Troubleshooting ABA/VB Programs

Analyzing Motivational Variables and Trouble-Shooting Verbal Behavior Programs for Children with Autism

This workshop is designed to provide individuals who are familiar with The ABLLS-R with skills to analyze motivational problems and problems with the development of certain skill areas (e.g., spontaneous use of language and social interaction skills), and to provide individuals who are responsible for the development of programs with strategies for addressing those problems.

The Assessment of Basic Language and Learning Skills (The ABLLS®-R), based on B.F. Skinner's analysis of verbal behavior, provides a mechanism to analyze learner skills, develop a comprehensive language-based curriculum, and track skill acquisition for individuals with autism or other developmental disabilities.  Once the assessment is completed on a learner, it is important to develop a strategic teaching plan (IEP) that will guide the intervention to produce the most effective outcomes.

However, program teams frequently find that they are successful in developing certain skills but are ineffective in developing other skill areas. Skill acquisition is dependent upon trainers' ability to identify not only what skills need to be taught, but also how motivational issues are directly related to the implementation of the teaching strategies. Discussions regarding the analysis of problems in the acquisition of skills, evaluation of educational priorities, and determination of IEP objectives for several students will be conducted.

During the workshop, participants will review data from students' ABLLS-R, review proposed learning objectives, and observe videotapes of learner skills. The video reviews will include both early phases of an assessment and intervention, and later phases of treatment interventions. Pre- and post- ABLLS-R scores of the learners' performance will be reviewed.

Participants will be able to:

  • Identify at least two common problems that are related to the failure of students to make adequate progress in the development of critical learner skills
  • Identify how motivational issues are related to the acquisition of language skills
  • Describe how social reinforcement variable are related to the development of spontaneous verbal behavior
  • Identify how to directly shape critical language and social interaction skills