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 #181
CE Offered: BACB
Scaling up Assessment Quality and Treatment Outcomes of ABA for Children With Autism
Monday, May 30, 2016
8:00 AM–9:50 AM
Columbus Hall KL, Hyatt Regency, Gold East
Area: AUT/VRB; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Megan Galliford (Southern Illinois University Carbondale)
Discussant: Adam DeLine Hahs (Arizona State University)
CE Instructor: Alyssa N. Wilson, Ph.D.

The Promoting the Emergence of Advanced Knowledge Relational Training System (PEAK) is the first behavior analytic assessment and curriculum that is designed to promote the emergence of derived relational responding in individuals with- and without- disabilities. PEAK is grounded in Stimulus Equivalence theory and Relational Frame Theory accounts of human language and cognition, and provides an assessment of participants relational abilities with a set of curricular programs that target socially relevant skills and derivational abilities. The present set of studies will evaluate how the PEAK Equivalence assessment relates to standardized measures of intelligence, and will provide demonstrations of how programs in the PEAK curriculum can be used to teach several skills, as well as lead to corresponding changes in IQ. In addition, a demonstration of how advances in Relational Frame Theory can be incorporated into the PEAK curriculum will be provided, and the potential relationship between these more advanced relational abilities and intelligence will be discussed.

Keyword(s): Autism, Intelligence, RFT, Verbal Behavior

Moving Toward a Behavioral Analysis of Intellect: The Relationship Between the PEAK Relational Training System and Intelligence

JORDAN BELISLE (Southern Illinois University), Caleb Stanley (Southern Illinois University), Kyle E Rowsey (Southern Illinois University Carbondale), Jacob H. Daar (Southern Illinois University), Mark R. Dixon (Southern Illinois University)

The psychological construct of intelligence encompasses a variety of capacities (ex., logic, abstract thought, understanding, self-awareness, learning, emotional knowledge, and memory) that have been captured in contemporary psychometric measures. The most well-known surveys of intelligence provide a measure of intelligence in terms of the intelligence quotient (IQ). Standardized IQ tests have been used for placement and diagnostic purposes for over a century due to their predictive validity across several socially significant outcomes. Although purely psychometric evaluations of intelligence have generated strong results, surveys of intelligence do not provide researchers and clinicians with a framework that breaks down the behavioral units of intellect. The Promoting the Emergence of Advanced Knowledge Relational Training system (PEAK) is a behavior analytic assessment and curriculum that targets responsivity to direct training, as well as generalization and derived relational abilities. Several studies detail the relationship between the PEAK assessment and standardized measures of IQ, specifically in application with individuals with autism and other neurodegenerative disabilities. By reducing the construct of IQ into specific and measurable behavioral units, the PEAK curriculum has the potential to improve identified cognitive and language skills deficits that are related to contemporary measures of human intelligence.

The Effectiveness of PEAK in Promoting the Emergence of Derived Relational Responding and Corresponding Increases in IQ
CALEB STANLEY (Southern Illinois University), Jordan Belisle (Southern Illinois University), Kyle E Rowsey (Southern Illinois University Carbondale), Ryan C. Speelman (Southern Illinois University), Mark R. Dixon (Southern Illinois University)
Abstract: The Promoting the Emergence of Advanced Knowledge (PEAK) is a recently developed assessment and curriculum protocol that uses behavior analytic principles to teach language, academic skills, and social skills. The PEAK incorporates both contingency based learning, and a contemporary behavior analytic approach to teach necessary skills to individuals with autism and other intellectual and developmental disabilities. Recently, data have emerged that suggest a strong correlation between the PEAK assessment and IQ. Several studies also detail the utility of the PEAK assessment and curriculum in teaching academic skills and categorical responding, establishing cross-sensory equivalence classes, and increasing IQ in individuals with autism and related disabilities. By increasing necessary skills and intelligence, there is the potential of making significant gains in an individual’s repertoire.

Using PEAK to Teach Metaphorical Emotions and Contextually Distorted Tacts to Children With Emotional Disorders

ALYSSA N. WILSON (Saint Louis University), Victoria Frescura (St. Louis University)

Preliminary research has shown the effectiveness of the Promoting the Emergence of Advanced Knowledge Relational Training System (PEAK) curriculum in teaching a range of verbal skills, including metaphorical emotions. However, to date, minimal research has evaluated the effectiveness of PEAK in teaching children with emotional disorders contextually distorted tacts related to private emotional events metaphorically. Therefore, the current study used a concurrent multiple baseline design to train three children to make correct word-picture and vocal-picture matches between stimuli of emotional states and pictures (e.g., happy, sad, and angry; sunshine, rain, and steaming kettle). Two arbitrary stimuli served as contextual cues for relations of sameness (Context One) and opposition (Context Two). Distorted metaphorical tacts where extinguished during Context One, and reinforced during Context Two. Trial-by-trial interobserver agreement data was collected for 25% of sessions (total agreement = 100%). Following training, all students demonstrated higher than baseline accuracies on response selection and intraverbal emissions to WH questions related to emotions, for both metaphorical and distorted tacts. The results replicate and extend previous on the PEAK curriculum.


Using Relational Frame Theory to Teach Perspective-Taking in Developmentally Delayed Children During in an Elementary School Setting

AUTUMN N. MCKEEL (Aurora University), Margaret Sanders (Aurora University)

The current study used multiple exemplar training (MET) to teach perspective-taking skills to two early elementary school age children with identified developmental delays. Using a multiple probe design, participants were trained using a testing and training protocol developed for the purpose of this study, and was based on previous protocols. This protocol taught the three deictic relational frames I-YOU, HERE-THERE and NOW-THEN through the use of childrens books. Results show that relational responding can be achieved using MET as evidenced by posttest probes meeting criteria without being directly trained. Procedures were shown to not only be successful at training perspective-taking skills but the use of childrens books was a natural means to train this skill. Implications of this study give professionals in a public school a protocol to train basic skills related to empathy while also providing an objective measurement of behavior as a result of the training.




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