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.


34th Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2008

Event Details

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Symposium #256
CE Offered: BACB
Social Skills Instruction across the Lifespan for Persons with Developmental Disabilities
Sunday, May 25, 2008
3:00 PM–4:20 PM
Stevens 1
Area: DDA/EDC; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Wendy A. Machalicek (University of Texas at Austin)
Discussant: Eric Rudrud (St. Cloud State University)
CE Instructor: Wendy A. Machalicek, M.Ed.

In this symposium we present recent research regarding social skills instruction across the lifespan for persons with developmental disabilities. The symposium consists of four papers from major universities conducting research on social skills assessment and intervention. In the first presentation researchers from St. Cloud State University will present findings regarding the use of stimulus control techniques to train social cue discrimination for a 65-year-old woman with developmental disabilities. The second presentation will be from St. Cloud State University and examines the use of social vignettes and role play to teach abuse prevention skills to an adult with developmental disabilities. Finally, researchers from the University of Texas at Austin summarize the use of picture prompts and correspondence training on the playground to increase the on-task, play correspondence, and social behaviors of children with developmental disabilities.

Training Appropriate Social Skills through Stimulus Discrimination to an Elderly Woman with Moderate Mental Retardation.
MAY L. BAIRD (St. Cloud State University), Chaturi Edrisinha (St. Cloud State University)
Abstract: The effectiveness of training social cue discrimination utilizing stimulus control techniques was evaluated in a 65-year-old woman at a state supported day program facility. Target behavior was identified as excessive talking (near continuous talking). Excessive talking was detrimental to successful social integration with typical peers and resulted in social isolation and peers being annoyed by Margaret’s behavior. We evaluated the effectiveness of two stimulus control conditions using an alternating treatments design. In the SD condition a green card was used to signal a social condition when talking was appropriate while a red card was used in an S-Delta condition to signal the social condition when talking was inappropriate. Ten-second partial interval data were collected across five-minute sessions. Results indicated that clear discrimination between the two conditions was reached. Stimulus generalization was then evaluated across two instructors and two settings. Finally, social validity data were collected to access the efficacy of meaningful treatment. The importance of training an individual to determine appropriate and inappropriate times to attempt engaging in conversations as well as issues of enhancing quality of life for an older, aging population with mental retardation and developmental disabilities are discussed.
Social Skills Training to Teach Abuse Prevention for an Adult with Developmental Disabilities.
CHATURI EDRISINHA (St. Cloud State University), Shawn J. Vesel (St. Cloud State University), Jon J. Sargeant (Opportunity Manor Inc.)
Abstract: The purpose of this research was to teach abuse prevention skills to an adult with developmental disabilities. Prior to intervention conditions, the participant repeatedly agreed to go places, give hugs, and divulge personal information including social security and phone numbers to strangers. This behavior resulted in the participant being vulnerable to abuse and prevented him from successful community integration and independent social mobility. Three social vignettes were designed to address the three putative vulnerable scenarios. Persons unknown to the participant agreed to act as strangers and solicited the participant. Following intervention, the participant was able to demonstrate the skills needed to avoid and properly report situations that may result in physical, sexual, and financial abuse. Our research has provided the participant with the skills necessary for increased independence in the community, and therefore, a higher quality of life. Results are discussed as being consistent with the goals of applied behavior analysis to effect meaningful improvement in behaviors that are important to the participant in his/her natural environment.
Increasing the On-Task, Play Correspondence and Social Behaviors of Children with Developmental Disabilities using Picture Prompts and Correspondence Training on the Playground.
WENDY A. MACHALICEK (University of Texas at Austin), Karrie Shogren (University of Texas at Austin), Russell Lang (University of Texas at Austin), Jessica Hetlinger Franco (University of Texas at Austin), Mandy J. Rispoli (University of Texas at Austin)
Abstract: School age children with developmental disabilities often have limited play skills and fail to participate in typical playground activities. Instead, children with developmental disabilities may spend the majority of their playground time engaged in solitary and sometimes inappropriate activities. Unfortunately, recess is is a typical occasion for interaction with typically developing peers, so children engaged in solitary activities are missing this crucial opportunity to develop social skills. In the first phase of this study, a multiple baseline design across participants was used to determine the effectiveness of using picture prompts and correspondence training to increase the on-task, play correspondence, and social behaviors of three children with developmental disabilities while on the playground. Results indicate that all three participants' on-task, play correspondence, and peer interaction behaviors increased, while challenging behavior decreased.



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