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.


34th Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2008

Event Details

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Poster Session #293
#296 Poster Session (DDA)
Sunday, May 25, 2008
5:30 PM–7:00 PM
South Exhibit Hall
57. How “Applied” is Applied Research on Derived Stimulus Relations? A Literature Review.
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
JACQUELYN M. MACDONALD (Southern Illinois University at Carbondale), Rocio Rosales (Southern Illinois University), Yors A. Garcia (Southern Illinois University), Ruth Anne Rehfeldt (Southern Illinois University)
Abstract: The research program on derived stimulus relations has had important implications for the behavior analytic study of language and cognition. It also has important implications for behavior analytic educational curricula for persons with developmental disabilities and language and communication delays. Despite this, very little applied research has been conducted on derived stimulus relations, and that which has may be of questionable applied relevance. To this end, we operationally defined “applied” in accordance with Baer, Wolf, and Risley (1968/1987). We then analyzed all existing studies on derived stimulus relations and determined which ones actually met the various criteria established by Baer et al. (1968/1987) as “applied.” Preliminary results suggest that very little applied research on derived stimulus relations actually meets this criteria.
58. Effectiveness of Emotion Recognition Training for Young Children with Developmental Delay.
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
ANDREW M. DOWNS (Central Washington University), Paul Strand (Washington State University)
Abstract: Emotion recognition is a basic skill that is thought to facilitate development of social and emotional competence. There is little research available examining whether interventions can improve the emotion recognition skill of young children with developmental disabilities. Sixteen preschool children with developmental delay were randomly assigned to experimental and control groups. After baseline testing, the experimental group received behaviorally-based instruction in emotion recognition throughout the academic year and showed significant growth in emotion recognition skill and higher scores on a more comprehensive measure of emotion understanding ability. The control group showed no such gains. Significant individual variability in response to the intervention was noted. Results suggested that emotion recognition training delivered within a behaviorally based assessment and intervention program can lead to significant gains in emotion recognition skill for children at a wide range of ability levels. Implications and suggestions for future research and interventions are discussed.
59. Teaching Conversational Skills: Using Data-Based Decision Making in Goal Selection.
Area: DDA; Domain: Service Delivery
DANA BATTAGLIA (Eden II/Genesis School), Lewis Mazzone (Illinois State University), Mary Ellen McDonald (Eden II/Genesis School)
Abstract: True conversational skills extend significantly beyond the number of reciprocations between two people (i.e. eye contact, commenting, elaborating, topic shifts, etc) and include a myriad of variables making operationally defining target behaviors for data collection difficult. Data collection occurring in the natural environment of general education lead to the need for modifications to treatment objectives and required regular analysis of data collection procedures. From a peer perspective, when individuals with ASD are taught reciprocation skills, these skills are typically rote, and give no benefit to the communicatively unchallenged partner. Assessment of the intervention was conducted using unstructured interview in the form of peer reports to guide intervention, and examples with adults will also be provided. One case study will be presented, discussing how both initiations and responses in conversational contexts were elaborated. Results on this case scenario will demonstrate a greater “social effect” of communicative training from multiple standpoints (participant, peer, and family).
60. Singing Module to Promote Expressive Communication for Children with Intellectual Challenges.
Area: DDA; Domain: Service Delivery
JUNG YEON CHO (Daegu Cyber University), Mi Kyong Kim (Daebul University, Korea)
Abstract: This study researched the effect of vocal training using singing modules for children with intellectual challenges to promote their adequate communication skills. Three children with intellectual challenges, attending special school, participated in the study. Using a multiple baseline design across subjects, singing instruction was given with rhythmic consideration on the rate and verbal intelligibility of the subjects, specifically, vocal exercise on the musical instruments, rhythmic music activity, and singing specific songs with the contents and words in daily life. The results showed as follows: first, pitch through singing songs with rhythmical body movements and cues from the piano, second, the rate of vocalizing words and phrases improved as the intervention was implemented with all the subjects.
61. A Rapid Assessment Procedure to Identify the Functions of Verbal Operants in Children with Autism.
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
JENNIFER BROCK (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Tiffany Kodak (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Wayne W. Fisher (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center)
Abstract: Skinner's theory of verbal behavior (1957) identified several functions of verbal behavior. Previous research has used Skinner's theory of verbal behavior to develop assessment and teaching procedures for children with developmental disabilities. In a recent study, Lerman and colleagues (2006) developed an assessment procedure to identify the function(s) of emerging vocal speech in children diagnosed with autism. One benefit of identifying the function of vocal speech is to develop an individualized language training program to teach specific functions that are not already in the child's repertoire. However, a disadvantage of the assessment procedure developed by Lerman et al. is that it requires a considerable amount of time to complete, and therefore, may be less useful in a classroom environment. The current study extended the findings of Lerman and colleagues by modifying the assessment to a trial-based procedure, which greatly decreased the length of time required to administer the assessment. Results of the modified assessment procedure indicated the brief, trial-based method was effective for identifying the functions of vocal speech in children with autism.
62. Teaching the Functions of Verbal Operants to Children with Autism.
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
KYLE PORTER (Munroe-Meyer Institute), Tiffany Kodak (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Wayne W. Fisher (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center)
Abstract: Children with autism typically exhibit significant language deficits. While some children with autism may have a small repertoire of words in their vocabulary, these words may only function to gain access to preferred items (i.e., mands). To participate in social activities or educational tasks in a natural environment, children must learn to label items, answer questions, and request items from others. Thus, the present study examined a procedure for teaching the functions of verbal operants. Initially, children failed to acquire mands or tacts when each function was targeted individually during training trials. However, when echoic training was introduced, and echoic teaching sessions were interspersed with mand and tact training, unprompted manding and tacting emerged. Results are discussed in terms of their implications for teaching functional language to children with autism.
63. Generalization Between Receptive Identification and Tacting: A More Efficient Teaching Strategy?
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
CAITLIN V. HERZINGER (Marcus Autism Center), April N. Kisamore (Western Michigan University), Andrew A. Fulton (Marcus Autism Center), M. Alice Shillingsburg (Marcus Autism Center)
Abstract: In a review of the existing literature, Goldstein (1993) noted the need to better understand the relationships that exist between language modalities in order to better facilitate learning across these modalities, which is important for efficient teaching. Most previous research on generalization across verbal operants has focused on the tact-mand relationship (e.g., Lamarre et al., 1985, Wallace et al., 2006) and to a lesser extent, tact-intraverbal (e.g., Goldsmith et al., 2006). The current study is an assessment of cross-modal generalization from receptive to expressive and the reverse, similar to that of Wynn and Smith (2003). The acquisition of receptive identification and tact targets, through either direct instruction or generalization, was evaluated in a multiple baseline design across language modalities. Concurrently, data were collected on all response topographies to determine if additional responding moderates generalization. Implications for clinicians and educators, as well as areas of future research, are also included.
64. Language Facilitating Strategies During Natural Routines.
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
SEKHAR PINDIPROLU (The University of Toledo)
Abstract: Previous literature indicates that natural routines such as story book reading and television viewing can serve as contexts for parents to expose their children to new vocabulary, language usage, and other pre-literacy skills. Lemish and Rice (1986) compared the categories of parent and child talk during television viewing with that of the parent-child interactions during joint book reading and concluded that television has the potential to serve as a facilitator of children’s language acquisition. In this presentation, data from a research study that employed television as a medium to facilitate language skills of five children with language delays will be examined. Parents of children with language delays were taught language facilitation strategies and were asked to implement the strategies during joint TV viewing routines over a four month period. Using single subject research design, the effectiveness of parent’s implementation of the strategies and the effectiveness of the strategies on the child’s language skills was examined. Further, social validity measures were administered with the parents. The effectiveness of the intervention and parents’ acceptability of the procedures will be discussed.
65. Improving Conversational Skills Among Adults with Acquired Brain Injuries.
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
JULIE FLYNN (Southern Illinois University), Erica Welch (Southern Illinois University), Gerald D. Faw (Center for Comprehensive Services, Inc.), Paula K. Davis (Southern Illinois University)
Abstract: The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the effects of a social skills training program designed to teach two adult males with acquired brain injury how to converse with females. A female assessor (trainer) conducted conversation skill assessments in a classroom during baseline and training under the guise of the subject having a conversation with an unfamiliar female in the community. During training, both subjects received individualized printed material and instruction on what comprised appropriate conversation with unknown females while one of the subjects also received instruction on topic initiation, asking questions and giving approval. Training then continued by engaging the subject in a contrived conversation and stopping the interchange every 20–30 seconds and having the subject recall what they had said during the interval and use the printed material to evaluate the appropriateness of their verbiage. Prior to restarting the conversation, a brief dialogue ensued wherein the subject was given positive and corrective feedback on the accuracy of their recall and evaluation along with suggestions for improvement. Two separate A-B designs and generalization probes revealed that appropriate conversation increased for both subjects and that the subjects used their skills when conversing with a different female confederate. The results are discussed within the context of utilizing memory strategies and self-regulatory processes to improve social skills in persons with acquired brain injury.
66. Treating Individuals Diagnosed with Language Delay and Disorder in a Preschool Setting.
Area: DDA; Domain: Service Delivery
TRIONA TAMMEMAGI (Early Language Intervention Ltd.), Deirdre M. Muldoon (Early Language Intervention Ltd.), Kristen A. Maglieri (Early Language Intervention Ltd.), Adele Lakin (Early Language Intervention Ltd.), Ronda Barron (Early Language Intervention Ltd.), Saioa Elosua (Early Language Intervention Ltd.), Claire Crowley (Early Language Intervention Ltd.)
Abstract: Speech and language delay affects 5 to 8 percent of preschool children (Nelson et al., 2006). Typically, such children are provided with speech and language therapy (SLT) in a 1:1 session for 1 hour per week. Early Language Intervention Ireland, Ltd. (ELI) has combined SLT with applied behaviour analysis teaching methods to provide effective treatment in a more efficient manner. ELI has developed a treatment package aimed at preschool children aged 2 to 6 diagnosed with a variety of language and communicative disorders. Our treatment differs from traditional SLT approaches in that the students are taught in group settings with higher student-staff ratios (12:3 or 4:1) for 2 ½ hours per day, 5 days per week. These group sessions facilitate the learning of social and play behaviours, which is not possible in traditional SLT sessions. Further, daily contact with students ensures the maintenance of complex social repertoires. Student progress is monitored through daily data collection and standardized assessment. The current poster will provide outcome data from the past 2 years of ELI service. In particular, we will present data on the average number of skills mastered per hour of instruction and the average increase in age equivalent language.
67. Evaluating Parental Adherence to Behavioral Intervention for Children with Developmental Disabilities.
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
CAROLYN LEIGH ZEMLICK (California State University, Los Angeles), Michele D. Wallace (California State University, Los Angeles), Anki Sjolund (Behavioral Building Blocks, Inc. (B3))
Abstract: This study looked at the effects of contextualized treatment on parental adherence to behavior protocols with children diagnosed with developmental disabilities, and the collateral effects on the child’s behavior. The contextualized treatment included an emphasis on collaborative goal setting within a family-chosen routine. Parental adherence is a primary component of behavioral interventions in the home setting if the positive behavior changes of the child are to occur and be sustained over time. Thus, this study evaluated parental adherence to specific behavior protocols within a contextualized treatment and a non-contextualized treatment protocol. Three dependent variables were measured: (a) frequency of the child’s challenging behaviors, (b) frequency of the child’s target response (i.e., functional communication and/or compliance), and (c) percentage of parental adherence (number of steps implemented appropriately over the total number of steps). Results are discussed with respect to the benefits of contextualized parent training approaches.
68. Descriptive Assessments of Caregiver-Child Interactions as an Adjunct to Functional Analyses and Function Based Treatments of Problem Behavior.
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
JENNIFER K. VALENTINE (Marcus Autism Center), Nathan Call (Marcus Autism Center), Blair Parker Hicks (Marcus Autism Center)
Abstract: Descriptive assessments (DAs) have demonstrated clinical utility in the assessment of problem behavior. In the past, they have primarily been used to identify consequences maintaining an individual’s problem behavior (Vollmer et al., 2001). This study investigated the potential extension of DAs to the evaluation of caregiver procedural integrity when implementing behavioral treatments for problem behavior. Descriptive assessments of caregiver-child interactions were conducted utilizing procedures described by Vollmer et al., (2001) prior to and following treatment development for participants who attended a day treatment program for children with developmental disabilities who engaged in severe problem behaviors. Following treatment development each caregiver was trained to implement treatment with at least 90% procedural integrity. A second DA was conducted following parent training to evaluate changes in caregiver behavior as a result of training in the treatment procedures. Interobserver agreement data were collected on at least 20% of all sessions and always exceeded 80% agreement. Results demonstrated the clinical utility of DAs for evaluating caregiver procedural integrity when implementing function based treatments for problem behavior.
69. Risk Factors for Persistent Self-Injury: Preliminary Results from a Longitudinal Study.
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
DANIELLE L. GUREGHIAN (University of Maryland, Baltimore County/Kennedy Krieger Institute), Patricia F. Kurtz (Kennedy Krieger Institute), John M. Huete (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Michelle D. Chin (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Abstract: While self-injurious behavior (SIB) is a serious problem affecting individuals with intellectual disabilities, little is known about its early childhood course. A clear understanding of why SIB persists in some children and not others is needed to develop prevention and early intervention strategies. Initial findings from a longitudinal study designed to identify risk factors for persistent SIB in children ages birth to 5 years with developmental delay will be presented. Via developmental testing, parent report, and direct observation, variables hypothesized to contribute to the emergence and maintenance of SIB were examined. Specifically, persistence of SIB is hypothesized to be associated with child communication deficits and increased parent responding to SIB. Preliminary results (e.g.,. age of SIB onset, number of SIB topographies, child communication scores, and scores on parent measure) for 25 children with early-onset SIB will be presented. Additionally, data for a sub-sample of participants indicated that persistence of SIB 12 months into the study was associated with lower child communication scores and higher parent stress and depression scores. In contrast, absence of reported SIB at 12 months was associated with child communication scores in the normal range, and lower scores on parent measures of stress and depression.
70. Positive Collateral Social Effects During Function-Based Treatment of Severe Behavior Problems.
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
TORY J. CHRISTENSEN (The University of Iowa), Joel Eric Ringdahl (The University of Iowa), Todd G. Kopelman (The University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics), Jeffrey R. Luke (The University of Iowa)
Abstract: Green and Reid (1996) identified indices of happiness that were observed to increase during behavioral treatment. In this poster, we present data on the indices of happiness exhibited by a child with autism who engaged in severe behavior problems including aggression and self-injurious behavior (SIB). Results suggested that when a function-based treatment was in place, a reduction in severe problem behavior was observed. In addition, participant’s prosocial behavior and other indices of happiness were assessed. Interobserver agreement was collected for at least 20% of all sessions and averaged over 80%.
71. Predicting Preference for Items During Periods of Extended Access Based on Early Response Allocation.
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
NAIRIM C. ROJAS RAMIREZ (St. Cloud State University), Amanda M. Colby (St. Cloud State University), Gregory J. Swanson (St. Cloud State University), John T. Rapp (St. Cloud State University)
Abstract: Top-ranked items were identified during 30-min free-operant multiple-stimulus preference assessment sessions for nine individuals. To determine whether early allocation within each session predicted the top-ranked item, sessions were reanalyzed to identify the item (a) that was selected first and (b) with the highest percentage of response allocation after 5 min, 10 min, and 15 min. The results indicate that the first-selected item and the 15-min high-allocation item predicted the top-ranked item in approximately half and two-thirds of the sessions, respectively. The implications of the results for brief stimulus preference assessments are discussed.
72. Integrity, Efficiency, and Reinforcer Quality as Criteria for Selecting Preference Assessments.
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
JENNIFER DAWN MAGNUSON (The May Institute), Shawn F. Vieira (The May Institute), Stefanie Fillers (The May Institute), Natalie Baron (Northeastern University), Hanna C. Rue (The May Institute)
Abstract: Researchers conducted four different activity preference assessments (response restriction, competing stimulus, multiple stimulus without replacement, and paired stimulus) with a 13-year-old girl diagnosed with autism. Data was also collected on the integrity and duration of each assessment. Following the four assessments, a test of reinforcer quality was conducted with the activities identified as high preference and low preference. Using assessment integrity and duration, as well as the results of the reinforcer quality test, researchers determined that a paired stimulus activity preference assessment was the most effective assessment for the individual.
73. Does Teaching Object-Picture Matching Help Persons with Developmental Disabilities to Indicate Preferences Using Pictures?
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
PAMELA JANE FREGEAU (St. Amant Research Centre/University of Manitoba), Duong Nguyen (St. Amant Research Centre/University of Manitoba), Dickie C. T. Yu (St. Amant Research Centre/University of Manitoba), Toby L. Martin (St. Amant Research Centre/University of Manitoba), Cheryl Pogorzelec (St. Amant Research Centre/University of Manitoba)
Abstract: Preference assessments are used to identify reinforcers for persons with developmental disabilities who are unable to communicate. Choices are typically presented in tangible, pictorial, or spoken form during preference assessments. Several studies have shown that being able to respond to pictures during preference assessment is associated with the presence of quasi-identity visual matching-to-sample discriminations. This study investigated whether teaching this conditional discrimination would help individuals to respond to pictures during preference assessments. Three individuals with developmental disabilities were taught to perform partial identity matching-to-sample discriminations in a multiple probe baseline design across tasks. The results showed that a within-stimulus prompt-fading procedure and positive reinforcement for correct responses were effective in teaching 7 of 8 object-picture matching discriminations attempted across participants. However, acquisition of the discriminations did not influence performance during picture preference assessments following training.
74. Preference Assessments: A Comparison.
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
STEFANIE FILLERS (The May Institute), Natalie Baron (Northeastern University), Jennifer Dawn Magnuson (The May Institute), Shawn F. Vieira (The May Institute), Hanna C. Rue (The May Institute)
Abstract: The purpose of the study was to compare efficiency and integrity across four commonly used preference assessments: paired stimulus, multiple stimulus without replacement, response restriction, and competing stimuli. Participants in the study were 10 teaching staff unfamiliar with preference assessment procedures. Additionally, all assessments were conducted on 4 students attending a private school specializing in developmental disabilities. Sessions took place within the student’s classroom, 2-3 times per day. Assessments were conducted in an alternating treatments design. Data were collected on interobserver agreement, procedural integrity, and duration. Results indicate that all assessments were conducted with high procedural integrity and interobserver agreement, however, multiple stimulus without replacement assessments were significantly shorter in duration. The present data suggest that all assessments were easy for staff to implement with integrity, and as a result, staff may want to consider time-efficiency when planning a preference assessment.
75. Evaluation of Relative Reinforcer Efficacy as Predicted by Reinforcer Preference.
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
DAWN DEATON (Marcus Autism Center), Nathan Call (Marcus Autism Center), Nicole M. Trosclair-Lasserre (Louisiana State University), Karen Rader (Louisiana State University), Amanda M. Dahir (Louisiana State University)
Abstract: Several assessments have been evaluated to identify preferences for stimuli among individuals with developmental disabilities (e.g., DeLeon, 1996). However, these preference assessments are limited in that they only produce ordinal data. In addition, reinforcer value may shift with increasing work requirements. In contrast, a progressive ratio analysis allows for differences in reinforcer efficacy to be observed under dense and lean schedule requirements. It also has the benefit of producing interval data to determine the magnitude of any differences in preference based on the amount of work completed to access that stimulus. In the study a paired stimulus and daily multiple stimulus without replacement preference assessments were conducted with between 6 to 8 stimuli. Results from both preference assessments were compared to those of progressive ratio reinforcer assessments in which each stimulus was delivered contingent upon completing an arbitrary response under increasing schedule requirements. In addition, interobserver agreement data were collected for at least 20% of sessions and always exceeded 80% agreement. Results of the preference assessments and reinforcer assessments suggested that some differences in reinforcing effectiveness may not emerge until higher schedule requirements are reached.
76. Use of Progressive Ratio Schedules to Evaluate Social Reinforcers for the Treatment of Problem Behavior.
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
RICHARD K. MCCRANIE (Marcus Autism Center), Nathan Call (Marcus Autism Center), Joanna Lomas (Marcus Autism Center), Jonathan P. Key (Marcus Autism Center)
Abstract: Previous research has shown the utility of progressive ratio schedules and behavioral economic conceptualizations of reinforcer value for predicting the effectiveness of preferred stimuli for treating aberrant behavior maintained by automatic reinforcement (Roane et al., 2001). There have not as yet been any applications of this methodology to identifying the relative reinforcing value of social reinforcers. In the present study, the relative value of attention, preferred items, and escape from demands were evaluated for participants whose problem behavior had been shown to be maintained by social reinforcers. Participants were taught an alternative communication response and the response was then placed on a progressive ratio schedule, with each social reinforcer being made contingent upon emitting the communication response at increasing schedule requirements. Function-based treatments for problem behavior were subsequently implemented for each social reinforcer. Findings suggest that treatments based on the social reinforcer identified as most valuable were most effective at reducing problem behavior. Interobserver agreement data were collected for at least 20% of all sessions and exceeded 80% for all sessions.
77. The Effect of Noncontingent Reinforcement on Differential Reinforcement of Alternative Behavior During Schedule Fading.
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
SUSAN E. FONTENOT (Marcus Autism Center), Nathan Call (Marcus Autism Center), Robert-Ryan S. Pabico (Marcus Autism Center)
Abstract: Differential reinforcement of alternative behavior (DRA) is a relatively common treatment for reducing problem behaviors. Following acquisition of an alternative behavior and initial reduction in problem behavior, the schedule of reinforcement for the alternative behavior is typically faded to more clinically acceptable levels (e.g., Fisher et al., 1993, Hagopian et al., 1998). One challenge of DRA schedule fading is that it is frequently accompanied by a concomitant return of problem behavior and decrease in the alternative behavior. This study examined whether adding noncontingent reinforcement (NCR) during DRA schedule fading would allow fading to occur without the return of problem behavior. A functional analysis (FA) was conducted with the participant and DRA treatments were developed based on FA outcome. Following successful implementation of DRA, problem behavior reemerged for the participant with the introduction of fading. The addition of NCR was demonstrated to be effective at maintaining reductions in problem behavior during fading, resulting in successfully reaching a schedule of reinforcement that was clinically acceptable. Interobserver agreement data were collected on at least 20% of sessions and always exceeded 80% agreement.
78. Comparison of Fixed, Escalating and Variable DRO in Eliminating Responding Using a Human Operant Preparation.
Area: DDA; Domain: Basic Research
AMY DAWN BLACKSHIRE (West Virginia University), Claire C St. Peter (West Virginia University)
Abstract: Previous research has indicated that an escalating differential reinforcement of other behavior schedule of reinforcement (eDRO) is more effective in quickly eliminating previously reinforced behavior than a fixed DRO (fDRO). Not much research has examined the comparisons among an fDRO, a variable DRO (vDRO) and an eDRO in eliminating responding within individual subjects. We examined the efficacy of an fDRO, an eDRO, and a vDRO, using a human operant preparation with undergraduate students as participants. Two arbitrary responses (clicking on moving circles) were available throughout the study. The eDRO and the vDRO eliminated responding faster than the fDRO, although condition sequence played a role.
79. The Effect of Task Choice on Task Compliance and Escape-Maintained Problem Behavior.
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
JENNIFER RUSAK (University of Florida), Iser Guillermo DeLeon (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Michelle Frank (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Abstract: This study examined the effects of choice of academic tasks on the problem behavior and task compliance of a boy with moderate mental retardation. The study used a reversal design consisting of baseline phases and intervention phases in which choice and yoked no-choice sessions were compared for high-probability task, low-probability task and mixed high- and low-probability task conditions. During yoked sessions, tasks were presented in an order identical to that previously chosen by the participant in the immediately preceding choice session. Results indicate that when choice was available, problem behaviors decreased and compliance increased in all conditions compared to no-choice sessions (even when yoked) with larger differences being observed in the high-probability and mixed conditions. These results extend previous work that suggests that choice itself may be an active component of treatments targeting undesirable behavior in academic and other settings.
80. The Cognitive Level of Children with Down’s Syndrome (DS), Before and After Psychological Treatment.
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
MILAGROS DAMIÁN DÍAZ (Universidad Autonoma de México; Campus Iztacala)
Abstract: Cognitive area is one of the most important of psychological development, including sensorial and perceptual capacities, problems solution, and acquisition of concepts such as: identifying different persons, objects, food, smells, animals, sounds, places, colors, matching to a model, actions, puzzles, numerals, size, spices or position, and pre-academic and academic skills. Method: Participants: Two cases of DS were described. The first case was a boy, 68 ms age before the treatment; and 85 ms after the treatment. The second case is a girl, 28 ms age at the beginning, and when the treatment concluded she was 73 ms old. Socioeconomic level is medium-low for both cases. They had never attended to any psychological treatment. Instruments: Checklist on Psychological Development (Damián, 2003) and Table of obtained scores of this instrument. Material: mirror, balls, puzzles, stories, numerals, letters, colors, drawings, etc. Location: Work spaces at the Clinic in the Campus. Treatment: a) First Evaluation Phase: the Checklist of psychological development in cognitive area was applied. b) Intervention Phase: consisted of training cognitive skills through games and activities with physical, verbal, sensorial, and tactile aids, based on imitation and performing tasks from easy to difficult complexity. c) Second Evaluation Phase: same Checklist of psychological development in cognitive area was re-applied. Results and Conclusions: Data showed important quantitative and qualitative advances in the cognitive abilities in both cases, after the intervention. Thus, procedure used was effective due the improvement of their psychological development levels: in the first case, it was improved to 24-48 Ms. In the second case, the girl reached level 12-24 Ms.



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