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.


44th Annual Convention; San Diego, CA; 2018

Event Details

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Symposium #143
CE Offered: BACB
Verbal Behavior Interventions to Establish Abstraction of Rule-Governed Algorithms in Teaching Number, Language, and Problem-Solving Skills
Saturday, May 26, 2018
5:00 PM–5:50 PM
Manchester Grand Hyatt, Grand Hall B
Area: VRB; Domain: Translational
Chair: Crystal Lo (Verbal Behavior Associates)
CE Instructor: Derek Jacob Shanman, Ph.D.

Behavior analyst working in education research effective and efficient teaching interventions and tactics to increase learner skill acquisition and generalization across areas of development. However, a learner?s ability to demonstrate the skill during instruction is not sufficient; for a skill to be considered truly in one?s repertoire, the individual must be able to acquire the correct source of environmental control over the learned responses and be able to emit these responses in the natural environment or under novel conditions. In addition, behavior analysts are interested in identifying instructional procedures that result in the emission of generative behavior; much research has demonstrated the efficacy of providing certain instructional histories (i.e., multiple exemplar experiences) on the production of novel verbal behavior. In this symposium, we present 3 studies on instructional procedures that have resulted in better acquisition rates or the emergence of untaught behaviors: 1) the implementation of a rule-governed error correction procedure on the acquisition of textual responses to numbers, 2) multiple exemplar instruction across autoclitic frames on the emergence of novel combinations of autoclitics emitted in tacts and 3) a multiple exemplar training package on the behavior of seeking help and resolving conflicts in novel social situations.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Target Audience:

BCBA, BCaBAs, educators, or related service providers (e.g., speech therapists) working with individuals with autism, other developmental disabilities, or with language delays

Learning Objectives: At the end of the presentation, participants will be able to: 1) Assess for problem solving and asking-for help repertoires, and implement an instructional procedure to target teaching these repertoires. 2) Explain abstraction and list at least one instructional intervention that results in abstraction of skills. 3) Describe the difference between 1) role-governed error correction procedures vs. traditional error correction procedures 2) rate training as an instructional tactic, and 3) identify the most efficient and effective instructional method for student acquisition of numeric textual responses.

Following the Rules: The Effects of a Rule Governed Correction Procedure on Acquisition of Untaught Number Names

(Applied Research)
DEREK JACOB SHANMAN (Nicholls State University), Katie Jenkins (Nicholls State University; Behavioral Intervention Group)

Behavior analysts and educators are constantly looking for more efficient methods of acquiring new skills. Curricula, programs of instruction, and behavioral tactics are all methods by which instructors can facilitate faster learning. Recent studies have begun to look at the effects of different types of correction procedures on rates of learning for different types of skills. Preliminary findings suggest that different correction procedures have different effects depending on the level of verbal behavior of the learner and the presented task. The current study is the first of an intended three part series of studies to look at the effects of a rule governed error correction procedure on the acquisition of numeric textual responses. This study was conducted with seven 2-year old participants, three with a diagnosis and four without. A multiple probe design was used to test for the effectiveness of the error correction procedure. While the study is ongoing, previous results have shown this to be an effective tactic in acquiring this skill. We will discuss results, limitations, and future studies including the relative efficiency of the tactic, and the role of rate training as compared to rule-governed corrections, and “traditional” error correction procedures.


The Effects of Multiple Exemplar Instruction Across Autoclitic Frames on the Emission of Functional Autoclitic Tacts

(Applied Research)
DEREK JACOB SHANMAN (Nicholls State University), Crystal Lo (Verbal Behavior Associates)

We tested the effects of multiple exemplar instruction (MEI) across relational autoclitic frames on the emergent emission of untaught combinations of autoclitics in speech using a delayed multiple probe design across participants. Participants in this study were pre-school aged children with language delays who emitted high instances of non-functional (grammatically incorrect) autoclitics (e.g., saying "Boy boy dog dog" or "He has a dog" in response to a 2D stimulus of 2 boys walking multiple dogs) when emitting tacts. During MEI intervention, the experimenters rotated instructional trials across the target relational autoclitics: demonstrative pronouns, possessive adjectives, subject pronouns, verb tense, and singular vs. plural nouns. The following combinations and responses were taught to a pre-established mastery criterion: 1) subjective pronoun and verb tense (e.g., they are painting), 2) Possessive adjectives and singular or plural noun (e.g., Her balloons), and 3) Demonstrative pronouns and singular or plural nouns (e.g., Those are backpacks). Post-intervention assessment results for the current two participants showed an overall increase in emission of functional autoclitics, untaught combinations of autoclitics (e.g. she is holding her dog, or, Those are her pumpkins), and decreased emission of non-functional autoclitics across both participants. This study is on-going; we are currently working on implementing the MEI procedure with additional participants.


Teaching Children With Autism Problem Solving Skills: A Training Package

(Applied Research)
LYNN YUAN (Verbal Behavior Associates)

Many children with Autism lack problem solving skills in social situations as well as in daily life routines. Previous research have implemented video modeling as a tactic to teach a variety of skills in children with Autism, however, some studies have shown that video modeling alone do not facilitate generalization. A multiple probe design across four participants and across two behaviors were used in this study. Participants were preschoolers with Autism who displayed none or a few problem solving skills in baseline. A training package consisted of (1) accurately tacting multiple exemplars of case scenarios in video clips, (2) choosing an appropriate solution to the problem, and (3) demonstrating the chosen solution in active role play was implemented to test its effects on seeking help behavior in daily routine and resolving conflict in social situations. Results showed that after the training package, all participants showed an increase in their correct responding. Generalization probes were also conducted and the results were consistent with the post-training results.




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