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 #260
Palilalia, Echolalia and Vocal Stereotypy: Functional Analyses and Effective Treatments
Sunday, May 27, 2007
3:00 PM–4:20 PM
Elizabeth A
Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Jeanne Marie Speckman (Columbia University Teachers College and The Fred )
Abstract: We will present four papers which focus on palilalia, echolalia and/ or vocal stereotypy in young students with autism and related disabilities. Three papers discuss effective treatments for reducing palilalia, echolalia and/or vocal stereotypy and increasing tact operants, and one paper provides a functional analysis of palilalia and different forms of contingent auditory stimuli.
The Effects of Contingent Auditory Consequences on Non-Contextual Repetitive Speech/Palilalia.
AMOY KITO HUGH-PENNIE (Graham-Windham Children's Early Learning Center)
Abstract: I tested the effects of contingent auditory consequences on non-contextual repetitive speech (i.e. palilalia) with three children diagnosed with autism or classified as students with a developmental disability by their respective school districts to identify controlling variables and develop effective treatment options. A multiple treatment reversal design (Cooper, Heron & Heward, 1987) counter-balanced across participants was used. The results showed a functional relationship between any contingent auditory stimulus used in this experiment and non-contextual repetitive speech for participants K and O. Transfer of stimulus control to the audience occurred for participant N. An overall decrease in palilalia was seen across all students and conditions.
Teaching Self-Monitoring Skills to Decrease Stereotypical Singing of a Student with Autism.
ROBIN A. NUZZOLO-GOMEZ (Columbia University Teachers College and The Fred S. Keller School), Dolleen-Day Keohane (Columbia University Teachers College & CABAS)
Abstract: The present experiment tested the effects of a self-monitoring technique on the stereotypical singing behavior of an eight-year-old male with autism. Student A emitted high rates of stereotypical behavior, which interfered with his as well as his peers’ educational programming and social skills instruction. He was taught to self-monitor his stereotypy through the use of two “self-management bracelets”. When wearing a green bracelet given to him by the instructor, he was free to emit stereotypy and when wearing a red bracelet, he was taught to refrain from the behavior. Results showed that through systematic fading of the amount of time Student A wore his green bracelet and subsequent removal of the bracelet; stereotypy decreased to zero occurrences per school day and was maintained in a thirty-day follow up probe.
Reducing Palilalia and Echolalia by Teaching the Tact Operant to Young Children with Autism.
IRFA KARMALI (Shelby Residential and Vocational Services)
Abstract: This study investigated the effectiveness of teaching tact operants on decreasing echolalia, palilalia and vocal stereotypy in four children who had characteristics of autism. Four students participated across two experiments in this study. The participant in the initial experiment was a four-year-old student who emitted high frequencies of palilalic behavior. Participants in the second experiment consisted of 3 three-year-old students who also emitted high frequencies of palilalia and inappropriate echolalic behavior. During treatment, models of tact operants were presented contingent upon the emission of palilalic behavior. Appropriate verbal behavior was continually reinforced throughout all sessions of experiment II. The dependent variable consisted of the verbal behavior emitted by the students. This included the frequency of palilalia emitted, echoics (when opportunity was provided), independently emitted appropriate tacts, and independently emitted mands. The independent variable consisted of verbal tact models (teaching tact operants). The results showed that at the onset of treatment palilalic behavior decreased, echoing appropriate tact operants increased, independently emitted appropriate verbal behavior increased, and generalization effects were seen across settings.
Using a Rapid Echoic Tact Procedure to Reduce Palilalia and Vocal Stereotypy and Increase Pure Tacts.
JEANNE MARIE SPECKMAN (Columbia University Teachers College and The Fred S. Keller School), Hye-Suk Lee Park (The Fred S. Keller School)
Abstract: Four preschool females with autism diagnoses participated in an experiment to test the effects of a rapid echoic tact procedure on the emission of vocal stereotypy and palilalia and the number of pure tacts emitted during book and puzzle activities. The dependent variables were 1) the number of 5- second intervals in which vocal stereotypy and/ or palalalia occurred during five minute probe sessions of looking at books and puzzles activities and 2) the number of pure tacts emitted by students during five minute probe sessions of looking at books and puzzle activities. The independent variable was a rapid echoic tact procedure during book and puzzle activities. The experimenter provided rapid echoic prompts for tacts of either pictures in books or pictures on puzzle pieces and the participants were required to echo the prompts. A within subject multiple baseline design across activities was employed for all four participants. The results of this experiment showed that 1) the rapid echoic tact procedure was functionally related to decreased vocal stereotypy and palilalia during treatment probes of book and puzzle activities and 2) for some students, the implementation of treatment resulted in a higher number of pure tacts during post treatment probes of book and/or puzzle activities.



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