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 #354
Further Developments in FCT: Assessment of Communication Modalities and Stimulus Prompts
Monday, May 29, 2006
1:30 PM–2:50 PM
International Ballroom North
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Anjali Barretto (Gonzaga University)
Discussant: Robert H. Horner (University of Oregon)
Abstract: In this symposium, we will present applications of functional communication training that evaluate the effects of communication modalities and stimulus prompts on responding. Terry Falcomata from The University of Iowa will present an experimental analysis of communicative responses across various stimulus conditions. John Lee from the University of Iowa will present on the effects of two visual cues on manding. Lisa Kemmerer from Portland State University will describe the effects of stimulus prompts on mand selection. Following the presentations, Rob Horner from the University of Oregon will discuss the presentations.
An Evaluation of Appropriate Communication.
TERRY S. FALCOMATA (University of Iowa), John A. Northup (University of Iowa), Linda J. Cooper-Brown (University of Iowa), Joel Eric Ringdahl (University of Iowa), Jason M. Stricker (University of Iowa)
Abstract: We examined appropriate communicative responses (i.e., card handing, microswitch, signing) exhibited by two children diagnosed with autism and mental retardation during various stimulus conditions. During study 1, two distinct appropriate communicative responses (i.e., card touch, sign “please”) were compared across similar stimulus conditions. The stimuli associated with one response were then used to occasion novel signing (i.e., “please”, “finished”). Next, an additional novel sign (i.e., “want”) was occasioned in a similar manner and all three signs were examined across various stimulus conditions. Results suggested an interactive effect across signs, stimulus conditions, and reinforcement contingencies. During study 2, independent responding was first examined across distinct communicative responses (i.e. microswitch, card hand, sign “please”). After allocation of responding was examined when each communicative response was reinforced on identical FR1 schedules of reinforcement, the effectiveness of the respective associated stimuli in occasioning a novel sign was examined. Results suggested that stimuli associated with the response with which the participant previously allocated all of his responding were more effective in occasioning the novel sign. IOA was obtained during at least 30% of all sessions and averaged above 90% for all target responses. Implications will be discussed in terms of stimulus control and FCT.
Evaluation of Target Behaviors Across Two Alternating Visual Cue Conditions during a Mand Analysis.
JOHN F. LEE (University of Iowa), Jay W. Harding (University of Iowa), David P. Wacker (University of Iowa), Wendy K. Berg (University of Iowa), Kelly M. Schieltz (University of Iowa)
Abstract: We conducted an evaluation of manding and problem behavior across two alternating visual cue conditions. The participant was a preschool-aged girl with autism who engaged in destructive behavior. All procedures were conducted in the child's home with the mother serving as therapist. A combination of multielement and reversal designs was used to evaluate results. Inter-rater agreement was assessed across 30% of all sessions and averaged 96%. During Phase 1, a functional analysis showed that problem behavior was maintained by both negative and positive (tangible) reinforcement. During Phase 2, a manding analysis was conducted and showed that a PECS card resulted in less manding and more destructive behavior than a photograph of toys during the tangible condition. In Phase 3, we alternated the presentation order of the PECS card and the photograph during the tangible condition, with the photograph being more effective than the PECS card in reducing problem behavior and increasing manding. However, when the photograph was used just prior to the PECS card, the PECS card was more effective than when it was presented first. We will discuss regarding the importance of mand selection during treatment with FCT.
The Effects of Stimulus Prompts on the Selection of Mands Used During Functional Communication Training.
LISA C. WINBORN-KEMMERER (Portland State University), Nicole Poor (Portland State University), Donna Fletcher (Portland State University), Ron Fennell (Portland State University), Megan Stephen (Portland State University)
Abstract: We evaluated the influence of stimulus prompts on the selection of mands used during functional communication training (FCT) for a twenty-one year old female with Down syndrome. Interobserver agreement was assessed across 30% of all sessions and averaged 92%. During Experiment 1, a functional analysis was conducted to identify the maintaining variables for problem behavior and communication. Neither, problem behavior or communication was observed however, indirect measures suggested that problem behavior was maintained by staff attention. FCT was then implemented to teach the participant to use a microswitch and picture card to obtain staff attention within a multielement and reversal designs. The results of Experiment 1 demonstrated an increase in communication with both the microswitch and the picture card, and problem behavior remained low. Experiment 2 was conducted within a concurrent schedules and ABAB reversal designs to evaluate the participants’ selection of mands in the presence of a gestural cue (Condition A) and in the absence of a gestural cue (Condition B). The results of Experiment 2 showed that during both conditions, the participant selected the picture card almost exclusively over the microswitch. However, when the gestural cue was present, the participant’s communication with the card was much higher.



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