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

Workshop Details

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Workshop #W70
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Building Foundational Social Skills in Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder
Saturday, May 28, 2016
4:00 PM–7:00 PM
Montreux 2, Swissotel
Area: AUT/EDC; Domain: Applied Research
CE Instructor: Ian Melton, M.Ed.
IAN MELTON (Endicott College/Hopebridge Pediatrics ), LORRAINE OTTE (Endicott College), BRITANY MELTON (Endicott College), JILL E. MCGRALE MAHER (Autism Intervention Specialists), ASHLEY HUDSON (Hopebridge Pediatric Specialists)
Description: One of the most prevalent challenges for students with autism is in the area of social skills, including difficulty with observational skills, imitation, play interactions, joint attention, and social pragmatics. Consistent with recommendations in the literature (Gresham, et. al, 2001; Peters, et. al, 2007; and Quinn, et. al, 1999), the teaching of foundational skills is essential to effective social relationships. Effective social relationships can be defined as, “socially acceptable learned behaviors that enable a person to interact with others in ways that elicit positive responses and assist the person in avoiding negative responses.” (Elliott, Racine & Busse, 1995) As with all of what we do, these learned social responses are emitted over time in efforts to access reinforcement and to avoid punishment. The difficulty with children with autism is that they often cannot access these skills, and so become what many refer to as “withdrawn.”
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the workshop, the participant will be able to: (1) describe evidence based teaching methodologies for effective social skills instruction; (2) identify assessment tools to identify foundational social skills deficits in learners of varying cognitive functioning; (3) implement teaching methodologies for foundational social skills.
Activities: Instructional strategies include lecture, discussion, small group breakout, and targeted reading. Workshop objectives will be met through a balanced presentation of lecture, guided practice, video observation, and group discussion. Core content will be taught through lecture, and video demonstrations of strategies will be provided. Supplemental materials for identifying language and learning barriers will be provided in order to support participant learning. The format combines lecture, small group activities, guided practice, and frequency building exercises.
Audience: This workshop is appropriate for BCBAs that train staff to run social skills groups; teachers, SLPs, behavioral instructors or therapists who run social skills groups; school staff intending to implement social skills instruction as a part of their curriculum; and anyone currently running social skills groups or wishing to run them in the future.
Content Area: Practice
Instruction Level: Basic



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