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.


38th Annual Convention; Seattle, WA; 2012

Workshop Details

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Workshop #W26
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Practical Applications of Relational Frame Theory to Early Intensive Behavior Intervention Programs: Training Generative Verbal Behavior
Friday, May 25, 2012
8:00 AM–3:00 PM
310 (Convention Center)
Area: VRB/AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
CE Instructor: Siri Morris Ming, M.A.
IAN T. STEWART (National University of Ireland, Galway), JOHN D. MCELWEE (VB3), SIRI MORRIS MING (VB3)
Description: Generative verbal behavior (GVB)—the ability to understand and produce novel verbal behavior in the absence of direct instruction—is key to the flexibility and complexity of language and should, therefore, be a core goal of any language training program. However, achieving GVB has been extremely difficult for many children with autism spectrum disorder. Relational frame theory (RFT), which conceptualizes generalized or derived relational responding as the core process underlying language and cognition, may constitute an important resource for the training of GVB when designing early intensive behavior intervention (EIBI) instructional programs. This theoretical approach also allows an important expansion of Skinner's influential analysis of verbal behavior. This workshop will demonstrate how RFT concepts can be incorporated into EIBI programs with the design of instructional program sequences for early to advanced learners. This workshop will discuss RFT as a behavior analytic account of GVB, and provide demonstration and discussion of specific instructional programs and their sequencing to facilitate GVB, including analysis of the correspondence between Skinnerian verbal behavior programs (specifically those using the VB-MAPP) and core RFT skills, and an introduction to the Training and Assessment of Relational Precursors and Abilities (TARPA), a computer-based protocol for systematic assessment and training of relational framing skills.
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of this workshop, participants should be able to:

Define and describe examples of generative language

Identify the core concepts of relational frame theory's approach to language:

a) define and describe arbitrarily applicable relational responding

b) describe the key theoretical concepts of mutual entailment, combinatorial entailment, and transformation of stimulus function

Describe the relationship between the Skinnerian and relational frame theory approaches to language:

a) distinguish between Skinnerian and RFT definitions of language

b) describe a potential synthesis of the Skinnerian classification of verbal operants and RFT concepts of derived relational responding

Assess students' relational framing abilities using the TARPA or tabletop activities

Use and develop instructional programs to teach higher order operants:

a) describe several aspects of basic RFT research and the implications for EIBI instructional design

b) design instructional programs to teach non-arbitrary derived relational responding

c) design instructional programs to teach early relational frames (e.g., derived naming)

d) design instructional programs to teach intermediate to advanced relational frames (e.g., comparative, spatial, hierarchical, and perspective-taking relations)

Activities: This workshop will include didactic presentation and video examples, whole-group active responding exercises, and dyadic role play.
Audience: This workshop is appropriate for BCBAs, teachers, psychologists, speech pathologists, and other professionals with experience developing EIBI programming for children with autism based on an analysis of verbal behavior.
Content Area: Methodology
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): derived responding, language programming, RFT



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