Assessment of Children with Communication Challenges

In Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), there is often a focus on building skills in areas such as communication deficits in children for several reasons:

  1. According to the DSM-V, one of the core symptoms of Autism in both children and adults is the difficulty in effective communication. Children and adults with Autism often experience language delays, resulting in challenges in communicating, understanding, and social awareness.
  2. The acquisition and learning of language is considered a form of learned behavior called verbal behavior. Verbal behavior teaches many components of communication using the principles of ABA. Verbal behavior teaches language by connecting words with meaning and purpose.

Children with communication challenges are often assessed using a measure called the VB-MAPP, which stands for Verbal Behavior Milestones Assessment and Placement Program. This assessment breaks down communication into sixteen areas of language development children ages 0-4 years old typically display when acquiring language. These areas include expressive language (often referred to as vocal output), receptive language (often called listener skills), independent play, social play, and visual matching skills. The assessment also assesses common learning and language barriers inhibiting the development of language, and common skills and strengths the can enhance a child’s ability to learn in a less restrictive environment. The assessment can take anywhere from 2-10 hours to complete depending on a child’s skill level.

The VB-MAPP can be combined with other assessments, such as self-care assessments, to design a well-balanced and effective ABA treatment program for a child or adult with Autism.

If you are interested in learning more about different types of language and teaching different types of language to your child, the following book is recommended:

The Verbal Behavior Approach: How to Teach Children with Autism and Related Disorders

By Mary Lynch Barbera

In HomeABA Therapy

Are you looking for ABA services for your child in the comfort of your home? Are you looking for less stress in your life? Cornerstones Autism Services can help.

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