Natural Environment Teaching

Teaching Language During Daily Activities

This workshop is designed to help parents, educators and other practitioners who work with children learn how to teach a variety of language skills during routine daily activities.  

Children with autism have communication delays that usually require intensive language intervention that are often taught in structured teaching sessions. Unfortunately, the skills that are taught in these sessions often require additional steps to teach the child how to use those skills in their home and community settings.

However, there are numerous opportunities for parents and teachers to teach language skills to children during the everyday activities of daily living. By teaching language skills in the child’s natural environment, the skills are immediately useful for the child, thus making them more likely to be remembered because they are used on an ongoing basis.

During this workshop, a brief review of Skinner’s analysis of expressive language skills (verbal behavior) will be provided. Participants will then review videotapes of young children with autism in the home setting that demonstrate specific methodology for developing and maintaining the child’s participation in language development activities.

Participants will be able to...

  • Identify how basic language skills can be taught to young children with autism within the context of on-going daily activities.
  • Identify examples of Skinner’s verbal operants that are included in the teaching procedures.
  • Describe several examples as to how parents can maintain the motivation of young children during the language instruction.
  • Identify how to sequence daily events such that the child’s participation in targeted language activities results in reinforcers that are typically delivered non-contingently.