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.


43rd Annual Convention; Denver, CO; 2017

Event Details

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Symposium #232
CE Offered: BACB
Innovative Technological Applications to Teach Conversation, Exercise, and Vocational Skills to Learners With ASD
Sunday, May 28, 2017
11:00 AM–11:50 AM
Convention Center Mile High Ballroom 4E/F
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Ruth M. DeBar (Caldwell University)
CE Instructor: Ruth M. DeBar, Ph.D.

Several advantages are afforded when practitioners use technology to deliver behavior analytic interventions to individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The symposium will present three papers that successfully embedded portable and commonly available technology to address socially significant behaviors amongst individuals with ASD. The first paper will discuss the use of Siri to increase the conversation skills of two children with ASD. Specifically, the authors measured appropriate conversation behaviors, defined as articulated sentences (proper syntax and grammar) and contextually relevant statements (subjects and predicates related to the current topic). The second paper will discuss the use of a video-enhanced fitness schedule on exercise behavior with three adolescences with ASD. The video-enhanced fitness schedule delivered on an iPad was effective in establishing exercise behaviors, skills generalized across a novel environment and stimuli, and maintained across two-and three-weeks across participants. The final paper will discuss a paraprofessional-implemented video prompting to teach vocational skills to students with ASD. Implications and areas of future research will be discussed.

Instruction Level: Basic
Keyword(s): conversation skills, fitness, staff training, technology

Using the iPad App Siri to Increase Conversational Speech in Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder

BENJAMIN R. THOMAS (Claremont Graduate University), Marjorie H. Charlop (Claremont McKenna College), Stephanie Haft (Claremont McKenna College)

Communicative difficulties are a core deficit for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Challenges in forming appropriate sentences and staying on topic can reduce their effectiveness in communicating with peers, and also make them less desirable playmates. In the present study, we used a multiple-baseline-across-participants design to assess the effects of communicating with Siri on an iPad, on the conversation skills of two children with ASD. Specifically, we measured appropriate conversation behaviors, defined as articulate sentences (proper syntax and grammar) and contextually relevant statements (subjects and predicates relate to the current topic). Measurements occurred with peers during baseline and training, and with Siri during training. During all conversation session probes, the children were instructed to talk to their partner (peer or Siri) for 5 minutes. Following conversations with Siri, improvements in some appropriate conversation behaviors were noted, although differences were observed between peers and Siri. Data from additional participants will be included during the presentation.

The Effects of a Video-Enhanced Fitness Schedule on Exercise Behavior
RAQUEL TORRES (Caldwell University ABA Graduate Student), Ruth M. DeBar (Caldwell University), Sharon A. Reeve (Caldwell University), Linda S. Meyer (Linda S. Meyer Consulting, LLC), Tina Marie Covington (Hawthorne Country Day School)
Abstract: Exercise is important for individuals including for those who have an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Activity schedules have increased a range of skills with individuals who have an ASD including leisure, academic, and daily living skills. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of a video-enhanced schedule presented on an iPad® on exercise behavior with adolescents who have an ASD using a multiple-probe across participants design. Specifically, the effects of a video-based fitness activity schedule with graduated guidance on independent schedule-following behavior and on-task behavior were evaluated. All participants acquired independent video-enhanced fitness schedule following and remained on-task. Experimenter proximity to the participants was successfully faded. Skills generalized to novel exercises and settings, maintained over time, and procedures were reported to be socially acceptable by educators including instructors, supervisors and paraprofessionals
Generalization of Paraprofessional-Implemented Video Prompting to Teach Vocational Skills to Students With Autism Spectrum Disorder
RACHEL SEAMAN (The Ohio State University), Helen I. Cannella-Malone (The Ohio State University), Matthew Brock (The Ohio State University), Scott Dueker (The Ohio State University)
Abstract: Video prompting is an evidence-based practice that offers several advantages when implemented in an employment setting. Given its feasibility with students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), as well as its effectiveness in teaching vocational skills, it is surprising that there is no validated model for training school staff to implement this practice. This study uses a multiple-probe-across-participants design to evaluate the generalization of a paraprofessional training package in the implementation of a video prompting procedure targeting the vocational skill acquisition of students with ASD in their place of employment. Results indicate that all three participants had a substantial increase in skill performance immediately after introduction of the paraprofessional-implemented video prompting, demonstrating that the previously presented paraprofessional training package can potentially be generalized across novel students, environments, and vocational skills.



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