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 #507
CE Offered: BACB
The Use of Technology to Teach Skills to Individuals With Autism Spectrum Disorder
Monday, May 27, 2019
3:00 PM–3:50 PM
Hyatt Regency West, Lobby Level, Crystal Ballroom C
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Kian Assemi (Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD) )
CE Instructor: Kian Assemi, M.S.
Abstract:

Recent advancements in technology have increased the use of technology to assist and teach individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Technology-based tools have been used in various capacities, including augmented and alternative communication (AAC), prompting tools, and video modeling. As technologies have become more affordable and accessible, researchers have investigated the efficacy of computer-based interventions (CBIs) and virtual reality (VR) tools to teach a wide range of skills, including academic, language, social, and adaptive skills, to individuals with ASD. VR technology has been of particular interest for teaching prosocial behaviors such as social and safety skills, such that VR allows individuals to actively participate in an immersive environment while simultaneously receiving immediate visual and auditory feedback. Additionally, VR simulations replicate naturalistic settings and increase generalization of skills from the virtual environment to the real world. This symposium presents: 1.) an updated literature review on the technological advances used to teach individuals with ASD, with a focus on VR tools, 2.) a study evaluating the efficacy of CBI to teach receptive language skills, and 3.) a study evaluating the efficacy of VR to teach safety skills.

Instruction Level: Basic
Keyword(s): autism, technology, treatment, virtual reality
Target Audience:

Researchers and clinicians practicing applied behavior analysis (ABA)

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) discuss recent technological advancements used to teach individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD); (2) discuss the efficacy of a computer-based intervention (CBI) to teach receptive language skills to children with ASD; (3) discuss the efficacy of virtual reality (VR) training to teach safety skills to children with ASD.
 

A Review of Technological Advancements to Teach Individuals With Autism Spectrum Disorder

KIAN ASSEMI (Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD))
Abstract:

Computer-based instruction (CBI) and video-based instruction have become more commonly evaluated variables in applied behavior analytic literature. Recent research has found support for the efficacy of video-based instruction for teaching social skills to children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). As CBI technology progresses, so does the potential of different behavior analytic applications that use such technology. Some CBI procedures, such as mobile applications, have incorporated the gamification of learning tasks, which involve presenting educational material in a format that emulates a game. Such gamification procedures have the potential to create motivation for individuals to learn skills that would otherwise remain unlearned. More recently, immersive virtual reality has been used to teach skills to individuals with ASD. Research has found that significant gains can be made for individuals with ASD in areas such as theory of mind, emotional recognition, safety skills, and occupational functioning. Additionally, using virtual reality may offer the ability to teach behaviors that could otherwise result in dangerous natural consequences (e.g., crossing the street, cutting with knives) in a safe manner. Finally, virtual reality may be helpful in practicing behaviors for which the context for learning is rare or difficult to emulate (e.g., desensitization to flying on a plane, practicing safe behavior during an earthquake).

 

The Use of a Mobile Application to Teach Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder

ESTHER HONG (Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD)), Marlena Novack (Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD)), Dennis Dixon (Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD)), Doreen Granpeesheh (Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD))
Abstract:

Computer-based interventions (CBIs) have been used in various capacities to assist individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). CBIs are comprised of software developed to provide treatment using built-in mechanisms, such as instructional tools, immediate feedback, and data collection. The current study evaluated the efficacy of a mobile application, Camp Discovery, which was designed to teach receptive language skills to children with ASD based on the principles of applied behavior analysis (ABA). A total of 28 participants (2-8 years old) with ASD were randomly assigned to an immediate treatment group (N = 15) or delayed treatment control group (N = 13). Participants in the treatment group made significant gains, p < .001, M = 58.1, SE = 2.13, following 4 weeks of interaction with the mobile application as compared to the control group, M = 8.4, SE = 2.13. Further, acquired skills were maintained one month after application usage was discontinued. The present findings support the use of CBI to deliver ABA-based treatment to individuals with ASD.

 

The Use of Virtual Reality to Teach Safety Skills to Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder

CHRISTOPHER MIYAKE (Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD)), Dennis Dixon (Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD)), Karen Nohelty (Center for Autism and Related Disorders), Marlena Novack (Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD) )
Abstract:

Individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have impairments across a wide range of skills, including safety skills. Teaching safety skills to individuals with ASD is critical, given the potentially dangerous and fatal consequences. Although several methods (e.g., video training, mock simulations, natural environment training) have been used to teach street-crossing skills to children with ASD, these methods have been ineffective in generalizing skills to real-life street-crossing scenarios. Virtual reality (VR) technology may be a solution to teaching safety skills to individuals with ASD, such that VR environments provide immersive, realistic scenarios in a safe, controlled manner. The current study used a multiple baseline design to teach three children with ASD (5-8 years old) street-crossing skills. All natural environment pre-treatment, post-treatment, and probe sessions were conducted in uncontrolled traffic areas. All VR probe and training sessions were conducted using the Oculus Rift headset and sensors. Pre-treatment probes demonstrated that all three participants averaged below 50% accuracy on the identification of safe and unsafe conditions in the natural environment. Following the VR training treatment, all three participants demonstrated 100% mastery of street-crossing skills in the natural environment. The current findings suggest that VR tools may be a safe and viable method for teaching safety skills to individuals with ASD.

 

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