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 #93
CE Offered: BACB
The Use of Behavioral Interventions to Teach Children With Autism Appropriate Play Skills
Sunday, May 29, 2016
3:00 PM–3:50 PM
Columbus Hall IJ, Hyatt Regency, Gold East
Area: AUT/CSE; Domain: Translational
Chair: Nancy J. Champlin (Autism Concepts, Inc.)
Discussant: Kelley L. Harrison (University of Kansas)
CE Instructor: Nancy J. Champlin, M.S.

Play is one of the core deficits of children with autism. Impairments in play impact communication and language, cognition, and social and emotional interactions. Appropriate independent and sociodramatic play skills are critical to the development of social skills. Children who do not learn to play may miss out on opportunities for social interactions due to observable differences in their play. Increasing appropriate play has been shown to increase language skills while decreasing stereotopy and other problem behaviors. Play is an integral part of the development of typically developing children and should be an emphasis in a behavioral intervention for children with autism. Applied behavior analysis play interventions often target improving play skills by relying on extrinsic reinforcers. Genuine play is intrinsically motivated and will maintain and generalize across environments. These studies utilize behavioral interventions to increase appropriate independent and sociodramatic play skills for children with autism and decrease the reliance on prompts and extrinsic reinforcers.


The Use of Priming to Teach Children Diagnosed With Autism Three Essential Skills During Sociodramatic Play

NANCY J. CHAMPLIN (Autism Concepts, Inc.)

Behavioral intervention for preschool age children on the autism spectrum should emphasize play. Deficits in play aversely impact language and communication skills, cognition and problem solving, and social interactions. In this study a priming strategy was used to teach 3 essential skills of socio-dramatic play to 3 participants, aged 4-6, diagnosed with autism. Priming was systematically faded by increasing the duration of time between priming and the play opportunity. All participants are currently receiving center based applied behavior analysis services. Participants were taught to generalize mastered independent play of combining multiple play schemes by utilizing the essential skills for age appropriate sociodramatic play. These three essential skills are 1) initiating a new cooperative play action, 2) responding to a peers play action, and 3) expanding on the current play action. A multiple baseline across participants study demonstrated the efficacy of priming as an effective procedure to teach the three essential skills to engage in sociodramatic play. Generalization across peers and environments was assessed.


A Comparison of Script Fading With Video Modeling to Teach Independent Pretend Play to Children With Autism


The purpose of this study was to compare script fading wtih video modeling and the rates of acquisition, maintenance, and generalization to teach pretend play to children with autism. Script fading and video modeling are procedures that have been effective in increasing a variety of skills. Scripts have been used to teach a variety of social skills including increasing social initiations, conversations, and imitative independent play. Video modeling procedures have also been used to teach a variety of skills including increasing reciprocal pretend play, daily living skills, perspective taking, conversational skills, and game play. A multiple baseline across participants study with concurrent treatments of video modeling and script fading per participant was implemented. The study had three participants, 2 boys and 1 girl with autism diagnoses, ages 4-5, who receive center-based applied behavior analysis services. The same two play schemes were taught (Burger Shop and Birthday Party) to each participant simultaneously, using video modeling to teach one scheme and script fading to teach the other. The video model and the script both consisted of 7 scripted play actions and corresponding vocalizations. The outcomes of the acquisition rates, maintenance across 3 months, and generalization across settings will be discussed.




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