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 #137
CE Offered: BACB
Efficacy of TeachTown: Basics in Classrooms
Sunday, May 30, 2010
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
202AB (CC)
Area: AUT/EDC; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Shannon Cernich (Jigsaw Learning)
Discussant: Christina Whalen (TeachTown)
CE Instructor: Mark Harvey, Ph.D.
Abstract: TeachTown: Basics, a computer-assisted ABA intervention has been shown to be an effective method for ABA delivery in several research studies. In a recent study, 47 children participated in one of the only ABA clinical trials implemented in the classroom environment. Results demonstrated that the use of TeachTown: Basics improved language, social skills, auditory processing, and other skills better than regular classroom programs for both the treatment group and for the control group, who received the intervention after a control phase for the first 1/2 of the school year. These results will be discussed and a brief demonstration of the new version of TeachTown:Basics will be shared.
The TeachTown: Basics ABA Intervention
SHANNON CERNICH (TeachTown), Christina Whalen (TeachTown)
Abstract: TeachTown: Basics utilizes the science of ABA to teach language, academics, life, and social skills to children with autism and related disorders. It is now being used with thousands of students in classrooms and homes across the US and research studies support the efficacy of the program. The program includes computer lessons with highly motivating rewards, off-computer "Connection" activities, comprehensive and automatic reporting, and a communication system for the whole team. The program has had a complete make-over to further enhance motivation for students using animated characters and music. The new version of TeachTown: Basics will be shown, along with a discussion of how we can further improve student motivation, skill acquisition, and generalization using animated characters, music, and the science of ABA. The Connection activities have also been updated and expanded and will be shared in this presentation, along with a video sample of an activity being done in the classroom.
Efficacy of TeachTown: Basics With 47 Students With Autism Spectrum Disorders
DEBBIE MOSS (Los Angeles Unified School District), Christina Whalen (TeachTown)
Abstract: Several studies have been conducted using TeachTown: Basics and results have been promising to date. In a recent study, 47 children with Autism Spectrum Disorders participated in a clinical trial in the Los Angeles Unified School District. In the first phase of the study, ½ of the classrooms were assigned to a control group and ½ of the classrooms were assigned to the TeachTown: Basics intervention group. Students in the intervention used the computer program for approximately 20 minutes per day and engaged in an off-computer Connection activity for about 20 minutes per day over a 3-month time period. The 40 minutes was not additional, rather, replaced some of the child’s regular classroom activities like 1:1 structured teaching. The students in the TeachTown: Basics demonstrated mastery of skills in language, academics, life, and social skills and these skills generalized to the Brigance assessment. Due to the positive results for the TeachTown: Basics students, these students continued to use the program for the remainder of the school year and the control group students also began using it. Results were very positive for both groups. Data from these studies, along with video samples of students will be shown.
Collateral Effects of TeachTown: Basics on Language, Social Skills, and Motivation
MANYA C. R. VAUPEL (Jigsaw Learning), Christina Whalen (TeachTown)
Abstract: Due to the promising results from the TeachTown: Basics classroom clinical trial, further analysis was conducted to look at collateral effects of the intervention. Videos of the students using the computer and engaging in off-computer “Connection” activities were compared to baseline videos of typical teaching sessions. Results showed that Connection activities resulted in increased attention to task, increased prompted language, and more positive teacher-student interactions. Computer lessons resulted in increased positive affect, joint attention, and spontaneous language. Behavior problems were reduced in both the computer and off-computer TeachTown: Basics activities compared to regular 1:1 teaching sessions. These effects were observed with the Treatment group in the 1st half of the school year and replicated with the 2nd half of the school year, and replicated with Control group students. These results indicate that having pre-planned lessons for the classroom and computer-assisted instruction may result in better behavioral outcomes, as well as assessment outcomes.



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