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

Previous Page


Symposium #78
CE Offered: BACB
The Role of Technology and the Development of Play in Young Children with Autism
Saturday, May 28, 2005
4:00 PM–5:20 PM
Continental B (1st floor)
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Rebecca P. F. MacDonald (New England Center for Children)
Discussant: Mary Jane Weiss (Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey)
CE Instructor: Rebecca P. F. MacDonald, Ph.D.

Play is an important part of a typical childs development and contributes to the acquisition of language and social interaction skills. Children with autism often do not develop play skills. Behavior analysts have been examining strategies for developing normalized play in children with autism for the past two decades. Modeling, prompting, and use of typical peer role models are just a few of the strategies in the literature. Most recently, video modeling has been used to teach a variety of skills, including play to children with autism. The purpose of this symposium is to present data on effective strategies for promoting play in children with autism, as well as, an overview of procedures involving technology to teach children with autism.

Strategies for Expanding Pretend Play in Children with Autism using Video Modeling
REBECCA P. F. MACDONALD (New England Center for Children), Sally N. Roberts (New England Center for Children), Shelly R. Cota (New England Center for Children), Kristine Wiltz (New England Center for Children)
Abstract: Video modeling has been demonstrated to be an effective procedure to teach a variety of skills, including pretend play. We will review several studies that we have conducted demonstrating the effectiveness of video modeling teaching procedures to teach independent pretend play to children with autism, as well as to teach cooperative play between children with autism and typically developing peers. In addition, we will present data from our most recent work, teaching children to expand on the scripted play using video modeling. Using a strategy that involves introducing scripted loops into the video models scripts and presenting extra toys that could be used in these loops, we found that children expand on the scripted play observed in the video. We will discuss these findings as they relate to the development of pretend play in children with autism.
The Effects of Choice-Making on Appropriate Play Behavior in an Integrated Preschool Classroom
ILENE S. SCHWARTZ (University of Washington), Bonnie J. McBride (University of Washington), Mark J. Larson (University of Washington)
Abstract: Three preschool children with autism participated in this study during free choice in their integrated preschool classrooms. The purpose of the study was to determine if providing children with choice of activity would be sufficient to increase their engagement during free choice time. The research questions were: 1.Is presenting children with autism a clear, 2-option choice sufficient to affect the rate of engagement during free play in an integrated classroom? 2. If not, does adding a short, but intense period of prompting affect engagement.The results of this study demonstrate that choice alone was not effective in increasing engagement for children with autism. The results also indicate that when choice was accompanied by a brief, but intense period of prompting the rate of engagement for all three children increased to levels similar to that of nondisabled children in the classroom
Use of Technology in Interventions for Children with Autism
TINA R. GOLDSMITH (Western Michigan University), Linda A. LeBlanc (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: A growing number of studies have investigated diverse applications of technology-based interventions with children with autism. The purpose of this paper is to review the growing empirical support for the efficacy of technology-based interventions with children with autism and to recommend future directions for research. This review will focus on five examples of technology introduced as a temporary instructional aid to be removed once the goal of behavior change has been met: (a) tactile and auditory prompting devices, (b) video-based instruction and feedback, (c) computer-aided instruction, (d) virtual reality, and (e) robotics. Future directions for research and practice with each technology are discussed.



Back to Top
Modifed by Eddie Soh