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 #216
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Interventions to Support Children with Autism In General Education Classrooms: Priming and Choral Responding
Sunday, May 30, 2010
1:30 PM–2:50 PM
202AB (CC)
Area: AUT/CSE; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Joel P. Hundert (Behaviour Institute)
CE Instructor: Steven Gordon, Ph.D.ABPP
Abstract: Without specific interventions, the placement of children with autism in general education classrooms is unlikely to result in improvement of their academic performance or social behaviors. Interventions to support children with autism in inclusive educational settings not only need to be effective, but also need to be practical to implement by educators in those settings. This symposium will present four studies that examined interventions to support children with autism in general education classrooms. One study will compare high to low similarity of the priming situation to the classroom situation on the academic performance of children with autism. A second study will compare the use of a single or multiple play partners in a priming situation on the subsequent impact on interactive play of children with autism during free play. A third study will examine the use of priming to teach children with autism to attend and respond to group-directed questions during teacher lessons. A final study will describe the use of use of choral responding by the classroom teacher to increase the response opportunities of all students in a class, including children with autism.
The Effect of Setting Similarity on Priming of Academic Performance of Children With Autism
JOEL P. HUNDERT (Behaviour Institute), Miranda Sim (Behaviour Institute), Alicia Ebert (McMaster University)
Abstract: Priming is a promising intervention to improve the academic performance of children with autism in general education classrooms not only because it has been found to be effective, but also because it does not involve time-consuming procedures being implemented by classroom personnel. However, it is unclear what variables are important to produce the priming effect. For example, in priming, a child with autism may be pre-taught academic work at home that he/she will encounter the next day at school. To what extent does the similarity of the priming situation (e.g., use of the same academic work materials) to the classroom situation influence the effectiveness of priming? This paper will present the results of a study in which two children with autism received priming either in their home by a tutor, using similar, but not identical academic work material or in a resource room at school conducted by their teacher assistant using the identical material as found in the classroom. The results indicated that greater improvement in the academic performance of children with autism occurred under the high-similarity condition.
Same or Multiple Play Partners in Priming of Peer Interaction of Children With Autism
DONNA C. CHANEY (Behaviour Institute), Joel P. Hundert (Behaviour Institute), Niki Van Riel (McMaster University)
Abstract: Children with autism show more immature forms of play, interact with peers less often and spend more time interacting with adults than their typically-developing peers. Priming has been used to increase spontaneous play initiations of preschoolers with autism in a general education classroom. Here, multiple play partners from the general education classroom are selected and practice interacting with the child with autism before the play session. Although priming has been shown to be effective for increasing sharing, it is unclear if using multiple, rather than a single peer play partner is important in obtaining effects. This paper will present the results of the study in which an alternative treatment design was used to compare the effects of same play partner or multiple play partners in priming peer interaction of children with autism. Although using the same play partner led to faster acquisition of taught play scripts, using multiple play partners resulted in more generalization of effects in the target setting.
The Use of Priming for Teaching Readiness Skills for Group Instruction for Children With Autism
MIRANDA SIM (Behaviour Institute), Joel P. Hundert (Behaviour Institute), Monika Wydra (Behaviour Institute), Amy Finkelstein (Behaviour Institute)
Abstract: One of the goals of including children with autism in general education classrooms is to increase their participation and learning during group instruction. However, placement of children with autism in general education classrooms has been associated with low occurrence of on-task behavior when teachers are presenting lessons. One strategy to increase on-task behavior and responding of children with autism during group instruction is to teach these skills specifically during priming sessions conducted at another time. Two children with autism received simulations of a class lesson as a dyad. During priming, the children received group instruction together and were prompted as well as reinforced for participation. The effect of this priming on the behavior of children with autism during group instruction was probed during baseline and after priming was introduced using a multiple baseline design. Priming resulted in improvement in the group instruction readiness skills of children with autism in the classroom environment.
The Effect of Choral Responding on Task Engagement of Children With Autism During Class Lessons
NICOLE WALTON-ALLEN (Behaviour Institute), Joel P. Hundert (Behaviour Institute), Sarah Greflund (McMaster University)
Abstract: A strong predictor of successful academic performance in a child with autism in a general education class is the amount of their active engagement in learning tasks. However, general education classroom instruction often consists of a teacher directing questions to the entire class during presented lessons. Questions directed to the entire class do not typically involve a high number of response opportunities for any one student. Low opportunities for responding may be particularly challenging for children with autism who may lack classroom readiness skills and academic knowledge at the level of the rest of the class. One strategy that may be effective in a general education classroom to increase response opportunities for all students, including students with autism in the class is the use of choral responding. In choral responding all students in the class learn to respond in unison when the teacher asks a question. This paper will present a study on the effect of choral responding during group instruction on the on-task behavior, correct responding, and disruptive behavior of children with autism.



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