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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Paper Session #248
Teaching and Refining Adaptive Skills in Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders
Sunday, May 25, 2014
3:00 PM–4:50 PM
W184bc (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: AUT
Chair: Kaitlynn Gokey (Behavior Consultants, Inc.)

Fadinga Concurrent Activity During Self-Control Training in Children With Autism

Domain: Applied Research
KAITLYNN GOKEY (Behavior Consultants, Inc.), David A. Wilder (Florida Institute of Technology), Aimee Stephens (Florida Institute of Technology), David Mathisen (Florida Institute of Technology)

We evaluated a modified technique for teaching self-control and increasing the duration of waiting for access to a preferred item among three children with autism. Participants initially chose a small, immediate reinforcer over a large, delayed reinforcer and a large, delayed reinforcer with a concurrent activity requirement for the duration of the delay. When the delay to the larger reinforcer with the concurrent activity requirement was gradually increased from 0 s to the terminal delay, participants switched to and maintained selection of that option, thereby demonstrating increased self-control. Finally, the duration of the concurrent activity was gradually reduced without changing the duration of the delay to the large reinforcer. All three participants continued to select the delayed large reinforcer, showing self-controlled responding in the absence of a concurrent activity.


Increasing Choice-Making Skills in Children With Autism With Limited Communications Skills

Domain: Applied Research

Within our daily lives each of us has many, many opportunities to make choices. Such opportunities are severely limited for individuals with autism and severe communication difficulties. Choice is often offered by asking an individual which of a range of options they would prefer; a lack of communication skills can make this method ineffective for children with autism. Specific technologies are required to ascertain the preferences of individuals with autism especially when the choice is about something that cannot be physically held out and offered to the individual. This study examined the preference of four children with autism by asking them to select a photograph of one of three possible activities, but this was not followed by access to the activity (no-access condition). Following a multiple baseline (across stimuli) design, contingent access to the activity following selection was provided. Although two of the participants showed differentiated responding when no access was provided, the pattern of responding always changed when access was provided. Results are discussed in the context of using methods of ascertaining choice to identify preferences for activities where access to that activity cannot be provided immediately.


Teaching Safety Awareness Skills to Both Verbal and Non-Verbal Teens With Autism

Domain: Service Delivery
RONALD MORENO (Center for Behavioral Sciences, Inc.), Hoang T. Nguyen (Center for Behavioral Sciences, Inc.), Junelyn Lazo (Center for Behavioral Sciences, Inc.), Joyce C. Tu (Center for Behavioral Sciences, Inc.)

Three teens participated in this study. Participant one is a 12-year-old non-verbal male diagnosed with autism. Participant two is a 13-year-old verbal male with autism, and participant three is a 16-year-old verbal male diagnosed with autism. For participant one, training involved three phases, first, discrimination of his family members and strangers with similar facial and body features were introduced within discrete trial training sessions. Second, participant one was trained to identify "known" vs. "unknown" person by selection. Finally, participant one was trained to follow three simple instructions given by "known" persons but refuse to follow the same instructions given by "unknown" persons. For participant two and three, scripting, video modeling, and role-play were used to teach safety awareness skills. Result shows that all participants were able to reach mastery criteria of 100%. Additional "safety awareness skills" and limitation were identified at the end of the study.


Decreasing Transition Latency Using iPad Activity Schedules For Students With ASD

Domain: Applied Research
Carmen L. Hall (Fanshawe College), KIMBERLY MAICH (Brock University)

The use of iPads and other tablet-based technology has increased substantially due to the accessibility and user-friendly nature of the technology. The current study investigated the use of an iPad for transitions across the day of an elementary student with ASD in an inclusive, inner-city school. A single-subject ABAB design was completed to evaluate the effectiveness of the photographic activity schedule on the latency, on-task behaviour, and prompt level for transitions across the day for 12 weeks. Results demonstrated an overall decrease in the latency for the student to complete the transitions throughout the day. The number and intrusiveness of prompts decreased, and the on-schedule behavior increased substantially and maintained after the teaching phase ended. The study demonstrated initial support for the use of the iPad and an electronic scheduler app for the decrease in latency in transitions and increase in on-schedule behavior. Implications for practice will be discussed along with suggestions for teaching procedures when introducing iPad apps for transitions.




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