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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Paper Session #83
Early Language Intervention for Children With Autism
Saturday, May 29, 2010
4:00 PM–4:50 PM
202AB (CC)
Area: AUT
Chair: Cheryl Ostryn (University of Colorado Denver)
Teaching Preschool Children With Autism to Expressively Discriminate Between “What’s That?” and “Where Is It?”
Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
CHERYL OSTRYN (University of Colorado, Denver), Pamela S. Wolfe (Penn State University)
Abstract: Expressive discrimination of question-asking is a critical conversational skill with significant practical importance for children with ASD, as it allows them to have control over their own communications and the ability to appropriately converse with others. Question-asking is also a skill which allows individuals with ASD to take active roles in communicating as opposed to passive roles, and have a functional method to initiate mands for information. This first study of its kind investigated whether three preschool children with ASD could learn and discriminate between using the first wh-questions “What’s that?” and “Where is it?” Results showed that all three children learned to ask the questions and discriminated between them in the appropriate context within 6-16 sessions, and learned novel vocabulary after asking “What’s that?” These results support using a prompting procedure for teaching wh-questions, and highlights the importance of identifying individualized establishing operations, as well as supporting the use of detailed pre-requisite skill assessments to maximize learning of wh-questions. The procedures used in this study to teach the wh-questions can be implemented by educators and parents and easily integrated in preschoolers’ classrooms and natural environments.
Stages in Speech Evocation During Mand Training While Using the Sign Protocol
Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
SMITA AWASTHI (Association for Behavior Analysis of India), Kinnari Bhatt (Seneca College), Priyanka Bhabu (Association for Behavior Analysis of India), Sonika Srivastava (Autism Awareness & Action)
Abstract: Mand training protocol using signs was used to teach communication to children between the ages 1.7 years – 3 years of age. Four mothers living in India, were trained in the mand protocol as well as in contriving situations for increasing opportunities for communication. Data was taken on intensity of mands as well as skills acquired. It was observed that all children exhibited evocation of speech in stages. The first stage involved manding with prompted signs, this was followed by manding independently using sign however no speech was observed, in the third stage, some signs were paired with some sounds or words, and in the final stage independent vocals emerged while some signs dropped. The third and fourth stage of speech evocation was also accompanied with emerging speech in intraverbals, tacts, echoics. These results were observed across all children however one family needed retraining due to observed scrolling in using signs. The study concludes speech evocation in children with ASD happens in stages.



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