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 #497
CE Offered: BACB
Examining Prompting Strategies for Teaching Verbal Behavior
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
202AB (CC)
Area: AUT/VRB; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Kathleen M. Clark (New England Center For Children)
CE Instructor: James Johnston, Ph.D.
Abstract: Effective instructional techniques for establishing verbal behavior with children with autism spectrum disorders or related disabilities have been receiving increased attention over the past decade. The purpose of this symposium is to examine prompting procedures for teaching verbal behavior. Four papers will be delivered in this symposium chaired by Kathy Clark of the New England Center for Children. The first paper, presented by Tiffany Cook of the New England Center for Children, compares echoic and textual prompting for teaching intraverbal behavior. The second paper, presented by Einar Ingvarsson of the University of North Texas, examines echoic, tact, and textual prompts for teaching intraverbal responding as well as assessing participant preference across the prompting techniques. The third paper, presented by Patrick Romani of the University of Iowa, examines the effect of prompt density and the modality of mand for establishing manding for individuals with severe communicative impairments. The last paper, presented by Sean Peterson of Texas Christian University, examines the effects of identity matching and echoic prompting on the acquisition of auditory-visual conditional discriminations.
Echoic Prompts Are as Good as or Better Than Textual Prompts for Teaching Intraverbal Behavior
TIFFANY COOK (The New England Center for Children), Lynn Keenan (Loudoun County Public Schools), William H. Ahearn (The New England Center for Children), Caio F. Miguel (California State University, Sacramento)
Abstract: Finkel and Williams (2001) found that textual prompts were more effective than echoic prompts for teaching intraverbal responses to a child with an ASD. The current study examined whether this finding would be replicated. Six children with an ASD diagnosis were taught to answer social questions using both prompting procedures. A multiple probe design was used. Observers measured the number of trials to criteria during acquisition and correct answers to the target questions during probes. These measures were assessed during acquisition as well as during post-training, and generalization probes, and in a 3-week follow-up probe. The results showed that, for all participants, with the exception of the last set of questions for one participant, echoic prompts were more or equally effective relative to textual prompts for teaching intraverbal behavior. Probe session data showed that, after training was implemented, responding increased across all participants with the exception of during the textual prompts probe for one participant for question set 1. Responding was maintained throughout follow-up for all participants. These data indicate that, contrary to the findings of Finkel and Williams, children with autism may be more likely to learn to answer questions more rapidly when taught with echoic prompting.
The Effectiveness of and Preference for Echoic, Tact, and Textual Prompts for Establishing Intraverbal Responding in Children With Autism
EINAR T. INGVARSSON (University of North Texas), Duy Dang Le (Child Study Center), Kellyn Joi Johnson (University of North Texas)
Abstract: We conducted a systematic replication of a study by Ingvarsson and Hollobaugh (submitted for publication). The results of this study indicated that in teaching intraverbal responding (question-answering) to 3 boys with autism, tact prompts resulted in fewer trials to criterion than echoic prompts. Four boys with autism participated in the current study; echoic and tact prompts were compared with three participants, and echoic, tact, and textual prompts with one participant. We also evaluated repeated acquisition with different question sets, and included a concurrent-chains arrangement, in which initial link selections determined which prompting procedure occurred in the terminal link. All the prompting procedures were effective in establishing intraverbal responding, but echoic prompting resulted in the fewest trials to criterion for 3 of the 4 participants. The difference in results between the two studies may have been due to the fact that the participants in the current study had greater history with the use of echoic prompts than the participants in the previous study. Two out of four participants showed quicker acquisition with a second set of questions. The concurrent chains arrangement revealed a clear preference for tact prompts for one participant, and a moderate tact-prompt preference for another.
An Evaluation of the Interactive Effects of Prompt Density, Mand Modality, and Functional Reinforcers Within Functional Communication Training
PATRICK ROMANI (University of Iowa), Joel Eric Ringdahl (University of Iowa), Kelly M. Vinquist (University of Iowa), Anuradha Salil Kumar Dutt (University of Iowa), Maliha Zaman (University of Iowa), Haley Whittington (University of Iowa)
Abstract: In the present study, we present data from two participants diagnosed with developmental disability who have a history of using several communicative modalities. Specifically, we evaluated the interactive effect of prompt rate, mand modality, and functional reinforcer using concurrent and single reinforcement schedules arrangements. A functional analysis of mands was conducted to identify positive reinforcers maintaining communication. Next, the rate of prompt presentation was varied for each participant to evaluate this variables’ affect on manding for functional reinforcers. During dense prompt schedules, the participants were prompted every 30-seconds to use a particular mand modality. During lean prompt schedules, the participants were only prompted at the outset of the session to use the relevant mand modality. Appropriate manding resulted in 30-second access to a tangible item or attention, depending on the condition. Inter-observer agreement was collected across 30% of all conditions conducted and averaged above 90%. Results indicated that an interaction existed between prompt density, mand modality, and manding for functional reinforcers. The data will be discussed in terms of their clinical relevance.
Effects of Identity-Matching and Echoic Prompts on the Acquisition of Auditory-Visual Conditional Discriminations
SEAN PETERSON (Texas Christian University), Charlotte Lynn Carp (Texas Christian University), Anna I. Petursdottir (Texas Christian University), Einar T. Ingvarsson (University of North Texas)
Abstract: Embedding an identity matching (IM) prompt in a least-to-most prompting hierarchy has shown to be more effective than least-to-most prompting alone for teaching auditory-visual conditional discriminations (Fisher, Kodak, & Moore, 2007). IM may function as a differential observing response (DOR) that increases attention to relevant aspects of comparison stimuli. In the present study, Experiment 1 was designed to replicate previous research in 2 children diagnosed with autism. Three conditions were evaluated in a multielement design: (a) IM prompt embedded in a least-to-most prompting hierarchy, (b) a traditional least-to-most prompting hierarchy, and (c) a trial-and-error control condition. The IM condition was shown to be more effective than other conditions for 1 participant; however, no acquisition was seen for the other participant in any condition, and an alternative evaluation of IM prompts is in progress. Experiment 2 evaluated the effects of a DOR to the auditory sample, by replacing the IM prompt with an echoic prompt. An effect of the echoic condition was seen for 1 participant with autism, and additional data collection is in progress. Results suggest that embedding a DOR in a least-to-most prompting hierarchy is more effective than using least-to-most prompting alone.



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