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 #90
#90 Poster Session - VRB
Saturday, May 28, 2005
5:30 PM–7:00 PM
Southwest Exhibit Hall (Lower Level)
135. Increasing Vocalizations of Children with Autism Using Sign Language and Mand Training
Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Research
VIVIAN A. ATTANASIO (Primetime for Kids), Vincent Joseph Carbone (Carbone Clinic)
Abstract: A large percentage of children with autism do not develop vocal responses as their primary method of communication. There is some evidence to suggest that sign language training may increase the vocal responding of some children with autism (Mirenda, 2003). Many of the children who develop vocalizations do so simultaneous with signing when manding (requesting.) Clinical experience has shown that there exists a subset of children with autism who do not vocalize even after extensive mand (request) training. For these children additional interventions may be needed to increase vocalizations. This experiment included three (3) learners with autism ages five (5) and six (6) years old. All three learners had developed a small sign-mand repertoire but demonstrated low rate vocalizations and almost no vocal responses during manding. After establishing the baseline rate of vocalizations during manding a treatment package of reinforcer delay, presentation of an echoic stimulus and differential reinforcement was implemented within the context of a multiple baseline design across learners. The results of this experiment included the substantial increase in vocal responses simultaneous with the sign mand in all three (3) participants following implementation of the treatment package. In some cases the vocalizations began to approximate the name of the item or activity being requested with the sign. It appears that in some children with autism sign mand training may not be sufficient to produce vocalizations however, implementation of additional procedures may lead to increases in vocal responding.
136. Pairing Procedures to Condition Vocal Sounds as Reinforcers: More Support for Effectiveness with Preschoolers
Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Research
CHANIE KESSLER (Shema Kolainu - Hear Our Voices), Gina Marie Feliciano (Shema Kolainu - Hear Our Voices)
Abstract: This study reports the results of using a pairing procedure to condition vocals sounds as reinforcers for a 4 year old student with severe language and communication delays. Specific vocal sounds were paired with a reinforcing event (phycial contact & edibles). Results demonstrated that the pairing procedure was effective in condition the sounds as reinforcers, which were then trained as echoics for mands.
137. Training of Autoclitics in Children: A Systematic Replication of Howard and Rice (1988)
Area: VRB; Domain: Basic Research
BARRY E. ADELMAN (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: Since Skinner (1957) theorized that language could be explained in terms of behavioral phenomena, many studies have tested various aspects of his analysis. One kind of verbal behavior he described, autoclitics, are operants whose occurrence depends on the occurrence other verbal operants. Howard and Rice (1988) attempted to train normally developing four- and five-year-old children to use the autoclitic “like” as controlled by a tact being weakly controlled by a stimulus (e.g., saying “like square” to a rhombus). Although positive results were reported, there was a potential historical confound in that an English autoclitic was being trained in children from presumably English-speaking households. In this study, a similar procedure was used to train an autoclitic of which the subjects had no previous experience, the Hebrew autoclitic “kmo” (“like,” “as,” “similar to”). The implications and directions for future research are discussed.
138. Acquisition of a Signed Tact in a Typically Developing Infant
Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Research
KELLY A. DANCHO (University of Kansas), Rachel H. Thompson (University of Kansas), Jennifer Lynne Bruzek (University of Kansas)
Abstract: Several studies have shown that young children can learn to sign prior to developing vocal language. However, there is limited research on the effectiveness of specific methods of sign training. In the current study, we conducted tact training with a typically developing 14 month old child. Sign training consisted of delayed model and physical prompts and reinforcement in the form of attention. Data were collected on the occurrence of prompted and independent signs. Reliability data were collected on over 30% of sessions and agreement was above 80% for all sessions. Results showed that these procedures produced independent tacting in less than 1 hour of training, suggesting that this form of sign training may be viable for use with young, typically developing children.
139. Reader Writer Learn Units to Teach Self-Editing Repertoires
Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Research
WILLIAM J. KENT (Columbia University Teachers College), Tracy Reilly-Lawson (Columbia University Teacher's College)
Abstract: This study examined the effects of reader writer learn units to teach self-editing skills when manding for a specified reinforcer. The behaviors under examination were increasing the number of words written for each mand, number of questions answered describing each mand. The behaviors that were decreased were the number of recycles taken to reach 100% criteria and the number of errors within each sentence structure. There were two participants in this study who are a 14 year boy and a 14 year old girl who attend a 8th grade transitional class in a CABAS (Comprehensive Application of Behavioral Analysis to Schooling) school who were diagnosed with an emotionally disability. The students within this class have trouble in the area of writing as well as reading in all subject areas. Writing is an important functional skill for each of these students to learn. By increasing the fluency in the self-editing repertoire the students under examination will become more functional writers, which can generalize to all subject areas in classroom curricula. The design used in this study was a multiple baseline and a criterion was set at 100% for the student to receive the mand which they had specified.
140. A Correlational Study Between Divergent-, Behavior-Analytic-, and Problem-Solving Thinking in Adults
Area: VRB; Domain: Basic Research
SATORU SHIMAMUNE (Naruto University of Education), Mitsuhiro Nishimura (Naruto University of Education)
Abstract: We conducted a correlational study on various types of “higher-order” or mediated responding in adults. Twenty-six male and twenty-four female college students participated in this study as a part of their in-class psychology assignments. For the first session, the fluency of both basic skills and higher-order verbal behaviors were measured, such as writing numerals, single-digit multiplication, reading a newspaper article; describing how to use a stapler other than its usual usages (i.e., divergent thinking), defining behavior analysis terms, and identifying reasons for problems in everyday life (e.g., why many people do not vote) was measured. The participants were asked to increase their rate of defining terms between the first and the second sessions. A week later, on the second session, their fluency on defining terms and reasoning causes were measured again. Relatively high correlations were found between reasoning and defining terms, and between reasoning and divergent thinking. Lower correlations were found between divergent thinking and defining terms, and between other basic skills and higher-order thinking. The results indicate that teaching behavior analytic concepts to fluency alone may not be enough to produce fluent problem-solving thinking, and it may be helpful to add exercises for building fluency on divergent thinking.
141. Use of the Transitive Motivative Operation to Increase the Mand Repertoire of Children with Autism
Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Research
VINCENT JOSEPH CARBONE (Carbone Clinic), Kelly McCarthy (Carbone Clinic), Margaret Murdoch Hagerty (Carbone Clinic), Emily Sweeney (Carbone Clinic), Marietta Nel Janecky (Carbone Clinic), Danielle Draper (Carbone Clinic), Emily Pearson (Carbone Clinic), Zach Ikannda (Carbone Clinic)
Abstract: The mand is defined as a class of verbal responses controlled by the motivative operation and strengthened by a consequence specific to it. This repertoire is frequently weak and frequently not targeted for intervention with children with autism (Sundberg and Partington, 1998) despite the fact that it has been associated with a decrease in problem behavior, increase in communication skills and social initiations, (Charlop-Christy, 2002, Shafer, 1993). The contriving and capturing of motivative operations has been demonstrated to increase the mand repertoire in persons with developmental disabilities. (Sundberg, 1993, Sundberg and Michael, 2001, and Sundberg and Partington, 1998) Motivative operations may be contrived by controlling conditions of deprivation/ satiation and aversion or through the presentation of one stimulus that engenders reinforcing value to a second stimulus, e.g. transitive motivative operation (CEO-T). Only a few studies have used this type of independent variable to increase the mand repertoire (Carroll & Hesse, 1987; Hall & Sundberg, 1987; Sigafoos, Doss and Reichle, 1989; Sundberg, Loeb, Hale and Eigenheer, 2002; Sundberg & Partington, 1998). This study extends the research on the use of the transitive motivative operations with young children with autism by establishing chains of behavior that result in access to reinforcement for the participants. Subsequently, when completing the chain would again result in reinforcement an item was removed and the mand for it was taught. Within the context of a multiple baseline across participants mands were increased for all participants. Moreover, probes for generalization found reliable responding under novel conditions. Implications for teaching language skills to children with autism are discussed.
142. Acquisition of Mands by Children with Developmental Delays: An Evaluation of Sign Language and PECS Mand Training Procedures
Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Research
DARCI A. FISCHER (Hawthorne Country Day School), Kelly A. Hobbins (Hawthorne Country Day School), David Bicard (Hawthorne Country Day School)
Abstract: Two augmentative communication modalities, the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) and sign language, are frequently used with children with developmental disabilities. Three preschool children who failed to acquire vocal verbal imitation skills acquired a mand repertoire using a simultaneous approach, including PECS, sign language and speech. Training sessions involved presentations of preferred items, prompting and prompt fading procedures. The study examined spontaneous mands occurring in the academic setting and the differential use of each modality for each student. Generalization across settings was also measured. The results of the study suggest further research is needed to determine assessment procedures for determining optimal modalities for students with communication difficulties.



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