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

Previous Page


Symposium #322
CE Offered: BACB
Dissemination and Evaluation of Early Intervention for Autism based on Skinner's Analysis of Verbal Behavior
Monday, May 25, 2015
10:00 AM–10:50 AM
217B (CC)
Area: AUT/VRB; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Michelle Ennis Soreth (Rowan University)
Discussant: Vincent Joseph Carbone (Carbone Clinic)
CE Instructor: Mary Louise E. Kerwin, Ph.D.

As the incidence rates of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) continue to rise, innovative delivery models for wide-scale dissemination of effective, empirically validated treatments for ASD are urgently needed. Early Intensive behavioral intervention (EIBI) has been firmly established as one of the most effective treatments for young children diagnosed with autism; however, intensive time commitments required by traditional Lovaas model EIBI (i.e., up to 40 hours per week) and a shortage of trained professionals are barriers to accessing effective treatment. An alternative EIBI delivery model that has grown in popularity involves the treatment model based specifically on Skinners analysis of verbal behavior (VB). Although there has been little outcome research evaluating VB as a treatment package directly compared to other interventions, single-subject studies have suggested that VB may be able to produce outcomes similar to the Lovaas model in fewer hours of direct treatment delivery. Further, disseminating EIBI through parent training programs has great potential to conserve resources while increasing access to empirically supported intervention. This symposium will explore critical issues in the dissemination and evaluation of the VB delivery model, including the design of competency-based training to improve treatment fidelity and the development and evaluation of a parent-implemented VB intervention.

Keyword(s): competency-based training, EIBI, parent training, verbal behavior
Competency-based Procedures for Training Staff, Training Parents, & “Training the Trainer” in a Center-based Program
KRISTIN M. ALBERT (Carbone Clinic)
Abstract: Behavior analysts who work in applied settings to teach children with autism regularly make use of the principles and technologies of applied behavior analysis (ABA) to guide their instructional practices. The organizational structure and services provided within these applied settings can, however, be even more in line with a behavior analytic approach by making use of the organizational behavior management (OBM) literature. Of particular importance are the OBM guidelines for competency-based training and ongoing performance management. This paper provides a case-study description of how a center-based program for teaching children with autism structured its training programs around this research from the field of OBM. First, competency-based procedures for training bachelor’s and master’s level, 1:1 instructional staff will be discussed. Ongoing staff performance management procedures–including competency-based evaluations, performance-based monetary incentives, and public posting–will also be described. Next, competency-based procedures for training parents of children with autism will be described. Finally, competency-based procedures for training 1:1 instructional staff to conduct parent training will be discussed. Examples of program-specific competencies and summary data on staff performance management will be provided.

Development & Evaluation of a Parent-implemented ASD Intervention based on Skinners Analysis of Verbal Behavior

MARY LOUISE E. KERWIN (Rowan University), Michelle Ennis Soreth (Rowan University), Moran Amit Dahan (Rowan University)

ABA-based early interventions for autism have not traditionally been designed for parent-implementation. Parent-implemented interventions for ASD offer multiple advantages, and a number of non-behavior analytic, developmental interventions for ASD have distinguished themselves from ABA-based interventions by explicitly centering on parent-implementation. Non-behavior analytic, parent-implemented developmental interventions have also been the focus of multiple randomized clinical trials (RCTs), and despite mixed outcomes, contribute to an increasing volume of ASD intervention research in disciplines outside behavior analysis. To pilot and prepare for RCT evaluation, a 16-session adjunctive, parent-implemented treatment for young children with ASD based on Skinners analysis of verbal behavior was developed and manualized. The Verbal Behavior Milestones Assessment and Program Placement (VB-MAPP) and Sundberg and Partingtons (1998) Teaching Language to Children with Autism or other Developmental Disabilities were adapted for parent implementation and served as the basis of the treatment manual. Preliminary pilot results indicated that a parent-implemented intervention based on Skinners analysis of verbal behavior produced gains in joint attention and verbal behavior, as well as decreased levels of problem behavior post-treatment. In this presentation, the process of developing, packaging, and piloting a parent-implemented behavior analytic intervention for preschool children with ASD will be discussed, and preliminary outcome data presented.




Back to Top
Modifed by Eddie Soh