Verbal Behaviour Therapy is based on theories of B.F. Skinner (1957) and uses the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis to teach communication skills. It is a method of teaching language that focuses on the idea that a meaning of a word is found in its function (reason.) It capitalizes on the individual’s own motivation, teaching him or her to communicate their desires. The theory is that the ability to communicate your desires may reduce problematic behavior that functioned as a means for obtaining desires.

The Verbal Behavior intervention works on developing communication skills, including receptive and expressive language across the verbal operants of mand (requesting), tact (labeling), echoics (vocal imitation) and intraverbal (conversational skills.)