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Association for Behavior Analysis International

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42nd Annual Convention; Downtown Chicago, IL; 2016

Event Details

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Symposium #492
CE Offered: BACB
Incorporating Assessment Into Skill Acquisition Programming for Individuals With Autism Spectrum Disorder
Tuesday, May 31, 2016
2:00 PM–3:50 PM
Grand Ballroom EF, Hyatt Regency, Gold East
Area: AUT/EDC; Domain: Applied Research
CE Instructor: Jason C. Vladescu, Ph.D.
Chair: Jason C. Vladescu (Caldwell University)
Discussant: Dorothea C. Lerman (University of Houston-Clear Lake)
Abstract: The symposium includes fours studies on incorporating assessment into skill acquisition programming for individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The first presentation evaluated the utility of a brief assessment of delayed imitation and attending followed by testing interventions designed to specifically address deficits in either skill to determine their effectiveness with two learners with ASD. The second presentation examined the utility of a brief assessment of 12 students prerequisite sills for three common response modalities (i.e., vocal, sign language, exchange based communication) to determine if performance on the skills assessment predicted rate of acquisition during mand training in each response modality. The third presentation evaluated if a modified skill assessment would predict outcomes for subsequent auditory-visual conditional discrimination training for five individuals with ASD. The fourth presentation conducted an assessment of differential and non-differential reinforcement arrangements during auditory-visual conditional discrimination training, and evaluated whether assessment results would predict the optimal reinforcement arrangement during subsequent auditory-visual conditional discrimination, tact, and intraverbal training. Collectively these studies provide support for the value of assessment prior to beginning instruction for individuals with ASD.
Keyword(s): skill acquisition, skill assessment
An Evaluation of Matching Skill Profiles to Interventions to Establish Motor Imitation Repertoires in Individuals With Autism
AMBER VALENTINO (Trumpet Behavioral Health - Monterey Bay), Linda A. LeBlanc (Trumpet Behavioral Health), Kerry A. Conde (Trumpet Behavioral Health)
Abstract: As evidence based procedures for teaching various skills continue to be produced by behavior analysts, it is important that practitioners have tools to help them decide which intervention to use to teach a particular skill. Ideally, the choice will be based on a learners profile that is known to predict success in one intervention over another. Motor imitation is a skill often taught to learners with autism, but a number of barriers to learning can occur. In particular, some learners acquire imitation involving objects, but imitation without objects is more difficult. This could occur due to deficits in attending or delayed imitation. The purpose of this study was to assess the utility of a brief assessment of delayed imitation and attending followed by testing interventions designed to specifically address deficits in either skill to determine their effectiveness with two learners with autism. Results are discussed in terms of matching skill profiles to interventions.
Using a Pre-Requisite Skills Assessment to Identify Optimal Modalities for Mand Training
Amber Valentino (Trumpet Behavioral Health - Monterey Bay), LINDA A. LEBLANC (Trumpet Behavioral Health), Paige Raetz (Trumpet Behavioral Health), Lauren A. Weaver (Vanderbilt University), Sarah Veazey (Trumpet Behavioral Health)
Abstract: Mands have been successfully taught to children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and intellectual disabilities (ID) using many different response modalities including vocalizations, manual sign, and exchanged-based communication systems. A few studies have directly compared the effectiveness of different modalities such as the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) and sign language. Some of these studies have found that the usefulness of either modality varied across students without a clear indication of the relevant characteristics of each student that might predict effectiveness. Thus, one option is unlikely to prove optimal for all children. The current study examined the utility of a brief assessment of students prerequisite skills for three common response modalities (i.e., vocal, sign language, exchange based communication) to determine if performance on the skills assessment predicts the rate of acquisition during mand training in each response modality. The three pre-requisite assessments (motor imitation, vocal imitation, picture matching) each consisted of 20 trials. Subsequently, three equally preferred items were selected from a preference assessment and one item was randomly assigned to each condition. The speed of acquisition during mand training was evaluated using a multi-element design. If one of the response modalities was acquired more quickly than the others and the remaining responses were not acquired, the other two responses were trained in the successful modality. Data from at least 12 participants will be presented to illustrate typical response patterns and predictive value of the assessment. Interobserver agreement and procedural integrity data were high for all participants.
A Replication and Extension of a Skills Assessment for Auditory-Visual Conditional Discrimination Training
TIFFANY KODAK (University of Oregon), Samantha Bergmann (University of Oregon), Kate E. Fiske Massey (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, Rutgers University), Robert W. Isenhower (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, Rutgers University), Meredith Bamond (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, Rutgers University), Lara M. Delmolino Gatley (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, Rutgers University), Catriona Beauchamp Francis (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, Rutger)
Abstract: Kodak et al. (2015) developed a skills assessment to measure potential prerequisite skills for auditory-visual conditional discrimination training. The results of the assessment showed that a proportion of children with autism spectrum disorder did not master all skills in the assessment, and the assessment accurately predicted the outcomes of auditory-visual conditional discrimination training for seven of the nine participants. The current study replicated and extended prior research by conducting a modified skills assessment with five children with autism spectrum disorder. Several procedural modifications were made to the skills assessment to more closely match the format of subsequent discrimination training. The results of the assessment show that all of the participants were missing one or more of the skills evaluated in the assessment. Auditory-visual conditional discrimination training conducted after the assessment verified the assessment results for all five participants. Next steps in this line of research and implications for practice will be discussed.
An Assessment of Differential Reinforcement Procedures for Learners With Autism Spectrum Disorder
Kate Johnson (Caldwell University), Jason C. Vladescu (Caldwell University), Tiffany Kodak (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee), Tina Sidener (Caldwell University), ANTONIA GIANNAKAKOS (Caldwell University)
Abstract: Early intervention manuals suggest clinicians use differential reinforcement arrangements during skill acquisition programs; however, they do not recommend the same arrangement. Recent studies that have compared reinforcement arrangements have found that the most effective arrangement may differ across participants. This study extended the current literature by conducting an assessment of differential reinforcement arrangements (i.e., quality, magnitude, schedule) and non-differential reinforcement to identify the most effective arrangement for each participant. The assessment phase found that the quality arrangement was the most efficient condition across all participants during an matching task. Additionally, a validation phase was conducted to further assess the results across multiple tasks. This phase validated the results from the assessment phase across all participants for the matching task. However, the results were only validated for one participant during the other tasks (i.e., tact and intraverbal). This suggests that the most efficient differential reinforcement procedures may differ across learners and tasks.
 

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