Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


Ninth International Conference; Paris, France; 2017

Workshop Details

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Workshop #W2
Using Play-Based Discrete Trials to Teach Infants, Toddlers, and Preschoolers With Autism and Developmental Disabilities
Tuesday, November 14, 2017
7:00 AM–9:00 AM
Scene C, Niveau 0
Area: AUT/DDA; Domain: Service Delivery
CE Instructor: E. Amanda Boutot, Ph.D.
E. AMANDA BOUTOT (Texas State University), SAMUEL DIGANGI (Arizona State University)
Description: Interventionists often find that more traditional formats of instruction associated with applied behavior analysis (ABA) (such as discrete trial training, DTT) may be challenging for very young learners (0-3 years). Practitioners report that physicians often recommend "FloorTime" as an alternative to ABA because of its focus on "play". The presenters have combined the concepts of play and the use of ABA principles, and specifically DTT, to teach very young learners functional skills within the context of play. This hands-on workshop will teach participants how to use play as a conduit for learning when teaching very young children with for autism or other developmental disabilities, even for children who are not yet proficient players. Based on 10 years broader practice and research supporting more naturalistic strategies, presenters will describe the rationale behind conducting discrete trials in a play-based format, as well as demonstrate and provide guided practice. Additionally, participants will learn the difference between "controlling reinforcers" and using play materials and activities as discrimintative stimuli in play-based DTT. We will discuss the concept of contriving the motivational operant, share tips on program development within the context of play as well as methods of data collection within a play-based environment.
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the workshop, participants will be able to: (1) Describe the rationale behind using play as a basis for DTT for very young leaners; (2) Explain the concept of contriving the motivational operant as it relate to play-based DTT; (3) Explain the difference between "maintaining reinforcer control" and using play materials as discriminative stimuli in play-based DTT; (4) Demonstrate DTT using play materials or activities appropriate for infants, toddlers, or preschoolers; (5) List and describe specific strategies (tips) for program development and data collection that may be unique to a play-based format.
Activities: Workshop objectives will be met through a combination of lecture, discussion, guided practice, small group breakout, and video observation.
Audience: Basic: appropriate for BCaBAs and BCBAs.
Content Area: Practice
Instruction Level: Basic
Keyword(s): early intervention, naturalistic instruction, preschoolers, toddlers



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