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 #457
Services to Students With Autism in San Antonio
Monday, May 27, 2019
11:00 AM–11:50 AM
Hyatt Regency West, Ballroom Level, Regency Ballroom C
Area: AUT/EDC; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: L L Mason (Univ of Texas at San Antonio)
Discussant: Alonzo Alfredo Andrews (The University of Texas at San Antonio)

For the 2018-2019 academic year, nine San Antonio area school districts were funded by the Texas Education Agency to provide early intensive verbal behavior intervention for 100 students with autism. At the start of the year students were assessed using the Verbal Behavior Stimulus Control Ratio Equation (VB-SCoRE) to determine the extent to which mands, echoics, tacts, and sequelics exerted disproportionate levels of control over their verbal behavior. The results of the VB-SCoRE were then used to develop individualized verbal behavior intervention plans for each student. More than 100 teachers and paraprofessionals were trained to implement referent-based verbal behavior instruction to transfer control across these four primary verbal operants. In addition to providing direct classroom-based services for students with autism, the project included parent trainings conducted by district behavior analysts. At the end of the year, students were re-assessed with the VB-SCoRE to analyze verbal behavior gains. This symposium presents data from the two largest participating districts along with a description of how the project was contextualized to fit the diverse student populations they serve.

Instruction Level: Basic
Keyword(s): classroom-based intervention, preschool, public school, verbal behavior

Services to Students With Autism in Northside Independent School District

LUPE CASTANEDA (Northside Independent School District)

Northside Independent School District (NISD) in collaboration with 8 other school districts in the San Antonio, Texas area partnered with the University of Texas at San Antonio’s (UTSA) Autism Research Center and the Region 20 Education Service Center to provide training and services based on applied verbal behavior (AVB). The NISD is the largest school district in San Antonio and the 4th largest in Texas with over 1,900 students with autism enrolled. UTSA’s Autism Research Center conducted the SCoRE (Stimulus Control Ratio Equation) with each of the 30 student participants to determine the balance of verbal operants (i.e., mands, tacts, echoics, sequelics) in their language repertoire. Teachers, instructional assistants, and speech language pathologists who worked with the grant participants were trained to utilize AVB techniques in the natural school environments. Parents were provided training in ABA/AVB principles and techniques throughout the grant period. The training and services provided to the NISD and collaborating school districts addressed the needs of a growing population of individuals with autism and related disorders, especially in school systems where most of these individuals will receive services for up to 18 years.


Services to Students With Autism in San Antonio Independent School District

Kelsey Cody (San Antonio Independent School District), SONYA CASAS (SAISD)

San Antonio Independent School District serves a diverse urban population in Downtown San Antonio, including students in 17 self-contained PPCD units. Through the TEA Services to Student with Autism grant in the 2018-2019 school year, 43 students in these units received interventions focused on using the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis to increase language and communication. The focus on teaching verbal behavior was based on the premise that communication deficits are a principal characteristics of Autism which impedes successful inclusion into the General Education setting. The focus on children ages 3-5 targeted the need for early intervention in teaching language. In addition to direct services to students, the grant also provided participating teachers and parents with training on Autism and principles of Applied Behavior Analysis. Because SAISD serves a high percentage of Spanish speakers, parent trainings were provided in both English and Spanish. This paper will review demographic information as well as pre-and post-test data from the students and parents served through this grant in the 2018-2019 school year.




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