The Analysis of Verbal Behavior

, Volume 11, Issue 1, pp 19–29 | Cite as

A functional analysis of verbal delay in preschool children: Implications for prevention and total recovery

  • Philip W. Drash
  • Roger M. Tudor
Article

Abstract

Delays in acquiring age-appropriate verbal repertoires in preschool children with no known organic etiology may be explained by defective or absent behavior-environmental contingencies. This paper presents six possible behavioral paradigms that describe verbal episodes between parents and their preschool children and how these interactions may inhibit or prevent the acquisition of verbal behavior. These paradigms are contrasted with parent-child interactions that typically result in age-appropriate verbal repertoires. Identifying the reinforcement contingencies that produce delays in acquisition of verbal behavior could lead to the development of more effective behavioral programs for remediating nonorganic language delay. Recommendations for prevention, treatment and total recovery from functional verbal delay and associated mental retardation are presented. The relation between contingency-shaped and rule-governed behavior in the shaping of verbal behavior is discussed.

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Copyright information

© Association of Behavior Analysis International 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Philip W. Drash
    • 1
  • Roger M. Tudor
    • 2
  1. 1.Intellectual Development InternationalTampaUSA
  2. 2.Westfield State CollegeUSA

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