"Verbal Behaviour is both a philosophy of ABA and a series of evidence based teaching techniques that focus the principles of ABA on the acquisition of language skills"-Robert Schramm

Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA)

What is Verbal Behaviour Analysis?

Behaviour analysts Dr. Vincent Carbone, Dr. Mark Sundberg and Dr. James Partington have helped popularize this approach.

VB is the latest style of ABA. It uses B. F. Skinner's  1957 analysis of Verbal Behaviour to teach and reinforce speech, along with other skills. Skinner described categories of speech, or verbal behaviour:

  • Mands are requests ("I want a drink.")
  • Echoes are verbal imitations, ("Hi")
  • Tacts are labels ("toy," "elephant") and
  • Intraverbals are conversational responses. ("What do you want?")

A VB program will focus on getting a child to realize that language will get him what he wants, when he wants it. Requesting is often one of the first verbal skills taught; children are taught to use language to communicate, rather than just to label items. Learning how to make requests also should improve behaviour. Some parents say VB is a more natural form of ABA.

Like many Lovaas ABA programs, a VB program will use errorless teaching methods, prompts that are later reduced and discrete trial training.