B.F. Skinner provided an important guide to the analysis of language in his book, Verbal Behavior. In this book, he stresses the critical value of focusing on the function of various aspects of communication. His analysis includes a very interesting section on what he termed "private events." That is, how do we learn to talk about things that happen inside of us? In this workshop, we will review traditional approaches to teaching children with autism to communicate about their emotions as well as respond to such language from other people. Participants will be asked to consider how they currently teach various lessons related to emotions and then to plan to incorporate Skinner’s analysis into the design of effective lessons. These lessons may involve very young children or teenagers and adults who continue to have difficulty with this topic. We also will look at a very important part of language that helps communicative partners better understand the perspective of someone who is attempting to communicate. We will review why this area is so difficult for those with autism and suggest teaching strategies that may lead to successful acquisition of these complex language skills.

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What you will learn

  • To describe how children typically learn to comment about "private events."
  • The type of information adults respond to when teaching children to tell us about their emotions, and what may be missing for children with autism.
  • Why traditional approaches to teaching "the language of emotions" may not be effective and how they can be improved.
  • How to both take advantage of existing emotional displays and how to create situations that are likely to induce such feelings.
  • Why it is not really easy to teach "really."

Workshop Details

Agenda: 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Registration Time: 7:30 AM to 8:00 AM

CEUs: 0.65 ASHA CEUs (Introductory level, Professional Area) and/or 6.5 BACB CEUs

Tuition Includes: Detailed Handouts with space for note-taking, Certificate of Attendance, Continental Breakfast, ASHA CEUs & BACB CEUs


This course is offered for .65 ASHA CEUs (Intermediate level, Professional Area)

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