Teaching Learners with Autism to Engage in Verbal Mediation During Complex Tasks


Verbal mediation is a common problem-solving strategy. It is important for learners with ASD to learn to engage in this strategy to perform everyday tasks such as, following 2 and 3-step instructions, listing, engaging in conversation, inferencing etc.By analyzing the controlling variables for natural sources of stimulus control and arranging our teaching procedures to include these variables, we can teach our learners the valuable skill of verbal mediation and its various applications.

This course includes 1 Learning CEU.

Course Description

Verbal mediation is presumed to be the mechanism by which complex tasks can be performed. Research has shown that engaging in related verbal behaviour increases correct responding for a variety of complex tasks, and conversely, the blocking of verbal behaviour has the effect of deterioration of performance. Joint control is a type of verbal mediation that is presumed to be occurring during complex listener tasks. Verbal mediation is also implicated in arbitrary matching to sample, comprehension, sequencing, recall, observational learning, and problem-solving tasks. Many children with ASD require intensive teaching to establish the prerequisite repertoires of tact, selection, echoic and self-echoic behaviour. Following the establishment of pre-requisite repertoires, instructional arrangements can lead to the interaction of those repertoires, and the reinforcement of multiply controlled responding.

This presentation will review procedures to teach mediating strategies such as rehearsal of an instruction and acting on a self-echoic, tacting items and actions in the current environment for later recall, and learning to ask oneself questions as a complex problem-solving technique.

This course is one part of a four-part Verbal vs. Non-Verbal Behaviour Series that dives into the functional analyses of language by teaching learners with autism how to use verbal or non-verbal immediacy behaviours to communicate and deepen their relationships with their peers and loved ones. To view the other courses in this series, click here.

Participants will:

  • Identify joint control prerequisite skills.
  • Identify joint control examples and applications
  • Describe the role of verbal mediation in problem-solving

1 Learning CEU Available

The workshop is designed for those who: have or are pursuing BCBA/BCaBA/RBT; teacher; therapists; and others whose role uses ABA to design & implement programming to decrease behaviours and increase skill acquisition of individuals with autism.

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