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 #304
CE Offered: BACB
Interventions for Teaching Receptive Language Skills to Children With Developmental Disabilities
Monday, May 28, 2012
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
LL04 (TCC)
Area: DDA/AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Kevin P. Klatt (University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire)
Discussant: Robert K. Ross (BEACON Services)
CE Instructor: Joseph M. Vedora, Ed.D.

Developing effective, efficient interventions for children with developmental disabilities is a primary focus in applied research. Particularly for receptive language programs, the establishment of faulty stimulus control is common among individuals with developmental disabilities. Previous research has demonstrated the effectiveness of several procedures for either teaching receptive language skills or to remediate faulty stimulus control (e.g., blocked-trial procedure, "UCLA" method). However, relatively little research has evaluated different strategies for teaching receptive language in applied settings. In addition, there is a substantial gap in research comparing different strategies for teaching receptive language skills. The studies in the symposium are focused on evaluating commonly recommended and under-evaluated procedures for teaching receptive language skills (e.g., conditional discriminations) or comparing different strategies to determine the most efficient teaching procedure.

Keyword(s): conditional discrimination, receptive language, stimulus control, teaching procedure

Investigating the Use of a Blocked Trial Procedure to Teach Discriminations to Young Children With Autism

KEVIN P. KLATT (University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire), Nicholas Kyle Reetz (University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire), Ashley Niebauer (University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire), Brittany Degner (University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire), Valerie Lynn VanTussi (University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire), Trevor Goldsmith (University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire), Paula Petit (ABIS, LLC), Karen Renee Norman (ABIS, LLC)

Teaching new skills to children diagnosed with autism sometimes results in the child errors or scrolling through various responses. Inaccurate responding suggests the new skills have not been brought under appropriate stimulus control. In past research, investigators have used a blocked-trial procedure to teach conditional discriminations to adults with developmental disabilities, usually resulting in responding coming under appropriate stimulus control. The purpose of the current research was to use a blocked-trial procedure to teach discriminations to young children diagnosed with autism. Children were taught receptive identification skills (e.g., touch head, touch foot) using a blocked-trial procedure. Results showed the blocked-trial procedure can be used to teach discriminations. Limitations and suggestions for using the blocking procedure will be discussed.


A Comparison of Methods for Teaching Receptive Labeling to 2-year-olds With Autism

JOSEPH M. VEDORA (BEACON Services), Laura L. Grow (University of British Columbia), Katrina Grandelski (BEACON Services)

Several EIBI Manuals recommend the use of a simple/conditional discrimination training procedure in which training begins with simple discriminations and gradually introduces more difficult discriminations over time. Lovaas (2003) outlined a 9-step procedure in which simple discriminations are established in isolation using massed trials. As the learner progresses through the training protocol, the steps involve presenting two -or three stimulus -array conditional discriminations. Grow, Carr, Kodak, Jostad, and Kisamore (2011) noted that such procedures might foster faulty stimulus control and result in specific error patterns that inhibit correct responding. Despite this observation, the simple/conditional discrimination procedure remains common practice in EIBI programs. Moreover, Grow et al.s research suggested that a conditional-only procedure that involves establishing conditional discriminations from the onset might be more efficient than the simple/conditional procedure. The present study sought to extend Grow et al.s findings by a) examining the use of errorless training procedures employed in the both the simple/ conditional and conditional-only methods, and b) evaluating the methods in a child with autism under the age of three.


A Comparison of Two Procedures for Teaching Receptive Labeling Skills to a Child With Autism Spectrum Disorders

LAURA L. GROW (University of British Columbia), Tiffany Kodak (University of Oregon), James E. Carr (Behavior Analyst Certification Board)

Several procedures are recommended and used for teaching receptive labeling skills (i.e., conditional discriminations) to children with developmental disabilities (e.g., blocked-trial procedure, conditional only). Previous research suggests that sequentially introducing new targets is effective for teaching receptive language skills(Saunders & Spradlin, 1989; Williams, Perez-Gonzalez, &Queiro, 2005). However, there are clinical variations in the way in which targets are sequentially introduced during training (e.g., Lovaas, 2003, Saunders & Spradlin, 1989. The purpose of the study was to compare the blocked-trial procedure with the procedure described by Lovaas (2003). One child with an autism spectrum disorder participated in two comparative evaluations. Results indicated that the procedure described in Lovaas (2003) was a more efficient procedure than the blocked-trial procedure. Results will be discussed in terms of implications for teaching receptive language skills in applied settings.




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