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.


Fourth International Conference; Australia, 2007

Event Details

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Poster Session #39
#39 International Poster Session - AUT
Monday, August 13, 2007
5:00 PM–6:30 PM
Level 4 Lobby
1. A Comparison of Symbolic Play and Language Skills in Children.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
ANGELIKA ANDERSON (Monash University), Georgia Graham (Monash University), Dennis W. Moore (Monash University)
Abstract: This research project aimed to investigate and compare the symbolic play skills of children with autism, developmentally delayed and typically developing children, and to investigate the importance of symbolic play for the development of language in children with autism and other developmental delays. Fifteen children recruited from the Elwyn Morey Centre at the Monash University and from the wider community, completed the Lowe and Costello Symbolic Play Test (1976) and existing measurements of language ability were analysed for children with autism or a developmental delay. It was hypothesised that children with autism would demonstrate a reduced capacity for symbolic play compared to the other children. It was also hypothesised that children displaying a deficit in symbolic play skills would also show limitations in their development and production of language. The results revealed no significant difference in the symbolic play skills across the three groups, but did demonstrate a significant difference in the language skills between children with autism and a developmental delay. A correlation between symbolic play and language in children with autism, but not in those with a developmental delay, was found. It is hoped the results of this study will further add to the understanding of the nature of play and language deficits in children with a diagnosis of autism, and highlight the importance of strategic intervention and teaching of play skills in children with autism.
2. Behavioral Intervention on Impulsive Behavior for a Child with Autism.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
SHINZO ISAWA (Hyogo University of Teacher Education), Yoshinobu Shikibu (Hyogo University of Teacher Education), Hironobu SHIMODA (Bunkyo University)
Abstract: This study was to conduct behavioral intervention for the impulsive problem behavior of a child with autism. Subject was chronological age of 11-6 and no utterance, and his development quotient was 17. Subject’s impulsive behavior was that he flicked the cup, glass and the dish which juice or soup was in and spilled it. Functional assessment was indicated that his problem behavior was function of escape and his characteristic was based on hypersensitivity. This training strategy was aimed being used and habituated to it for the cup of juice. (1)trainer was presented the cup to subject, (2)for 5 seconds, trainer was put it before subject, (3)trainer poured juice into the cup, (4)in the state that juice was in the cup, trainer counted 10. During to this (1)?(4), subject was demanded to be putting hands on his knee. It was reduced physical prompt by step by step. As for the result of this training, subject got possible to put his hand on his knee without physical prompt. His impulsive problem behavior was disappeared. It was considered by a point of view of being used to it to stimulation and the alternative behavior.
3. Evaluation of an In-Home Treatment Program for Pica.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
TREA DRAKE (Texas Young Autism Project), Gerald E. Harris (University of Texas, Texas Young Autism Project)
Abstract: A number of children with autism are also co-diagnosed with pica, a disorder that is often resistant to treatment and poses potentially significant health risks. The vast majority of the literature on ABA interventions for pica describes programs that are conducted in a strictly controlled setting, such as an institution. While such reports are informative, they fail to transfer treatment to the child’s natural environment. The present study evaluates an in-home behavioral intervention for an 8-year-old male diagnosed with autism and pica. A non-simultaneous, multiple-baseline design across environments was conducted to evaluate the treatment protocol. Data indicated that intervention was most effective when implemented in an in-situ format, whereby the behavior change agent observed the child’s pica behavior on a monitor from adjacent room only to enter the room when the child engaged in pica, in a baited environment. Pica occurrences were reduced to zero levels in all targeted environments. Observer reliability was calculated on 35% of the sessions resulting in an inter-observer agreement of 97%.
4. Fifteen Year Longitudinal Treatment Outcome: An Assessment of Speech and Play for 10 Children with Autism Ages 5 through 25.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
SARA J. GERSHFELD (Scripps College), Marjorie H. Charlop (Claremont McKenna College), Sarah Kuriakose (Pomona College), Aria Ash-Rafzedeh (Claremont McKenna College)
Abstract: Ten children who participated in an ABA treatment program beginning at the age of 5 or 6 for approximately 3 years had follow-up data collected for up to 15 years post-treatment. During this time, the children were videotaped in several conditions every 6 months to determine the course their treatment had on their behaviors. During the no treatment waiting list, the children had low frequencies of both play and speech. During treatment, gains in both speech and play were made. Of interest, is the course of the treatment gains of speech and play. Initially, the majority of the 10 children made the most progress in play, with more subtle progress in speech. However, when speech was acquired, it began to take the place of play, and as the child aged, the child demonstrated higher frequencies of speech and lower frequencies of play. We believe this crossover of speech and play demonstrates an age appropriate phenomenon. The results are discussed in terms of covariation of behaviors over time, the importance of age referenced criteria, and the establishment of “treatment responsiveness trajectories.”
5. Home-Based Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention for Children with Autism: A Randomized Controlled Study.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
YOSHIAKI NAKANO (Sophia University), Takahiro Yamamoto (Sophia University), Akiko Kato (Nakayoshi Kids Station), Maiko Miyazaki (Nakayoshi Kids Station), Mari Kashio (Nakayoshi Kids Station)
Abstract: We started a randomized controlled study to determine the impact of early intensive behavioral intervention on the development of young children with autism. The experimental group children receive a home-based 30-40 hours-a-week behavioral intervention for two years and the control group families receive a three-hour-consultation, two times a month at clinic and homes, for two years. In the first year, a boy with autism ( 3 yrs 7 mos, DQ 50) and a boy with PDD-NOS (3 yrs 10 mos, DQ 65) are randomly assigned to the experimental group, and three boys with autism (2 yrs 11 mos-3yrs 2 mos, DQ 47-67) and a boy with PDD-NOS (3yrs 3 mos, DQ 70) are assigned to the control group. The number of children increases by the end of the fifth year of our project. The intensive intervention consists of initial one-on-one structured teaching at home and assistance of gradual inclusion into regular kindergarten settings. Measures on IQ, SQ, VQ, DQ, and ELM, as well as direct observation of social behaviors in a structured setting are taken regularly for all participants. The first year IQ and ELM changes, and the curriculum contents are presented and discussed with reference to other EIBI studies.
6. Improving Symbolic Play in an Autistic Child through In-Vivo and Video Modelling.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
ANASTASIYA SUETIN (Monash University), Angelika Anderson (Monash University), Dennis W. Moore (Monash University)
Abstract: A growing number of studies continue to support the idea of play being essential for children’s development in the areas of social and cognitive functioning. Symbolic play has been thought to foster the development of complex mental activities such as creativity, abstract thought, logical thinking and language. In children with autism, this form of play is marked by a striking deficit in symbolic function, lack of spontaneity and imagination. The aim of the present single-subject study was to test the proposed strategy for improving symbolic play in children with autism and to examine the influence of play development upon the non-targeted areas of verbal ability and joint attention. The training sessions, conducted three times per week for approximately 10 minutes duration, involved prompted imitation of modelled play scripts broken down into simple actions of functional play and object substitution. This was followed by independent play within a minimally structured environment. The in-vivo training was supplemented by daily preview of the video-modelled play scripts. Dependant measures included functional play, object substitution as well as concomitant changes in non-targeted areas of verbal expression and joint attention, considering the generalisation of these behaviours to free play settings. The results indicated an apparent increase in the percentage of object substitution acts performed, many of which involved creative innovation. A concomitant increase in context related utterances was also evident. The practical and theoretical implications of these findings are discussed with reference to the Theory of Mind hypothesis.
7. Increasing Symbolic Play in Children with Autism Using Pivotal Response Training.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
DENNIS W. MOORE (Monash University), Grace Leong (Monash University), Angelika Anderson (Monash University)
Abstract: Pivotal Response Training (PRT), a naturalistic behavioral intervention, focuses on increasing a child’s motivation to learn new skills. Children with autism have been shown to be delayed in their ability to play symbolically. Symbolic play is important for the treatment of autism as it may be a pivotal response behavior, pivotal to the development of language and social interaction. The aim of the present study was to assess the use of Pivotal Response Training (PRT) in increasing the symbolic play behaviours of a child with autism, and to evaluate concomitant changes in verbal language as well as social interaction. Results from the current study showed an overall increase in the amount of functional and symbolic play behaviour, concomitant improvements in social interaction and verbal language as well as generalization of gains in functional play and social interaction, indicating the effectiveness of using PRT in play training.
8. Teaching Symbolic Play to Children with Autism Using Pivotal Response Training.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
KATE TITSHALL (Monash University), Angelika Anderson (Monash University), Dennis W. Moore (Monash University)
Abstract: Pivotal Response Training (PRT) has been shown to increase motivation and learning for children with autism in a naturalistic learning environment. PRT focuses on teaching important pivotal skills, which are associated with change in non-targeted behaviours, specifically language development. The research assesses the effect of teaching symbolic play skills to a child with autism using PRT and examines changes in language, interaction skills, and theory of mind acquisition after symbolic play training as well as assessing generalisation and maintenance of the behaviour changes across settings, playmates, and toys.
9. The Effect of Teaching PECS to a Child with Autism on Verbal Behaviour, Play, and Social Functioning.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
ANNEKE JURGENS (Monash University), Angelika Anderson (Monash University), Dennis W. Moore (Monash University)
Abstract: Research into the play of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder indicates profound difficulties in these individuals capacity to engage in both functional and symbolic play and these deficits are hypothesized to be related to the deficits in the language of children with autism. A means of assessing the nature of this relationship is to study the effectiveness of various intervention strategies. The Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) is a widely utilized intervention strategy to teach communication skills to children with developmental delays, including autism. PECS is unique in that it incorporates the teaching of pivotal response behaviours, which have been demonstrated to lead to generalised improvements in other non-targeted behaviours. The aim of the present study was to assess the acquisition of PECS with a three-year old boy with autism using the established PECS training program, and to evaluate concomitant changes in spoken language, social-communicative behaviours, problem behaviour, and functional and symbolic play. Results indicated that the participant rapidly acquired the criterion behaviours for Phases 1 to 3 of the PECS program, demonstrated increases in the number and length of spoken utterances during training and free-play, and demonstrated generalized improvements in social-communicative behaviours, functional play and guided symbolic play. Implications of these results and directions for future research are discussed.



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