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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Paper Session #173
International Paper Session - Mand Training with Children
Sunday, May 25, 2008
10:30 AM–11:20 AM
Stevens 5
Area: VRB
Chair: Elizabeth J. Sparling (Pivot Point Family Growth Centre Inc)
The Effects of Parent Implemented PECS Training on Improvisation of Mands .
Domain: Applied Research
DELIA B. BEN CHAABANE (Marshall University/WV Autism Training Center), Sheila R. Alber-Morgan (The Ohio State University), Ruth M. DeBar (The Ohio State University)
Abstract: Little research exists on teaching children with autism how to display novel communication responses using the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS). The purpose of this study was to target improvisation of mands with two young boys diagnosed with autism who rely on picture symbols to communicate. Specifically, the investigation examined whether two children with autism could acquire and generalize novel mands while using picture symbols as a result of training conducted by their parents. Improvisation training included use of multiple exemplars and the assessment of generalization throughout conditions. Using a multiple baseline design, results demonstrated that both children acquired the ability to improvise by using alternative picture symbols when the corresponding symbol was unavailable across all mand categories: colors, shapes and functions. Results support the findings of Marckel, Neef, and Ferreri (2006) and extend their research by demonstrating that parents can implement interventions to teach novel responses to their children.
Optimizing Mand Training Sessions.
Domain: Applied Research
Abstract: We know that early learners who are at the initial level of verbal milestones (pre-listener) will be learning to mand as a component of their intervention both because mands are the first verbal operants acquired by children (Novak, 1996), and because mands are a necessary component needed to move children up to the speaker verbal milestone (Greer and Ross, 2008). According to the literature, (Carbone, 2006; Sundberg, 2007), children in this stage should spend the majority of their time engaged in manding because of the powerful link between motivating operations, language production and receipt of the reinforcer. The literature is unclear with regards to how long a manding session should last. Greer and Ross (2008) suggest 20 trials per target, this suggestion is utilized during mand training, but it does not address how long the child should work on manding as many learners have upwards of 20 mands they are developing. Currently, manding sessions are typically 40 minutes of each hour. This study seeks to determine if there is an optimal length of time for the manding component of a child’s programming. Using an ABAB, multiple baseline design across subjects, time as an independent variable was examined.



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