Autism Society records most keynote and concurrent sessions at their annual conferences. You can see and hear those recordings by purchasing full online access, or individual recordings.
Initially, the therapist must conduct a reinforcer inventory. Specific reinforcers are then paired with specific sounds that the child has been reported or observed to produce. The child is then prompted to imitate a sound to gain access to a preferred object or action. If the child is not able to imitate the initial target sounds, then to increase sound production he is then rewarded for any vocal response. Using shaping procedures, including differential reinforcement of successive approximations, sounds are shaped into words and word approximations. After an initial verbal repertoire has been established, receptive language targets are introduced. Increasing utterance length is targeted as well. Single word responses are then shaped into longer utterances using differential reinforcement. Additionally, VBT utilizes a very engaging, fast paced, and animated instructional presentation style which differs significantly from traditional ABA programs.
Children receiving VBT are typically seen for 1-2 two hours per week by a VBT trained therapist. Parents are involved in the therapy sessions and work with their children at home 2-4 times a day for 20 to 30 minute sessions. The cost for a VBT is typically about $3,000 to $5,000 per year. In comparison, a typical ABA or Verbal Behavior program can range from $30,000 to $50,000 per year. VBT program outcomes often match or exceed outcomes for more traditional ABA and VB programs.
This presentation presents case studies of four subjects who were diagnosed with ASD. Ages ranged from 18 to 28 months. Three of the children had been receiving more traditional speech therapy for 6 months on longer and were still nonverbal. The fourth child received only VBT starting at 18 months of age. At three years of age, as the children were aging out of early intervention programs and into public school programs, none of the subjects qualified for speech therapy because their receptive and expressive language skills were too high.
In recent years, the VBT program has been utilized to prevent a diagnosis autism or at least decrease the severity of the disorder in children at risk for a diagnosis of autism.
During this presentation, participants will learn how to select initial target sounds for speech production. Participants will also learn how to conduct a reinforcer inventory. Participants will learn how to pair specific sounds with specific reinforcers. Participants will also learn strategies for teaching sound imitation and for shaping sounds into words Participants will also learn how to help children gain receptive language skills. This session would be appropriate for Speech-Language Pathologists, Behavior Analysts, Teachers, and Parents.
Content Area: Communication
LorRainne Jones, M.A., CCC-SLP, Ph.D.
Director, Kid Pro Therapy Services
Kid Pro Therapy Services