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.


32nd Annual Convention; Atlanta, GA; 2006

Event Details

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Symposium #18
Building Vocal Mands and Tacts for Pre-Speakers: Existing Tactics from Verbal Behavior
Saturday, May 27, 2006
1:00 PM–2:20 PM
Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Susan Mariano-Lapidus (Columbia University)
Abstract: Four experiments examining effects of tactics to establish echoic, mand, and tact behavior for pre-speakers diagnosed with developmental disabilities are presented. Experiments 1 and 2 present research applications of rapid motor imitation to induce echoic behavior with mand and tact functions for elementary school children with autism. Experiment 3 presents research applications of auditory match-to-sample to establish echoic behavior with mand and tact functions for school-age children with communication delays. Experiment 4 presents research applications of stimulus-stimulus pairing procedures to teach echoic behavior with mand functions to preschool children with autism. Results of each investigation show that the tactics resulted in establishing echoic, mand, and tact behavior for most participants. Limitations, applicability, and future studies for each tactic are discussed.
Effects of Rapid Motor Imitation and Verbal Function Training on Acquisition of Echoic Behavior for Young Children with Autism.
DENISE E. ROSS (Columbia University Teachers College), R. Douglas Greer (Columbia University Teachers College and Graduate School)
Abstract: Two experiments examining effects of a rapid motor imitation antecedent paired with verbal behavior training on acquisition of echoic behavior, mands, and tacts are presented. The first experiment demonstrated the effectiveness of a faded motor imitation antecedent on induction of echoic and independent mands for five pre-speakers with autism. The second experiment systematically replicated the faded motor imitation antecedent with mands and tacts for three pre-speakers with autism. Interobserver agreement was 90%-100%. Results of both experiments show that fading the rapid motor imitation tactic produced echoic and independent vocal verbal for all participants.
Effects of Rapid Motor Imitation with and without Verbal Function Training on Early Vocal Verbal Behavior.
DENISE E. ROSS (Columbia University Teachers College), JoAnn Pereira Delgado (Columbia University Teachers College)
Abstract: This study tested for the relative effectiveness of the mand and rapid motor imitation components on acquisition of echoic behavior for pre-speakers with autism. The procedure was a systematic replication of the rapid motor imitation and verbal function training tactic, but the echoic was omitted to test the effective component of the procedure – rapid motor imitation and echoic training without verbal function or the combination of rapid motor imitation and verbal function (mand or tact) training. Baseline data showed that all participants infrequently emitted echoic mands and tacts before treatment. In an alternating treatment design, the intervention consisted of presenting participants with rapid motor imitation and verbal function training, and alternately presenting rapid motor imitation with echoic (non-verbal function) training. Following mastery under each condition, baseline probes were conducted again. The results are discussed in regards to the effectiveness of the rapid motor imitation procedure on the acquisition of vocal speech.
Effects of Auditory Word Match-to-Sample on Echoic Repertoire of Students with Language Delays.
JENNIFER LONGANO (Columbia University Teachers College)
Abstract: This study tested effects of an auditory word match-to-sample procedure on echoic repertoires of two school-age children with language delays. The dependent variable was topographically accurate (exact) echoic responses emitted under mand and tact conditions, which both participants emitted infrequently during baseline. During treatment, the auditory word match-to-sample procedure was used to teach participants to discriminate between various sounds and words under increasingly difficult conditions. Probes conducted after each condition showed a significant increase in topographically accurate echoic responding under mand conditions (99% interobserver agreement).
Stimulus-Stimulus Pairing and the Acquisition of Echoic Repertoires.
KENYA CLAY (Columbia University)
Abstract: Research suggests that stimulus-stimulus pairing procedures condition vocal sounds by pairing specific sounds with a reinforcing event to evoke vocal verbal behavior. In the current paper, research applications of the stimulus-stimulus pairing procedure are reviewed. Results show that the procedure effectively produces echoic responses for pre-speakers. Findings of research applications are discussed in terms of limitations and future studies.



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