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.


42nd Annual Convention; Downtown Chicago, IL; 2016

Event Details

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Symposium #507
Behavioral Skills Training to Teach Assessment and Intervention Strategies to Allied Professionals and Parents
Tuesday, May 31, 2016
3:00 PM–3:50 PM
Roosevelt, Hyatt Regency, Bronze East
Area: AUT/EDC; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Maggie Ann Molony (University of Georgia)
Discussant: Joanna Lomas Mevers (Marcus Autism Center)

Behavioral Skills Training (BST) is an approach to teaching that includes instruction, modeling, rehearsal, and feedback related to specific skills. This approach has been demonstrated to be successful across a wide range of individuals to successfully teach a wide variety of important skills (e.g., gun safety, social skills). One use of BST is in the teaching of behavioral assessment and treatment strategies to individuals other than behavior analysts who may be in a position to conduct such assessments and treatments. In the current symposium, two studies that evaluated the use of BST are described. The first focused on teaching a communication assessment to graduate students in a Communication Sciences and Disorders training program. The second focused on a rapid coaching approach to BST used to teach parents of children with autism spectrum disorder how to implement behavioral interventions. Results are discussed with respect to refinements to BST and the utility of BST to teach allied professionals and parents specific behavioral strategies.

Using Behavioral Skills Training to Teach a Communication Assessment to Students: In-Vivo and Video Training
MAGGIE ANN MOLONY (University of Georgia), Joel Eric Ringdahl (University of Georgia)
Abstract: This study evaluated the use of behavior skills training with the instructions and modeling components conducted using either in-vivo or a video for the acquisition of skills required to conduct a communication assessment. A total of six participants from a Communication Disorders and Sciences Masters degree program completed the training. The behavior skills training package included four components: instruction, modeling, role-playing, and feedback. A maintenance probe was conducted between three to seven days after training criterion was met. Results indicated that both in-vivo and video instructions and modeling of the communication assessment were successful in teaching students without a background in behavior analysis. The participants whose training included the video instructions and modeling scored 100% on their first maintenance trial block while the two of the three in-vivo participants did not. Implications for these results could further the growth and development of communication assessments as well as strengthen the relationship between behavior analytic principles to practices that overlap.

Rapid Coaching to Teach Parents of Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder Intervention Skills

ASHLEY DUBIN (The Devereaux Foundation), Erinn Whiteside (University of Georgia), Andrea Zawoyski (University of Georgia)

This presentation describes the results of an ongoing rapid coaching intervention for parents of preschool children with autism. A behavioral skills training model was used to teach parents to embed strategies to promote communication in the context of play sessions in a university clinic setting. Strategies on which parents were coached included narration, imitation, building routines, and environmental arrangement (Ingersoll & Dvortcsak, 2010). Results indicate that parents decreased their use of directive verbal statements and increased their use of facilitative strategies upon introduction of training. Results of the project to date extend the findings of previous researchers (Lane et al., under review) who found that parents were able to demonstrate facilitative strategies with relatively little training time. Because this is an ongoing project, we anticipate including maintenance data for the participant whose data is included here, as well as the results of additional participants in our final presentation. Advantages of the rapid coaching program will be discussed, along with challenges and limitations.




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