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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Invited Tutorial #352
Speech Production and Applied Behavior Analysis: Using a Conceptual Analysis of Phonetic Hand Cues to Shape Speech Production
Sunday, May 26, 2019
5:00 PM–6:50 PM
Hyatt Regency East, Ballroom Level, Grand Ballroom EF
Area: PRA; Domain: Applied Research
BACB/PSY/QABA CE Offered. CE Instructor: Bobby Newman, M.S.
Chair: Bobby Newman (Proud Moments)
Presenting Authors: : TAMARA KASPER (The Center for Autism Treatment)

Phonetic hand cueing systems (PHCs) are commonly used by speech-language pathologists and promoted in commercially available products (Carahaly, 2012; Kaufman, 2007; Strode, 1994, and others), however; research on the effectiveness of these systems for improving articulation is limited (Hall and Jordan, 1992, Jordan 1988, Klick, 1985, Stelton & Graves 1985). This series of four studies examines the effect of the systematic use of phonetic hand cues as a stimulus control transfer procedure and compares the relative effectiveness of three procedures: PHCs as antecedent prompts, PHCs modeled by instructor and executed by learner, and a commonly used differential reinforcement procedures. Study results reveal rapid acquisition of hand cues, and improved articulation at the syllable, and word level as well as use of hand cues to improve intelligibility in natural settings. Reduction of speech sound errors on formal testing further confirms results. Use of hand cues as part of an ABA or school program from target selection to generalization of improved articulation across the verbal operants will be presented and illustrated via video examples. Results confirm previous case study findings that phonetic hand cues may be an effective intervention in promoting speech production skills in children with autism with limited vocal repertoires.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
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 a conceptual analysis of Phonetic Hand Cues (PHC); (2) analyze study results and state relative effectiveness of use of PHC v. Echoic only procedures for students with speech production issues; (3) identify teaching procedures for HC and HCT at the word level.
TAMARA KASPER (The Center for Autism Treatment)

Tamara S. Kasper, MS, CCC-SLP, BCBA, is a Speech-Language Pathologist with nearly 30 years of experience working with children with challenging behaviors. Tamara’s commitment to the children she serves led her to pursue treatment methods outside the field of Speech-Language Pathology. Under the mentorship of renowned Behavior Analyst Dr. Vincent Carbone and his protégé, Tamara became a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. She has also completed advanced training in application of Skinner’s analysis of verbal behavior and Kaufman’s strategies for apraxia of speech.

Tamara is a frequently invited international lecturer, having treated clients and trained professionals in England, Ireland, Greece, Ethiopia, Senegal, and other countries. She enthusiastically shares her unique approaches and her outside-the-box intervention techniques that are successful in building functional verbal behavior for children on the autism spectrum.

Tamara is also Director of The Center for Autism Treatment (  near Milwaukee, Wisconsin; A center which provides personalized ABA intervention plans for children as well as consulting services and workshops to autism treatment teams in the United States and abroad. Tamara’s publications include the K&K Sign to Talk materials and Speak with Sign. She is a past recipient of the Wisconsin Speech and Hearing Association’s Clinical Achievement Award.




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