Teaching Children with Autism, continued

Teaching Children with Autism, continued

Teaching Children with Autism, continued

Skinner’s Analysis of Language from a Functional Perspective

Most people think of language as being either:

Receptive = understanding what someone else says

Expressive = being able to use language to make yourself understood

Some time ago, however, B.F. Skinner (1957) analysed language into its functional components (i.e., breaking it down into its uses). Here are a few examples:

Repeating something that has been seen or heard (Motor Imitation and Echoics)

Receptive identification of objects (Receptive ID)

Requesting/Demanding (Mands)

Labelling/Contacting (Tacts)

The language used to talk about something in its absence, such as “What colour is a fire truck?” The child responds, “Red!” (Intraverbals)

As it turns out, teaching language from a functional perspective has proven to be very productive.

And remember that language can be vocal (i.e., spoken words) or non-vocal (i.e., picture exchange, signing, computer, iPad, etc.)

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