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 #52
Improving the Social Competence of Children with Autism
Thursday, November 29, 2001
3:00 PM–3:50 PM
Little Theatre Hall
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Angeliki Gena (University of Athens, Greece)
Discussant: Nicholas Kyparissos (Private Practice)
Abstract: The social and school inclusion and adjustment of children with autism is affected predominantly by deficits in the social domain. This symposium addresses specifically such deficits and intervention strategies that may contribute to the improvement of social skills. The first investigation documents the effectiveness of verbal and physical prompting in conjunction with verbal praise, provided by a shadow teacher, in teaching a girl with autism to remain on task, to make social initiations, and to respond appropriately when addressed by her peers. The improvement of the affective responding of three preschoolers with autism using various prompting and reinforcement strategies and generalization of the treatment gains was demonstrated in the second investigation.
Improving the Attending and Social Skills of a Girl with Autism during Inclusion in Kindergarten
ELEANA LOGOTHETIS (Athenian Center for Child Developmental and Education), Angeliki Gena (University of Athens, Greece)
Abstract: The goals set in the present study for the inclusion of a girl with autism in Kindergarten were based on prior research findings regarding both normative data and the assessment of the needs of children with autism who were included in regular Kindergarten settings in Athens, Greece. Those findings have clearly indicated that children with autism who attend regular Kindergarten lag behind in several areas, such as taking the initiative to interact with their peers and to respond to their peers' attempts for communication, as well as attending to the tasks presented by the teacher. Such deficits impede both the academic as well as the social advancement of children with autism. The purpose of the present study was to help a girl with autism, who was mainstreamed in Kindergarten, to develop a repertoire that would advance both her social adjustment and her availability for learning. The findings of this case study are very encouraging as they demonstrate a progressive improvement in all target areas, specifically: "on-task behavior", "social initiations to peers", and "responding to peer initiations", when provided with a systematic intervention (I.e., verbal and physical prompting, and verbal praise) delivered by a shadow teacher. Interobserver reliability measures were collected on 33% of the data.
Modifying the Affective Behavior of Preschoolers with Autism Using reinforcement Contingencies, In-Vivo Modeling and Video Modeling
SOPHIA COULOURA (Long Island University at C.W.), Angeliki Gena (University of Athens, Greece), Effie Kymissis (Long Island University at C.W.)
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to modify the affective behavior of three preschoolers with autism in home settings and in the context of play activities, and to compare the effects of video modeling to the effects of in-vivo modeling in teaching these children contextually appropriate affective responses. A multiple- baseline design across subjects with a return to baseline condition was used to assess the effects of treatment that consisted of reinforcement, video modeling, in- vivo modeling, and prompting. During training trials, reinforcement in the form of verbal praise and tokens was delivered contingent upon appropriate affective responding. Error correction procedures differed for each treatment condition. In the in-vivo modeling treatment condition, video segments of a peer modeling the correct response and verbal prompting by the therapist were used as corrective procedures. Participants received treatment in the three response categories - sympathy, appreciation, disapproval - and were presented with a total of 140 different scenarios. The study demonstrated that both treatments - video modeling and in-vivo modeling - systematically increased appropriate affective responding in all the response categories for the three participants. Additionally, treatment effects generalized across responses to untrained scenarios, the child's mother, new therapists, and time.



Back to Top
Modifed by Eddie Soh