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Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis InternationalĀ® (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 #372
CE Offered: BACB
CANCELED: Evaluating Systems to Determine Required Levels of Staff Support and Developing Competent Group Teachers for Learners With ASD
Monday, May 29, 2017
8:00 AM–8:50 AM
Convention Center Mile High Ballroom 4E/F
Area: AUT/EDC; Domain: Service Delivery
CE Instructor: Jill E. McGrale Maher, M.A.
Chair: Ian Melton (Endicott College, Hopebridge Pediatrics )
Discussant: Jill E. McGrale Maher (Autism Learning Partners)
Abstract: Behavior analysts and educators have been provided with a wide range of effective teaching strategies for students with autism. While the majority of the literature indicates that students with autism learn most effectively in 1:1 instructional formats, this may not continue to be financially viable as students transition through school and into work settings. Additionally, the acquisition of skills does not guarantee that the students will be able to generalize those skills across settings and time (e.g., displaying learned social skills in natural settings.) As students age, social demands increase as well as the expectation to learn in group settings. Therefore, it is of paramount importance to both effectively teach individuals to learn in group instructional formats as well as increasing and generalizing learned social skills. Moreover, evaluating what type and the required level of staff support and establishing strategies to fade the support is essential for learners success. The papers in this symposium will discuss two research projects. Specific data are presented strategies to teach staff to teach groups and a system to evaluate levels of support.
Instruction Level: Basic
Teaching Staff to Effectively Teach Groups With Learners With Autism Spectrum Disorder
JILL E. MCGRALE MAHER (Autism Learning Partners), Kevin Van Horn (Autism Learning Partners), Alicia Eno (Autism Laerning Partners)
Abstract: The literature in applied behavior analysis (ABA) clearly indicates effective strategies to teach staff to successfully teach learners with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in 1:1 instructional formats. There are few resources available, however, specific to training staff to become effective and efficient group teachers. The current project takes place in a Social Skills Group with 35 learners with ASD ranging from 3-18 years-of-age, and 35 staff. The project evaluates the use of didactic instruction combined with competency-based checklists to teach skills essential to effective group teaching. Dependent measures include teaching skills broken down into sub-categories consisting of environmental arrangement, prompting, reinforcement, and management of problem behaviors, among others, with corresponding didactic instruction. Skills for both group leaders and support staff are targeted. Data was collected using both per opportunity and interval sampling. A multiple baseline design across sets of skills with-in groups was utilized to evaluate the intervention. Preliminary data indicates that the intervention is effective in providing group teaching skills to group leaders (data attached). Results will be discussed well as suggestions for next steps and future research.
Replication of Empirical Systems Designed to Prescribe Levels of Required Staff Support
BRITANY MELTON (Endicott College), Jill E. McGrale Maher (Autism Learning Partners)
Abstract: The majority of scientifically based literature indicates that young children with autism learn most efficiently and effectively using individualized teaching practices based in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). Practitioners, however, are faced with the need to prepare students for learning situations commonly found within the community and least restrictive environments, typically requiring that learners independently function and acquire skills in-group learning formats. This research project evaluates and further replicates the use of an empirical system designed to evaluate individuals learning and behavioral profiles, pre-requisite skills, and specific curriculum content areas as well as specific techniques for fading staff support individualized to each learner. Data is presented across a variety of settings including elementary school programs, private and publically funded day programs, and social skills groups for clients. Participants include over 100 learners with ASD ranging in age 3-20. Corresponding teaching strategies to teach group working skills are also discussed (data attached).



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