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 #186
CE Offered: BACB
Teaching Perspective-Taking to Children with Autism
Sunday, May 24, 2009
10:30 AM–11:50 AM
North 124 A
Area: AUT/EAB; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Adel C. Najdowski (C.A.R.D., Inc.)
CE Instructor: Peter Girolami, Ph.D.
Abstract: A defining feature of autism is delayed development in socialization. One aspect of socialization which is often delayed is a child’s ability to understand the perspectives of others. Successful social skills often depend on one’s ability to take the perspectives of others so it appears that this may be one area in need of intervention in treatment programs for children with autism. This symposium begins with a literature review of studies which have attempted to improve perspective-taking in children with autism and proceeds with three studies which attempted to teach some aspect of perspective-taking to children of this population.
Teaching Perspective-Taking to Children with Autism: A Review of Research
ADEL C. NAJDOWSKI (C.A.R.D., Inc.), Amy Caveny (Center For Autism and Related Disorders, Inc.), Jonathan J. Tarbox (Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc.)
Abstract: This literature review summarizes and critiques published studies which have attempted to improve perspective-taking abilities in individuals with autism. Much research has been published that has demonstrated deficits in perspective-taking in the autism population but few good quality studies have been published on improving such skills. Areas in need of additional research are discussed and specific directions for such research are suggested.
Relational Frame Theory And Teaching Foundational Perspective-Taking To Children With Autism
EVELYN GOULD (Centre for Early Autism Treatment), Stephen Noone (University of Wales, Bangor), Jonathan J. Tarbox (Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc.), Denis P. O'Hora (National University of Ireland, Galway)
Abstract: An inability to take the perspective of another appears to lie at the root of the social and communicative difficulties in children with Autism. However, few research findings have been clearly translated into effective clinical interventions. A Relational Frame Theory (RFT) account may provide a promising alternative to the traditional “Theory of Mind” (ToM) approach. A procedure adapted from RFT, was used to teach gaze-following in three autistic children, aged 2 to 5yrs. This is thought to be an early constituent behaviour of broader perspective-taking skills. A multiple baseline across participants evaluated its effectiveness. All children failed to demonstrate gaze- following during baseline. Intervention resulted in two participants demonstrating match-to-sample relations indicative of following eye-and face-gaze, and the third demonstrating gains after an additional error correction procedure was introduced. Generalisation of skills to a more natural environment was limited for all participants. The mixed results observed across participants highlight the complexity of developing effective interventions. Findings must be interpreted with caution, however, the study may provide a starting point for new insights and the development of effective perspective-taking interventions for children with Autism.
Teaching Children with Autism to Identify what Others Can Feel and Hear
CATHERINE MINCH (Center For Autism and Related Disorders, Inc.), Adel C. Najdowski (C.A.R.D., Inc.), Jonathan J. Tarbox (Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc.)
Abstract: In this study, we taught children with autism sensory perspective taking. Specifically, we used a multiple baseline across children to teach participants to identify what others could hear and what they could feel, depending on what auditory and tactile stimuli were present in their environment. Generalization probes were included and generally indicated that stimulus generalization was produced by the training procedure. All treatment procedures were implemented as a regular part of the clients’ everyday therapy routine and all sessions took place in the children’s homes.
The Effects of Teaching Situation-Based Emotions on Perspective Taking
LOUISE A. MCHUGH (University of Wales Swansea), Alina Olteanu Bobarnac Daniela (Swansea University), Phil Reed (University of Wales Swansea)
Abstract: Many individuals with autism spectrum conditions (ASC) have difficulty recognizing emotions in themselves and others. In a multielement design, the effects of teaching children with ASC to tact situation-based emotions (i.e., “happy”, “sad”, “angry”, and “afraid”) on perspective taking was examined. Three children (3 males) participated in the study. Theory of mind was measured using four tasks (i.e., the Sally-Anne task, the M&M task, the Hide & Seek task, and a test for relational perspective-taking). The results indicated significant increases in tacting situation-based emotions. To evaluate the generalization of training, novel video stories were employed that depicted the trained emotions. The findings indicated generalization of situation-based emotional tacting to the novel video stories. In addition, the findings provided evidence that training on situation-based emotions did not produce concurrent (untrained) improvements in perspective-taking.



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