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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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44th Annual Convention; San Diego, CA; 2018

Event Details

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Symposium #56
CE Offered: BACB
Recent Research and Social Implications for Vocal and Augmentative and Alternative Communication Language Interventions
Saturday, May 26, 2018
12:00 PM–12:50 PM
Manchester Grand Hyatt, Seaport Ballroom G
Area: AUT/VRB; Domain: Applied Research
CE Instructor: Emma Seliina Sipila, Ph.D.
Chair: Emma Seliina Sipila (Michigan State University)
Abstract: Anywhere between 30-50% of individuals with autism do not develop vocal language that is deemed functionally acceptable to meet their daily communication needs. This symposium seeks to address this problem by presenting three studies that use vocal or augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) interventions. The first study sought to extend the evidence base for teaching children with autism who are learning to communicate using speech generating devices by evaluating the acquisition of intraverbal responding in a four-year-old child with autism. Systematic instruction in the context of an activity interruption (i.e., song) was used to contrive the opportunity for intraverbal responding. The second study investigated procedures to teach the mands for information under control of the establishing operation, and examined the extent to which teaching generalized to novel scenarios. The third study evaluated how two commonly used AAC formats, sign language and picture exchange, resulted in access to reinforcement in the natural environment. All three studies for this symposium have important implications that extend previous research using both vocal and AAC language interventions.
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): AAC, autism, social validity, verbal behavior
Target Audience: Board Certified Behavior Analysts
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) use two forms of AAC in the natural environment; (2) implement a mans for information using why intervention; (3) teach intraverbal fill-ins using a speech generating device.
 
How Do Naïve Adults Respond to Requests for Information? A Comparison Between Two Forms of Augmentative and Alternative Communication
EMMA SELIINA SIPILA (Michigan State University ), Matthew T. Brodhead (Michigan State University), Lauren Brouwers (Purdue University), Mandy J. Rispoli (Purdue University)
Abstract: Anywhere between 30-50% of individuals with autism do not develop vocal language that is deemed functionally acceptable to meet their daily communication needs. As a result, individuals with autism may require interventions alternative to vocal speech, such as augmentative and alternative communication (AAC). However, very little is known about how members of the public may respond to forms of AAC. The purpose of this study was to evaluate how two commonly used AAC formats, sign language and picture exchange, result in access to reinforcement in the natural environment. To do this, we approached naïve adults (i.e., individuals unfamiliar with AAC) and asked questions (e.g., "Where is the bathroom?") that were likely to result in reinforcement. We measured whether or not naïve adults accurately responded to each question, and we collected additional descriptive information about their reaction to that form of AAC. This study has important implications, not only on the social validity of each form of AAC, but also for long-term considerations for using AAC.
 
Teaching Mands for Information Using "Why" to Children With Autism
Ashley Matter (Trumpet Behavioral Health), AMBER VALENTINO (Trumpet Behavioral Health), Sherrene B. Fu (Trumpet Behavioral Health), Jessica Padover (Scripps College)
Abstract: Mands for information (MFI) are classified as behavior in the form of question asking that is under control of an establishing operation (EO); the consequence being information related to the EO. This behavior often occurs in the form of "wh" questions, though any topography can serve as a MFI (e.g., "tell me"). Mands for information (MFI) can play a critical role in language development and represent an important skill to enable individuals to successfully learn new information from their environment. Yet, many children with autism do not acquire mands for information without direct teaching. Research has demonstrated effective procedures for teaching all "wh" forms, except for "why." This study investigated procedures to teach the MFI "why" under control of the establishing operation, and examined the extent to which teaching generalized to novel scenarios. The intervention was effective in establishing the MFI "why" in three children with autism within a short number of teaching sessions, and intervention was effective in establishing generalization of the MFI to novel scenarios for all participants.
 
Teaching Intraverbal Fill-Ins to a Child With Autism Using a Speech-Generating Device and Systematic Instruction
AMARIE CARNETT (University of North Texas), Hannah Waddington (Victoria University of Wellington), Alicia Marie Bravo (Victoria University of Wellington)
Abstract: Children with autism who do not develop spoken communication are often candidates for speech-generating devices (SGDs) as an alternative communication modality. Early language interventions for children with autism often utilize Skinner's conceptual analysis of language by targeting manding, tacting, and intraverbal skills. However, for children learning to use SGDs, research has mainly investigated manding skills. Thus, the current study sought to extend the evidence base for teaching children with autism who are learning to communicate using SGDs by evaluating the acquisition of intraverbal responding in a four-year-old child with autism, using a concurrent multiple baseline across responses design. Systematic instruction in the context of an activity interruption (i.e., song) was used to contrive the opportunity for intraverbal responding. All three intraverbal responses were acquired during a final choice phase, which allowed for the participant to select the song order. These results suggest the value for targeting intraverbal skills to children with autism who use SGDs.
 

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