A methodology for assessing the functions of emerging speech in children with developmental disabilities

Dorothea C. Lerman, Mandy Parten, Laura R. Addison, Christina M. Vorndran, Valerie M. Volkert, Tiffany Kodak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

28 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

An approach based on Skinner's (1957) theory of verbal behavior has been developed to understand and teach elementary communication skills to children with autism and developmental disabilities (Sundberg & Partington, 1998). However, few studies have directly examined the characteristics of emerging language in children with developmental disabilities. The purpose of this study was to develop and evaluate an assessment for identifying the elementary functions of vocal speech in children. Participants were 4 children with developmental disabilities, aged 6 years to 12 years, who exhibited at least one distinguishable vocal response (word or phrase) frequently in the natural environment. The assessment focused on three verbal operants delineated by Skinner (mand, tact, and intraverbal). One or more functions were identified for at least one vocal response of each child. Results suggested that this assessment would be useful for (a) evaluating Skinner's theory, (b) guiding decisions about language training for individual children, and (c) studying the nature of expressive language development in children with developmental disabilities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)303-316
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of applied behavior analysis
Volume38
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2005

Fingerprint

Developmental Disabilities
Disabled Children
disability
methodology
Verbal Behavior
Language Therapy
Language Development
Autistic Disorder
language
Language
Communication
language behavior
autism
Methodology
communication skills

Keywords

  • Autism
  • Communication training
  • Developmental disabilities
  • Functional analysis
  • Language
  • Speech
  • Verbal behavior

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Philosophy
  • Applied Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science

Cite this

A methodology for assessing the functions of emerging speech in children with developmental disabilities. / Lerman, Dorothea C.; Parten, Mandy; Addison, Laura R.; Vorndran, Christina M.; Volkert, Valerie M.; Kodak, Tiffany.

In: Journal of applied behavior analysis, Vol. 38, No. 3, 01.12.2005, p. 303-316.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Lerman, Dorothea C. ; Parten, Mandy ; Addison, Laura R. ; Vorndran, Christina M. ; Volkert, Valerie M. ; Kodak, Tiffany. / A methodology for assessing the functions of emerging speech in children with developmental disabilities. In: Journal of applied behavior analysis. 2005 ; Vol. 38, No. 3. pp. 303-316.
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