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.


31st Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2005

Event Details

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Poster Session #83
#83 Poster Session - AUT
Saturday, May 28, 2005
5:30 PM–7:00 PM
Southwest Exhibit Hall (Lower Level)
1. Teaching Sign Language to Children with PDD-NOS: A Comparison Between Two Conditions
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
Abstract: Sign language is often used to teach children who have a diagnosis of PDD/Autism and who have failed to develop speech. There are many studies examining sign language strategies. Such studies highlight the use of signs as expressive labels for pictures of objects and signing with real objects. In addition, some teaching techniques such as reinforcement, modeling, prompting, and fading have demonstrated an increased rate of sign usage with individuals who have developmental disorders. Many of these studies, however, do not demonstrate retention and generalization of the signs over time. In this study, three children diagnosed with PDD-NOS were evaluated on speed of acquisition, retention, and generalization of taught signs. All three measurements were compared across two training conditions: 1) signs taught with nondifferential outcomes and 2) signs taught with thematic differential outcomes. Elements of the treatment package included modeling, prompting, fading, and correction procedures. The treatment package was applied in a multiple baseline design. This study demonstrated that speed of acquisition was different for each child. Furthermore, it demonstrated that there were higher rates of retention and generalization under the condition where signs were taught under the control of thematic differential outcomes.
2. The Use of Equine Therapy to Increase Social Behavior in Children with Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
KIMBERLY NELSON (Gonzaga University), Janelle Axtell (Gonzaga University), K. Mark Derby (Gonzaga University), Robyn Moug (A-Stride-Ahead), Sonja Barrera (A-Stride-Ahead)
Abstract: The use of equine therapy to increase social interaction in children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) was evaluated using an ABAB reversal design. Three boys between the ages of two and a half and four years of age were assessed. Two of the boys were identified as having ASD the third participant displayed social deficits in speech, language, and communication consistent with ASD. During baseline phases the therapist attempted to engage the participants in the therapeutic activities typically presented within equine therapy sessions. The horse was present on the opposite end of the arena within baseline. During the treatment phase, the horse was introduced. The therapist engaged the participants in activities and communication training while riding and/or working with the horse. The results provide preliminary support that equine therapy can result in increased in social interaction and communication.
3. The Relationship Between Adaptive Behavior and Intelligence in Predicting Autism Symptomatology
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
LAUREN HARRINGTON (University of Houston, Texas Young Autism Project), Allison Serra Tetreault (University of Houston, Texas Young Autism Project), Gregory Chasson (University of Houston, Texas Young Autism Project), Gerald E. Harris (University of Houston, Texas Young Autism Project)
Abstract: While some research has documented a relationship between intelligence and adaptive behavior, none has examined the interaction between intelligence and adaptive behavior in predicting autism symptomatology. The current investigation examined the relationship between autism symptom manifestation, adaptive behavior, and intelligence in 64 children with autism (54 boys and 10 girls) aged 2 to 10. Autism symptom manifestation was assessed using The Childhood Autism Rating Scale, adaptive behavior was measured with the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scale, and intelligence was measured with the Merrill-Palmer Scales of Mental Development. Previous studies suggest that intelligence and adaptive behavior each independently predict autism symptomatology. Using Multiple Regression, preliminary analyses corroborated the findings in the literature by indicating that adaptive behavior and intelligence did significantly predict autism symptomatology. Furthermore, evidence also revealed a significant interaction between adaptive behavior and intelligence in the prediction of autism symptom manifestation. Implications of the current study are discussed, including diagnostic and treatment considerations.
4. Effect of Audio-Casette-Taped Social Story Intervention to Manage Socially Inappropriate Behaviors Skills for Children with Asperger's Disorders in Inclusive Settings
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
KYONG BONG KIM (Lotus Flowers Children Center), Jeongil Kim (Daegu University, South Korea), Min Jeong Lee (Lotus Flowers Children Center), Ok Ja Lee (Lotus Flowers Children Center), Hae Jeen Lee (Lotus Flowers Children Center), Myong Ok Kwan (Lotus Flowers Children Center)
Abstract: The present study examined the audio-casette taped social story intervention to manage socially inappropriate behaviors of children with Asperger's disorders in inclusive settings. Two 6 years old boys, who were reported as showing socially inappropriate behaviors, participated in the study. Two typically developing peers also participated in the study as peer-mediators. The results of this study support that the audio-casette taped social story intervention is a useful tool in decreasing socially inappropriate behaviors and in increading socially appropriate behaviors for children with Asperger's disorders. The behavior change was maintained for one month and was generalized in class for all the subjects.
5. Situation Based Mind Reading Strategy to Improve Appropriate Social Behaviors for Children with Asperger's Disorders
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
KEE YEON MIN (Lotus Flowers Children Center), Jeongil Kim (Daegu University, South Korea), Myong Ok Kwon (Lotus Flowers Children Center)
Abstract: The present study examined situation based mind reading strategy to increase prosocial behaviors for children with Asperger's disorders. Three children who were reported as showing inappropriate interactive behaviors at school by their teachers, participated in the program and two of typically developing peers in the same age who did not show any maladaptive behaviors participated as peer participants in the study. The results showed that all of the three children showed increase in appropriate social behaviors increase and behavior decrease in their inappropriate classroom behaviors. The behavior change was maintained in all the three children for one month and was generalized in class for all of the three children.
6. Encouraging Social Interactions Through Dancing in a Community Camp for Children with Asperger's Disorders
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
KEEYEON MIN (Lotus Flowers Children Center), Jeongil Kim (Lotus Flowers Children Center), Yunhee Lee (Lotus Flowers Children Center), Eun Hee Shon (Lotus Flowers Children Center), Jin Hwa Lee (Lotus Flowers Children Center), Jee Hae Lee (Lotus Flowers Children Center)
Abstract: The present study examined effects of a dancing program to encourage social interaction in a community camp for children with Aspergers disorders. The setting was designed to provide the subjects with a full-inclusion community camp program with their typically developing peers. The intervention program consists of recruiting typically developing peers, providing the peers with ongoing training for understanding the subjects, appropriate aides with ongoing training, developing individualized program to facilitate appropriate social behaviors, and group feedback for all the campers. The results showed that all the subjects and the peers have benefits from the program in their behaviors.
7. Project GATORSS: A Comprehensive Model for Assessing and Treating Social Skills in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
ELIZABETH L.W. MCKENNEY (University of Florida), Jennifer M. Asmus (University of Florida), Maureen Conroy (University of Florida), Jennifer A. Sellers (University of Florida), Glenn M. Sloman (University of Florida), Taketo Nakao (University of Florida)
Abstract: Although interventions for addressing social skills of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) have been investigated for over twenty years, there remains a need to develop social skill assessments and treatments that target functional outcomes. In this presentation, we focus on outcomes from Project GATORSS (Generalized Assessment Tools for the Observation and Remediation of Social Skills), a federally funded project focusing on the development of functional assessment strategies to facilitate social skills in young children (ages 2 – 5 years old) with ASD. Specific examples will be provided on the use of indirect and direct functional assessment strategies to evaluate young children’s social interactions in natural settings, including descriptive assessments, direct observation, functional analysis, and structural analysis. Assessment techniques for evaluating the influence of contextual factors on interactions will be included as well. In addition, we highlight treatment processes that are linked to evidence provided by the social skills functional assessment process. Case examples to highlight assessment and treatment components will be provided. Data were collected in a naturalistic classroom setting by trained graduate students. Interobserver agreement was collected on 25% of sessions, and averaged 90%.
8. Preferred Topics as Reinforcers for Conversational Question Asking by Children with Autism: A Study in Generalization
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
EVE C. NEELY (Teaching Autistic Children, Inc.), Helene Burgess (California State University, Sacramento)
Abstract: Much research has been dedicated to teaching social skills to children with autism. However, generalization of these skills to peer groups and non-training environments continues to be a pervasive problem. None of the existing literature has been able to achieve generalization to peer groups without specific peer training. Most social skills interventions focus on generalization as a stimulus control problem and not a reinforcement problem. The current study compares the generalization properties of two types of reinforcers for conversational question asking: Artificial Reinforcers and Preferred Topic Reinforcers. Data indicates that Preferred Topic Reinforcers will promote spontaneous generalization to non-training stimuli, including same-age peers. Implications for naturally occurring reinforcers as the default tool for programming for generalization are discussed.
9. Teaching Emotions to Children with Autism: Identification, Demonstration, and Explanation of Occasioning Stimuli
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
HOLLY ALMON-MORRIS (Fabrizio/Moors Consulting), Aminata Diakite (Fabrizio/Moors Consulting)
Abstract: Teaching children to identify emotions is a common practice within the field of autism intervention. However, skills that are not often taught include identification of emotions within a situational context, and identification and discrimination of environmental events that occasion the emotions (with corresponding explanations). This poster illustrates several responses that were acquired through precision teaching and fluency-based instruction that address the above pinpoints across multiple learning channels. Additionally, this poster demonstrates how to teach language that can be used to make environmental accommodations given combinations of emotions and particular social situations.
10. Teaching Social Initiation to an Autistic Individual Using Time Delay and Three Levels of Discriminatory Stimuli in a Vocational Setting
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
WADDIE KOLENKY (St. Cloud State University)
Abstract: Socialization is an important skill that helps individuals form relationships that last a lifetime. Individuals with Autism often find it difficult to effectively communicate or socialize with others. Most autistic individuals only initiate conversations with significant others. The current study was designed to enable an adult diagnosed with Autism/Asperger and ADHD to initiate a greeting while at work. Social initiation was defined as talking to, waving at or tapping another person on the shoulders as a means to get the other persons attention. The current researcher used three levels of discriminatory stimuli; eye contact, waving, and saying "Hi" along with time delay as a way to prompt the participant to say "Hi". By the conclusion of the study, the participant had mastered the first two fading steps of the intervention and was able to say "Hi" when the researcher prompted the participant with an overemphasized eye contact.
11. Teaching Children With Autism to Respond to Joint Attention Initiations
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
MEGAN P. MARTINS (Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey)
Abstract: Many children with autism fail to develop joint attention skills appropriate for their developmental age. It has been hypothesized that the failure to develop joint attention is one of the primary pathological processes in autism and that early joint attention deficits have implications for experience driven mechanisms of development. Joint attention skills are predictors of ability in several domains of autism including language ability, affective sharing, and theory of mind capacity, thus establishing the significance of teaching joint attention. The present study examined the effectiveness of a behavioral program to teach three children with autism to respond to joint attention initiations given by adults. A multiple baseline design across children was used to examine the effectiveness of the procedure. During baseline, participants demonstrated low levels of responding to joint attention skills, consistent with previous findings that children with autism have impairments in joint attention. Following intervention, responses to joint attention bids significantly increased to levels consistent with those observed in typically developing children for all three participants (range: 80-100%). IOA agreement was collected for 33% of teaching sessions ranged from 90-100% agreement on joint attention responses. These results indicate that behavioral intervention may facilitate the development of joint attention skills.
12. Facilitating Inclusive Climate in General Eduation Classroom Through Korean Traditional Play Activities for Children with Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
SANG BOK LEE (Daegu University, South Korea), Hyo-Shin Lee (Daegu University, South Korea), Sung Ae Kim (Daegu University, South Korea), Jeongil Kim (Daegu University, South Korea), Eun-Jung Lee (Daegu University, South Korea), Jung Ok Choi (Daegu University, South Korea), Min Kyung Lee (Daegu University, South Korea)
Abstract: The study examined the effect of inclusion facilitating program using Korean traditional play activities for children with autism.Three kindergartens, with their children with autism and with typically developing peers, participated in the study.The result showed that all the participants gained increase in prosocial behaviors, improved scores on social competence and school adjustment, and level of peer acceptance.
13. Teaching Complex Play Skills for Children with Asperger's Disorders Using Video Modeling by Peers
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
JEONGIL KIM (Daegu University, South Korea), Chi Yeon Yun (Choon Hae College, South Korea), Han Woo Lee (Jeenju International University), Eun Young Choi (Daegu University, South Korea), Sheen Hee Kim (Lotus Flowers Children Center)
Abstract: This study examined the effect of peers' modeling on Video to teach complex play skills for children with Asperger's disorders. Three children with Asperger's disorders and two of typically developing peers participated in the study. Video modeling contained complex play skills by the trained peers. Using a multiple baseline design across subjects, the study achieved the result that all the three children learned a series of complex play skills after the intervention.
14. Teaching Children with Asperger's Disorders Perspective Taking Through Video Modeling
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
JEONGIL KIM (Daegu University, South Korea), Kee Yeong Min (Lotus Flowers Children Center), Yunhee Lee (Lotus Flowers Children Center), Eun Hee Shon (Lotus Flowers Children Center), Jin Hwa Lee (Lotus Flowers Children Center), Jee Hae Lee (Lotus Flowers Children Center), Soo Ok Shong (Lotus Flowers Children Center)
Abstract: This study examined the effect of video modeling to teach perspective taking for children with Asperger's disorders. Three children with Asperger's disorders participated in the study. Using a multiple baseline design across subjects and ABAB design across task examplers, the study used video modeling strategy to support perspective taking skills. The result showed that all the three subjects achieved pass scores on the perspective taking tasks. It also showed there showed stimulus and response generalization after the intervention.
15. Long-Term Effects of Social Story Interventions for Children with Autism: Durability of Effects
Area: AUT; Domain: Basic Research
JOSEPH GENTRY (Illinois State University), Karla J. Doepke (Illinois State University)
Abstract: Little empirical evidence has been generated to allow a complete understanding of whether or not social story interventions could better teach appropriate social skills to children with autism than the standard practice with feedback approach and whether or not any positive effects are maintained over time. The current follow-up study sought to determine the stability of effects of successful social stories interventions that reduced unacceptable social behaviors, by substituting them with appropriate ones, of three elementary aged boys diagnosed with autism. In the original study, participants were taught different social skills, using both practice with feedback and social stories methods, to see which program was more effective for this population or what factors effected the acquisition of these skills. Using a multiple baseline across behaviors design, the authors found significant decreases across most of the targeted inappropriate behaviors during treatment. The current study investigates the long-term durability of these effects by analyzing follow-up data collected at 6- and 18-months.
16. The Effectiveness of a Video-Social Story on Classroom Rule-Following Behavior
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
KATHLEEN B. HONER (Summit Educational Resources), Vicki Madaus Knapp (Summit Educational Resources), Amy L. Jablonski (Summit Educational Resources)
Abstract: Social stories and video modeling have been used to teach appropriate skills with children with autism. Previous studies have shown that social stories have been effective in increasing choice-making, play skills, and social interaction, as well as decreasing disruptive behavior. Previous research has found that video modeling has been used to effectively increase play skills, social initiation and interaction, perspective taking, functional living skills, and conversational skills. The effectiveness of a video social story in increasing compliance to classroom rules in children diagnosed with autism in an integrated preschool special education classroom will be examined.
17. The Effect of a Prompting Package on Teaching Independent and Social Play Skills to Children with Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
NICOLE KALEN (Hawthorne Country Day School), Laurie Cohen (Hawthorne Country Day School), Soyoung Yoon (Hawthorne Country Day School), Reyes Vera (Hawthorne Country Day School)
Abstract: The failure of children with autism to engage in appropriate play has been well documented. The current study aimed to teach children with autism to play independently by using prompting package.Three children with autism participated in this study. All three were at the age range of 5-7. A multiple baseline across participants was used with baseline and the use of prompting package. Maintenance probes were done afterwards.The results are discussed in regard to the effects of the prompting package on teaching play skills. In particular, number of sessions taken for mastery and maintenance are discussed.
18. Teaching Observational Play Skills to Children with Autism via Video Modeling
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
COURTNEY M. WELLS (St. Cloud State University), Kimberly A. Schulze (St. Cloud State University), Eric Rudrud (St. Cloud State University)
Abstract: Autism is a pervasive developmental disorder generally characterized by deficits in social interaction, language, imitation, and imaginative or symbolic play (American Psychiatric Association, 1994). This researcher examined the effectiveness of a video modeling procedure on improving appropriate social interactions and play in 2 children with autism. A multiple-probe design across toys was used with both participants. Participant 1 was trained to observe the social interactions of others and to maintain those interactions. Participant 2 was trained to play independently with 2 sets of toys. A variety of videos, settings, and models were used throughout the study. Generalization probes with a separate set of toys were taken during baseline and following the video modeling intervention. Maintenance probes were conducted one time per week for four weeks.
19. Using Social Stories to Decrease the Disruptive Behaviors of a Child with Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
SHANNON CROZIER (University of Nevada, Las Vegas), Matthew Tincani (University of Nevada, Las Vegas)
Abstract: Despite the popularity of social stories as a behavioral intervention for children with autism, there have been few investigations on the effectiveness of social stories. The poster will describe a research study that examined the effects of social stories on the disruptive behavior of a student with autism in his preschool classroom. A reversal design was used to compare the effectiveness of social stories under two conditions, social story alone and social story plus verbal prompts. A decrease in disruptive behavior was evidenced during both phases of the intervention but with a greater effect when social stories were paired with verbal prompting. Maintenance probes conducted two weeks after intervention revealed that the social stories had become a regular instructional routine for the student. Results are discussed in relation to study limitations, applications, and directions for future research.
20. Teaching a Child with Autism Appropriate Play Using Video Modeling
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
KATHERINE LENGEL (Alpine Learning Group), Deirdre L. Moon (Alpine Learning Group), Bridget A. Taylor (Alpine Learning Group), Hannah Hoch (The Graduate Center, City University of New York)
Abstract: This study used a multiple baseline design across three play activities to assess the effects of video modeling on the play behavior of a young child with autism. Baseline measures indicated that prior to video modeling, the youngster did not produce appropriate motor and vocal play responses related to the play activities. Intervention involved having the participant view video vignettes of play responses for each activity. Probe sessions were conducted to assess effects of the intervention in the absence of video viewing. Data were collected on both motor and vocal responses and on scripted and unscripted responses. A second observer scored Interobserver Agreement during 30% of the sessions. Results will be discussed in terms of the social relevance of teaching children with autism appropriate play responses and the effects of video modeling to increase these skills.
21. Pyramidal Staff Training: Training Behavioral Technicians to Teach Play Skills and Mand Skills
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
KOJI TAKESHIMA (Western Michigan University), Richard W. Malott (Western Michigan University), Michael S. Lane (Western Michigan University), David Slade (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: Children with autism and other developmental disabilities often do not play appropriately or interactively. We developed and implemented a staff-training program for behavioral technicians to increase such children’s playing and requesting of play activities. The participants were children and technicians in an early intensive behavioral program. The training utilized a pyramidal-staff training model, in which a trainer trained technicians, who, in turn, became trainers for other technicians. The components of the training were video modeling, an instructional slide show, and feedback, and each component was sequentially introduced to the technicians. This evaluation provides information regarding the effectiveness of the pyramidal-staff training model in teaching play skills for children as well as the crucial components of the training.
22. The Advanced Autism Practicum: Furthering the Skills of Behavioral Technicians
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
BRITTANY LEAH SHEETS (Western Michigan University), Casey N. Ludwick (Western Michigan University), Koji Takeshima (Western Michigan University), Abby Railling (Western Michigan University), Richard W. Malott (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: The Advanced Autism Practicum is designed to produce students with an advanced level of techniques and skills in working with children diagnosed with autism. These students have completed the Special Population Practicum, in the pre-primary impaired classroom at Croyden Avenue School previously, and worked as a behavioral technician in a one-on-one discrete trial setting. The practicum was designed to allow students who excelled in the special populations practicum to continue their work, take on more responsibilities and become a better rounded behavioral technician.An Advanced Practicum student works in the classroom with an assigned autistic child and attends a regular seminar meeting. They are required to complete a project that involves developing a new procedure for an autistic child. They develop, implement, evaluate, and recycling a novel procedure, review relevant literature, and create a presentation about the procedure they produced. The also have to fix red dots. A procedure is red dotted when a child fails to meet criteria for change and cannot move onto the next phase in the procedure. Advanced students are required to attend to the problems in the procedure and write sub phases to try and correct the problem.
23. Assessment of Unscripted Reciprocal Play Following Video Modeling Instruction for Children with Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
SHELLY COTA (New England Center for Children), Rebecca P. F. MacDonald (New England Center for Children), Kristine Wiltz (New England Center for Children)
Abstract: Children with autism often demonstrate deficits in social interaction. These include an inability to engage in back and forth actions with others such as gestures, play, and conversation. Video modeling has been shown to be an effective procedure to teach children with autism a variety of play and social skills. The purpose of this study was to use video modeling to increase pretend play between children with autism and typically developing peers. Two preschool-age children with autism and 2 typically developing children participated in this study. Data were collected on the occurrence of social interactions during a play activity. IOA was collected on 33% of the samples. Children were exposed to toys during baseline and told to play together. During intervention, children were shown video models of two adults participating in a play script and then told to play together. Data showed that video modeling resulted in increases in scripted pretend play and social interaction. Further analysis of the data indicated that children’s increases in unscripted pretend play was limited. These findings will be discussed as they relate to the use of video modeling to teach more elaborate play sequences to children with autism.
24. Teaching Children with Autism to Solicit a Peer Play Partner in the Context of a Photographic Activity Schedule
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
KRISTIN GRANDNER (TreeHouse School), Leila Khamene (TreeHouse School)
Abstract: Many children with autism lack the key skills that lead to their social development. A lack of communication skills and social awareness of their peers means spontaneous interaction for children with autism may not occur unless it directly results in access to preferred item or activity. In school environments, spontaneous interactions between peers with autism are often adult mediated. In the current study, we incorporated script-fading procedures, photographic activity schedules, and manual prompting procedures to teach two nonverbal children with autism to initiate play interactions. Both children acquired the ability to initiate play, i.e. approach a designated peer partner, exchange a symbolic script and access the activity with that peer partner. In addition, each child acquired the ability to respond to requests from each other, i.e. accept the script and follow the peer partner to the activity. This treatment package was effective in facilitating spontaneous interactions between two children with autism. Future research could investigate use of similar procedures for interactions with typical peers.
25. The Use of Visual Prompting Procedures to Increase the Frequency of Spontaneous Social Interactions in a Preschooler Diagnosed with Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
KARA BLISS (Crossroads Center for Children), Jessica Leach (Crossroads Center for Children), Helen Bloomer (Crossroads Center for Children)
Abstract: This study investigates the use of various visual prompting procedures as strategies to be used to increase spontaneous social interactions. The subject, a preschool student diagnosed with autism, attended Crossroads Center for Children, a school in New York serving children diagnosed on the pervasive developmental disorder spectrum. The results will reflect the effectiveness of visual prompting procedures in promoting spontaneous interactions.
26. Increasing Play Interactions between a Young Child with Autism and his Siblings
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
ELISABETTA PESTRICHELLA (Long Island University), Lori E. Bechner (Alpine Learning Group)
Abstract: Participant: 2.5 year old boy diagnosed with autismObjective: Increase play interactions with siblings (ages 2.5 years and 5 years)Baseline and teaching data will be presented for the following skill acquisition programs:Follows Instructions to PLay with SiblingFollows Play Initiations Stated by SiblingFollows Play-Related Instructions
27. Teaching Social and Coping Skills to Children with Asperger's Disorder and High Functioning Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
Abstract: The core deficits in children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) fall in the areas of social communication, flexible thinking and behavior, and ability to cope with stressful situations. Researchers, clinicians, and educational professionals are paying increasingly more attention to the need to provide ongoing and intensive social skills and stress management training to this population. This presentation describes a summer social skills program designed to address these needs for two different age groups of children with ASD. The protocol and procedures utilized as well as outcome and satisfaction data will be presented. Discussion focuses on issues related to generalization and maintenance.
28. A Comparison of Two Different Approaches for Teaching Assertiveness to Young Children with Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
LATRELLE ROGERS (University of Houston, Texas Young Autism Project), Maureen Childs (University of Houston, Texas Young Autism Project), Sanjuanita Pedraza (University of Houston, Texas Young Autism Project), Courtney Ferguson (University of Houston, Texas Young Autism Project), Gerald E. Harris (University of Houston, Texas Young Autism Project)
Abstract: Very little research has directly compared different behavioral techniques for teaching assertiveness to children with autism. For the current study, 4 pre-selected children enrolled in a discrete trial applied behavioral analysis program were randomly assigned to one of two conditions, each of which consisted of a well-established behavioral method for teaching assertiveness to children with autism. Often conceptualized as an in vivo approach, the first method teaches children with the use of a confederate. The second method removes the in vivo component and shapes assertiveness using sequencing cards. After four months of implementing the assertiveness training, each child was placed in an experimental scenario that required the use of the learned assertiveness skills. To determine the outcome of the assertiveness training techniques, we examined whether or not the child successfully implemented the appropriate assertiveness skills, which were carefully operationally defined using precise behavioral terms. Results suggest the in vivo approach elicits larger gains in assertiveness, likely because it has an inherent generalization component. This investigation serves to demonstrate the importance of selecting appropriate techniques for teaching assertiveness to young children with autism.
29. Targeting Social Skills for Children with Asperger's Syndrome
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
SARA J. BURMEISTER (Illinois State University), Daniel Mark Fienup (Illinois State University), Kristal Shelvin (Illinois State University), Karla J. Doepke (Illinois State University)
Abstract: Asperger’s syndrome (AS) is primarily a social disorder. In fact, although young, elementary school-aged children with AS often cannot be distinguished from their peers in terms of academic progress, they can easily be spotted in social situations. Children with AS have been described as having difficulties understanding the social rules of peer interaction, and though they may desire social interactions with others, they do not have the skills to successfully negotiate peer relationships. This research investigated the effectiveness of a weekly social skills group for elementary school-aged children with AS. Basic social interaction skills were taught in the context of structured and unstructured play opportunities with evenly matched peers. Based primarily on observational data, three behaviors were targeted for change: (a) paying attention and later recall of personal information about other group members (e.g., the person's favorite TV show); (b) asking relevant questions in the context of a group game; and (c) learning to play cooperative games (turn-taking, giving compliments). Individual and group data highlighting the direct and generalized effectiveness of specific interventions (e.g., use of rules, visual prompts, reinforcement contingencies) are presented.
30. Successful Inclusion: A Peer Mediation Program for a Child with Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
KIMBERLY KROEGER-GEOPPINGER (Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center), Rena Sorensen-Burnworth (Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center)
Abstract: A peer mediation program was conducted in a regular education kindergarten classroom in which a child with high functioning autism was enrolled fulltime. The program was introduced in a 20-minute classroom group presentation focusing on tolerating individual differences and teaching appropriate replacement behavior when encountering inappropriate classmate behaviors. Follow-up practice activities were provided for staff and students. Additionally staff were trained in how to prompt and reinforce use of appropriate replacement behaviors used by students. Frequency of physical aggression, verbal aggression, and gestural aggression were tracked for the entire class. Occurrences directed at the target child also were tracked. Preliminary comparisons of pre- and post-intervention data suggest a decrease in inappropriate behaviors for the class as a whole and as directed at the target child following the classroom intervention.
31. Using Photographs of Peers to Facilitate Social Interaction in Children with Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
DEBORAH L. BROWN (Stanislaus County Office of Education), Diane Black (Stanislaus County Office of Education), Christina Valdez (Stanislaus County Office of Education), Nina Yonan (Stanislaus County Office of Education), Diane Morillo (Stanislaus County Office of Education), Linda Maratty (Stanislaus County Office of Education)
Abstract: The use of pictures can increase the number of trials and reduce the resources needed to help autistic children acquire social skills. This poster will present data showing the effectiveness of such a procedure. The pictures consisted of actual photographs of the childrens' peers.
32. Teaching Complex Play Skills to Children with Autism: A Comprehensive Program and Case Description
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
LISA BROWNFIELD (Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc.), Jonathan J. Tarbox (University of Nevada, Reno), Rachel S. F. Tarbox (Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc.), Doreen Granpeesheh (Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc.)
Abstract: Improved social functioning for children with autism is one of the chief areas of focus in early intervention programs. While a body of behavior analytic research has focused on increasing specific social skills, there is a relative dearth of information on teaching one of the primary foundations of children's social interactions: play skills. Typically developing children engage in various forms of play, such as pretend play with functional objects, symbolic pretend play, imaginary play, and sociodramatic play. The purpose of the current presentation is to describe our efforts to develop a comprehensive play skills program that targets each form of play in a sequential format. Teaching methods will be described within the context of a case presentation, demonstrating the training, acquisition, and generalization of new play targets.
33. Stimulus Overselectivity in Children with Autism Using Tactile Compound Stimuli
Area: AUT; Domain: Basic Research
BERTRAM O. PLOOG (College of Staten Island, City University of New York), Nina Kim (Staten Island Technical High School)
Abstract: Stimulus overselectivity, an attention pattern where one attends to a limited portion of a compound stimulus, is a common phenomenon in autistic children. This has important implications about how a child learns. For example, a child may not learn the difference between “E” and “F”, if attention is limited to the top portion of the letters. Most published studies used visual and auditory stimuli to assess overselectivity. The present study used tactile stimuli. Six autistic and five typical children participated. They were trained to respond to three sets of compound stimuli (e.g., Set 1, fuzzy triangle vs. smooth circle), presented out of sight behind a curtain. In the first test, novel combinations of stimulus components (e.g., fuzzy circle vs. smooth triangle) were presented. In the second test, in order to assess whether anything was learned about the unattended stimulus dimension (e.g., shape), stimuli were used with the stimulus dimension that was attended to (e.g., texture) being held constant and the unattended stimulus dimension being varied (e.g., fuzzy circle vs. fuzzy triangle). Overall, all children performed accurately during training. In tests, the autistic children showed more overselectivity than the typical children with a slight reduction in overselectivity with repeated testing.



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