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.

30th Annual Convention; Boston, MA; 2004

Workshop Details


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Workshop #W9
CE Offered: None
Promoting Speech and Language in Children with Autism: Integrating ABA and Speech-Language Pathology
Friday, May 28, 2004
10:00 AM–5:00 PM
Independence East
Area: PRA; Domain: Applied Research
CE Instructor: Mary Ellen McDonald, M.D.
MARY ELLEN MCDONALD (The Genesis School), JOANNE GERENSER (Executive Director - Eden II Programs), BONNIE M. FORMAN (Eden II Programs), RANDY I. HOROWITZ (Eden II Programs)
Description: Children with autism typically demonstrate deficits in speech, language, and communication. There have been significant gains made in the past fifteen years using the principles of applied behavior analysis to address these deficits. Despite intensive behavioral intervention, for some children, these deficits remain severe and complex. Almost 30 percent of children with autism do not develop functional speech. Still others continue to demonstrate significant challenges with abstract language or the social use of language. Although children with autism demonstrate these complex deficits in the area of speech and language, speech-language pathologists are often not included in the behavioral intervention team. Historically, this has been due to the speech-language pathologists reluctance to rely on behavior analysis as the model for intervention, preferring to utilize developmental or social pragmatic approaches. Therefore, traditional behavioral programming often lacks critical input in areas such as the neuro-anatomy of speech production or complex augmentative communication systems. This workshop will provide a model for integrating research in the area of speech production, voice, language development and disorders as well as communication within behavioral programming for children with autism. Specific programs to target oral motor development, verbal skills, vocabulary development, abstract language and social use of language will be presented.
Learning Objectives: At the end of the workshop, participants will be able to: Describe the unique deficits in speech, language, and communication across children on the autism spectrum. Understand how developmental, neurological, and psycholinguistic information from the speech-language research literature relates to the speech-language and communication deficits present in learners with autism. Incorporate this information in programming for children with autism using the principles of applied behavior analysis. Develop basic programs to address oral motor deficits in children with autism. Develop basic programs to address deficits in speech production in children with autism. Identify word learning strategies in typical development and be able to apply this information to the development of programs for children with autism. Describe different augmentative systems and how they can be used to promote communication in children with autism.
Activities: Participants will be involved in didactic presentation as well as discussion. All programs presented will be accompanied by videotapes and written programs. Demonstration of specific prompting procedures and programs will be provided. Participants will practice some teaching techniques and programs. Participants will practice using assessment tools and data collection procedures.
Audience: Speech-language pathologists, behavior analysts, psychologists, and special educators.
Content Area: Practice
Instruction Level: Intermediate

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