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 #29
CE Offered: BACB
Explorations of Derived Relational Responding and the PEAK Relational Training System to Training Staff and Advanced Conversational Skills
Saturday, May 25, 2019
10:00 AM–10:50 AM
Hyatt Regency East, Ballroom Level, Grand Ballroom CD North
Area: VRB; Domain: Translational
Chair: Shravya Srinivas Sanagala (ASU MS ABA program)
CE Instructor: Seth W. Whiting, Ph.D.
Abstract: The present symposium will highlight recent efforts using the PEAK Relational Training System to promote more efficacious training and the use of BST couched to facilitate higher order development of verbal language in individuals with autism diagnoses. The ways in which these training advancements move the science of behavior analysis along will be discussed, and the specific implications as to how PEAK serves as a catalyst for said advancements is addressed.
Instruction Level: Basic
Keyword(s): BST, PEAK, RFT, Social Skills
Target Audience: The target audience includes students, practitioners, researchers or faculty of behavior analysis or closely related field.
Learning Objectives: 1. evidence supporting derived relational responding as an operant with individuals with and w/out autism 2. behavior analytic assessment procedures couched in derived relational responding specific to language acquisition 3. modifications to current/existing assessment methodologies in service of efficacy of parent and staff training 4. Implications of derived relational responding and language acquisition on intelligence
Standardization of the PEAK Relational Training System Pre-Assessments and Implementation Fidelity
(Service Delivery)
AYLA SCHMICK (Southern Illinois University), Caleb Stanley (Southern Illinois University), Mark R. Dixon (Southern Illinois University)
Abstract: Calculating standardized scores enable clinicians to accurately compare the examinee’s performance against his or her peers and helps provide a more comprehensive assessment and guide to programming. The current study sought to assess the performance of a normative sample to create standardized scores for all four PEAK Relational Training Pre-Assessments (PEAK-DT-PA, PEAK-G-PA, PEAK-E-PA, and PEAK-T-PA). 300 typically developing participants ranging from the ages of 4 to 18 participated in the study. The statistical average of the participants performance on all four pre-assessment and total PEAK score was calculated and then used to create different performance levels based on the standard deviation. Implementation fidelity of the standardized PEAK Pre-Assessment Flip Books was also evaluated during the current study and resulted in 95% implementation fidelity across 60% of assessments conducted.
Best Practice Strategies for Implementing PEAK in Messy Environments
MARY GRACE CAVALIERE (Saint Louis University), Alyssa N. Wilson (Saint Louis University)
Abstract: Promoting Emergence of Advanced Knowledge Relational Training System (PEAK; Dixon, 2014, 2015ab, 2016) includes four volumes of direct curriculum instruction: Direct Training, Generalization, Equivalence, and Transformation. Emerging research on PEAK highlights the curriculum’s effectiveness at increasing new skills across academic, emotional, and daily living repertoires. For example, previous research has shown PEAK correlates with IQ and has high convergent validity with expressive and receptive language tests, has high inter-rater reliability, and results in larger treatment gains than treatment as usual. Research has also shown behavioral skills training as an effective modality to train implementation of PEAK. While promising, dissemination efforts have primarily focused on research-driven environments; therefore, providing minimal guidelines for clinicians working in ‘messy’ or uncontrollable environments. Further, little information is available for clinicians on best practice approaches when switching from current programing to a new curriculum. Therefore, the current symposium will discuss the top five lessons learned from implementing PEAK in clinical practice and ‘messy’ environments. Lessons will include dispelling clinical lore around derived relational responding; best practice approaches to enhance cultural change; considerations for using organizational behavior management strategies to ensure staff buy-in; arranging supportive environments to reduce implementation drift; and generalization and maintenance strategies.

Using Behavioral Skills Training Within PEAK-DT to Establish Extended Conversational Exchanges in an Adolescent With Autism

(Applied Research)
SETH W. WHITING (Central Michigan University), Naomi Evans (Central Michigan University)

The PEAK-DT curriculum utilizes discrete trial teaching methods to establish a wide variety of basic and verbal skills, but these methods may not be required to teach skills with more advanced learners or to target sporadic missing skills. The purpose of the present study was to examine the effects of a behavioral skills training procedure on extended social interactions which combined skill targets across six PEAK-DT programs.During baseline, a 14 year old boy diagnosed with autism attempted to start a conversation (1), tell a joke (2), and engage in conversations to get to know someone better (3) and talk about what he and a partner were doing (4), completing few steps in each interaction type.Administered sequentially across interaction types, a behavioral skills training intervention consisting of instructions, video modeling, feedback, and rehearsal produced steady acquisition, mastery, and maintenance of all four interaction types.The results demonstrated mastery of responses in PEAK-DT programs 1A- Eye Contact, 6B- Greetings and Farewells, 13O- Intermediate Intraverbals, 14M- Advanced Intraverbals, 14T- Verbal Report: Tacting Behavior, and 14Y- Telling a Joke, suggesting that behavioral skills training may be useful in training sporadic missing skills.




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