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.


46th Annual Convention; Washington DC; 2020

Event Details

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Invited Tutorial #510
Building Independence and Complex Social Play in Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders Using Photographic Activity Schedules and Social Scripts
Monday, May 25, 2020
11:00 AM–12:50 PM
Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Level 2, Room 207A
Area: PRA; Domain: Service Delivery
PSY/BACB/QABA/NASP CE Offered. CE Instructor: Thomas Higbee, Ph.D.
Chair: Sarah Frampton (May Institute, Inc. )
Presenting Authors: : THOMAS HIGBEE (Utah State University)

Many students with autism and other developmental disabilities have difficulty sequencing their own behavior during free-choice situations. Rather, they rely on adults to prompt them to engage in particular activities. Many do not interact appropriately with play materials or may select one activity and engage in it for an extended period of time. Photographic activity schedules have been shown to be an effective tool to teach children to sequence their own behavior and transition smoothly between multiple activities. Children learn to follow the visual cues in the activity schedule to make transitions instead of relying on adult-provided prompts. Activity schedules also provide a context for teaching basic and complex choice-making behavior. As children develop verbal behavior, social scripts can also be added and then later faded to promote social interaction. Activity schedules have been used successfully in a variety of settings with both children and adults with various disabilities. They are easy to use and can be adapted to most environments. In the present tutorial, participants will learn how to use activity schedules with clients/students as well as learn about recent research on using these techniques to promote complex social play.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Target Audience:

Practitioners and applied researchers.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) describe the prerequisite skills for using photographic activity schedules; (2) describe how to use photographic activity schedules to promote independent behavior; (3) describe how to use photographic activity schedules to promote choice making; (4) describe how to use social scripting and script fading to promote spontaneous language; (5) describe how to use photographic activity schedules and script fading to promote complex social play.
THOMAS HIGBEE (Utah State University)

Dr. Thomas S. Higbee is a Professor and Interim Department Head in the Department of Special Education and Rehabilitation at Utah State University and Executive Director of the Autism Support Services: Education, Research, and Training (ASSERT) program, an early intensive behavioral intervention program for children with autism that he founded in 2003. He is a doctoral-level Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA-D) and a Licensed Behavior Analyst in the state of Utah. He is also chair of the Disability Disciplines doctoral program at Utah State University. His research focuses on the development of effective educational and behavioral interventions for children with autism spectrum disorders and related disabilities as well as the development of effective training strategies for teaching parents and professionals to implement effective interventions. He is a former associate editor for the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis (JABA) and the European Journal of Behavior Analysis. Dr. Higbee is committed to the dissemination of effective behavioral interventions and has helped to create intensive behavior analytic preschool and school programs for children with autism and related disorders in Brazil, Russia, Portugal, and throughout his home state of Utah. He is the past president of the Utah Association for Behavior Analysis (UtABA) and has served as a member of the Practice Board of the Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI) and the Psychologist Licensing Board of the state of Utah.




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