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 #436
CE Offered: BACB
Achieving Durable Positive Outcomes for Students with Autism
Monday, May 26, 2014
4:00 PM–4:50 PM
W184a (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: AUT/EDC; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Jill E. McGrale Maher (Crossroads School)
Discussant: Mary Jane Weiss (Endicott College)
CE Instructor: Jill E. McGrale Maher, M.Ed.

Behavior analysts and educators have been provided with a wide range of effective teaching strategies for students with autism. While the majority of the literature indicates that students with autism learn most effectively in 1:1 instructional formats, this may not continue to be financially viable as students transition through school and into work settings. Additionally, the acquisition of skills does not guarantee that the students will be able to generalize those skills across settings and time (e.g., displaying learned social skills in natural settings.) As students age, social demands increase as well as the expectation to learn in group settings. Therefore, it is of paramount importance to both teach individuals to learn in group instructional formats as well as increasing and generalizing learned social skills. The papers in this symposium will discuss two research projects. Specific data are presented on a comparison of group and 1:1 instructional formats and the generalization of social behaviors.

Keyword(s): Autism, Education, Video Modeling
A Comparison of Group and One-to-One Instructional Arrangements with Students with Autism
BRITANY MELTON (Crossroads School ), Michele D. Brock (Crossroads School ), Jill E. McGrale Maher (Crossroads School)
Abstract: The majority of the literature indicates that students with Autism learn best with 1:1 teaching practices based on the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis. This may not, however, be functional for all students across settings and time. Although literature to support group instruction as an effective teaching format is growing, research comparing 1:1 and group instructional arrangements is minimal. The current project is a replication and extension of previous research clearly indicating group instruction was superior for 5 out of 9 students with Autism (Melton, Hansen, & McGrale, 2013). An alternating treatment design is used to compare 1:1 vs. small group instructional formats. The project took place in a private program for students with Autism and included 4 male students. Dependent measures are skill acquisition, observational learning, student preference, active engagement, and rates of interfering behavior. Independent measures include an errorless teaching procedure, individualized reinforcement systems, and gradually increasing the number of students in group. Preliminary results indicate skill acquisition across both 1:1 and group instruction as well as acquisition of material through observational learning. Inter-observer agreement and procedural fidelity measures will be collected. The effect of the number of students in group on the dependent measures will be discussed.
Using Video-Based and Peer-Mediated Instruction to Facilitate Generalization of Social Skills by Adolescents with Autism
MARI MACFARLAND (Michigan State University), Josh Plavnick (Michigan State University), Tiffany Kaid (Michigan State University)
Abstract: The acquisition of social skills does not guarantee that an individual with autism will be able to apply the skills learned in the classroom at a later date, or in a natural setting (Haring, 1988). Interventions targeting the generalization of acquired social skills are therefore critical in order for adolescents with autism to experience lifelong positive outcomes. Video modeling and peer mediation are interventions known to increase the likelihood of generalization. The present investigation examines the effects of an instructional package consisting of peer-mediation and video modeling on the generalization of social behavior by four adolescents with autism and co-occurring intellectual disabilities. A multiple probe across social behaviors design was used to examine the effects of the intervention package on the generalization of targeted social skills to untrained settings. Results will be discussed within the context of social skills training methods for the targeted sub-group and the potential for generalization of social skills by adolescents with autism and intellectual disability.



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