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.


40th Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2014

Event Details

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Symposium #66
CE Offered: BACB
Further Evaluations of the Efficiency of Teaching Procedures Used with Children with Autism
Saturday, May 24, 2014
3:00 PM–4:50 PM
W183c (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Alison M. Betz (Florida Institute of Technology)
Discussant: Edward J. Daly III (University of Nebraska-Lincoln)
CE Instructor: Alison M. Betz, Ph.D.

Evaluating the efficiency of procedures used to teach children with autism is a critical component of applied research. The studies presented in this symposium all focus on evaluating both the effectiveness and efficiency of various teaching strategies. The first study evaluated prompt dependence resulting from varying teaching procedures. The second study evaluated the emergence of reverse intraverbals. The third and fourth studies are comparison studies; one comparing computer-assisted and person-based tract training and one comparing teaching procedures with and without instructive feedback stimuli. All presenters will discuss their findings in terms of applied implications and future research.

Keyword(s): autism, efficiency, teaching procedures
Evaluation of Teaching Procedures Resulting in Prompt Dependence
KORY MADDEN (Western New England University and Crossroads School), Amanda Karsten (Western New England University), Emily White (Western New England University)
Abstract: Prompt-dependent responding is the failure to transfer stimulus control from a supplemental stimulus, or prompt, to the programmed discriminative stimulus. Teachers may use prompt dependence to explain poor performance. For example, “Johnny never gets dressed on his own because he is prompt dependent.” More likely, prompt-dependent responding is caused by ineffective teaching that results in an incomplete transfer of stimulus control (e.g., low-integrity differential reinforcement, low-integrity prompt fading, or some combination of these teaching errors). The current study manipulated teaching responses which may lead to prompt dependence – nondifferential reinforcement of prompted and unprompted student responses and unsystematic fading of the prompt delay. Interobserver agreement was assessed for 27% of sessions across each phase and condition of the investigation. Mean agreement was 91% (range, 67% to 100%). Two participants did not master skills in any condition associated with teaching errors; a third participant reached mastery across conditions but required the fewest training sessions with high-integrity differential reinforcement and low-integrity time delay. Results are discussed in terms of 1) teaching procedures that may delay or preclude independent performance and 2) directions for future research on preventing and remediating prompt dependent responding among people with developmental disabilities.
Evaluating the Emergence of Reverse Intraverbals in Children with Autism
ALICIA ALLAN (Caldwell College), Jason C. Vladescu (Caldwell College), Sharon A. Reeve (Caldwell College), Tina Sidener (Caldwell College), April N. Kisamore (Caldwell College)
Abstract: Verbal behavior plays a fundamental role in the development of complex social and communication skills. Many children diagnosed with autism exhibit a core deficit in verbal behavior which can impede the ability to access information (e.g., Ingvarsson & Hollobaugh, 2010) and the development of social relationships (e.g., Charlop-Christy & Kelso, 2003). Given the broad range of stimuli that control intraverbal responding, identifying teaching procedures that may result in emergent verbal responses may be critical for individuals with autism for whom time is a precious commodity. Recent studies that investigated the effects of intraverbal training on the emergence of reverse intraverbals have produced mixed results (e.g., Perez-Gonzalez, Garcia-Asenjo, Williams, and Carnerero, 2007). In the current study, a multiple probe design was used to evaluate the effects of intraverbal training on the emergence of reverse intraverbals for four individuals with autism. Intraverbal training consisted of multiple exemplars, bidirectional stimulus-response teaching formats, general case analysis, reinforcement, and a constant prompt delay (CPD). Participants were trained on intraverbal targets and probes were conducted to assess emergence of untaught reverse intraverbals. Three participants demonstrated emergence of reverse intraverbals as a result of the intraverbal training procedures. The social validity of emergent intraverbal responding and maintenance of target responses and emergent reverse intraverbals were assessed. Results are discussed in light of previous research in which participants failed to demonstrate emergence of reverse intraverbals, and in terms of areas for future research.
A Comparison of Computer-assisted and Person-based Tact Training for Children Diagnosed with Autism
BRITTANY LEBLANC (University Of Oregon), Tiffany Kodak (University of Oregon), Vincent E. Campbell (University of Oregon), Tom Cariveau (University of Oregon), Sienna Schultz (University of Oregon), Annie Bailey (University of Oregon)
Abstract: The current study examined the efficiency of and preference for computer-assisted and person-based instruction for tact training for children with autism. First, we compared the number of sessions to mastery during computer-assisted (CAI) and person-based (1:1) instruction within an adapted alternating treatments design. We also measured participants attending during both instructional formats. Brenna’s results indicated that she mastered tacts in fewer sessions and displayed higher levels of attending during 1:1 instruction. Eric mastered tacts in the CAI condition only, although he had high levels of attending in both conditions. Dan also mastered tacts in fewer sessions in the 1:1 condition. Dan displayed high levels of attending in both conditions. In a second experiment, we evaluated the participant’s preference for a format of instruction, when given the option of selecting between 1:1, CAI, and distracter card (Brenna and Dan only). Brenna’s and Dan’s results showed that they selected an intervention that was ineffective for teaching the targeted skills. Dan’s results suggested that CAI was the most preferred form of instruction, and he master the target stimuli while maintaining high levels of attending during CAI. We will discuss the implications of our findings for clinical practice and suggest future areas of research.

The Evaluation of the Efficiency of Prompt Only and Prompt Plus Instructive Feedback Procedures in Teaching Children with Autism Categorical Relations

JUSTINE HENRY (Florida International University), Alison M. Betz (Florida Institute of Technology), Natasha Sturkie (Florida Institute of Technology), Katrina L. Bartell (Scott Center for Autism Treatment at Florida Institute of Technology)

Using a modified alternating treatments design, the present study compared the effects of a prompt only condition and a prompt plus instructive feedback (IF) condition on the emergence of several untrained category relations in 3 pre-school aged boys diagnosed with autism or other related disorders. A progressive time delay procedure was used to teach receptive identification of object, while probes for three untrained categorical skills (i.e., expressive identification of object, receptive identification of category, and intraverbal of category) were conducted every 2-3 teaching sessions. Results showed that for all participants the inclusion of one IF stimulus per target response was more efficient than standard teaching procedures as it a) promoted the emergence of multiple untrained skills without direct teaching, and/or b) primed participants to learn untrained skills faster once introduced for direct teaching.




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