Skip to main content
Extending the assessment of functions of vocalizations in children with limited verbal repertoires.
The Analysis of Verbal Behavior (2009)
  • Danielle LaFrance, Florida Institute of Technology
  • David A. Wilder, Florida Institute of Technology
  • Matthew P. Normand, University of the Pacific
  • James Squires, Florida Institute of Technology
The current study examined the effectiveness of an experimental functional analysis for assessing the functions of emergent vocal-verbal behavior in children with developmental disabilities. Experiment 1 consisted of a systematic replication of Lerman et al. (2005). Participants were 3 children with developmental disabilities, between the ages of 2 and 5 years, with limited vocal-verbal repertoires, who could emit at least two clear vocalizations. Results indicated that for all participants, targeted vocalizations functioned as mands, tacts, or both. The purpose of Experiment 2 was to address some of the limitations of Experiment 1 while using a different experimental design. Results of Experiment 2 suggested that participants’ targeted vocalizations served as tacts, echoics, or both. Results are discussed in terms of the utility of this methodology for the selection and development of effective language interventions as well as implications for our current knowledge of verbal behavior.
  • language assessment,
  • developmental disabilities,
  • functional analysis,
  • verbal behavior
Publication Date
April 1, 2009
Citation Information
Danielle LaFrance, David A. Wilder, Matthew P. Normand and James Squires. "Extending the assessment of functions of vocalizations in children with limited verbal repertoires." The Analysis of Verbal Behavior Vol. 25 Iss. 1 (2009) p. 19 - 32 ISSN: 0889-9401
Available at: