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.


36th Annual Convention; San Antonio, TX; 2010

Event Details

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Symposium #377
Use of Evidenced-Based Approaches for Teaching Adolescents With Autism Spectrum Disorders Functional Daily Living and Social-Communication Skills
Monday, May 31, 2010
10:30 AM–11:50 AM
206AB (CC)
Area: AUT/EDC; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Bonnie Kraemer (San Diego State University)
Discussant: Gregory S. MacDuff (Princeton Child Development Institute)
Abstract: Although many evidenced-based strategies exist for teaching functional daily living, communication, and social skills for children with autism, they are often less employed with older youth with ASD. However, it is known that the adolescent years prove to be challenging years for this population, as they prepare to leave the school system and enter the adult world. Lack of functional skills across key domain areas can result in reduced opportunities for community participation and social-isolation. The present symposium will present data from three empirical studies involving adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder. The first paper addresses the critical skill of teaching adolescent girls with ASD self-care during menstruation. The second paper focuses on teaching three teenage boys with ASD functional communication skills within the context of a typical high school setting. Lastly, the third paper will present findings from a manualized social skills intervention program for middle-school youth with high-functioning autism. All three papers address skills that are important for this population of young people and will demonstrate how critical it is to continue to use approaches grounded in research when designing educational programs and interventions.
Teaching Adolescent Females With Autism to Self-Care During Menstruation Using Social Stories and Task Analysis
LESLEY KLETT (San Diego State University), Yasemin Turan (San Diego State University)
Abstract: To date there is a lack of empirically valid sexual-education interventions for individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) (Hellemans, Colson, Verbraeken, Vermeiren, & Deboutte, 2007; Koller, 2000; Stokes & Kaur, 2005; Sullivan & Caterino, 2008; Ternai & Wolfe, 2008). This study is designed to evaluate the effectiveness of using social stories combined with task analysis to teach the self-care skill of changing a sanitary pad. The participants are three adolescent females with ASD between the ages of 11 and 13 who have recently experienced their first menstrual cycle. A multiple baseline across individuals design will be utilized to evaluate the effectiveness of the intervention procedures. The intervention procedures will be carried out in each participant’s home with parents’ assistance and generalization from home to the school setting will be evaluated. It is hypothesized that the use of social stories with task analysis will increase the participants’ skill of changing a sanitary pad, while providing needed context to a social situation. This study contributes to research on empirically sound interventions for the sexual education of individuals with ASD.
Using Scripts Paired With Self-Monitoring to Increase Social Communication Skills in Adolescents With Autism
PAMELA JOHNSON (San Diego State University), Bonnie Kraemer (San Diego State University)
Abstract: An increasing number of youth with autism are entering secondary and transition programs in public school systems. Many of these students lack the specific skills necessary to initiate and maintain social conversations with typical peers. While research has shown the benefits of using scripts and script-fading techniques to teach young children communication skills (Brown et al., 2007; Ganz et al., 2008; MacDuff et al., 2007), there is a gap in recent research regarding the use of scripts as an empirically validated intervention with adolescent and young adult populations with ASD. The purpose of the present study is to examine the effectiveness of a commercial curriculum using scripts and a self-monitoring system to teach conversation skills to three adolescents with autism between the ages of 14-18 who attend a public high school. Outcome variables to be measured include initiations made by students with autism to typical peers, their responses to initiations made by others, and their ability to extend conversation with additional comments or questions. This study will contribute to the literature by addressing the needs of both adolescents with autism and public school teachers looking for empirically validated interventions that are low cost and simple to implement.
School-Based Social Skills Training for Adolescents With High Functioning Autism
SHAYLA A. GREEN (San Diego State University), Bonnie Kraemer (San Diego State University)
Abstract: The adolescent years prove to be challenging years for individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) as they attempt to make and keep friends, “fit in”, and deal with feelings of rejection and incidents of bullying (Adreon & Durocher, 2007; Bauminger & Shulman, 2003; Tse et al., 2007). This study is designed to report on the outcomes of a manualized social skills intervention program, The PEERS Program (Program for the Education and Enrichment of Relational Skills; Laugeson & Frankel, 2010) designed specifically for teens with high functioning autism. The 14 week intervention procedure consists of didactic lessons, followed by role-playing exercises, and performance feedback. The participants are 5 adolescents with high functioning autism ranging in age from 11 to 14 years old, who exhibit deficits in social skill behavior. The intervention will be carried out in a public middle school within a special day class setting. It is hypothesized that the participants will increase their knowledge of social skills, as well as demonstrate an increase in observed appropriate social skill behavior. This study contributes to research on evidence based interventions for increased social skills of adolescents with ASD.



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