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.


48th Annual Convention; Boston, MA; 2022

Event Details

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Symposium #27
CE Offered: BACB
Teaching Discriminated and Divergent Intraverbal Responses to Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder
Saturday, May 28, 2022
10:00 AM–10:50 AM
Meeting Level 2; Room 255
Area: VRB/AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Smita Awasthi (Behavior Momentum India)
Discussant: Anna I. Petursdottir (Texas Christian University)
CE Instructor: Smita Awasthi, Ph.D.

Teaching complex intraverbal responses to children with ASD can require careful programming with the incorporation of convergent and divergent controls. In their systematic review, Stauch and Colleagues (2017) identified five studies that addressed responding under divergent control and 21 that taught responding under convergent control. Ingvarsson and colleagues (2016) taught discriminated responses to pairs of questions such as “what do you cut?” and “what do you cut with?” with one exemplar for each question. In this symposium, two studies with 6 participants employ a multiple baseline design across question pairs. These extend the Ingvarsson and colleagues (2016) study, by teaching divergent responses and discriminated responses to the paired questions using two different approaches. The first intervention used simultaneous teaching of discrimination and the second study taught divergent responses to one question followed by specific stimulus relations training. In both the studies researchers used tact sheets (Thakore and Petursdottir, 2021) followed by transfer trials to train divergent intraverbal responses. The studies will address customizing the design of teaching protocols based on student progress with different interventions.

Instruction Level: Advanced
Target Audience:

Should be aware of verbal behavior , recent advances in conditional dis, complex intravernal

Learning Objectives: 1. Methods for teaching divergent responding 2. Procedures to ensure discriminated responding 3. Role of training stimulus relations in complex intraverbal responding

All at Once or One at a Time: Teaching Discriminated and Divergent Responses to Three Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder

SRIDHAR ARAVAMUDHAN (Behavior Momentum India), Smita Awasthi (Behavior Momentum India), Shushmita K.S (Behavior Momentum India), Annamma T. J (Behavior Momentum India), Pavithra Perumal (Behavior Momentum India)

Sundberg, M.L., and Sundberg, C. T (2011) state that even children with a sizeable repertoire of mands, tacts, and listener responses may fail to acquire a functional intraverbal repertoire. Ingvarsson and colleagues (2016) used a blocked trials procedure to teach discriminated responses to pairs of questions to four children with ASD. The stimuli sets were question pairs of the form “what do you ____?” Vs. What do you ____ with?”. The current study used the random rotation step and tact to intraverbal transfer trials to simultaneously train discriminated and divergent responses. The researchers taught divergent responses to each of the questions (e.g., “wash” – “hands, hair, glass, clothes”; “wash with” – “soap, shampoo, colin and detergent”). Three students aged 4- 10 years, with a good repertoire of mands, tacts, and listener-responding skills but incorrect responses to questions requiring multiple control, participated in this study. We used a multiple baseline design across question pairs for 3 participants. Two participants acquired four divergent responses together, while one participant had to be trained one exemplar at a time. Intervention is underway with additional question pairs for each participant. Researchers will also discuss the generalization effects on responses to untrained pairs of questions.


Training Divergent Responses and Stimulus Relations to Teach Discriminated Divergent Responding to Paired Questions to Three School-Going Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder

SMITA AWASTHI (Behavior Momentum India), Sridhar Aravamudhan (Behavior Momentum India), Tejashree Dhruvaraj Mujumdar (Behavior Momentum India), Annamma T. J (Behavior Momentum India), Anupama Jagdish (Behavior Momentum India)

Language training to children with ASD requires overcoming stimulus over selectivity and deficits in audio visual conditional discriminations. The current study extended the Ingvarsson and colleagues (2016) study by training three school-going children with ASD, aged 5 to 10 years, to emit discriminated and divergent responses to paired questions. The study used a multiple probe design across four question pairs. Divergent responses to the first question in a pair (e.g., “name things you wash”) were taught first using tact to intraverbal transfer trials. Specific stimulus relations (E.g., wash hair with shampoo, clothes with detergent) were taught in the next stage. Probes were conducted to test if divergent responses emerged to the second question of the question pair (e.g., “name things you wash with”) and if discriminated responses to both the questions emerged without direct discrimination training. The implications of instructional arrangements to teach discriminated and divergent responses and generalization effects will be discussed.




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