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 #461
Teaching Social Skills to Children with Developmental Disabilities through Early Intensive Intervention in Group Based Settings
Monday, May 25, 2009
3:00 PM–4:20 PM
North 128
Area: DDA/AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Junelyn Lazo (Center for Behavioral Sciences, Inc)
Discussant: Joyce C. Tu (Center for Behavioral Sciences, Inc.)
Abstract: Children with developmental disabilities such as autism typically receive early intensive behavioral intervention in home-based settings. Home-based settings may limit the generalization of social skills unless otherwise programmed into the intervention plan. As such, the overall purpose of the three papers is to examine the effectiveness of intensive behavioral intervention in a group-based format. In this symposium, the researchers examine the learning of social skills during early intensive behavioral intervention in group-based settings. Thus, all the participants were in a 1:1 ratio receiving a minimum of ten hours per week of intensive services in a group-based setting. The group-based setting occurred outside of the home of the participants. The three papers compared rates of learning vocal imitation during group-based play, examined the effectiveness of early intervention in a group-based setting, and studied the critical components for a social skills group for children with autism.
Comparing Rates of Vocal Imitation Response in Structured Settings versus Play Settings
JOHANNA F LORCA (Center for Behavioral Sciences, Inc.)
Abstract: Vocal imitation is a lesson often taught to children with developmental disabilities. The lesson is typically implemented in a structured environment using discrete trials teaching methodology and shaping. Research suggests that vocal imitation has been also been taught during play. Our study compares the rate of vocal imitation responding during structured settings versus play settings. Three children with developmental delays who qualify for Early Start services from the Regional Centers of California participated in the study. Their ages range from 17 months to 29 months. The independent variable for this study is the implementation of vocal imitation lessons during play and structured settings. The dependent variable is the rates of responding (i.e. number of words imitated) in structured settings versus play settings. The results show that when vocal imitation is taught during play for young children with developmental delays, the rate of learning is higher when compared to the rate of responding during structured settings. In addition, the results found the generalization of imitation skills is more likely to occur during play.
Examining the Effectiveness of Early Intensive Intervention in a Group-Based Setting for Children with Developmental Disabilities
TRICIA M. CANTON (Florida Institute of Technology)
Abstract: Research has shown that early intensive behavioral intervention has been effective in addressing skill deficits in children with developmental disabilities. Intensive behavioral intervention is typically conducted in-home. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to determine if early intensive behavior intervention conducted in a group setting at a 1:1 ratio will result in a decrease in the percentage of delays for young children identified at risk for autism. Three young children whose ages ranged from 31 to 33 months participated in this study. During baseline, all three children showed delays of more than 33% in the areas of cognitive development, receptive language, expressive language, gross/fine motor development, and social/emotional participated in this study. The independent variable of this study is the implementation of at least 10 hours per week of 1:1 early intensive behavioral intervention (both home and group-based) for at least eight months. The dependent variable is the percentages of delays in the above mentioned areas. The result shows that all three children decreased their percentage of delays across the seven domains. In addition, the group-based component of the intervention proved critical in transitioning these children to lesser restrictive educational environment.
Studying the Critical Components to a Successful Social Skills Group for Three Children with Autism
RHYSA MORENO (Center for Behavioral Sciences, Inc.)
Abstract: A lack of social skills is a hallmark to children with autism. Because this is a major area of skill deficit for individuals with autism, there is a plethora of research that has shown the importance and effectiveness of applied behavior analysis in addressing this area. Typical home-based intensive behavioral intervention teaches individuals with autism basic skills such as engaging in conversation, eye contact, or taking turns, etc. However, the opportunities for generalization of these skills are often lacking in home-based programs unless programmed for generalization. Therefore, this study examines critical components for a successful social skills group for children with autism. Three children diagnosed with autism participated in this study. Their age ranged from 5 to 6 years old. All had participated in home-based ABA program for at least 6 months. The independent variable for this study is the implementation of social skills group. The dependent variable is the number of skills learned and generalized in social group.



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