Book Review: The Verbal Behavior Approach


The book The Verbal Behavior Approach by Mary Lynch Barbera was actually given to me by a member of my son’s team when he started kindergarten. I was very excited to get it and thought it was so kind of the team member to reach out to me. She gave me the book because she felt like the verbal behavior approach would really be a game changer for our family, and I am still grateful for her insight today. I wanted to review this book because I feel like the things outlined in this book could be helpful to many families.

The Verbal Behavior approach is a form of Applied Behavioral Analysis. It works very well with nonverbal children, or children that have limited speech. The author of the book, Mary Lynch, is a Registered Nurse, a Board Certified Behavior Analyst, AND a mother of a child with autism. So that tells me that she really knows her stuff! 😉

She is very knowledgeable on the subject matter but is able to break it down into easy to follow steps.  This is so important, because it is easy for me to get overwhelmed and push something away.  There was a large segment devoted to dealing with problem behaviors. This is a huge struggle in my home, so I was grateful to see it addressed so throughly.

Although ABA is considered the “gold standard” of autism therapies, there are many hurdles (access to services, finances) that keep most families from getting the recommended 40 hours a week.  That’s why I think this book is so important–the more I can be educated as a parent, the more I can implement the ABA principles in our home, and the more progress he will make with his therapists.  I definitely would recommend this book to other autism parents!

Review by Melissa Essary, mom to Korban, age 9, and Selah age 5




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