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 #367
CE Offered: BACB
Interventions Supporting On-Task Behavior, Pretense Play, and Functional Skills for Young Children
Monday, May 28, 2012
2:00 PM–3:20 PM
LL02 (TCC)
Area: AUT/EDC; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Diane M. Sainato (The Ohio State University)
Discussant: Constance McLaughlin (Virginia Institute of Autism)
CE Instructor: Diane M. Sainato, Ph.D.

Three papers will be presented. We will highlight the results of data based efforts to provide an analysis of interventions for young children with autism. Herriott and Schwartz will offer a paper examining the effects of different physical activities conducted during circle time on the on-task behavior during a journal-writing activity held immediately after circle for kindergarten children with autism. Garfinkle will describe her project examining findings from Montanas Childrens Autism Waiver project. Schnell and Sainato will present the outcomes of a study examining the effects of generative play instruction on pretense play behavior and restricted stereotypic behaviors in young children with autism spectrum disorder. This study implemented a least to most prompting strategy using one-to-one instruction embedded in a matrix for teaching symbolic play to four children with ASD. Finally, McLaughlin will provide discussion of these papers. Implications for service delivery and future directions for research will be discussed.


The Effects of Physical Activity on On-task Behavior in Young Children With Autism

SHANE K. HERRIOTT (University of Washington), Ilene Schwartz (University of Washington)

The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of different physical activities conducted during circle time on the on-task behavior during a journal-writing activity held immediately after circle. The participants of the study were three male kindergarten students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) who attended a full day integrated program. During the last five minutes of morning circle, the entire class, including the target participants, engaged in five minutes of activities with that required different amounts of physical exertion (e.g., yoga, dance party, or book reading). An alternating treatment design was used to evaluate the effects of the different intervention conditions. Data on the on-task behavior of the participants were collected during the first five minutes of the subsequent activity (journal writing). Results found that, in general, movement (yoga and dance party) prior to journal led to higher levels of on-task behavior during journal writing, with more vigorous activity (dance party) yielding the highest average of on-task behavior.

Preliminary Results of Montana’s Children’s Autism Wavier
ANN N. GARFINKLE (University of Montana)
Abstract: Twenty hours of applied behavior analysis intervention was provided to 50 children with autism by direct care staff supervised by certified family support specialists holding either the BCBA or the Montana Autism Endorsement. Children were able to access an average of 20 hours per week of service but that utilization varied as a result of a number of factors including: availability of direct care staff; child’s schedule; and, child’s distance from service provider’s office. Outcome data are available from three different sources: norm-referenced assessments; caregiver and service provider report on valued, functional outcomes; and, parent report. Norm-referenced measures indicate that all children enrolled in services are making progress. Using scores on norm-referenced tests, a monthly rate of growth was determined for three domains: communication, social/emotional, and self help/adaptive. Prior to program participation, children were learning at a rate of 2 weeks of knowledge for every month, after participation in the project, children’s growth rate tripled to 6 weeks of learning for each month of service. Outcomes indicated 100% of the children are engaged in more social play; 98% of the children have more access to the community; 92% of the children have decreased the number of challenging behaviors; 88% have had an increase in their verbal skills: 75% of the children have been toilet trained; and, 59% have had decreases in sleep problems. Approximately 20% of children will participate in general education without special education supports.

Effects of Generative Play Instruction on Pretense Play Behavior In Young Children With Autism

SENNY SCHNELL (Intercare Therapy), Diane M. Sainato (The Ohio State University)

Play is an integral part of typical development. It is composed of a multitude of increasingly complex skills. Symbolic play represents a developmental cusp during which typically developing children demonstrate increasingly advanced social, communicative, and cognitive skills. Play skills in children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders are limited, typically including smaller play repertoires composed of basic play skills. Direct instruction of play supports the acquisition of play skills as well as related behaviors, including social skills, adaptive skills, and communication. The generalization of play skills is intrinsic to typically developing infants, though may require intentional programming by interventionists for children on the autism spectrum. This study implemented a least to most prompting strategy using one-to-one instruction embedded in a matrix for teaching symbolic play to 4 children with ASD in the school setting. Increased Play With Pretense Behaviors were demonstrated, using a multiple baseline design, across trained and untrained toy sets and across participants. Limitations in research design and implementation will be discussed, with an emphasis on the continued exemption of programming for generalization. Recommendations for programming for generalization and specific collateral effects of play-based intervention constructed using behavior analytic strategies are presented.




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