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 #521
Teaching Language Skills to Young Learners With Autism
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
10:30 AM–11:50 AM
203AB (CC)
Area: AUT
Chair: Joshua Plavnick (Michigan State University)
Teaching Initial Verbal Repertoires Using Function-Based Communication Training
Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
JOSHUA PLAVNICK (Michigan State University), Summer Ferreri (Michigan State University)
Abstract: Many children with autism also demonstrate severe communication impairment and require intensive intervention to acquire a verbal repertoire. At the same time, these children often rely upon unconventional prelinguistic behavior to convey basic needs and wants. The present investigation examined an experimental analysis methodology for identifying the functional properties of an individual’s prelinguistic behaviors and the effectiveness of function-based interventions for children with autism who were reliant on prelinguistic behavior to convey basic needs and wants. During the first experiment, an experimental analysis methodology was examined to identify the function of each participant’s prelinguistic behavior. Results suggested this methodology could be used to develop effective and efficient communication training procedures for children with autism and severe communication impairment. During the second experiment, function-based interventions were examined to validate the assessment procedure and to determine the effectiveness of these interventions for increasing a child’s communicative repertoire. Results will be discussed in terms of the effectiveness of the assessment methodology to identify functional relationships between prelinguistic behavior and environmental variables, the degree to which participants demonstrated an increase in desired communicative behavior, and the extent to which participants demonstrated a decrease in problematic communicative behavior.
A Comparison of the Effects of Discrete Trial Teaching Versus Discrete Trial Teaching With Fluency Training on Retention of Newly Acquired Picture Labels
Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
RAY CEPEDA (ABAskills, LLC), Allison Schear (Effective Interventions)
Abstract: The purpose of this research was to compare the retention of newly acquired picture labels in three children with autism that were mastered with discrete trial teaching and then taught to fluency versus picture labels learned with discrete trial teaching alone. Fluency based instruction was conducted to increase the participant's rate of expressive responding for acquired picture labels. Discrete trial teaching (i.e., a three-part teaching unit that is a specific behavioral sequence used to maximize learning) was used to teach the picture labels for discrete trial teaching to mastery and discrete trial teaching followed by fluency. Once the picture labels were mastered in the discrete trial only sets, weekly retention probes were conducted. Once the discrete trial with fluency training sets met criteria they were also placed on a weekly retention probe schedule. This paper will discuss which of the two teaching procedures promoted retention in the three participants with autism.
The Role of Peer Tutoring on the Acquisition of Verbal Operants
Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
CHRISTINE O'ROURKE LANG (Mercy College), Sudha Ramaswamy (Mercy College)
Abstract: The limited repertoire of social communicative behaviors of children with Autism may interfere with academic and social skills development and identifying effective interventions that improve social proficiency is an important goal. The present study is a systematic replication of the Ramaswamy study (2007) wherein she tested whether peer tutoring with typically developing peers can function as a procedure to teach children with Autism to emit verbal operants with peers in play settings using a multiple baseline across participants design. Two students from elementary level general education classes participated in the experiment as tutors along with three participants who were diagnosed with Autism. The dependent variable consisted of the number of verbal operants emitted between peers in play settings. The results showed a change in level of the emission of verbal operants in comparing baseline to treatment sessions across three participants across all operants measured. The study adds to existing literature documenting the benefits of peer tutoring as well as provides a method for teaching communicative behaviors to children with Autism.



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