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 #148
CE Offered: BACB
Strategies to Teaching Children Diagnosed with Autism to Learn Various Skills and Reducing Competing Behaviours
Sunday, May 24, 2015
10:00 AM–10:50 AM
217B (CC)
Area: AUT/PRA; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Natalie P. P. Croteau (Community & Child Resources)
Discussant: Francisco J. J. Barrera (Private Consultant Practice)
CE Instructor: Natalie P. P. Croteau, M.A.
Abstract: This symposium includes 2 single case studies conducted with children with autism. Skill acquisition is a focal point in working with children in an applied setting. In the 1st study the aim was to reduce vocal stereotypy that was interfering with skill acquisition. A RIRD procedure and a stimulus control procedure were combined to maximize treatment effects as demonstrated in previous literature. Of the 3 stereotypic behaviours exhibited by the learner, the procedure was implemented on the most frequently displayed stereotypic behaviour, in this case, vocal stereotypy. Results showed a reduction in all 3 types of stereotypy, even when not targeted directly. A parent training component was added to transfer the procedure to the home environment. In the 2nd study learners were taught to tie their shoes by replicating the methodology used in previous literature and adding a within stimulus prompt to focus the learners’ attention to the relevant stimulus. The treatment procedure included a total task presentation consisting of modeling and imitation, the use of within-stimulus prompts, and reinforcement of each successive step within the chain. In both studies the interventions resulted in behaviour change, maintenance and generalization of skills.
Multicomponent Procedure to Reduce Stereotypic Behaviours
NATALIE P. P. CROTEAU (Community & Child Resources)
Abstract: Children diagnosed with Autism enter intensive behavioural programs to learn skills that aim to increase the trajectory of learning. Given the importance of maximizing acquisition, behaviours that interfere with acquisition are challenging. One of the significant challenges for clinicians is addressing behaviours that interfere with acquisition, such as stereotypic behaviour. When a child is engaged in stereotypical behaviours they are less responsive and acquisition of new tasks is challenging. Skill acquisition is very important for children diagnosed with autism given that they have deficits in their development. The purpose of this study was to use stimulus control procedures and the response interruption and redirection (RIRD) techniques to reduce automatically reinforced stereotypical behaviours of a child diagnosed with Autism. It is an extension of prior empirical studies that successfully implemented discrimination training to reduce stereotypy. The clinical team assessed which form of stereotypy was highest and only implemented the multicomponent procedure when the learner exhibited vocal stereotypy. The vocal stereotypy consisted of any instance of non-contextual or nonfunctional speech, including repetitive grunts, unrelated words or phrases. Results showed lower levels of all forms of stereotypy and the procedure was generalized to the home environment.
Teaching shoe tying to child with autism
ERICA F. FRANCO (Adventure Place)
Abstract: In previous generations it was imperative that children learn to tie their shoes before kindergarten. Today there is a wide variation in shoe design (i.e., velcro shoes, zip up shoes, slip on shoes, flip flops), making mastering the skill of shoe tying at a young age less important. The authors aim to teach 2 learners diagnosed with autism to tie their shoelaces. Methodologies taken from an earlier study (Matson, Taras, Sevin, Love & Fridley, 1990) with some adaptations included a total task presentation consisting of modeling and imitation and reinforcement of each successive step within the chain. A within-stimulus prompt was added to the procedure to bring attention to the relevant feature of the stimulus necessary to acquire the task. This prompt was also added to enable a least intrusive methodology. Both children learned to tie their shoes and generalized to various shoe types and demonstrated maintenance of this skill at a 3 month follow up.



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