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.


41st Annual Convention; San Antonio, TX; 2015

Event Details

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Symposium #381
CE Offered: BACB
Teaching Children with Autism and Developmental Disabilities Critical Safety Skills
Monday, May 25, 2015
2:00 PM–3:50 PM
217C (CC)
Area: AUT/DDA; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: David Garcia (Behavior Analysis Inc.)
Discussant: Jack Scott (Florida Atlantic University)
CE Instructor: David Garcia, Ed.D.
Abstract: Children with autism often lack critical safety skills that put them at serious risk of injury or harm by others. Often the use of specialized teaching methods is required for children with autism to learn these important skills. At this time there is very limited research in this important area. This symposium will attempt to begin to fill this void by presenting a series of studies that address fire safety, navigating safely through parking lots, and safety skills related to social media. The first two studies will address fire-safety skills and will demonstrate simple to use, teaching methodologies consisting of modeling and rehearsal to teach children with autism to evacuate settings when hearing a fire-alarm and to notify an adult. These strategies also resulted in generalization across settings and different sounding alarms for most participants. The third study will show the effectiveness of video-modeling with in-situ feedback to teach several critical skills needed to navigate through parking lots. Lastly, a study will be presented that addresses social safety skills in a charter high school using behavioral skills training and video-modeling. Results and implications for future research and application will be discussed for all studies.
Using Modeling and Rehearsal to Teach Fire Safety to Children with Autism
DAVID GARCIA (Behavior Analysis Inc.), Charles Dukes (Florida Atlantic University), Michael Brady (Florida Atlantic University), Jack Scott (Florida Atlantic University), Cynthia L. Wilson (Florida Atlantic University)
Abstract: We evaluated the effectiveness of a modeling and rehearsal strategy to teach young children with autism to evacuate different settings when hearing a fire-alarm and to report it to an adult outdoors. A multiple baseline across participants design was used with three children between 4 and 5 years of age. Results showed that modeling and rehearsal were effective in teaching the fire safety skills to all children. Safety skills also maintained during a 5-week follow-up and generalized to novel settings for each participant. Furthermore, the skills maintained in the generalization settings 5-weeks following the conclusion of the study. This study demonstrates a simple-methodology that can be used by practitioners and teachers to teach children with autism. Implications of safety skill instruction for children with autism will be discussed with particular emphasis on the applied significance of the results as well as new directions for future research related to safety skill instruction.
Are Modeling and Rehearsal Both Necessary? Teaching Fire Safety Skills Without Modeling
JIMENA VAILLANT-MEKRAS (Florida Autism Treatment Centers), David Garcia (Behavior Analysis Inc.)
Abstract: A recent study conducted by Garcia et al. (2013) showed that modeling combined with rehearsal was an effective teaching methodology for teaching children with autism the necessary skills to evacuate different settings when hearing a fire-alarm and notifying an adult. Results also showed that the skills maintained and generalized across settings. However, the authors did not evaluate whether participants generalized the skills across different sounding alarms. The current study used a multiple baseline across participants design with 5 children with autism to evaluate whether rehearsal alone with most-to-least prompting would be sufficient to teach fire-safety skills without the need for a modeling component. Results showed that this methodology was effective in teaching the same fire-safety skills as in the Garcia et al. (2013) study without the need of a modeling component. Most participants showed maintenance and generalization of the skills across settings. Furthermore, one of the participants showed generalization across different auditory stimuli (different sounding alarms) and 3 participants showed generalization across alarms following brief multiple exemplar training. Implications for the simple use of this teaching methodology by caregivers and teachers will be discussed as well as suggestions for future research.
Using Video Modeling with In-Situ Video Feedback to Teach Parking Lot Safety to Individuals with Autism
TOBY J. HONSBERGER (Renaissance Learning Academy)
Abstract: Parking lots present a plethora of dangerous situations for pedestrians and require a unique set of skills to be navigated safely. Individuals with autism spectrum disorder often have poor pedestrian skills due to their insensitivity to subtle environmental cues and deficient problem solving in unfamiliar environments (Goldsmith, 2009; Jossman et al, 2008). The present study used video modeling to teach three individuals with autism spectrum disorder between the ages of 15 and 19 years old how to safely navigate a parking lot. Participants were taught to move through a parking lot using strategies based on the Radburn Principle, which emphasizes the separation of pedestrians and motor vehicles. The parking lot of a public charter school was the setting for the study, a location that was familiar to the participants and accessed regularly. In situ video prompting feedback was provided to participants immediately following any deviations from the target responses. A multiple probe across participants was utilized and revealed rapid acquisition by all participants. Maintenance probes will be collected to determine whether skills will be maintained over time.

School Based Social Safety Skills Program: A Community Application


Teaching social safety skills using evidence-based practices in school and community settings has important implications to the overall safety of individuals with developmental disabilities. Social safety skills combine nonverbal communication, social reciprocity, social cognition, and self-awareness. The presenter will briefly review current literature on instructional methodologies for teaching social safety skills through the use of behavior skills training and video modeling. Instructional strategies, as well as general categories that can be used to create a solid base for teaching social safety skills in schools will also be presented. Preliminary data for several individuals with developmental disabilities will be provided consisting of baseline and in situ training of social safety skills. Baseline and in situ training was conducted in the community through collaboration with a local charter high school. The implications of the results will be addressed with particular emphasis on the utility of the teaching procedures by school staff. This study will address critical social safety skills that are necessary for any school age student to maintain their safety.




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