What is Verbal Behavior (VB)?


Verbal behavior is the functional analysis of language, rooted in the principles of ABA. The analysis is specific to how language develops and the conditions in which certain verbal behaviors occur. Applying the principle of ABA to teaching a child functional communication is the basis of our program. We approach teaching children to communicate through their motivation. We evaluate the things they desire and want and then develop a way for them to access it using the communication form that is best suited for them. Some children are able to talk or make sound approximations while other children may benefit from a sign language or modified sign language program. There are instances when both are combined to assist talker and listener understanding. Each child is individual and after a formal communication assessment has been completed a system for communication will be developed based on the individual needs of each student.

We emphasize the importance of verbal behavior and the necessity of incorporating it into everyday programming for children diagnosed with autism because it works! When a child is motivated to communicate they will!

Verbal behavior teaches a child to understand a word across the verbal operants. The verbal operants are:

  • Mand
  • Tact
  • Intraverbal
  • Echoic
  • Mimetic
  • Textual
  • Receptive
  • Motor Imitation (sign language)
  • Autoclitic