What is the VB-MAPP & How is it used in Pediatric ABA Therapy?

There are many ways to assess the ability level of children with a diagnosis of autism, so how do you know which one is the right one for your child? While the professional providing treatment for your child will likely guide you through the process, it can also be helpful to know a bit about each assessment. One assessment that is commonly used in applied behavior analysis (ABA) therapy is the VB-MAPP, or Verbal Behavior Milestones Assessment and Placement Program.

This assessment provides an indication of the level of language and social skills of a child with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or a delay in their development. In addition to examining language and social skills, the VB-MAPP assesses the learning style of the child in order to develop an appropriate curriculum and track progress throughout their learning. These levels are evaluated using 170 of the pivotal milestones in early childhood development. The VB-MAPP will show both the function of behaviors and language and areas that may cause issues for children in their learning.


What ages are assessed with VB-MAPP?
The VB-MAPP is used to gauge the language and social skills milestones in children up to two years old.

Who created the VB-MAPP?
This assessment was developed by Mark L. Sundberg, PhD, BCBA-D. Sundberg based the VB-MAPP on some of the findings of B.F. Skinner regarding verbal behavior.

What are the components of the VB-MAPP?
There are five different components to the VB-MAPP program, including the VB-MAPP Milestones Assessment, VB-MAPP Barriers Assessment, VB-MAPP Transition Assessment, VB-MAPP Task Analysis and Skills Tracking, and VB-MAPP Placement and IEP Goals.

How is the VB-MAPP administered?
This assessment is typically administered by a therapist and can take up to ten hours to administer, though it may not necessarily take this long to complete. The VB-MAPP can be administered in a variety of settings, including the clinic, home, or school.

How is the VB-MAPP used in ABA therapy?
The VB-MAPP is successful in identifying areas for improvement in children with autism, which can then be targeted in applied behavior analysis (ABA) therapy. ABA therapy focuses on building socially significant behaviors by first determining the function of the behavior. The VB-MAPP also examines social skills, and provides an indication of the child’s level in all of these pivotal skills. Once the VB-MAPP is administered and the gaps are identified, the parents and therapists can begin to work through the ABA treatment plan.


Are you interested in learning more about the VB-MAPP and ABA therapy?
Are you interested in ABA services for your child in the Chicago area? Contact us or call (773) 630-4400 to learn more about the range of services we provide for children who are on the autism spectrum at Chicago ABA Therapy, including applied behavior analysis therapy, occupational therapy, and speech-language pathology.

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"Chicago ABA Therapy is a boon for special needs kids and parents. They take a play-based, personalized approach and meet the kids where they are. They also go above and beyond - our ABA therapist took time to make sure we as parents understood every aspect of our child's experience, understood how to read his progress reports and generally made us feel a part of his therapy. My child loved all his therapists. Highly recommend the team!"

"We were so happy with our experience with Chicago ABA. We began working with them when our son was almost 4, a few months after his autism diagnosis. It was such an amazing team to work with - everyone was professional, responsive, flexible, and worked so hard for our son to meet his goals, which he did beautifully. We worked together for almost 2 years before he left for kindergarten, and in that time period he met almost all of his goals. We went through several bumps in the road with behavioral difficulties, and the Chicago ABA team did an amazing job helping us problem solve, try new strategies and think of ways to translate those strategies at home. We couldn't recommend them more highly - anyone who works with Chicago ABA will be lucky to have the experience!"