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Teaching Listener Behavior to Children with Developmental Disabilities

1 hours, 42 minutes
2.0 BACB

“It is very important for clinicians to understand the basic concepts and principles of teaching listener skills because it allows us to troubleshoot problems so that we can develop a solution that will result in mastery/”

Laura Grow, PhD, BCBA-D


Listener skills are a primary focus of intervention for individuals with developmental disabilities. In this course, Dr. Laura Grow describes strategies for effectively teaching listener skills with a specific focus on conditional discrimination procedures. Dr. Grow begins this course by defining listener skills and then describes auditory-visual conditional discrimination contingencies as they appear in clinical settings. Then, the importance of effective teaching is discussed, providing examples of indicators of effective and ineffective teaching. Next, Dr. Grow provides recommendations for teaching listener skills, including how to set up the training environment, how to teach new targets, how to present stimuli, and how to assess client-attending skills. Additionally, considerations for counterbalancing, prompting, and fading procedures are discussed, referencing the literature. Finally, the course concludes with a description of how to conduct an error analysis to identify client error patterns. 

Learning Objectives

What you’ll learn in the course and be able to do afterward

  1. Define language skills 
    • List the two categories of listener skills 
    • List three other terms used to describe listener skills 
  2. List two indicators of effective teaching 
  3. List two indicators of ineffective teaching 
    • Describe “faulty” stimulus control and list two indicators 
  4. List three barriers commonly faced by children with autism while learning listener skills 
    • List three error patterns common to conditional discrimination procedures 
  5. Describe how to set up a training set 
    • Provide examples of simple and intermediate stimuli sets 
  6. Distinguish between sequential and simultaneous procedures of teaching new targets 
  7. Describe procedures for assessing client attending skills and barriers 
  8. Describe the rules for counterbalancing sample and comparison stimuli 
  9. Describe and compare most-to-least and least-to-most prompting procedures 
    • Identify the benefits and considerations for both procedures 
  10. Describe common inadvertent therapist prompting cues 
    • Provide procedures for minimizing inadvertent therapist prompting cues 
  11. Describe and compare differential reinforcement and nondifferential reinforcement procedures 
  12. Describe error analysis procedures to identify position bias, stimulus bias, and win-stay error patterns. 


This course is delivered through Florida Tech. Clicking "Enroll Now" will take you to Florida Tech’s website where you can Add to CartCheckout, and complete the course. Come back to our website for podcasts, blogs, courses, and content.



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