About The Book

Behavioral Principles in Communicative Disorders: Applications to Assessment and Treatment examines the basic principles of the science of behaviorism and applies those principles to the assessment and treatment of communicative disorders. It begins with the history and basic principles of behaviorism, as well as a chapter examining Skinner’s (1957) concept of verbal behavior and functional units of verbal behavior. The text then discusses functional behavior assessment, the formulation of operationally defined target behaviors, discrete trial treatment procedures, and various techniques for increasing desirable behaviors and decreasing undesirable behaviors. The concluding chapters describe single-case research designs that support the efficacy of behavioral principles and address ethical questions and historic controversies surrounding the application of those principles.

Speech-language pathologists (SLPs) seek to change communicative behaviors in the clients they serve; the principles of behavioral science have many applications to the assessment and treatment of communicative disorders. There is a vast body of evidence indicating the efficacy of behavioral approaches in behavior modification, and SLPs have been tasked by their professional associations to employ evidence-based practices. Also, there is an appreciation for the usefulness of behavioral principles in treating clients with very severe communicative disorders, such as autism, apraxia, and dysfluency. This is evidenced by the development of the field of applied behavior analysis and the growing numbers of board certified behavior analysts (BCBA), with whom SLPs may be called upon to collaborate.

Behavioral Principles in Communicative Disorders is primarily designed for practicing speech-language pathologists looking for detailed descriptions of evidence-based treatment procedures, as well as professors and students in university programs in communicative disorders. However, professionals in other fields, such as applied behavior analysis and special education, will also find this to be a highly useful text.

About The Authors

Christine A. Maul, PhD, CCC-SLP, received her master’s degree in communicative disorders with an option in speech-language pathology from California State University, Fresno, and her doctoral degree in education with an emphasis in special education, disabilities, and risk studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara. She is currently an assistant professor at Fresno State in the Department of Communicative Disorders and Deaf Studies. Dr. Maul’s previous work experience includes working with children and young adults with moderate to severe disabilities in the public school system. She has also been appointed to serve on state-level task force committees charged with examining services for developmentally disabled people in California. Dr. Maul has published peer-reviewed articles in the areas of literacy, multicultural issues, and adaptations families make for their children with severe disabilities.

Brooke R. Findley, MA, CCC-SLP, BCBA, is a speech-language pathologist and board certified behavior analyst who has experience working in educational, medical, and university settings. She received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in communicative disorders with an option in speech-language pathology at California State University, Fresno, where she is presently pursing a doctoral degree in educational leadership. Ms. Findley currently serves as an itinerant speech-language pathologist for the Dinuba Unified School District, where she works with children in preschool through sixth grade with a variety of communicative disorders. She is also a part-time lecturer in the Department of Communicative Disorders and Deaf Studies at Fresno State.

Amanda Nicolson Adams, PhD, BCBA, received her master’s degree in psychology from the University of Nevada, Reno, and her doctorate from Florida State University. She became a board certified behavior analyst in 2000. Dr. Nicolson Adams was associate professor in the Psychology Department at California State University, Frenso, and served as the program coordinator for the applied behavior analysis master’s program for seven years there. She has published articles in peer-reviewed journals and chapters in several books, and served as a reviewer for the National Autism Center’s Standards Project. Currently, Dr. Nicolson Adams is the CEO and executive director for the California Autism Center located in Fresno, California.

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