Echoic-to-Mand Transfer

Mom says “cookie,” toddler repeats “cookie!” When Grandpa signs “ball,” grandchild also uses sign language to sign “ball.” While enjoying a summer day at the beach, you turn to your friend and exclaim “I want ice cream.” A child demands “cartoons!” when they walk into the living room. After studying all day, the student puts Read more about Echoic-to-Mand Transfer[…]

Nonverbal Communication

What is nonverbal communication? In part, it is body language. Think about meeting someone for the first time, first impressions matter, which is why we wear our best outfit, give a firm handshake, walk with our heads up and shoulders back. Think about the last job interview you went to. You sat facing the interviewer Read more about Nonverbal Communication[…]

Teaching Verbal Requesting

The ability to use communication to get basic needs met is of major importance to our students. Verbal requesting (AKA: manding) is a skill that we emphasize from the beginner all the way through to the advanced learner.  It is an underlying theme taught in direct instruction, in NET and in play.  Requesting should remain Read more about Teaching Verbal Requesting[…]

Manding With ‘Wh Questions’

Many of our students struggle with initiating language and conversation.  This is why there is usually a strong emphasis on manding and requesting in an ABA program.  Teaching them to ask for things that they want builds a relationship of communication between the child and others. Basic manding teaches a child to ask for tings Read more about Manding With ‘Wh Questions’[…]

Expanding Language Skills – Part 2

In our last blog post, we discussed expanding language to 2-3 word phrases using verbs and attributes. In this post, we will discuss expanding language even further using one of our favourite materials – sequencing cards. There are various sequencing skills that the ABLLS assessment touches upon: visual performance of putting picture sequences in order Read more about Expanding Language Skills – Part 2[…]

Expanding Language Skills – Part 1

When working with a student who is just acquiring language, we spend a lot of time teaching how to answer questions.  “What does a dog say?” “What’s your name?” “What’s this?” “What do you do with a shoe?” The answers to these questions are often simple 1-word answers, which is a great place to be Read more about Expanding Language Skills – Part 1[…]

Function Over Form: Functional Communication Training

Behaviour is communication.  It is our students’ way of telling us how they feel or what they need. Behaviour can have many different forms but what it looks like is not as important as what it’s trying to tell us.  The function of the behaviour is the part that tells us WHY the behaviour is Read more about Function Over Form: Functional Communication Training[…]

Why Picture Communication Supports Talking (And Doesn’t Replace It)

This is a continuation from last week – 5 Steps to a Simple Communication System. The concern I often hear is: Why should we use picture communication if we want the child to talk?  We don’t want the pictures to replace words. Imagine that you were dropped in a foreign country where you don’t speak Read more about Why Picture Communication Supports Talking (And Doesn’t Replace It)[…]

5 Steps to a Simple Communication System

I was observing a client of mine who is in a group setting.  I couldn’t help but notice another student in the group (not one of mine).  This other child is not able to speak and really wanted to play with the play-doh.  So what did he do?  He screamed until the teacher gave in Read more about 5 Steps to a Simple Communication System[…]