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.


35th Annual Convention; Phoenix, AZ; 2009

Event Details

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Symposium #178
Research on Developmental Interventions: Advancing Listener and Speaker Capabilities in Students with Developmental Disabilities.
Sunday, May 24, 2009
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
North 127
Area: VRB/TBA; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: JoAnn Pereira Delgado (The Fred S. Keller School)
Abstract: A series of papers will be presented on research based protocols and tactics that functioned to induced listener and speaker capabilities in students with developmental disabilities. The first two papers tested the effects of two specific early developmental interventions (conjugate reinforcement for observing faces and auditory matching) on early observing and listener responses. In the third paper, the authors implemented an intensive tact procedure to increase the number of independent vocal verbal behavior emitted by students in the non-instructional setting. The final paper tested the effects of physical contact as an establishing operation on students’ correct responding and stereotypy. All of the studies demonstrated a functional relationship between the intervention and an increase in the number of objectives achieved by students and overall correct responding. Additionally, the interventions provided a means of advancing the students to higher levels of verbal development.
Conditioning Reinforcement for Eye Contact on Rate and the Acquisition of Learning Tasks
Dolleen-Day Keohane (Columbia University Teachers College & CABAS), R. Douglas Greer (Columbia University Teacher's College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences), JACQUELINE MAFFEI-LEWIS (Columbia University Teachers College)
Abstract: The experimenters tested the application of conjugate reinforcement during eye contact programs and changes in the numbers of objectives met and learn units to criterion across verbal behavior, listener, speaker, and all programs. Conjugate reinforcement can be defined as continuous reinforcement contingent upon the target behavior. The design of this study was a multiple probe design with a time delay across children and behaviors. The participants in this study were three five year old males, one eight year old male, and one four year old male who were diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders or developmental disabilities. The dependent variables of this study was the learn units to criterion across listener programs, speaker programs, and across all programs. The independent variable was the acquisition of face/voices as conditioned reinforcement for visual observing. The results showed that conjugate reinforcement with touch and without touch was an effective procedure to increase eye contact, and subsequently decreased the learn units to criterion and increased objectives met.
The Effects of an Auditory Matching Procedure on Listener Responding in Students with Autism
R. Douglas Greer (Columbia University Teacher's College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences), VICTORIA STERKIN (Teachers College Columbia Univ.)
Abstract: Using a delayed multiple probe across behaviors and participants design, we tested the effects of the auditory matching procedure on listener responses. Four students diagnosed with autism between the ages of five and six were participants in the study. Prior to the study, the learn unit was used to teach discrimination of two-dimensional stimuli; however, learn units to criterion was very high. As a replication of Speckman-Collins, Park, & Greer (2007), it was hypothesized that as the discrimination of target and non-exemplar auditory stimuli increased in difficulty (ex: words with similar phonemes) listener responding would increase and the listener half of naming would emerge. Following the implementation of the auditory matching procedure with words with similar phonemes learn units to criterion decreased for all students, and the listener half of naming emerged.
The Effects of Daily Intensive Tact Instruction on Increase in Spontaneous Speech in Non-Instructional Settings
R. Douglas Greer (Columbia University Teacher's College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences), LIN DU (Teachers College, Columbia University)
Abstract: We replicated a study by Pistoljevic & Greer (2006) to determine the effects of an intensive tact training procedure on the numbers of pure tacts, mands, sequilics, and conversational units emitted by three students in non-instructional settings. All participants were diagnosed with developmental disabilities and functioned at the listener/speaker level of verbal behavior. Five-minute probes were conducted in three non-instructional settings: the toy area, the table during snack or play, and the hallway. The tact training procedure consisted of increasing the daily learn units presented to teach student by100 tact learn units. The results showed a functional relationship between the tact training and an increase in the number of pure tacts, mands, sequilics, and conversational units emitted by participants in the non-instructional settings.
The Effects of Pre-session Reinforcement on Correct Responding, Independent Mand, and Stereotypy of Two Elementary School Students
R. Douglas Greer (Columbia University Teacher's College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences), JINHYEOK CHOI (Teachers College, Columbia University), Jennifer Longano (Teachers College Columbia University), Lisa Gold (Teachers College, Columbia University)
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to replicate the findings of Park, Delgado and Choi (2008), where we tested the effects of pre-session reinforcement as an establishing operation to increase students’ correct responses to learn unit presentations. We also tested the effects on the number of independent mands and stereotypy. The participants were six and seven year old male students diagnosed with autism who attended a self-contained classroom that employed the CABAS® system of education. We employed a multi-element design (alternating treatment followed by an AB design). The independent variable included the instructor providing playful physical contact to the student every ten learn units. The results showed that playful physical contact was effective in increasing correct responses and the number of independent mands. Furthermore, the results showed that the participants’ stereotypy decreased as a result of the establishing operation, in which playful physical contact served as a reinforcer.



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