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.


34th Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2008

Event Details

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Symposium #406
CE Offered: BACB
Teaching Higher Level Skills using Visual Prompts that are First Embedded, Then Used for Reference, Then Eliminated
Monday, May 26, 2008
1:30 PM–2:50 PM
Continental C
Area: AUT/EDC; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Elizabeth Martineau (Nashoba Learning Group)
CE Instructor: Elizabeth Martineau, Other

Students with autism often learn behaviors more readily when presented with visual stimuli vs. auditory stimuli. However, visual prompts paired with auditory stimuli can be difficult to fade because the student attends more strongly to the visual stimuli and stimulus control is not transferred. At Nashoba Learning Group, we have successfully used, and faded, visual response prompts that must be manipulated by the student in order to produce a response to the auditory stimuli. In this case, the student must attend to the auditory stimuli in order to properly manipulate the visual stimu These visual prompts are first manipulated by the student, then are used as a reference by the student, and then are faded. We hypothesize that this technique is successful because the student must attend to the auditory stimuli and then associate it with a proper manipulation of the visual stimuli. The visual stimuli is systematically faded as the student learns to use his or her memory of the stimuli to perform the manipulation needed to produce a response. This technique has worked across a variety of learners and for a variety of skills.

Teaching Addition, Subtraction, Skip Counting, and Multiplication using Visual Prompts that are First Manipulated, then Faded.
ELIZABETH MARTINEAU (Nashoba Learning Group), Crystal Seagle (Nashoba Learning Group), Jessica St. Pierre (Nashoba Learning Group), Allison Smith (Nashoba Learning Group)
Abstract: Many students with autism struggle to learn computation skills even after mastering number object correspondence and counting quantities. Teaching techniques that rely on memorization of math fact answers that are visually prompted and then faded are very difficult to generalize to larger numbers even when they are successful. Similarly, systems such as Touch Math, which pair dots to numerals are successful for some students but not for others. At Nashoba Learning Group (NLG), students who have failed to learn computation using these methods have proven able to learn when the visual prompt is a number line with direction cues for plus and minus. The student must find the first number of the equation on the number line and count forward or backward on the line in the appropriate direction. Once this is mastered, the directional support can be faded and then the student is trained to perform the same operation on a 100 chart. The 100 chart is then systematically faded. NLG has been able to fade all supports for 6 students and the students have been able to generalize the skill to higher numbers and a variety of presentations of stimuli. Skip counting and multiplication are then taught using a 100 chart with color and shape cues for each number.
Use of a Reference Model to Teach Receptive and Expressive Prepositions.
JESSICA SLATON (Nashoba Learning Group), Elizabeth Martineau (Nashoba Learning Group), Tara L. Montoure (Nashoba Learning Group), Karen M. Potts (Nashoba Learning Group)
Abstract: Many students with autism have great difficulty learning to use prepositions functionally because they must attend to position changes of a stimuli relative to another stimuli across a wide variety of potential stimuli. For some students, use of multiple photographic exemplars for each position has been successful as a teaching tool because the photographic exemplars are more "permanent" than manipulations of 3D objects. For some students, generalizing to novel objects is still quite difficult. For these students, we have successfully used a "permanent model" with textual (or PECs) symbols for all the basic positions permanently attached so that the student can view each position relative to the others. Once the student can successfully match stimuli to the position on the model, the model is used as a reference for the student as he learns to manipulate other stimuli. Finally, the model is faded all together.
Using and Fading Color Coding and Text Sorting to Teach Students to Answer Textually and Orally Presented Who/What/Where/When Questions.
TARA L. MONTOURE (Nashoba Learning Group), Elizabeth Martineau (Nashoba Learning Group), Crystal Seagle (Nashoba Learning Group), Laura Brennan (Nashoba Learning Group)
Abstract: Students with autism often have great difficulty responding appropriately to Who/What/Where/When questions for a variety of reasons including: difficulty wit remembering the statement for which the question is presented, difficulty in manipulating the statement, and lack of understanding of what answers are associated with each Wh question. We have successfully taught students to discriminate between Wh questions through first training the student to recognize what types of words are associated with each Wh question. Students sort and identify color coded exemplars to each Wh word. Sentences are then constructed from the exemplars and students answer questions by referring to thcategories. Over time, color coding is systematically faded and the presence of the categories is systematically faded. Finally, oral vs. textual representation is systematically introduced.
Beyond the Mand for Items. Use and Fading of Sentence Frames to Teach Mands for Actions and Commenting Using Augmentative Communication Systems.
MAUREEN LACERTE (Nashoba Learning Group), Elizabeth Martineau (Nashoba Learning Group), Tara L. Montoure (Nashoba Learning Group)
Abstract: Many students with autism have difficulty commenting in full sentences and in multiple sentences even after they have gained a large repertoire of nouns, verbs and adjectives. In order to teach generalized sentence frames for commenting, we have utilized "fill in the blank" text supports. Once the student gains experience inserting nouns, verbs and adjectives into the blanks and using the sentence, supports are systematically faded until the student can utilize a generalized repertoire of appropriate sentence frames to comment.



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