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 #423
CE Offered: BACB
Strategies for Establishing Meaningful Social Skills Through Manualized Intervention Programs
Monday, May 27, 2019
9:00 AM–9:50 AM
Hyatt Regency West, Ballroom Level, Regency Ballroom D
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Matthew T. Brodhead (Michigan State University)
CE Instructor: Matthew T. Brodhead, Ph.D.
Abstract: Unfortunately, there are several barriers to widespread implementation of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) techniques, with particular difficulty delivering ABA interventions in community settings where a majority of individuals with ASD receive services. A second barrier is the long-term reliance on early social skills interventions derived from research methods developed in idiosyncratic research settings. The purpose of this symposium is to survey two examples of manualized social skills intervention programs, as well as to demonstrate how structured and easy to implement ABA interventions may be used to establish complex social behaviors in individuals with ASD.
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): Autism, Manualized Interventions, Response Variability, Social Skills
Target Audience: Board Certified Behavior Analysts
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) demonstrate how structured and easy to implement ABA interventions may be used to establish complex social behaviors; (2) have a better understanding of manualized social skills interventions; (3) potentially implement a manualized social skills intervention
An Evaluation of Fidelity of Implementation of a Manualized Social-Play Curriculum
EMMA SELIINA SIPILA (Michigan State University ), Matthew T. Brodhead (Michigan State University), Josh Plavnick (Michigan State University)
Abstract: Play is the foundation upon which social skills are built. Though typically developing children learn from an early age to interact socially through play, children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) demonstrate characteristic deficits in social interaction and often do not engage in social play like their typically developing peers. When children with ASD engage in inappropriate, rigid, or isolated play, their peers often perceive them as odd or disrespectful. These perceptions lead to social isolation and stigmatization, and interfere with a child’s ability to build meaningful relationships with peers. The purposes of the present study were to: (1) implement a component of a play curriculum for children with ASD and (2) measure the extent to which that curriculum was accurately implemented by instructors. The results of this study indicated that instructors implemented the curriculum with high levels of treatment fidelity. The implementation of an instructor self-monitoring checklist further increased instructor fidelity. These findings and implications are discussed.

Teaching Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder to Vary Language During Social Interactions via Video-Chat

MATTHEW T. BRODHEAD (Michigan State University), Mandy J. Rispoli (Purdue University), So Yeon Kim (Purdue University), Emma Seliina Sipila (Michigan State University )

Without the means to develop meaningful relationships, children with ASD are more likely to experience social isolation and struggle with depression. It is imperative, then, that researchers develop strategies to help children with ASD develop robust social relationships. The purpose of this study was to evaluate a strategy to teach children with ASD to communicate via video-chat, in order to provide a framework for how they may one day interact with distant family members or peers. A second purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of multiple exemplar training on producing varied conversation in the context of the video-chat experience.


Promoting Conversation Skills of Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder With a Manualized Social Skills Curriculum

RODERICK O'HANDLEY (School Psychology Program, Department of Special Education, Rehabilitation, and Counseling, California State University, San Bernardino)

A core feature of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) includes difficulty engaging in fluid conversations and social interactions due to verbal and nonverbal communicative deficits and difficulty recognizing environmental social cues. Social skills training is a treatment approach that may be used to promote the social skills of children with ASD. The current study evaluated the effects of a manualized social skills training program in promoting accurate demonstration of three conversation skills with three children with ASD. A multiple baseline design across three conversation skills was implemented across three elementary-aged children. Maintenance of skill accuracy was assessed two months post-intervention. Visual analysis indicated large and stable improvements of skill accuracy across all three skills for all three children. Indirect secondary measures of participant social functioning were also collected pre and post-intervention and suggested generalized improvements associated with social skills training.




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