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.


Third Annual Autism Conference; Jacksonville, FL; 2009

Event Details

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Invited Paper Session #3
CE Offered: PSY/BACB

Fostering Independent Performance Skills in Young Children with Autism

Saturday, February 7, 2009
8:15 AM–9:15 AM
Grand Ballroom
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
CE Instructor: Diane M. Sainato, Ph.D.
Chair: William L. Heward (The Ohio State University)
DIANE M. SAINATO (The Ohio State University)
Dr. Diane M. Sainato is Associate Professor at The Ohio State University. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh in special education. Dr. Sainato is a member of the Special Education faculty at The Ohio State University where she teaches courses in early childhood special education and applied behavior analysis. Dr. Sainato's research interests are the development and implementation of classroom based interventions for young children with autism and developmental disabilities. Dr. Sainato has served as Principal Investigator or Co-Investigator on several research or professional development projects including the Professional Development in Autism Center. Dr. Sainato is Principal Investigator of Project TASK: Transition for Students with Autism to School from Kindergarten, a model demonstration project funded to design, implement, and evaluate an inclusive kindergarten program for children with autism and their peers. She is currently a member of the editorial boards of the Journal of Early Childhood Special Education, Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, and Education and Treatment of Children. Dr. Sainato was a recipient of The Ohio State University's Alumni Distinguished Teaching Award.

Behavior analysts have been successful in teaching young children with autism language, social, and adaptive behavior skills under specialized conditions. However, we should continue to focus our efforts on helping children to perform these skills independently across settings with various behavior demands. Many young children with autism spectrum disorders are being included in public school settings with various levels of adult support. Often children with autism are removed from the classroom for specialized instruction. If children are absent from ongoing classroom activities, this may preclude them from experiencing many social and educational opportunities. When children with autism are able to perform more skills independently, including working or playing in groups, making transitions within and across activity settings and participating in inclusive educational settings, they may be more likely to encounter natural communities of reinforcement. This presentation will focus on empirically validated strategies for teaching young children with autism independent performance skills.




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