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.


33rd Annual Convention; San Diego, CA; 2007

Event Details

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Symposium #19
CE Offered: BACB
Empirical Investigations of Precision Teaching with Students and Adults with Autism
Saturday, May 26, 2007
1:00 PM–2:20 PM
Douglas A
Area: AUT/EDC; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Sandra L. Harris (Rutgers University)
Discussant: Sandra L. Harris (Rutgers University)
CE Instructor: Marlene Cohen, Ed.D.

While there is general consensus among Precision Teachers regarding the desired outcomes these procedures for building behavior frequency, standard practice varies with regard to certain procedural aspects. Very little published comparative evidence exists to guide instructors when making such methodological decisions. While a description, analysis and comparison of all these variations in clinical practice of Precision Teaching is beyond the scope of this symposium, an attempt will be made to continue to address a few of these procedural questions.

Evaluating the Maintenance of Skills Built to Fluency.
DANIA L. MATTHEWS (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center), Mary Jane Weiss (Rutgers University), Meredith Bamond (Rutgers University), Jacqueline J. Wright (Rutgers University)
Abstract: Maintenance of acquired skills has always been a concern for behavior analysts working with individuals with autism. It is well known that many individuals with autism lose skills over time or require regular practice to prevent the loss of skills. Some behavior analysts have suggested that building skills to fluency (through rate-building) may protect learners from this type of skill loss. In this presentation, we will present data on the retention of skills taught through rate-building. Specifically, we will present data on retention checks. Data will be presented on a wide variety of learners and on a wide variety of skills. Data form one-month, two-month, three-month, and six-month retention checks will be presented. Implications of the data will be discussed.
The Effects of Precision Teaching with Frequency Building of Fine Motor Skills on the Performance of Functional Life Skills: Examining the Effects of Established Aims.
MARLENE COHEN (Rutgers University), Donna L. Sloan (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center), Carl V. Binder (Binder Riha Associates)
Abstract: In the field of Applied Behavior Analysis, much focus is placed on the intense training needs of young children with autism. Many educators believe that adolescents and adults with autism are less likely to make significant strides than their younger counterparts. Precision Teaching with frequency building procedures is one method that holds promise as an efficient and effective means of instruction for older learners. The current research is the attempt to replicate previous clinical demonstrations of the profound impact of Precision Teaching with frequency building procedures on the functional use of fine motor skills in adolescents and adults with autism during activities of daily living. Further, this research explores whether instruction of component motor skills should end when minimum frequency aims are initially achieved, or if continuing instruction of component skills to higher frequencies of performance will yield greater, positive effects on performance of functional composite skills. In addition, this paper will begin to examine whether maximum improvement is seen when component skills that are addressed in teaching are directly related to the movements involved in composite skills, or whether more generalized improvements in adaptive skills can be seen in skills that are not topographically related to the trained component skills.
Fluency Isn’t Just about Stuttering Anymore: An Examination of the Effects of Frequency Building of Component Language Skills on Students with Autism.
MARY SENS-AZARA AZARA (Rutgers University), Marlene Cohen (Rutgers University)
Abstract: A skill is fluent when a high rate of accurate responding is demonstrated (Lindsley, 1972), response rate and accuracy are maintained over time (Haughton, 1972; Binder, 1987, 1988), responses are readily available to the selecting environment for linking and combining with other skills (Johnson & Layng, 1992), and stability, endurance, application and retention of the skill has been validated (Fabrizio & Moors, 2003). All of these criteria are desirable outcomes of successful intervention in a speech and language program. This paper will examine the outcome of timed practice or frequency building as it might relate to speech therapy practices. Methods for teaching a skill to fluency as it pertains to speech and language programs will be discussed. Material will be of interest to speech pathologists and trainers with some knowledge of verbal behavior programs.



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