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Teaching Listener Responding to Children with Autism

Kaneen Smyer, Jamie M. Severtson, & Linda A. LeBlanc
Children with autism typically have difficulty communicating with others, lack some social skills, and perform unusual behaviors or rituals. Without effective treatment they are unlikely to be able to learn in traditional school or pre-school settings. Applied Behavior Analysis offers the most effective treatment for autism: Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention. It involves identifying children as early as possible, assessing the child’s learning needs, and setting up structured learning opportunities with clear instructions, fun and exciting consequences, and repeated practice until the child has learned the skill. These structured learning opportunities are called Discrete Trial Teaching (DTT) sessions. One area of language that is often taught in DTT is listener responding, which is generally described as following verbal directions. Effective listener responding allows you to respond to people and things in the environment. Using a Behavioral Skills Training approach and extensive video modeling, this tutorial shows how to use DTT to teach listener responding skills to learners with autism or any special learning need.

Dr. Kaneen Smyer is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst who received her Ph.D. in 2012 from Auburn University. She has worked with individuals with developmental disabilities across the lifespan since 2003 and is the Program Director at Ivymount Corporation.

Dr. Jamie Severtson is the Clinical Director at Autism Learning Partners in Broomfield, Colorado. She is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and a Licensed Behavior Analyst in the state of Missouri. Previously, she served as Assistant Professor and Graduate Coordinator of the Master of Arts in Applied Behavior Analysis Program at Southeast Missouri State University. Dr. Severtson holds a Ph.D. in Behavior Analysis from Western Michigan University.

Dr. Linda A. LeBlanc is the President of LeBlanc Behavioral Consulting. She is a licensed clinical psychologist and a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. She received her Ph.D. in 1996 from Louisiana State University and previously served on the psychology faculties at Claremont McKenna College (1997-1999), Western Michigan University (1999-2008), and Auburn University (2009-2012).

Module Content

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The Antecedent
Learner Behavior
The Consequence
Conducting Sessions
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