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 #364
Increasing Social Initiations in Children with Autism
Monday, May 26, 2014
11:00 AM–11:50 AM
W184d (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: AUT
Chair: Corinna F. Grindle (University of Wales Bangor)

Comprehensive Use of Scripts and Script-Fading Procedures With Young Children With Autism

Domain: Basic Research
ANNA BUDZINSKA (Institute for Child Development in Gdansk), Iwona Ruta-Sominka (Institute for Child Development)

This presentation will offer many examples of the uses of scripts and script-fading with young children with autism. These procedures permit planned teaching of language throughout the school day, both in structured activities and in naturally occurring situations. For example, in the classroom, scripts enable children to report what they are going to do and what they have done, and these initiations can be programmed to include multiple sentence structures. Scripts used in the classroom can also promote independence from teachers' prompts, by using textual or photographic cues that enable children to complete academic tasks without teachers' assistance. The presentation will demonstrate uses of scripts presented on PowerPoint, as well as scripts for gym, playground, and independent cooperative play in hallways and common areas of the school. The teaching strategy is particularly well-suited to teaching children to respond to natural stimuli, because instructors can embed audiotapes or textual cues in daily routines and in children's instructional materials. Scripts and script fading is a useful behavior analytic instructional strategy for teaching children with autism language content as well as the interactive process of conversation.


Use of a Tactile Prompt to Increase Social Initiations in Children With Autism

Domain: Applied Research
CORINNA F. GRINDLE (University of Wales Bangor), Pagona Tzanakaki (Bangor University), Sarah Dungait (Bangor University), Amy Hulson-Jones (Bangor Univeristy), Maria Saville (Bangor University), J. Carl Hughes (Bangor University), Richard P. Hastings (University of Warwick)

Making appropriate verbal initiations to others is an aspect of social interaction that can be problematic for individuals with autism. A variety of teaching and prompting methods have been developed to address the issue including the use of a tactile prompt, a small device that can fit in the participant's pocket and can be programmed to vibrate at regular intervals. Our aim was to extend the existing research on the use of the tactile prompt by incorporating reinforcement during intervention and attempting a systematic fading of the prompt. Three children with autism participated in Study 1 and two children in Study 2. In both studies, the intervention was conducted during free-play activities with mainstream peers. Results indicated that the participants' verbal initiations to their peers increased in comparison to baseline. Additionally in Study 2, the use of both the tactile prompt and the prosthetic reinforcement were successfully faded. Implications regarding the use of covert prompting methods to help individuals with autism in the area of social interactions will be discussed




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