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Ninth International Conference; Paris, France; 2017

Event Details

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Symposium #93
Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder at Play With Siblings and Peers: Using Innovative Behavioral Interventions
Wednesday, November 15, 2017
2:00 PM–3:50 PM
Forum Auditorium, Niveau 1
CE Instructor: Marjorie H. Charlop, Ph.D.
Chair: Marjorie H. Charlop (Claremont McKenna College)
Discussant: Christos Nikopoulos (Autism Consultancy Services, London)
Abstract: We used innovative techniques, and included siblings and peers, in play settings to address the social deficits commonly seen in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD; American Psychiatric Association, 2013). Four research studies will be presented. In the first study, a sibling-mediated intervention using the Natural Language Paradigm (NLP) was used to increase appropriate speech of children with ASD during play. Occurrences of happiness and joint attention also increased during these play/speech sessions. In the second study, a theatre-based intervention increased the social skills and socio-dramatic play of dyads of children with ASD. The third study presented a fading prompt program to teach individuals with ASD to ride a bike, while also measuring verbal and non-verbal social behaviors. We saw a trend in that as bike-riding independence increased, so did social behavior. Lastly, a Behavioral Skills Training program was used to teach athletically skilled children with ASD to teach their playmates appropriate play. Ancillary social behaviors yielded positive gains. Taken together, these four studies demonstrate ways to teach play, treat in play settings, and incorporate siblings and peers into intervention.
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): autism, peers, play, siblings
Social Behavior Increases During a Sibling-Mediated Intervention for Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder
(Applied Research)
VICKI SPECTOR (Claremont Graduate University), Marjorie H. Charlop (Claremont McKenna College)
Abstract: Sibling-mediated interventions for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) can potentially improve joint attention (Ferraioli & Harris, 2011) and increase engagement (Celiberti & Harris, 1993). The current study used a multiple baseline design across three sibling and child with ASD dyads to assess whether siblings could use the Natural Language Paradigm (NLP) to increase appropriate verbal behavior of their brother during play. Indices of happiness, joint attention, and appropriate play were measured. Each dyad engaged in free-play sessions during baseline. Following baseline, siblings learned to implement NLP with a trained therapist. After reaching mastery criterion, siblings conducted NLP play sessions with their brother with ASD. Results indicated that siblings effectively learned and implemented NLP, and that sibling-mediated NLP was associated with increases in appropriate language for two of the three children with ASD. Measures of happiness increased for all three children with ASD, and joint attention increased for two children with ASD. The implications of this study point toward further investigation of using sibling-mediated interventions to increase the social behaviors of children with ASD.
Using Theatre to Increase the Play and Social Skills of Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder
(Applied Research)
Melisa Rojas (Pomona College), Marjorie H. Charlop (Claremont McKenna College), Nataly Lim (University of Texas at Austin), BRITTANY NICHOLE BELL (Claremont Graduate University)
Abstract: Theatre interventions have been used to remediate the social skills deficits in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). In general, theatre interventions consist of performing skits, theatrical productions (Corbett et al., 2011; Goldstein & Cisar, 1992), and role-play in games (Guli, Semrud-Clikeman, Lerner, & Britton, 2013). In the present study, a multiple baseline design was used to assess the efficacy of a theatre-based treatment that aimed to teach play and social skills to three dyads of children with ASD. Measures of socio-dramatic play, verbal social behavior, and nonverbal social behavior were used. Each dyad participated in baseline, which consisted of five-minute free-play sessions. During intervention, the dyads engaged in warm up activities, put on costumes, practiced and performed skits. Results indicated that during baseline, there was little or inconsistent evidence of appropriate social behavior. Following treatment, all three dyads met criterion for nonverbal social behavior, and each participant displayed increases in all three dependent measures. The results of this study suggest that a theatre intervention offers promise as an effective play and social skills intervention.
Bike Riding Program for Individuals With Autism Spectrum Disorder and Ancillary Effects on Social Behaviors
(Service Delivery)
Catelyn Gumaer (Claremont Graduate University), JENNA GILDER (Claremont Graduate University), Marjorie H. Charlop (Claremont McKenna College)
Abstract: Recreational activities, like riding a bike, can provide individuals with the opportunity to improve their health (Lang et al., 2010), increase their independence (McIlvenny, 2014) and socialize with peers (McDonald & Ulrich, 2009). For individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), learning to successfully and independently ride a two-wheeled bike may be quite difficult. An AB design replicated across five individuals with ASD was used to measure a bike prompt fading program, implemented by the iCan Shine organization, that aimed to teach participants to ride a two-wheeled bike independently. Ancillary measures of verbal and non-verbal social behaviors and happiness behaviors were also taken. Using adaptive bicycle equipment, including rollers and rear handles, the participants safely practiced bike-riding skills. Following the fading program, all five participants successfully rode a two-wheeled bike independently, and evidence of all three ancillary social behaviors increased from pre- to post-training. Interestingly, non-verbal social behaviors increased with practice during each fading step and decreased when the level of difficulty was changed. The results of this study indicated that a fading program effectively taught individuals with ASD to independently ride a bike, and that this process may have offered individuals the opportunity to engage in appropriate social interaction.
Prompting Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder to Teach Playmates
(Applied Research)
BENJAMIN R. THOMAS (Claremont Graduate University), Marjorie H. Charlop (Claremont McKenna College), Vicki Spector (Claremont Graduate University)
Abstract: Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are often lacking in appropriate play and athletic skills (Weiss & Harris, 2001). It is therefore a common occurrence that peers and siblings often view them as a less desirable playmate (Banda, 2015). However, for those children with ASD who do have such skills, it may be appropriate to take advantage of their skills so that they can become a desired playmate. In the present study, an eleven-year-old male with ASD became an athletic instructor for two playmates. Researchers used a multiple baseline across participants and skills design to assess the effects of the child with ASD using behavioral skills training (BST), on the skateboarding skills of his playmates. Social behaviors of joint attention and conversation were also measured before and after training for all three children. Results indicated that the playmates acquired most skills when taught by the child with ASD via BST. Improvements in social behavior were also observed for all of the children following training. Discussion will focus on the implications of interventions mediated by individuals with ASD, as well as on considerations for structuring their teaching interactions.



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