Asian Boy

Verbal Behavior Therapy

An ABA based approach for teaching language and communication.

Verbal Behavior Therapy (VBT)  is a method of teaching communication and language based on the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis. VBT focuses on the idea that the concept of a word develops through learned functions not form.  In VBT, language is comprised of four main verbal operants:


  • Mands: Requests

  • Tacts Labeling stimuli within environment 

  • Intraverbal: answering questions/ having conversations)

  • Echoics: vocal imitation


Many children engage in problem behaviors like tantrums as a means of communication. By focusing on function and not form, we are able to identify mitigation strategies and replacement behaviors to promote the development of a more appropriate communication repertoire and decrease problem behaviors. To teach a child the "meaning" of a word, we present learning opportunities that demonstrate "why"  and "how" we use it.

At Pivotal Achievements, we have years of experience teaching children with Autism to functionally communicate using a verbal behavior approach combined with naturalistic teaching strategies to evoke communication in the most contextualized manner. We have successfully helped children with Autism learn to communicate using different methods such as vocal communication, gestures, and Picture Exchange Communication Systems (PECs).


Our two age-specific ABA programs include Verbal Behavior Therapy as part of our ABA therapy treatment package.