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 #282
International Paper Session - Autism, Reading, and Math Fluency
Sunday, May 25, 2008
4:30 PM–5:20 PM
Continental B
Area: AUT
Chair: Jennifer A. Loncola Walberg (DePaul University)
Autism and Reading: Implications For the Use of Visual Phonics.
Domain: Applied Research
JENNIFER A. LONCOLA WALBERG (DePaul University), Beverly J. Trezek (DePaul University)
Abstract: Since its discovery by Leo Kanner (1943; Donnellan, 1985), autism has both fascinated and puzzled those it affects. Scholars struggle to validate the myriad of treatments that arise to help “cure” the disorder, but most of these treatments focus on improving attention and behavior rather than on the development of specific academic skills like reading (Simpson, 2005). In light of the findings of the National Reading Panel (2000), this paper examines the specific research that has been conducted in the area of reading and autism. Further, this paper addresses the need for future research, in particular describing and proposing Visual Phonics as a viable method for children with autism. Visual Phonics has well documented success with other low incidence populations (Trezek & Malmgren, 2005; Trezek & Wang, 2006; Trezek, Wang, Woods, Gampp & Paul, 2007) and, given the specific areas of need in autism, is well suited as an intervention for this population of learners (American Psychological Association, 2000). Attendees will leave this presentation able to describe current reading research and how Visual Phonics may be applied to improve reading instructional practices for children with autism.
Achieving Math Fluency for Children with Autism Using a Diagnostic and Prescriptive Approach.
Domain: Applied Research
KEVIN S. CAULEY (Step By Step Learning Group), Elizabeth Benedetto-Nasho (Step By Step Learning Group), Emily K. Foster (Step By Step Learning Group)
Abstract: The central role fluency plays in learning is frequently stressed by Precision Teachers. These skilled educators have argued that the accumulation of dysfluent component skills is a significant barrier to acquiring compound skills and often leads to student academic failure (Binder, 1996). One of the hallmarks of Precision Teaching methodology is that it promotes the building of fluent component skills in order to influence subsequent performance on higher level or compound skills (Smyth & Keenan, 2002). Research has indicated that building fluent component skills can have a significant impact on both the acquisition and fluency level of subsequent instructional targets (McDowell, 2001). This presentation will describe the benefits of Morningside Academy’s Diagnostic and Prescriptive Math program for students with autism. Morningside’s Diagnostic and Prescriptive Mathematics program was designed to meet the specific needs of individual students who require intervention in a few areas. However, for some students with autism, intervention is required for all aspects of math computation rather than for just a few areas. This program was used as a stand alone computational program for teaching more complicated math skills. Student performance data will highlight the impact of building fluent component skills on higher order computational tasks.



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