What is VB-MAPP?

The VB-MAPP is an acronym for Verbal Behavior Milestones Assessment and Placement Program.

VB-MAPP is a curriculum guide formulated specifically for individuals with diagnosis of Autism and language delays. It is based on the principles of ABA and Skinner’s Analysis of verbal behavior. It is a criterion-referenced assessment tool and a process that tracks skills. It helps us identify gaps in child’s development.

Components of VB-MAPP

There are five components of VB MAPP and together they provide a substructure for the curriculum guide. The components/ set of skills are measurable and well balanced.

1. VB-MAPP Milestones Assessment

This includes the existing skills of an individual. This assessment helps in evaluating performance and the results can be used to design future goals. The milestones assessment is divided into three developmental levels (0–18, 18–30, and 30–48 months). It is one of the most important part of Autism treatment.

  • Level 1- based on evaluation of mand, tact, vocal behavior, onomatopoetic skills, listening, independent play, motor imitation, match-to-sample, visual perceptual etc.

  • Level 2- based on the evaluation through expanded level 1 skills and an assessment of listening and responding by function, feature, and class, intraverbals, group activities and linguistic skills.

  • Level 3- targets the expansion of skills in level 2 and examines pre-academic behaviors in reading, math, and writing.


The results of VB-MAPP are only meaningful if the assessment is done by a skilled professional.


2. VB-MAPP Barriers Assessment

This assists the identification of areas that cause you child to be unsuccessful in learning their verbal range. Twenty-four barriers can be identified by using this assessment.


    • Behavior problems

    • Instructional control

    • Defective mand

    • Defective tact

    • Defective echoic

    • Defective imitation

    • Defective VP- MTS

    • Defective listener

    • Defective intraverbal

    • Defective social skills

    • Prompt Dependent

    • Scrolling

    • Defective scanning

    • Defective conditional discrimination

    • Failure to generalize

    • Weak motivators

    • Response Requirement Weakens MO

    • Reinforcer Dependent

    • Self-Stimulation

    • Defective Articulation

    • Obsessive-Compulsive Behavior

    • Hyperactive Behavior

    • Failure to Make Eye Contact

    • Sensory Defensiveness



3. VB-MAPP Transition Assessment

It contains 18 areas of assessment. This helps in identifying a child’s improvements. This assessment tool is significant in a way that it helps outlining the progress and upcoming targets. It is divided into three transition categories

Transition Category 1: scores and academic independence. Scores are rated from 1-5 scale


  • VB-MAPP Milestones Assessment Score

  • VB-MAPP Barriers Assessment Score

  • Negative Behaviors and Instructional Control

  • Classroom Routines and Group Skills

  • Social Behavior and Social Play

  • Independent Academic work


Transition Category 2:

  • Generalization

  • Range of Reinforcers

  • Rate of Skill Acquisition

  • Retention of New Skills

  • Natural Environment Learning

  • Transfer Without Training



4. Task Analysis and Supporting Skills


  • This analysis helps in tracking skills and helps target specific content for future. The supporting skills are developed alongside milestones. The skills are defined on the basis of milestones and the steps required to achieve them. It has around 35 pages of task analysis and supporting skills to assess an individual. These skills are divided into different levels and are taught in a well- balanced manner. There are 170 milestones and approximately 900 total tasks in the VB-MAPP task analysis.



5. MAPP Placement and IEP Goals

It acts as a map to specify the directions for milestones in the Milestones Assessment as well as aids the formulation of IEP Goals. IEP goals are the particular details in individual’s plan that define their accomplishment during each milestone and barrier. It corresponds with the verbal behavior intervention program.

Administration of VB-MAPP for Autism

It takes around four to ten hours for a child to complete the assessment depending on his skills, problem areas and interaction with the therapist administering the test. The assessment can be in the form of group monitoring or one-on-one closed environment. After the completion of assessment, a plan is designed by the therapist.

Usually the Barrier and Milestone assessments are updated every three to four months to develop an understanding of child’s progress and achievements. Skills are monitored and tasks are upgraded regularly to ensure the best interventions! VB-MAPP puts us in the right direction to develop and endorse the right therapy program for an Autistic child.