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Teaching Language to Children

Teaching Language to Children with Autism or Other Developmental Disabilities

This workshop is designed to help parents, educators, and other practitioners learn how to teach a child with autism or other developmental disabilities to communicate effectively. An overview of B.F. Skinner’s analysis of language will be given to explain the different types of expressive language skills (verbal operants) that a child needs to acquire along with a videotape review of effective methods typically used to teach those skills.

Participants will learn how to assess a child’s language abilities, and how to implement several important intervention strategies. A major emphasis will be placed on identifying methods to enhance and utilize motivational variables (establishing operations) to teach language in both structured teaching sessions and in daily activities. Techniques for coordinating the ongoing decision making necessary for effective language intervention and methods of data collection and techniques of tracking the acquisition of the skills will be presented.

This workshop is designed for parents, educators and other professionals who work with individuals with a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorders or other similar developmental disabilities. Participants will learn how to implement the assessment and teaching strategies presented in the book Teaching Language to Children with Autism or Other Developmental Disabilities that was co-authored by Dr. Partington.

Participants will be able to...

  • Identify examples of B.F. Skinner’s verbal operants.
  • Describe how curricular variables affect the motivation of young children with autism.
  • How teaching a child to mand for reinforcers results in the development of several other important learner skills.
  • Identify methods for developing and maintaining the motivation of young children with autism.
  • Conduct an initial behavioral language assessment such as to determine the most appropriate initial language intervention for young children with autism.
  • Identify the criteria for selection of the initial words to teach young children with autism who do not have expressive language skills.
  • Identify the critical elements of discrete trials instruction.
  • Explain how to perform a correction procedure in situations in which the student provides an incorrect response.
  • Explain how to develop intraverbal skills (ability to talk about people, items, places, events and experiences)..
  • Identify how the critical elements of discrete trial instruction can be implemented within the child’s typical daily events.
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