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.


47th Annual Convention; Online; 2021

All times listed are Eastern time (GMT-4 at the time of the convention in May).

Event Details

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Symposium #442
CE Offered: BACB
Addressing Specific Skill Deficits Using Elements of the PEAK Transformation Module
Monday, May 31, 2021
3:00 PM–3:50 PM
Area: AUT/VRB; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Jessica M Venegoni (Missouri State University )
Discussant: Adam DeLine Hahs (Arizona State University)
CE Instructor: Autumn N. McKeel, Ph.D.

The PEAK Relational Training System provides a standardized approach to assessment and intervention of language and cognitive skills in children. Research on the whole curriculum has supported its use in increasing verbal operant performance (Dixon et al., 2015), derived relational responding (Dixon et al., in press), and intelligence test scores (Dixon et al., 2019). Although these broader outcomes are important, PEAK is also designed to target specific areas of skill deficit that are important academically and socially. The first presentation will evaluate a first application of the PEAK Transformation module to teach generalized mathematics concepts in young children. Results show that children were able to interact with mathematics concepts in multiple ways, established through direct training, derived responding, and transformations of stimulus function. The second presentation extends this approach to improve perspective taking by targeting deictic relational frames within the intervention. Results show an improvement in deictic relational responding and transformation of stimulus function. These results support the use of PEAK when addressing specific skills within a broader curricular context to improve language and intellectual functioning in children.

Instruction Level: Basic
Keyword(s): Math Concepts, PEAK, Perspective Taking, Relational Frames
Target Audience:


Learning Objectives: (1) Identify the difference between specific and broad language learning targets; (2) Describe a strategy for teaching generalized math concepts; (3) Describe a strategy for teaching early perspective taking skills
Using PEAK-T to Promote Relational Responding as a Generalized Operant and Teach Math Concepts in Young Children
RYAN C. SPEELMAN (Pittsburg State University)
Abstract: This talk explores the Promoting the Emergence of Advanced Knowledge (PEAK) curriculum’s capability in establishing derived relational responding as a generalized operant in young children. Training established frames of coordination, comparison, and distinction using non – arbitrary and arbitrary stimuli while emergent untrained mutual and combinatorial mutually entailed responses were observed within and across stimulus sets. Stimuli varied along both non-arbitrary (identity matching number of items/written numbers, identifying non-matching numbers of items/written numbers, sequencing amounts, identifying more/less given visual frequencies) and arbitrary (tacting written numbers/quantities, identifying non-matching written/spoken number combinations, matching quantities to written/spoken numbers, identifying more/less written/spoken numbers, sequencing written/spoken numbers) numerical quantitative dimensions. Preliminary results reveal acquisition of coordinated framing within a stimulus set facilitates coordinated framing in other unrelated arbitrary stimulus sets. Mastery of coordinated framing appeared to promote the emergence of more complex frames including distinction and comparison suggesting a commonality among relational frame families. The findings highlight the ubiquity of relational responding and broad potential application to math concepts and other general curriculum.
Evaluating the Effectiveness of the PEAK-T Curriculum on Increasing Deictic Relational Responding Skills
AUTUMN N. MCKEEL (Emergent Learning Academy), Karen Werkema (Aurora University)
Abstract: Training perspective taking skills has become a commonly investigated topic in behavioral literature. This is commonly done by training deictic relational responding which includes here-there, I-you, and now-then relations. A variety of methods have been used to teach these relations in recent years. This study evaluated the PEAK-T curriculum for training perspective taking skills to children with autism. Specifically, this study taught single-reversal there relations to three children ages four to sixteen. During pre-assessment, none of the participants displayed the ability to respond accurately to any reversed relations. Participants were trained, using the PEAK-T methods, to respond to single-reversal there relations and responding to single-reversal here relations was probed throughout. Following mastery of single-reversal there relations on the training set of stimuli, participants were tested for the transfer of stimulus functions to a novel set of stimuli. Participants demonstrated an immediate increase in percentage of correct responding on “there” relations and probes of “here” relations following implementation of training. Two participants were unable to demonstrate transfer of deictic relational responding skills during the transfer phase and a mixed training phase was implemented.



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