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.


44th Annual Convention; San Diego, CA; 2018

Event Details

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Poster Session #482
VRB Monday Poster Session
Monday, May 28, 2018
1:00 PM–3:00 PM
Marriott Marquis, Pacific Ballroom
Chair: Einar T. Ingvarsson (Virginia Institute of Autism)

Matrix Training to Promote Recombinative Generalization in Children With Autism Using a Speech Generating Device

Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Research
VIDESHA MARYA (Marcus Autism Center), Heidi Morgan (Marcus Autism Center), Thomas Travers (Marcus Autism Center), Andresa De Souza (Marcus Autism Center, Emory University), Sarah Frampton (May Institute), M. Alice Shillingsburg (May Institute)
Discussant: Andresa De Souza (Marcus Autism Center, Emory University)

Research in matrix training has shown that when the diagonal targets from a matrix are trained the individual may demonstrate correct responses to the non-diagonal targets within the same matrix and novel targets from a separate matrix (Frampton, Wymer, Hansen, & Shillingsburg, 2016). The purpose of this study was to replicate prior research in matrix training with children with autism who use a speech generating device. Two males diagnosed with autism were exposed to matrix training with mastered tacts of nouns (e.g.f, "elephant") and verbs (e.g. "reading"). Two matrices were constructed (Matrix 1 and Generalization Matrix), using mastered nouns and verbs. Following baseline of the matrices, diagonal targets within Matrix 1 were trained (e.g., "elephant reading"). Post-tests were conducted for the Generalization Matrix followed by post-tests for Matrix 1. Both participants showed recombinative generalization with the Generalization matrix after training of diagonal targets in Matrix 1.


Teaching Verbal Behavior through an Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) Device: A Case Study

Area: VRB; Domain: Service Delivery
MOLLY QUINN (BehaviorWorks ABA), Ann M. Baloski (BehaviorWorks ABA)
Discussant: Andresa De Souza (Marcus Autism Center, Emory University)

The Verbal Behavior Milestones Assessment and Placement Program (VB-MAPP), is based on B. F. Skinner's (1957) analysis of verbal behavior and widely used across the field today. (Sundberg, 2008). Many board certified behavior analysts may treat the VB-MAPP as foundation to their verbal behavior programs, yet maximizing its use is further complicated when the learner is non-vocal, has multiple disabilities, and limited fine motor skills rule out sign language as a communication modality. Mindful of the challenge, we set out with the verbal behavior approach to teach a 10-year-old female client with down syndrome and autism spectrum disorder. Prior to treatment that included use of her augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) device, the learner had limited to no functional communication skills. Today, using her AAC device she has a mean length of utterance (MLU) of 4.5 words; communication functional and appropriate to her environment. VB-MAPP domain scores, derived before introduction to the AAC device (January 2016), compared to recent testing in October 2017, demonstrate increases of 60.5 points. Through the merging of AAC application, Language Acquisition through Motor Planning (LAMP) and the VB-MAPP, we were able to give her new access to a voice, one she otherwise did not have.


Improving Verbal Outputs in Two 6-Year-Old Boys With Autism From Being Non-Vocal to Vocal Using Skinners' Analysis of Verbal Behavior

Area: VRB; Domain: Service Delivery
Maira Rifat (ABA India), MEERA RAMANI (ABA India)
Discussant: Andresa De Souza (Marcus Autism Center, Emory University)

The conceptual basis of many language training programs for children with ASD involves Skinners' analysis of verbal behavior. According to Skinner, responses within the same topography can be actually functionally independent. Present study involves teaching Echoic, mand, receptive, tact and tact by function as well as intraverbal skills to two 6 year old boys who were completely non verbal till the age of 6 and who started developing language and intraverbal skills using Skinners' analysis of verbal behaviour. The result showed participants also started to read and acquire more language.


Using Textual Prompts as a Means to Increase Intra-Verbal Repertoire of Children Diagnosed With Autism Spectrum Disorder

Area: VRB; Domain: Service Delivery
AVANTIKA SHARMA (ABA India), Meera Ramani (ABA India)
Discussant: Andresa De Souza (Marcus Autism Center, Emory University)

3 children under ASD who often answered incorrectly were participants in this study. The children under the study could not use sentences to answer questions or reciprocate answers. We sub-sequentially taught two responses "I have" and "I see" using objects and pictures. The prompting strategy was progressive prompt delay and auditory prompt was only used during the text-prompt condition. Results showed that after textual prompts were used for all the participants, they could generalize the responses across instructors and materials. The importance of teaching generalized responses that enable the acquisition of novel intraverbals is being worked upon. The results showed that using text prompts and prompt delay techniques was effective.


Emergence of First Instances of Speech in Non-Vocal Children With Autism: The Effect of Early Versus Later Addition of Intraverbal Training

Area: VRB; Domain: Service Delivery
SMITA AWASTHI (Behavior Momentum India), Karola Dillenburger (Queen's University Belfast)
Discussant: Andresa De Souza (Marcus Autism Center, Emory University)

Estimates of non-vocal children with autism lacking in speech ranges from 10-30% (Koegel et al., 2009; Tager-Flusberg et al., 2013). An article review in The Analysis of Verbal Behavior revealed the importance of intraverbal training for inducing first instances of speech in non-vocal CWA is unexplored. Awasthi (2017; Dissertation submitted) examined the role of intraverbal fill-in training in inducing first instances of speech in two separate experiments with 46 and 19 participants respectively and found evidence to indicate that in traverbal fill-in (IFI) training can be a valuable addition to manual sign-mand training with paired vocals (MSMPV) for inducing first instances of speech. In experiment 1, IFI training was added after more than 12 weeks of MSMPV when participants did not acquire any speech. A detailed analysis of weeks to vocal suggested 16%, 35% and 49% children acquired vocals in 12, 24 and more weeks respectively. In experiment 2, IFI was introduced along with MSMPV as a treatment package and 94% children acquired mastery criteria (n=7 vocals) within 12 weeks. The findings suggest that Intraverbal fill in training should be added early on to programs intended to evoke first instances of speech in non-vocal children with autism.


Teaching Students With Autism Spectrum Disorder to Respond to Irony: A Clinical Evaluation and Molecular Analysis

Area: VRB; Domain: Service Delivery
DANIELE RIZZI (Associazione ALBA Onlus - Pescara (Italy)), Alessandro Dibari (Associazione ALBA Onlus - Pescara (Italy)), Erica Scandurra (Associazione ALBA Onlus - Pescara (Italy))
Discussant: Andresa De Souza (Marcus Autism Center, Emory University)

Understanding irony, sarcasm or complex forms of verbal behavior is often a barrier for children with ASD (Filippova et al, 2008). In the present paper we evaluated the clinical efficacy of a teaching package composed by Behavioral Skill Training (BST), in vivo training and multiple exemplar training to teach to recognize and respond to ironic statements in two students with ASD. The intervention has been effective to teach the target behavior and to promote generalization across people. The maintenance of results after one, two and three months from the outset of intervention has been monitored for one student. An analysis, based on Skinner's Verbal Behavior, of the behavior to recognize (as listener) and respond (as speaker) to ironic comments will be proposed. The analysis focuses on the interaction between environmental variables and on the control those variables have on behavior (convergent and divergent stimulus control), identifying the discriminative stimulus for the listener response, produced as result of a past history of reinforcement or punishment, in the presence or absence of joint control between non verbal (surrounding environment) and verbal (comment) stimuli. Different effects of convergent and divergent stimulus control will be discussed. This analysis, based on Radical Behaviorism, offers a tentative explanation of the learning process behind this form of complex verbal behavior.


The Effects of Varying Verbal Stimuli on Cooperative Responding

Area: VRB; Domain: Basic Research
ELIZABETH GHEZZI (University of Nevada, Reno), Ramona Houmanfar (University of Nevada, Reno)
Discussant: Andresa De Souza (Marcus Autism Center, Emory University)

The IRAP is an assessment procedure designed to target a history of verbally relating specific classes of stimuli (Dymond & Roche, 2013). Stimuli are regarded as implicit as they are measured with respect to faster response latencies and more accurate responses, or brief and immediate relational responding. This poster addresses the predictive utility of a modified IRAP and the additive effects of motivational stimuli to increase cooperation and conformity in a simulated EKG work task. Various classes of cooperative, and conformity, stimuli were assessed to determine if they had an augmenting function on cooperative and conformity responding, and if there can be a functional distinction drawn between the two classes of stimuli. The alignment between implicit responding, as demonstrated in the modified IRAP, and explicit responding, as demonstrated in the simulated work task, will be discussed.




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