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 #183
CE Offered: BACB
Assessment and Intervention for Children with Autism
Sunday, May 24, 2009
10:30 AM–11:50 AM
North 227 A
Area: AUT/DDA; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Mark F. O'Reilly (University of Texas at Austin)
Discussant: David M. Richman (University of Illinois)
CE Instructor: Erick Dubuque, M.A..
Abstract: Children with autism exhibit distinctive behavioral profiles that may require adaptations to traditional assessment and intervention strategies to maximize educational outcomes and reduce behavioral excesses. In this symposium we review several recent interventions that have been designed to teach play, social skills, and assess challenging behavior for children with autism.
Teacher-Implemented Social Stories™ in General Education Settings
JEFFREY MICHAEL CHAN (University of Texas at Austin), Mark F. O'Reilly (University of Texas at Austin), Nigel Pierce (University of Texas at Austin), Sonia Denise Baker (University of Texas at Austin), Pamela White (University of Texas at Austin)
Abstract: Social Stories™ are one of the most commonly-used interventions for children with autism (Green et al., 2006). While there is a rapidly-growing literature base of Social Stories research, much of the work has focused on students who are in special education resource settings; the current study examines the use of Social Stories with students in inclusive general education settings. Partnerships were formed with school district administrators and participants were identified by the district autism specialist. Six students diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders participated and teachers identified target behaviors that were related to social functioning, communication skills, or self-help skills. Teachers were trained to compose Social Stories according to Gray’s (1995) model and they presented the stories either on paper or using a computer-based format. Data were collected on participants’ behaviors as they occurred in inclusive general education settings.
Functional analysis of challenging behavior of children with autism
TONYA NICHOLE DAVIS (Baylor University), Mark F. O'Reilly (University of Texas at Austin), Mandy J. Rispoli (University of Texas at Austin), Russell Lang (University of Texas at Austin), Wendy A. Machalicek (Portland State University)
Abstract: We conducted analogue functional analyses of 10 children who were diagnosed with autism and who exhibited challenging behavior. Each child was exposed to 10 sessions of each of 5 analogue conditions (alone, attention, demand, tangible, play). Individual participant multiple baseline designs were used to demonstrate experimental control. Patterns of challenging behavior indicated that behavior was automatically reinforced for 8 of the 10 participants and multiply controlled for the other 2 participants. These results are compared to other studies and an argument for a distinctive profile of challenging behavior for children with autism is suggested.
Teaching Play Skills to Children with Autism
RUSSELL LANG (University of Texas at Austin), Mandy J. Rispoli (University of Texas at Austin), Wendy A. Machalicek (Portland State University), Mark F. O'Reilly (University of Texas at Austin)
Abstract: Children with autism often experience substantial delays in the development of play behavior. Deficits in play behavior can further exacerbate the social and communication delays experienced by children with autism and make play an important area for early intervention. Motivating operations influence the value of reinforcers and have been shown to enhance the effectiveness of interventions and teaching procedures for individuals with developmental disabilities. The purpose of this project is to evaluate the effectiveness of a MO component added to an intervention designed to increase the play skills of 5 children with autism. Two interventions were compared in an alternating treatment design. One intervention utilized systematic manipulation of motivating operations in conjunction with a standard research based play intervention. The comparison intervention was identical except the effects of potential putative motivating operations was ignored. Results suggest that the MO intervention decreased stereotypy and challenging behavior while increasing the acquisition of functional play skills. Symbolic play skills were not acquired in either intervention.



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