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

Previous Page


Symposium #556
CE Offered: BACB
Using Natural Sources of Stimulus Control To Evoke Social Communication with Children with Autism
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
12:00 PM–1:20 PM
North 126
Area: AUT/VRB; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Thomas S. Higbee (Utah State University)
CE Instructor: Thomas Higbee, Ph.D.
Abstract: Children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) often demonstrate lower levels of social communication skills than typical peers. This symposium will review four studies that examined the effects of different ways of using natural sources of stimulus control to increase proper social communication skills with preschool aged children with autism. Two presentations will review the use of script fading procedures to increase language during play. One study examined the effects of script fading procedures on increasing variability in language. Finally, one study will review the generalization effects from teaching mands for information in discrete trial training. The results show successful stimulus control of social communication skills using natural sources in all three studies.
Application of Script-Fading Procedures to Teach Naturally Cued Social Comments During Play Activities
MARK P. GROSKREUTZ (Utah State University), Nicole C. Groskreutz (Utah State University), Thomas S. Higbee (Utah State University)
Abstract: Children with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) generally demonstrate lower levels of social communication than their typical peers. This study examined the use of scripts and script fading procedures to teach preschoolers with ASDs to make comments to others during play activities. Three different script frames, (e.g., “Look, I have a ____ ”) were taught in isolation, and if necessary, participants were taught to tact at least 20 different aspects of a toy, (e.g., names of items, locations, and figures using a jungle toy set with animals). Following pretraining, five copies of each of the three script frames were attached to known aspects of the toy. Across training sessions, the location of the scripts was varied, so script frames were not consistently associated with any one aspect of the toy. Training consisted of prompting to read one script every 30 s. Each training session continued until all 15 script frames were read. Reinforcement consisted of reciprocal play-related comments from the trainer. Results indicate that when scripts were completely faded, participants made more comments than in baseline and generalization occurred to novel play situations, toys, and social partners. Participants also showed use of untrained comments and combinations of script frames.
Using Script Training Procedures to Promote the Generalized Use of Complex Language Targets of Children with Autism
TRINA D. SPENCER (Utah State University), Thomas S. Higbee (Utah State University)
Abstract: Children with autism often use newly acquired language targets in restricted contexts and with limited variability. Instructional tactics that embed generalization technology have shown promise for increasing spontaneity, response variation, and the generalized use of language across settings, people, and materials. This study investigates the strategic use of textual scripts to facilitate functional conversation skills of children with autism. Specifically, the generalized use of complex language skills such as prepositions and conjunctions were targeted within the context of natural conversation with teachers, parents, and peers. The generalized and variable use of complex targets occurred without script fading conventions. Results are discussed in terms of specific instructional tactics that may facilitate spontaneity, response variation, and generalization.
The Application of Script Fading and Extinction Procedures to Increase The Variability of Mand Frames in Children with Autism
ALISON M. BETZ (Utah State University), Thomas S. Higbee (Utah State University)
Abstract: A primary deficit often seen with children with autism is repetitive and rote verbal behavior. This study examined the effects of script-fading an extinction procedure on the variability of verbal behavior with young children with autism. More specifically, we examined the effect of these procedures on the variability of mand frames (i.e. “I want ____”) used by young children with autism during snack time.
An Evaluation of the Generalization of Mands for Information Taught During Discrete Trial Training with Preschoolers with Autism
ALISON M. BETZ (Utah State University), Thomas S. Higbee (Utah State University)
Abstract: Children with autism often lack the ability to mand for information about a preferred item. This is especially seen when the preferred item is absent. This study examined the generalization of mands for information using "where" when taught during discrete trial training. We tested the generalization of using "where" to mand for information with novel toys, in novels settings, and in the natural environment using an interrupted chain procedure. Results indicate that when taught during discrete trial training, manding for information using "where" generalized to novel toys and environments. However the skill did not generalize to the natural environment without explicit training.



Back to Top
Modifed by Eddie Soh