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

Event Details

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Symposium #385
CE Offered: BACB
Assessing and Training Derived Relational Responding Skills
Monday, May 28, 2012
2:00 PM–3:20 PM
101 (TCC)
Area: VRB/AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Siri Morris Ming (VB3)
Discussant: Ruth Anne Rehfeldt (Southern Illinois University)
CE Instructor: Siri Morris Ming, M.A.
Abstract: The emergence of novel, untaught responding is increasingly recognized as a critical progress marker in language programs for children with autistic spectrum disorders (ASD). In research conducted over the last several decades, stimulus equivalence and other derived relational responding paradigms have been used to efficiently expand a variety of language and other educationally-relevant skills by facilitating generative verbal behavior. However, an applied technology based on this research is still just developing. In order to effectively incorporate a focus on derived relational responding into programs for children with ASD, practitioners need tools to assess derived relational responding skills, train such skills if they are absent and use a student’s existing relational responding repertoire to expand other skills. In this symposium, we examine recent applied research on assessment and training of derived relational responding skills with children with ASD. Papers 1 and 2 present work focusing on derived equivalence relations in visual and auditory modalities, while Paper 3 presents work on derived deictic relations that are thought to underlie perspective-taking.
Keyword(s): derived relations, language programming, RFT
Testing and Developing a Protocol for Training and Assessment of Relational Precursors and Abilities
LAURA MORAN (National University of Ireland, Galway), Ian T. Stewart (National University of Ireland, Galway)
Abstract: Impairments in language are among the core features of autism. A recent behavioral approach known as Relational Frame Theory conceptualizes learned contextually controlled relational responding referred to as relational framing as the core skill in language and the key to linguistic generativity. The current research represents an initial stage in the development of a comprehensive, user-friendly, computer-based protocol (Training & Assessment of Relational Precursors & Abilities; TARPA) for the assessment and training of relational framing in young children with ASD. This current study aims to evaluate the TARPA as a protocol for the assessment of a progression of key domains of responding critical to the development of generative language. Twenty one children (ten children with autism and thirteen typically developing children) have been assessed with the TARPA and their scores have been correlated with the Pre-school Language Assessment (4th edition). The hierarchical structure of the TARPA has also been examined. Results, patterns of responding and other features of TARPA performance are discussed.

Teaching for Generativity: Training Derived Relational Responding Abilities With Children With Autism

SIRI MORRIS MING (VB3), Ian T. Stewart (National University of Ireland, Galway)

Many students with autism are able to be taught large vocabularies of tacts, listener discriminations, and intraverbal responses; however, for many children, these responses remain rote in the sense that novel respondinggenerative verbal behaviordoes not emerge. In two nonconcurrent multiple baseline studies, we examine the use of multiple exemplar training for establishing mutual and combinatorial entailment for emergent tact/listener and intraverbal relations. Students with autism were prescreened for inclusion on the basis of VB-MAPP and standardized language assessment scores indicating their ability to learn tact, listener discriminations, and intraverbal responses, but not demonstrating novel/untaught intraverbal responding. The Training and Assessment of Relational Precursors and Abilities (TARPA), a computer-based assessment and training tool, was then used to assess students relational framing skills. Intervention consisted of training in the form of a game teaching the names and sounds of crazy animals (abstract shapes), and generalization to tabletop activities was then tested. Depending on their assessed skills, students either received multiple exemplar training to establish combinatorially entailed derived intraverbal responding, or to establish mutually entailed derived tact responding.


An Evaluation of Multiple Exemplar Instruction on Perspective-Taking in Young Adults With Autism

SADIE L. LOVETT (Southern Illinois University), Ruth Anne Rehfeldt (Southern Illinois University)

The goal of this study was to investigate the effects of multiple exemplar instruction for teaching perspective-taking skills to young adults with autism. Using a multiple probe design, participants were trained and tested using protocols evaluating the deictic frames of I-You, Here-There, and Now-Then. All trials in the current protocols were derived from scenarios depicted in the Social Language Development Scenes therapy materials, which are cards designed for teaching social skills to children with autism (LinguiSystems, 2011). Two standardized assessments used in the assessment of pragmatic language were administered as pre and posttests in order to measure if improvements on the perspective-taking protocol correlated with change in pragmatic language. Generalization of perspective-taking skills to the natural environment was also assessed. Preliminary results show that participants do not respond appropriately to questions involving deictic relations prior to multiple exemplar instruction.




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