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.


35th Annual Convention; Phoenix, AZ; 2009

Event Details

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Symposium #480
Teaching Verbal Behavior and Language Pragmatic Skills to Children With Autism
Monday, May 25, 2009
3:30 PM–4:50 PM
North 127
Area: VRB/AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Vincent Joseph Carbone (Carbone Clinic)
Discussant: Patrick E. McGreevy (Patrick McGreevy, Ph.D., P.A.)
Abstract: Many children with autism fail to develop vocal behavior as their primary method of communication. In addition, many in this group of children also fail to develop the pragmatic skills that typically accompany verbal responses and make their verbal responses more effective. In the first paper the authors will describe methods of vocal shaping with young children with autism. Procedures for phonetically transcribing utterances to establish shaping criteria will be discussed. A system for classifying vocal productions as they improve toward adult form will be described. In the second paper the authors will present a behavioral analysis of eye contact as a language pragmatic skill. Procedures, derived from the analysis of eye contact as a pragmatic skill in young children with autism will be described and illustrated through video. The authors of the final paper will describe procedures for making data-based decisions within the context of teaching verbal behavior to young children with autism. Data along with video illustrations will accompany each paper.
Teaching Language Pragmatic Skills to Children With Autism
KRISTIN M ALBERT (Carbone Clinic), Leigh Mariano O'Brien (Carbone Clinic), Claire Hesse (Carbone Clinic), Vincent Joseph Carbone (Carbone Clinic)
Abstract: One of the defining characteristics of children with autism is their failure to engage others in reciprocal social interaction. The absence of eye gaze is frequently one of the first indicators of the disorder. As children with autism develop verbal behavior they frequently do not make eye contact when addressing their communicative partner’s or listene’s. The purpose of this paper is to provide a behavioral analysis of eye contact as a language pragmatic skills. A case study of the implementation of procedures based upon the analysis will be presented. The effects of the treatment on the eye gaze of a three and one-half old child will be discussed. Video illustrations and performance data will presented to support the treatment methods.
Shaping the Vocal Production of a Child With Autism
CLAIRE HESSE (Carbone Clinic), Heather Ventrella (Carbone Clinic), Kristin M Albert (Carbone Clinic), Vincent Joseph Carbone (Carbone Clinic)
Abstract: About 50 percent of children with autism fail to develop vocal verbal behavior as their primary form of communication. Consequently, effective treatments to teach vocal responding to children with autism may have substantial benefits for many children. The purpose of this paper is to provide and case study illustrating the benefits of the evidence-based behavior analytic methods based upon B.F. Skinner’s analysis of verbal behavior. The case study involves a young boy with autism starting at about age three to about age 6. The author will discuss the use of manual sign language and differential reinforcement to support vocal production. The effects of sign mand training, time delay and shaping procedures will be illustrated. The implementation of a phonetic coding method for transcribing phoneme production during treatment sessions will be highlighed. Video illustrations and learner data will be presented in support of the methods used.
Data-based Decision Making in a Center Based Program for Children With Autism
EMILY SWEENEY KERWIN (Carbone Clinic), Margaret Murdoch Hagerty (Carbone Clinic), Kristin M Albert (Carbone Clinic), Vincent Joseph Carbone (Carbone Clinic)
Abstract: The use of learner performance data to inform instructional decisions is as hallmark of Applied Behavior Analysis. Many reports have documented the benefits of objectively defining outcomes, measuring progress, displaying the progress on a line graph, setting decision rules, analyzing the data sets against the pre-determined standards and then changing instructional practices when appropriate. The purpose of this paper is provide the participants with case study data showing the implementation of the data based decision making process as outlined above within a center based program for the treatment of children with autism. Video illustrations of the implementation of each step will be provided. In addition, learner performance data and subsequent instructional decisions and changes will be highlighted.



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