VB-MAPP Assessment: What It Is and How to Download It
If you are a parent, teacher, or therapist of a child with autism or other developmental disabilities, you may have heard of the VB-MAPP assessment. But what is it exactly and how can you use it to help your child or student? In this article, we will explain what the VB-MAPP assessment is, why it is important, how to administer and score it, and how to download it as a PDF file. We will also discuss the different components of the VB-MAPP assessment and how they can guide your intervention program.
What is VB-MAPP?
VB-MAPP stands for Verbal Behavior Milestones Assessment and Placement Program. It is a language and social skill assessment program for children with autism or other developmental disabilities. It was developed by Dr. Mark Sundberg, a behavior analyst and speech pathologist, based on B.F. Skinner's analysis of verbal behavior, developmental milestones, and field-test data from typically developing children and children with special needs.
The VB-MAPP assessment is designed to provide a representative sample of a child's existing verbal and related skills, identify the barriers that may prevent further language acquisition, evaluate the child's readiness to move to a less restrictive educational setting, and provide placement recommendations and individualized education program (IEP) goals for each skill area.
Why is VB-MAPP important for children with autism or other developmental disabilities?
Children with autism or other developmental disabilities often have delays or difficulties in developing language and social skills. These skills are essential for communicating their needs and wants, interacting with others, learning new information, and participating in daily activities. Without adequate language and social skills, children may experience frustration, isolation, behavior problems, and limited opportunities for growth.
The VB-MAPP assessment can help identify the strengths and weaknesses of each child's language and social skills, as well as the factors that may hinder their progress. By using the VB-MAPP assessment, parents, teachers, and therapists can design an intervention program that targets the specific skills that the child needs to learn or improve. The VB-MAPP assessment can also help monitor the child's progress over time and adjust the intervention program accordingly.
How to administer and score VB-MPP?
The VB-MPP assessment consists of five components: the Milestones Assessment, the Barriers Assessment, the Transition Assessment, the Task Analysis and Supporting Skills, and the Placement and IEP Goals. Each component has its own protocol that contains instructions, scoring criteria, examples, and data sheets. The assessor should use the VB-MPP Guide (Sundberg, 2008) along with the protocol to complete the assessment.
The assessor should be familiar with behavior analysis and a behavioral approach to language. The assessor should also have some knowledge of the child's history, preferences, and behavior. The assessment can be conducted in the child's natural environment or in a structured setting, depending on the child's needs and the availability of materials. The assessment can be done in one or more sessions, depending on the child's attention span and cooperation. The assessor should record the child's responses and score them according to the protocol.
VB-MPP Milestones Assessment
The VB-MPP Milestones Assessment is the core of the program. It is designed to provide a representative sample of a child's existing verbal and related skills. The Milestones Assessment contains 170 measurable milestones that are balanced across 16 skill areas and 3 developmental levels (0-18 months, 18-30 months, and 30-48 months). The skill areas are:
Mand: requesting items or actions
Tact: labeling or describing items or actions
Intraverbal: answering questions or conversing
Listener: following instructions or responding to others
Visual perceptual skills and matching-to-sample: identifying and matching shapes, colors, letters, etc.
Independent play: engaging in appropriate play activities without prompts or reinforcement
Social behavior and social play: interacting with peers and adults in positive ways
Spontaneous vocal behavior: emitting vocal sounds without prompts
Motor imitation: copying body movements or actions
Echoic: repeating vocal sounds or words
Linguistic structure: using grammar and syntax correctly
Group and classroom skills: participating in group activities and following classroom rules
Early academic skills: learning basic math, reading, and writing skills
Generalized responding: applying learned skills to novel situations or stimuli
Natural environment teaching: learning skills in natural settings with natural consequences
Community of reinforcers: having a variety of interests and preferences that can serve as reinforcers
The assessor should score each milestone as 0 (not yet), 1/2 (partial), or 1 (mastered), based on the child's performance. The assessor should also calculate the total score for each skill area and developmental level. The total score can indicate the child's overall language age and skill level.
Skill areas and developmental levels
The following table shows the skill areas and developmental levels of the VB-MPP Milestones Assessment, along with the number of milestones and the maximum score for each section.
The VB-MPP Guide (Sundberg, 2008) provides placement recommendations and IEP goals for each of the 170 milestones. The placement recommendations suggest the type and intensity of intervention that the child may need based on their skill level. The IEP goals are written in behavioral terms and include criteria for mastery and data collection. The assessor can use the placement recommendations and IEP goals as a guide to design an individualized intervention program for the child.
VB-MPP Barriers Assessment
The VB-MPP Barriers Assessment is designed to identify the barriers that may prevent a child from acquiring new language and social skills. The Barriers Assessment contains 24 common learning and language acquisition barriers that are often faced by children with autism or other developmental disabilities. The barriers are:
Instructional control: the ability to respond to instructions and prompts
Behavior problems: the occurrence of disruptive or inappropriate behaviors
Impaired social behavior: the lack of appropriate social skills or interest in others
Impaired social play: the lack of appropriate play skills or interest in toys
Faulty stimulus control: the failure to respond to relevant stimuli or respond to irrelevant stimuli
Faulty concept formation: the failure to generalize or discriminate stimuli or responses
Scrolled speech: the emission of irrelevant or inappropriate verbal responses
Articulation problems: the difficulty in producing clear and intelligible speech sounds
Weak or atypical motivators: the absence or low level of interest in typical reinforcers
Response requirement weakens motivators: the decrease in motivation due to high response effort or low reinforcement rate
Reinforcer dependence: the inability to perform without continuous reinforcement
Reinforcer satiation: the decrease in motivation due to overexposure to reinforcers
Few establishing operations: the lack of conditions that increase the value of reinforcers and evoke relevant responses
Few mand opportunities: the lack of situations that allow the child to request items or actions
Minimal verbal behavior during natural environment teaching: the lack of verbal responses during daily activities or routines
Prompt dependent: the inability to perform without prompts or cues
Few effective prompts: the lack of prompts that facilitate correct responding
Prompt overshadowing: the failure to respond to relevant stimuli due to competing prompts
Prompt delay: the delay in fading prompts or transferring stimulus control
Limited conditional discriminations: the difficulty in responding based on multiple cues or relations
Limited listener repertoires: the difficulty in following instructions or responding to others' verbal behavior
Limited intraverbal repertoires: the difficulty in answering questions or conversing with others
Limited generalization and maintenance: the failure to apply learned skills to novel situations or stimuli, or retain learned skills over time
Lack of self-monitoring skills: the inability to evaluate one's own performance or behavior
The assessor should score each barrier as 0 (not present), 1 (minor), 2 (moderate), or 3 (severe), based on the child's performance and behavior. The assessor should also calculate the total score for each barrier. The total score can indicate the severity and impact of each barrier on the child's learning and language acquisition.
Types of barriers and intervention strategies
The following table shows the types of barriers and some examples of intervention strategies that can be used to overcome them.
Type of Barrier Examples of Intervention Strategies --- --- Instructional control Establish rapport, use positive reinforcement, use high-probability requests, use errorless teaching, use differential reinforcement Behavior problems Conduct functional behavior assessment, use antecedent interventions, use consequence interventions, use self-management interventions, teach replacement behaviors Impaired social behavior Teach social skills, use peer-mediated interventions, use video modeling, use social stories, use naturalistic teaching Impaired social play Teach play skills, use play scripts, use activity schedules, use joint attention interventions, use naturalistic teaching Faulty stimulus control Use clear and consistent stimuli, use discrimination training, use stimulus fading, use stimulus shaping, use error correction Faulty concept formation Use multiple exemplars, use feature analysis, use matching-to-sample, use equivalence-based instruction, use error correction Scrolled speech Use differential reinforcement, use response interruption and redirection, use echoic training, use intraverbal training, teach functional communication Articulation problems Use echoic training, use phonetic placement, use shaping, use prompt fading, use speech sound discrimination Weak or atypical motivators Conduct preference assessment, use varied and novel reinforcers, use natural reinforcers, use conditioned reinforcers, use token economy Response requirement weakens motivators Use thinning schedules of reinforcement, use response effort reduction, use response shaping, use response fading, use response chaining Reinforcer dependence Use thinning schedules of reinforcement, use delayed reinforcement, use intermittent reinforcement, use conditioned reinforcement, use natural reinforcement Reinforcer satiation Use varied and novel reinforcers, use limited access to reinforcers, use abolishing operations, use multiple schedules of reinforcement, use differential reinforcement Few establishing operations Use deprivation and satiation procedures, use motivating operations, use contrived operations, use multiple control procedures, use mand training Few mand opportunities Use deprivation and satiation procedures, use motivating operations, use contrived operations, use incidental teaching, use mand training Minimal verbal behavior during natural environment teaching Use naturalistic teaching strategies, use pivotal response training, use incidental teaching, use mand training, use intraverbal training Type of Barrier Examples of Intervention Strategies --- --- use stimulus shaping, use most-to-least prompting Few effective prompts Use prompt hierarchy, use least-to-most prompting, use transfer trials, use errorless teaching, use prompt fading Prompt overshadowing Use prompt fading, use prompt delay, use stimulus fading, use stimulus shaping, use transfer trials Prompt delay Use prompt fading, use prompt delay, use stimulus fading, use stimulus shaping, use transfer trials Limited conditional discriminations Use matching-to-sample, use conditional discrimination training, use multiple exemplar training, use feature analysis, use error correction Limited listener repertoires Use listener training, use receptive identification, use following instructions, use imitation training, use error correction Limited intraverbal repertoires Use intraverbal training, use fill-in-the-blank procedures, use conversational skills training, use multiple exemplar training, use error correction Limited generalization and maintenance Use multiple exemplars, use multiple settings, use multiple stimuli, use multiple trainers, use programming common stimuli Lack of self-monitoring skills Use self-monitoring interventions, use self-evaluation procedures, use self-recording procedures, use self-reinforcement procedures, use goal setting procedures VB-MPP Transition Assessment
The VB-MPP Transition Assessment is designed to provide an overall summary assessment of a child's readiness to move to a less restrictive educational setting. The Transition Assessment contains 18 criteria that are based on typical expectations for children in less restrictive settings. The criteria are:
Group instruction skills
Independent work skills
Listener responding skills
Spontaneous verbal behavior
Social behavior and social interaction skills
Play and leisure skills
Classroom routines and expectations
Self-care and motor skills
Nonverbal problem-solving skills
Generalization and maintenance of skills
Absence of interfering behaviors
Absence of instructional control problems
Absence of faulty stimulus control problems
Absence of defective scanning problems
The assessor should score each criterion as 0 (not yet), 1 (emerging), or 2 (achieved), based on the child's performance and behavior. The assessor should also calculate the total score for the Transition Assessment. The total score can indicate the child's overall readiness to transition to a less restrictive setting.
Criteria for less restrictive educational settings
The following table shows the criteria and the corresponding scores for the VB-MPP Transition Assessment.
Criterion Score 0 (Not Yet) Score 1 (Emerging) Score 2 (Achieved) --- --- --- --- Group instruction skills Cannot participate in group instruction without one-to-one assistance or prompts Can participate in group instruction with minimal one-to-one assistance or prompts Can participate in group instruction independently and appropriately Independent work skills Cannot complete independent work tasks without one-to-one assistance or prompts Can complete some independent work tasks with minimal one-to-one assistance or prompts Can complete independent work tasks independently and appropriately Listener responding skills Cannot follow simple instructions or respond to others' verbal behavior without one-to-one assistance or prompts Can follow some simple instructions or respond to others' verbal behavior with minimal one-to-one assistance or prompts Can follow complex instructions or respond to others' verbal behavior independently and appropriately Criterion Score 0 (Not Yet) Score 1 (Emerging) Score 2 (Achieved) --- --- --- --- tacts, intraverbals) with minimal one-to-one assistance or prompts Can emit complex verbal operants (mands, tacts, intraverbals) independently and appropriately Spontaneous verbal behavior Cannot initiate or maintain verbal interactions with others without one-to-one assistance or prompts Can initiate or maintain some verbal interactions with others with minimal one-to-one assistance or prompts Can initiate and maintain verbal interactions with others independently and appropriately Social behavior and social interaction skills Cannot engage in appropriate social behavior or social interaction with peers or adults without one-to-one assistance or prompts Can engage in some appropriate social behavior or social interaction with peers or adults with minimal one-to-one assistance or prompts Can engage in appropriate social behavior and social interaction with peers and adults independently and appropriately Play and leisure skills Cannot engage in appropriate play and leisure activities without one-to-one assistance or prompts Can engage in some appropriate play and leisure activities with minimal one-to-one assistance or prompts Can engage in appropriate play and leisure activities independently and appropriately Classroom routines and expectations Cannot follow classroom routines or expectations without one-to-one assistance or prompts Can follow some classroom routines or expectations with minimal one-to-one assistance or prompts Can follow classroom routines and expectations independently and appropriately Self-care and motor skills Cannot perform basic self-care and motor skills without one-to-one assistance or prompts Can perform some basic self-care and motor skills with minimal one-to-one assistance or prompts Can perform basic self-care and motor skills independently and appropriately Reading skills Cannot read simple words or sentences without one-to-one assistance or prompts Can read some simple words or sentences with minimal one-to-one assistance or prompts Can read complex words or sentences independently and appropriately Writing skills Ca