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.


36th Annual Convention; San Antonio, TX; 2010

Event Details

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Paper Session #86
Developing Early Language Repertories
Saturday, May 29, 2010
4:00 PM–4:50 PM
203AB (CC)
Area: AUT
Chair: Morgan Stockdale (Central Texas Autism Center, Inc.)
The Effects of PECS Intervention on Nonvocal and Vocal Communication for a Child with Autism
Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
ANNIE YOON (Monash University), Dennis W. Moore (Monash University), Angelika Anderson (Krongold Centre, Monash University)
Abstract: The Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) is widely used in teaching children with autism even though there is limited evidence its on children’s communication (vocal and non-vocal) in the home and other community settings. The present study focused on PECS training at home. A single subject changing criterion design was used to assess the effects of PECS on the communicative behaviors of a child with autism at home and in other, non-trained community settings. Three dependent variables were recorded during PECS training: Independent PECS exchanges, incorrect responses, and vocal mands. Other, non-vocal communicative behaviours (e.g. non-vocal mands) and vocal communications were recorded in no-treatment generalization settings. The participant completed all six phases of the PECS program over a seven-month period. The observational data indicated that she rarely utilized non-vocal communication (PECS mands, other non-vocal mands and initiations) in the home and kindergarten generalization settings. However vocal communication acts (new words spoken, mean length of utterance, initiations, and mands) all showed marked increases including at follow up. The effect of PECS training on vocal communication is discussed together with explanations for the low rates of PECS use in generalization settings. Possible strategies to scaffold the use of PECS are outlined.
Abstract: This paper will examine teaching procedures for teaching mands for information to 3 children with autism. These children all have the prerequisite skills necessary to begin working on advanced manding such as, a high rate of spontaneous mands, the ability to mand for actions, attention, and missing items. These children all attend a private ABA clinic in Austin, Texas. Therapy was conducted by either a BCBA or BCABA level therapist. The therapist chose three different wh-questions to begin teaching simultaneously (who, what, where). The therapists contrived opportunities for the child to mand using wh- words by sabotaging preferred activities and creating an MO for information. For example, if the child wanted to complete an art activity, the therapist would initiate the activity by saying we’re going to do something fun (what), give the paper to another therapist (who), and hide the paintbrush in a closet (where). Data collection consisted of unprompted versus prompted mands and novel mands for information.



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