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 #379
CE Offered: BACB
Recent Findings Using TAGteach in Diverse Populations and Applications Such as Autism and Commercial Fishermen
Monday, May 31, 2010
10:30 AM–11:50 AM
202AB (CC)
Area: AUT/EDC; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Theresa Mckeon (TAGteach International)
Discussant: Julie S. Vargas (B. F. Skinner Foundation)
CE Instructor: Henry Roane, Ph.D.
Abstract: Three presentations analyzing the effectiveness of using an acoustical stimulus in conjunction with reinforcement in various teaching strategies will be presented. Standard teaching curricula (especially those designed for students with autism) are typically based on the use of prompting and shaping procedures. One way to augment these procedures is to pair an auditory or visual event with the delivery of reinforcement to “mark” the correct response. TAGteach© is a technology based on the use of “markers” or auditory stimuli paired with the delivery of reinforcement to teach new behaviors. “TAG” stands for Teaching with Acoustical Guidance and is demonstrated in Dr. Julie Vargas’ new book, “Behavior Analysis for Effective Teaching”. Practitioners of TAGteach argue for its effectiveness in many endeavors across a wide range of populations. Two of the presentations discuss the use of TAGteach combined with currently accepted technologies for teaching early learning curriculum to young children with autism. The third reaches out to a diverse population (commercial fishermen) that showed tangible benefits from this application of behavior analysis.
The Combined Effects of TAGteach and Precision Teaching on Learning for Children With Autism
KEVIN S. CAULEY (Step by Step Learning Group), Elizabeth Benedetto-Nasho (Step by Step Learning Group Inc.)
Abstract: The cognitive profile of children with autism suggests that they require immediate and clear performance feedback with regards to whether or not their responses matched the desired teaching target. The behavior analytic literature has found that performance feedback is greatly enhanced when reinforcement is delivered contingently and immediately (Miller, 2006). TAGteach capitalizes on the principles of reinforcer effectiveness through the use of audible makers that communicate a simple and clear statement that gives students instant feedback. Precision Teaching emphasizes the idea of evaluate then revise. Using this powerful technology, teachers are urged to pinpoint behaviors, count and time them, and then immediately adjust when initial teaching tactics do not produce desired results. A key aspect of viewing student performance through a Precision Teaching paradigm is the concept of child knows best. That is, if a student is progressing, then the instructional arrangement is good. However, if performance falters, then the instructional arrangement should be adjusted (Lindsley, 1972). Combining TAGteach and Precision Teaching provides a template for potentially enhancing the rate of learning for children with autism. This data-based presentation will discuss the use of these combined technologies for teaching early learning curriculum to young children with autism.
Creating and Following Directions in Hazardous Situations—TAGteach on the Bering Sea
THERESA MCKEON (TAGteach International)
Abstract: This case looks at the Cascade fishing company and how they incorporated positive reinforcement and TAGteach (a set of procedures directly derived from B.F. Skinner’s work) to improve overall communication and substantially reduce onboard injuries over two years. The environment is a trawler that fishes the Bering Sea. The fish are processed on the boat, so workers spend 70 straight days working dangerous equipment while the boat is tossed about in freezing temperatures. Communication difficulties abound from the natural environment and are compounded by cultural and language differences among the crew. In the first year following the TAGteach workshop, injuries during the off loading procedure were reduced from 21 to 0. Year two provided the same results. Going into season 3 the ‘Seafisher’ has had no accidents and has had their insurance rates lowered as a result. In post season interviews, 100% of participants attributed the reduction to the techniques acquired during the workshops. Videos of the interactive training and of subsequent improvements will be shown to emphasize the potential of this type of training.
The Use of TAGteach to Improve the Acquisition of Instruction Following in Children With Autism
MARY LYNCH BARBERA (Barbera Behavior Consulting)
Abstract: The use of TAG (Teaching with Acoustical Guidance) was examined in the acquisition of various skill deficits in children with autism. Some students demonstrated a deficit in their tact repertoire and others in their instruction following repertoire and/or their ability to identify items receptively. Four students at a non-public school for children with autism participated in the study. The students had not acquired the skills previously mentioned in a structured teaching environment using standard discrete trial teaching nor through incidental teaching (e.g., within routine contexts). A multiple baseline across subjects design was used to examine whether the insertion of TAG, used to reinforce the target response prior to receipt of the highly preferred item, led to an increase in the acquisition of the skill. Students were exposed to a either a tacting, instruction following, or receptive object identification lesson with standard discrete trial teaching (i.e., SD-R-SR) during baseline. The use of TAG was implemented with each student in a staggered fashion and inserted immediately after a correct response.



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