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.


42nd Annual Convention; Downtown Chicago, IL; 2016

Event Details

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Symposium #221
CE Offered: BACB
Conceptual and Applied Considerations in Staff Training Related to Complex Verbal Behavior and Children With Autism
Monday, May 30, 2016
10:00 AM–11:50 AM
Grand Ballroom EF, Hyatt Regency, Gold East
Area: AUT/VRB; Domain: Translational
Chair: Michael Miklos (Pennsylvania Training and Technical Assistance Net)
Discussant: Francesca Degli Espinosa (Private Practice)
CE Instructor: Michael Miklos, M.S.

Training staff to teach skills beyond the basic verbal operants involves consideration of conceptual, social and training variables. Four papers will be presented that review considerations for training peer to peer interactions, conceptual considerations related to speech perception, and two papers describing large group competency based trainings for conceptual and procedural skills relevant to complex verbal behavior for teachers of students with autism. The first study includes a description of training systems relevant to peer to peer verbal interactions focused on a manding treatment package consisting of the use of differential reinforcement and time delay procedures to effect the rate of unprompted peer mands in individuals with autism and intellectual disabilities. A behavioral interpretation of the McGurk Effect will relate conceptual issues relevant to training staff in skills related to observational skills of vocal verbal behavior. The McGurk effect is an auditory and visual phenomena in which what is seen effects what is heard. The final two papers summarize outcome data from large scale trainings focused on having staff acquire implementation skills for procedures derived from advanced concepts in verbal behavior including joint control, extended tacts, and verbal conditional discriminations.

Keyword(s): verbal behavior
The Effects of Peer to Peer Mand Training on Unprompted Mand Frequency for Children With Autism and Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities
RACHEL KITTENBRINK (University of Pittsburgh)
Abstract: The current study used a peer manding treatment package, embedding the use of differential reinforcement, controls for motivation, and time delay procedures to assess the effects on peer manding and reinforcer delivery rates in elementary school students with autism and IDD. A multiple probe across dyads design (Horner & Baer, 1978) was used to evaluate effectiveness of the peer manding treatment package on unprompted peer mands and unprompted reinforcer deliveries during 12 min mand sessions. All participants were active in the baseline, intervention, withdrawal, generalization, and maintenance phases of the investigation. All participants demonstrated increased unprompted mands and unprompted reinforcer deliveries following exposure to the treatment package, demonstrating a functional relation between the treatment package and increased response levels. Participants' response levels in the phases following the intervention phase were more variable, but as a whole, response levels maintained throughout the investigation. Considerations for interpreting the results are included and recommendations for future research and practitioners are discussed.

A Behavioral Interpretation of the McGurk Effect

DAVID ROTH (Cal State Stanislaus)

The McGurk Effect is a perceptual phenomenon in which the combination of discrepant visual and auditory speech stimuli (e.g,. hear-ba/see-ga) produces the reports of hearing a completely novel response form (e.g., "a"). The present study attempted to explain the McGurk Effect and related phenomena in terms of principles of behavior. Skinner (1953) proposed that perception itself is behavior, and interpreting experimental results within the framework of experimentally validated behavioral principles may help to guide future research on perceptual phenomena. Additionally, the present study contributed to the analysis of the McGurk
Effect by comparing results from a discrepant isolated syllable condition (e.g., hear-ba/see-ga) with a second condition, in which the isolated syllables were presented to participants as the initial sounds of responses existing within their verbal repertoires (e.g., hear-BUST/see-GUST). The results supported the authors' hypothesis that the McGurk Effect would be stronger when syllables were presented in isolation than when they were presented in the context of whole words. Implications for training staff in observing vocal behavior will be discusse.


Competency-Based Staff Training for Implementation of Procedures Related to Instruction of Complex Verbal Behavior for Students With Autism

MICHAEL MIKLOS (Pennsylvania Training and Technical Assistance Network), Amiris Dipuglia (PaTTAN/ Autism Initiative)

Outcomes of a large scale training effort for public school autism teachers in Pennsylvania include data on acquisition of conceptual skills and specific teaching programs will be presented. This session will review the structure and rationale for methods for teaching staff to implement protocols such as generative responding for tacts of actions and features, tacts of class of items and transfer to intraverbal responses. Includes description of training methods and outcomes for specific methods for developing participant conceptual competencies for extended tacts and concept development, joint control processes and issues related to verbal conditional discriminations. Training methods have included multiple formats for participant responding including choral responding, guided notes, and analogue demonstration of specific procedures. The training model has been implemented with public school teachers serving students with autism. The training represents efforts of the Pennsylvania Training and Technical Assistance Network Autism Initiative. Training participants have included a wide range of professionals employed in public schools including teachers, para-educators and various support staff including school psychologists and speech and language clinicians.


Transfer of Training Complex Verbal Behavior Concepts and Protocols for Autism Support Teachers to Classroom Settings

AMIRIS DIPUGLIA (PaTTAN/ Autism Initiative), Michael Miklos (Pennsylvania Training and Technical Assistance Network)

This session will review data and processes involved in the transfer of training competencies from large scale analogue training sessions to actual classroom practices. The role and function of on-site consultation from behavioral consultants involved in the Pennsylvania Training and Technical Assistance Network Applied Behavior Analysis Supports effort in supporting teams in implementing protocols related to complex verbal behavior will be presented. Consideration of the design of training includes structure of training content related to efficient data collection and analysis that can be adopted in school settings that typically do not include clinical practice staff to student ratios. Additionally, methods to insure treatment integrity for teaching protocols related to target skills such as generative responding for tacts of actions and features, tacts of class of items and transfer to intraverbal responses will be described. The data will be related to a process established to promote system-wide acceptance of behavior analytic processes for teaching complex skills.




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