Resources For Parents

Building Emerging Social Skills

For many parents, it's very important that their children learn to play with and enjoy being with other children. Especially if parents are very social themselves, it may be very painful for them to see their children alone and isolated. Perhaps there is a feeling that their child "feels lonely" and the emotions the...

Teaching Social Skills

Parents often wonder why it appears to be so effortless for typically developing children to learn to enjoy playing together and interacting while it appears so difficult for their child with Autism. Children diagnosed on the Autism Spectrum differ among one another quite significantly so there is no "one" answer that...

Correction Procedures and Prompting

Introducing new targets: Whenever introducing a new target or if you think it is likely the child will miss a target, an instructor has a choice to either 1) transfer from a previously mastered...

Choosing First Words and Response Forms

1. First words should be chosen based on the individual child's interests and motivation. 

"Do's" and "Don'ts" for Teaching Children with Autism

Don't try to teach before you have an EO (establishing operation). Do begin teaching when you have something (or are something!) the child wants. If you can't "capture" an EO,

Evaluating the Child's Response to the Environment

Many children respond differently to a variety of sensory input (stimuli). Understanding the patterns of each child's response to the environment can assist parents and instructors in determining the types of toys or activities the child may enjoy (potential reinforcers) as well as assist in determining the types of...

Dealing With Behaviors Before They Happen

When we talk about manipulating the conditions before a behavior occurs (antecedent) we're talking about ways to avoid negative behaviors from happening in the first place. This should not be confused with how we react after a behavior occurs (consequence) which determines whether or not a behavior will be likely to...

Probe Data

Data is an important part of running a home program but should never interfere with teaching.

Rules of Reinforcement

Reinforcers should be reinforcing...

Teaching Reversals

Since the reversal targets require so much more discrimination on the part of the child, it is important to teach the responses slowly and make sure they are mastered to fluency. In addition, we want to be sure the child is demonstrating an "intraverbal link" by responding in multiple ways to similar questions an/or...

Teaching Signing as a Request (Mand)

If it has been determined that sign language is the response form to be used with a specific child, it is helpful if all those working with the child follow the same procedures to teach the child to sign. Appropriate prompting and prompt fading procedures will insure the child learns to use new signs with little...

Teaching the Child to Request (Mand)

Once you have established a variety of things the child is interested in (reinforcers) and have paired yourself with these reinforcers (become a conditioned reinforcer), teach him to ask for the item or activity. There are many different ways to do this based on both the current skills of the child and the way the...

Teaching the Child to Understand and Use Abstract Language

Some children with Autism are able to learn to ask for (mand), identify (receptive) and label (tact) concrete objects and actions with relative ease but show a great deal more difficulty learning other parts of speech that may be considered more "abstract" in nature such as adjectives, adverbs, prepositions and...

Teaching the Child To Use "Words" Instead of "Tantrums"

Many children with Autism use inappropriate behaviors in order to get their needs met. This can be very frustrating for parents and instructors to deal with because these behaviors can interfere with teaching as well as other activities of daily life. The fact is, people do what works for them! Whatever behaviors the...

Teaching the Vocal Child to Request (Mand)

Relevant Behavioral Terms Reinforcement: Something that happens after a behavior occurs and increases the likelihood that the same behavior will occur in the future. Positive Reinforcement: giving or applying something that the individual finds desirable and increases the future likelihood that a behavior will occur....

Terms and Definitions

**These definitions are intended to assist those without an extensive behavioral background to be able to acquire a functional use of the terms defined. As a result, they may not be "precise" from a behavioral standpoint.

Transfer Procedures

Our goal is to teach the child in a way that he will consistently be successful. One way to do this is to provide full prompts and gradually fade the prompts. Another way to do this is to use transfer procedures.

Teaching the Child to Play

When I tell parents that the first thing we want to do is teach their child to ask for things they want, I frequently hear, "But he doesn't want anything!". All children want something and there are things we can do to increase both the variety and number of things they want. (Increase potential reinforcers) I feel it...

Choosing Programs and Teaching Techniques

It's very difficult for any parent to hear that their child has a serious disability. Often parents go through specific stages of grief when coming to terms with this knowledge. On top to dealing with the pain associated with a diagnosis of Autism, many parents have expressed their frustration when they begin to...

Choosing Targets and Tracking Progress

Given the nature of a typical verbal behavior program, the choosing of targets goes hand in hand with the way you keep data. As one skill is mastered, it is often used to transfer to another verbal language function (operant). For example, mastered requests (mands) can then be transferred to labeling (tact) targets....

Teaching FFCs In the Natural Environment

FFCs refers to "features, functions, and classes". Once the child is able to mand a great many items as well as receptively identify them and label them, we can start FFC training. These types of responses teach the child to talk about things rather than just label them. What we are trying to teach the child is to...

Increasing Vocal Productions- Teaching the Child to Talk

Note: The author chose not to use phonetic symbols to designate sounds because the intended audience consists primarily of parents and/or professionals from other fields. An attempt was made to write words and sounds using sound-symbol associations typically taught through phonics. It is understood that it may be...

Common Questions/Answers Regarding Verbal Behavior

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is a science based on the philosophy of behaviorism.

Favorite Toys

This list includes "first toys" that have been found to be favorites of the children in our clinic. Please note that each child is different so choose those that appear to be similar to other things your child/student has found enjoyable or similar to some of the self-stimulating behaviors exhibited by the child.

Teaching Social Skills

Parents often wonder why it appears to be so effortless for typically developing children to learn to enjoy playing together and interacting while it appears so difficult for their child with Autism. Children diagnosed on the Autism Spectrum differ among one another quite significantly so there is no "one" answer that...

Teaching the Child to Answer Questions

Many children with Autism have difficulty answering questions. Parents often report that their child "knows the answers but doesn't understand the questions!" For example, the child may be able to point to (receptive) and label (tact) colors, but when asked, "What color?", may respond with the name (tact) of the item...

Behavioral Classification of Language (Skinner)

Mand- requesting -Asking for something. A "pure mand" occurs purely as a result of the EO or desire to have the item rather than having to be asked, "What do you want?".

Building Sentences

When should we start working on sentences?   The answer to this depends on the individual child but in general, two word combinations should be targeted as soon as the child has at least 50

Featured Blog Posts

No More, More
By Tracy Vail, MS, CCC-SLP, Autism Consultant and Heather Forbes, MA, CCC-SLP, BCBA There is currently a great deal of debate in the field of speech-language pathology about the kinds of words that should be taught first to nonverbal (or minimally verbal) individuals with communication impairments...

Testimonials

"Let's Talk is a great service.  The therapists work and cooperate with the parents/nannies by sharing tips, including us in the therapy so that we can help the child.  The child has had a great time at Let's Talk, he even...

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