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

Workshop Details

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Workshop #W46
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
The Real Function of Play: Transitioning from Contrived to Natural Antecedents and Consequences When Targeting Play, Language, and Social Development in Children with Autism
Friday, May 26, 2006
6:00 PM–9:00 PM
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
CE Instructor: Kristie M. Frissen-Thompson, Ph.D.
Description: By definition, play is described as intrinsically motivated, freely chosen, and process-oriented over product-oriented, non-literal, and enjoyable. Incorporating play skills for a child with autism is important for many reasons. First, developmentally appropriate social interaction a primary impairment in autism. Second, play is a fundamental means by which children typically interact with others. In typical development, the reinforcer for playing with others is the interaction itself (i.e., reciprocity), rather than an unrelated, tangible reinforcer. Children at the one-word stage use language to communicate social functions such as regulating others behavior, establishing joint attention, and social interaction. As more advanced language develops, children must have social motivation to use it (e.g., through commenting, narratives, conversation, referencing, etc.) Children with autism often have delays in pragmatic development (i.e., use of language in a social contexts) which may be related to an overall deficit in development of social motivation. By teaching play, language, and social development by looking at function, we ensure that our learners are able to respond to natural antecedent and consequent conditions.
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the workshop, the participant will be able to: 1. Identify natural and unnatural antecedents and consequences for play, language, and social behaviors. 2. Identify ways to transition from the use of contrived to more natural antecedents and consequences. 3. Write developmentally appropriate play language targets based on identification of a child�s level of social motivation. 4. Define and identify the components of proximity play. 5. Identify the sequence of teaching components and determine the child's ability to move forward within the teaching sequence.
Activities: We will review the literature on play, language, and social skills development and will show videotaped vignettes of play and language development in neurotypical peers, of transitioning from contrived to natural antecedents and consequences, and of targeting natural play language in children with autism.
Audience: The workshop is designed for individuals currently implementing programs to teach play skills to children with autism using ABA-based teaching technologies. Participants should have some knowledge of applied behavior analysis.
Content Area: Practice
Instruction Level: Intermediate



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