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.


50th Annual Convention; Philadelphia, PA; 2024

Event Details

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Symposium #252
CE Offered: BACB
Building Verbal Behavior Repertoires in Home-Based Settings
Sunday, May 26, 2024
11:00 AM–11:50 AM
Convention Center, 100 Level, 113 C
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Daniel Almeida (Cambridge College)
Discussant: Nicole M. DeRosa (Kelberman)
CE Instructor: Nicole M. DeRosa, Ph.D.

Communication is one of the core deficits of young children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Communication deficits include both deficits and excesses of verbal operants, and the papers in this symposium address two common areas of need, the reduction of echolalia and the identification of tacts in a child’s vocal repertoire. It is important to build verbal behavior repertoires in home-based settings so that children learn to demonstrate these skills within their natural environment. This symposium will review two studies that did just that. Study 1 taught individuals to correctly emit intraverbals by replacing immediate echolalia with correct responses for two 3-year-old boys diagnosed with ASD within their home settings. Study 2 provided a variety of treatment components to parents of young children on the autism spectrum. The purpose was to give these parents the tools to identify tacts in their children’s verbal repertoires. In conclusion, both studies demonstrated positive results. Study 1 showed reductions in echolalia and study 2 demonstrated increases in verbal tact repertoires in young children with autism spectrum disorder.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): home-based, intraverbals, parent training, tacts
Target Audience:

basic knowledge of functional analyses and verbal behavior; experience with parent training

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) develop and conduct antecedent analysis on demand complexity; (2) compare function based interventions with default interventions; and (3) identify treatment package components which support parent participation in tact identification.
Comparing the Cues-Pause-Point Intervention to a Function-Based Intervention to Reduce Immediate Echolalia
RACHEL KAYE (Beacon ABA Services), Joseph M. Vedora (Evergreen Center; Cambridge College), Daniel Almeida (Cambridge College; Beacon ABA Services), Nicole M. DeRosa (Kelberman)
Abstract: Communication is a socially significant behavior, and the deficits that children have in this domain negatively impact their ability to effectively interact with others. Immediate echolalia is a communication excess often associated with children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Most studies evaluating immediate echolalia focus on either addressing deficits in stimulus control (e.g. cues-pause-point [CPP] intervention), or on the functional purpose of this behavior (e.g. functional analysis); however, there has not been a comparison to evaluate the most effective intervention for reducing immediate echolalia in young children with ASD. The current study used a multielement design to evaluate the maintaining variable of immediate echolalia through a functional analysis, and an alternating treatments design to compare the effectiveness of a typical CPP procedure to a CPP plus differential reinforcement of alternative behavior (DRA) procedure with three-year-old boys diagnosed with ASD. This study provides evidence that immediate echolalia can be evaluated to determine the maintaining variable(s) through a functional analysis, and a function-based intervention is more efficient than antecedent-based procedures. Based on the functional relations established, the degree of confidence is high.

The Effects of a Treatment Package on Rate of Tact Acquisition in Children With Autism

STEVEN RIVERS (Beacon ABA Services), Daniel Almeida (Cambridge College; Beacon ABA Services), Robert K. Ross (Ross Consultation LLC), Lina M. Slim (Lina Slim Consulting; Endicott College; The Chicago School of Professional Psychology)

Parents play a significant role in the educational development of their children. However, there is little research around utilizing parents to collect data on their children’s language skills. In particular, children with autism oftentimes demonstrate delays in the acquisition and use of language. Having information on a child’s language abilities may be of value when providing therapeutic supports. The present study evaluated the effects of treatment packages and specific treatment components on the frequency of Met tacts and parent supported vocal interactions across three parent-child dyads. A mixed multiple baseline design was utilized. Results showed that the full treatment package with all treatment components included, yielded higher frequencies of Met tacts when compared with baseline, a partial treatment package and a control condition. Data did not show increases across all parent-child dyads in parent supported vocal interactions. These results strongly suggested that when defined and specific treatment components are provided, parents are very effective at expanding the total number of Met tacts in their child’s known repertoires.




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