Barbara E. Esch


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 SPABA, the Speech Pathology Applied Behavior Analysis 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 (2014, 2nd ed.), and the Early Echoic Skills Assessment and Program Planner – Guide and Protocol (2023).