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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45th Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2019

Event Details

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Symposium #417
CE Offered: BACB
Teaching Vocational and Problem-Solving Skills to Adults With Developmental Disabilities
Monday, May 27, 2019
8:00 AM–9:50 AM
Hyatt Regency West, Lobby Level, Crystal Ballroom B
Area: DDA/AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Tina Sidener (Caldwell University)
Discussant: Peter F. Gerhardt (The EPIC School)
CE Instructor: Peter F. Gerhardt, Ph.D.
Abstract:

This symposium will include four data-based presentations on teaching vocational and problem-solving skills to adults with developmental disabilities. The first study evaluated correspondence between paired-stimulus and multiple-stimulus without replacement preference assessments for vocational tasks with three adolescents with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The preference assessments identified the same high-preferred task but different low-preferred tasks. All participants remained highly engaged with their highest preferred task and differed in their engagement with their lowest preferred tasks. The second study replicated and extended Stocco, Thompson, Hart, and Soriano (2017) by evaluating the effects of behavioral skills training (BST) on interview skills of three adults with ASD. Two participants learned all skills with BST alone; one participant learned them with additional textual cues and reinforcement. In the third study, electronic-based flowcharts were evaluated as a form of self-instruction to increase problem solving skills in two adults ASD in a simulated vocational setting. Results showed an increase in problem-solving and generalization to novel problem exemplars. The fourth study evaluated effects of teaching tablet-based problem-solving responses during daily living tasks to three adults with Down syndrome. For all participants, responding in problem solving scenarios increased and generalized to a novel problem scenario and task.

Instruction Level: Basic
Keyword(s): Down syndrome, problem-solving, vocational
Target Audience:

behavior analysts, graduate students

 

Using Preference Assessments to Identify Preferred Job Tasks for Adolescents With Autism

Claire C. St. Peter (West Virginia University), CLAUDIA C DIAZ-SALVAT (West Virginia University), Natalie Ruth Shuler (West Virginia University)
Abstract:

Paired stimulus (PS) and multiple stimulus without replacement (MSWO) preference assessments can identify preferred vocational tasks for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and limited verbal communication. However, there has not been a direct comparison of these procedures to date. We evaluated the correspondence between vocational activities identified as high- and low-preferred by PS and MSWO preference assessments for three adolescents with ASD, and determined the extent to which assessments predicted engagement with those vocational activities. Additionally, we collected social-validity ratings from caregivers following observations of high- and low-preferred activities. The MSWO and PS preference assessments identified the same high-preferred task (although the specific task identified differed across participants), but different low-preferred tasks across assessment types. All participants remained highly engaged with their highest preferred task and differed in their engagement with their lowest preferred tasks. Caregivers stated that they would recommend the task identified as high preferred.

 

Improving Interview Skills of Adults With Autism Using Behavioral Skills Training

KATRINA ROBERTS (Alpine Learning Group), Jaime DeQuinzio (Alpine Learning Group), Bridget A. Taylor (Alpine Learning Group)
Abstract:

Interviewing for a job is one challenge that adults with autism encounter when attempting to find paid employment. There is little research showing that individuals with autism can be taught to respond appropriately during an interview to secure future employment opportunities. We replicated the results of Stocco, Thompson, Hart, and Soriano (2017) who evaluated the effects of behavioral skills training on the interview skills of college students. We extended the results to three adults with autism. We used a multiple baseline design across three responses (i.e., asking questions, answering questions, and appropriate body language). During baseline, responding was low for all three participants. Behavioral skills training consisted of role playing simulated interviews, providing feedback, and performance rehearsals. For two of the participants, behavioral skills training alone was effective at increasing all three response classes. For the third participant we added textual cues and reinforcement during behavioral skills training to reach criterion performance. Results demonstrate that adults with autism can benefit from modified behavioral skills training to improve interview skills and employment opportunities. We are currently assessing social validity of responses by asking business owners to observe video-taped segments of the interviews and rate the responses.

 

Teaching Adults With Developmental Disabilities to Problem Solve Using Electronic-Based Flowcharts Within a Vocational Setting

NATALIE KRYSTINE VILLANTE (University of Houston-Clear Lake), Dorothea C. Lerman (University of Houston-Clear Lake), Sopia Som (University of Houston-Clear Lake), Justin Hunt (University of Houston-Clear Lake)
Abstract:

Employers report that many individuals with disabilities have difficulty completing their work and lack independence. This limits those individuals from acquiring and/or maintaining employment. The purpose of this study was to assess the use of electronic-based flowcharts as a form of self-instruction to increase problem solving skills in individuals with developmental disabilities within a simulated vocational setting. Two males diagnosed with autism, ages 17 and 25 years, participated. Behavioral skills training was used to teach the participants how to use one of the electronic flowcharts within one problem situation. Generalization of flowchart use was probed across multiple problem exemplars. For one participant, results showed an increase in problem solving skills and generalization of flowchart use across two problem exemplars. For the second participant, results showed an increase in problem solving skills and generalization across three problem exemplars. These findings have important implications for increasing independence on the job, while also decreasing intrusive and costly supports for those with disabilities.

 

Teaching Problem Solving Skills to Young Adults With Down Syndrome

ASHLEY ALBANESE (Caldwell University), Tina Sidener (Caldwell University), Kenneth F. Reeve (Caldwell University), April N. Kisamore (Hunter College), Allison Parker (Caldwell University)
Abstract:

Although most studies in the area of problem solving have included individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), individuals with other types of developmental disabilities may have unique deficits and skill sets that warrant systematic replication and individualization of these protocols. The purpose of the current study was to evaluate the effects of teaching tablet-based problem-solving responses during daily living tasks to three adults with Down syndrome. An Apple Keynote™ presentation was used to teach problem solving skills relating to items that were dirty, high on a shelf, heavy, and missing. These tasks included setting the table, vacuuming the living room, putting laundry away, and bringing in groceries. For all three participants, responding in problem solving scenarios increased after problem solving training, generalized to a novel problem scenario and task, and maintained during a three week follow-up probe. These findings extend the literature on problem solving by demonstrating effective procedures using technology, with nonreaders, during ADL tasks, and with individuals with Down syndrome.

 

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