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.


Ninth Annual Autism Conference; Las Vegas, NV; 2015

Event Details

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Invited Paper Session #7
CE Offered: PSY/BACB

Linking Assessment and Treatment in Acquisition Programs for Children with Autism

Saturday, January 24, 2015
1:30 PM–2:20 PM
Grand Ballroom
Area: AUT; Domain: Basic Research
Instruction Level: Basic
CE Instructor: Dorothea C. Lerman, Ph.D.
Chair: Naomi Swiezy (HANDS in Autism, IU School of Medicine)
DOROTHEA C. LERMAN (University of Houston-Clear Lake)
Dorothea Lerman is a professor of psychology at the University of Houston-Clear Lake, where she coordinates a master’s program in behavior analysis and serves as director of the UHCL Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities. She received her doctoral degree in psychology from the University of Florida in 1995, specializing in the experimental analysis of behavior. Her areas of expertise include autism, developmental disabilities, early intervention, functional analysis, teacher and parent training, and treatment of severe behavior disorders (e.g., aggression, self-injury). Dr. Lerman’s graduate students serve as behavioral consultants for school districts in the Houston area and provide services to children and families through an on-campus clinic. Dr. Lerman has published more than 60 research articles and chapters, served as associate editor for The Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis and Research in Developmental Disabilities, was the founding editor of Behavior Analysis in Practice, and recently completed a term as editor-in-chief of the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis. She has secured more than $1.5 million in grants and contracts to support her work. She was the recipient of the 2007 Distinguished Contribution to Applied Behavioral Research Award and the 2001 B.F. Skinner Award for New Researchers, awarded by Division 25 of the American Psychological Association. She also was named a Fellow of the Association for Behavior Analysis International in 2008. Dr. Lerman is a licensed psychologist and a Board Certified Behavior Analyst.

A number of studies have examined variations of commonly used instructional strategies for children with autism, including prompting and reinforcement procedures. Results often show that the relative effectiveness of different procedural variations is idiosyncratic across children. These findings indicate that it may be beneficial to link individualized assessment to treatment when developing acquisition programs for children with autism. Dr. Lerman will present the method and results of experiments that illustrate an assessment-based approach for identifying the most effective prompting procedures, error correction strategies, and reinforcement contingencies for individual learners.

Target Audience:

Psychologists, behavior analysts, practitioners, and graduate students.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants should be able to: (1) describe general research findings on variations of commonly used instructional strategies for children with autism; (2) describe different types of prompting procedures, error-correction strategies, and reinforcement contingencies; and (3) describe the key elements of an assessment-based approach for developing acquisition programs for children with autism.
Keyword(s): prompting, reinforcement



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