Conceptual and Practical Issues in Complex Verbal Behavior for School Consultation

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Session Dates

Wednesday April 22, 2020 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Thursday April 23, 2020 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM

This event is by invitation only. You must have a registration key in order to register.

The main focus of this advanced training will be on the conceptual underpinnings of autoclitic control and applications for practice derived from such an analysis. It will also provide an update on definitional issues relative to the concept of motivating operations. The primary verbal operants include mands, tacts, echoics and intraverbals. Autoclitics function to modify primary verbal operant responses. Insuring that students with autism acquire effective skills at modifying primary operant responses is a critical consultative consideration but methods to accomplish such an outcome continue to emerge. Key considerations in the analysis of autoclitic control relative to practice will be iterated. Additionally, training content will include an in-depth review of recent proposed changes to the definition of motivating operations (Edwards, Lotfizadeh, and Poling, 2019). The proposal suggests maintaining the reinforcer altering effect but dropping the behavior-altering effect of motivating operations. This would imply conditioned motivating operations as unnecessary terminology. Re-defining the concept of motivating operations has significant implications for consultation practice. Additionally, the session will include a review of a range of case studies derived from PaTTAN’s Autism Initiative reflective of effective school based practices.


Following the training participants will be able to:

  1. Identify controlling variables relative to responses modified by autoclitic behavior and discuss the relation of covert intraverbal responding and autoclitic control.
  2. Analyze various instructional protocols for establishing autoclitic control and state strengths and weaknesses of various tactical approaches.
  3. State the proposed change to the definition of motivating operations as proposed by Edwards, et. al and discuss potential benefits and concerns related to effect of that definition on practice issues such as the role of conditioned motivating operations.
  4. Identify aspects of complex verbal behavior in the design and procedures discussed in various case studies.

Target Audience

PATTAN Consultants serving Autism Initiative and ABA supports, invited Autism TACS and internal coaches form School Districts and Intermediate Units

Topics Covered: Autism

Reasonable efforts will be made to accommodate individuals who have special needs as addressed by the Americans with Disabilities Act and who need assistance at this event. Contact: Ashely Frye, at 717-901-2272, or

Event Info

Event Type:


Credit Type:

Act 48 Clock Hour
No credit


Dr. Vincent J. Carbone

Event Contact:


Ashely Frye


Mike Miklos