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

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Symposium #101
Using Naturalistic Teaching Strategies (NaTS) to Teach Speech to Children with Autism
Friday, November 30, 2001
2:00 PM–2:50 PM
Little Theatre Hall
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Marjorie H. Charlop (Claremont McKenna College)
Abstract: The present symposium reviews three promising procedures for teaching speech to children with autism: Natural Language Paradigm, Speech/Play Enhancement for Autistic Kids, and Time Delay. These training procedures are called Naturalistic Teaching Strategies (NaTS) because the incorporate components and strategies known to facilitate acquisition, generalization, and maintenance of new behaviors. These components include motivation, functional relationships, and facilitators of generalization and are briefly defined and discussed in relation to the four teaching procedures. All of the procedures and findings are data-based and can be used in a variety of settings, such as classroom, playground, home, and community settings. The symposium begins with a historical perspective of behavioral speech/language training and the need for NaTS followed by the specific NaTS procedures, and concludes with a discussion of the merits of NaTS and their importance in the treatment of children with autism.
Historical Perspective, Development, and Current Practice of Naturalistic Teaching Strategies
MARJORIE H. CHARLOP (Claremont McKenna College)
Abstract: Naturalistic teaching strategies emerged out of the need to facilitate speech acquisition and promote generalization in natural environments such as in the home, school, and the community (Halle, 1984; Halle, Baer, & Spradlin, 1981). Naturalistic teaching strategies incorporate three vital elements: 1) motivation enhancing techniques, 2) functional relationships, and 3) variables that facilitate generalization. Motivation enhancing techniques include varied reinforcers, child choice, and repeated preference assessments with preferred and novel stimuli (DeLeon & Iwata, 1996; Egel, 1981). Second, functional relationships are established between spoken words and access to reinforcing events, thus maximizing the motivational effects of existing establishing operations, and establishing mands as a response class (Michael, 1993). Finally, naturalistic teaching strategies include variables that facilitate generalization such as less structured teaching settings, incorporation and natural teaching environments, the use of parents, teachers, and others who co-occupy the natural environment, and use of natural reinforcers and intermittent contingencies (e.f. Stokes & Baef, 1977). The present speech will consist of a brief discussion of the previous literature on the three components of naturalistic teaching strategies. Also included is a presentation of several naturalistic teaching strategies developed in the past decade. The presentation concludes with the program evaluation data of such teaching strategies.
The Natural Language Paradigm (NLP) and Speech and Play Enhancement for Autistic Kids (SPEAK)
CHRIS A. LABELLE (Claremont Graduate University), Susan E. Kelso (Claremont Graduate University), Andrea Valdez (Claremont Graduate University), Marjorie H. Charlop (Claremont McKenna College)
Abstract: The Natural Language Paradigm (NLP) and Speech/Play Enhancement for Autistic Kids (SPEAK) are both naturalistic teaching strategies used to teach speech to children with autism. Koegel et. Al. (1982) developed NLP as a method of teaching language because it was similar to the development of typical children's language, was motivating, and promoted generalization. The steps of NLP as well as the advantages of using NLP to teach speech to children with autism will be discussed. Data will be presented (Laski, Charlop, & Schreibman, 1987) suggesting that NLP is a procedure easily used by parents who have reported enjoying the teaching sessions. SPEAK is a unique type of naturalistic teaching strategy which simultaneously targets speech and play. SPEAK incorporates motivation and generalization enhancing variables typical of naturalistic teaching strategies (Charlop-Christy & Valdex, 1997). The steps of SPEAK and the advantages of using SPEAK to teach speech and play to children with autism will be discussed. Data will be presented (Kelso & Charlop-Christy, 1998) displaying increases in speech and play in children with autism following sibling implemented SPEAK training. Finally, generalization to parents and across settings supports the literature suggesting that training in the natural environment promotes generalization (Stokes & Bear, 1977).
Time Delay Procedures
CATHY JONES (Claremont Graduate University), Marjorie H. Charlop (Claremont McKenna College)
Abstract: Time delay was introduced as an experimental method for analyzing the moment of transfer of stimulus control (Touchette, 1971). It has since evolved into a treatment procedure that entails inserting a delay of 10 seconds or less between the presentation of the target stimulus and the presentation of the prompted response. Through time delay procedures, stimulus control transfers from a physical or verbal referent to general environmental cues, thereby increasing the spontaneity of the response. Time delay procedures have been successful in increasing spontaneous speech in children with autism (e.g., Risley & Wofl, 1967; Charlop, Schreibman & Tibodeau, 1991). This has been a major break through in that teaching speech, in general, and especially spontaneous speech, has been a challenge to treatment provided for decades (Charlop, et. Al., 1991). With time delay, spontaneous speech is not only acquired, but stimulus control transfers to the natural environment, thus promoting generalization of the spontaneous speech (e.g., Charlop & Trasowech, 1991). A series of 4 empirical studies using time delay to teach spontaneous speech to children with autism will be presented. Discussion of acquisition, generalization, and maintenance data will also be provided as well as the ease of implementation of the successful treatment procedure.



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