A newsletter by the ASD Network

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 Verbal Behavior
Welcome to the Verbal Behavior Webinar Series. This year we will be presenting  two webinars on the verbal behavior topic. Verbal behavior instruction teaches  communication using the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis and the theories of behaviorist B.F. Skinner. "By design, verbal behavior instruction motivates a child, adolescent or adult to learn language by connecting words with their purposes. 
Reports suggest that verbal behavior instruction can help both young children 
beginning to learn language and older students with delayed or disordered 
language. It likewise helps many children and adults who sign or use visual supports or other forms of assisted communication"(Autism Speaks).
Our first webinar is entitled "Teaching Using Verbal Behavior Strategies" presented  by Rhonda Ayres, M.A., Autism Interventionist, for the Thompson School District and CDE Autism Specialist. Rhonda will cover behavioral teaching strategies and  components of applied behavioral analysis that are incorporated in verbal behavior  instruction.
Our second webinar is entitled "Using Verbal Behavior Strategies in Your 
Classroom" presented by Deb Rauner, M.Ed. Deb is currently an Autism 
Consultant and Verbal Behavior Trainer in Nebraska. Deb will address components  of verbal behavior instruction including teaching using verbal operants, mixing  trials and using verbal behavior strategies to teach a variety of skills. We will also  look at several assessment and curriculum guides based on verbal behavior in this  webinar. 
Join us to see how Verbal Behavior Instruction can improve the success of your  students!
Upcoming December Trainings

Is This Behavior Sensory Driven?  Supporting Children with ASD in the School Setting  (ESU 10 Kearney, distance offered at ESU 11 and ESU 16 North Platte)
Teaching Using Verbal Behavior Strategies (Tri-State Webinar online)
Get Ready, Get Set, Plan:  How to Plan Social-Skill Instruction(Specialized Instruction Tips for School Counselors, Resource Teachers & Speech Language Pathologists) (ESU 3 Omaha)
Using Verbal Behavior Strategies in Your Classroom  (Tri-State Webinar online)
2 Day Structured Teach for Students with Moderate to Classic Autism 
(ESU 6 Milford)
The Principals of Structured Teaching (Tri-State Webinar online)

Pre-correction: A Strategy To Correct Behaviors Before Errors Occur
Pam Sharping, M.Ed., BCBA

O nce we identify that a student is demonstrating a pattern of errors, an instructional strategy known as 
pre-correction could be used to reduce the likelihood that academic errors or inappropriate behaviors occur in the future. It requires teachers to anticipate the conditions under which errors or inappropriate behaviors are highly likely to occur, teach the student how to avoid the mistake, and then teach the student what is expected. As a result, more time is spent teaching positive behaviors and less time is spent giving students consequences and reacting to their failures. In addition, students are provided witha new set of academic and social skills as opposed to being punished for their academic and social-skills deficits (Crosby, Jolivette, & Patterson, 2006).
Pre-correction typically involves seven steps
(Colvin, Sugai, & Patching, 1993):
  1. Identify the context and the predictable behavior of concern. For example, a student who frequently runs in hallway bumping into others.
  2. Specify expected behaviors.  An alternative to running should be walking in the hallway while carrying a transition schedule or materials to the next classroom.
  3. Modify the context. Teachers can modify the context by making instructional, task, or activity accommodations or by alteringthe mode of instruction, activity scheduling, and seating. For example, visual supports for hallway behavior could be posted in the hallway and by the classroom door to remind the students about walking in hallway with hands to self. In addition, all students should be taught to walk in the hallway and be reminded about hallway behavior prior to any transitions.  For the student who runs frequently, give reminders or additional instruction using visual supports prior to transitioning.
  4. Conduct behavior rehearsals. Behavior rehearsals allow the studentto see and hear what is expected. Behavior rehearsals also allow teachers to monitor the expected appropriate behavior for accuracy.  A teacher could engage her students in several behavior rehearsals to reinforce how to walk in the hallway while keeping their hands to themselves. First, the teacher could model the desired behavior and allow the student who frequently runs to perform the behavior as modeled. Next, the same behavior could be practiced with a small group of students.  Finally, a rehearsal involving the entire class could be conducted. Rehearsals also can be in theform of a teacher question-and- answer session. For example, prior to transitioning outside of the classroom, the teacher could pull the student to the side and provide reminders, "We're about to go to music. Do you remember how we are supposed to move in the hallway?
  5. Provide strong reinforcement for expected behaviors.  If the new behavior isn't paired with reinforcement, the child might revert back to inappropriate behavior because the reinforcing value is greater.
  6. Prompt expected behaviors before performance.  Prompting expected, appropriate behaviors serves asa reminder to students of what is expected of them. Thus, the teacher focuses her attention on appropriate student behaviors rather than on inappropriate student behaviors. Providing reminders to studentsmay increase the likelihood that the desirable behavior will occur again and increases the likelihood of success for the student.
  7. Monitor the plan. Document student performance to determine whether or not the precorrection strategy is effective. The teacher records whether or not the student who engages in hallway running is complying with her prompts. If, after a couple of days, the student does not appear to be responding to prompts, the teacher may alter the nature of the reinforcer and/or the schedule of the reinforcer. 
Colvin, G., Sugai, G., Patching, B. (1993). Precorrection: An instructional         approach for managing predictable problem behaviors. Intervention in School and Clinic, 28, 143-150.
Crosy, S., Jolivette, K., & Patterson, D. (2006, October). Using precorrection to                 manage inappropriate academic and social behaviors.  Retrieved from http://modelprogram.com/resources/ARTICLE---PreCorrection-2.pdf

Video Links:
Save the Date:   ASD Network State Conference April 7th and 8th, 2016
Embassy Suites, La Vista
ASD Network| 402-472-4194| awragge2@unl.edu| www.unl.edu/asdnetwork/

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