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 #443
CE Offered: BACB
Visual Strategies to Support the Initiation of Social Interactions and Sociodramatic Play in Children With Autism
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
302 (TCC)
Area: AUT/EDC; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Steven Woolf (BEACON Services)
Discussant: Joseph M. Vedora (BEACON Services)
CE Instructor: Joseph M. Vedora, Ed.D.

Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) often demonstrate difficulty responding to verbal stimuli; yet such stimuli are commonly used to prompt responding. Children with ASD also have difficulty with social interactions and often require explicit social skills training. The use of visual prompts and cues may provide an effective alternative to verbal prompting and may be particularly useful during social skills training. Visual prompts provide a static reference that may enhance responding in social situations. This symposium reviews several types of visual prompts used to increase social interactions in children with ASD. The implications of visual supports and the use of visually-based instructional procedures are discussed.


Textual Cues and Prompting Fading to Increase Social Initiations

EMILY W. HARRIS (BEACON Services), Robert K. Ross (BEACON Services)

Children with a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) often display significant delays and deficits in the area of social communication skills (Ricks & Wing, 1975). Providing visual cues has been shown to increase the production of social communication responses (Sarokoff, Taylor & Poulson, 2001; Thiemann & Goldstein, 2001). However, the ability to produce social responses may not automatically generalize to production of social responding in the natural context. The current study evaluated the use of textual prompts to establish initiation of social communication in the natural setting (the familys home) and the use of prompt fading procedures to transfer control of social initiations from the text cue to the childs parent. Baseline data confirmed that no social initiations were occurring in the natural environment for the participant. Following pretests, a multi-element reversal design was used to assess social initiations across conditions. The percent of correct initiated targeted social comments, compliments, and questions were assessed. The data demonstrate that social communication in the natural context may be established with textual cues and prompt fading procedures.


Use of a Conversation Box: Establishing and Expanding Social Communication

RACHEL DACOSTA (BEACON Services), Robert K. Ross (BEACON Services)

Children with a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) often display significant delays and deficits in the area of social communication skills. One strategy used to facilitate social communication skills in children with ASD is called the conversation box. Conversation box procedures consist of procedures to establish the verbal repertoire under the control of visual prompts and then prompt fading procedures to transfer control to the natural environment. The present study evaluated the effects of visual prompts (conversation box) to facilitate asking and answering questions, which is a complex social skill. Specifically, answering and asking questions about past and present events were the target behaviors. Results indicate that the use of a visually enhanced conversation box produced independent social exchanges between the participant and a variety of communicative partners, including his therapists, his parents, and his peers. These findings suggest that the conversation box (visual prompt) may be effective in teaching complex social communication skills to children with ASD.


Using Video Based Activity Schedules and Matrix Training to Teach Sociodramatic Play

DAVID ROBERT DILLEY (BEACON Services), Joseph M. Vedora (BEACON Services)

In this study, we investigated the effects of using video modeling and matrix training to teach socio dramatic play skills to a boy with autism. A 6X6 instructional matrix identified eighteen activities to be performed including combinations of six objects and six actions. In Phase 1 the child is shown a video model and learned to imitate videos of six socio-dramatic play vignettes. In Phase 2 the child learned to combine the characteristics of the six trained socio-dramatic play vignettes across the other twelve new action-object combinations. The results suggest that treatment packages involving video modeling aimed at teaching socio dramatic play can achieve generality across untrained targets when matrix training is employed.




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