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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Symposium #46
CE Offered: BACB
Future Directions in Incorporating Fluency-Based Instruction into ABA Intervention for Older Learners with Autism
Saturday, May 28, 2005
2:30 PM–3:50 PM
Continental B (1st floor)
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Sandra L. Harris (Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey)
Discussant: Robert LaRue (Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey)
CE Instructor: Mary Jane Weiss, Ph.D.

The Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center has been in the process of incorporating fluency-based instruction for learners with autism over the past few years. The papers will address an overview of the research outcomes compiled over a two-year period, implications related to quality of life, and the use of these data to direct future research for adolescents and adults with autism. The first paper will review the results of preliminary single-subject studies with one adolescent and two adults with autism. Data will be presented on the acquisition of fluency targets and the generalized effects of this type of instruction. The paper will also include reliability data and procedural integrity measures on 20% of instructional sessions for all three studies. The second paper will focus on the collateral effects of fluency-based instruction on quality of life indicators for the three subjects used in the preliminary research reviewed in the first paper. The third paper will discuss the overall implications for future research in fluency-based instruction for older learners with autism. A review of the conclusions based on preliminary research in light of the most efficient approach to this type of instruction and the most widespread generalized effects will be detailed.

Establishing the Effect of Fluency-Based Instruction in Adolescents and Adults with Autism: A Review of Three Single-Subject Studies
MARLENE COHEN (Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey), Donna L. Sloan (Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey)
Abstract: Many learners with developmental disabilities may demonstrate challenging behavior in a number of contexts. Challenging behavior that occurs during the completion of vocational tasks may significantly impact employment prospects for an adolescent or adult with autism. Fluency-based instruction is documented to be effective in building fine motor component skills to fluent rates across learners of various age and skill levels. In order to establish the effects of fluency-based instruction with regard to rates of challenging behavior and the development of skills necessary for increased independence, three single-subject studies were conducted using an A-B design with replications. The papers will address an overview of the research outcomes compiled over a two-year period and the evaluation of generalized effects of such instruction.
Quality of Life Indicators Associated with Fluency-Based Instruction for Older Learners with Autism: Some Possible Collateral Effects
DONNA L. SLOAN (Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey), Marlene Cohen (Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey)
Abstract: In the field of Applied Behavior Analysis, intermediate and ultimate goals should be selected with regard to quality of life issues. When establishing and implementing these goals, professionals should keep in mind the associated positive effects on the person as well as their caregivers. While these principles guide our practice, we frequently do not conduct direct measurement of quality of life indicators. One presumed effect of fluency-based instruction on three older learners with autism is that positive affect was increased as a result of instruction. This paper will review quality of life measurement outcomes for three subjects collected through ratings of randomly presented video clips by independent observers. The method of data collection and the results will be detailed.
Guidelines for Future Research in Fluency-Based Instruction with Older Learners: Conclusions Drawn from Preliminary Research
MARLENE COHEN (Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey), Donna L. Sloan (Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey)
Abstract: Preliminary fluency research indicates the utility of placing emphasis on the instruction of component skills and adduction to composite skills as well as the reduction of response effort and the decrease in challenging behavior. This provides valuable information for professionals as a future direction for working with older learners with autism. Conclusions drawn from this research were compiled to make inferences with regard to common skill deficits and the corresponding cumulative impact on learning, selection of research design, selection of targets for fluency, meaningful measures of progress, and the generality and maintenance of fluency-based instruction. Initial findings from ongoing research will also be discussed.



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