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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Paper Session #43
Intervention Strategies in ASD: Intervention Choice, Precision Teaching, and Techniques
Saturday, May 23, 2015
2:00 PM–3:50 PM
217D (CC)
Area: AUT
Keyword(s): Intervention, Strategies, Technique
Chair: Kimberly N. Frame (University of Memphis)

An Analysis of Variables Influencing Parental Choices of Treatments for Their Child With Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Domain: Applied Research
KIMBERLY N. FRAME (University of Memphis), Laura Baylot Casey (University of Memphis)

With a multitude of choices for possible treatments for a child with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), it is important to understand parental perceptions of the reasons they report for choosing ASD treatments for their children. A mixed methods approach was used in an effort to identify these reasons. The quantitative analysis (Fischers Exact test) results indicated there were no correlations between the ASD diagnosis, length of time with an ASD diagnosis, or parents education and the ASD treatments parents reported selecting. Five themes emerged from a qualitative analysis: 1) Parents were overwhelmed with the enormous amount of information about ASD treatments; 2) Information about ASD treatments was confusing and conflicting; 3) Parental input and desired outcomes were significant factors when determining the types of goals selected for ASD treatment(s); 4) Concerns about safety, ability to use a treatment, or the necessity of a treatment largely contributed to treatments parents reported they did not select; 5) Encountering problems when selecting or implementing an ASD treatment affected the selection of or continued use of a treatment. This mixed methods approach was an initial step toward future research that may delve into a more scientific causal analysis of parental treatment choices for ASD.

Beyond Acquisition: Procedural Applications of Precision Teaching
Domain: Service Delivery
KEVIN S. CAULEY (Adventure Place)
Abstract: Precision Teaching is a systematic approach used for evaluating instructional tactics and curricula. Although sometimes confused with a specific curriculum and/or prescribed teaching approach, Precision Teaching compliments existing tactics and curricula with procedures for measuring target behavior frequently and facilitating the instructional decision making process (Kubina, Morrison, and Lee, 2002). Additional benefits of Precision Teaching include a focus on building fluent behavior or true mastery and bridging the all too familiar gap between skill acquisition (e.g., 80 to 100% correct) and fluent performance by allowing students to grow beyond the percent correct measurement ceiling. This data-based presentation will outline procedural applications for building fluent behavior in a variety of developmental and instructional domains.
Using Gestures to Improve Speech Intelligibility
Domain: Applied Research
JANINE SHAPIRO (The Applied Behavior Center )
Abstract: Often times, patients are able to produce speech sounds on the phoneme level when presented with a verbal model, but they do not produce the sounds within words for a variety of possible theoretical reasons. Assigning stimulus control of a sound to a gesture is one prompting method that may help a patient learn to produce more intelligible speech independently. This presentation will discuss two different examples of how gestures have been used across very different patients to improve their speech. The first example is a case study of a child with autism who uses sign language as his primary method of communication. As is common in patients in whom alternative augmentative communication methods are taught, vocals emerged, however, not to the extent necessary to support a transition to vocal communication only. The patient's sign gestures were altered to reflect speech properties within a multiple baseline across behaviors design study with dramatic success. The second example focuses on a teenager with profound bilateral hearing loss and binaural cochlear implants. The use of phonetic gestures based on the ASL alphabet paired with speech sounds resulted in an increase in speech skills significant enough to allow the patient to verbally interact with people unfamiliar with his signs for the first time in his life. Audio-visual examples of the patient's speech collected during initial testing, treatment, and following five months of intervention will be shown. Finally, examples of specific speech gestures will be demonstrated and a step-by-step guide to therapeutic implementation of gesture prompts for a variety of speech errors will be provided.

Using Techniques From Exotic Animal Research and Development Training to Empower Autistic Clients Through Novel Situations

Domain: Service Delivery
SARAH M. APPLETON ROBERTS (Syracuse University)

This paper features a technique/methodology which has proven to be fast, stable, and effective in the autism client base. It will explain the basic method of helping clients through unanticipated, novel or urgent health procedures and situations. Using components of SATS (Syn Alia Training Systems) as developed by Kayce Cover, such as bridging, using targeting, naming and explaining situations in real time, and presenting progressively more intense cycles of a stressor, it is possible to aid individuals with severe autism through difficult transitions, sensory integration difficulties, and health emergency situations with full cooperation of the learner. SATS is an operant conditioning based technique, which integrates cognitive teaching and information exchange, to optimize learning rate and retention and augment the learners experience with relevant information in order to enhance his performance under stress or environmental pressure. Using this technique has proven fast and effective with individuals with autism, providing structure, comprehension of expectations, and reinforcement for complying and participating in procedures necessary to the individuals health and safety.

Keyword(s): Intervention, Strategies, Technique



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