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.


45th Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2019

Event Details

Previous Page


Symposium #402
CE Offered: BACB
Using Self-Management Strategies as Replacement Behaviors for Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder
Monday, May 27, 2019
8:00 AM–8:50 AM
Hyatt Regency West, Ballroom Level, Regency Ballroom C
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Adrianna O. Zambrzycka (Center for Children with Special Needs)
Discussant: Mark J. Palmieri (The Center for Children with Speical Needs)
CE Instructor: Elizabeth C. Nulty, Ph.D.

Children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders commonly engage in inflexible or rigid behaviors, such as deciding on a game to play with a peer, insisting that they drink from a certain cup, or wearing a specific shirt daily. Interruption of these behaviors often evokes challenging behavior; leading to reduced access to home, school, and community environments. When analyzing the complex nature of these behaviors and the resulting challenging behavior, behavior analysts must identify not only management strategies and topography specific replacement skills but also the underlying skill deficits present in the children’s profile. This symposium describes how behavioral cusp skills can be targeted for instruction to provide the learner with a conceptual framework of self-management skills that can evolve in complexity as they encounter varying situations and engage in novel topographies of behavior. Two papers will be presented, with the first outlining strategies for teaching generalized problem-solving strategies and the second focusing on teaching children to accurately self-report their emotional state and then apply a previously trained coping strategy.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): problem solving, self-management
Target Audience:

This symposium is for anyone working with children with autism who need self-management strategies.

Learning Objectives: 1. Participants will identify the components to teaching problem solving strategies to children on the autism spectrum. 2. Participants will identify the components for teaching individuals on the autism spectrum to accurately self-identify their own challenging behavior in the moment.
Teaching Children on the Autism Spectrum Generalized Problem Solving Skills
SHAUNESSY M. EGAN (The Center for Children with Special Needs), Samuel Hauslaib (Center for Children with Special Needs )
Abstract: Often when a conflict or challenge arises in the environment, individuals on the autism spectrum rely on others to identify the problem and provide them with guidance on the steps required to manage the situation successfully. Within home and school settings, instruction is often focused on teaching the child how to respond to a series of specific situations and engage in prescribed alternative behaviors, resulting in little opportunity for spontaneous generalization. By focusing instead on teaching critical thinking skills related to problem solving both small issues (e.g., “I’m bored, and I don’t know what to play”) and large issues (e.g., “I’m bullied at school”), generalized responses are acquired and the over-reliance on adult support on can be decreased in novel situations. This paper focuses on teaching children ages 7-12 years old, diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders, how to critically think through individualized scenarios, by teaching problem solving in in clinical setting. Additionally, strategies for supporting caregivers to expand the skills that have been mastered in a contrived format to naturally occurring novel situations will be discussed.

Using Self-Management Training to Teach Children With Autism to Accurately Self-Identify Challenging Behaviors

ELIZABETH C. NULTY (Center for Children with Special Needs), Samuel Hauslaib (Center for Children with Special Needs )

Individuals on the autism spectrum are frequently unaware of how their behavior affects others in their environment. It can be challenging for the individual with autism to self-identify the antecedents in their environments that may evoke their own challenging behaviors and for the individual to then manage their behavior in the moment. This paper first reviews strategies for instructing students to self-tact their behavior according to a five-point Likert scale. The paper then describes how the child specific labels were yoked to self-management programming to teach children, ages 7-12 years old, how to identify the environmental situations and establishing operations that affect their behavior, identify in the moment that they are engaging in a specific behavior, and apply individualized coping strategies in-vivo. The data presented will include agreement scores based on the child’s self-monitoring data as compared the ratings of staff members, along with social validity information gathered from caregiver surveys.




Back to Top
Modifed by Eddie Soh