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.


35th Annual Convention; Phoenix, AZ; 2009

Event Details

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Symposium #407
Innovative Uses of Manding Procedures for Effective Assessment and Intervention with Children with ASD
Monday, May 25, 2009
10:30 AM–11:50 AM
North 127
Area: VRB/AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: M. Alice Shillingsburg (Marcus Autism Center)
Discussant: Mary Jane Weiss (Rutgers University)
CE Instructor: Henry Pennypacker, Ph.D.
Abstract: Increasingly, Skinner's analysis of verbal behavior is being used to guide behavioral intervention models for children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). As such, clinical researchers are invested in examining the clinical application and further development of theoretical concepts. Mand training has been identified as a crucial component of behavioral programming for children with ASD. This symposium includes a series of presentations examining the use of mand training procedures with children with ASD. The first presentation by Shillingsburg, Tullis and Call, presents a modified stimulus choice preference assessment as a measure of transitive conditioned establishing operations and subsequent mand training. In the second presentation, LaRue, et al., examine correspondance between the results of traditional functional analyses and an assessment of mands for a break, attention, and preferred items. The results indicate the mand assessment may be useful as an alternative assessment for problem behavior. The final presentation by Falcomata, et al., evaluated the use of a stimulus-control based procedure to successfully teach signed mands to two individiuals with ASD, who previously had difficulty acquiring the responses.
Assessment and Manipulation of Transitive Establishing Operations to Expand Mand Repertoires in Children with ASD
CHRIS A. TULLIS (Marcus Autism Center), M. Alice Shillingsburg (Marcus Autism Center), Nathan A. Call (Marcus Autism Center and Emory University School of Medicine)
Abstract: Little research has examined the Transitive Conditioned Establishing Operation (TCEO). A TCEO is defined as a stimulus in the context of which the effectiveness of a conditioned reinforcer is altered (McGill, 1999) and the frequency of behaviors associated with that reinforcer is altered. For example, the value of a typically neutral item (e.g., a straw) may be altered in the presence of an associated reinforcer (e.g., juicebox) and evoke behavior that has a history of producing the item (e.g., mands for the straw). This project sought to further demonstrate the manipulation of TCEOs to teach mands for typically neutral items. Experiment 1 investigated the use of a modified paired-stimulus preference assessment to identify pairs of items, one of which would function as a TCEO when they were presented together during mand training. Changes in preference for previously neutral items in the presence of the other associated preferred item were interpreted as indicating the presence of a TCEO. In Experiment 2, mands for a typically neutral item was taught using the results of the TCEO assessment.
Correspondence Between Traditional Models of Assessment and a Functional Analysis of Manding Behavior
ROBERT LARUE (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center), Mary Jane Weiss (Rutgers University), Kimberly Sloman (University of Florida), David Kieval (Rutgers), Nathan Lambright (Rutgers University), Ryan Madigan (Rutgers University), Jill A. Szalony (Rutgers - DDDC), Todd Frischmann (Rutgers University - Douglass Developmental Disabi)
Abstract: Analogue functional analysis is considered to be the most accurate procedure for determining the function of maladaptive behavior (Hanley et al., 2003). These procedures have been effectively used to determine the cause of challenging behavior and subsequently develop effective, function-based interventions. However, the time and expertise required to conduct functional analyses has made their use in public schools prohibitive. In addition, the practicality of using such procedures may be limited with learners who engage in low frequency behavior (i.e., it does not happen enough to assess accurately) and/or with dangerous behavior (i.e., severe aggression or self-injurious behavior). In addition, practitioners often have concerns about temporarily reinforcing maladaptive behavior as is standard practice while conducting functional analyses. To address these issues, we conducted a functional analysis of appropriate requests (i.e., requests for attention, a break, or access to preferred items/activities). The current investigation compared traditional models of analogue functional analysis with the results of the manding analysis. Correspondence across the models of analysis would indicate that the analysis of manding behavior may represent a viable alternative to the traditional model and may allow practitioners to conduct assessments for populations that have been historically difficult to assess.
Use of a Stimulus-Control Training Procedure for Teaching Signs to Children with Autism during FCT
ANURADHA SALIL KUMAR DUTT (University of Iowa), Terry Falcomata (University of Iowa), David P. Wacker (University of Iowa), John A. Northup (University of Iowa), Joel Eric Ringdahl (University of Iowa), Kelly M. Vinquist (University of Iowa)
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of a stimulus control-based training procedure for teaching manual signs to two children diagnosed with autism. Prior to the study, neither of the children consistently exhibited appropriate communication as part of their behavioral repertoires. We first conducted functional analyses to identify the function(s) of destructive behavior. Functional communication training (FCT) was then implemented during which the children were taught an alternative communicative response in the form of card touch. Next, the discriminative stimuli associated with the respective cards were used to occasion novel signing (i.e., sign “please”, sign “finished,” sign “want”). When the cards were reliably occasioning novel signing, a fading procedure was implemented with each of the cards until independence with signing was achieved. Using the stimulus control training procedure, we were able to successfully teach three novel signs to one child and two novel signs to the second child. Interobserver agreement was obtained during at least 30% of sessions and averaged above 90%.



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