The Analysis of Verbal Behavior

, Volume 20, Issue 1, pp 55–62 | Cite as

Is Autism a Preventable Disorder of Verbal Behavior? A Response to Five Commentaries

Article

Abstract

This paper presents a response to five commentaries on our article An Analysis of Autism as a Contingency-Shaped Disorder of Verbal Behavior (Drash & Tudor, 2004). One of the principal objectives of that article is to provide the behavior analysis community and the autism community with a conceptual basis for analyzing autism as a behavioral disorder rather than a neurological disorder. This analysis provides a logical and testable behavioral answer to the question of the etiology of autism, a question that has baffled scientists and researchers for more than half a century. Elements of the original article with which reviewers expressed concern include: need for more data, need for greater emphasis on neurological and epidemiological factors in autism, the relative importance of verbal behavior as a core deficit of autism, and disruptive and avoidant behavior as a primary variable in the etiology of autism. We provide a behavioral response to each of these concerns. We also show how our analysis will provide a conceptual foundation for behavior analysis to begin developing urgently needed programs for prevention and earlier intervention in autism.

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Copyright information

© Association of Behavior Analysis International 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Autism Early Intervention CenterTampaUSA
  2. 2.Westfield State CollegeUSA

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