#005: Using ABA and the Verbal Behavior Approach to Treat Autism

There has been a steady shift from the traditional Lovaas style ABA programs to a Verbal Behavior approach. Most people assume that these two methods are mutually exclusive philosophies—they aren’t. The Verbal Behavior Approach is a type of ABA program.

I’ve used the terms ABA approach and Verbal Behavior approach a lot in my podcasts before, but I haven’t really outlined exactly what those terms mean—if you don’t speak “Behavior Analyst,” then you’re in luck because today I explain those terms in detail. . . at least from my perspective.

Catherine Maurice put the classic Lovaas study on the map for many with her book, Let Me Hear Your Voice. Let me tell you, this was life changing for me!

However, after a year of Lovaas type ABA, I noticed my son Lucas wasn’t making a ton of gains, so I began researching other methods. This led to my switch from exclusively using the Lovaas approach and my shift to the Verbal Behavior approach. Almost instantly, I started seeing a change in my son that I didn’t expect!  As a professional in the field, I’ve used the Verbal Behavior approach with hundreds of kids.

So, in this episode,  I cover the key differences between the Lovaas ABA approach and a Verbal Behavior approach, and why I believe it’s important to add the VB approach to existing autism programs.

Mentioned in this episode:

The Verbal Behavior Approach, by Dr. Mary Barbera
—Let Me Hear Your Voice, by Catherine Maurice
—Behavioral Intervention for Children with Autism and Developmental Disorders, by Catherine Maurice
—Verbal Behavior, by BF Skinner
—Teaching Language to Children with Autism or Other Developmental Disabilities, by Mark Sundberg and James Partington
—The Stat, by Wendy Stone (screening tool for toddlers)
Dr. Mary Barbera Workshops

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