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 #150
Using Precision Teaching to Assess Acquisition, Application and Retention of Skills in Children with Autism
Sunday, May 29, 2005
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
Continental C (1st floor)
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Gwen Dwiggins (The Ohio State University)
Discussant: Paul Malanga (University of South Dakota)
Abstract: Three data-based papers will be presented using precision teaching to assess the effects of fluency-based instruction on the acquisition, application and retention of academic skills in young children with autism. The effects of single and multiple learning channels on sight word acquisition and generalization will be examined for two children with autism. The effects of percent correct mastery and mastery to fluent aim ranges of receptive commands will be presented. Reading skills will be investigated, looking at the effects of teaching segmenting and blending skills to fluency on the application to reading novel prose passages.
Assessing the Effects of Single and Multiple Learning Channels on the Acquisition and Generalization of Sight Words
GWEN DWIGGINS (The Ohio State University), Timothy E. Heron (The Ohio State University), Pamela G. Osnes (The Ohio State University)
Abstract: This study investigated the effects the teaching of sight words in single and multiple learning channels on two young children with autism. Acquisition and, generalization of these skills were assessed. Haughton (1997) explored learning channels by creating a matrix of possible input and outputs. Learning channels take in to account both the presentation mode of instruction and the mode of responding on the part of the learner. Typically skills are taught single learning channels and then combined with similar skills that have also been taught through a single channel Participants engaged in daily practices of skills in either single or multiple channel conditions and then were timed for 1- minute to assess rate. Acquisition assessments were given at the end of each session. Pre-and post-tests were given to assess generalization across skills on untrained learning channels. Results showed acquisition of sight words was achieved for both participants. Generalization to untrained channels was demonstrated, but differed in degree across channel presentation.
Teaching Ben for Good: Implementing Fluency-Based Instruction and Precision Teaching to Assess Retention of Receptive Commands
LIBBY SPRINGMEYER (St. Cloud State University), Gwen Dwiggins (The Ohio State University)
Abstract: The relative effects of fluency-based instruction mastery criteria on skill acquisition and retention compared with percentage correct mastery criteria were investigated. Lindsley (1990) discussed concerns with percent correct only data, regarding the potential to produce accurate but slow performers. Binder (1993) discussed the importance of fluency as defined by accuracy plus speed, in producing an outcome measure of retention. Data were obtained on one child with autism looking at rate of responding to receptive commands, prior to intervention, where only percent correct criteria mastery had been achieved. Fluency-based instruction was then implemented with mastery criteria set at a pre-determined frequency aim range. Once fluency was met, post-intervention, data were collected on rate of responding for retention probes obtained at one, three and six months periods to assess maintenance of skills. Results and future recommendations for research will be discussed.
Beyond Sight Reading: Assessing Reading Skills as a Measure of Application of Fluent Decoding Skills
NICHOL M. MOREY (The Center for Cognitive and Behavioral Therapy of Greater Columbus, Inc.), Gwen Dwiggins (The Center for Cognitive and Behavioral Therapy of Greater Columbus, Inc.)
Abstract: The effects of developing segmenting and blending skills of CVC and CVCE combinations to fluent levels on reading novel passages was investigated. Application is one of the major outcomes of fluency building (Haughton, 1972). One young child with autism served as the participant for this study. Pre-test measures were obtained by collecting baseline data on reading novel prose in a one-minute timing. Segmenting and blending of CVC and CVCE combinations were then implemented and taught to fluent levels. Weekly one-minute probes were assessed on reading novel passages from the beginning of intervention to the achievement of fluent aims with segmenting and blending skills. Additionally, for social validity, the Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBLES) was administered pre- and post-intervention to measure improvements on a standardized achievement test. Results and suggestions for further investigation will be presented.



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