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 #31
CE Offered: BACB
Promoting Spontaneous Language Use and Cooperative Play in Young Children with Autism
Saturday, May 27, 2006
1:00 PM–2:20 PM
Regency V
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Thomas S. Higbee (Utah State University)
Discussant: Patricia J. Krantz (Princeton Child Development Institute)
CE Instructor: Thomas S. Higbee, Ph.D.

Many children with autism display deficits in the use of spontaneous language and cooperative play. Research recently conducted at Utah State University to address these challenges will be presented in this symposium. Topics will include the use of social scripting and script fading procedures, cooperative activity schedules, and strategies to teach manding for information by contriving motivating operations.

Parents Use of Script Fading Procedures to Teach Conversation to Children with Autism.
KARA A. REAGON (Utah State University), Thomas S. Higbee (Utah State University)
Abstract: Scripts and script fading procedures have been effective strategies to teach children and adolescents with autism conversational language. Audio taped scripts have been used with nonreaders (Stevenson, Krantz, & McClannhan, 2000) and written textual scripts (Krantz & McClannahan, 1993; Krantz & McClannahan, 1998; and Sarokoff, Taylor & Poulson, 2001) have been used with readers. Conversational topics have included initiations and question asking to adults about an upcoming event, initiations to peers and or adults about recently completed activities or upcoming activities, and lastly children have been taught to comment about objects within their environment, such as a snack or video game. Script and script fading procedures have also been implemented to teach youths appropriate conversational skills during simulated shopping trips that were then generalized to local retail stores (Brown, 2003). The purpose of the present study is to extend the use of script and script fading procedures to a home setting by training parents to implement and systematically fade scripts to promote conversational language in young children with autism. Both the parent’s use of script and script fading procedures and children’s use of scripts and unscripted responses will be examined using a multiple-probe design across participants. Generalization across activities will also be assessed.
Teaching Children with Autism to Mand for Information By Contriving Motivating Operations.
KATIE ENDICOTT (Utah State University), Thomas S. Higbee (Utah State University)
Abstract: Although many students with autism have demonstrated the ability to mand for tangible items, they often experience difficulty asking questions. Questions can be categorized as mands for information, as the question is controlled by a motivating operation and the response provided results in specific reinforcement. In the present study, young children with autism were taught to mand for information by contriving motivating operations to make the information more "valuable" and thus making mands for information more likely. Results of the study will be shared and their implications for establishing question asking repertoires in children with autism will be discussed.
Teaching Preschool Aged Children with Autism to Engage in Peer Play Using Group Photographic Activity Schedules and Script Fading Procedures.
ALISON M. BETZ (Utah State University), Kara A. Reagon (Utah State University), Thomas S. Higbee (Utah State University)
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to increase social engagement and social interaction between two children with autism by using a group activity schedule. Three dyads of preschool aged children with autism were used to assess the effects of using a group photographic activity schedule on children’s social engagement including on-task behavior and percentage of independently completed activities. Scripts and script fading procedures were used to increase social interactions and initiations. A multiple baseline across dyads was used in this study.



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