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 #W57
CE Offered: None
Developing and Implementing Behaviorally Based Interventions for Young Children with Down Syndrome
Saturday, May 29, 2004
8:00 AM–11:00 AM
Area: PRA; Domain: Applied Research
CE Instructor: Kathleen Feeley, Ph.D.
KATHLEEN FEELEY (Southampton College), EMILY A. JONES (Southampton College)
Description: Down syndrome is a developmental disability resulting from an extra copy of the 21st chromosome. This extra genetic material affects many aspects of development, including cognition, speech/language, social, and motor development. Although research has demonstrated the efficacy of behavioral interventions for teaching a variety of skills to young children with Down syndrome, there appear to be scarce applications within educational settings. This workshop will provide information regarding the unique characteristics of children with Down syndrome as well as the implications these characteristics have on the acquisition of skills. A series of case studies will be presented, demonstrating a functional relationship between skill development and behaviorally based interventions. For example, a multiple baseline design across behaviors was implemented to demonstrate the effectiveness of discrete trial instruction in establishing verbal responses to nonverbal stimuli in a four-year-old boy with Down syndrome. Positive reinforcement was used to establish contingent eye gaze and contingent vocalization in two infants with Down syndrome. Across the series of case studies, response and procedural reliability were collected during 15 to 50% of the intervention sessions, with a range of agreement between 80 and 100%. Finally, in-depth procedures will be provided for developing and implementing a behaviorally based program.
Learning Objectives: At the end of the workshop, participants will be able to: Identify unique characteristics of young children with Down syndrome and describe the impact these characteristics have on skill development. Describe how discrete trial instruction, instruction embedded within an activity, and naturalistic teaching strategies can be implemented to meet the individual needs of children with Down syndrome. Describe behaviorally based interventions designed to address the specific deficits associated with Down syndrome. Identify essential components of a behaviorally based program for young children with Down syndrome.
Activities: The first portion of the workshop will be a presentation on the unique characteristics of young children with Down syndrome and how these characteristics effect acquisition across skill areas (expressive communication, receptive communication, fine motor, gross motor, cognition, and adaptive behavior). The participants will then be introduced to a series of interventions (via case studies) that specifically address the unique needs of children with Down syndrome. Within these case studies, strategies to conduct functional behavioral assessments will be presented, as well as step-by-step procedures for implementing the interventions. Interventions will be presented corresponding to skill areas (e.g., speech, pre-academics, adaptive behavior). During the workshop, participants will be provided with a framework for structuring learning opportunities, specifically discrete trial instruction, activity based instruction, and naturalistic teaching strategies. Participants will gain experience developing interventions that address the needs of children with Down syndrome within these three contexts. Finally, the participants will be introduced to a behaviorally-based model of service delivery, as well as the challenges they might expect while developing such a program.
Audience: Professionals from a variety of disciplines who work with young children (between birth and through early elementary school age) with Down syndrome. This workshop will provide methodologies to address needs across a variety of skill areas (communication, adaptive behavior, pre-academics). Additionally, it is an important workshop for parents, as it will provide them with resources they can use to advocate for appropriate programming for their children.
Content Area: Practice
Instruction Level: Intermediate



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