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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Paper Session #82
Improving Instructional Practices for Students with Autism and Developmental Disabilities
Saturday, May 28, 2005
4:30 PM–5:20 PM
Williford C (3rd floor)
Area: EDC
Chair: Jesse W. Johnson (East Tennessee State University)
Most-to-Least, Least-to-Most and Delayed Prompting in the Acquisition of Chained Tasks
Domain: Applied Research
JULIE S. WEISS (New England Center for Children), Myrna E. Libby (New England Center for Children)
Abstract: Two participants diagnosed with autism were taught to put together three 10-step chains of Lego blocks using a parallel treatments design comparing least-to-most, most-to-least, and most-to-least with a fixed delay prompting hierarchies. In all cases, a forward chaining procedure was used. For both participants, most-to-least prompting with fixed delay resulted in acquisition nearly as efficient as least-to-most prompting with significantly fewer errors. Both of these prompting procedures produced faster acquisition than most-to-least prompting, which resulted in errors comparable to most-to-least with delay. These results were replicated for both participants. Following acquisition, generalization was observed across a novel teacher and in a different testing environment for both participants. Inter-observer agreement and procedural integrity were taken in 33% of sessions and averaged 90% or higher.
Supporting Students with Moderate and Severe Disabilities in General Education Classes Using Embedded Instruction: A Summary of Research Findings
Domain: Applied Research
JESSE W. JOHNSON (East Tennessee State University), John J. McDonnell (University of Utah)
Abstract: Embedded instruction is a set of instructional strategies that capitalize on opportunities to teach critical skills to students with moderate and severe disabilities in the context of naturally occurring routines (Brown, Evans, Weed, & Owen, 1987; Ford et al, 1989). This presentation summarizes the results of eight studies focused on examining the utility of embedded instruction in supporting students with moderate and severe disabilities in general education settings. Three initial studies utilized a multiple baseline across behaviors design to assess the effectiveness of embedded instruction implemented by general education teachers and paraprofessionals in the context of ongoing instructional routines (McDonnell, Johnson, Polychronis, & Riesen, 2002; Johnson & McDonnell, 2004; Johnson, McDonnell, Holzwarth, & Hunter, 2004). Three additional studies utilized an adapted alternating treatments design to compare the effectiveness of different response prompting strategies when used by paraprofessionals and general educators to embed instruction in general education classes. Johnson, McDonnell, & Holzwarth (2004) compared system-of-least-prompts and constant time-delay, Riesen, McDonnell, Johnson, Polychronis, & Jameson (2003) compared constant time-delay and simultaneous prompting, and Johnson, McDonnell, & Holzwarth, and Berry (2004) compared system-of-most-prompts and constant time-delay. Two additional studies were conducted to assess the effect of the distribution of instructional trails across time (Polychronis, McDonnell, Johnson, Riesen, & Jameson, 2004) and to compare the relative effectiveness of embedded instruction delivered in one-to-one instruction to traditional small group instruction delivered in special education classrooms (McDonnell, Johnson, Polychronis, Jameson, & Kercher, 2004). The results of all eight studies showed that 1) embedded instruction can be implemented successfully by general educator and paraprofessionals, and 2) embedded instruction procedures are effective in teaching targeted skills to students with moderate and severe disabilities in general education class rooms. The implications of these studies for providing effective instruction to students with disabilities in general education settings will be discussed.



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