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 #381
CE Offered: BACB
Recent Findings on the Use of TAGteach in Children with Autism
Monday, May 25, 2009
10:30 AM–11:50 AM
North 124 B
Area: AUT/EDC; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Theresa Mckeon (TAGteach International)
Discussant: Julie S. Vargas (B. F. Skinner Foundation)
CE Instructor: Michael J. Morrier, Ph.D.
Abstract: Applied Behavior Analysts are dedicated to finding effective ways to teach skills to participants with autism and related disorders. Standard teaching curricula are typically based on the use of prompting and shaping procedures. One way to augment standard prompting and shaping procedures is to pair an auditory or visual event with the delivery of reinforcement to ‘mark’ the correct response. TAGteach is a technology based on the use of ‘markers’ or auditory stimuli paired with the delivery of reinforcement to shape new behaviors. “TAG” stands for Teaching with Acoustical Guidance and is a direct descendent of the clicker technology presented by Karen Pryor in her book Don’t Shoot the Dog. Practitioners of TAGteach argue for its effectiveness in many endeavors designed to teach motor skills such as gymnastics and dancing. The three data-based papers presented here successfully demonstrate how to incorporate aspects of TAGteach technology into some of our standard curriculum to teach basic motor skills with participants for whom prior attempts have been unsuccessful.
The Use of TAG to Improve the Acquisition of Instruction Following in Young Children with Autism
MARIDITH R GUTIERREZ (Applied Behavior Consultants, Inc)
Abstract: The use of TAG (Teaching with Acoustical Guidance) was examined in the acquisition of Receptive Instructions in children with autism. Receptive skills can be difficult for children with autism to acquire and the discrimination of different instructions is often an observed deficit. Four students at a non-public school for children with autism participated in the study. The students had not acquired the skill of following instructions in a structured teaching environment using standard discrete trial teaching nor through incidental teaching (e.g., within routine contexts). A multiple baseline across subjects design was used to examine whether the insertion of TAG, used to reinforce the target response prior to receipt of the highly preferred item, led to an increase in the acquisition of the skill. Students were exposed to a Receptive Instructions lesson with standard discrete trial teaching (i.e., SD-R-SR) during baseline. The use of TAG was implemented with each student in a staggered fashion and inserted immediately after a correct response.
Evaluating the Maintaining Effects of TAGteach on the Social Skills of an Individual with Autism
Abstract: There have been many noted interventions utilized in teaching social skills to children with Autism. TAGteach or Teaching with Acoustical Guidance incorporates the use of a tagger (audible marker) while pairing it with positive reinforcement and shaping in order to quickly teach a vast repertoire of skills to individuals in a variety of populations. The current study focused on analyzing the maintaining effects of TAGteach on the social skills (e.g., eye contact during manding and close proximity to peers) of a 7-year-old male diagnosed with Autism. Previously, eye contact while manding and close proximity to peers had been targeted and increased utilizing TAGteach compared to a more commonly used method. Maintenance data showed that the target behaviors did not maintain; however, required considerably less time to reacquire the skills utilizing TAGteach.
An Auditory Marker as a Secondary Reinforcer in the Shaping of Specific Behaviors in Children with Autism
REGINA L. MAENDLER (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology)
Abstract: This study examined the training of two behaviors (maintaining proximity and eye contact) in six children with Autism. An auditory marker, or TAG (Teaching with Acoustical Guidance) was employed as a secondary reinforcer for shaping the desired behaviors. The intervention followed the tenet of Applied Behavior Analysis and learning theory. The study was directed by personnel with TAGteach certification A multiple single case design with a multiple baseline across behaviors design was utilized to implement the intervention, as well as increase the ease of collecting data. The interventions took place in a natural environmental setting where each child’s behaviors were ecologically balanced. The data supported the efficacy of the intervention, but only in the context of training a child with Autism. Following full implementation, the rate of reinforcement was methodically reduced. The data indicated that the behaviors could be maintained at a level well above baseline. The implications of these results are discussed.



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