|Teaching Play and Peer Imitation Skills to Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder
|Monday, May 29, 2023
|12:00 PM–12:50 PM
|Convention Center Mile High Ballroom 4C/D
|Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
|Chair: Gabriella Rachal Van Den Elzen (University of Nebraska Medical Center's Munroe-Meyer Institute)
|CE Instructor: Gabriella Rachal Van Den Elzen, Ph.D.
Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) often demonstrate deficits or delays in acquiring skills across a wide variety of domains, including play, imitation, and social skills. These skill deficits may pose as barriers to accessing appropriate leisure activities and social interaction opportunities, and may impede further development of more advanced leisure and social skills. This symposium will discuss strategies for increasing these skills with children with ASD. The first presentation will discuss a study evaluating the use of prompt delay and instructive feedback to teach pretend play skills, including actions and vocalizations. The second presenter will present a study examining the use of script training with generic picture cues for increasing contextually appropriate language during play. Finally, the third presentation will examine the use of peer video modeling and discrete-trial instruction to teach peer imitation skills. Overall, the interventions examined in the present study were efficacious in increasing the targeted skills.
|Instruction Level: Intermediate
|Keyword(s): peer imitation, play skills, script training, video modeling
BCBAs and graduate students interested in autism and early intervention research. Pre-requisite skills include familiarity with discrete-trial instruction and the research basis for play and leisure skills.
|Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) Describe the benefits and limitations of teaching play skills in a discrete-trial instruction format; (2) describe strategies for the use of script training and generic picture cues for increasing language during play; and (3) understand intervention strategies for teaching peer imitation.
Using Prompt Delay and Instructive Feedback to Teach Pretend Play Skills to Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder
|GABRIELLA RACHAL VAN DEN ELZEN (University of Nebraska Medical Center's Munroe-Meyer Institute), Regina A. Carroll (University of Nebraska Medical Center Munroe-Meyer Institute)
Pretend play involves carrying out routines, acting out roles, referencing absent or imaginary properties of objects, or substituting one object for another. Pretend play skills emerge in typically developing children by preschool age but are often absent or delayed in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). In the present study, we evaluated use of prompt delay, instructive feedback, and prompt delay with instructive feedback for the acquisition and maintenance of pretend play skills with children with ASD. Throughout training, we conducted free-play probes to evaluate generalization to a naturalistic setting. The results of the current study suggest that combining the prompt-delay and instructive-feedback procedures was most efficient for most participants. However, generalization to the free-play setting was limited. When clinically acceptable generalization was not observed during free-play probes, we used video modeling, contingent reinforcement, and prompts to increase responding during free-play probes.
|Using Generic Picture Cues to Promote Verbal Initiations During Play
|STEPHANIE MATTSON (Mississippi State University; Utah State University), Thomas S. Higbee (Utah State University), Vincent E. Campbell (Utah State University), Nick Alexander Lindgren (Utah State University), Jessica Anna Osos (Utah State University), Beverly Nichols (Utah State University)
|Abstract: Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) often demonstrate difficulty communicating with others, and this may impact the extent to which they can engage in contextually appropriate language during play. This study examined the effects of a social script training intervention using generic picture cues on the number of contextually appropriate play statements for children with ASD. We also examined the extent to which responding generalized to novel toy sets and analyzed play statement types. A nonconcurrent multiple baseline across participants design with embedded reversal components was used to evaluate the effects of the generic picture cue intervention on contextually appropriate play statements. Three participants demonstrated a higher number of contextually appropriate play statements in the training condition as compared to the baseline and no cue conditions. Further, two out of three participants continued to emit a similar number of contextually appropriate play statements when we introduced novel toy sets.
|Teaching Peer Imitation to Autistic Toddlers Using a Video Model Treatment Package
|MEGAN MARIE HARPER (UNMC/Marquette University), Regina A. Carroll (University of Nebraska Medical Center Munroe-Meyer Institute)
|Abstract: Generalized imitation is a behavioral cusp that allows a learner to acquire new skills from a variety of models without explicit training that exposes the individual to new contingencies, environments, and reinforcers. Unfortunately, many autistic individuals experience imitation impairments. Research has shown that both adult and peer models are effective in promoting maintenance and generalization of imitation, however peer imitation is especially important for children to acquire age-appropriate behaviors in the natural environment without adult mediation. Autistic children may require specific training to attend to peers and to imitate peer models because of difficulties generalizing from adult to peer models and difficulties socializing with peers. In the current study, we used a video model of a peer and discrete-trial instruction to teach autistic toddlers to imitate their peers. Early results suggest that for some children, learning one set of targets using the video model treatment package generalizes to subsequent imitation targets and improves attending to their peers in the natural environment.