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.


36th Annual Convention; San Antonio, TX; 2010

Event Details

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Poster Session #99
VRB Poster Session 1
Saturday, May 29, 2010
6:00 PM–7:30 PM
Exhibit Hall A (CC)
121. Establishing Bi-Directional Word-Object Relations in Young Children With Autism
Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
CLAIRE E. EGAN (Hong Kong Institute of Education), Annelle Waterhouse Kirsten (University of Auckland)
Abstract: The present study evaluated the effects of two training types on word-object relations in two young children with autism spectrum disorder. Listener-Tact training (LT) and Interspersed Listener-Tact (ILT) training were compared using a multi-element design with a control condition. During LT training, the participants were taught to point to and vocally tact Set 1 multiple exemplars of target object labels in consecutive trials. ILT training taught the participants to point to and vocally tact Set 2 multiple exemplars of target object labels in trials that were interspersed with other known operants. The results are discussed in light of the differences in performance observed across each training type.
122. Comparing the Effects of Two Correction Procedures on Vocal Tact Acquisition
Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
ANNELLE KIRSTEN (University of Auckland), Claire E. Egan (Hong Kong Institute of Education)
Abstract: We compared the effects of two correction procedures on the acquisition of vocal tact responses in a young child with autism spectrum disorder. In addition, we measured the number of low attention responses observed during each training condition, and the generalization of tact responding to novel multiple exemplars of trained items following each training condition. A standard echoic correction procedure was compared with a hierarchy of corrective feedback using a multi-element design with a control condition with pre- and post training probes for generalization. The results showed that both procedures resulted in mastery of the vocal tacts; however the hierarchy of corrective feedback resulted in fewer instances of low attention and increased generalization of responding for one set of tact responses. Suggestions for future research are outlined.
123. Teaching Intraverbal Behavior to Children With Autism
Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Sarah Knors (Queens College, The City University of New York), AMY E. REINWALD (Queens College, The City University of New York)
Abstract: Acquisition of intraverbal behavior is difficult for children who display delayed language abilities, yet it is considered an important skill for appropriate social interactions. The effects of intraverbal training for children with autism were evaluated for three participants who displayed mand and tact skills prior to the introduction of an intraverbal repertoire. Intraverbal training included a visual prompt with a time delay procedure. A multiple baseline probe across participants was used to evaluate the effects of each child’s intraverbal training. Acquisition of intraverbal behavior occurred through the transfer of stimulus control from a visual prompt to an antecedent verbal stimulus. Post-test results indicated that all three participants demonstrated the ability to respond to an antecedent verbal stimulus with the exclusion of the visual prompt used during training sessions and generalized these skills. Although there is little research that evaluates intraverbal behavior, the current study suggests that the acquisition of this verbal operant could provide a comprehensive language repertoire to increase the communicative abilities of children with autism.
124. Using Lag Schedules to Increase Vocal Variability in Children With Autism
Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
MEGHAN G. MCCLURE (Chicago School of Professional Psychology), Tracy L. Kettering (The Ohio State University), Judah Axe (Simmons College), Nick Wilhelm (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology), John W. Eshleman (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology)
Abstract: Variability has been demonstrated to be an operant dimension of behavior (Page & Neuringer, 1985), and as an operant, variability can be systematically increased using reinforcement for variable responding. Lag schedules require that responses meet a minimum level of variability by reinforcing only responses that differ from the previous number of responses designated by the Lag schedule. In previous research, Lag schedules of reinforcement have been used to increase variability in answering social questions (Lee, McComas, & Jawor, 2002), selection of classroom activities (Cammilleri & Hanley, 2005), and vocal verbal behavior (Esch, Esch, & Love, 2009). Variability may be useful for producing responses that can later be shaped into appropriate verbal behavior. This study assessed the effects of using Lag schedules of reinforcement to increase phonemic vocal variability in children with autism by providing reinforcement for sounds that differed from the previous trials. Results are discussed in terms of implications for producing variable responses in children with autism.
125. Teaching a Multiply Controlled Mand and Echoic Response and the Acquisition of an Echoic Repertoire
Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
BRITTANY FULTON (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology), Tracy L. Kettering (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology), Judah Axe (Simmons College), Susan K. Malmquist (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology), Traci M. Cihon (University of North Texas)
Abstract: Many training procedures have been developed to address the pervasive language deficits common to children with autism, but methods differ on whether echoic responses (Drash & Leibowitz, 1973) or mands (Sundberg & Michael, 2001) should be taught first. Drash, High, and Tudor (1999) implemented mand training to teach a multiply controlled response and transferred to echoic responses. The current study extended this research by investigating the effects of teaching a multiply controlled mand-echoic response on the acquisition of an echoic repertoire in a multiple probe design across participants. First, an echoic prompt was delivered in the presence of a putative establishing operation, and responses with one-to-one correspondence to the echoic prompt were reinforced. Once acquired, mand-echoic control of the response was transferred until the vocalization was emitted under pure echoic control. Responses to untrained stimuli were evaluated to assess generalization of an echoic repertoire. Results are discussed in terms of the multiple control of vocal verbal operants and the subsequent transfer of stimulus control.
126. A Comparison of Teaching Intraverbal Behavior to Children With Autism Using Echoic and Visual Prompts
Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
LEIGHNA MARIE STAGGS (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology), Tracy L. Kettering (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology), John W. Eshleman (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology), Traci M. Cihon (University of North Texas)
Abstract: Many individuals with developmental disabilities fail to acquire functional intraverbal behavior. Intraverbal repertoires are important for progress in the classroom but also impact a child’s ability to communicate effectively throughout every day activities, such as social interactions. Research suggests that textual prompts can be an effective method for establishing intraverbal behavior in children with autism (Finkel & Williams, 2001). In fact, Vedora, Meunier, & Mackay (2009) found that textual prompts and a progressive time delay procedure produced more rapid acquisition of intraverbal responses than echoic prompts with the same delay procedure. Although this method may be useful to establish an intraverbal repertoire, not all students will have the prerequisite skills to use textual prompts. The current study evaluated teaching intraverbal behavior using echoic and visual (picture) prompts in participants with autism. An alternating treatments design was used to compare the effects of visual and echoic prompts on the acquisition of the intraverbal responses using a progressive time delay. Results are discussed in terms of the utility of visual and echoic prompts on the acquisition of intraverbal behavior.
127. Effects of Extinction of Signed Mands on the Rate of Vocalizations
Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
BRITNEY NICOLE BURTON (University of Southern Mississippi), Amber L. Valentino (The Marcus Autism Center), M. Alice Shillingsburg (Marcus Autism Center)
Abstract: Children with autism often have significant communication delays. Although some children develop vocalizations, others rarely exhibit speech sounds and alternative communication methods, such as sign language, are targeted in intervention. However, vocal language often remains a goal for caregivers and clinicians. Thus, strategies to increase the frequency and variability in speech sounds are needed. An increase in response variability has been demonstrated using extinction. Duker and van Lent (1991) showed that an increase in previously low-rate gestures occurred following extinction of high-rate gestures in individuals with mental retardation. The present study examined the effect of similar procedures on the rate of vocalizations in a child diagnosed with autism. The participant was observed to emit low rates of vocalizations and exhibited functional use of several mands using sign language. During baseline, correct signs and vocalizations were reinforced with access to the preferred item. During intervention, reinforcement was withheld following emission of signs and vocalizations were followed by access to the preferred item. A multiple baseline design across preferred items was used. An increase in the rate of vocalizations occurred following application of extinction of each signed mand.
128. A mMethod of Observation for Elementary Verbal Behaviors With Children With ASD
Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
MELINA RIVARD (Universite du Quebec a Montreal), Jacques Forget (University de Quebec a Montreal), Céline Clément (Université de Strasbourg), Normand Giroux (University of Quebec at Montreal)
Abstract: The purpose of this study is to create and validate grid and guide for direct observation of elementary verbal behaviors with young children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). The observation system is lean on the work of Skinner (1957). This poster describes the verbal behaviors of 14 children aged from 2 to 4 years old with ASD. The verbal observation grid includes the five elementary verbal functions and an analysis of the antecedent and the consequence of the immediate environment. Thirteen categories for children verbal behaviors and ten categories for antecedent and consequence are defined. Seven sessions of one hour observation are carried out for each participant. Results indicate a negative correlation between adequate (e.g. verbal mand) and inadequate (e.g. self injuries) verbal behaviors. This project point out different interventions conclusions for challenging behaviors.
129. Verbal Operants as Predictors for Children With Autism in Inclusive Settings
Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
DOMONIQUE Y. RANDALL (The Shape of Behavior)
Abstract: This study examined verbal operant scores obtained from the Assessment of Basic Language and Learning Skills (ABLLS) to identify predictors for two groups of students with autism following Applied Behavior Analysis treatment. The two groups of children with autism consisted of an inclusion with neuro-typical peers and non-inclusion with neuro-typical peers group. ABLLS scores on specific verbal operant categories of 42children diagnosed with autism were retrospectively reviewed and analyzed to determine if the preschoolers' verbal operant skills could be used to predict their placement in an inclusive environment. A logistic regression was conducted to assess if tact, intraverbal, and mand operants correctly classified inclusion. Results of the regression were significant, ?2 (3) = 11.20, p < .01 (Nagelkerke R2 = .329). Thus, on the basis of the data analysis, the null hypothesis was rejected.
130. The Effects of Intensive Tact and Fluency Instruction on the Number of Mands and Tacts Emitted in Non-Instructional Settings by Children With Autism
Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
IMRAN A. KHAN (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology), Charles T. Merbitz (Chicago School of Professional Psychology)
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of intensive and fluent tact instruction on the frequency of pure tacts and mands children used in non-instructional settings. Participants were two preschool children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) who emitted low rates of tacts and mands for whom acceleration of these verbal operants was a treatment goal. Treatment involved increasing intensity of instruction as well as adding fluency component to the participants’ tact emission performance. “Intensive” instruction involved increasing the number of opportunities to tact objects in the participants’ environment as compared to previous levels. Fluent instruction added a fluency criterion to increase the rate of acquisition. Dependent variables were tacts and mands emitted in the non-instructional settings before and after instruction. Results showed that the intervention increased both tacts and mands for both participants across all settings. Data from this study suggest that increasing the number of opportunities to fluently tact in the presence of a verbal community could lead to higher, more appropriate frequencies of verbal interactions.
131. Examining Mand Emergence From Tact Training
Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
FUMI TAKAGI (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology), Rachel Findel-Pyles (The Chicago School, Los Angeles)
Abstract: A previous study conducted by Wallace, Iwata, & Hanley (2006) found that tact training using reinforcing stimuli could facilitate the emergence of mands in adults with developmental disabilities. The current study is a systematic replication and examines tact training and subsequent mand emergence for a child diagnosed with autism. Results indicated that tact training a highly preferred item might have had a facilitative effect on the emergence of manding.
132. Using Observational Learning to Increase Sign Acquisition Across Verbal Operants
Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
MANUELA WOODRUFF (Marcus Autism Center), M. Alice Shillingsburg (Marcus Autism Center), Amber L. Valentino (The Marcus Autism Center), Crystal N. Bowen (Marcus Autism Center)
Abstract: Functional communication is a significant concern for clinicians working with individuals with autism. Sign language can be acquired by non-vocal children using direct teaching methods, but the concern remains how to best aid generalization of this skill. While Hart and Risley (1995) have shown that average rates of utterances per hour produced by families have a tremendous impact on the language abilities of typical children, we questioned whether children who exhibit no vocal language but instead use an alternative such as sign language, can acquire new signs after mere repeated exposure to modeled signs without direct teaching. The present study examined acquisition of signs via observational learning using a multiple-probe design across preferred activities. The participant was a 7 year-old male diagnosed with autism. During baseline, preferred activities were presented and opportunities for the participant to emit the targeted mand, tact, and intraverbal response were given. During treatment sessions, the therapist repeatedly paired the signs of three preferred activities by modeling the sign during the activities. No response was physically prompted and no responses were required throughout the sessions. Results showed that all signs for the preferred activities were acquired across the Mand, Tact and Intraverbal operants via observational learning.
133. Teaching Manding Through Signing to Developmentally Delayed Individuals
Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
JILL HUNT (Judge Rotenberg Center), Michelle Harrington (Judge Rotenberg Center)
Abstract: In this study, we examined the process of teaching manding through sign language to developmentally delayed individuals. Participants in this study had not had success using other communication methods and in most cases were non-verbal. We examined acquisition of sign language as a communication method and rate at which signs were learned and retention. We will also examined how well the learned signs generalized to environments outside of the 1-1 sessions they were taught in.
134. Inducing the Role of Listening Through Motor Imitation Among Peers With Autism
Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
JOSE JULIO CARNERERO (Centro Al-Mudarïs), Martha Pelaez (Florida International University), Ana Pastor (Centro Al-Mudarïs), Guadalupe Osuna (Centro Al-Mudarïs)
Abstract: This study analyzed the role of motor imitation among peers with autism through use of a mirror. Motor imitation has been described as a prerequisite to the development of verbal skills. Specifically, the early functions of listening are related to the capability of observing and imitating by “seeing” what another person is doing and “doing” what has he or she has seen. The present study sought to demonstrate how to generate the early stages of listening by undertaking new motor imitations through observing another child in a mirror. The study was conducted with two children with autism; one 5 years and 4 months of age, and the second child 6 years, 2 months. In the first phase, one child served as the model and made a movement in front of a mirror. He then stood still until his peer imitated the movement observed in the mirror. The second phase was identical to the first except that the roles were exchanged. The data indicate that the children learned to imitate each other by looking in the mirror. These data support the hypothesis that observing in a mirror how someone performs a movement and then imitating that movement reinforces the model behavior.
135. Echoic Repertories in Children With Autism: The Effects of Stimulus-Stimulus Pairing and Direct Reinforcement
Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
JENNIFER BUSH (The Aurora School), Amanda Butler (The Aurora School), Carlos F. Aparicio (The Aurora School)
Abstract: It has been suggested that automatic reinforcement plays a vital role in early language acquisition. Automatic reinforcement occurs through a process in which a neutral stimulus is paired with another stimulus that already has reinforcer properties; as a result, the neutral stimulus becomes a conditioned reinforcer. It has been shown that free operant vocalizations increase when adult vocalizations are paired with preferred reinforcers. But the effects are temporary, and many children with autism do not imitate adult vocalization. In three studies, we explored these possibilities with two children with autism. In Study 1, echoic responses were directly reinforced following stimulus-stimulus pairing. Study 2 assessed the effects of stimulus-stimulus pairing on the frequency of post-pairing free-operant vocalizations. Study 3 determined the effects of a simple shaping procedure on the frequency of vocal production. Our results were consistent with Esch’s et al., (2005) conclusion that the variables influencing the effectiveness of a stimulus-stimulus pairing procedure on vocalization frequency and acquisition of a verbal operant following such pairing are not yet being delineated.



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