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 #238
VB-Based Interventions II
Sunday, May 30, 2010
1:30 PM–2:50 PM
214D (CC)
Area: VRB
Chair: Timothy M. Weil (University of South Florida)
An Assessment of a Naturalistic In-Home Training Protocol to Establish Joint Attention Responding With Children Diagnosed With Autism Spectrum Disorders
Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
HEATHER BURRIS (University of South Florida), Timothy M. Weil (University of South Florida), Victoria Fogel (University of South Florida)
Abstract: Children with autism have deficits in social interactions, verbal and nonverbal communication and engagement in rigid and repetitive activities and/or interests (ASA, 2008). A joint attention repertoire has been identified as a behavioral cusp for later social development and thus, JA deficits serve as an early indicator for diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (Vismara & Lyons, 2007; Whalen & Schbreibman, 2003). A JA repertoire consists of both responses to- and initiations for-bids for coordinated attention. Previous research on teaching strategies such as pivotal response and discrete trial training for joint attention skills has shown to be effective (Vismara & Lyons, 2007; Whalen & Schreibman, 2003). The purpose of the current study was to evaluate a mixture of pivotal response and discrete trial training as an intervention method for training joint attention behaviors with children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder in a home setting. In addition, this study evaluated the effects of interspersing targets during training and incorporated generalization probes to assess JA initiations and response to JA in other environments. Data indicate that pre-current skills are necessary for the development of JA responding, and that a naturalistic home environment supported the acquisition of these responses.
Studying the Effects of Motivation on the Emergence of Untrained Verbal Operants
Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
ALYSIA S GILLIAM (University of South Florida), Timothy M. Weil (University of South Florida), Raymond G. Miltenberger (University of South Florida)
Abstract: In Skinner’s (1957) analysis of verbal behavior, the tact and mand are suggested to be functionally independent relations. Many studies evaluating the verbal operants have provided results consistent with Skinner’s notion of functional independence. For example, previous studies have yielded results showing that responses taught as tacts failed to emerge as mands unless they were directly trained as such. However, in many of the studies evaluating the functional independence of the verbal operants it is unclear whether the mand conditions were designed to actually evaluate that response function. The current study replicated and extended the findings of Wallace, Iwata, and Hanley (2006), who empirically demonstrated conditions that facilitated the transfer from tact to mand relations. Students in the current study were taught to tact both high preference and low preference items and were subsequently assessed on their ability to mand for those items.
Rapid Skill Acquisition Demonstrated Through the Use of the VB-MAPP and Natural Environmental Teaching Strategies
Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
KAREN WOODS (ABC Consultants, LLC), Michelle Ennis Soreth (Rowan University), John C. Barnard (ABC Consultants LLC)
Abstract: The VB-MAPP has been recently introduced as a resource for directing language-based interventions through a detailed sequence of skills. The VB-MAPP also provides an assessment of barriers that often impede the learning of children with Autism. The current study examines the usefulness of the VB-MAPP as a tool for guiding curriculum as well as teaching strategies in a home-based program for a 3-year old child with Autism. The child’s current program consists of 3-6 hours of direct support per week. A Functional Behavior Assessment in October 2008 suggested the need for further assessment, primarily focused on language development. The VB-MAPP Milestone Assessment indicated significant delays in areas measured in LEVEL 1. The nature of the home environment necessitated the use of natural environment teaching as opposed to more structured intensive teaching techniques. After being introduced to programs derived from the initial assessment, the child demonstrated rapid skill acquisition. Within six months, 75% of skills across the entire assessment were mastered. These data show the effectiveness of natural environment teaching strategies guided by the curricular sequence presented in the VB-MAPP. In addition, these data support that significant gains can be achieved in a non-traditional, less time-intensive home program.



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