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 #490
CE Offered: BACB
Stimulus Control Issues in Visually Mediated Instruction for People with Autism and Developmental Disabilities
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
10:30 AM–11:50 AM
Ford C
Area: AUT/DDA; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Robert K. Ross (BEACON Services)
Discussant: Joseph M. Vedora (BEACON Services)
CE Instructor: Robert K. Ross, M.S.

Many individuals with autism and or developmental disabilities present with strengths in learning skills and behavior when the instruction is supported with visual materials, particularly when compared to verbal cues alone. This symposium will highlight how control of adaptive responses can be effectively established using visual supports and then control of those responses can be transferred to other more natural environmental stimuli. Three case examples will be presented emphasizing the careful establishment of stimulus control and then the systematic transfer of that control.

The Use of Visual Supports to Reduce the Rates of Excessive Question Asking in an Adult Day Treatment Facility.
Abstract: A 29-year-old adult diagnosed with mild mental retardation and obsessive-compulsive disorder was referred for behavioral treatment due to excessive question asking. The individual exhibited minimal sustained object manipulation with vocational materials, eloped from training settings, and asked staff members questions/expressed concerns for an average duration of 15-minutes per episode. A “hassle” log was introduced so the individual could write down his questions and the problems encountered on a daily basis. He was reinforced at the end of the day for bringing his hassle logs to his support coordinator to discuss for the final 10-minutes of the day. As a result, vocational interaction with materials significantly increased and elopement behavior significantly decreased.
Use of Activity Schedules to Teach Acceptance of the Word “No”.
Abstract: Children with autism frequently demonstrate difficulty with change in routine and being denied access to preferred items or activities. This behavior negatively affects the child and family’s daily social interaction and often limits the child’s access to the larger community. Research suggests that children with autism benefit from visually based instruction. In addition, visual supports can be effective in decreasing disruptive behavior by reducing the intensity of the attention provided. This study utilized an activity schedule with an embedded token system to reduce the tantrum behavior of one boy with autism that resulted when the children were told denied access to a preferred activity or a change in routine.
Increasing Food Acceptance in a Child with Autism Using Visual Activity Schedules.
Abstract: Many children with autism demonstrate limited or significantly restricted food repertoires. Approaches to increase the variety and volume of intake often focus on escape-extinction procedures. These approaches have been shown to be effective, however for many parents, clinicians and children, the intrusive nature of the procedure and the physical process of implementation, make their use unacceptable or non-preferred. Photographic activity schedules have been used to increase independent behavior, play skills, and completion of academic tasks. This presentation will describe the incorporation of an eating activity into a photographic activity schedule and the subsequent insertion of non-preferred foods. The data related to acquisition of non-preferred foods will be reviewed. The presentation will also show video clips of the acceptance of novel and previously non-preferred foods in a child with autism.



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