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

Workshop Details

Previous Page


Workshop #W41
CE Offered: BACB
Variables That Affect Social Skills Instruction: The Important Role of Enthusiasm in the Development of Social Competence
Friday, May 28, 2010
6:00 PM–9:00 PM
Presidio C (Grand Hyatt)
Area: AUT/EDC; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
CE Instructor: Suzanne Mitchell, Ph.D.
JENNIFER E. COPELAND (Melmark), JESSICA R. EVERETT (Melmark New England)
Description: Social skill instruction is an integral component in the education of students with autism spectrum disorders. A variety of social skill instruction manuals are available in the commercial market, making it difficult for parents and practitioners to determine evidence-based procedures and best practice guidelines in this arena. However, very few commercially available curriculums include a component where functional assessment is conducted to determine variables that may affect the individual’s acquisition of specific targets. In the present workshop, the variable of enthusiasm will be closely examined in regard to the ways that instructors, peer partners, and individual learners may each interface during social interactions. We will review the impact that enthusiasm may have as a motivating operation, a target behavior, and as reinforcer during peer interactions. We will also review the learner’s acquisition of developmental milestones that may impact success with social skill interventions, particularly related to the development of affect. Various strategies will be presented for tailoring instruction and classroom-based activities that may facilitate the natural expression of enthusiasm among peer groups and instructors. Participants will be supplied with resources for assessment and training methods that can be customized to match individual student needs.
Learning Objectives: At the completion of the workshop, participants will be able to do the following: 1. identify tools used to assess enthusiasm as a component of social skills instruction in children with autism spectrum disorders; 2. identify whether instructor and peer enthusiasm is a motivating operation for targeted skills and strategies for tailoring instruction accordingly; 3. describe developmentally appropriate activities that promote enthusiasm during group instruction; 4. understand the importance of developmental milestones related to effect in terms of targeting and designing instruction for individual students; 5. apply resources to train staff to integrate the variable of enthusiasm into the social skills instruction with individual students.
Activities: The workshop will include didactic instruction, discussion, and small group activities. Video clips may be shown that illustrate targeted concepts. Case studies will also be presented to illustrate the targeted concepts. Small group assignments will focus on instructional strategies that promote the use of enthusiasm across a variety of activities that allow for the natural expression in peers.
Audience: Individuals working in public and private school environments, as well as those in clinic-based settings such as psychologists, special education teachers, behavior analysts, or speech and language pathologists.
Content Area: Practice
Instruction Level: Intermediate



Back to Top
Modifed by Eddie Soh