One of my clients had a limited “vocal” vocabulary at the age of 3 years old. We worked on sounds, humming, and listening to songs and stories as we tried to encourage his vocalization skills. We reinforced anything that he gave us and he began to progress.
We then added new skills and began to incorporate vocalizations into our hide and seek play breaks. I decided to have him make an attempt at “s” (for Sarah) to get me to jump out from my hiding spot. After modeling numerous times, I got that /s/ sound. I continued to shape and got a few “rah” attempts along the way. After some time, we got the “Sarah.” You can just imagine how quickly I jumped out and ran to him to give tickles that first time!
Hearing his voice say my name was so reinforcing for me! I went home exhausted and euphoric that day after numerous sprints across the room to reinforce him calling my name.
Sarah Vayo, BCBA