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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Symposium #430
CE Offered: BACB
We're Ready to Learn Now! Protocols and Tactics for Establishing Pre-reader Verbal Capabilities
Monday, May 26, 2008
1:30 PM–2:50 PM
Stevens 5
Area: VRB/EDC; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Jeanne Marie Speckman (Fred S. Keller School, Columbia University Teachers College)
CE Instructor: Jeanne Marie Speckman, Ph.D.

We report on five protocols and tactics that have been shown to be effective in (1) altering the reinforcement value of teacher consequences, (2) inducing pre-reader verbal capabilities, and (3) exapanding existing pre-reader verbal repertoires. All participants were students with disabilities between the ages of 2 and 7. The verbal capabilities presented include generalized imitation, pure tacts, and naming.

The Effects of Playful Physical Contact as an Establishing Operation on Preschoolers’ Correct Academic Responses.
HYE-SUK LEE PARK (The Fred S. Keller School), JoAnn Pereira Delgado (The Fred S. Keller School), Jinhyeok Choi (Columbia University Teachers College)
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to test the effects of physical contact as an establishing operation (EO) on the correct academic responses of 3 four-year-old preschoolers with developmental delays. The participants functioned at pre-speaker and pre-listener levels of verbal behavior and were selected to participate due to low percentages of correct responses to teacher instruction. Analyses of teacher-student observations showed that the instructional problems were likely due to motivational factors. A multielement design followed by an AB design was used to test the effects of an establishing operation. The dependent variables were participants’ responses to 7 acquisition programs and 1 performance program. The independent variable in this study was the delivery of physical contact prior to delivery of instruction. The data showed a functional relation between the delivery of physical contact and the number of correct academic responses emitted by participants.
The Effects of a Mirror Procedure on the Emergence of Generalized Imitation.
JEANNE MARIE SPECKMAN (Fred S. Keller School, Columbia University Teachers College), JoAnn Pereira Delgado (The Fred S. Keller School), R. Douglas Greer (Columbia University Teachers College)
Abstract: We report on two experiments that tested the effects of teaching children to imitate adults’ actions in a mirror on the emergence of generalized imitation. The participants were 6 children between the ages of two and five who were receiving preschool special education or Early Intervention services. The current study was conducted across two campuses of a publicly funded special education preschool and Early Intervention program outside a major metropolitan city. The dependent variable was the number of untaught or emergent imitation responses emitted by participants following treatment phases. The independent variable was teaching the participants to imitate sets of adults’ motor actions while looking at adults in a mirror. The participants were also able to view themselves throughout the procedure. The results showed that for all participants, teaching imitation of sets of motor actions in a mirror was functionally related to the emergence of generalized imitation.
The Effects of Reciprocal Peer Tutoring on the Emission of Verbal Operants by Children in Generalized Settings.
KIMBERLY VOGT (Columbia University Teachers College)
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to test the effects of reciprocal peer tutoring, during which tacts were the teaching stimuli, on participants’ vocal verbal behavior in a play setting. In the first study, four participants with autism were grouped into two dyads. All of the participants emitted vocal verbal behavior, specifically mands and tacts with autoclitic frames. However, they emitted low numbers of sequelics and conversational units. After the participants were taught to tact a set of five objects or pictures, the independent variable, reciprocal peer tutoring, was implemented. The dependent variables in this study were the numbers of echoics, mands, tacts, intraverbals, sequelics, and conversational units emitted with a peer or with one’s self (self talk) in a free play setting. A multiple probe design was used. The results of the first experiment showed that reciprocal peer tutoring increased peer verbal operants for all participants during subsequent probes.
The Effects of Intensive Tact Instruction and Multiple Exemplar Instruction on the Emergence of Naming.
NIRVANA PISTOLJEVIC (Columbia University Teachers College), Mindy Bunya Rothstein (Columbia University Teachers College), R. Douglas Greer (Columbia University Teachers College)
Abstract: We tested the effects of an intensive tact instruction procedure on numbers of pure mands, pure tacts, sequilics and “Wh” questions emitted in non-instructional settings (NIS) using a multiple probe design across three 4-year-old participants diagnosed with autism. Also, as a collateral effect, we tested for the emergence of a full naming repertoire following the Intensive Tact Procedure. The first dependent variable was vocal verbal operants (pure tacts, pure mands, sequilics and “Wh” questions) emitted in NIS before/after the mastery of sets of 5 different stimuli. The second dependent variable was the acquisition of a full naming repertoire for 2-dimensional stimuli. The independent variable was Intensive Tact Instruction, which involved increasing the tact instructions to 100-tact learn units above the daily learn units students were receiving. The intervention increased independent vocal verbal operants emitted by the target students in NIS and all the participants acquired a full naming repertoire. The effects of multiple exemplar instruction across match to sample, selection, and production responses on the acquisition of naming will also be presented.



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