Many children do not learn to communicate with spoken words. Many of these non-verbal children reach adulthood without an effective, alternative method of speaking. Some children are taught to ‘exchange pictures’, ‘select pictures on an electronic device with voice output’, or ‘use signs’. Still others are not provided with an alternative method of speaking at all. As the children become older, those who were provided with an alternative method, often abandon this method in favor of methods like ‘informal gestures’ or ‘leading others to what they want’, which are portable and which do not require special equipment. This abandonment suggests the need for systematic procedures which insure that alternative methods of speaking selected for non-verbal children are effective and endure through their adult years. The presenter describes systematic procedures for selecting an alternative method of speaking for specific learners and then testing the effectiveness of this method.
About the Speaker
Dr. McGreevy received B.S. and M.A. degrees in Psychology and Special Education, respectively, from the University of Iowa. He was a special education teacher for eight years, working with children and young adults with moderate-to-severe developmental disabilities. He received the Ph.D. degree in Education from Kansas University under the guidance of Ogden R. Lindsley. Dr. McGreevy served as an assistant research professor in the Institute for Community Studies and the Department of Special Education at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and as an assistant professor in the Department of Special Education at Louisiana State University. He taught courses in applied behavior analysis, as well as, curriculum and instruction for students with moderate-to-severe disabilities. He is the author of Teaching and Learning in Plain English, an introduction to Precision Teaching, and the founder and first editor of the Journal of Precision Teaching and Standard Celeration Charting. He is also the author of nine journal articles and a book chapter on teaching verbal behavior. He is also the first author of 14 Essential for Living, a new functional skills curriculum, assessment, and professional practitioner’s handbook for children and adults with moderate-to-severe disabilities. For the past 30 years, Dr. McGreevy has provided consultations for children and adults with developmental disabilities and hands-on training for their families. He has also provided consultation and training for school districts, residential programs, and hospitals in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada, specializing in the treatment of aggressive and self-injurious behavior in individuals with limited communication or language skills. Dr. McGreevy has also conducted workshops on teaching communication skills and language in the context of severe problem behavior, which are based on B. F. Skinner’s analysis of verbal behavior. From 2005-2014, Dr. McGreevy served as an assistant professor in the Behavior Analysis Program at the Florida Institute of Technology. He taught on-campus courses and seminars, and online lectures, with an emphasis on the application of principles and procedures. From 2005-2014, Dr. McGreevy served as an assistant professor in the Behavior Analysis Program at the Florida Institute of Technology. He taught on-campus courses and seminars, and online lectures, with an emphasis on the application of principles and procedures.