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.


35th Annual Convention; Phoenix, AZ; 2009

Event Details

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Symposium #383
CE Offered: BACB
How We Finally Got There: Analytical Decisions Supported by the Standard Celeration Chart to Help Students Gain New Skills
Monday, May 25, 2009
10:30 AM–11:50 AM
North 125
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Kelly J. Ferris (Organization for Research and Learning)
CE Instructor: Meeta R. Patel, Ph.D.
Abstract: The Standard Celeration Chart is a rigorous measurement tool that aids behavior analyst in making critical data-based decisions regarding the celeration, frequency, and bounce of students’ data. While teaching any range of skills to learners with autism and related developmental disabilities, behavior analysts must be highly attuned to the learner’s individual needs and must be able to adjust learning sequences according to the learner’s ever-changing performance data. Traditional sequences of instruction are often ineffective in establishing new skills for learners with autism. When student performance slows or stops, teachers must analyze the data to identify which variables to manipulate for the desired outcome in the most efficient manner. This symposium will present four papers illustrating the effects of manipulating schedules of reinforcement as well as altering various stimulus conditions to achieve important learning objectives for learners with developmental disabilities of various skill levels. All four papers utilize fluency based instruction as an independent variable with student performance data charted on the Standard Celeration Chart.
Treating Schedules of Reinforcement as Critical Features of Instruction to Increase the Frequency of Responding During Instruction in a Child with Phelan-McDermid Syndrome
KELLY J. FERRIS (Organization for Research and Learning)
Abstract: In fluency based instruction teaching arrangements, reinforcement schedules are often treated as variable features of instruction, fluidly changing from timing to timing and from day to day based on changes in the student’s frequency of corrects, frequency of errors, and environmental conditions. With the analysis of in-session charted data, precision teachers are able to act as phenomenal shapers; they are masters of adjusting student feedback between fixed ratios of reinforcement and differential reinforcement of higher rates of behavior (DRH). This presentation will share performance data on a learner with Phelan-McDermind Syndrome whose behavior required more systematic and controlled changes to schedules of reinforcement to accelerate his frequency of responding. Multiple charts will be shown illustrating a replicated success of treating schedules of reinforcement as critical features of instruction: when schedules of reinforcement were gradually thinned through multiple fixed ratio schedules eventually to variable ratio schedules, student frequency of corrects increased, number of timings completed increased, and overall happiness with instruction increased.
Altering Stimulus Control and Variable Instructional Features While Teaching Intermediate/Advanced Language Skills
HOLLY ALMON-MORRIS (Organization for Research and Learning)
Abstract: While teaching intermediate/advanced language skills to students with autism, there are often “roadblocks” that occur while navigating the previously-set instructional path. While teaching tact/intraverbals repertoires, teachers much be responsive to the data and adjust instructional sequences as needed. This presentation will highlight performance data from at least two students with autism and demonstrate how their performance data on the Standard Celeration Chart were analyzed to alter stimulus control or variable features of instruction, and the improvements in performance that resulted from those instructional changes. Independent variables include timed practice combined with daily improvement goals, differential reinforcement of higher rates of behavior (DRH), and Modified Mathetics error correction procedures (Gilbert, 1962). Dependent variables include various intermediate/advanced language skills within the tact/intraverbal repertoire areas. In addition to the performance data mentioned above, supplementary data will be collected before this symposium submission takes place. Further relational aspects of modifying stimulus control and variable instructional features will also be discussed.
If you give me a reason, I can show you what I know
KRISTA ZAMBOLIN (Organization for Research and Learning), Michael Fabrizio (Organization for Research and Learning)
Abstract: Securing student assent and happiness during instruction is an essential component of effective and efficient behavior analytic programming. Collecting data on student’s choosing to participate willing in instruction should be collected as a dependent variable illustrating effective programming for all learners. This paper will describe how data analysis and analysis of the student’s perspective helped in problem solving an effective instructional sequence for teaching a very young learner with autism imitation skills and receptive language skills. The student was a 3 year-old girl who had been involved in a home-based behavior analytic program since 2007. Utilizing fluency based instructional arrangement and data displayed on the Standard Celeration Chart, the instructional team identified critical features of instruction necessary to gain happy student participation. Data will show how manipulating different stimulus and reinforcement conditions were tested across both see/do imitation and hear/touch and hear/do learning channel repertoires. Charted student learning data will illustrate how the teachers finally identified the student’s definition of “functional” to gain her assent and consistent participation and learning during instruction.
Altering stimulus control to establish early language skills in children with autism.
ELIZABETH GRACE LEFEBRE (Organization for Research and Learning), Kelly J. Ferris (Organization for Research and Learning)
Abstract: Establishing early language skill repertoires in children with autism requires carefully planned sequences of instruction. It can be additionally challenging when the proposed instructional sequence is at first, unsuccessful. Quality programming should ensure that skills come under the intended stimulus control. Planning for appropriate stimulus control by ensuring critical and variable features of instruction are addressed is an essential step in the design of effective instructional programs. Purposely using inappropriate stimulus control to elicit responses in new repertoire areas is often conducted through by inserting extrinsic prompts into a teaching sequence. Creating inappropriate stimulus control by manipulating different degrees of variable features in instructional materials is less commonly used as a teaching strategy. The presentation will examine the use of inappropriate stimulus control to elicit new responses by systematically graduating the range of variable features from mostly shared to few shared to shape student responding in visual and receptive language tasks. Student learning data will be displayed on the Standard Celeration Chart.



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