Intraverbal ABA


Intraverbal ABA

Intraverbals are verbal skills that involve the exchange of information between two people without the use of visual cues, physical prompts, or gestures. Intraverbal skills are essential for children to understand spoken language and be able to communicate effectively. An example of intraverbal response is when a child is asked a question and they are able to respond with relevant information without any prompting or visual cues.

Intraverbal is a type of language that involves

  • explaining,
  • discussing,
  • or describing

an item or situation that is not present or not currently happening.

What is an example of an intraverbal?

An example of intraverbals is when a child is asked, “What are some things that you eat?” and they can respond with items like mac & cheese, carrots, and hotdogs without any visual cues or prompts. This demonstrates the use of memory in intraverbals.

How do I know if my child lacks an intraverbal repertoire

When trying to determine if your child lacks an intraverbal repertoire, it is important to observe their behavior and interactions with others. A lack of an intraverbal repertoire can be seen in several ways. These include:

  • Difficulty following verbal instructions or engaging in conversations with others
  • Trouble responding appropriately when asked questions
  • Struggling to understand what is being asked, especially when it’s abstract or complex

Intraverbal skills involve the ability to listen and comprehend verbal cues, as well as respond with appropriate words or phrases. This skill is important for communication and problem-solving and requires practice and patience!

If your child resembles any of these scenarios:

  • “She only uses language to ask for things, she isn’t conversational”
  • “He can greet his teacher by name every morning when I take him to school, but if I just randomly ask him: What’s your teacher’s name? He won’t say anything”
  • “He can sing the entire Barney song (“I love you”) while watching the videos, but if I ask him to sing it during bath time, he just looks at me”
  • “She doesn’t participate when we play The Question Game during dinner. We all take turns answering questions like “Name a pink animal,” “Sing your favorite song,” and “What should we have for dessert.” I know she’s verbal; why does she refuse to answer these questions?”

Parents often find themselves perplexed, grappling with the fine line between a child’s stubbornness and a genuine struggle with intraverbal deficits. It’s a skill we often overlook, assuming everyone possesses the ability to communicate effortlessly. But let’s pause and educate ourselves on the diverse communication dexterity that exists within our society.

What are examples of Intraverbal goals in ABA?

Start simply and build up to more complex responses. Examples include:

  • Answering the question, “How old are you?”
  • Filling in the missing words “At the zoo last month, we saw some _____, _______, and a ______,”
  • Singing songs “Sing the Alphabet song”
  • Meow says a ____/Ribbit says a _______ (Reverse fill-ins)
  • Tell me something that flies in the sky, it’s an animal, and it says “chirp” or “tweet” (Intraverbal Feature Function Class)
  • Socks and ________/Knife, spoon and ______ (Associations)
  • You use a towel to _______ (Functions)
  • Where do you bake cookies?/What can you kick? (WH questions)
  • Is a banana a vegetable? (Yes-No questions)
  • Name something that does NOT have a tail. (Negation)

Do Nots when teaching Intraverbals:

  • Do not begin teaching intraverbals too early or at too high of a difficulty level.
  • Do not wholly avoid teaching intraverbals …they’re the building blocks of conversation.
  • Do not begin teaching intraverbals before echolalia is under control. Otherwise, the child will just repeat your question or statement and become frustrated when that isn’t the correct answer.

Intraverbals can often be quite challenging and time-consuming programs to teach during ABA therapy.

When working with individuals with Autism, it is essential to note that skills may be displayed in a fragmented manner. For example, a child may be able to count up to 100 objects but struggle to count to 5 automatically. Therefore, it is crucial to conduct a thorough assessment of the child’s abilities and closely analyze their programs before introducing intraverbal teaching methods. If uncertain, it is advisable to consult a qualified BCBA for guidance.


Related Glossary Terms

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