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 #75
CE Offered: BACB
Procedures Leading to Emergent Verbal Behavior in Children with Autism
Saturday, May 23, 2015
4:00 PM–4:50 PM
217D (CC)
Area: AUT/VRB; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Sigmund Eldevik (Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences)
Discussant: Ellie Kazemi (California State University, Northridge)
CE Instructor: Sigmund Eldevik, Ph.D.
Abstract: Applied Behavior Analysis provided for children with autism is often critized for only teaching rote and mechanical responding. Psycholinguists also claim that the basic principles of reinforcement in no way can explain how children acquire language, and in particular how novel verbal behavior can occur. We will present two different procedures based on operant learning principles that lead to emergent verbal behavior. Both procedures are based on a nonconcurrent baseline design and training of sufficient exemplars. We will discuss differences and similarities with normal child development and language acquisition.
Keyword(s): emergent language, verbal behavior
Emergent Intraverbal Forms may occur as a Result of Teaching Receptive Discriminations in Children with Autism
SVEIN EIKESETH (Oslo and Akershus University College), Dean Smith (UK Young Autism Project)
Abstract: This study asked whether emergent intraverbal forms may occur as a result of teaching receptive discriminations to children with autism. A non-concurrent multiple baseline design across participants was used. Results showed that four of the five participants successfully transferred five or six out of six questions from the receptive form to the intraverbal form. One participant required additional teaching that required the participant to name the items selected during the receptive teaching (i.e., the participants said “Tomato” while selecting the object tomato). Moreover, none of the participants was correct on either of the two untaught, control intraverbal responses, with the exception of one participant who was correct for one of the two.
Teaching Adolescents with Autism to Use Past Tense Verbs through Sufficient Exemplars
SIGMUND ELDEVIK (Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences), J. Carl Hughes (Bangor University)
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to teach generalized usage of regular past tense verbs to two pre-adolescents with autism. We used a nonconcurrent multiple probe design and trained a sufficient number of verbs for generalization to occur. We defined generalization as the correct use of three consecutive untrained verbs. In training, we first probed the correct use of each verb and if the child’s response was incorrect, we taught the correct use of the verb separately and then in a mix with mastered verbs. The protocol was based on discrete trial teaching and trial-by-trial depiction of data. We found that both children demonstrated generalized usage of verbs following training; the strategies we employed made it possible to pinpoint when the children did not need any more teaching. The data collection and display strategies we used may be helpful for other clinicians and researchers conducting similar training and reporting the results.



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