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

Previous Page


Symposium #393
CE Offered: BACB
Innovations in Teaching Social Behavior to Children With Autism
Monday, May 28, 2012
3:30 PM–4:50 PM
305 (TCC)
Area: AUT/VRB; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Angela M. Persicke (Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc.)
Discussant: Thomas S. Higbee (Utah State University)
CE Instructor: Angela M. Persicke, M.A.

A significant amount of research has demonstrated that early intensive behavioral intervention is an effective treatment for children with autism. Furthermore, teaching social behaviors is a major focus of such intervention. While a large amount of research supports the use of behavioral intervention for establishing social repertoires in children with autism in general, many areas of social behavior have not previously been the subject of research. This symposium consists of three studies addressing such areas. The first presentation consists of a study on teaching children with autism to be able to respond appropriately (rather than literally) to sarcasm. The second presentation consists of a study on teaching children with autism to engage in socially appropriate forms of deception, commonly referred to as white lies. The third presentation consists of a study that used a videogame system to teach good sportsmanship. The symposium concludes with a discussion by Dr. Higbee.

Keyword(s): autism, relational responding, social behavior

Teaching Children With Autism to Detect and Respond Appropriately to Sarcasm

ANGELA M. PERSICKE (Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc.), Jonathan J. Tarbox (Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc.), Jennifer Ranick (Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc.)

Many studies have demonstrated that children with autism respond in an overly literal manner to non-literal language (e.g., irony, sarcasm, deception, humor, and metaphors). Irony and sarcasm may be especially difficult for children with autism because the meaning is the opposite of what is stated. The current study evaluated the effectiveness of multiple exemplar training to teach children with autism to detect and respond appropriately to sarcastic statements. Participants were 3 children with autism. Multiple exemplar training was effective for teaching detection and appropriate responding to sarcastic statements, and generalization was obtained across novel exemplars, settings, and people.


Teaching Socially Appropriate Deception to Children With Autism

RYAN BERGSTROM (Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc.), Adel C. Najdowski (Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc.), Jonathan J. Tarbox (Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc.)

Children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) may not develop the ability to tell a white lie when socially appropriate without explicit teaching. The purpose of this study was to evaluate a protocol for teaching three children with autism to tell white lies in two different situations. The first situation was when receiving a non-preferred item as a gift and the other seeing a person whose appearance is non-preferred. A treatment package consisting of rules, role-playing, reinforcement, and corrective feedback was used. Treatment was effective and generalization was observed across people and novel gifts and appearances.


Improving Sportsmanship Skills in Children With ASD Using Wii Sports

MELINA SEVLEVER (Auburn University), Jennifer M. Gillis Mattson (Auburn University), Bill Ferguson (Auburn University)

Impaired social skills represent a fundamental deficit for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). In addition to deficits in social reciprocity skills, children with an ASD may have motor deficits that can reduce the likelihood of sports participation. Consequently, many children with ASD fail to develop appropriate social sportsmanship skills required for successful athletic participation. The present study assessed the effectiveness of a social skills group intervention that focused primarily on improving sportsmanship skills in seven males with ASD between the ages of 7 and 11 years old. Wii Sports games were used for modeling and rehearsal of three sportsmanship skills (i.e., compliments, taking turns, and saying good game) and skills were taught using a behavioral skills training model. The intervention was effective at increasing the three sports-related social skills in all of the children. Generalization was demonstrated across children, although skills did not appear to generalize to other Wii games for all participants.




Back to Top
Modifed by Eddie Soh