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 #160
CE Offered: BACB
Applications for Court Involved Youth and High School Students with Learning Disabilities
Sunday, May 29, 2005
10:30 AM–11:50 AM
Williford B (3rd floor)
Area: EDC; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Diane Raymond (Simmons College)
Discussant: Michael J. Cameron (Simmons College)
CE Instructor: Susan Ainsleigh, Ed.D.

The purpose of this session is to demonstrate how the principles of applied behavior analysis can use used to effectively assess and treat individuals that are rarely represented in the extant literature. The first paper demonstrates how a modification in functional assessment procedures can result in the successful assessment of truant adolescents. The second paper demonstrates the relevance of a constructionalist approach for teaching critical content areas (e.g., math) to high school students with learning disabilities. And the final paper demonstrates how a word-picture association method was used to teach high school students with dyslexia to prepare for the Scholastic Aptitude Test.

Functional Assessment of Truant Behavior
TERRELL THEODULE (Simmons College), Michael J. Cameron (Simmons College)
Abstract: The majority of functional assessment guides available to behavioranalysts have been designed to develop a hypothesis about themotivating variables maintaining the aberrant behavior of people with developmental disabilities. Although these tools are valuable, they do notprovide guidance to behavior analysts who work with a substantially different population, such as adolescents under the care of the Departmentof Social Services (DSS) who has protracted truancy problems. The purpose of this presentation is to demonstrate how functional assessment procedures can be modified to extract critical information surrounding the issues of urban youth. The results from a modified functional assessment will be presented and a hypothesis-driven intervention will be reviewed.
Constructionalism: A Behavior Analytic Approach to Teaching High School Students
ROBERT DASILVA (Simmons College), Michael J. Cameron (Simmons College)
Abstract: Behavior analysts have been criticized for not demonstrating how behavioral principles can be applied in public school classrooms with non-disabled individuals. In fact, some authors have indicated that both typical and gifted students require a educational approach appreciably different from a behavior analytic approach to education. The purpose of this presentation is to demonstrate how a behavior analytic “constructionalist” approach can be used to teach high school students mathematics and on-task behavior.
Word-Picture Associations for Teaching Vocabulary Skills to High School Students with Dyslexia
CHRISTINE SPIGNESI (Simmons College), Michael J. Cameron (Simmons College), Susan Ainsleigh (Simmons College)
Abstract: The traditional approach for teaching vocabulary skills to high school students is the “find and define” method. This involves a high school student finding a word in a dictionary and then defining its meaning. Unfortunately, this method does not always work, especially when a student has a disability such as dyslexia. An alternative teaching method requires the teacher to pair pictures with vocabulary words. This method has been proven to be effective because pictures can serve as a thematic prompt during recall tests. The purpose of this study was to demonstrate, via an alternating treatments design the superiority of a word-picture association task for teaching vocabulary skills to high school students with dyslexia.



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