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.


First International Conference; Italy, 2001

Event Details

Previous Page


Symposium #21
Facilitating Receptive Language in Children with Autism and Problem-Solving in Normally Developing Children
Thursday, November 29, 2001
11:00 AM–11:50 AM
Palladian Refectory Hall
Area: EAB; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Marie Tieghi-Benet (University of Kansas)
Discussant: Irene Grote (University of Kansas)
Abstract: Techniques for facilitating skill acquisition are important assets for teaching language, or for the use of language for problem-solving at different levels of complexity. The first presentation demonstrates the use of fading techniques for teaching receptive language skills to children with autism to maximize their correct responding; the second paper addresses task-analytic teaching of self-instruction (SI) to normally developing children to produce complex problem-solving. The two presentations demonstrate the importance of generalization for testing the effectiveness of teaching. The first presenter demonstrates experimental control across multiple formats across reversals, and extension to novel stimuli; the second presenter shows task-analytically taught SI and the extent to which it can solve similar and dissimilar novel problems of increasing complexity. The second presenter then explores the conditions under which same stimuli of apparently same complexity, despite the same use of SI, evoke different strategies for problem-solving. The extent of both teachings invites examination of concept formation.
Teaching Receptive Language Discriminations to Children with Autism Utilizing Trial Expansion and Collapsing
KARA L. RIEDESEL (University of Kansas), Tom Holter (University of Kansas)
Abstract: The current study investigated the effects of trial expansion and systematic collapsing on successive full reversal discriminations in receptive language tasks with children with autism. This procedure was developed in order to systematically fade the number of trials between full reversal discriminations until the child responded correctly to successive full reversal discriminations. One child with autism demonstrated chance responding in a variety of successive full reversal receptive language discrimination tasks (i.e., 1-term adjective labels, 1-term preposition labels). In a multiple probe across skills design, trial expansion and systematic collapsing were manipulated across conditions. During baseline, successive full reversal discriminations were presented. Second, during the intervention, trials were expanded and systematically collapsed between the full reversal. Third, the generalization condition tested the child's responding under baseline conditions and with novel stimuli. Percent of correct responding increased for each of the three skills, from chance responding during baseline conditions to an average of 90% (range 80-100) responding during the trial expansion and systematic collapsing intervention. In addition, the child's responses generalized to baseline conditions in which back to back full reversals were presented with novel stimuli. Reliability across a variety of independent measures and dependent measures approximated 90%.
Teaching Generalized Compliance with Self-Instruction and Exploring Categorization Skills in Preschoolers
IRENE GROTE (University of Kansas)
Abstract: Self-instruction (SI) can be an important mediator of generalized cognitive functioning, and a skill it constantly involves, categorization, is one of the most important ingredients of intellectual competence. This paper evaluates the conditions under which 1) SI enhances intellectual competence in children and 2) children’s' differential categorization is selected by the instructional and physical dimensions of the research situation. Specifically, this paper explores whether we can 1) when SI occurs but fails to mediate correct problem-solving, remediate failures by teaching the skill of self-compliance with SI and 2) when SI occurs but fails to mediate correct sorting of compound stimuli, remediate failure with the same SI, but by presenting the same stimuli in component format. Four normally developing preschoolers solved perfectly twelve problems. Following task-analytic teaching of SI, including compliance with SI, for three problems, they demonstrated nine instances of generalized self-instructed problem-solving for recombinations and for novel stimuli. Two of these children experienced more complex problems and more complex instructions: After initial failure with compound stimulus dimensions, they showed successful problem-solving with the same but component dimensions. Similarly, after initial failure with naming these dimensions, five preschoolers showed near-perfect naming of component dimensions. Reliability for all measures averaged 95%.



Back to Top
Modifed by Eddie Soh