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 #20
CE Offered: BACB
Advances in Skill Acquisition Techniques for Children With Autism: Empirical Evidence for Emerging Practice
Saturday, May 29, 2010
1:00 PM–2:20 PM
202AB (CC)
Area: AUT/DDA; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Amanda N. Adams (California State University, Fresno)
Discussant: Rachel Findel-Pyles (The Chicago School, Los Angeles)
CE Instructor: J. Hughes, Ph.D.
Abstract: Some techniques in early intervention for young children with autism are common practice and some are emerging. Either are at risk for occasionally lacking empirical support. Three papers in this symposium will examine skill acquisition techniques for quickly advancing skills with children in early intervention programs.
The Effect of Errorless Learning Procedures on Rate of Skill Acquisition in ABA
HANNA WOLDE (California State University, Fresno), Amanda N. Adams (California State University, Fresno)
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of errorless teaching procedures in skills acquisition of children with autism in early intensive behavioral treatment based on principles of applied behavior analysis (ABA). The study compared two teaching strategies, an error correction (‘no’, ‘no’ prompting) and errorless teaching procedures (delayed cue, stimulus fading, and superimposition and fading), using alternating treatment design to teach various skills to four children with autism (age 3-5 years). Two programs or skills were selected for each participant, including reading sight words, answering “what” and “where” questions, receptively identifying actions, shapes, objects, and animals. Two targets (e.g., dog and cat for receptively identifying animals) were selected for each program. One target (cat) was taught using errorless teaching procedure and the other (dog) was simultaneously taught using error correction method. Participants had to perform 80% or higher for three consecutive probe sessions in order for the skill to be mastered. Results indicated that all four participants, on average, acquired skills 44% faster using errorless teaching procedure than with error correction method. Moreover, on average, it took participants 4.25 probe sessions to master a program using errorless procedure compared to 7.6 sessions with error correction. However, one of the participants, who was high functioning, showed no difference in skill acquisition between the two procedures in one of the programs (“where” questions). In general, these results indicated that errorless teaching procedures were superior to error correction in skills acquisition for all four participants.
The Effects of Expansions at the End of Discrete Trials: Child Language Outcomes
MELISSA L. OLIVE (Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc.), Elizabeth Cage (Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc.), Jonathan J. Tarbox (Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc.), Chia Jung Chiang (Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc.), E. Amanda Boutot (Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc.)
Abstract: Werts and colleagues examined the outcomes of unrelated instructional feedback at the end of discrete trials (Werts, Wolery, Holcombe, & Frederick, 1993). They reported positive learning outcomes for children. Expansions are more sophisticated related utterances provided in response to child utterances. Expansions have been shown to have positive changes in children’s language outcomes (Girolametto et al. 1999). The effects of expansions at the end of discrete trials on language outcomes for children are unknown. Thus, the purpose of this study is to examine the effects of expansions at the end of discrete trial on language skills of children with autism. A multiple baseline across expressive language lessons was used to evaluate the outcomes of this study. This was replicated with three children. Data collected included percent correct trial by trial data, spontaneous initiations, and use of targeted phrases. Generalization data were collected during natural environment sessions. Results demonstrated that expansions at the end of discrete trials resulted in rapid acquisition of new language targets that generalized to untrained environments.
Teaching Bidirectional Intraverbal Relations to Children With Autism in a Service-Delivery Setting
MARLA SALTZMAN (Autism Behavior Intervention, Inc.), Rachel Findel-Pyles (The Chicago School, Los Angeles), Caio F. Miguel (California State University, Sacramento), Sebastien Bosch (California Unified Service Providers of California State University)
Abstract: Given that one of the primary goals of Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention (EIBI) is to accelerate the rates of learning for children with autism, the application of procedures demonstrating relative efficiency is of significant applied importance. Especially in the intermediate pieces of EIBI language curricula, many intraverbal relations related to functions, features, categories, locations, occupations, etc. are taught. Many of these intraverbal relations are bidirectional. A bidirectional intraverbal relation is comprised of an original A-B relation (e.g., “What do you drive?” – “car”) and a reverse B-A relation (e.g., “What do you do with a car?” – “drive”). One way of increasing efficiency of training may be to establish bidirectional intraverbal responding. Two types of intraverbal training procedures were used with young children with autism to examine relative efficiency in terms of response acquisition and the emergence of intraverbals. Delayed reversal training, in which a number of original intraverbals were taught, followed by the teaching of the corresponding reverse intraverbals was compared to immediate reversal training, in which each reverse intraverbal was taught immediately after the corresponding original intraverbal. An alternating treatments design, alternating between delayed and immediate reversal training was used and trials to criterion and emergence of original and reverse intraverbals was tested. Results will be discussed in terms of the challenges of and implications for conducting research in a clinical setting.



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