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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Symposium #304
CE Offered: BACB
Instructional Strategies for Skill Acquisition
Sunday, May 26, 2019
3:00 PM–4:50 PM
Hyatt Regency West, Ballroom Level, Regency Ballroom B
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Brittany Ann Juban (May Institute)
Discussant: Jason C. Vladescu (Caldwell University)
CE Instructor: Brittany Ann Juban, Ph.D.
Abstract: Skill acquisition programs are designed to provide learners with assistance to establish important skills that were not previously in his or her repertoire. This assistance generally comes in the form of establishing a discriminative stimulus to occasion the desired skill, prompts to increase the likelihood that the skill will be performed correctly, an opportunity to respond, and reinforcement for correct responses. The current symposium presents a collection of studies that investigated different instructional strategies to promote new skills in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The first study investigated the use of instructive feedback to expand listener skills in English when the instructive feedback was delivered in a different language for children with ASD. The second study evaluated brief assessment procedures to inform appropriate interventions when teaching vocal mands and tacts to children with vocal-verbal deficits and ASD. The third study compared different stimulus models when teaching tacts to children with ASD. The fourth study compared using a task analysis with a single opportunity method and a multiple opportunity method to teach complex skills to children with ASD. This collection of studies will assist practitioners in the identification of effective and efficient strategies to promote skill acquisition for children with ASD.
Instruction Level: Basic
Keyword(s): Skill Acquisition
Target Audience: This CE event is targeted toward direct therapists, BCBAs and BCABAs working with students with ASD and/or related developmental disabilities.
Instructive Feedback to Expand Listener Skills in a Different Language
VICTORIA RYAN (Florida Institute of Technology ), Corina Jimenez-Gomez (The Scott Center for Autism Treatment, Florida Institute of Technology), Katherine Haggerty (The Scott Center for Autism Treatment, Florida Institute of Technology), Jessebelle Pichardo (The Scott Center for Autism Treatment), Rachel Thomas (The Scott Center for Autism Treatment, Florida Institute of Technology)
Abstract: Despite not being their primary language, many parents in bilingual speaking homes receive recommendations to forgo using their native language with their child and only use the primary local language because it is assumed that learning two languages may cause additional language delays in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or other developmental disabilities. This advice, however, poses a problem because it is possible that skills acquired in a clinic setting may not generalize and maintain in the home environment if parents are not fluent in the language in which the skills were taught. It may be possible to teach skills in the clinic in a manner that promotes generalization to the native language without the need for explicit instruction. Instructive feedback promotes effective acquisition of maximum skills with minimal training. The present study evaluated whether instructive feedback delivered in the native language (Spanish) would be sufficient for children with ASD to display a listener skill taught in English when the instruction was delivered in Spanish during probes. Results suggest this may be a useful strategy for some participants.
An Evaluation of Mand and Tact Assessment Procedures
BRITTANY ANN JUBAN (May Institute), Tiffany Kodak (Marquette University), Barbara E. Esch (Esch Behavior Consultants, LLC), Dayna Costello (Trumpet Behavioral Health )
Abstract: This study replicates and extends Bourret, Vollmer, & Rapp (2004) who evaluated an assessment to inform effective mand interventions for children. In the first study, we replicated their full mand assessment and compared it to a brief assessment with similar procedures. Results showed that both assessments identified similar patterns of responding for each participant. In the second study, we extended the brief assessment from the mand to the tact to evaluate the identification of training strategies for the tact. The brief tact and mand assessment demonstrated similar patterns of responding for only two of the three participants, suggesting that vocal verbal deficits may differ across verbal operants. These studies provide a methodology for conducting brief assessments to inform mand and tact training and environmental variables related to vocal-verbal deficits may differ across verbal operants for some individuals. Implications for assessment informed mand and tact training will be discussed.
Evaluation of Acquisition and Generalization of Tacts Across Three Stimulus Modes
Haley Nelson (The University of South Florida), NATALIE MANDEL (University of South Florida), Catia Cividini-Motta Cividini (University of South Florida)
Abstract: Individuals with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) often have a limited tact repertoire. This study compared the acquisition and generalization of tacts taught using different stimulus modes. Participants were three children with an ASD, ages 3 to 5 years old. Each participant was taught two sets of tacts, and each tact was randomly assigned to one of the stimulus mode. This study employed a simultaneous treatment design within a multiple baseline across participants. In this study, overall fewer training sessions were required for tacts in the picture and 3D object stimulus modes. In addition, one participant did not acquire either of the tacts assigned to the video stimulus mode. Finally, in most of the cases, participants correctly tacted novel exemplars of the mastered tacts, however generalization to a novel exemplar was more likely in the object (6/8 tacts) and video (4/4) stimulus modes.

A Comparison of Baseline Procedures in Evaluating Skill Performance Within Task Analyses

EMMA GRAUERHOLZ-FISHER (University of Florida), Jonathan K Fernand (Aurora University), Brandon C. Perez (University of Florida), Haleh Amanieh (West Virginia University), Kerri P. Peters (University of Florida), Kara L. Wunderlich (Rollins College), Timothy R. Vollmer (University of Florida)

Task analyses are commonly used by behavior analysts to teach complex skills across many types of tasks. One variation in task analysis teaching procedures has been the type of baseline procedures used. In the single-opportunity method (SOM) baseline, the entire task is presented, and all steps that are completed by the subject are scored as correct. Once the subject meets termination criteria the task is ended and all remaining steps are counted as incorrect. In the multiple-opportunity method (MOM) baseline, the therapist presents the task, and if the subject stops responding the therapist sets up the next step in the task for the subject, who then has the opportunity to respond independently. Concerns have been raised regarding how each of these methods might change the baseline performance of a task, affecting the interpretation of experimental control. The purpose of the current study was to conduct a within-subject comparison of both the SOM and MOM procedures for children with autism performing daily living skills. Results indicated that for most participants the MOM baseline resulted in increased performance during baseline compared to the SOM baseline, and that for some participants the MOM baseline resulted in acquisition prior to direct training.




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