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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46th Annual Convention; Washington DC; 2020

Event Details

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Symposium #27
CE Offered: BACB/QABA/NASP
Three Examples of Autistic Stimulus Control Over Verbal Behavior
Saturday, May 23, 2020
10:00 AM–10:50 AM
Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Level 2, Room 201
Area: AUT/VRB; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Felipe Diaz (Guadalajara University)
CE Instructor: Lee L Mason, Ph.D.
Abstract: Language deficits are characteristic of individuals diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder according to both the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition, and the International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision. In particular, individuals with autism show disproportionate levels of strength across environmental relations that control the verbal repertoire. For many providers, authorization of services is often contingent upon demonstrating an educational or medical necessity for behavior-analytic intervention. Treating operant classes as populations of behavior allows us to observe samples of the populations for experimentation and analysis, and from which inferences about the larger population can be drawn. By comparing related operants, we can demonstrate autistic stimulus control over structurally similar and functionally diverse properties of the environment. Here we extend functional analysis technology to examine response populations across operant classes to demonstrate statistically significant discrepancies in stimulus control over the verbal behavior of individuals diagnosed with autistic disorder. Our analyses and implications for and intervention will be discussed. Through multiple-exemplar training, we aim to establish discriminative control over a behavior analytic concept of autism from which other examples of disproportionate stimulus control may be extrapolated.
Instruction Level: Basic
Keyword(s): chi-squared test, Cochran's Q, inferential statistics, response populations
Target Audience: This workshop is geared towards Board Certified Behavior Analysts, Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analysts, Registered Behavior Technicians, special education teachers, school psychologists, speech language pathologists, and other professionals who provide direct services to strengthen the language of children with autism.
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) describe the strength of verbal operants in relation to one another; (2) conduct a verbal operant analysis; (3) develop individualized treatment objectives from a stimulus control ratio; and (4) demonstrate the process for transferring stimulus control across verbal operants.
 
An Examination of Stimulus Control over Selection-Based Verbal Behavior
ALONZO ALFREDO ANDREWS (University of Texas at San Antonio)
Abstract: Previous research and practice regarding disproportionality of the elementary verbal operants noted in children with autism spectrum disorder focused primarily on those with at minimum emerging vocal verbal behavior repertoires. When regarding skill development of early and/or nonverbal performers to include conditioning listener responding, these relevant operants have been identified: manded stimulus selection, motor imitation, match to sample, selection by variable, and the SCoRE model of disproportionality. Using verbal operant analysis to determine relative balance across these relevant, prerequisite responses, potential treatment options include: if prepotence for manded stimulus selection is identified, then the specific strategies for functional communication training (e.g. mand training) with augmentative and alternative communication are prescribed. If relative strength of motor imitation is indicated, shaping procedures and high-p/low-p instructional sequencing are recommended to shape oral imitation to the echoic operant for which the transfer-of-stimulus-control, errorless teaching procedures prescribed for vocal verbal behavior are applicable. Lastly, insomuch as the prerequisite relevant operants function independently, when taught interdependently, generativity (relational flexibility) may be fostered in accordance with this proportionality model.
 

An Examination of Stimulus Control Over Topography-Based Verbal Behavior

JANET ENRIQUEZ (Texas Education Service Center, Region 20)
Abstract:

Individuals without a fluent speaking repertoire may show disproportionate levels of strength across samples of verbal operants. Verbal behavior is inherently social in that its reinforcement is mediated by a listener. Common examples of verbal behavior within the applied literature include conditioning mand, tact, echoic, and intraverbal control. Sampling responses from these four operant classes allows us to infer the overall strength of these populations of behavior, and analyze differences in their relative strength. The null hypothesis for this type of analysis is that the levels of strength across these four operants is proportionate, a phenomenon commonly described as “fluency” that facilitates transfer of stimulus control across changing environmental conditions. The alternative hypothesis is that the levels of strength across these four operants is disproportionate, a phenomenon commonly described as “autism” that inhibits transfer of stimulus control due to certain response prepotencies. Assessment strategies and implications for treatment will be discussed.

 

An Examination of Derivational Stimulus Control Over Intraverbal Behavior

LEE L MASON (Cook Children's Health Care System; Texas Christian University)
Abstract:

Individuals without derivational stimulus control may show disproportionate levels of strength across samples of intraverbal relations. Derivational stimulus control refers to the extent to which listeners effectively respond to verbal stimuli along a generalization gradient. Common examples of derivational stimulus control within the applied literature include reflexivity, symmetry, and transitivity. Sampling responses from these three operant classes allows us to infer the overall strength of these populations of behavior, and analyze differences in their relative strength. The null hypothesis for this type of analysis is that the levels of strength across these three operants is proportionate, a phenomenon commonly described as “listener comprehension” that facilitates prolonged verbal episodes and facilitates the development of other social skills. The alternative hypothesis is that the levels of strength across these three operants is disproportionate, a phenomenon commonly described as “autism” that inhibits transfer of stimulus control due to certain response prepotencies. Assessment strategies and implications for treatment will be discussed.

 

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