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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Paper Session #168
Teaching Strategies for Children With Autism and for Older Adults
Sunday, May 28, 2017
8:00 AM–8:50 AM
Hyatt Regency, Capitol Ballroom 1-3
Area: DEV
Instruction Level: Basic
Chair: Jacqueline Pachis (Brock University)

The Effects of Differential Reinforcement on Variable and Novel Pretend Play Behaviors of Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder

Domain: Applied Research
ALYSON BUCK (University of Kansas), James A. Sherman (The University of Kansas), Jan B. Sheldon (University of Kansas)

Play is important in the development of every child. A deficit in appropriate play skills is commonly associated with a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). As such, play skills are often a target of comprehensive intervention programs for young children with ASD. Many different approaches have been used within the context of comprehensive interventions to teach pretend play skills to children with autism, but a limited number of these studies focus on increasing variable or novel play behaviors. The goal of the present study was to use differential reinforcement of novel and variable responses to teach three preschoolers with autism to engage in a variety of pretend play behaviors. A multiple baseline design across participants and playsets was used. Appropriate pretend play behaviors were differentially reinforced based on whether the behavior occurred for the first time in a session or for the first time in the study. Results thus far show increases in variability of pretend play behavior, engagement in novel behavior, use of novel play objects, and engagement in appropriate play as compared to baseline levels. Results indicate that differential reinforcement can be used to increase variability and novelty of appropriate pretend play behaviors of children with ASD.

Comparison of Prompting Procedures to Teach Internet and Information Communication Technology to Older Adults
Domain: Applied Research
JACQUELINE PACHIS (Brock University ), Kimberley L. M. Zonneveld (Brock University)
Abstract: Regular Internet use has been found to produce meaningful social interactions and greater social support among older adults (White et al., 2002). The Internet and related information and communication technologies (ICTs) has the potential to serve as an excellent communication tool for older adults, as it allows individuals to stay in touch with family and friends and may even help to expand one’s social network (Gato & Tak, 2008). Despite these benefits, the Internet and ICTs are not widely used among the older-adult population (Cresci, Yarandi, & Morrel, 2010). With continuous technological advancements, and a growing population of older adults, there is an increased demand for effective ICT-training programs geared specifically toward older adults (Mayhorn, Stronge, McLaughlin, & Rogers, 2004). An adapted alternating treatments design was used to compare the effectiveness of written instructions and video prompting (VideoTote application) on the acquisition of three tablet-based tasks: emailing, video calling (FaceTime application), and searching for a YouTube video. Results are presented in the context of implications for the design of treatments to promote the acquisition of independent use of the Internet and related ICTs in the aging population.



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