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 #392
CE Offered: BACB
Teaching Life Skills to Individuals With and Without a Diagnosis of Autism
Monday, May 28, 2012
3:30 PM–4:50 PM
LL02 (TCC)
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Lauren Beaulieu (University of Massachusetts Lowell)
Discussant: Rebecca P. F. MacDonald (New England Center for Children)
CE Instructor: Lauren Beaulieu, Ph.D.
Abstract: We will discuss methods to improve compliance and factors associated with noncompliance, methods to teach self-protection skills to young children, and methods to teach social skills to children and adults diagnosed with Autism. Compliance, self-protection skills, and social skills are all important life-skills that promote independence and may potentially prevent the development of future problem behavior. The first presenter will discuss an evaluation of a computerized version of Behavioral Skills Training to teach typically-developing young children the skills to prevent abduction. The second presenter will discuss an evaluation of the effects of response effort on compliance exhibited by typically-developing young children. The third presenter will discuss an evaluation which assessed the preference of social interactions before and after a treatment designed to promote social interactions with individuals diagnosed with Autism.
Keyword(s): Compliance, Self-Protection Skills, Social Skills
Computerized Behavioral Skills Training to Teach Abduction Prevention Skills to Young Children
NICHOLAS VANSELOW (Western New England University), Gregory P. Hanley (Western New England University)
Abstract: Although relatively rare, there may be serious consequences if a child cannot safely manage an abduction situation. Previous research has demonstrated the efficacy of Behavioral Skills Training and In-Situ Training for teaching children to self-protect against strangers, guns, poisons, and other dangers. However, these procedures are time consuming and resource intensive. In addition these procedures may be difficult to implement on a large scale. The purpose of the current study was to evaluate a computerized version of Behavioral Skills Training to teach abduction prevention skills. Participants responded to multiple stranger situations before and after completing the program in a multiple baseline across subjects design to determine the efficacy of the computer program. We also examined whether a component in which the children physically act out the safety skills during the program, instead of only point-and-click responses, increased the program’s efficacy. Implications for designing computer-based learning opportunities for safety skills are discussed.
The Effect of Response Effort on Compliance Among Children
ANTHONY T. FISCHETTI (Florida Institute of Technology), David A. Wilder (Florida Institute of Technology), Kristin K. Myers (Florida Institute of Technology), Yanerys Leon (Florida Institute of Technology), Stephanie A. Sinn (Florida Institute of Technology), Rebecka Rodriguez (Florida Institute of Technology)
Abstract: We evaluated the effect of response effort on compliance across two experiments with five children who exhibited noncompliance when asked to relinquish a preferred toy. Participants were given access to a preferred toy and then asked to place the toy in a toy bin which was located either .3 m (1 foot; low effort) or 3 m (10 feet; high effort) away. We used reversal designs to evaluate the effect of the effort manipulation. Results of Experiment 1 indicate that compliance by two participants was not sensitive to the effort manipulation. Compliance by one participant was higher during the low effort condition, but did not maintain when the distance required to comply was systematically increased. All three of these participants required a consequence-based procedure to increase compliance to acceptable levels. In Experiment 2, we included differential reinforcement across all effort conditions. Results indicate that compliance by two additional participants was sensitive to the effort manipulation. Once established, compliance by all five participants was maintained as the distance required to comply with instructions was increased.
Assessing and Enhancing States of Engagement During Social Interactions for Individuals Diagnosed With ASD
TRACEY TORAN (Western New England University), Pamela Ann Sinclair (New England Center for Children), Hillary Balog (The New England Center for Children), Kristel Arauz (New England Center for Children), Michael McSweeney (The New England Center for Children), William H. Ahearn ( The New England Center for Children)
Abstract: Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is characterized by impaired social interaction and communication. Individuals with ASD are not intrinsically motivated to interact with others, learn new skills, maintain mastered skills and maintain appropriate social behavior. Two adults and three children with an ASD participated in this study. It consisted of three phases: pre-treatment assessment, treatment, and post-treatment assessment. The pre- and post-treatment phases were arranged in a non-concurrent multiple baseline design. During phase 1, social reinforcers were identified. The relative preference for social interactions and state of engagement was also measured. States of engagement were measured by the criteria developed by Bakeman and Adamson (1984). Phase 2 included a treatment protocol to enhance the states of engagement consisting of teaching appropriate social skills. The relative preference for social interactions and state of engagement was re-evaluated during phase 3. Results from phase 3 were compared to results of phase 1. Data collection has been completed for 4 of the 5 participants. Data show an increased preference for social interactions and a higher state of engagement during phase 3. IOA data were collected in 67% of sessions across all phases and overall agreement was calculated at 98%, 91%, and 96% for each phase.



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