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Episode #145: Early Echoic Skills with Dr. Barbara E. Esch

As a member of the field, you have probably heard of and used the VB-MAPP. Today I am talking to Dr. Barbara Esch, who is an experienced contributor to the field as an SLP and BCBA-D, as well as the author of the EESA, a part of the VB-MAPP. 

Dr. Esch recently released the “New EESA”, the Early Echoic Skills Assessment and Program Planner. She explains the changes and the reasoning behind them. 

The EESA is not about articulation, as it is primarily focused on Early Speech Learners. This assessment and planner is about how well an individual can repeat what they hear with the criteria: the number of syllables 1 to 6, different numbers of consonants, and different numbers of vowels.

In the new EESA you will find 5 groups of increasingly complex syllables within the Guide and Protocol books. These also include FAQ, Translations, and a Work Packet. In the work packet, the administrator will analyze skill levels and utilize the program planning guidance. 

It’s always important to me to keep things FUNctional, Dr. Esch and I discuss the importance of choosing the write targets and the write syllables for words of things our learners like and would need access to. 

As creator of the EESA, Dr. Barbara Esch has had a hand in thousands of learners’ development of verbal speech. You can utilize this tool whether you’re an SLP, BCBA, Parent, Caretaker or anyone finding themselves responsible for teaching vocal speech!

#autism #speechtherapy

Today’s Guest:

Barbara E. Esch, Ph.D., BCBA-D, CCC-SLP Dr. Barbara Esch is a behavior analyst and speech pathologist with extensive experience in behavioral interventions for children and adults. Dr. Esch received her Ph.D. in Applied Behavior Analysis from Western Michigan University under the direction of Dr. Jack Michael and Dr. Jim Carr and her M.A. in Speech Pathology from Michigan State University. She has published research on behavioral treatments for early speech acquisition and aphasia assessment in The Analysis of Verbal Behavior, the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, and the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disabilities. She has presented workshops, training symposia, and research in the United States, Canada, Europe, and Australia, focusing on the use of behavioral procedures to improve speech and language skills for individuals of all ages with a wide range of diagnoses. Dr. Esch is the founder of the Speech Pathology Special Interest Group ( of the Association for Behavior Analysis International. She is the author of the original Early Echoic Skills Assessment, part of the Verbal Behavior Milestones Assessment and Placement Program (VB-MAPP), published by Dr. Mark Sundberg (2008/2014) and the new Early Echoic Skills Assessment and Program Planner – Guide and Protocol.

What’s Inside:

  • Top tips for creating a positive work environment.
  • The importance of shared values and open communication in any organization.
  • How to cultivate psychological safety.
  • The impact of the work environment on growth and investment in the mission.
  • The importance of supervisor and administrative visibility.

Mentioned In This Episode

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