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 #352
CE Offered: BACB
Teaching Functional Skills to Adolescent and Adult Learners with Autism
Monday, May 25, 2009
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
North 126
Area: AUT/EDC; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Hannah E. Hoch (REED Academy)
Discussant: Peter F. Gerhardt (Organization for Autism Research)
CE Instructor: Michele R. Bishop, Ph.D.
Abstract: As individuals with autism approach adulthood, it becomes increasingly important to focus on skills that will promote social and vocational success. There is an ongoing need for the development of effective strategies that will enable these learners to learn the functional skills necessary to participate independently in community and vocational settings. In this symposium, 3 studies will be presented describing teaching procedures and instructional modifications geared towards increasing skills necessary for productive vocational performance and community integration for adolescents and adults with autism.
Teaching Adolescents with Autism to Mand for Materials During Vocational Tasks
KARISSA MASUICCA (Alpine Learning Group), Erin B. Richard (Alpine Learning Group), Hannah E. Hoch (REED Academy), Bridget A. Taylor (Alpine Learning Group)
Abstract: An important employment goal for individuals with autism is to utilize natural supports (e.g., coworkers) found at the job site. A necessary step in reaching that goal is to teach adolescent learners to approach job supervisors for assistance, such as when the learner does not have enough of a material to complete the assigned task. The purpose of this study was to investigate the use of an audio taped prompt to teach learners with autism to ask for more materials during vocational tasks. The participants were four adolescents with autism who attended a behaviorally-based school program for learners with autism. Graduated guidance was used to teach the participants to approach an adult. An audio taped stimulus was used to prompt learners to ask for more materials when the materials ran out while completing a vocational task. The audio taped prompt was eventually faded. A multiple baseline design was used across four learners. Results indicated that after intervention, learners were more likely to independently approach an adult and request assistance. Interobserver agreement data were collected during 30% of sessions and averaged over 90%. Results are discussed in terms of future research for increasing learners’ independence in job settings.
Increasing accuracy with vocational tasks: Using a stimulus prompt to teach numeral to quantity correspondence
ERIN B. RICHARD (Alpine Learning Group), Barbara Hoffmann (Alpine Learning Group), Melissa Kahn (Alpine Learning Group), Caroline Elizabeth LaMere (Alpine Leaning Group), Bridget A. Taylor (Alpine Learning Group)
Abstract: Adolescents with autism may have limited opportunities for vocational activities due to the lack of prerequisites of certain academic skills. For example, an inability to match quantity to numeral can prohibit a learner from participating in tasks that require him to attend to amounts of items (e.g., restocking supplies). A reversal design was used to investigate the use of a tally counter as a stimulus prompt to teach three adolescents with autism to match quantity to numeral when getting a designated number of items during vocational tasks. During baseline, each learner was presented with a box of items (e.g., spoons), a numeral card, and an instruction to get the amount and place the items in a bin. During intervention, learners used a tally counter to “mark” each item as they placed it in the bin, and continue until the number on the tally counter matched the number on the card. Results indicated that use of the tally counter enabled participants to accurately match quantities to larger numerals when completing vocational tasks.
The Effect of Rate Building of Component Fine Motor Skills on Productivity on the Job Site
MARLENE COHEN (Rutgers University - DDDC), Christopher Manente (Rutgers University, DDDC)
Abstract: Adults with autism are entitled to a productive life. This includes the right to employment in the community. This paper will examine the effects of fine motor skill rate building on task completion durations in a community job site. The effects on three employment tasks (wiping tables, setting tables, and sweeping floor) will be demonstrated. Conclusions and implications for future research will also be discussed.



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