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

Previous Page


Symposium #232
CE Offered: BACB
Behaviour Analytic Research in a School for Children and Young Adults Diagnosed With Autism and a Learning Disability
Sunday, May 26, 2019
10:00 AM–11:50 AM
Hyatt Regency East, Lobby Level, Plaza Ballroom AB
Area: AUT/EDC; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Emma Hawkins (Jigsaw CABAS School)
Discussant: Emma Hawkins (Jigsaw CABAS School)
CE Instructor: Emma Hawkins, Ph.D.

This symposium reviews four studies conducted in a school for children and young adults diagnosed with autism and a learning disability. Teachers within the school are encouraged to replicate research conducted in other settings (schools and clinics) and to evaluate the results of their work. They are encouraged to conduct basic research to determine the effectiveness of different tactics in the classroom and also advanced research in terms of inducing emergent behaviour. The first study reviewed a variety of procedures for addressing vocal stereotypy and established the most effective procedure for each individual participant. The second study focused on establishing a more creative curriculum with embedded reinforcement to increase the rate of learning in the classroom. The final two studies focused on using multiple exemplar instruction to induce emergent behaviour: either the joining of speaker behaviour and writer behaviour or emergent intraverbal vocal responses. A school setting that encourages and reinforces research within its setting clearly results in positive outcomes for the student population.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Target Audience:


Evaluating the Effects of Non-Contingent Auditory Stimulation and Response Interruption and Redirection, With or Without Matched Stimulus, on Vocal Stereotypy
EMILY PEAK (Jigsaw CABAS School), Kate Hewett (Jigsaw CABAS School), Louise Stock (Jigsaw CABAS School), Mariann Szabo (Jigsaw CABAS School)
Abstract: The current study examines the effects of response interruption and redirection (RIRD) with and without matched stimulation, matched stimulation alone and non-contingent auditory stimulation on vocal stereotypy. Participants comprised of three males ranging in age form 9 years to 15 years. All participants had a diagnosis of autism and attended the same school setting. Participants emitted high levels of stereotypy in the form of humming, repeating words and phrases, high-pitched screams and squeals. Participants initially completed a series of assessments presented in a multiple baseline across participant design. Subsequent treatment sessions comprised of response interruption and redirection with matched and unmatched stimuli, matched stimuli alone and non-contingent auditory stimulation conditions presented in a multi-element design. Results showed that for Participant 1 the matched stimulus condition and the RIRD & matched stimulus condition were the most successful in reducing the duration of vocal stereotypy. For participants 2 and 3, non-contingent auditory stimulation was the most effective condition for reducing the vocal stereotypy emitted. Results are discussed in terms of future research and significance for the participants.

The Importance of a Creative Curriculum: The Use of Stimuli With Embedded Reinforcement to Decrease Learn Units to Criterion for Early Learners

HAYLEY LOUISE LOCKE (Jigsaw CABAS School), Kate Hewett (Jigsaw CABAS School)

The purpose of the study was to examine the effects of embedded reinforcement on engagement with curricular stimuli and acquisition of learning objectives for a 5 year old male with an autism spectrum disorder. Weekly learn units to criterion were compared for 6 weeks prior to the treatment; whilst the participant followed a typical individualised curriculum in an ABA school with a token economy reinforcement system in place. During the 6 week treatment phase the curricular stimuli was manipulated to incorporate the participants known reinforcers and key interests, all other conditions remained the same as baseline. Embedded reinforcement resulted in a significant decrease in learn units to criterion demonstrating an increased acquisition of learning objectives and indicating that individuals preferences and interests should be considered and creatively embedded into their curricular stimuli. Implications of these findings and further research suggested to address limitations of the study are discussed.


Effect of Multiple Exemplar Instruction on the Transfer of Stimulus Function Across Written and Vocal Spelling Responses


The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of multiple exemplar instruction on the transfer of stimulus function across writing and vocal spelling responses. The participant was a 13 year old boy with a diagnosis of autism. Prior to the onset of the study, he did not demonstrate joint stimulus control of spelling across saying and writing. Multiple exemplar instruction was utilised to induce this emergent behaviour. The participant required a modified multiple exemplar instruction procedure which included an additional opportunity to see the letters of the word after saying them and hear the letters of the word after writing them. The results showed an increase in the number of correct untaught responses to the initial set of words. Furthermore, when a novel set of words were taught as a written spelling response, the untaught vocal spelling response emerged. Similarly, when a further novel set of words were taught as a vocal spelling response, the untaught written topography emerged. The findings demonstrate the inducement of transfer of stimulus function across vocal spelling and writing as a result of MEI procedures. This has implications for incidental learning in the classroom once transfer of stimulus function has been acquired.


The Use of Multiple Exemplar Instruction to Induce Emergent Intraverbal Vocal Responses in Children Diagnosed With Autism

KATE HEWETT (Jigsaw CABAS School), Emma Hawkins (Jigsaw CABAS School)

The present study replicated a study by May, Hawkins, and Dymond (2012) by testing for the emergence of intraverbal vocal responses following tact training with four children diagnosed with autism. Participants were taught to tact the name and favourite food item of two contrived cartoon monsters in the presence of a picture of the monster. Following tact training, test probes revealed the emergence of untrained vocal intraverbals, in the absence of the pictures, in one participant. The present study therefore extended the original study by implementing multiple exemplar instruction with a different set of materials for the remaining three participants. Once the criterion was met on the multiple exemplar instruction procedure then the initial test for the emergence of intraverbal vocal responses was conducted. All three participants were successful with this post-test and a subsequent re-test using a novel set of stimuli. Using multiple exemplar instruction to induce emergent intraverbal vocal responses is discussed along with the limitations of this study.




Back to Top
Modifed by Eddie Soh