2021 MOABA Conference

Andresa De Souza, Ph.D., BCBA-D, LBA

Andresa De Souza, Ph.D., BCBA-D, LBA

University of Missouri, St. Louis


About the Presenter

Received a Masters’s in Behavior Analysis and Therapy from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale under the supervision of Dr. Ruth Anne Rehfeldt and a Ph.D. in Applied Behavior Analysis from the University of Nebraska Medical Center under the supervision of Dr. Wayne Fisher. She completed her Post-Doctoral Fellowship at Marcus Autism Center and Emory University in Atlanta. During the course of her studies, Dr. De Souza gained valuable experience in early-intervention applications for children with autism, the assessment and treatment of severe problem behavior, and autism diagnosis. She has provided supervision for behavior analysts and worked as a consultant for international sites. She has published several peer-reviewed articles on the applications of Skinner’s verbal behavior for the intervention of children with language delays. Her research focuses on strategies for teaching verbal behavior, the arrangement of conditions that can facilitate the emergence of novel language, and parent and teacher’s training.

Saturday November 13, 2021

Strategies for Teaching Verbal Behavior to Children with Developmental Disabilities

Abstract: Goals related to language and social communication skills in children with developmental disabilities are a very important part of the intervention as they provide the basis for the acquisition of complex repertoire such as social and academic skills (Sundberg & Partington, 1999). Furthermore, deficits in functional communication skills can lead to the development of challenging behavior ranging from mild to severe (Sundberg & Michael, 2001). Skinner (1957) developed a taxonomy of verbal behavior and referred to the different functional responses as verbal operants. Focused behavior interventions for children with developmental disabilities typically target each verbal operant individually and build up complexity as children expand their verbal repertoire (Sundberg & Partington, 1999). This workshop will explore some strategies to teach verbal operants (echoic, mand, tact, and intraverbal) and overcome some difficulties commonly observed when working on listener responding repertoire. Furthermore, we will discuss how variables can be arranged to facilitate the emergence of novel verbal behavior.