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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Paper Session #567
CE Offered: BACB
Teaching Eye Contact to Children With Autism Through Parent Training Via Telehealth: Using Shaping Without Prompting in Social Play
Monday, May 30, 2022
5:00 PM–5:25 PM
Meeting Level 2; Room 254B
Area: AUT
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Chair: Dag Strömberg (Stockholm University)
CE Instructor: Dag Strömberg, M.S.
Teaching Eye Contact to Children With Autism Through Parent Training Via Telehealth: Using Shaping Without Prompting in Social Play
Domain: Applied Research
DAG STRÖMBERG (Stockholm University), Smita Awasthi (Behavior Momentum India), Lise Renat Roll-Pettersson (Stockholm University)
Abstract: Deficits in eye contact are a common feature of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) which has been found to negatively affect learning opportunities. Previous research has shown shaping without prompting to be effective in teaching eye contact to children diagnosed with ASD (Fonger & Malott, 2019). The current collaborative study between Behavioral Momentum, India, and Stockholm University, Sweden, evaluated the effects of a shaping procedure, implemented by parents trained and supervised via telehealth, to teach two preschool-aged children with ASD to make eye contact in naturalistic social play interactions. A multiple baseline design across settings was used. For each child, eye contact was taught in three different child-preferred play settings where the parent was a necessary component. The target behavior, eye contact, was divided into five successive learning phases. Both children acquired eye contact for a duration of 1 to 2 seconds across several settings without direct prompting. Results suggested a high degree of social validity, as measured by the participating parents' self-reports as well as indices of happiness observed in the two children. Furthermore, this study confirms that when cultural aspects are taken into consideration telehealth can be used to train and supervise parents across geographical regions.
Target Audience:

Participants should have a working knowledge of the practical application of behavior analysis with clients. Participants can include BCBAs, teachers, psychologists, special education teachers and speech language pathologists.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) Describe why eye contact is a socially significant behavior for children with autism; (2) Describe how shaping can be used to improve eye contact in children with autism; (3) Describe how indices of happiness can be used to measure social validity.



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