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 #508
CE Offered: BACB
Training Complex Verbal Behavior With Individuals With Autism
Tuesday, May 31, 2016
3:00 PM–3:50 PM
Columbus Hall EF, Hyatt Regency, Gold East
Area: AUT/DDA; Domain: Translational
Chair: Ansley Hodges (Florida Institute of Technology; Nemours Children's Hospital)
CE Instructor: Ansley Hodges, M.S.

Teaching complex verbal behavior in individuals with autisms warrants further research. Language deficits are an important characteristic with this population. Thus, the primary purpose of this research is to teach advanced verbal behavior repetorites. These studies address important topics such as, increasing variability with intraverbal responses, recalling past events, and providing instructive feedback (IF). The variability study investigated lag schedules of reinforcement to increase the number of different intraverbal responses. Results showed that a Lag 1 alone was effective with 1 participant while lag schedule 1 with additional training was effective with two other participants. The recalling past events study evaluated their treatment package using end-of -the-day probes. Results showed the treatment was effective in increasing recall accuracy. The instructive feedback (IF) study extended previous research to individuals with autism and examined secondary measures.


Teaching Mands for Information Using "When?" to Children With Autism

BETHANY HANSEN (Marcus Autism Center; Emory University School of Medicine), Robin K. Landa (Western New England University), M. Alice Shillingsburg (Marcus Autism Center; Emory University School of Medicine)

Previous research has evaluated contrived motivating operations to teach mands for information. However, literature evaluating acquisition of the mand, “When?” is comparatively limited. As an extension of Shillingsburg et al. (2014), we taught three children with autism to engage in mands for information using “When?” under alternating conditions in which a contrived establishing operation was present (EOP) or absent (EOA). Following treatment with a constant prompt delay, all participants acquired the mand for information and demonstrated correct use of the provided information and a decrease in inappropriate attempts to access restricted items.


Teaching Listener Skills for Detecting Problem Scenarios and Emergence of Explanations of the Problem via Instructive Feedback

CHRISTOPHER A. TULLIS (Georgia State University), Sarah Frampton (Marcus Autism Center), Caitlin H. Delfs (Marcus Autism Center), M. Alice Shillingsburg (Marcus Autism Center, Emory University School of Medicine)

Instructive feedback (IF) is a procedure in which extra information is presented to a student during instruction for other skills. Previous research has demonstrated that students with intellectual and developmental disabilities may acquire at least some additional non-targeted skills (secondary targets) without explicit instruction when extra information is presented, resulting in more efficient instruction. Although effective for students with disabilities as a whole, few studies focus on students with autism spectrum disorders, and the measures of secondary target acquisition focused on discrete responses (e.g., one word utterances). The purpose of the current investigation was to extend the instructive feedback literature related to students with autism spectrum disorders and evaluation of the responses given. Across all participants, IF resulted in the acquisition of at least a portion of secondary targets without explicit teaching. For two students, additional instruction was required before IF resulted in acquisition of secondary targets without explicit teaching.


Reporting Past Behavior in Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder

TOM CARIVEAU (University of Oregon; The Marcus Autism Center ), M. Alice Shillingsburg (Marcus Autism Center, Emory University School of Medicine), Sarah Frampton (Marcus Autism Center), Robin Landa (The Marcus Autism Center), Sarah Wymer (Marcus Autism Center), Brittany Lee Bartlett (Marcus Autism Center), Taylor Thompson (The Marcus Autism Center ), Bethany Talmadge (Marcus Autism Center)

Deficits in social communication are a paramount feature of Autism Spectrum Disorder. Behavior analysts have made considerable gains in identifying methods to promote functional communication for individuals with autism. Methods to establish more advanced verbal repertoires have received less support and evaluation despite the clear implications of these repertoires on social development. Reporting past behavior is of interest because of its significant role in social communication. That is, accurately recalling past behavior is expected frequently across social contexts (e.g., a caregiver asks a child "what did you do today?" or a teacher asks "did you practice reading last night?"). Prior research has identified deficits in recalling past behavior with individuals diagnosed with autism compared to typically developing and developmentally delayed peers. The current study sought to increase the accuracy of reporting past behavior in four children with autism. A nonconcurrent multiple baseline across participants was used to examine the effect of our treatment procedure on participants' recall of past behavior during end-of-day probes. Results indicated that participants reported past behavior with greater accuracy on end-of-day probes following our treatment procedure. Participants' accurate reporting to caregivers also increased following treatment. Implications and areas for future research are discussed.




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