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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Poster Session #358
VRB Monday Afternoon Session
Monday, May 28, 2012
12:00 PM–2:00 PM
Exhibit Hall 4AB (Convention Center)
1. The Effectiveness of Chaining to Increase Complexity of Echoics in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and/or Developmental Language Delay
Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Research
REBECCA MALLORY (Sam Houston State University), Stephen Bernier (Sam Houston State University), Elizabeth Sharpe (Sam Houston State University), Hye-Suk Lee Park (Sam Houston State University), Chad Rose (Sam Houston State University), Cynthia G. Simpson (Sam Houston State University)
Abstract: The present study tests the effects of chaining to increase the complexity of correct echoic responses in three children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and/or developmental delays. Data on number of correct full echoics were collected within 2-min time segments. A multiple baseline across behaviors (words) began with baseline in which the participant was asked to emit an echoic for a spoken word. During treatment, a modified chaining procedure was used to teach component parts of a word in which each correct partial echoic functioned as an antecedent to move to the full echoic, or the terminal response. When each partial echoic was correct, the next component would be given until the full echoic was correctly emitted. Generalization of full echoic behavior was tested with a word. Results indicate clear differences in the level of correct responding between baselines and intervention conditions across the first two words. The percentage of correct full echoics with the word used for generalization probe increased after the participant met the preset criteria with the second word.
2. Multiple Exemplar Training to Facilitate Novel Intraverbal Responding in Children with Autism
Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Research
BRUCE G. HAMM (Coast Behaviour Analysts), Katie Rinald (Coast Behaviour Analysts), Lindsay Bratkowski (Coast Behaviour Analysts)
Abstract: Participants were three young children with autism and a history of rote intraverbal responding. A multiple probe across classes design was used to examine the effects of a Multiple Exemplar Training (MET) procedure on the emergence of novel intraverbal class responses. On baseline probes, participants emitted invariant and/or weak responses to instructions to “name three [class exemplars],” (e.g., thematic classes such as food, animals, etc.). We then implemented a MET procedure in which participants responded to class exemplars that they had not named in baseline probes. MET sessions consisted of a series of sorting, textual, tact and listener discrimination trials on class exemplars that were already present in the participants’ tact and listener repertoires. The effects of our MET procedure are based on the results of post-MET session intraverbal probes that were: (a) identical to baseline probes; (b) conducted at least one day after the last MET session; (c) conducted prior to the next MET session. The participants frequently emitted novel class exemplars on post-MET probes (i.e., responses not emitted at baseline). Significantly, these novel intraverbal responses were the ‘same’ exemplars that were featured in MET sessions. This finding suggests that post-MET intraverbal responses emerged from non-intraverbal MET trials.
3. Using a Lag Reinforcement Schedule to Increase Phonemic Variability in Children with Developmental Delays
Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Research
KATE A. KOEHLER-PLATTEN (St. Cloud State University), Laura L. Grow (University of British Columbia), Kimberly A. Schulze (St. Cloud State University), Tara S. Bertone (Autism Matters)
Abstract: A unique clinical challenge occurs when a child has not developed vocal imitation skills (i.e., an echoic repertoire) and lacks a sufficient variety of phonemes (i.e., basic sounds) to shape functional spoken language skills. Research on developing effective interventions to evoke variability in vocal behavior for the purposes of broadening the phonemic repertoire is limited. This study replicates and extends research by Esch, Esch, and Love (2009) by evaluating the utility of a lag schedule of reinforcement to (a) promote variability in speech sounds and (b) broaden the phonemic repertoire. A non-concurrent multiple baseline across participants design was used. Three children diagnosed with autism who demonstrated limited phonemic repertoires and echoic skills participated. During intervention , the experimenter presented 6 pre-determined vocal models consisting of consonant-vowel combinations. Following each vocal model, the participant was given 15 s to respond. Any vocal response containing speech sounds not emitted during the previous trial was reinforced. Results for the first participant showed that cumulative novel phonemes increased during intervention while the number of phonemes per session and percent variability did not. In contrast, all three measures increased for the second participant.
4. Effects of Lag Schedules on Variability of Responding to Intraverbal Questions With Children With Autism
Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Research
BETHANY P. CONTRERAS (Florida Institute of Technology), Alison M. Betz (Florida Institute of Technology)
Abstract: The purpose of the current study is to evaluate the effects of lag schedules of reinforcement on variability of responding to categorical intraverbal questions in young children with autism. This study intends to extend research on both teaching intraverbals and lag schedules by examining the effects of various lag schedules (i.e., Lag 1, 2, and 3) on the variability of responses to questions regarding categories emitted by children with autism. Data will be collected on novel responses both within and across sessions to determine the extent of variable and novel responses increase contingent on the schedule requirement. The study will be conducted in a multiple baseline across categories design with an embedded reversal for each participant. Data collection is ongoing and currently in baseline for all participants across all categories. Results are anticipated to show an increase in variability of responding as a function of the lag schedule of reinforcement in place. An increase in novel responses emitted is also anticipated. Keywords: intraverbal, lag schedule, variability, verbal behavior
5. A Comparison of 2-D, 3-D, and Exclusion Naming Probes and the Emergence of Untaught Listener and Speaker Responses in Kindergartners
Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Research
VANESSA LAURENT (Teachers College, Columbia University), Laura E. Lyons (Columbia University), R. Douglas Greer (Teachers College, Columbia University)
Abstract: We compared the effects of 3D, 2D, and tact presentation Naming probes on the number of correct speaker responses emitted during the speaker component of the probe. In addition to this, the experimenters tested for the emergence of listener and speaker responses to novel stimuli during exclusion Naming probes. The study consisted of 14 participants. The experimenters examined the number of untaught speaker responses (pure and impure tacts) to stimuli presented during all probe conditions. The objective was to examine if the participants would emit a different number of correct speaker responses in the 3D Naming probe condition compared to the 2D Naming probe condition. The results demonstrated that 6 participants emitted a higher number of correct speaker responses for the 2D probe, 3 participants emitted more correct speaker responses for the 3D probe compared to the 2D Naming probe and 5 participants emitted similar amounts of correct speaker responses to both probes. In addition, 4 out of the 6 participants demonstrated to have full Naming after being probed with tact presentation Naming probes and 3 out of those 4 participants demonstrated to have Naming by exclusion after being probed with exclusion Naming probes.
6. Manipulating Establishing Operation to Elicit Mands for Items to Complete a Task
Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Research
ASHLEY BENNETT (Sam Houston State University), Ann Maddox (Sam Houston State University), Angela Carbonell (Sam Houston State University), Hye-Suk Lee Park (Sam Houston State University), Cynthia G. Simpson (Sam Houston State University), Chad Rose (Sam Houston State University)
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to test the effects of echo-to-mand procedures, prompt fading and a motivating operation in form of deprivation on manding missing items. A first grade boy with autism was taught to mand for missing items which were needed to complete an activity. A motivating operation was contrived by placing the needed item within sight but out of reach of the child for four different activities. Echo-to-mand procedure in combination with prompt fading was used to teach mand for the missing item with the first activity. Investigators tested for generalization across three more activities. Mands for missing items generalized to all activities with no additional training.
7. Utilizing a Strong Intraverbal Repertoire to Teach Tacts
Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Research
LAURA STEINER (The Aurora School), Michelle Marker (The Aurora School)
Abstract: The purpose of this study is to determine which stimulus transfer procedure is most effective for teaching tacts to a student with autism in a private day school. Traditionally, tacts are acquired using either an echoic to tact stimulus transfer or a receptive to tact stimulus transfer however, an intraverbal to tact stimulus transfer is typically not used. Even though traditional verbal behavior programs do not teach intraverbals until a number of tacts are acquired, some students more quickly acquire a stronger intraverbal repertoire than a tact repertoire. Furthermore, some students have a defective tact repertoire due to overly conditioned intraverbals. This study will utilize a strong intraverbal repertoire to transfer verbal stimulus control to non-verbal stimulus control for specific verbal responses. This study will examine whether an intraverbal to tact transfer is more effective than an echoic to tact stimulus transfer for teaching tacts to a student who has a stronger intraverbal repertoire than tacting repertoire. An AB design across stimulus transfer procedures will be used.
8. Teaching Intraverbals, Delayed Tacts, and Autoclitics Through Narrative Intervention
Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Research
MANDANA KAJIAN (Northern Arizona University), Nick Bilyk (Northern Arizona University), Kendra Marum (Northern Arizona University), Trina D. Spencer (Northern Arizona University), Douglas B. Petersen (University of Wyoming)
Abstract: Children with disabilities whose language includes a variety of complex verbal operants have better social and academic outcomes. Storytelling is a familiar and enjoyable activity for most children and serves as an appropriate context for verbal behavior intervention. Teaching children to use complex language structures during storytelling activities promotes the development of relational autoclitics, delayed tacts, and large-unit intraverbals. The current study examined the effect of a narrative-based verbal behavior intervention on story retells and personal generations of six preschoolers with a range of developmental disabilities. A multiple probe, multiple baseline across participants design was used to examine the effect of the individualized intervention on childrens narrative language skills. Intervention involved the use of pictures and icons to teach story structure and interventionists provided systematic prompting to teach individualized targets (e.g., autoclitics). Results indicate that the narrative-based verbal behavior intervention improved childrens inclusion of story components and increased their use of individualized verbal behavior targets (e.g., causal subordination). This narrative-based verbal behavior intervention is an authentic and effective approach to expand childrens verbal repertoire.
9. Manding in Patients with Dementia
Area: VRB; Domain: Service Delivery
JON A. LOKKE (Ostfold University College), Jorn Arve Vold (Norwegian Assosiation for Behavior Analysis), Gunn Lokke (Ostfold University College), Erik Arntzen (Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences)
Abstract: The medical model dominates the care of persons with dementia. Pharmacological treatments are often preferred. In Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis only 17 studies have been published on applied behavior analysis and participants with dementia. A majority of these studies were conducted in nursing homes, and involves almost exclusively behavior problems, lack of engagement and mood disorders. To our knowledge, few interventions have targeted problems connected to naming, forgetting of names, requesting items or contact, or discontinuation of aversive stimulation. Change in the verbal repertoire is prevalent in people diagnosed with dementia. In this project we have assessed the use of mands, in the form of words, signs and pointing in persons with dementia. In the first assessment 12 participants were included. Four bachelor students recruited participants after direct observation, and interviewed the primary caregivers. Manding of preferences and wishes, attention, information, interaction, assistance and reduction of aversive stimuli are included. The results showed infrequent manding. An important point has been to make the assessment as uncomplicated as possible and thereby practical in nursing homes.
10. Effects of Speed-Reading Techniques on Reading Frequency and Retention in New College Students
Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Research
GUNN LOKKE (Ostfold University College), Gunn Lokke (Ostfold University College), Erik Arntzen (Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences)
Abstract: Findings indicate a close relationship between reading frequency and reading comprehension. Continued reading practice beyond basic skills acquired during early school years is essential for success in higher education. The techniques of Speed reading are widely used, and generally accepted. Studies made on the efficiency of speed reading exercises indicate measurable changes in reading eye movements and reading speed after intervention. The present study use speed reading exercises to increase reading frequency and retention in college students. Thirty-four undergraduate students in a college university, between the ages of 19 and 45, participated. The intervention included 15 minutes of practice every weekday, and daily registrations of treatment integrity and dependent variables. Group data on reading frequency and retention were measured three times during an eight-week intervention period. Individual reading frequency was registered in Standard Celeration Daily per Minute Charts. The average reading speed at T1 was 293 words per minute, varying from 132 to 365. The average increase in reading speed for participants after four weeks was 100 words per minute. Treatment integrity was 84 %.
11. Embedding Discrete Trial Training in Storybook Reading to Teach Morphologic Structures to Kindergarten-Aged Children Diagnosed With Language Disorders
Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Research
CHRISTINE A. MAUL (California State University, Fresno)
Abstract: A multiple baseline across participants was employed to investigate the efficacy of embedding discrete trial training in shared storybook reading to teach morphologic structures to kindergarten-aged children diagnosed with language disorders. Targeted morphologic structures included past tense -ed (for two participants) and possessive 's. All participants had a zero percent correct response rate in baseline conditions, and all three participants showed good improvement during treatment, during two probes using unfamiliar storybooks, and during one conversational probe taken during the last treatment session.



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