit different,
I’m going to keep going with these video blogs but sometimes I’m going to pull out something
from my Podcast and cover it right here on video for you. So today I’m going to show you a segment,
short segment, but this, these video blogs will continue on YouTube and if you haven’t
subscribed to my YouTube channel, you can do that now, but right now I’m just going
to chunk it down and give you a short little snippet about those differences between ABA
and Verbal Behavior. The addition of the Verbal Behavior Approach
is not a different approach, it’s an addition, an extension of Dr. Lovaas’ research and it
was kind of a parallel, almost pre-dated if we think about Dr. Michael and his graduate
students doing the work in the Verbal Behavior world in the 1970s. This didn’t just, Verbal Behavior Approach
didn’t just happen in the last few years, I mean this has been extensively studied as
a parallel but very complementary and a very much of an extension of Lovaas’ work. I think I had the great advantage of working
with both methodologies, with the Lovaas strict replication site ABA and then moving to a
Verbal Behavior ABA approach. In the beginning it was, it was rough. Going from something that systematized, that
together, that formalized to kind of winging it and now I think with my book and the work
of the Verbal Behavior Project and the extensive research in the analysis of Verbal Behavior
Journal and other journals extending all the research, I think we’re in a much better place
to be providing more systematized delivery. You know, one funny question I get, it’s not
really funny but, a common question I used to get more is, “Which is better, ABA or Verbal
Behavior?” That’s like saying “Which is better, soda
or Sprite, or which is better, religion or Catholicism? You see religion or soda are the umbrella
terms and then underneath it are the types of soda. So I consider the Verbal Behavior Approach
as a type of ABA but a really necessary part of ABA, just like you would add the precision
teaching ABA procedure, you know we, I use precision teaching all the time too, so it
doesn’t have to be a competition, we just want to make sure our ABA procedures are as
good as possible, are resulting in increasing language and learning skills and decreasing
problem behaviors. Being stuck with old protocols, not individualized
enough, is not going to help kids reach their fullest potential. My goal for every client, or even for my typical
son or any typical kids out there, is that they each be as safe as possible, as independent
as possible, and as happy as possible. I think we can do that by implementing Verbal
Behavior Procedures and collaborating and training and working with parents to make
home, school, community, everything merge so that children are making gains in all areas
and are reaching their fullest potential in all areas. I don’t see that when people stick to a certain
methodology at school only that’s pretty secretive about what you’re doing and how it’s working,
and so I think the Verbal Behavior Approach that enables being commercially available,
and now the VB mapping commercially available, I think is, has done a real service to helping
kids because its gotten procedures and techniques available to parents who are a huge stakeholder
in this and are usually the biggest advocates. Overall, in summary, there are key differences
between a Lovaas ABA Approach and a Verbal Behavior Approach. With the Verbal Behavior Approach we focus
right away on expressive language and we do it based on the verbal [inaudible], with an
assessment, careful programming. There’s a heavy focus on pairing and manding
and wanting kids to want to be with us, to want to run to the table, not to get away
from us. We use errorless teaching, not a no, no prompt
procedure, which used to be, I’m not sure if that’s still what the Lovaas Institute
uses but we use an errorless teaching approach so there is less stress because there is less
errors and we use individualized Verbal Behavior Assessments so each assessment is, we take
a look at strengths and needs and we really analyze language to the fullest extent possible. There’s also, usually with a VB Approach we
use cold probe data instead of trial by trial data so there’s usually a lot less data collection
and more time for teaching. Those are some of the key differences, I’m
sure I missed some and I wholeheartedly agree that we need more research and on the use
of the Verbal Behavior Approach. I would encourage researchers who might be
listening to collaborate with both practitioners and parents who are reporting good transformations
because like myself and other practitioners may not have the time and the resources to
do controlled research and we need to build a village to help get the research done so
that everyone’s ABA treatment can be as good as possible. I hope you enjoyed that short little clip
about the differences between traditional ABA and the Verbal Behavior Approach and I
hope that you’ll check out my Podcast at marybarbera.com/podcast where you can listen to all the episodes that
have been recorded so far. If you like what you hear, I would love it
if you would subscribe to my Podcast, leave me a rating and review and share the Podcasts
so other parents and professionals of toddlers through young adults can benefit. Thanks for watching and I’ll see you right
here next week.

3 thoughts on “What is the Verbal Behavior Approach? – Applied Behavior Analysis Procedures

  1. 5:36. I want to mark this for later. I am in grad school for ABA. I was getting discouraged about the field until I heard about Verbal Behavior. Sounds like I would love do this.

  2. Is the Verbal Behavior Approach effective with kids who already have above age appropriate command of the language? Or is it more for non-verbal or speech delayed kids? Thanks in advance!

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