What is the VB-MAPP?

Put simply, the VB-MAPP is a tool that we use at Trellis to assess and develop learning plans for young learners with autism.

Based on the work of renowned behaviorist B.F. Skinner, the VB-MAPP or Verbal Behavior Milestones Assessment and Placement Program is a criterion-referenced assessment tool, curriculum guide, and skill tracking system that is designed for children with autism, and other individuals who demonstrate language delays. There are three core components to the VB-MAPP:

  1. The Milestones Assessment includes 170 measurable learning and language milestones which are designed to assess a learners existing verbal and related skills. We use this tool to help us design a individualized intervention strategy for our learners.
  2. The Barriers Assessments helps identify the specific challenges a learner is having with learning and language acquisitions.
  3. The Transition Assessment helps assess whether a learner is ready to move to a less restrictive learning environment. We use it to understand how our learners are progressing toward their goals.
  4. The Task Analysis and Skills Tracking forms the basis for daily skill building. There are over 900 skills in this tool.

Collectively, these four components of the VB-MAPP represent over 30 years of research, clinical work, field-testing, and revisions (Partington & Sundberg, 1998; Sundberg, 1980, 1983, 1987, 1990; Sundberg & Michael, 2001; Sundberg & Partington, 1998; Sundberg, Ray, Braam, Stafford, Rueber, & Braam, 1979).

At Trellis, we often use the VB-MAPP to determine where a young learner is functioning in comparison to neurotypical children at the same chronological age.  Skills and goals are then chosen based on that assessment and implemented throughout each session.  In the Trellis School, additional goals from the child’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) and the Maryland College and Career Ready Standards are selected and taught.  Data on all skills, goals/ and ehaviors are tracked on the students’ weekly data sheets.