Communication In Child Communication

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Most people hear the word verbal behavior and automatically think of speech. Skinner defined verbal behavior as “behavior reinforced through the mediation of other persons needs” (Skinner, 2015, p. 2). It is in this definition that we can find understanding in the true meaning of verbal behavior; “any movement capable of affecting another organism may be verbal” (Skinner, 2015, p.14) if, when and how it affects the listener. Knowing this, we can understand that verbal behavior goes beyond vocalizations and can include other forms that affect the listener.
Children diagnosed with ASD usually have some form of communication delay, some may even have an absence of any meaningful verbal behavior. “The absence of vocal verbal behavior leaves minimally vocal children without an effective form of communication” (Carbone et al., 2010, p. 705). In this absence, children without effective forms of communication are usually left feeling frustrated and will demonstrate some sort of socially inappropriate behaviors like aggression. Through interventions goals, behavior analyst strive to achieve growth in the communicative repertoire of the child.
This goal of communication growth can be achieved by conducting interventions that teach efficient and socially appropriate mands in the child’s natural environment (Meadow & Brentari, 2018). “Mand training is recommended as an essential element of early language training programs for children with language delays” (Lee, Luke, &
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