How to use the VB-MAPP as a Curriculum Guide and not as a Curriculum

If you’ve been in the field of ABA, or a closely related field, it is highly probable that you’ve heard of the VB-MAPP. The Verbal Behavior Milestones Assessment and Placement Program (VB-MAPP) is a criterion-referenced assessment tool, curriculum guide, and skill tracking system often used by behavior analysts when working with the autism population or other individuals who demonstrate language delays.

A List of Popular Autism & ABA Curricula
Written by Emaley McCulloch

Curriculum or Curriculum Guide?

Did you know, the VB-MAPP was created to be used as a curriculum guide, rather than an actual curriculum? This incredibly valuable tool was designed to help create effective goals and targets that address individualized language, social skills, and learning readiness following the assessment of the learner’s skills. That is, as clinicians we use this assessment to identify the skills that are already in repertoire, while simultaneously making informed decisions on the noted areas of deficit—or emerging skills—followed by supplemental programs to teach each learner with specific goals in mind. Creating program targets and protocols that list milestones and tasks verbatim was not the intention of the creators of the VB-MAPP. A learner’s scope and sequence of learning milestones and skills need to be individualized and are not often linear in nature.

Motivity’s VB-MAPP Skill Library

Fun fact: The built in VB-Mapp skill library is free for all Motivity users!

What if we told you that Motivity has already generated skill acquisition programs that address the VB-MAPP Milestones? The programs address the milestones and tasks at multiple angles and across levels and verbal operants. This month we released our VB-MAPP Skill Library (“VBM-SL”) that houses over 90 skill acquisition programs, and counting, that can easily be modified to fit your learners’ needs and can be added to your learner’s profile immediately following their assessment. Each program has a long-term goal to help guide staff members on the direction of their curriculum, a list of references that correspond with the VB-MAPP Milestones and Tasks, a section specified to include pertinent teaching instructions, materials, responses to be accepted from the learner, and an area to note specific error correction procedures. 

VBM-SL Programs

The VBM-SL programs vary in the methods by which they are taught. That is, some programs are set up to be taught using naturalistic exemplar training (NET), while others are taught via discrete trial training (DTT). A number of programs include a rate measure to capture mands and tacts emitted throughout a session, and others use a changing criterion design to increase speaker and listener skills. Lastly, several programs have been created to teach speaker and listener skills by way of Multiple Exemplar Instruction (MEI), which consist of the rotation of different verbal operants with different functions (e.g., match, point to, tact, and intraverbal) across a series of consecutive trials. 

Motivity Functionality

Navigation Features

Navigating our library is simple. We used our “label” feature and linked every program to corresponding Milestones and Levels of the VB-MAPP. For example, our Colors program can be found using our filter feature using one or more of the following labels: Level 2, Level 3, Listener Responding, Mand, Tact, VPMTS. We also include a crosswalk of all milestones and tasks directly linked to the name and url of the program in Motivity. 

View the Crosswalk Here

More to Come

While the bulk of the VBM-SL library places heavy emphasis on language and acquisition skills, our team at Motivity continues to add more programs that address the Barriers and Transition Assessments found in the VB-MAPP. As we continue to grow this library for our users, our hope is that you, your team, and your learners benefit from our bank of knowledge.


LaFrance, D. L. and Tarbox, J. (2019). The importance of multiple exemplar instruction in the establishment of novel verbal behavior. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis. 9999. 1-15.
Sundberg, M. L. (2008). Verbal Behavior Milestones Assessment and Placement Program. Concord, CA: AVB Press.

Chelsee Bznuni, M.A., BCBA
Customer Success Consultant