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.


12th Annual Autism Conference; Miami, FL; 2018

Event Details

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Invited Paper Session #3
Assessing and Teaching Job-Related Social and Problem Solving Skills to Adults With Autism Spectrum Disorder
Monday, February 5, 2018
8:30 AM–9:20 AM
Regency Ballroom
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Instruction Level: Intermediate
CE Instructor: Dorothea C. Lerman, Ph.D.
Chair: Ruth Anne Rehfeldt (Southern Illinois University)
DOROTHEA C. LERMAN (University of Houston-Clear Lake), Carolyn Grob (University of Houston-Clear Lake), Natalie Villante (University of Houston-Clear Lake), Channing Langlinais (University of Houston- Clear Lake)
Dorothea Lerman is currently a Professor of Psychology at the University of Houston - Clear Lake, where she directs a master’s program in behavior analysis and serves as Director of the UHCL Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities. She received her doctoral degree in Psychology from the University of Florida in 1995, specializing in the experimental analysis of behavior. Her areas of expertise include autism, developmental disabilities, early intervention, functional analysis, teacher and parent training, and treatment of severe behavior disorders (e.g., aggression, self-injury. Dr. Lerman has published more than 80 research articles and chapters, served as Editor-in-Chief for The Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis and Behavior Analysis in Practice and has secured more than $2 million in grants and contracts to support her work. She was the recipient of the 2007 Distinguished Contribution to Applied Behavioral Research Award and the 2001 B.F. Skinner Award for New Researchers, awarded by Division 25 of the American Psychological Association. She also was named a Fellow of the Association for Behavior Analysis-International in 2008. Dr. Lerman is a Licensed Psychologist and a Board Certified Behavior Analyst.
Abstract: Adults with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) have substantial difficulties obtaining and maintaining employment. Challenges with job-related social and problem solving skills, such as asking for help, locating missing materials, and responding appropriately to feedback, are likely barriers to positive employment outcomes. Research is needed on objective and efficient methods for assessing these skills and on interventions to improve performance in job settings. In this presentation, I will describe the outcomes of an assessment that involved contriving on-the-job experiences in a clinic setting with five individuals, aged 19 to 27 years. Assessment results were useful for identifying skills to target for intervention. The efficacy of a training package for improving social and problem solving skills that are critical to job success will be presented for three participants. The therapist combined initial behavior skills training with stimulus (text) prompts to promote generalization from the clinic to a simulated job setting. Results indicated that training improved the targeted skills and that text prompts ensured successful generalization across settings and supervisors. These findings have important implications for preparing individuals with ASD to function successfully on the job.
Target Audience:

Board certified behavior analysts, licensed psychologists, graduate students.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) State important job-related social and problem-solving skills; (2) Identify gaps in the literature on assessment and training of job-related social and problem-solving skills for individuals with ASD; (3) Describe a general methodology for assessing job-related skills in a clinic setting; (4) Describe the components of behavioral skills training; (5) Discuss strategies to promote generalization of intervention effects.



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