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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.

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43rd Annual Convention; Denver, CO; 2017

Event Details

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Symposium #160
CE Offered: BACB
Behavioral Interventions Targeting Social Skills in Children With Autism: Affect, Joint Attention, and Social Interactions
Sunday, May 28, 2017
8:00 AM–8:50 AM
Convention Center Mile High Ballroom 4E/F
Area: AUT
CE Instructor: Jaime DeQuinzio, Ph.D.
Chair: Nidal Daou (American University of Beirut)
Abstract: This symposium is concerned with behavioral interventions that target social skills in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). It focuses mainly on affect, joint attention, and responding to the interest of others as means for enhancing social interactions. The first presentation is a conceptual examination of the different approaches in the study of affect as a critical component of social-communication intervention in ASD; it reviews the behavioral interventions literature of the last 20 years and considers possible reasons for the underrepresentation of this research topic in the behavioral literature and ways to encourage it. The second presentation reports on an empirical study concerned with the effectiveness of prompting and reinforcement to teach gaze shift to toddlers with ASD when responding to a request, responding to joint attention, and initiating joint attention. Finally, the third presentation reports on an empirical study that evaluated the effects of verbal instructions, a visual flow chart, and differential reinforcement on the acquisition and generalization of asking a question to play partners who displayed non-verbal cues showing disinterest.
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): affective behavior, joint attention, requesting, social interactions
Affective Behavior and Emotion in Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Review of Interventions
(Theory)
NIDAL DAOU (American University of Beirut), Ryma Hady (American University of Beirut), Claire L. Poulson (Queens College, City University of New York)
Abstract: It is not uncommon for people with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) to smile or cry. It is uncommon, however, for these and other expressions of emotion to be emitted contextually without the aid of intervention. Scientists and practitioners across the subfields in psychology have addressed this important diagnostic feature of ASD. The cognitive/developmental literature has focused extensively on deficits in the expression and recognition of emotion in people with ASD, yet it is predominantly the behavioral literature that has offered interventions to teach children with ASD to engage in affective responses. Nevertheless, the topic of affect intervention remains under-researched. Although a handful of affect-training behavioral studies have been published in the last two decades, more research is needed to determine precisely what would constitute science-based best-practice methods to facilitate socialization in ASD. This presentation examines the traditional and behavioral approaches in the study of affect in autism; it reviews behavior analytic interventions that have been carried out in this context since Gena, Krantz, McClannahan, and Poulson’s (1996) seminal study and evaluates reasons and potential solutions for the underrepresentation of this topic.
Social-Communication Intervention: Generalization and Collateral Changes
(Applied Research)
THERESA FIANI (The Graduate Center, City University of New York; Queens College, City University of New York), Emily A. Jones (The Graduate Center, City University of New York; Queens College, City University of New York)
Abstract: The impairment in gaze behavior in children with autism negatively affects the development of early social-communication skills, such as requesting and joint attention. Previous research has shown collateral changes associated with teaching children to shift gaze in the contexts of requesting and/or joint attention. In this study we examined whether teaching gaze shift response in the context of two pivotal responses, requesting and joint attention, will result in generalization to a wider range of social-communicative contexts. Using a multiple baseline design across responses, we examined the effectiveness of prompting and reinforcement to teach gaze shift to three toddlers with autism spectrum disorder in the contexts of responding to a request, responding to joint attention, and initiating joint attention. Results from the first two participants showed generalization of the gaze shift response to other social-communicative contexts, people, and responses (i.e., smiling, pointing, vocalizing, and imitating; the third participant is expected to complete the project in December 2016). We also observed collateral changes on the Childhood Autism Rating ScaleTM 2nd edition, and the Pervasive Developmental Disorder Behavior Inventory after intervention.
Teaching Individuals With Autism to Respond to the Interest of Others During Play Activities
(Applied Research)
STEPHANIE VENTURA (Alpine Learning Group), Brittany Tomasi (Alpine Learning Group), Nicole DeNisco (Alpine Learning Group), Jaime DeQuinzio (Alpine Learning Group), Bridget A. Taylor (Alpine Learning Group)
Abstract: We used a multiple-probe-across-participants-experimental design to evaluate the effects of verbal instructions, a visual flow chart, and differential reinforcement on the acquisition and generalization of asking a question (Do you still want to play?) when play partners displayed non-verbal cues showing disinterest (e.g., yawning). To ensure that participants learned to discriminate when to ask the question, we presented disinterested and interested trials. While playing, partners showed interest on some trials, and disinterest on others. None of the participants asked the question on disinterested or interested trials during baseline. During intervention, two of the participants learned to ask the question on disinterested trials, and did not ask the question on interested trials. Correct responding for the third and final participant are currently on an increasing trend with the most recent probe at 83% correct. We anticipate criterion responding within two sessions. Responding measured during games where the intervention was not used indicated generalization of question asking to non-trained disinterested scenarios. We will continue to collect generalization and maintenance data for all participants.
 

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