A Language Intervention Program Based on the VB-MAPP

A Language Intervention Program Based on the VB-MAPP

A Language Intervention Program Based on the VB-MAPP Mark L. Sundberg, Ph.D., BCBA-D (www.marksundberg.com) Steps to Beginning an Intervention Program Conduct a VB-MAPP assessment The purpose of the assessment is to determine a childs skills and barriers in order to design an individual program that best fits the child

Determine the childs VB-MAPP level (1, 2, or 3) Determine skill strengths and weaknesses Work on balancing out the skills VB-MAPP: Level 1 Developing an Intervention Program for a Child in Level 1 1) Identify reinforcers and MO levels 2) Identify existing skills (e.g., mands, tacts, imitation) 3) Identify barriers and conduct necessary descriptive

or functional analyses (e.g., instructional control, obsessive behaviors, self-stim) 4) Identify response form (speech, signs, PECS) 5) Determine baseline levels 6) Develop IEP goals based on VB-MAPP scores Developing an Intervention Program for a Child in Level 1 7) Measurement and data collection (objectivity) 8) Use DTT or NET, or both? 9) General teaching setting (controlled environment, materials prepared, data sheets, reinforcers ready)

10) Daily schedule 11) Parent training Intervention Program Level 1: Mand Training Motivation Response Child wants cookie cookie Specific Reinforcement Child receives cookie Where to Start Mand Training?

What motivates a specific child? When is that motivation strong? Can that motivation be used (captured or contrived) to teach a mand? Make a list of potential motivators and the related reinforcers Select the first few words to teach Words that Should be Avoided

Words that are related to a variety of motivators (e.g., More, Please, Mine, Yes, Help, Pointing) Words that are related to motivators from general categories (e.g., Eat, Play, Toys) Words for removing an aversive (e.g., Break, All done, Mine, No, Go play) Words that are related to items that are hard to deliver (e.g., Swimming, Bike ride) Words that are related to items that are hard to remove (e.g., Gum, Outside) Words that are related to politeness (e.g., Please, Thank you)

Selecting the First Words to Teach as Mands Words that are related to strong motivation for an item Words that are related to items that involve slow satiation so multiple trials can be conducted Words that are related to a specific item (i.e., allows for prompting)

Words that are related to items that are consumed or dissipate Words that are related to items that are easy to deliver immediately Words that are related to items that are easy to remove when necessary Words that involve a response form that is already in the repertoire (e.g., echoic) Words that do not rhyme or sound to similar to other words Words that will be used in the natural environment Examples of First Words to Teach as Mands Specific food items (e.g., apple, chip, cookie, cracker, banana) Specific drinks (e.g., juice, milk)

Toys (e.g., ball, car, bubbles, train, playdoh, puzzle, drum) Physical actions (e.g., up, push, spin, tickles, hugs, swing) Individualized reinforcers (e.g., hat, book, music, video) People or pets (e.g., mom, dad, Maggie) Issues Concerning Motivative Operations (MOs) and Mands

All mands are controlled by motivating operations (MOs) There must be an MO at strength to conduct mand training MOs vary in strength across time, and the effects may be temporary MOs must be either captured or contrived to conduct mand training MOs may have an instant or gradual onset or offset High response requirement may weaken an MO Instructors must be able to identify the presence and strength of an MO, and use it when it is there Instructors must be able to reduce existing negative behavior controlled by MOs Instructors must know how to bring verbal behavior under the control of MOs Intervention Program Level 1: Mand Training for a Child With Some Echoics

Identify a motivator that is currently strong (e.g., bubbles) Have the bubbles present Provide some noncontingent bubbles first, make it fun Pair the word bubbles with the delivery of the bubbles Begin training by giving an echoic prompt and delaying the delivery of the bubbles There are 4 antecedents (MO, object, echoic, verbal prompt) Intervention Program: Level 1 Fading the Echoic Prompt The goal is to transfer control from the echoic prompt to

the MO and the object Partial prompt Delayed prompt Combination of delay and partial Fading out the Echoic Prompt Echoic Transfer Procedure + Fade Prompt MO Object say bubbles Right, Say

+ _ Echoic prompt + Transfer Reinforce! (blow bubbles) Transfer of Stimulus Control Procedure ProbePromptFade = Transfer (PPFT) Steps in the transfer procedure

1) Present target SD + verbal prompt (What do you want?) 2) If correct..reinforce 3) If incorrect present echoic prompt 4) If echoic is correct repeat #1 (fade out the prompt, i.e., What do you want while holding up the reinforcer) 5) Add distracter trial (e.g., an imitation trial) 6) Repeat cycle with more distracters, and use less prompting Strengthening the Response by Adding Distracter Trials Prompt

MO Object say bubbles Fade + say Distracter Trial: Tap table Transfer say + +

Generalization A specific word should occur under a wide variety of circumstances Different settings Different people Different noise level and distractions Different carrier phrases Different tone of voice, pitch, intonation, prosody, and volume Different materials Combinations of these

Teaching Format Basic behavior modification procedures Discrete trial (Stimulus/MOResponse Consequence) Short sessions (1-25 minutes) Training on the floor, at a table, playground, etc. Mixed VB format (mand, imitation, echoic, listener, MTS) Focus on the mand and tact Immediate Goals

Teach the child to mand-tact free from echoic (or imitative for signers) prompts Teach the child that he can gain access to reinforcers by manding Teach the child that the initiating stimulus may be visual, auditory, or both Teach the child to be a speaker and a listener Gain instructional control in a positive way Establish the instructor as a conditioned reinforcer, make learning fun Avoid the temptation to increase the size of the sentence (e.g., I want..). It is more functional for the child to increase the number

of mands rather than the words used in one mand Expanding the Mand-Tact Repertoire Following the acquisition of two unprompted mand-tacts, add 1-2 new mand-tacts Use the same criteria suggested above for selecting new words Dont worry about fading out the object yet Focus on single words only, no carrier phrases Data collection: First trial data

Basic Data Sheet Expanding the Mand-Tact Repertoire Increase the focus on imitation, RD, echoic, and MTS Program for generalization After a few mands are acquired it may be appropriate to start tact training No formal RFFC or Intraverbal training yet Carefully analyze errors and correct early Watch for emerging barriers (e.g., scrolling, prompt bound, rote mands, reinforcer dependency)

Intervention Program Level 1: Tact Training Nonverbal SD Child sees a dog Response dog Generalized Reinforcement Child receives praise When to Start Tact Training?

Start tact training as soon as possible, However. If the child does not have any mands the initial focus should be on establishing mands If a child cannot emit any echoic or imitative behavior the initial focus should be on using mands and pairing procedures to help to establish echoic or imitative skills If the child demonstrates severe behavior problems or noncompliance, it may be that these issues (along with mand training) are more of a priority If the child can easily emit several echoic or imitative responses, and has a few mands, then tact training should begin immediately

Selecting the First Words to Teach as Tacts Nouns (3-D) that are relevant to the child (e.g., shoe, chair, car, cat, ball, spoon, book) Items that may also be reinforcing (combining mand and tact training) Use items that can be clearly identified (e.g., some toys have multiple names)

Select items that are easy to present, readily available, and easy to manage in teaching sessions Use words or signs that are already in the childs echoic or imitation repertoire Selecting the First Words to Teach as Tacts Use words and signs that are easy to pronounce or formulate Select items that are clearly distinct from each other Select targets that are different from each other (they dont

rhyme, or start with the same letter) Use items that the child can already select as a listener Make use of the next 10 words list to pre-select new tacts Select items that can be easily generalized Use the First 300 nouns language list (Roden & Sundberg, 2010) Tact Training: Transfer From Echoic to Tact Echoic Transfer Procedure What that? Object (shoe) say shoe Right, Whats that?

+ _ Echoic prompt + + Reinforce! (tickle) Strengthening the Response by Adding Distracter Trials What that? Object (shoe) say shoe +

Right, Whats that? Distracter Trial: Tap table Right, Whats that? + + Adding New Tacts

Use three days of first trial correct data (cold probe) Add the acquired target to the generalization list Conduct listener trials (should already be happening) Add a new tact when an existing target has met criteria Use the Next 10 word list to select new target tacts Conduct daily maintenance and generalization trials on mastered tacts Add the mastered target to the 300 Nouns list This list will later be used for selecting targets for noun-verb combinations, etc., LRFFCs, and intraverbals Avoid the temptation to add adjectives, prepositions, adverbs, etc.

Echoic and Imitation Incorporate echoic and imitation into mand, tact, listener and matching sessions, as well as play, social, self-help, and everyday natural environment activities, etc. Unless The skills are very weak and need specific speech therapy or training time Standard teaching procedures of establishing stimulus control through prompting, fading and differential reinforcement There are several additional ways to increase vocalizations:

use a mand frame pairing procedures use augmentative communication use in context echoic trials (out of context also) differential reinforcement of vocalizations and shaping Teaching Listener Skills

Begin with specific actions (e.g., clap, jump, sit, come here, run) Use the well-established behavioral procedures of prompting, fading, and differential reinforcement (Lovaas, 1977) Begin listener discrimination training (LD) as soon as possible Follow the sequence of listener skills presented in the VB-MAPP Listener Task Analysis Teach tacts and LDs at the same time (for Level 1 and most of Level 2 skills) Array management is critical: Get away from a neat array of 3 ASAP! Use large and messy arrays, scenes, and the natural environment Visual Perceptual Skills and Matching-to-Sample (MTS)

An important part of an early intervention program Teaching procedures involve the standard establishment of stimulus control through prompting, fading, and differential reinforcement Recommend following the sequence of matching skills presented in the VB-MAPP MTS can be used to help establish a variety of more advanced skills such as Advanced scanning skills and attending

Natural environment training Listener discriminations LRFFC categorization Intraverbal categorization Sample Classroom Schedule Basic Elements of Teaching Tacts and Conducting a Tact Session Have a variety of reinforcers available and ready to deliver Make sure the reinforcers are valuable at the current moment Know the level of the childs existing tact repertoire

Know how to conduct each of the basic six procedures (i.e., mand, tact, listener discriminations (LD), echoic, imitation, and matching to-sample) Have a collection of items from a list of known tacts available for interspersal (mixed VB), successful tacting momentum, generalization, maintenance, and tacting practice (frequently rotate this material and be able to conduct all these procedures) Basic Elements of Teaching Tacts and Conducting a Tact Session

Identify the current targets (use the Next 10 words list and selection system) Have the target materials ready at the teaching session Prepare the material prior to the session and keep it in the childs materials bin Have a first trial data sheet prepared and ready to use. Take data on the targets only Know the best quality response that is targeted Know the various prompt levels Basic Elements of Teaching Tacts and Conducting a Tact Session

Use a changing reinforcement criterion within a session (require higher quality responding on each trial if possible) Use the opportunity to mand as a reinforcer, if possible Keep the student engaged as an active responder Teach the new Listener LD skill along with the tact Be able to read the data, and share the data with other staff at regular staff meetings Be able to work the tacts into the childs daily routine (outside of the formal teachinguse NET Natural Environment Teaching) Conduct tact training as interspersal activities in all other sessions, including groups, recess, snack, etc. (the NET) Staff and Parent Skills

There are a specific set of teaching skills that are essential for advancing an early learner through the VB-MAPP Level 1 targets These skills may take many months to learn and regular training and supervision by professionals skilled in behavioral psychology and Skinners analysis of verbal behavior These skills include: Basic behavioral teaching procedures (prompting, fading, shaping reinforcement, data collection, etc.) The basic elementary verbal operants (e.g., mand, tact, intraverbal)

Child management skills Common sense Staff and Parent Skills Some Basic Elements of Teaching in an ABA/VB Program Staff (and parents) need to be able to explain: What is discrete trial training? (DTT, ABA, VB, NET) How do you find and use reinforcers? Why pair yourself with reinforcers? What is meant by stimulus control (SD control)? What are prompts? What is fading? What is differential reinforcement What is a prompt hierarchy? What is generalization?

Staff and Parent Skills

Staff (and parents) need to be able to use the following prompting procedures: Physical Imitative/echoic Tact prompts Intraverbal (English word to prompt a sign) Gestural/positional/eye Direct verbal Indirect verbal All need to know how to fade these prompts and transfer stimulus control to the target SD/MO Staff and Parent Skills

Staff and parents need to be able to define and exemplify Mand (and why it is important to the child) Tact Imitation Echoic Matching-to-sample (MTS) Listener skills Listener responding by function, feature, and class (LRFFC) Intraverbal Staff and Parent Skills

Staff and parents need to be able to teach and take data on Manding skills Tacting skills Imitation skills Echoic skills Matching-to-sample (MTS) Listener skills Listener responding by function, feature, and class (LRFFC)

Intraverbal skills Also, all need to learn how to incorporate these skills into nonstructured, functional, and daily social activities Basic Components of an ABA/Verbal Behavior Program Teaching procedures are based on standard ABA methodology (e.g., systematic use of reinforcement, prompting, fading, shaping, extinction, generalization, chaining, data collection, etc.) Has a mix of Direct Teaching (DTT) and Natural Environment Training (NET) Direct (Structured) Teaching is instructor led, with specific targets, a

progressive curriculum, and systematic use of the basic teaching procedures, data collection, etc. (structured teaching can and should be conducted in a natural setting, but is usually more difficult) NET involves teaching language skills during a childs everyday, functional, and social activities (e.g., play, arts & crafts, snack, recess, self-care, downtime, daily routines, outings, transportation) Basic Components of an ABA/Verbal Behavior Program

Mands (requests) are an important part of early language development Pairing (staff member becomes conditioned reinforcer) is an important part of every day, and always part of working with children Begin table-top work with skills that the child can already do, then begin to increase the demand as instructional control is obtained Sessions should be a mixture of verbal skills (i.e., mand, tact, echoic) with the opportunity to mand as the main reinforcement for the target response Playing equals learning, use play to actively build skills The child should be making frequent requests for desired actions, items, and activities with the mands becoming more generalized and appropriate Basic Components of an ABA/Verbal Behavior Program

Words are taught through all functional categories of language (verbal operants) Staff member captures and contrives situations to create motivational conditions Errorless prompting procedures are generally used (as opposed to punishment (NO) and trial and error) Encourages frequent responding when appropriate (fluency) Fast paced instruction keeps the child on task (but not all the time) Skills are generalized immediately Retention probes are conducted to make sure the skills that are acquired are maintained

Basic Components of an ABA/Verbal Behavior Program Tasks are mixed and varied so child is thinking on his toes Difficult tasks are interspersed with easy tasks to keep level of reinforcement high (i.e., control for ratio strain) Transfer procedures are used to make learning easier Natural language is used, staff member should not use robotic language (e.g., What is it? Put with same)

Negative reinforcement (e.g., All done, Break) should not be used Goals/Skills are established from a functional language curriculum (e.g., VB-MAPP) Program should be consistently supervised by trained professionals www.AVBPress.com

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