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And then the reverse I think is that if there aren’t gaps at that level, then it doesn’t matter!  So I think either it doesn’t matter, or it does matter but then it IS going back to lower-level gaps.  That is really the impression i have.  

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I compare it a little bit to dyslexia, if you need to be at the phonemic awareness level.  You can know a lot and still have phonemic awareness causing problems.  

I think the way that many reading programs start with letters and letter sounds and beginning blending, a lot of programs can talk about building episodic memory.  I think that can be done well by many different methods.  

But if you aren’t at the point of building episodic memory, do all these programs start low enough?  No.  And if you can, but have gaps that aren’t addressed?  No, I don’t think all these programs can fill gaps.

But if there aren’t those gaps, it doesn’t matter.  

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I also think there are a lot of confusing things about how Verbal Behavior is talked about.

The context matters a lot.

If someone has mentioned it to you, first, as a therapy approach it is more than just language. It is a comprehensive ABA approach.  It includes all kinds of areas, not just language.  

Other times people use it only to mean the functional analysis of language as described in a book by BF Skinner.  But when people say it and talk about a therapy approach, it is a lot broader than his book.  

So I think if someone working with him has mentioned it, it could mean a lot of different things depending on context.  

Then here is another thing.

It matters with therapy what the big picture is.  Is the big picture just a need for speech therapy?  Or are there multiple autism-related goals to be addressed?  Verbal Behavior really focuses on being comprehensive and addressing many autism-related goals, that many kids will need to be working on in a comprehensive way.

So one individual goal might be done totally the same way with Verbal Behavior or speech therapy.  But if one kid has 10 other areas to address, and another kid is really just needing to work on a language delay, those are not the same situation.  Verbal Behavior is more for kids who have those 10 different areas and language is very important but needs to be part of something comprehensive (to some extent at least). 

So if someone mentions it to you, they could be saying it really broadly. 

Because there is also a context where this is just one book BF Skinner wrote and it doesn’t exist in isolation from his other books or other approaches to behavior.  This is just his book applying other behavior principles to verbal behavior, it is STILL behavioral principles.  

Edit: in a way it if like saying you want a speech therapist who has a good understanding of ABA principles,  because Verbal Behavior is still using the same behavior principles.  They are just applied to verbal behavior.

And it is in the lower levels where it is really adding something to language learning.  At higher levels it currently (this may change with more stuff coming out in the future) just some theoretical model for language, it doesn’t have a lot of practice associated with it.  There *isnt* something like the VB-MAPP or ABLLS going past those levels.  It goes into other materials and he overlap with speech therapy is high.

And when it works better than speech therapy it may be more because of the ABA aspect of  getting really intentional in looking at all kinds of learner behaviors that are big deals in ABA but aren’t so much what speech therapists are really into.  They do it too, but it’s not one of their biggest things like for ABA.  That happens but it isn’t because of the theoretical model of  Verbal Behavior for language learning, as far as just looking at language; it is more big picture for overall what is going on with behavior (with verbal behavior just one form of behavior).  But I also think the higher levels of Verbal Behavor “the book” are mostly just for psychology professors and not super pertinent for people working with kids and teaching them.  It is my impression at this point at least.  






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Because the thing is — the functional analysis of language as a behavior, is going to be like the functional analysis of any other behavior.  It is going to be looking for ABCs of what happened and why someone said something, and viewed like any other behavior.  That is the heart of it to a great extent.  It is that idea applied to language, and then they go from there to say what the different functions are and what is important about them, which gives insight about how to teach language. 

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Chapter 7 of the Greer text identifies common missing capabilities and how to go back and fill them in. That's the issue. When you have a dc with autism who SEEMS to be catching on to language, they don't go through the VB-MAPP and ABLLS and all that. They look you funny like WHY. And then those kids have glitches later, because there were gaps.

I specifically chose the Greer text because it shows the continuum, how you get from pre-listener all the way through writer, writer as own reader, and verbal mediation for problem solving. The capabilities have a range from beginning to advanced, so it's not like you have or don't have inner speech or whatever. 

The function in VBA is the function the speech has on other people or yourself. It's why it's different from expressive language, because expressive language would just be a monologue, with no intended effect. I'm still chewing on that concept. They explain it in the book in multiple places, but it's sort of profound when you think about it. We're not just naming items. We're naming items in order to create an effect, to make something happen. It's makes more sense why the behaviorist wants to get the language into use, so it has power, so it is creating a consequence.

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I think it matters a lot for early learners and connecting the child’s motivation and making sure they receive positive reinforcement. It is really important and really good.

Then it does point out why some language things might be more difficult or need to be reinforced in some thoughtful ways.

But then it seems like it turns in to “social motivation” for a lot of things and then it goes along with overall things for increasing social motivation, making sure it is reinforcing to the child, and things like that, and making sure the motivation is being encouraged.

But then that can go back to pairing and creating meaningful interaction with the child, which is *very* Verbal Behavior stuff and increases language, but it’s not exactly “just” language.  

But to some extent — there is language that’s meeting a child’s needs and language that is more social.  And I don’t find it as helpful with the social side.  But I started with it at the “meeting the child’s needs” stage and so it is not new now?  

I think the stuff about how intraverbals are requiring a response to another person’s language is helpful, too.  That it is different in some ways to initiate or respond.  I think that’s helpful because so many children with autism are unbalanced between initiating or responding, in one direction or the other.  It’s helpful to think about some reasons for that, and not just expect the same skill level in initiating and responding.  

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If you have people who are knowledgeable say he is past the VB-MAPP, I think they can tell pretty well.

If somebody doesn’t know about it, they don’t know what kind of gaps there might be or quick ways to check on them.  It can be gaps that people aren’t familiar with unless they actually know about the VB-MAPP.  

But it’s not like every kid will have gaps.  Some will some won’t.  

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Lecka, a most important thing about people who don't develop inner speech?

Is that they develop a different way of thinking.  Where they actually use visual images as their thinking process.  Which is rather an opposite approach?

When you think of the words, chair or book?   These single words will have many images attached to them.

But for people that think in images, they retrieve a single image rather than word.   Which becomes complicated, if they retrieve multiple images of different books or chairs? 

As a result, they develop a way of thinking. That they describe as sort of like a ''movie'?  Where they retrieve a series of different images of books or chairs.  That will then retrieve the word.

Though this involves a developmental process,  as they acquire multiple different images of chairs or books, for example.   Then the ability to rapidly scan through a set of images, as they retrieve the word.   But the main point, is that it involves a very different thinking process.

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Okay, given that I have read Thinking With Pictures and I think I understand that process to some extent.....

I don’t see my son having that developmental process, because he does not know what detail to attend to.  He has learned a lot but I think there is some greater ability in some area for people who DO learn it in a developmental process.  

I’m really thinking right now of learning new vocabulary that is a little harder.  And I don’t think the syntax words are that hard for him, he has learned a lot in that area (but only by being taught, not by figuring it out in a natural or developmental process).

But I’m thinking of the word “luck” or “lucky.”  It is in a lot of kids books and he does not know what it means.  There is no one picture for lucky.  We could pick a picture for lucky, but if the picture was an example, then that example might not apply to another use.   But we could pick a picture and then explain with a new usage, how it related to the old usage.  I guess?  This is just beyond what I can figure out to do.  

But I am looking at a pre-school book about St Patrick’s Day that says in the description teaches children about luck.  I am hoping that can be a start.  

But I think that people who are figuring out these words that aren’t labeling objects, have some capability to do so developmentally, that my son doesn’t have to the same extent.  

So I don’t know if there is something different going on with him, or if it is overall the same developmental process but he needs more help to develop.  

I struggle to explain words to him and dictionary definitions can be too complicated,  because he would have to understand other words already to understand the definitions.  

I also haven’t read it in a few years,  but I did read The Autistic Brain by Temple Grandin and she said there are other styles besides thinking in pictures, but then my impression was it would be hard to tell until kids are older.

So I haven’t been sure that my son personally thinks in pictures, he could have another thinking style.  I don’t know.  

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