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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Poster Session #192
VRB Sunday Noon
Sunday, May 24, 2015
12:00 PM–2:00 PM
Exhibit Hall C (CC)
106. The Effects of Intensive Tact Instruction on the Emergence of Vocal Verbal Operants in Non-Instructional Settings for Elementary School Students with ASD
Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Research
LIN DU (Teachers College, Columbia University)

The current study investigated the effects of the Intensive Tact Instruction (ITI) on the emission of accurate vocal verbal operants for three elementary school students diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. Participants were selected from a self-contained district based classroom in the U.S. Participants included one seven-year-old female and two seven-year-old males. A non-concurrent time-lagged multiple baseline across participants design was used to identify a potential functional relation between the independent and dependent variables. The dependent variables for the study were the number of mands, tacts, and palilalias emitted during baseline sessions in the hallway, lunchtime, and free play areas. The independent variable was a mastery completion of ITI in which 100 daily tact learn units were additionally presented to the participant above his/her mean number of learn units delivered daily. Results showed that the number of tacts considerably increased and the number of palilalias decreased as the procedure of ITI progressed.

107. Effects of Auditory Matching on Echoics and Listener Literacy for Kindergarteners with Developmental Disabilities
Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Research
LIN DU (Teachers College, Columbia University)

The main purpose of this study was to test the effects of the auditory matching procedure on the improvement of echoic responses and emergence of listener literacy for three kindergarten students diagnosed with developmental disabilities. The students were chosen from a self-contained, kindergarten special education classroom of a private, publicly-funded elementary school. A time-lagged multiple probe across participants design was employed to identify a possible functional relation between the dependent and independent variables. The dependent variables in the study were the numbers of full echoic responses and correct responses to the listener literacy probe trials emitted by the participants during probe sessions. The independent variable was the implementation of the basic auditory matching procedure using iPad in which the participants were required to match a target sound or word by pressing a button that emitted the correct response. Probe sessions were conducted prior to the onset of the study, as well as following the completion of the intervention. Results of the study indicate that the number of full echoic responses and correct listener literacy responses increased for all participants.

109. Vocabulary Learning by Typical Children and Children with Down Syndrome in a Shared Storybook Reading Procedure
Area: VRB; Domain: Basic Research
Camila Bonagamba (University of Sao Paulo), ANDREIA SCHMIDT (University of Sao Paulo)
Abstract: Reading storybook to preschool children can be an incidental vocabulary teaching procedure, probably due to the process of responding by exclusion. The aim of this study was to investigate the learning of words after the shared storybook reading, in typical children and children with Down syndrome. Twelve children (six with Down syndrome - aged 6-7 years, and six with typical development, aged 3 to 4 years) participated, in a alternate treatments adapted design. An illustrated storybook was created for this study. Throughout story, two novel fruits were each named once, but were not the focus of the plot. The storybook was read to the children twice a session (three sessions). Each reading session occurred in a different condition. In Condition 1, just reading; in Condition 2, the child repeated the unknown words (echoic) in each reading; in Condition 3 questions were asked about unknown words. At the end of each session, and one week later, learning probes were conducted. Two children from each group demonstrated consistent learning of the two words. There were no differences among the conditions, but repetition of the reading had an important effect.
110. Mands and Disguised Mands in Preschool-Aged Children: A Frequency Count
Area: VRB; Domain: Basic Research
Jessica Repasz (Allegheny College), Alyssa Schneider (Allegheny College), Kaelyn Conley (Allegheny College), RODNEY D. CLARK (Allegheny College)
Abstract: Skinner (1957) and others (Michael, 1993) have described what they call a disguised or softened mand. In the present experiment, normally developing children aged 2 – 5 years were observed as they talked to one another and played with a variety of toys. The number of tacts, mands, and disguised mands were observed and recorded for two consecutive hours each day for one school week (Monday – Friday) during which time the children played and exchanged toys. The sex of the speaker and listener were recorded respectively as well as the make-up of conversing pairs (male – male, male – female, female -male, and female – female). With the exception of female speaker and female listener in the two-year-old group, male speaker and male listener in the three-year-old group and female speaker to male listener in the three-year-old group, most pairs of children were observed emitting disguised mands. The disguised mands first appeared in the two-year-old group and the frequency remained fairly stable across the time of observations. Furthermore, it was observed that the overall frequency of mands tended to increase with age.
111. Using a Chaining Procedure to Master Complex Echoics
Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Research
KIMBERLY TRUONG (SEEK Education), Michele D. Wallace (SEEK Education)

Children with language deficiencies are often able to speak and echo simple phrases, but lack clarity as the complexity increases. We replicated a previous study by Tarbox et al. (2009) in which a chaining procedure was used to teach more complex echoic phrases. A multiple-probe design was used. During intervention, the participant was able to earn one token for each correctly pronounced syllable, on a 10 token board. Probes of both previously mastered words and untaught words were done each session. Results suggest that a chaining procedure is a highly effective method for teaching clear, complex echoics. Our participant was able to master 20 echoics of multiple complexity ranging from 2 syllabus words to compound words.

112. A Comparison Between Evidence Based Procedures to Elicit Speech Production in Children with ASD
Area: VRB; Domain: Theory
NORAH AL-SUBAIE (Center for Autism Research at King Faisal Specialist Hospital), nadia ashour (Center for Autism Research at King Faisal Specialist Hospital), Molli Luke (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: It is estimated that in the past 10 to 15 years, about 40% of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) did not acquire functional spoken language, however, recently experts has stated that the percentage of children with ASD who do not develop functional speech has decreased to be between 20%-30% (Rogers, 2006). To facilitate the emergence of speech, there are several techniques, both from the behavior analytic perspective and from non-behavioral analytic disciplines, such as Speech-Language Pathology. Many of these techniques have shown promise at increasing the initial development of vocal behavior. This poster will outline and summarize the techniques that have empirically shown an increase of vocal behavior in children with ASD. A primary emphasis in this outline will be on literature from Behavior Analysis and, due to its similar subject matter, Speech-Language Pathology. These techniques will be compared across several dimensions, such as populations, settings and intervention types. The goal of the analysis will be to provide a guide for future interventions, research agendas and interdisplinary collaborations.
113. Instructive Feedback: Increasing the Efficiency of Instruction for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders
Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Research
PATRICIA ZEMANTIC (University of Oregon), Shaji Haq (University of Oregon), Tiffany Kodak (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee), Traci Elaine Ruppert (University of Oregon), Megan Ledoux (University of Oregon), Claudia Suarez (University of Oregon)
Abstract: Instructive feedback (IF) involves embedding additional stimuli within learning trials. The student is not required to respond to these additional stimuli, and programmed consequences are not provided if the student does respond. Prior research indicates that IF is an efficient and effective procedure for increasing the verbal behavior of children with developmental disabilities (e.g., Vladescu & Kodak, 2013). The current study replicated Vladescu & Kodak (2013) over a longer time period and evaluated the maintenance and generalization of primary target and IF stimuli. One child diagnosed with autism participated in this study. IF stimuli were presented in the antecedent portion of learning trials. The participant acquired 6 sets of both primary target and IF stimuli. However, acquisition of IF stimuli was more efficient when comparing both the number of sessions and exposures to stimuli needed to reach mastery across IF and primary target stimuli. The maintenance of IF stimuli was comparable to primary target stimuli for 3 stimulus sets but superior for 3 stimulus sets. Generalization to untrained exemplars occurred for approximately 65% of primary targets and IF stimuli.
114. Frequency of Mand Instruction and Contextual Variables reported in Behavioral, Special Education and Speech Journals
Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Research
ROBERT C. PENNINGTON (University of Louisville), Melinda Jones Ault (University of Kentucky), Dominic Schmuck (University of Louisville), Jon Burt (University of Louisville), Laura Ferguson (University of Louisville)
Abstract: Researchers have demonstrated that communication deficits in individuals with intellectual disabilities are amenable to intervention and have evaluated interventions for establishing a range of skills across response topographies (Ganz, Earles-Vollrath, Heath, Parker, Ripoli, & Duran, 2012). Unfortunately, these findings may not be widely available to interventionists from related but distinct fields. In this investigation, we reviewed the last 10 years of professional literature across three sets of journals associated with three professional organizations (e.g., Council for Exceptional Children [CEC], Association for Behavior Analysis International [ABAI], and American Speech- Language and Hearing Association [ASHA]). We reported the frequency of studies per journal that involved the instruction of mands and related variables (e.g., intervention, response topography, setting, change agent, age, generalization) and drew comparisons across the three sets of professional journals. Our findings suggest a disproportionate distribution of publications involving mand instruction across individual journals and organizations. Implications for future publication, dissemination, and future research are discussed.
115. The Effects of Two Error Correction Procedures on the Rate of Learning.
Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Research
CLEO SCHMITT (Verbal Behavior Associates)
Abstract: Error correction procedures are implemented during teaching to increase correct responding and decrease erroneous responding. This study compared the effects of two correction procedures by looking at the rate of learning across four students diagnosed with autism. One correction procedure entailed prompting the student to respond correctly contingent on an error and then providing an opportunity to respond independently to the same demand a few seconds later. The other correction procedure involved prompting the student to respond correctly contingent on an error, then presenting two mastered demands and then re-presenting the demand that resulted in an error for an independent response. The same stimuli were used for all students and all students scored 0% during baseline. The instructional stimuli consisted of picture cards, which the students were taught to tact. The rate of learning was measured across the two correction procedures to determine if one procedure resulted in faster language acquisition.
116. Authorship Trends in The Analysis of Verbal Behavior: 1982-2013
Area: VRB; Domain: Theory
RODRIGO DAL BEN (Federal University of Sao Carlos), Celso Goyos (Federal University of Sao Carlos)
Abstract: The Analysis of Verbal Behavior (TAVB) is the only journal entirely focused in publishing theoretical and empirical research on verbal behavior. Identifying the journal trends can offer a critical perspective of its' practices. The present research aims to access the journal authorship trends. All articles published from 1982 to 2013 were analyzed. All authors, first authors and authors' affiliations were listed. Eight dimensions were accessed: Prolific authors; Editors as authors; New first authors; New authors; Frequent authors; Prolific institutions; Institution nationality; Institution type. 324 articles by 382 authors from 178 institutions were analyzed. The number of new researchers, working with frequent ones, has been growing, probably reflecting an increase in educational and research activities on verbal behavior. The participation of editors as authors is decreasing, showing that the journal may be achieving maturity. All prolific authors and institutions are from United States of America, indicating that there is room to international actions. The participation of authors affiliated to consulting services enterprises is increasing, which may reflect applications of verbal behavior analysis. In its 31 years of activity, TAVB has been an important outlet for verbal behavior research, analyzing it critically may increase the chances that it continues to be so.
117. The Effects of a Peer Tutoring Procedure
Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Research
MARIA GARCIA (Teachers College, Columbia University), Sarah Orlans (Teachers College, Columbia University)
Abstract: We tested the effects of a reciprocal peer tutoring tactic on the participants’ acquisition of new tact responses. The participants were 4 male students who were educationally classified as students with disabilities. The participants were ages 8 to 10 and functioned on the listener/speaker/reader level of verbal behavior with some writing skills in repertoire. Experimenters used a delayed multiple probe design across dyads. The independent variable was a reciprocal peer-tutoring tactic. The dependent variables in this study were the numbers of correct tact responses that the participants emitted during probe sessions to the sets of stimuli that they taught their peers during the peer tutoring procedure and the numbers of correct tact responses the participants emitted to the stimuli directly taught to them by their peers. The data showed that the peer tutoring procedure was effective since all participants emitted increased numbers of correct responses during the post-intervention probe sessions. During the post probes all 4 participants met criterion on the tact responses for the stimuli sets they directly learned as tutees. The participants also emitted increased numbers of correct tact responses to the stimuli they taught to their peers.
118. The Use Of The Verbal Behavior Milestone Assessment In The Literature Since Its Publication: A Review
Area: VRB; Domain: Theory
MARIA MARTONE (Universidade Federal de Sao Carlos ), Rodrigo Dal Ben (Universidade federal de sao carlos), Celso Goyos (Universidade Federal de Sao Carlos )
Abstract: A number of comprehensively designed systems derived from the principles of behavior analysis have been developed and used by applied behavior analysts to assess and teach language skills. One of the most popular is the Verbal Behavior Milestones Assessment and Placement Program (Sundberg, 2008). This review aims to determine the publications that mention The Verbal Behavior Milestone Assessment and Placement Program in their references from 2008 to November 2014 (last update carried out by the authors). The end result was 71 publications. All the publications have been analyzed by year of publication, type of journals, affiliation of the authors, keywords, and how the material has been used in each publication, whether conceptual (criticizes or endorsement the content) or applied (assessment of the participants repertoire, for instance). Systems for tracking and teaching skills have been widely reported within the field of behavioral analysis and it is important to understand what type of use has been made by behavior analysts of one of the most relevant assessments tools in the area.
119. An Experimental Model of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Based on Verbal and Nonverbal Responses
Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Research
Paulo Abreu (Departamento de Psicologia Experimental, Instituto de Psicologia, Universidade de S�o Paulo), Martha Hübner (Universidade de São Paulo ), KATIE E TREU (La Universidad Veracruzana), Juliana Silvério (Universidade de São Paulo, and Instituto de Análise do Comportamento de Curitiba )

The current study involves an experimental model of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) using a group design with 16 verbally skilled participants without clinical diagnosis. Experiments 1 and 2 show a model of obsessive-compulsive disorder based on some functional relations established between instructions, a task of separating seeds and the non-verbal checking responses. They tested if instructions with specification of aversive or appetitive consequences could increase the percentage of checking responses compared to instructions without these specification consequences. In Experiment 1, five of the eight participants had an increase in their checking responses when they received an instruction with specification of an aversive consequence. In Experiment 2, seven of the eight participants showed an increase when they received an instruction with specification of an appetitive consequence. The conclusion was made that the instructions with specifications given to the participant altered the discriminative and/or motivating function of the stimuli involved in an experimental task.

120. An Arabic Verbal Behavior and Functional Skills Assessment for Individuals With Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities (VBFSA IADD)
Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Research
MOHAMMAD I. AL-ATTRASH (Shafallah Center for Children with Special Needs), Mahmoud Al Sheyab (Shafallah Center for Children with Special Needs), Heyam AlSuwaidi (Shafallah Center for Children with Special Needs)
Abstract: A verbal behavior and functional skills assessment was created in Qatar to assess students with autism and other developmental disabilities in their native Arabic language to identify the strengths and weaknesses for developing effective IEP?s for each student. The assessment consists of 14 domains. The assessment was implemented initially in two classes for children with autism ranging in age from 7 to 10 years who ranged from mild to severe intellectual disabilities. The teachers in those classes were trained on the implementation of the assessment and ABA teaching procedures for two weeks by two board certified behavior analysts prior to starting the training. Teachers under the supervision of the psychologist/behavior analyst taught students on an average of 2 hours one to one a day for about 2 months. The results showed that student achieved 565 objectives ranged from 5 to 145 objectives. The average objectives that students that students learned was 79% with arrange of the objectives that were included in the IEP with range of 46% to 100%. Five of the students achieved 100% of the objective successfully during that period of time. The rest of students achieved from 46% - 90% of the objectives successfully.
Keyword(s): Poster



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