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Verbal Beginnings provides home-based therapy throughout Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, DC and Delaware. Many times, behavior seen in the home will not be seen in an alternative setting, so the home can provide therapists the opportunity to target specific behavior or skills that need work.

Learning in the home environment is beneficial to the child’s progress as they are taught to use skills in a natural environment. Mastered skills can be generalized across various home-based settings.

Behavior Management

Functional Behavior Assessments are conducted and a Behavior Intervention Plan is written and individualized to meet your child’s behavioral needs. Functionally and socially appropriate behaviors are taught to replace problem behaviors through utilizing procedures such as:

Preventative Strategies

Strategies include utilizing daily schedules, teaching children to express their wants and needs appropriately, providing scheduled breaks, providing choices, and mixing instructional tasks in order to prevent negative behaviors by manipulating triggers within the environment.

Reinforcement Strategies

Strategies include reinforcing appropriate behaviors through verbal praise, social praise, and a variety of reward systems to increase the likelihood of recurrence in the future. Preference assessments may be utilized in order to determine strong motivators for the individual to ensure that the reinforcement system is effective in evoking desired behaviors.

Management Strategies

Strategies include managing inappropriate behaviors in an effort to decrease the likelihood of recurrence in the future. A large focus is placed on antecedent interventions to manipulate the environment and put preventative strategies in place in order to prevent maladaptive behaviors from occurring.


Through Applied Behavior Analysis, children learn language functionally (using language to request, using language to label, etc.) Starting with the basic wants and needs (simple nouns), children are taught to request, label, imitate, and more in the first stages of language development. Once the early learning targets are met, language is taught with more complexity, incorporating nouns with verbs and adjectives, while still focusing on the function. As language development continues, children build conversational skills, social skills, and independence.

The VB-MAPP and other related communication assessments are conducted and individualized communication programming is developed.

Verbal behavior training is frequently utilized during sessions in a discrete, 1:1 setting to teach the different verbal operants used in peer-to-peer conversations. The basic verbal operants targeted include the following:

Verbal Operants

Requesting items


Labeling items

Motor Imitation

Requesting others’ actions


Requesting others’ sounds or words

Listener Responding

Following direction


Answering questions and commenting

Natural Environment Teaching (NET) may also be utilized for children who are younger with less experience in an instructional setting. This may also be utilized when children have severe interfering behaviors and need time to adjust to a more intense instructional setting.

Self-Help Skills

The Assessment for Functional Living Skills, along with similar assessments, are utilized to evaluate the skill level of a child for different self-help skills. Individualized task analyses and protocols are created to teach the steps within the skill effectively.

Task analyses break difficult skills into a simple and easy to learn process.

Progress on each step of the skill is measured to ensure that the skill is being learned correctly. Prompt hierarchies are utilized to systematically fade out the level of assistance the child is receiving until independence is achieved for each step of the skill.

Social Skills

The Social Beginnings program is designed to provide an engaging curriculum based on the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis that is tailored towards each child’s individual needs while being delivered to the group as a whole.

Verbal Beginnings has found success with quicker skill acquisition by incorporating the fun and colorful materials as well as the associated vernacular of Michelle Garcia Winner’s Social Thinking® program when teaching the children in the group. The Social Thinking® curriculum also identifies a plethora of social skills commonly deficient in children with delayed social skill development. The application of the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis are utilized to task analyze this bank of social skill goals, organize them in a progressive developmental order and apply them to each child’s individual needs.

School Consultation

Upon the parents’ request, our BCBAs will:

  • Review your child’s IEP
  • Evaluate the appropriateness of the goals
  • Evaluate the procedures and accommodations being utilized
  • Provide feedback to the family

BCBAs are also able to do things such as attend IEP meetings to discuss and compare goals, to collaborate with the school team, and to provide suggestions for strategies that can be implemented in the school setting. Lastly, the BCBA is able to conduct classroom observations and provide school observation reports to the family and school team.

Our BCBAs are also happy to collaborate with any private therapists as well. The coordination of services ensures that all care providers are continuing to use the most effective treatments across all environments.