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

Workshop Details

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Workshop #W9
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention and Relational Frame Theory
Friday, May 27, 2005
10:00 AM–5:00 PM
Continental B (1st floor)
Area: CSE; Domain: Applied Research
CE Instructor: Ian T. Stewart, Ph.D.
JOHN D. MCELWEE (Step By Step Academy), IAN T. STEWART (National University of Ireland, Galway), ERIC J. FOX (Arizona State University)
Description: Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention (EIBI) is an effective behavior analysis based approach to remediation of deficits for Autistic Spectral Disorder (ASD) where communication is the core deficit. Relational Frame Theory (RFT) is a modern behaviour analytic approach to human language and cognition, which extends Skinners analysis of verbal behavior by conceptualizing language as generalized relational responding, thus providing new directions for behavioral research and intervention. The purpose of this workshop is to demonstrate how insights and procedures generated by the RFT approach might be applied in the EIBI domain. The first part of the workshop will involve defining and explaining the core concepts of RFT. It will explain the history that gives rise to the core generalized operant of arbitrary relational responding or relational framing and outline the defining properties of this operant, as well as providing research evidence of the link between arbitrary relational responding and language. It will explain how the analysis of verbal behavior in terms of relational framing can explain the extraordinary generativity characterizing language and will outline findings from RFT-based work that has used laboratory generated relational framing to model a diversity of linguistic and higher cognitive skills, with particular emphasis on those most obviously relevant to EIBI such as derived naming, hierarchical relational responding and perspective taking. Finally, this initial portion of the workshop will examine existing EIBI curricula and show how core training protocols might be reinterpreted and extended using Relational Frame Theory, putting particular emphasis on the importance of the RFT-based concepts of multiple exemplar training, contextual control and derived relational performance outcomes. The second part of the workshop will examine how RFT may be combined with the area of Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention to provide a comprehensive framework for teaching relational framing beginning with basic conditional discriminations and progressing through various stages of non-arbitrary and arbitrary relational responding. Starting with simple non-arbitrary auditory and visual identity matching, the framework will progressively target auditory-to-visual matching-to-sample, mutually entailed sound-object/object-sound relations, contextually controlled (SAME versus DIFFERENT) non-arbitrary visual and auditory matching, flexibility of contextual control and combinatorial entailment. This half of the workshop will involve greater participation by the audience than the first. The audience will be divided into groups and guided in key features of the implementation of successive stages of the framework.
Learning Objectives: At the completion of the workshop, participants will be able to: - Understand how RFT approaches language. - Understand key theoretical concepts of RFT. - Be familiar with several of the areas of the RFT empirical research programs that are relevant to Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention. - Understand core principles of RFT as they apply in the arena of early intensive intervention . - Understand and use techniques designed to train relational framing from a basic level. - Be knowledgeable with how existing EIBI curricula and core training protocols might be reinterpreted and extended using Relational Frame Theory. - Implement a short Relational Frame based training protocol in an EIBI context.
Activities: Didactic instruction, small group work, and brief exercises will be utilized.
Audience: Therapists with expertise in the analysis of verbal behavior and the implementation of EIBI programs that are interested in applying principles of Relational Frame Theory in the EIBI domain.
Content Area: Practice
Instruction Level: Basic



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