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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Paper Session #329
Teaching Language Skills in Autism: Relational Frame Theory and Naming
Monday, May 30, 2016
5:00 PM–5:50 PM
Randolph, Hyatt Regency, Bronze East
Area: AUT
Chair: Kelli Perry (Therapeutic Pathways/The Kendall Center)
Learning to Learn and Naming Through Receptive and Expressive Identification
Domain: Applied Research
KELLI PERRY (Western Michigan University), Richard W. Malott (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: Poor or no language skills are typical for most preschool children with autism. Language can be divided into the two components of receptive, or listener, skills and expressive, or speaker, skills. Recommendations for sequencing language instruction vary across the different behavior-analytic instructional models (Lovaas, 1981; Barbara & Rasmussen, 2007; Sundberg & Partington, 1998; Sundberg, 2008). The current study sought to examine those recommendations using young children (aged two- to four-years) with limited vocal repertoires. For two of the three participants, there appeared to be no significant difference in the number of trials or the number of errors in learning the expressive use of words, regardless of whether or not the children had previously learned to respond receptively to those specific words. This suggests that having a receptive history provides no major benefit for expressive training. Implications for learning to learn and naming are also discussed.

Integrating Precision Teaching and Relational Frame Theory to Produce Complex Language Repertoires in Learners With Autism

Domain: Service Delivery
KIMBERLY NIX BERENS (Fit Learning: New York)

It is a common understanding that learners diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder struggle to acquire complex language repertoires. Moreover, such learners often display rigid, rote responding, prompt dependency, inattentiveness, and inadequate generalization of skills. Although these characteristics likely have their origins in the nature of the disorder itself, it is possible that discrete-trial teaching procedures and more traditional approaches to training verbal behavior exacerbate such characteristics. The current paper will illustrate the benefits of using precision teaching to train and measure the establishment of derived stimulus relations with learners with autism. These procedures will be discussed with respect to their origins in behavioral science, their utility for more reliably evaluating learning and skill mastery, and their effectiveness in producing complex, generative language repertoires. Such repertoires include listening and attending, response flexibility, creativity, inferential language, critical thinking, problem solving, and comprehension. Video clips, clinical outcome data, and controlled research findings obtained with learners who have received this type of training will be shared and discussed.




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