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 #468
Further Evaluations of Teaching Verbal Operants to Children With Autism
Monday, May 27, 2019
11:00 AM–12:50 PM
Hyatt Regency West, Ballroom Level, Regency Ballroom B
Area: AUT/VRB; Domain: Translational
Chair: Michael Passage (Florida Institute of Technology)
Discussant: Ashley Marie Lugo (Southeast Missouri State University)
Abstract:

In this symposium, the authors will present on research evaluating different procedures to teach verbal operants to children diagnosed with autism. In the first paper, the author will describe a study examining effects of single-operant (different targets from one program presented within each trial block) and multiple-operant (different targets from multiple programs presented within each trial block) conditions on cumulative duration to mastery and percentage of independent, correct responses, for two children with autism. In the second paper, the author will present on the effect of a stimulus equivalence procedure on acquisition and maintenance of piano skills, novel piano performance, and generalization and maintenance of taught and untaught piano skills, with three individuals diagnosed with autism. In the third paper, the author will describe the effect of using a concurrent schedule of reinforcement with and without a prompting procedure to increase rates of manding for three individuals diagnosed with autism. The fourth presenter will discuss a comparison of the effects of video- versus picture-based instructional stimuli on generalization of action tacts for three children with autism.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): mand, music, tact, verbal operant
 

A Comparison of Trial Arrangement Procedures in Children With Autism

(Applied Research)
ASHLEY FELDE (Florida Institute of Technology), Katie Nicholson (Florida Institute of Technology), Sandhya Rajagopal (Florida Institute of Technology), Kristin M. Albert (Florida Institute of Technology), Amelia Dressel (Florida Institute of Technology), Michael Passage (Florida Institute of Technology)
Abstract:

Improving the rate of skill acquisition for children with autism is an important focus for behavior analytic researchers. Prior research showed massed-trial instruction is more efficient than task interspersal. Less research has been conducted on the commonly recommended procedure task variation, sometimes called mixing and varying across the operants. The current study extended these lines of research by comparing the efficiency of two trial-arrangement procedures for skill acquisition. In the single-operant condition, all targets from a single program (e.g., tact) were taught during trial block 1, then, only targets from the next program (e.g., listener) were taught in block 2, and only targets from the third program (e.g., intraverbal) were taught during block 3. In the multiple-operant condition, acquisition targets across the 3 programs were interspersed within each of the 3 trial blocks (i.e., a few trials from each of the tact, listener, and intraverbal programs). A combined adapted alternating treatment and multiple probe design was used with 2 young boys with autism to compare efficiency of these arrangements through percentage of correct, independent responses and cumulative duration to mastery.

 
Manipulation of Reinforcement Schedules and Prompts to Produce Manding in a Multioperant Environment
(Applied Research)
JONATHAN SEAVER (The New England Center for Children), Michelle P. Kelly (Emirates College for Advanced Education (ECAE)), Rasha Baruni (New England Center for Children - Abu Dhabi), Clodagh Mary Murray (National University of Ireland Galway)
Abstract: Individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) display social communication deficits (American Psychiatric Association, 2013). Although some research has targeted increasing response variability (Baker, 2000; Charlop-Christy & Haymes, 1996, 1998; Hanley, Iwata, Lindberg, & Conners, 2003; Hanley, Iwata, Roscoe, Thompson, & Lindberg, 2003), limited research designed to modify the distribution of manding in multioperant environments exists. The results of Bernstein and Sturmey (2008) indicate that manipulation of concurrent schedules of reinforcement may effectively modify the distribution of manding in a multioperant environment. For three individuals diagnosed with ASD, we examined the individual effects of manipulating concurrent schedules of reinforcement, and the combined effects of concurrent schedule manipulation plus prompting to increase rates of target manding. A non-concurrent multiple baseline design was used to evaluate the effects of the independent variables. Increases in target mands were produced for all three participants. Concurrent schedule manipulation plus prompting was effective in producing increased target manding for the two participants exposed, whereas the concurrent schedule manipulation alone was effective in producing increased target manding for one of the three participants exposed.
 

An Evaluation of a Stimulus Arrangement to Produce Equivalence in Piano Skills Among Children With Autism

(Applied Research)
KRYSTIN HUSSAIN (Florida Institute of Technology), Katie Nicholson (Florida Institute of Technology), Michael Passage (Florida Institute of Technology), Marilynn V. Colato (Florida Institute of Technology)
Abstract:

Music-based interventions have been shown to benefit those with autism, improving deficits such as social behaviors, communication, and vocalizations, as well as improving behavioral excesses such as stereotypies. The purpose of the current study was to evaluate the effects of equivalence-based instruction (EBI) on acquisition and maintenance of piano skills, novel piano performance, and generalization and maintenance of taught and untaught piano skills among children with autism. Training consisted of auditory-visual musical stimuli in a matching-to-sample format. Following training, post-tests were conducted to test the emergence of novel untrained relations and generalization. Maintenance probes were conducted at least one week following the final post-test. Results were evaluated using a nonconcurrent multiple-probe design across participants.

 

An Evaluation of Static Versus Dynamic Stimuli on Generalization of Action Tacts

(Applied Research)
JOSHUA ADDINGTON (Florida Institute of Technology), Shana Fentress (Florida Institute of Technology), Katie Nicholson (Florida Institute of Technology), Sandhya Rajagopal (Florida Institute of Technology), Jacqueline Noto (Florida Institute of Technology)
Abstract:

Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) have difficulty generalizing responses to stimuli beyond training conditions. This study investigated the effects of two types of stimulus delivery forms on generalization of action tacts to in-vivo performances: static (i.e., pictures), which are typically used during instruction and dynamic (i.e., videos), which provide stimulation similar to what a child would encounter in a natural setting. Videos were more effective and efficient for promoting generalization of action tacts to the natural environment for two of three participants. Results of an assessment to determine client preference for teaching procedure were unclear.

 

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