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

Previous Page


Workshop #W51
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words: Research-Based Instructional Supports for Children with Autism
Friday, May 26, 2006
6:00 PM–9:00 PM
International Ballroom North
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
CE Instructor: Pat Mirenda, Ph.D.
PAT MIRENDA (University of British Columbia), BRENDA FOSSETT (University of British Columbia)
Description: Instructional techniques incorporating pictures and/or videotapes can be quite effective for teaching a wide range of skills to children with autism. This workshop will provide participants with research-based guidelines for using four visual support techniques. Single-subject studies examining each of the techniques will be used to illustrate key principles and components. Visual schedules use pictures to depict sequences of activities or task steps and thus enable individuals to predict future events in order to reduce problem behavior and/or increase independence. Contingency maps depict environment-behavior relationships by using pictures to represent : (a) the common antecedent that precedes both problem and alterative behaviors, (b) the topography of both problem and alternative behaviors, (c) the functional reinforcer(s) that will be provided contingent on alternative behavior, and (d) the previously-available functional reinforcer(s) that will no longer be provided contingent on problem behavior. Picture-to-text matching instruction is used to teach sight words to individuals with autism who are unable to speak and for whom the use of pictures may interfere with sight word learning when used within a paired associate learning paradigm. Finally, video modeling can be used to teach social interaction and other skills to children with autism in peer play situations.
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the workshop, participants will be able to: 1. Summarize ABA research on the use of visual schedules, including the components that appear to be essential for success; 2. Describe the four key elements of contingency maps and guidelines for creating and implementing them; 3. Describe the differences between paired associate and picture-to-text matching paradigms for sight word instruction and provide examples of how to implement the latter; 4. Design a basic video modeling intervention using multiple vignettes to teach social language skills to children with autism in peer play contexts
Activities: Activities will include opportunities for participants to view research-based case studies (some with videotaped examples) and to engage in activities related to the objectives. For example, participants will be asked to plan a contingency map for a hypothetical child, design a picture-to-text matching activity for a student in a regular classroom, and plan a video modeling intervention to teach social language skills.
Audience: The target audience includes teachers, speech-language pathologists, and behavior analysts at a post-masters level who work with children with autism spectrum disorders who have difficulty using and/or understanding spoken language. The children may be in home-based ABA programs or inclusive classrooms in public schools.
Content Area: Practice
Instruction Level: Intermediate



Back to Top
Modifed by Eddie Soh