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.

45th Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2019

Event Details


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Symposium #226
Teaching Procedures for Eye Contact, Vocalizations, Joint Attention and Social Referencing in Children With Neurotypical Development and Children With Autism
Sunday, May 26, 2019
10:00 AM–10:50 AM
Swissôtel, Event Center Second Floor, Montreux 1-3
Area: DEV/AUT; Domain: Translational
Chair: Hayley Neimy (Endicott College)
Discussant: Amy J. Davies Lackey (Manhattan Childrens Center)
Abstract:

We present two sets of studies that evaluate teaching procedures for early acquisition of social behaviors in two populations: children with neurotypical development and children with Autism. This symposium extends the findings of Pelaez and colleagues (1996, 2011, 2012) by presenting parent-training procedures where the caregivers implement protocols that involve a number of behavior analytic tactics. The first presenter presents studies conducted with neurotypically developing infants that test the 1) effects of two forms of contingent vocalizations as well as control condition on the acquisition of vocalizations, 2) effects of three different caregiver bids on the acquisition of joint attention responses, and 3) effects of a behavior skills training approach on the acquisition of social referencing. The second presentation extends the first presenter’s findings to toddlers with autism. She tests the1) effects of social reinforcement versus no social reinforcement on the acquisition of eye contact, 2) effects of two forms of contingent vocalizations as well as control condition on the acquisition of vocalizations and 3) the effects of three different caregiver bids on the acquisition of joint attention responses. The discussant highlights the developmental sequencing of these social skills as well as prerequisite repertoires for early learning of communication and other more complex social skills such as perspective taking. The operant procedures and the data reported have significant implications for future research and for effective interventions with children with ASD.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
 

Teaching Procedures for Eye Contact, Vocalizations and Joint Attention in Children With Autism

(Applied Research)
SUDHA RAMASWAMY (Mercy College)
Abstract:

This study consists of three experiments. The first experiment tests the effectiveness of social reinforcement on the emission of eye contact in toddlers with autism in an ABAB design. The second experiment examines the effectiveness of two forms of contingent social reinforcement (vocal imitation and Motherese speech) on increasing the overall frequency of vocalizations in toddlers with autism using an alternating treatments design across participants. Additionally, a third experiment tests the effectiveness of behavior analytic teaching procedures on the acquisition of joint attention responses in a multiple baseline design across participants. The findings extend previously published efficacy of these procedures in the training of eye contact, vocalizations, joint attention modeled after Pelaez and colleagues’ (2012) operant learning paradigm. The results of the study provide valuable information about identifying reinforcers for social responses as well as the sequencing of behavior chains as they relate to the development of more complex social responses.

 

Teaching Procedures for Vocalizations, Joint Attention, and Social Referencing in Neurotypically Developing Toddlers

(Applied Research)
CHRISTINE O'ROURKE LANG LANG (Mercy College), Sudha Ramaswamy (Mercy College)
Abstract:

As replications of previous research conducted by Paleaz and colleagues (1996, 2011, 2012), a series of three experiments were performed to examine teaching procedures for increasing vocalizations, joint attention, and social referencing in young children. The first experiment examines the effectiveness of contingent social reinforcement in the forms of vocal imitation and Motherese speech on increasing the frequency of vocalizations in neurotypically developing toddlers. An alternating treatments design across participants was utilized and results demonstrated a functional relationship between the implementation of the teaching procedures and an increase in participant vocalizations. The acquisition of joint attention through the implementation of behavior analytic teaching procedures was examined in the second experiment. A multiple baseline design across participants was employed and findings show a functional relationship between the increase in toddler joint attention responses and the intervention procedures implemented. Lastly, the third experiment examines the effectiveness of a Behavior Skills Training approach involving written protocols, vocal directions, role play, in-vivo practice and immediate feedback on teaching caregivers to increase their child's ability to engage in social referencing. Overall, the findings extend the research previously conducted by Pelaez and colleagues’ (2012) in demonstrating that the operant learning procedures employed were successful in the training of vocalizations, joint attention, and social referencing.

 

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