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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Poster Session #96K
VRB Saturday Poster Session
Saturday, May 25, 2024
1:00 PM–3:00 PM
Convention Center, 200 Level, Exhibit Hall A
Chair: Jane Button (Linggo)
Diversity submission 97. The Verbal Behavior Milestones Assessment and Placement Program (VB-MAPP): Reflections From Türkiye
Area: VRB; Domain: Service Delivery
YESIM GULEC-ASLAN (Istanbul Medeniyet University), Onur Kurt (Anadolu University), Hasan GÜRGÜR (Anadolu University)
Discussant: Jane Button
Abstract: In the last 20 years in Turkey, promising developments have been observed in the use of application and evaluation programs based on B. F. Skinner's radical behavioral approach and applied behavior analysis (ABA) for the intervention of individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). However, efforts are still needed to increase the number and dissemination of such programs and evaluation systems. In particular, there are not enough studies on applications based on verbal behavior. Based on this need, based on B. F. Skinner's studies of verbal behavior, in recent years, there have been various attempts to use VB MAPP (Verbal Behavior Milestones Assessment and Placement Program), developed by Dr. Mark L. Sundberg, in Turkey. In this poster presentation, the process of introducing VB-MAPP into the Turkish language and studies on its use in Turkey, which aims to evaluate the skills of children with ASD and other developmental disabilities and plan intervention and transition based on the evaluation results, will be presented with case examples. It is expected that the poster will shed light on studies and research on the use of verbal behavior-based information in different cultures, and also contribute to the international UDA literature.
98. Evaluating the Effectiveness of a Telehealth Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)-Based Intervention in Special Education Across Two Cases
Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Research
BLAYNE STEMPLE (Missouri State University), Lauren Rose Hutchison (Missouri State University ), Ray Burke (Apex Regional Program), Taylor Carroll (Missouri State University), Ryan Moser (Missouri State University), Amanda Middleton (Missouri State University), Dana Paliliunas (Missouri State University), Jordan Belisle (Missouri State University)
Discussant: Sandra F. Concors (ABC Consultants)
Abstract: Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) is a contemporary behavior-analytic approach that seeks to alter an individual’s pattern of relational behavior to support psychological flexibility processes (Belisle & Dixon, 2022). Despite the significant evidence for the use of ACT-based interventions, there are limited functional assessment measures available for behavior analysts to use when attempting to assess an individual’s relational behavior. The Spatial Evaluation of Language and Flexibility for Youth (SELF-Y; Paliliunas & Belisle, 2023) was developed as a form of relational experimental functional analysis to help inform the development of individualized ACT-based interventions. In the current study, the SELF-Y was conducted for two participants pre- and post-intervention. During the intervention phase, individuals were provided with weekly lessons from the Accept, Identify, and Move Curriculum (AIM; Dixon, Paliliunas, & Critchfield (2018), a behavior analytic curriculum for social-emotional development in children. Prior to intervention, both participants exhibited patterns of relational responding inconducive to psychological flexibility. After intervention, the SELF-Y was re-administered, revealing patterns of responding supportive of psychological flexibility in one participant. Participant engagement during therapy sessions was also monitored as an additional dependent variable. The participant demonstrating improved patterns of responding supportive of psychological flexibility exhibited significantly higher rates of engagement compared to the other participant. This study highlights the need for additional research on functional assessment measures that behavior analysts can use when targeting psychological flexibility processes. Additionally, future research is needed on the prerequisite skills an individual needs to meaningfully access ACT-based interventions.
99. Teaching Traveling to Speech-Generating Device: A Replication
Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Research
KENNEDY CLOE (Southern Illinois University Carbondale), Karli Anne Wright (Southern Illinois University), Lesley A. Shawler (Southern Illinois University Carbondale)
Abstract: Communication using speech-generating devices (SGD) for individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is becoming increasingly more common (Lorah & Griffen, 2023). An expanding body of research has highlighted the importance of these devices for individuals with limited vocal-verbal behavior. However, most modalities do not incorporate systematic methods to promote generalization. In one example, Lorah and Griffen (2023) systematically taught children to travel to their SGD, bring it to the listener, and mand. Being able to travel to the device is an important skill, as sometimes the individual may be in a noisy environment, may not always carry the device, and they require charging. The current study taught a child with ASD to travel to their SGD using errorless learning and least-to-most prompting in a multiple-probe design across three distances. Mand trials were contrived based on client motivation for an item with the tablet beginning at 4ft, before systematically increasing it to 8ft, and then out of the room. This study aimed to expand the current research on interventions used to teach children to travel to their SGD and provide clinicians with a systematic procedure to teach traveling.
Diversity submission 100. Enhancing Manding Repertoire in Kuwaiti Children: A Behavior Skills Training (BST) Approach for Parents
Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Research
Discussant: Sandra F. Concors (ABC Consultants)
Abstract: In Kuwait, significant strides have been made in establishing schools and therapy centers for children with autism over the past decade. However, a crucial gap persists - the need for parents to acquire the skills necessary to support their children's development within home and community settings. A center-based parent training program was initiated to address this gap, focusing on the proper implementation of manding programs. Five Kuwaiti parents participated the program which incorporated Behavior Skills Training (BST) strategies. The effectiveness of parents in implementing manding programs was measured using a task analysis. Each parent participated in the training intervention using Instruction, Modeling, Rehearsal and Feedback which are the main components of BST. Baseline data was collected, and then treatment was introduced to parents using BST along with follow-up data to assess its sustainability. Multiple baseline design across participants was used for data analysis. Encouragingly, all participating parents successfully demonstrated the correct manding procedure through BST, and these skills remained sustainable during the follow-up assessment.
101. Analysis of Verbal Behavior Related to Sports Performance of Runners of Different Categories
Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Research
EMANUEL MERAZ MEZA (Universidad Veracruzana), Mitzi Quiroz (Universidad Veracruzana), Abdiel Florentino Campos Gil (Universidad Veracruzana), Camilo García (Universidad Veracruzana), Enoc Obed Obed De la Sancha Villa Villa (Universidad de Guanajuato)
Discussant: Jane Button
Abstract: Despite the extensive literature on verbal control of nonverbal behavior (Baer, 1990), studies on say-do correspondence training procedures have yielded mixed results, so the functional relationship between verbal and nonverbal behavior remains unclear (Callicott & Park, 2003). An alternative analysis involves recognizing bidirectional relationships between verbal and non-verbal behavior (Ribes, 2018). In the field of sports psychology, it is possible to study the relationship between sports performance and behavioral styles (non-verbal behavior) and verbal behavior (related to compliance with criteria) of runners of different sports categories. Four runners of different categories participated (Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced) in the training test called High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) with which persistence to achievement, running pace, and types of verbalizations were evaluated, before, during and after training. The results showed differences between the types of verbalizations: Participants with a higher athletic category emitted more verbalizations related to successful completion of the task, showed greater do-say correspondence, and a behavioral style of greater persistence toward achievement. Future studies may explore the mutual influence between successful performance and verbalizations compatible with task success.
102. The Effects of Parent-Mediated Matrix Training to Teach Children With Autism to Match to Sample (Picture-Based) or Tact (Text-Based) Noun-Verb Combinations Using a Speech Generating Device (SGD)
Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Research
JANE BUTTON (Linggo), Ling Ly Tan (Linggo)
Discussant: Sandra F. Concors (ABC Consultants)
Abstract: Teaching children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) to acquire new language through generative teaching strategies is a critical aspect of applied behavior analysis (ABA) programs. While numerous studies have evaluated the effectiveness of this instructional strategy, few have demonstrated its use for augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) users. A parent-mediated matrix training program was implemented to teach two children with autism to match to sample (picture-based) and tact (text-based) noun-verb combinations using a speech-generating device (SGD) across both taxonomic (grid-based) and schematic (topic-based) system displays. The participants' mothers were trained to fidelity via TeleHealth by aBoard Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA). Both participants used a combination of picture-based and text-based tiles to communicate. The first participant was directly taught 6 noun-verb combinations and acquired (through recombinative generalization) 12 noun-verb combinations. The second participant was directly taught 3 noun-verb combinations and acquired (through recombinative generalization) 6 noun-verb combinations. A third participant is currently undergoing the acquisition phase of this study. The positive results indicate that further research should be conducted on the use of matrix training to expand the match to sample and tact repertoires of children who use SGDs.
103. A Preliminary Review of Behavior Analysis Literature on Establishing Developmentally Appropriate Mand Repertoires in Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Research
SALONI RAZDAN (UMASS), Aarti Haresh Thakore (Central Texas Autism Center)
Discussant: Jane Button
Abstract: Skinner’s analysis of verbal behavior outlines a verbal taxonomy that both Speaker and Listener’s verbal behavior are influenced by the same environmental variables as any other behavior. The functional account of verbal behavior is often disregarded in the conventional account of language. Nonetheless, this functional approach is instrumental in understanding the role of motivation in teaching mand repertoire. Several studies in behavior analysis literature have illustrated the importance of motivating operation in establishing mand repertoire. However, there are still inconsistencies within the field when it comes to selecting and teaching developmentally appropriate mand targets for children diagnosed with ASD. Thus, the primary purpose of this paper is to conduct a preliminary review of studies on mand training from 1980 to 2022, and categorize these studies based on developmental hierarchy of language progression demonstrated in the VB-MAPP. Overall review suggests that there is sparcity of literature focusing on building foundation for mand repertoire before advancing to CMO-T mands. Thus, there is a need for further research on selection and teaching developmentally appropriate mand targets.
105. The Effects of Covert Echoic on the Acquisition and Maintenance of Tact in Foreign Language
Area: VRB; Domain: Basic Research
MASAYA YAMAGUCHI (University of Tsukuba), Daichi Yusunoki (University of Tsukuba), Soichiro Matsuda (University of Tsukuba)
Discussant: Jane Button
Abstract: The current study evaluated the effect of covert echoic and vocal blocking during foreign tact teaching sessions on acquiring and maintaining foreign language vocabulary. During teaching sessions, the Japanese university students vocalized the antecedent stimulus in Spanish followed by the presentation of the correct textual response, Spanish word. The participants experienced both two conditions with different stimulus sets; they pronounced and repeatedly echoed the correct Spanish word at the covert level in the covert echoic condition, and they read the alphabet aloud in the vocal blocking condition. An adapted alternating treatments design across stimulus sets was used, and two types of maintenance probes (foreign tact and matching-to-sample) were conducted. Participants met the criterion during teaching phase with fewer sessions in the covert echoic condition than in the vocal blocking condition. They showed better maintenance of foreign tact response in the covert echoic condition compared to the vocal blocking condition, although no difference between the conditions was observed in the maintenance of matching-to-sample response. The findings suggested that the covert echoic during foreign tact teaching enhances the efficiency of the acquisition of foreign tact response and its maintenance.
106. The Effects of Teacher Training and Coaching on the Acquiring Vocal Mands of a 4-Year Old Female With Autism
Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Research
STASIA M DELIKAT (Collierville Schools)
Discussant: Sandra F. Concors (ABC Consultants)
Abstract: Individuals with autism, and related disorders often require specialized programs to meet their academic, functional, and social emotional needs. Communication is one of the most impactful deficits in those with autism spectrum disorder. Because of this, it is essential that programs, for students with special needs be rich in language-based lessons and use evidence-based teaching strategies to teach individuals with language impairments how to communicate their basic needs. Mand training, using naturalistic teaching methods and the principles of applied behavior analysis, is an evidence-based teaching strategy that is used to teach individuals how to communicate. This study used a delayed multiple baseline single-case design in order to determine the effects of teacher training and coaching on the vocal mands of a four-year old female with autism. The findings of this study indicate there is a strong correlation between teacher training and coaching and an increase of student vocal manding across three different settings.
107. Equivalence-Based Instruction, Reading and Naming in Deaf and Hard of Hearing With Cochlear Implant
Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Research
ANA CLAUDIA MOREIRA ALMEIDA-VERDU (Universidade Estadual Paulista)
Discussant: Jane Button
Abstract: This work analyzed reading and writing Equivalence Based Instruction (EBI) research in children who are deaf and hard of hearing (DHH) and/or wear cochlear implants and that resulted in improvements of speech accuracy in picture naming tasks. The selection criteria were: experimental studies, teaching procedures of conditional discriminations among dictated and written words or sentences (and their minimal units), and their representative pictures; sample as node as teaching structure, and repeated reading and picture naming tests. Studies were analyzed according to methodological quality, Percentage Nonoverlapping Data (PND) as effect size, and other evidence indicators. Seventeen studies were identified totaling 50 participants. Before EBI, the difference between the percentage points for reading and picture naming was greater, evidence of the functional independence of operants from the same topography. After EBI this difference was lower, showing the potential of EBI to integrate verbal operants. The average data were representative of individual data and PND analysis was deemed 'very effective' for 82% of participants. No study was assessed as methodologically weak and the overall results support good practices for using reading and writing EBI on speech accuracy in children with DHH and CI.
108. Discrimination of “Wh” Questions - "Who," "Where," and "What" in Teaching Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder
Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Research
MEERA RAMANI (ABA India/uae ), Rajashree Balasubramanian (ABA India, ABA UAE), vani kumar (ABA India, ABA UAE), Vasanthi Sunder (ABA UAE), Maira Saeed (ABA UAE), Stephy Varughese (ABA India, ABA UAE)
Discussant: Sandra F. Concors (ABC Consultants)

Many students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) struggle with discriminating between various “Wh” questions. Approximately half of children with autism never develop functional expressive language (Lord and Rutter 1994, Prizant 1983, Rutter 1978). This study involved teaching three children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (all assessed to be around VB-MAPP Level 2) to discriminate between three types of “Wh” questions (specifically, “Who”, “Where” and “What” questions) by first receptively categorizing them, and then improving their answering skills using visual cues. The visual cues were then faded to text-based prompts. We employed a multiple baseline design in a clinical setting that provided Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) services. The results demonstrated that, after sorting and comprehending visual cues, children could answer all three types of “Wh” questions. Each type of “Wh” question was individually trained in a specific sequence. The dependent variable measured the percentage of responses to novel questions within each category during the initial trial.

109. Effectiveness of Music-Infused Vocal Teaching Trials in Strengthening Recall and Retention of Intra-Verbal Responses in Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder
Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Research
MEERA RAMANI (ABA India/uae ), Shyni Gopal (ABA India, ABA UAE), Rajashree Balasubramanian (ABA India, ABA UAE), Arooj Omer (ABA UAE)
Discussant: Jane Button
Abstract: Intraverbal repertoire for children with ASD is considered vital to promote skill acquisition and social interaction skills. In addition, retention or recall plays an imperative role in maintaining and strengthening intraverbal repertoire. However, children and adults with ASD often struggle to recall information. As per studies conducted earlier, children and adults with ASD have enhanced ability to process simple auditory stimuli such as musical tones in contrast with a generally diminished ability to process social and more complex sounds such as speech. (Chowdhury et al., 2017; Just, Cherkassky, Keller, Kana, & Minshew, 2007; Mottron, Dawson, Soulières, Hubert, & Burack, 2006; Mottron et al., 2000; Ouimet, Foster, Tryfon, & Hyde, 2012).?This study explored how music-infused vocal teaching trials impacted retention and recall of intraverbal responses (particularly relating to personal information) in children with ASD. In addition, considering social validity, programming for generalisation showed that the musicality in the responses could be faded as well.
110. Reinforcing Mands and Challenging Behavior During Competing Stimulus Assessments: A Comparison of Outcomes
Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Research
ERIK BUSTAMANTE (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Michelle A. Frank-Crawford (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Margaret E.W. Cavanaugh (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Chimsomaga Ozuzu (Kennedy Krieger Instititute), Hannah Roth (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Guillermo Santamaria (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Discussant: Sandra F. Concors (ABC Consultants)
Abstract: During competing stimulus assessments (CSA) for socially maintained behavior, the functional reinforcer is provided during the control and test sessions following each instance of challenging behavior. This can result in high levels of potentially dangerous behaviors. Mands for the functional reinforcer may be a safer alternative to reinforcing challenging behavior during the CSA. Samantha was an 8-year-old-female diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder whose challenging behavior was maintained by access to attention. Samantha was taught to request attention by saying “play please” in the presence of an attention icon when it was placed on the green side of a red/green board and to refrain from mands when it was on the red side. Following this training, we evaluated 11 stimuli across three CSA conditions to determine which stimuli consistently resulted in the lowest rates of mands and of challenging behavior. The conditions included: Mands FR1/Challenging Behavior EXT, Mands EXT/Challenging Behavior EXT, and Mands EXT/Challenging Behavior FR1. The fewest competing stimuli (CS) were identified when mands were reinforced and only one stimulus was consistently identified as a CS. Six stimuli were identified as CS for at least two of three conditions. Limitations and future directions to the assessment will be discussed.
111. The Effects of an Accelerated Auditory Matching Protocol on Echoic Clarity, Listener Responses and Speech Intelligibility
Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Research
REBECCA MILLER (Teachers College, Columbia University), Katherine Loomis (Teachers College, Columbia University), Mint Sethbhakdi (Teachers College, Columbia University), Daniel Mark Fienup (Teachers College, Columbia University)
Discussant: Jane Button
Abstract: The current study investigated the effects of an accelerated auditory matching protocol on four preschoolers' accurate echoic, advanced listener responses and speech intelligibility. The researchers systematically replicated the intervention used by Sun et al. (2023) and the dependent variables studied by Du et al. (2017). The intervention targets auditory discrimination using an iPad app with numerous phases to target different sound discriminations with increasing complexity. We used a combined concurrent multiple probe design across participants (for echoic and listener responses) and a pre-post test design (for speech intelligibility). The four participants ranged from 3 to 4 years old and were all classified as preschoolers with a disability. Using an accelerated auditory matching protocol, the participants demonstrated increases in their accuracy of articulation, measured by their echoics and certain participants demonstrated increases in their advanced listener responses. Additionally, there was slight changes in their speech intelligibility as measured by percentage of correct sounds, transcribed by the participant's speech language pathologists.



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