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.


40th Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2014

Event Details

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Symposium #482
CE Offered: BACB
Two Alternative Procedures to Teach Verbal Behavior to Individuals with Developmental Disabilities
Tuesday, May 27, 2014
9:00 AM–9:50 AM
W185bc (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: VRB/DDA; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Nicholas Hammond (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology)
Discussant: Diana J. Walker (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology)
CE Instructor: Nicholas Hammond, M.A.

One of the crucially important core deficits of many people with severe developmental disabilities is their lack of effective communication. An effective communication repertoire can provide greater independence for the individual. Numerous interventions have focused on increasing the functional communication of those with developmental disabilities. These methods include those outlined in Teaching Language to Children with Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities (Sundberg & Partington, 1998), derived intraverbals (e.g Perez-Gonzalez, Garcia-Asenjo, Williams, & Carnerero, 2007; Sundberg & Sundberg, 2011), American Sign Language, and The Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) (Bondy & Frost, 1985). As practicing behavior analysts we often teach language to individuals with developmental disabilities using one of these well researched and empirically validated methods. This symposium will give an overview of two studies that will extend research on these methodologies of teaching. The discussion will also suggest some other methodologies that can be used alternatively or in conjunction with others in practice.

Keyword(s): Augmentative Communication, Core Vocabulary, Derived Relations, Intraverbal

Generalization of Core Vocabulary by Children with Autism Using an Augmentative Communication Device

NICHOLAS HAMMOND (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology), Diana J. Walker (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology), John W. Eshleman (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology), Scott A. Herbst (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology)

Children with autism often have limited functional communication repertoires. One way to teach functional communication is through the use of an Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) device. Individuals who use an AAC device can be taught utterances (i.e., single words or phrases) through prompting and providing a consequence specific to the utterance (mand) or a generalized conditioned reinforcer (tact). In the present study five children diagnosed with autism were taught to emit utterances consisting of 26 'core' words that comprised 96% of words uttered by toddlers in a study by Banajee, Dicarlo, and Stricklin (2003). The children emitted the utterances by touching symbol sequences on the screen of the AAC device. Various utterances, that included the 26 core words were taught using discrete trial teaching methods and the item specified in the utterance was presented following it (i.e., mand). A Language Activity Monitor (LAM) continuously recorded utterances emitted before, during, and after teaching. This talk will describe the change in frequency of utterances throughout the study, what those changes mean for Functional Communication Training, and possibilities for future research. A major contribution of this study is the tracking of the verbal behavior generalization automatically and continuously across all phases.


Emergence of Derived Intraverbals in Three Individuals with Intellectual Disabiities

MARCELA PORRAS (Horizontes ABA Terapia Integral), Yors A. Garcia (Fundacion Universitaria Konrad Lorenz)

Research in derived intraverbals is a new area of study in recent years and has promising outcomes to teach verbal behavior to individuals with intellectual disabilities. The objective of this study was to establish intraverbal derived relations in three individuals with intellectual disabilities. A multiple baseline design across subjects was implemented to evaluate the trained and tested relations. All subjects were administered with the ABLLS-R (i.e., receptive language, mands, naming and intraverbals) to evaluate the current level of the different verbal operants and listener skills. In the first phase of the study participants were trained to name six different emotions organized into three dyads (disgust/neutral, fear/anger, happiness/sadness). Immediately after, listener skills were probed with the same emotions. Once listener skills emerged, participants were exposed to conditional discrimination training to establish sameness relations between all the dyads. In the final phase, intraverbal relations were probed to evaluate the emergence of opposite intraverbal relations. Results show that two participants readily acquired derived intraverbal relations; however, one participant required remedial tact training before to demonstrate intraverbal derived relations. In summary, this study showed the emergence of derived intraverbal relations in individuals with intellectual disabilities.




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