Comparing ABA to VB

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lookingforanswers
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Comparing ABA to VB

Postby lookingforanswers » Thu May 18, 2006 1:47 pm

A post by Wolf's rain made me wonder how ABA and VB are alike or different, exactly? I know ABA but don't know much about VB.

Wolf's Rain
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Postby Wolf's Rain » Thu May 18, 2006 2:15 pm

Verbal Behavior is a book written by BF Skinner. It looks into the interaction of people in a way that might be termed communication. A verbal behavior is a behavior that is mediated by another person. This is why I said in the previous post that, in truth, VB is not separate from ABA. It's the same as saying geometry is not separate from math.

VB is a form of ABA that focuses on Skinner's work in verbal behavior. It uses his ideas of "mands", "tacts", and "intraverbals". These are all different types of verbal behavior and VB tries to break them down and teach them in a style similar to what you'd expect in ABA (ie. DTT, shaping, prompting, reinforcment, etc).

There are other ideas I associate with VB, but really they are just good ABA practices. Things such as pairing reinforcement, teaching to fluidity, NET (natural environment teaching), etc.

irenes
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Postby irenes » Thu May 18, 2006 10:29 pm

hi
Its my understanding that ABA is more of a general methodology of teaching based on observation of behavior and data collection and analysis. In its most common form ABA is the practice of teaching in a discrete trial format- SD, response, prompt, reinforcement.
So it is a good model for HOW to teach but what to teach is pretty wide-open.

VB is an offshoot of ABA that follows skinner's verbal behavior principles and terminology and uses that as basis for determining WHAT to teach. The manding, tacting etc. are developmental stages associated with language... When kids start VB they are given an assessments called the ABELLS test which are items from different learning domains in a progression that is illustrated on a big chart. So when your child's VB program is set up this chart is used as a basis for what to start teaching. All the boxes on the ABELLS chart represent a skill and are lettered/numbered. Dr. Vincent Carbone is the leader in this method- he runs workshops for parents and staff. See his website.

There is also a difference in data collection in VB- it is less structured and attempts to free up the teacher from a lot of extra work. For example, instead of taking data in 10 trial blocks, they might use notecards that they flip thru with skills on each one.. and only mark down those the child gets wrong.

But the last poster is 100% correct in that all good ABA programs incorporate developmental goals and should also be flexible when it comes to data collection.
proud mom of zachary age 3 1/2 with PDD-NOS

irenes
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Postby irenes » Thu May 18, 2006 10:29 pm

hi
Its my understanding that ABA is more of a general methodology of teaching based on observation of behavior and data collection and analysis. In its most common form ABA is the practice of teaching in a discrete trial format- SD, response, prompt, reinforcement.
So it is a good model for HOW to teach but what to teach is pretty wide-open.

VB is an offshoot of ABA that follows skinner's verbal behavior principles and terminology and uses that as basis for determining WHAT to teach. The manding, tacting etc. are developmental stages associated with language... When kids start VB they are given an assessments called the ABELLS test which are items from different learning domains in a progression that is illustrated on a big chart. So when your child's VB program is set up this chart is used as a basis for what to start teaching. All the boxes on the ABELLS chart represent a skill and are lettered/numbered. Dr. Vincent Carbone is the leader in this method- he runs workshops for parents and staff. See his website.

There is also a difference in data collection in VB- it is less structured and attempts to free up the teacher from a lot of extra work. For example, instead of taking data in 10 trial blocks, they might use notecards that they flip thru with skills on each one.. and only mark down those the child gets wrong.

But the last poster is 100% correct in that all good ABA programs incorporate developmental goals and should also be flexible when it comes to data collection.
proud mom of zachary age 3 1/2 with PDD-NOS

lookingforanswers
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Postby lookingforanswers » Thu Jun 22, 2006 8:42 pm

Could someone explain how a drill using Lovaas ABA and a drill using Verbal Behavior would be different? Do you know the verbal imitation drills in ABA, where the therapist says, "Say ball" and the child says, "ball." How would a Verbal Behavior therapist do that kind of drill, or would you skip those kind of drills in VB?

I'm trying to understand how ABA and VB would be different if you were watching a home program? :)

LM
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Postby LM » Thu Jun 22, 2006 9:56 pm

From my rookie mom observations here at home:

In a VB program, if the child wanted the ball the therapist would hold the ball and say "Ball?" then wait for a response from the child, if none, repeat "Ball?" - if the child responds, give ball, if not, therapist says "ball" as she hands it to the child.

In an aba program if you were doing verbal imitation the therapist would say "say ball" and the child would either say ball, or attempt to say it hopefully), and then in successive trials the word or sound would be shaped.

My gut tells me that aba is good for shaping articulation, but does the child necessarily get the object/label correspondence?

Winnie
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Postby Winnie » Thu Jun 22, 2006 10:16 pm

If you were observing teaching of an echoic (verbal imitation) response, some of the differences might be apparent in some of the teaching techniques -- prompting, correction (feedback), interspersal of already mastered items -- a lot depends on the skill of the therapist. A VB therapist might be more inclined to teach a child to imitate as a request (mand) as this capitalizes on the what the child considers reinforcing at the moment (just an example).

Generally speaking, a Lovaas program and a VB program differ on how teaching language is approached. VB is a language-based program (Skinner describes language as a behavior), and focuses more so on language and the reinforcing nature of communication itself (especially initially). Manding (requesting) is a top priority (especially initially) and capitalizes on the child's motivation to receive an item that he deems reinforcing. Pairing (the therapist associating herself with "good" things and not initially placing demands on the child -- establishing rapport) is also something one might see as each VB teaching session begins.

Here is a link that gives some further information in response to your specific question:

http://www.autismusaba.de/lovaasvsvb.html

(And maybe Wolf's Rain can expand on my stab here)
Winnie
"Make it a powerful memory, the happiest you can remember."

LM
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Postby LM » Thu Jun 22, 2006 11:07 pm

aba breaks language up into smaller steps which depending on your child can be good or bad), whereas w/VB you kinda get a twofer :)

Child realizes "I say ball, I get ball, and that the label is ball"

When we do verbal im trials w/my son I sort of view them as worthless because unless there's a consequence accompanying the vocal, he really has no clue what a "wagon" is for instance - I know that's not really the point of verbal imitation but it's weird to me to do a trial like this: "say Ball; say Car; say Cat" - "good talking, here's a sip of juice!"

Why can't you do verbal im with a natural consequence? If my son is IN the wagon, and he mands wagon (as in "go"), I can stop the wagon and wait for him to mand for it as many times as I want, while shaping the artic. The next time he then goes into the garage, he remembers that's a wagon and mands "wagon."

Alex's mom
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Postby Alex's mom » Fri Jun 23, 2006 1:09 am

It's also my understanding that VB mixes different type trials rather than mass-trialing a single SD. Early emphasis on mands and NET are also big differences, as is errorless learning (versus no-no-prompting).
In the ball example, after the child mands for "ball" (totally agree with LM about it being most educational when the child actually WANTS the ball), you can add to it other verbal operants as you have secured the mands and tacts. For example "a ball is something you.....", "something you play with is a ........", "a ball, a doll, a bear are all.....", "can you name some toys" etc. There may be motor imitation trials interspersed with verbal trials and the child is frequently given the opportunity to mand for reinforcers. It looks more fluid, when done well, but the therapist needs to be very skilled. VB also suggests a certain ratio of "easy versus difficult" tasks (about 20% difficult I think), to keep the child successfull and motivated.
Alex's mom

irenes
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Postby irenes » Fri Jun 23, 2006 11:16 am

the 80-20 rule described by last poster is actually an ABA principle not particular to the VB type of ABA. I read about it on the Lovaas UCLA website after i saw it in practice at my son's school. Basically when doing discrete trials the target should be described in a way that makes it possible for the learner to get 8 of 10 trials correct. if the score is lower than that then the prompt level should be increased. So that the target reads: "does such and such with such and such prompt"..then prompts faded away.

I have also seen mass trials done in regular ABA.

I think the two can be described/compared in this way: ABA is a data-driven methodology that needs to be applied to whatever behavior that is being targeted. That target is outside the methodology: it can be clapping hands or doing algebra. It is not just discrete trial. As long as there is data and analysis and change based on analysis, it is still ABA..So both a child's discrete trial sessions and his/her behavior modification plan all would fall under ABA umbrella..as well as other more creative applications such as aba done during group lesson times, as long as the data is being recorded and analyzed.

VB is an offshoot of ABA that attempts to relax this methodology which has become to many people only discrete trials and the data collection overly regimented and cumbersome. ALso to add the WHAT TO TEACH element which is totally lacking in regular ABA and is at the discretion of the teacher or school. So


irene
proud mom of zachary age 3 1/2 with PDD-NOS

Wolf's Rain
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Postby Wolf's Rain » Fri Jun 23, 2006 6:56 pm

Do you know the verbal imitation drills in ABA, where the therapist says, "Say ball" and the child says, "ball." How would a Verbal Behavior therapist do that kind of drill, or would you skip those kind of drills in VB?


Several posters seemed to already be on the right track. But, using your exact example:

VB would be inclined to shape the verbal imitation as a mand (request) when the motivation for a ball is high,
Show the child a ball ---> therapist says "Ball" ---> child repeats "ball" ---> give the child the ball and say hurray!

ABA would run the drill as a discrete trial in the absence of an actual ball.
Therapist says "Say Ball" ---> child says "Ball" ---> give child a music toy (motivation is currently high for music toy)

I think that would be a basic premise that VB tries to follow. When ever possible, make the trials functional so that the child is pairing the language with the actual item and is also (atleast at first) using language in its most motivating form, requests.

The above is not a concrete rule. I believe VB would still use verbal imitation drills when appropriate. Like I tend to preach repeatedly, people should be looking at the big picture and not get too hung up on the titles of various therapy. The above ideas are things that a good ABA therapist should be incorporating into their sessions. I'm also sure there are plenty of VB therapists out their making similar errors in judgement.

the 80-20 rule described by last poster is actually an ABA principle not particular to the VB type of ABA.


The actual rule here is that 20 percent of demands in session should be acquisitional (hard) and 80 percent should be mastered and / or easy. This is a rule of thumb that all therapists should keep in mind. Studies have shown that above that 20 percent mark, the level of frustration starts to increase. As Alex's mom said, it also keeps the rate of reinforcement high (ie. child is more often correct and there for is accessing reinforcement more often). This keeps the child motivated to respond and less likely to engage in escape and / or inappropriate behaviors.

On the other hand, you were also right Irenes. I think typically the requirement for mastery of an item is 80% correct over 2-3 days.

irenes
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Postby irenes » Fri Jun 23, 2006 10:21 pm

hi
when i'm talking 80-20 rule its not the mastery criteria (thats 90% by us and i guess thats not standard). its really exacltly how you desribe. there should only be a chance of error - 20% of the time...the other 80% should be demands that the therapist knows the child will get correct (even with a prompt) here is the link to the description of this...

http://www.lovaas.com/faq.php

i love this lovaas site it really helps me see what is generally recommended ABA principle and what is specific to my son's school or therapists. the section that addresses this is "what the lovaas center recommends"...there is also an interesting discussion of no-no prompt versus errorless.. though this too i have seen both ways in regular (non-vb) aba programs.

and i'm not putting down vb i am a big fan.. just think that ABA has become synonymous with strict discrete trials, 10 in a row, and this is not a positive thing all the time and can be a real turnoff. the best aba therapists are as flexible with the method as my son allows them to be (ie he is still learning).

has anyone been to the carbone clinic for a parent/therapist workshop?
proud mom of zachary age 3 1/2 with PDD-NOS

jend
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Postby jend » Fri Jun 23, 2006 11:03 pm

This may be a stupid question but :oops: ..... My son is 27 months, awaiting diagnosis. From what I have read VB seems to make more sense to me than ABA. However, is this applicable to a younger set? Some of the things seem so much above my little one's knowledge base. Is VB for the 3 and up high functioning set? As I said, my son is 27 months, can follow simple directions approx. 10-15 spontaneous words will imitate any word or gesture.
Also, we are in westchester county, I saw that the contact numbers for Vincent Carbone are in Rockland county does anyone know if he has a center or school in rockland? It is not around the corner from us but not too far either.

BTDT
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Postby BTDT » Fri Jun 23, 2006 11:45 pm

The Carbone Clinic
614 Corporate Way
Valley Cottage, NY

He is the director of The Carbone Clinic located in Rockland
County, New York where consultation and one on one therapy services are
provided to children with autism.



From the VB yahoo group:
The clinic is set up with the offices/conference rooms/bathrooms in the front half and the back half is classroom areas. They accept something like 40 students and 10 teachers/few supervisors. Every student is paired up with one therapist, so each teacher could see several of 'their' kids every day. The teachers have designated hours each day to plan/review/get help with their programs. Depending on the child's VB hours, they might come every day or not - but always have same teacher. The classroom is divided with 2 'table' rooms, a large toy/sensory areas and I think a few one-on-one low distraction rooms.
The table rooms have dividers - basically the teachers have a cubicle with all their teaching gear. Tv's are at every table. There were learners as young as 2 and as old as 10 (?). The teachers there are quick and precise in their work! They each had their flashcard system, knowing exactly what material is acquistition, maintenence or mastery. LOTS ofdata is taken daily, teachers are never without their clipboards

LM
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Postby LM » Sat Jun 24, 2006 9:34 am

Jend, your son is not too young for VB.

Also, the difference should be noted in the examples in the thread that "ball" is under 2 different stimulus controls, one is an SD, the other an EO.

I think VB when practiced by someone who knows what they're doing is great. Especially for a young learner. In hindsight, my problem w/VB was the lack of data and loose mastery criteria. We worked w/3 VB consultants and data consisted of a Skills Tracking Sheet (ie; Date introduced/Date Mastered), a Y/N probe sheet (therapist probes task and marks 1st response on the Y/N data sheet), and the last level of prompt. 4 days of Y's meant "mastery" :shock:

Mastery to me means that my son can perform the task anywhere and anytime I ask him to 100% of the time. Do you really know the color blue if you only get it 80% of the time?

That being said, for my son, heavy emphasis on manding and imitation was huge for him in the early days of his diagnosis and I'm glad we did a VB program in the beginning.

2boys2
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Postby 2boys2 » Sat Jun 24, 2006 5:48 pm

irenes wrote:the 80-20 rule described by last poster is actually an ABA principle not particular to the VB type of ABA. I read about it on the Lovaas UCLA website after i saw it in practice at my son's school. Basically when doing discrete trials the target should be described in a way that makes it possible for the learner to get 8 of 10 trials correct. if the score is lower than that then the prompt level should be increased. So that the target reads: "does such and such with such and such prompt"..then prompts faded away.

I have also seen mass trials done in regular ABA.

I think the two can be described/compared in this way: ABA is a data-driven methodology that needs to be applied to whatever behavior that is being targeted. That target is outside the methodology: it can be clapping hands or doing algebra. It is not just discrete trial. As long as there is data and analysis and change based on analysis, it is still ABA..So both a child's discrete trial sessions and his/her behavior modification plan all would fall under ABA umbrella..as well as other more creative applications such as aba done during group lesson times, as long as the data is being recorded and analyzed.

VB is an offshoot of ABA that attempts to relax this methodology which has become to many people only discrete trials and the data collection overly regimented and cumbersome. ALso to add the WHAT TO TEACH element which is totally lacking in regular ABA and is at the discretion of the teacher or school. So


irene

we do 80-20 as in natural learning environment vs. table/discreet trial like the wagon thing talked about so much is learnt more naturally and by what motivates the child to ensure more success. if your kid had no intrest in x then why use that as a mode to get communication going compared to what is really motivating. the 80-20 in our program is also 80% what is easier more established skills to build onvs. harder, more recent, newer tasks. yes it is a combination of aba and vb our behavioral strategist even says this but thinks the direction and the WHAT are just as important as the how as well as the natural environment thing.
Lisalynn
keeping hope and faith through it all.

jend
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Joined: Fri Mar 10, 2006 1:34 pm

Postby jend » Sat Jun 24, 2006 8:15 pm

BTDT,
Thanks so much for that info :D I am going to look into this ASAP!

LM,
Thanks for the feedback :D I'm so excited to get more information about VB!

Jen

lookingforanswers
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Postby lookingforanswers » Tue Jun 27, 2006 7:38 pm

I just wanted to thank everyone for the great responses on this topic. :D

Gizmo
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Postby Gizmo » Fri Jul 07, 2006 12:31 pm

I do verbal imitation as an ABA program, and manding and tacting interspersed between the actual programs. VI (say "ball) is good for shaping the vocal patterns, but the learning of the labels comes in the Receptive program, and then the expressive program. Very often, if the child wants something, we hold it up, and get them to ask for it (mand.). There is downtime inbetween programs, and this is a great opportunity for the manding and tacting programs. For tacting, if a child is playing with a fire truck, I will start with an inquiry at the beginning levels, and ask, "What do you have? What is it? What color is it?" to get the rythym going. Then, in later stages, we start getting more spontaneous manding and tacting. Asking for things that are out of sight, in a different room, and tacting things that are unprompted (pure tacts), and out of sight (My mom's car is red.)

Edit: Also, our data collection for manding and tacting is very different from our data collection for programs. It is usually has a series of blanks, and a description. Sometimes we write down the exact request, or the exact statement, othertimes we write down the catagory (object, action, inquiry prompt, echoic, spontaneous etc).
Reality is that in which when you stop believing it, it doesn't go away.

Winnie
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Re: Comparing ABA to VB

Postby Winnie » Sat Mar 10, 2012 9:48 pm

Here are some good online resources and manuals (free!):

This is a (free online) Verbal Behavior training manual for employees at the Mariposa School (parent-friendly and a great introduction to the basics):

http://www.poac-nova.org/pdfs/Mariposa- ... ly2007.pdf


Here is a list of ABA/VB recommended resources:

http://www.poac-nova.org/base.cgim?template=aba_vb


How to Start a Home-Based ABA/VB Program: A parent’s manual (free online):

http://www.poac-nova.org/pdfs/How%20To% ... rogram.pdf
Winnie
"Make it a powerful memory, the happiest you can remember."


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