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.


45th Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2019

Event Details

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B. F. Skinner Lecture Series Paper Session #421
Theory of Mind in Autism: Parent Training in Narrative Book Reading to Improve Social Understanding
Monday, May 27, 2019
9:00 AM–9:50 AM
Hyatt Regency East, Ballroom Level, Grand Ballroom AB
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
Instruction Level: Intermediate
CE Instructor: Nicole Heal, Ph.D.
Chair: Nicole Heal (Margaret Murphy Center for Children)
PATRICIA PRELOCK (University of Vermont)

Patricia Prelock, Ph.D., is Dean of the College of Nursing and Health Sciences, Professor of Communication Sciences & Disorders, and Professor of Pediatrics in the College of Medicine at the University of Vermont. Dr. Prelock coordinates parent training programs designed for caregivers of children with ASD and has been awarded more than 11 million dollars in university, state and federal funding as a PI or Co-PI to develop innovations in interdisciplinary training supporting children and youth with neurodevelopmental disabilities and their families, to facilitate training in speech-language pathology, and to support her intervention work in ASD. She has over 178 publications and 523 peer-reviewed and invited presentations/keynotes in the areas of autism and other neurodevelopmental disabilities, collaboration, IPE, leadership, and language learning disabilities. Dr. Prelock received the University of Vermont’s Kroepsch-Maurice Excellence in Teaching Award in 2000, was named an ASHA Fellow in 2000 and a University of Vermont Scholar in 2003. In 2011, she was named the Cecil & Ida Green Honors Professor Visiting Scholar at Texas Christian University and in 2015 Dr. Prelock was named a Distinguished Alumna of the University of Pittsburgh. In 2016, she received the ASHA Honors of the Association and in 2017 she was named a Distinguished Alumna of Cardinal Mooney High School. Dr. Prelock is a Board-Certified Specialist in Child Language and was named a Fellow in the National Academies of Practice (NAP) in speech-language pathology in 2018.  She was the 2013 President for the American Speech-Language Hearing Association and is leading the development of the University of Vermont Integrative Health Program.

Abstract: Theory of Mind (ToM) is understood as the ability to think about the thoughts, feelings, and intentions of oneself and others. Individuals with autism repeatedly fall behind on measures designed to test attribution of false beliefs, inference of others’ perspectives, beliefs, emotions, and motivations in varied social contexts, compared to their typically developing (TD) peers. This lecture will focus on a parent training intervention using book reading with scaffolded support to facilitate various aspects of ToM in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
Target Audience:

Board certified behavior analysts; licensed psychologists; graduate students.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) define the theory of mind deficits typically observed in children with ASD; (2) describe at least two ToM outcome measures that can be used to assess change over time; (3) explain the value of parent training in supporting the social communication and social cognition of children with ASD; (4) identify at least two reasons that support the use of narrative book reading as an intervention for enhancing the ToM in children with ASD.



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