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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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Poster Session #482
Monday, May 28, 2018
1:00 PM–3:00 PM
Marriott Marquis, Pacific Ballroom
Chair: Einar T. Ingvarsson (Virginia Institute of Autism)
1. Matrix Training to Promote Recombinative Generalization in Children With Autism Using a Speech Generating Device
Area: VRB/AUT; Domain: Applied Research
VIDESHA MARYA (Marcus Autism Center), Heidi Morgan (Marcus Autism Center), Thomas Travers (Marcus Autism Center), Garet S. Edwards (Marcus Autism Center; Emory University School of Medicine), Sarah Frampton (May Institute), M. Alice Shillingsburg (May Institute)
Abstract: Research in matrix training has shown that when the diagonal targets from a matrix are trained the individual may demonstrate correct responses to the non-diagonal targets within the same matrix and novel targets from a separate matrix (Frampton, Wymer, Hansen, & Shillingsburg, 2016). The purpose of this study was to replicate prior research in matrix training with children with autism who use a speech generating device. Two males diagnosed with autism were exposed to matrix training with mastered tacts of nouns (e.g.f, "elephant") and verbs (e.g. "reading"). Two matrices were constructed (Matrix 1 and Generalization Matrix), using mastered nouns and verbs. Following baseline of the matrices, diagonal targets within Matrix 1 were trained (e.g., "elephant reading"). Post-tests were conducted for the Generalization Matrix followed by post-tests for Matrix 1. Both participants showed recombinative generalization with the Generalization matrix after training of diagonal targets in Matrix 1.
2. Teaching Verbal Behavior through an Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) Device: A Case Study
Area: VRB/DDA; Domain: Service Delivery
MOLLY QUINN (BehaviorWorks ABA), Ann M. Baloski (BehaviorWorks ABA)
Abstract: The Verbal Behavior Milestones Assessment and Placement Program (VB-MAPP), is based on B. F. Skinner's (1957) analysis of verbal behavior and widely used across the field today. (Sundberg, 2008). Many board certified behavior analysts may treat the VB-MAPP as foundation to their verbal behavior programs, yet maximizing its use is further complicated when the learner is non-vocal, has multiple disabilities, and limited fine motor skills rule out sign language as a communication modality. Mindful of the challenge, we set out with the verbal behavior approach to teach a 10-year-old female client with down syndrome and autism spectrum disorder. Prior to treatment that included use of her augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) device, the learner had limited to no functional communication skills. Today, using her AAC device she has a mean length of utterance (MLU) of 4.5 words; communication functional and appropriate to her environment. VB-MAPP domain scores, derived before introduction to the AAC device (January 2016), compared to recent testing in October 2017, demonstrate increases of 60.5 points. Through the merging of AAC application, Language Acquisition through Motor Planning (LAMP) and the VB-MAPP, we were able to give her new access to a voice, one she otherwise did not have.
3. Teaching Complex Verbal Behavior to a Child With Autism Using an Augmentative Communication Device
Area: VRB/AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
CASSIE HERMAN (Bierman ABA), Christina Barosky (Bierman ABA)
Abstract: Research on teaching children with developmental disabilities to efficiently use augmentative devices is limited. Behavior analysts have limited access to training on augmentative devices, when to move to a more complex user and how to incorporate teaching more complex verbal behavior outlined within the VB-MAPP assessment. The ease of accessing an augmentative device has increased the need for more research and it is critical to effective programming on the behalf of the Behavior Analyst. One participant with autism and limited use of an already established augmentative device was taught to use a Nova Chat device to mand for items, attention and to escape from a task. Once rates of mands were stable, more complex verbal behavior (i.e., tacts and intraverbal responses) were taught using the device. Data indicate the despite the complexity of user being increased the participant's manding maintained and he was able to engage in more complex verbal repertoires in addition to manding.
4. Improving Verbal Outputs in Two 6-Year-Old Boys With Autism From Being Non-Vocal to Vocal Using Skinners' Analysis of Verbal Behavior
Area: VRB/AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
MAIRA RIFAT (ABA India), Meera Ramani (ABA India)
Abstract: The conceptual basis of many language training programs for children with ASD involves Skinners analysis of verbal behavior. According to Skinner, responses within the same topography can be actually functionally independent. Present study involves teaching Echoic, mand, receptive, tact and tact by function as well as intraverbal skills to two 6 year old boys who were completely non verbal till the age of 6 and who started developing language and intraverbal skills using Skinners analysis of verbal behaviour. The result showed participants also started to read and acquire more language.
5. Using Textual Prompts as a Means to Increase Intra-Verbal Repertoire of Children Diagnosed With Autism Spectrum Disorder
Area: VRB/AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
AVANTIKA SHARMA (ABA India), Meera Ramani (ABA India)
Abstract: 3 children under ASD who often answered incorrectly were participants in this study. The children under the study could not use sentences to answer questions or reciprocate answers. We sub-sequentially taught two responses I have and I see using objects and pictures. The prompting strategy was progressive prompt delay and auditory prompt was only used during the textprompt condition. Results showed that after textual prompts were used for all the participants, they could generalize the responses across instructors and materials. The importance of teaching generalized responses that enable the acquisition of novel intraverbals is being worked upon. The results showed that using text prompts and prompt delay techniques was effective.
6. Emergence of First Instances of Speech in Non-Vocal Children With Autism: The Effect of Early Versus Later Addition of Intraverbal Training
Area: VRB/AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
SMITA AWASTHI (Behavior Momentum India), Karola Dillenburger (Queen's University Belfast)
Abstract: Estimates of non-vocal children with autism lacking in speech ranges from 10-30% (Koegel et al., 2009; Tager-Flusberg et al., 2013). An article review in The Analysis of Verbal Behavior revealed the importance of intraverbal training for inducing first instances of speech in non-vocal CWA is unexplored. Awasthi (2017; Dissertation submitted) examined the role of intraverbal fill-in training in inducing first instances of speech in two separate experiments with 46 and 19 participants respectively and found evidence to indicate that in traverbal fill-in (IFI) training can be a valuable addition to manual sign-mand training with paired vocals (MSMPV) for inducing first instances of speech. In experiment 1, IFI training was added after more than 12 weeks of MSMPV when participants did not acquire any speech. A detailed analysis of weeks to vocal suggested 16%, 35% and 49% children acquired vocals in 12, 24 and more weeks respectively. In experiment 2, IFI was introduced along with MSMPV as a treatment package and 94% children acquired mastery criteria (n=7 vocals) within 12 weeks. The findings suggest that Intraverbal fill in training should be added early on to programs intended to evoke first instances of speech in non-vocal children with autism.
7. Essential for Living: Evaluating Its Use to Increase Functional Communication, Reduce Aggression, and Reduce Self-Injury
Area: VRB/AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Reginald Ponio (Centria Health Care), AMANDA KARPIEN (Centria Health Care)
Abstract: Essentials for Living (EFL) is a communication, behavior, and functional skills curriculum, assessment, and skill tracking instrument for children and adults with moderate-to-severe disabilities. The EFL curriculum was designed as a comprehensive tool for quickly assessing and teaching pre-requisite skills for individuals with disabilities who have limited communication and functional skills repertoires, and are demonstrating significant rates of maladaptive behaviors. Since its development and introduction into the field of ABA programming, there has been a paucity of research aimed at demonstrating the effectiveness of this assessment and curriculum tool. The aim of this study is to demonstrate the effects of EFL in building and increasing a functional skills repertoire, and in decreasing severe self-injurious behavior and aggression in a 19-year old individual with autism. By utilizing the assessment and curriculum targets contained in the EFL, the researchers immediately identified skill deficits that were then addressed by teaching to replacement repertoires that included increasing her mand repertoire, teaching to systematic toleration of denied or delayed access to preferred items, and interspersing teaching trials for her to complete daily living skills that were relevant to her home environment, which correlated with decreases in her SIB and aggression.
8. Teaching Students With Autism Spectrum Disorder to Respond to Irony: A Clinical Evaluation and Molecular Analysis
Area: VRB/AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
DANIELE RIZZI (Associazione ALBA Onlus - Pescara (Italy)), Alessandro Dibari (Associazione ALBA Onlus - Pescara (Italy)), Erica Scandurra (Associazione ALBA Onlus - Pescara (Italy))
Abstract: Understanding irony, sarcasm or complex forms of verbal behavior is often a barrier for children with ASD (Filippova et al, 2008). In the present paper we evaluated the clinical efficacy of a teaching package composed by Behavioral Skill Training (BST), in vivo training and multiple exemplar training to teach to recognize and respond to ironic statements in two students with ASD. The intervention has been effective to teach the target behavior and to promote generalization across people. The maintenance of results after one, two and three months from the outset of intervention has been monitored for one student. An analysis, based on Skinner's Verbal Behavior, of the behavior to recognize (as listener) and respond (as speaker) to ironic comments will be proposed. The analysis focuses on the interaction between environmental variables and on the control those variables have on behavior (convergent and divergent stimulus control), identifying the discriminative stimulus for the listener response, produced as result of a past history of reinforcement or punishment, in the presence or absence of joint control between non verbal (surrounding environment) and verbal (comment) stimuli. Different effects of convergent and divergent stimulus control will be discussed. This analysis, based on Radical Behaviorism, offers a tentative explanation of the learning process behind this form of complex verbal behavior.
9. Style of Psychological Explanation and Perception of Explanation as Scientific by Non-Psychologists
Area: VRB; Domain: Service Delivery
IVAN CHISTYAKOV (National Research University Higher School of Economics), Andrey Bystrov (Moscow State University of Psychology and Education)
Abstract: Little is known about the effect of contextual explanations on listener's perception of behavior analysis as a scientific discipline. Problem is relevant in the context of competition with mainstream academic psychology on audience attention. We asked 5 samples of participants (88 participants in total, median age 21 years, 55% are undergraduate students) to rate scientificity of 12 contextual and 12 mentalistic explanations on 10-point Likert scale. We used first sample to test survey and later samples to replicate findings and eliminate confounding variables. We averaged responses from each respondent across styles of explanations and categorized each participant on whether there is evidence of explanations control over verbal behavior using Bayesian posterior distribution of Cohen's d. Results show explanatory style controls non-psychologists perception of explanations scientificity in 32% cases (17 out of 54, pooled studies 1, 4, 5). In 85% cases (15 out of 17) there is evidence for negative Cohen's d. There is no evidence of sign trend in populations with expertise in behavior analysis and no evidence of stimulus control from psychological terms. Review of our survey items suggests item's length (in characters) as a possible source of stimulus control.
10. The Effects of Varying Verbal Stimuli on Cooperative Responding
Area: VRB/EAB; Domain: Basic Research
ELIZABETH GHEZZI (University of Nevada, Reno), Ramona Houmanfar (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: The IRAP is an assessment procedure designed to target a history of verbally relating specific classes of stimuli (Dymond & Roche, 2013). Stimuli are regarded as implicit as they are measured with respect to faster response latencies and more accurate responses, or brief and immediate relational responding. This poster addresses the predictive utility of a modified IRAP and the additive effects of motivational stimuli to increase cooperation and conformity in a simulated EKG work task. Various classes of cooperative, and conformity, stimuli were assessed to determine if they had an augmenting function on cooperative and conformity responding, and if there can be a functional distinction drawn between the two classes of stimuli. The alignment between implicit responding, as demonstrated in the modified IRAP, and explicit responding, as demonstrated in the simulated work task, will be discussed.



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Modifed by Eddie Soh