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 #503
International Paper Session - Emotion, Self-esteem and Phobic Responses
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
Stevens 3
Area: AUT
Chair: Jennifer Sweeney (Kent State University)
Enhancing Language Acquisition Skills for Students across Multiple Disabilities: A Comparison of Two Instructional Strategies.
Domain: Applied Research
JENNIFER SWEENEY (Kent State University), Julie Goldyn (Kent State University), Brian Friedt (Kent State University)
Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to provide participants with information about teaching language skills, specifically emotion identification, to children with disabilities. This paper will include: (a) a brief review of the literature focusing on the language acquisition skills of individuals instructed with discrete trial training; (b) a discussion about teaching language skills with multiple or single exemplars; (c) presentation of a case study; and (d) recommendations for consulting with parents, educators, and school-based personnel about enhancing functional communication. The case study will describe an alternating treatment design employed with students of various ages and disabilities. Participants were taught to identify emotions with discrete trial methodology involving one exemplar in the first treatment and multiple exemplars in the second treatment. Differences in the language acquisition rate, generalization across people and stimuli, and maintenance of skills will be addressed. Participants will gain knowledge and skills related to designing, implementing, and monitoring strategies to develop and enhance functional communication in applied settings for individuals with autism.
Self-Understanding in Adolescents with High-Functioning Autism and Asperger Syndrome.
Domain: Applied Research
XIUCHANG HUANG (Duquesne University), John J. Wheeler (Tennessee Technological University)
Abstract: Self-system measurement in adolescents with High-Functioning Autism and Asperger Syndrome has not been explored as widely as that in typically developing peers. The purpose of this study is to extend previous research and measure self-understanding, an important component of self-system, in adolescents with HFA and AS. Thirty adolescents with HFA or AS will participate in this study. Three measures will be used to assess self-understanding in these adolescents. These measures include the Self-Esteem Questionnaire (DuBois et al., 1996), the Piers-Harris Children's Self-Concept Scale (or Piers-Harris 2, Piers et al., 2002), and the Offer Self-Image Questionnaire for Adolescents, Revised (or OSIQ-R, Offer et al., 1984). Data will be collected and analyzed using these measures respectively. Measure results and discussions will be provided as well.
Decreasing the Phobic Response to Haircutting in an 8-Year-Old Boy with Autism.
Domain: Applied Research
ELIZABETH BENEDETTO-NASHO (Step By Step Learning Group), Michael Grabham (Step By Step Learning Group), Kevin S. Cauley (Step By Step Learning Group)
Abstract: A Specific Phobia (300.29) is a striking and persistent fear of specific objects or situations. Exposure to the phobic stimulus almost invariably provokes an immediate anxiety or fear response (DSM-IV-TR, 2000). More than 6 million adults are reported to suffer from some form of Specific Phobia. Less is known about the incidence rate in childhood. Moreover, there is a paucity of research regarding the effective treatment of fears in individuals with developmental disabilities. No research was found regarding the treatment of Tonsurephobia, the fear of haircuts, in children with ASD. In this study, a combined approach of multi-component conditioning, shaping and contact desensitization was used to decrease the phobic response of an 8-year-old boy with ASD. A nine week, nine step task analysis was used with positive reinforcement provided for voluntary completion of each cumulative sequence of steps as weeks progressed. After nine weeks, a successful haircut was accomplished with the phobic response being significantly reduced. These results suggest that through a multi-component approach to intervention children with ASD can learn that haircutting does not have to be aversive despite in many cases, an extremely strong history of fear, panic and mistrust.



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