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 #362
Literacy Interventions for Students With Disabilities
Monday, May 31, 2010
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
Texas Ballroom Salon B (Grand Hyatt)
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Katelyn M. Fishley (The Ohio State University)
Abstract: Reading skills are critical for success in and out of school and throughout adulthood, and schools are being held increasingly more accountable for demonstrating adequate yearly progress in academic content and skill areas (particularly in reading) for all students. Students with disabilities often struggle to acquire these important literacy skills. In this symposium, results from several investigations of literacy interventions will be presented. Targeted skills included letter-sound identification, sight word identification and fluency, oral reading fluency, morpheme knowledge, and comprehension. Participants ranged from early elementary through high school and were identified with mild to severe disabilities. The interventions that were examined included a commercially available reading program (i.e., REWARDS; Archer, Gleason, & Vachon, 2005) as well as teacher- or researcher-developed programs, including a computer-assisted instruction program, an explicit instruction program, and fluency drills. Participants made moderate to substantial gains in basic and advanced reading skills. Implications for practice and future directions for research will be discussed.
The Effects of a Rate Plus Accuracy Criterion and an Accuracy-Only Criterion on the Maintenance and Endurance of Sight Word Reading
SHANNON S FLEMING (The Ohio State University), John W. Eshleman (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology), Denise E. Ross (Chicago School of Professional Psychology)
Abstract: The significance of fluency-building methods, compared to accuracy-only methods, has emerged as a salient issue in behavior analysis in recent years. The variables that determine fluency, what is required to produce fluency, and whether or not training behavior to fluency is necessary represent important sources of controversy within the field of behavior analysis. The purpose of the current investigation was to address some of the potential confounding variables listed in earlier research, as well as investigate the effect of response frequencies under two different criteria, on the maintenance and endurance of sight word reading. In addition, response latency as an independent variable was examined. An alternating treatments design was used with two kindergarten males diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders. When rates of reinforcement and opportunities to respond were held equal, response frequencies above the fluent aim appeared to be the best predictor of higher maintenance and endurance frequencies.
The Effects of Computer-Based Practice on the Acquisition of Basic Academic Skills in Children With Moderate to Intensive Needs
JULIE EVERHART (The Ohio State University), Sheila R. Alber-Morgan (The Ohio State University), Ju Hee Park (The Ohio State University)
Abstract: In this age of technology, computer assisted instruction has become an important and useful tool for teaching literacy and academic skills. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of computer-based practice on the acquisition of basic academic skills for early elementary children who have moderate to intensive educational needs. Academic concepts were chosen based on Individualized Education Program (IEP) goals and areas of need for each participant, all of whom had multiple disabilities. The computer games were designed by the experimenter to focus on these concepts and provided discrete trials with immediate feedback on each skill addressed. A multiple baseline design across skills was used to compare the effects of computer practice across three skills for each of three participants. Results showed that computer practice was effective in increasing the acquisition and maintenance of targeted academic skills in children who have moderate to intensive educational needs.
The Effects of the REWARDS Program on Fluency, Comprehension, and Reading Achievement for Struggling Readers
KRISTALL J. GRAHAM (The Ohio State University), Ralph Gardner III (The Ohio State University), Dorothy L. Morrison (The Ohio State University)
Abstract: This study examined the effects of the REWARDS program on the reading skills of 5 students across grades 4 through 10. REWARDS is an explicit instruction program that teaches students a strategy to decode longer words. The students in the study were considered to be at-risk or were diagnosed with mild disabilities. The dependent variables included oral reading fluency, comprehension, and overall reading achievement. The students were assessed using AIMSweb materials, generalization probes from grade level texts, and the Woodcock Reading Mastery Test. A multiple baseline design across 3 groups was utilized to assess changes in reading behavior. Results indicate that overall reading achievement increased for all participants. Fluency and comprehension increased for some students, but there were high levels of variability in responding. Students reported that they enjoyed the program and felt that it helped them read bigger words.
Effects of an Explicit Teaching Package on Morpheme Definition Fluency
KATELYN M. FISHLEY (The Ohio State University), Moira Konrad (The Ohio State University), Susan Keesey (The Ohio State University)
Abstract: A recent trend in vocabulary instruction is the teaching of Greek and Latin roots (morphemes) to increase students’ comprehension of novel vocabulary terms and teachers’ instructional efficiency. However, very little experimental research is available to document the effectiveness of this method. A multiple probe design was used to examine the effects of explicit instruction and fluency drills on the acquisition, generalization, and maintenance of morpheme knowledge. The subjects were four suburban high school students with learning disabilities. The independent variable was a package that included explicit instruction with a graphic organizer and fluency training sessions. The primary dependent variable was the number of correctly stated morpheme definitions on see-say flashcards in 30-second timings. Secondary dependent variables included the reading of words containing morphemes within sentences and the spelling of morphemes within words. Generalization measures included pre/post scores on (a) the Woodcock Reading Mastery Test and (b) the reading section of the state graduation practice test. Data to be collected.



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