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 #135
CE Offered: BACB
Broadening Perspectives on Social Skills for Children with Autism: School, Family and Community
Sunday, May 29, 2005
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
Continental A (1st floor)
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Stephanie Lockshin (Institute for Child Development)
Discussant: Stephanie Lockshin (Institute for Child Development)
CE Instructor: Stephanie Lockshin, Ph.D.

Social impairment is one of the core deficits in autism. As such, much time is spent developing interventions to address social skills for children with autism. However, there can be a tendency to view socials skills from a narrow perspective of simply teaching greetings and simple games within the school environment. While these skills are useful, social behavior permeates all facets of a students life. As such, the importance of targeting social skills in the broader context of school, family and community must not be overlooked. Social skills instruction needs to be incorporated into every aspect of the curriculum. The current symposium presents some novel methods of integrating social skills instruction into everyday classroom routines, and emphasizes the importance of teaching skills at school that enhance participation in family and community activities.

Targeting Family- and Community-Friendly Social Skills: Social Skills at the Movies
ROSE F. EAGLE (Institute for Child Development, Binghamton University), Emily Huber (Institute for Child Development, Binghamton University), Sara White (State University of New York, Binghamton), Stephanie Lockshin (Institute for Child Development, Binghamton University)
Abstract: The current presentation describes an intervention conducted with at the Institute for Child Development at Binghamton University and provides some preliminary data on the effectiveness of the program. The intervention is an example of our model of partnership between the school program and families, wherein specific family-friendly skills are taught in school and generalized to home and community settings. The intervention was focused on decreasing maladaptive behaviors and increasing appropriate movie-watching behaviors in a simulated movie theater environment. A token economy system was developed for each child. Target behaviors for the token economy included sitting quietly and remaining seated. In addition, related movie-watching skills were addressed, including buying snacks and discussing the movie. Participant data indicate that the intervention may be effective in reducing maladaptive behaviors during movie-watching. In addition, data suggest that the program may be effective in promoting movie-related conversation, and collateral social initiations. This intervention is currently in progress. Future assessment will focus on the effectiveness of the program in the criterion environment (e.g. community movie theaters).
Programming for Social Behaviors in the Home Environment for Children with Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities
STEPHANIE LOCKSHIN (Institute for Child Development, Binghamton University)
Abstract: Our model of partnership between home and school emphasizes the importance of teaching social behaviors in the school environment and assisting parents in generalizing these skills to the home. The first step in this process involves discussion with family members to determine their needs and priorities regarding their child’s social development. Second, the family’s needs should be taken into consideration when selecting social and communication goals for the child. Areas frequently addressed include: leisure skills, self-control, social awareness, social communication, and social tolerance. Examples are given of specific interventions developed at our program that highlight collaboration between home and school.
Incorporating the Instruction of Social and Communication Skills into an Everyday Classroom Activity
EMILY HUBER (Institute for Child Development, Binghamton University), Rose F. Eagle (Institute for Child Development, Binghamton University), Tammy Hammond Natof (AMAC), Stephanie Lockshin (Institute for Child Development, Binghamton University)
Abstract: Social skills instruction is an important component of the curriculum for children with developmental disabilities. Educational providers and psychological professionals face the challenge of integrating the instruction of social skills naturally into the classroom environment. Social skills instructional contexts that are frequently overlooked include snack and mealtimes. Snack and mealtimes are often used to teach adaptive skills (such as using utensils). However, they also provide a natural context for teaching the appropriate use of social skills. The current presentation describes an intervention that was focused on changing a previously unstructured classroom activity (snack time) into an opportunity to practice social communication with peers, including greeting, inviting, requesting, and saying “thank you.” Preliminary data suggest that the intervention is successful in teaching preschool children with developmental delays social communicative behaviors such as greeting and requesting, as well as increasing collateral social interaction. Future directions for the intervention include generalizing the program to the home environment through parent training.



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