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 #W79
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
An In-Depth Look at Prompting and Other Strategies for Teaching Cognitive Skills to Children with Autism
Saturday, May 28, 2005
8:00 AM–11:00 AM
Lake Ontario (8th floor)
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
CE Instructor: John McEachin, Ph.D.
JOHN MCEACHIN (Autism Partnership), DORIS SOLUAGA (Autism Partnership)
Description: To obtain best outcomes for children with autism it is necessary to identify and develop teaching strategies that enable children with profound learning difficulties to master a body of knowledge that comes easily to typically developing children. Prompting and systematic prompt fading are among the most widely used strategies for enabling children with autism to learn important concepts. There are a number of different methods of selecting prompts and planning for the reduction of prompts which have been demonstrated to be effective. Unfortunately, in the research literature there are very few head-to-head comparisons of various prompting strategies. There is, however, a clearly defined body of knowledge that provides us with general principles from which a systematic, but flexible approach can be derived which serves as a sensible starting point for developing teaching strategies. This workshop will describe the advantages and disadvantages of various approaches in widespread use and to provide a conceptual framework for understanding what we are actually doing when we use prompts. We will look at prompts that occur prior to the SD, simultaneously with the SD, and after a delay. We will also discuss strategies for teaching concepts that do not rely on prompts as traditionally conceptualized, but rather rely on arranging a sequence of learning tasks that lead the student to discovery of the the concept being taught.
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the workshop, the participant will be able to: - Recognize important differences between simple discriminations and conditional discriminations and select appropriate teaching strategies accordingly. - Identify advantages and disadvantages of pure trial and error learning vs. errorless learning and considerations for deciding what point to aim for along the high error - low error continuum. - Identify the main sources of possible inadvertent prompts that need to be controlled when conducting discrete trial teaching and methods for eliminating them. - Choose prompting strategies that not only facilitate correct responding, but lead the student to meaningful understanding of the concept being taught.
Activities: Lecture, discussion, video, role play
Audience: Individuals who use discrete trial teaching to increase cognitive skills of children with autism and related disorders and those who provide supervision and training.
Content Area: Practice
Instruction Level: Intermediate



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