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.

Search

46th Annual Convention; Washington DC; 2020

Event Details

Previous Page

 

Symposium #216
CE Offered: BACB
Recent Research on Social Skills for Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder
Sunday, May 24, 2020
9:00 AM–9:50 AM
Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Level 2, Room 207B
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Allison Parker (Caldwell University)
CE Instructor: Allison Parker, M.A.
Abstract:

This symposium will include four data-based presentations on teaching social skills to children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The first study evaluated the reinforcing effects of contingent imitation using a concurrent operants zoned-reinforcer assessment. Ten children with ASD and 10 typically developing children were included in the study. Data collected on in-zone behavior and eye contact show differential responding across conditions, with higher responding in the contingent imitation zone. Contributions of this study in relation to developmental intervention packages is discussed. The second study taught two children with ASD to discriminate between socially relevant safe and dangerous stimuli based on instructor facial expression using a social referencing chain. Least to most prompting was used to teach participants to attend to 40 safe and dangerous stimuli, look at the experimenter’s face, and then respond by either reaching for the item or communicating an “all done” response. Results indicated that participants acquired discrimination skills between safe and dangerous items, which generalized to the natural environment, untrained items, and items the child could not see. The third study used a component analysis to identify the effective features of a Social Story. Text, pictures, conversation bubbles, and comprehension questions were evaluated. Results showed that the use of an “enhanced” Social Story was effective in teaching both participants to respond empathetically to a speaker’s emotional state across three topics of conversation, and the addition of written prompts was needed for one participant to reach mastery.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): Contingent Imitation, Social Referencing, Social Skills, Social Story
Target Audience:

BACBs, graduate students, researchers

 
Reinforcer Assessment of Contingent Imitation in Preschoolers with Typical Development and Autism Spectrum Disorder
LESLIE QUIROZ (Caldwell University ), Tina Sidener (Caldwell University), Meghan Deshais (Caldwell University), Kenneth F. Reeve (Caldwell University), David C. Palmer (Smith College)
Abstract: Contingent imitation (an adult imitating a child’s motor and/or vocal responses) has been shown to increase prosocial behaviors in infants with typical development and children with autism spectrum disorder. Although it is commonly used in developmental intervention packages for children with autism spectrum disorder, it is currently unknown how contingent imitation produces its effects, and children with autism spectrum disorder may respond differentially based on their skills/characteristics. The purpose of this ongoing study is to evaluate the reinforcing effects of contingent imitation with both typically developing children and children with autism spectrum disorder. A concurrent-operants, zoned-reinforcer assessment (e.g., Cote, Thompson, Hanley, & McKerchar, 2007) was conducted with each with 20 preschoolers (10 diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, 10 typically developing). Data collected on in-zone behavior and eye contact show differential responding across conditions, with higher responding in the contingent imitation zone. The magnitude of this difference varied across participants. Participant characteristics obtained from skills assessments will be examined to determine the relations between specific skills and results of the reinforcer assessment.
 
The Use of Social Referencing to Respond in the Context of Novel Stimuli
JENNA GRAY (Western New England University), Rebecca P. F. MacDonald (New England Center for Children)
Abstract: Participants were trained using least-to-most prompting to gaze shift from a safe or dangerous item, to the experimenter’s face, and to then reach for the item or provide an all done response based upon the experimenter’s facial expression. After mastery of 40 safe and dangerous stimuli, probes were conducted within the child’s natural environment, for untrained items, and items the child could not see. The study employed a multiple baseline design. Interobserver agreement was collected for 38% of sessions with an average agreement of 94%. Results indicated that participants acquired discrimination skills between safe and dangerous items, which generalized to the natural environment, untrained items, and items the child could not see. Findings validate a protocol for teaching a social referencing chain to help children gain safety skills in their natural environment.
 
An Analysis of the Effects of Social Stories on Social Pragmatic Skills for Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder
SAMANTHA STEVENSON (The New England Center for Children), Rebecca P. F. MacDonald (New England Center for Children)
Abstract: The purpose of the current study was to identify the effective components (text, pictures, conversation bubbles or comprehension questions) involved in a Social Story through a component analysis. The target skills taught were social pragmatic skills in the context of a conversation, specifically responding to a speaker’s happy or distressed emotional state. A multiple baseline across topics was used to assess generalization within participants. Participants were trained using two types of Social Stories: basic and enhanced. Participants were first trained using the basic Social Story and moved to the enhanced Social Story if they failed to meet mastery criterion using the first Social Story. Following mastery of the first topic of conversation the participants’ responses to the untrained topics of conversation were probed for generalization. Interobserver agreement was collected in 31% of samples and averaged 85% accuracy. Results showed that the use of the enhanced Social Story was effective in teaching one participant to respond empathetically to the speaker’s emotional state across three topics of conversation. For the second participant the combination of the enhanced Social Story with written prompts was effective in teaching responding to the speaker’s emotional state across three topics of conversation.
 

BACK TO THE TOP

 

Back to Top
Modifed by Eddie Soh
SABA DONATE