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 #50
Rules, Derived Relational Responding, and Understanding Complex Language
Saturday, May 26, 2018
11:00 AM–12:50 PM
Manchester Grand Hyatt, Seaport Ballroom F
Area: AUT; Domain: Translational
Chair: Haley Davis (Southern Illinois University)
Discussant: Leah Verkuylen (Navigation Behavioral Consulting)

There have been many empirical advances in relational frame theory and the understanding of rule governance with implications in the field of autism treatment. These advances include the effectiveness of relational training on increasing complex skill repertoires in language and cognition. Relational training includes teaching new skills based on contextual cues while promoting emerged, untaught relations. The current symposium will discuss new evidence for teaching relational skills and complex responding to individuals with autism and related disabilities. Methodologies include relational training based on a variety of contextual cues including those of sameness, difference, opposition, comparisons, hierarchy, and perspective-taking. Additionally, case conceptualization and implementation of relational training procedures will be discussed and how these technologies can be used in clinical practice. Finally, conceptual advances in rule governance and its relationship to derived responding will also be evaluated through a theoretical lens. The implications of how derived relational responding impacts complex language development will be explored.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): Derived Relations, Relational Training, Rule Governance

Evaluating the Effects of Relational Training on Complex Reasoning Skills for Children With Autism

(Applied Research)
LINDSEY RENEE ELLENBERGER (Southern Illinois University), Mina Rohail (Southern Illinois University), Dana Paliliunas (Southern Illinois University), Becky Barron (Southern Illinois University), Mark R. Dixon (Southern Illinois University)

Children with autism often have deficits related to spatial and analogical reasoning. Relational Frame Theory (RFT) may provide a solution for teaching these skills using various contextual cues in order to increase these complex skill repertoires for children with autism. The current study evaluated the impact of relational training on various complex tasks such as block design and responding to analogies presented in a matrix. Arbitrary and non-arbitrary stimuli were trained in a variety of tasks using relational training by teaching one relationship between stimuli and testing for additional, emerged relations. These test probes were also conducted for novel, untrained stimuli. Various relational cues were trained and tested within this study, including cues from frames of coordination, distinction, comparison, opposition, hierarchy, and deictic responding. Following relational training, participants were able to increase their response to relational cues on complex reasoning tasks. Pre- and post- intelligence scores will also be discussed.


Teaching Hierarchical Responding in Children With Autism

(Applied Research)
ALYSSE A CEPEDA (Southern Illinois University), Lindsey Renee Ellenberger (Southern Illinois University), Mina Rohail (Southern Illinois University), Becky Barron (Southern Illinois University), Mark R. Dixon (Southern Illinois University)

Relational Frame Theory (RFT) is a behavioral account of human language and cognition. This theory proposes that human language can be understood through relational frames, which are often divided into "families" of particular forms of relations. These families include, but are not limited to, comparison, opposition, distinction, and hierarchy. Hierarchical responding, a complex verbal operant that is comprised of relations in which stimuli are contained within or made up of, other stimuli. Examples of such relations include part-whole or attribute-of relationships. Existing research has not thoroughly examined hierarchical responding or procedures to promote its development for children with autism. The present studies examined the utility of the PEAK relational training system transformation curriculum in the promotion of hierarchical responding in children diagnosed with developmental disabilities.

PEAK Implementation and Case Conceptualization Strategies for Clinical Intervention
(Applied Research)
MARY GRACE CAVALIERE (St. Louis University), Emily Dzugan (Saint Louis University ), Tyler S Glassford (Saint Louis University), Alyssa N. Wilson (Saint Louis University)
Abstract: Promoting Emergence of Advanced Knowledge Relational Training System (PEAK; Dixon, 2014/2017) includes four volumes of direct curriculum instruction, namely Direct Training, Generalization, Equivalence, and Transformation. The modules contain various ABA language training including traditional verbal behavior training, promotion of generalization, equivalence training, and relational training. Emerging research on PEAK to date continues to highlight the curriculum’s effectiveness at increasing new skills across academic, emotional, recreational, and daily living repertoires. While promising, little is currently available to clinicians to guide program implementation, and no studies to date have discussed best practice for using the curriculum across each volume. Therefore, the current study will highlight case conceptualization and behaviorally based implementation strategies for PEAK across a series of case studies. Each case will highlight PEAK change scores, program selection criterion, implementation strategies, and case conceptualization planning across time points (i.e., baseline, treatment probes, post-treatment, follow-up/maintenance) and PEAK volumes. Results and implications for thorough and ongoing behavioral treatments will be provided.

Walk the Walk and Talk the Talk: Review and Conceptual Analysis of Say-Do Correspondence Research

SAVANNAH PIO (University of Southern California), Jonathan J. Tarbox (University of Southern California; FirstSteps for Kids)

Several decades of research have evaluated the effects of say-do correspondence training across a variety of behaviors and populations. Several different procedural variations have been evaluated, including say-do and do-say correspondence. General findings across the studies have shown that reinforcing correspondence between what individuals say they are going to do and what they actually do can be effective for increasing rates of low-probability behaviors and generalization has been documented across multiple topographies and settings. This paper will review highlights of the say-do correspondence literature and conduct a conceptual analysis of say-do correspondence training in terms of establishing generalized repertoires of rule-deriving and rule-following. Implications for future research and practice will be discussed. By examining these complex phenomena in our science, we will be better equipped to understand conditions leading to skill acquisition, as well as those related to emissions of challenging behavior. Implications for a comprehensive account of human behavior will also be discussed during this presentation.




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