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.


33rd Annual Convention; San Diego, CA; 2007

Event Details

Previous Page


Symposium #228
CE Offered: BACB
Some Macro and Micro Issues in Instructional Methodology for Children with Autism
Sunday, May 27, 2007
1:30 PM–2:50 PM
Douglas A
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Alan E. Harchik (The May Institute)
Discussant: Sigrid S. Glenn (University of North Texas)
CE Instructor: Alan E. Harchik, Ph.D.

Teachers, instructors, and parents of children with autism seek to find the most effective instructional methodologies. This involves examining the smallest intricacies of the instructional session (e.g., prompting, reinforcement, pacing) as well as the many of the larger, broader issues, such as those involved in choosing the content of the instruction (e.g., language, social skills, play, community). In this symposium, the authors present examples of research that look at both of these aspects of educational programming for this population. The first two papers compare different prompting protocols within one-to-one instructional discrete trial training sessions. Weinkauf et al. built upon their past research to develop, and now examine, a prompting procedure that combines beneficial features from both a simultaneous and delayed prompting protocol. Leaf et al. compared the effects of a simultaneous prompt with another type of delayed prompt called a no-no-prompt. Finally, Alai-Rosales describes a methodology to help us determine what to teach during these instructional sessions. By identifying, and then incorporating, behavioral cusps into our choice of skills to teach to children, we may be more likely to maximize the benefit for children with autism. Sigrid Glenn will comment on the papers.

The Use of Prompting Strategies to Teach Skills to Children Diagnosed with Autism.
KEVIN P. KLATT (University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire), Sara M. Weinkauf (University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire), Julie A. Ackerlund (University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire), Corey S Stocco (University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire), Jennifer Lynn Bechtold (University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire), Claire Anderson (University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire), Nicholas Vanselow (University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire), Carrie Haessly (University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire)
Abstract: Recent research has shown that both the simultaneous prompting and the constant prompt delay procedures can be used to teach skills to children with autism. The simultaneous prompting procedure involves the teacher providing an immediate prompt on all teaching trials, whereas the constant prompt procedure requires the teacher to give the child an instruction, followed by a prompt to help the child respond correctly, and then the prompt is faded across trials until the child responds independently. Data presented last year showed children with autism learned skills in less trials with the constant prompt delay, but made less errors with the simultaneous prompt procedure. The purpose of the current research is to investigate whether a procedure that combines features from both the simultaneous prompt and constant delay can be used to teach new skills, and whether the new procedure will result in learning in fewer trials and with fewer errors than either the simultaneous prompt or constant prompt delay procedures.
An Evaluation of Prompting Systems in Determining Effectiveness with Children with Autism.
JUSTIN B. LEAF (University of Kansas), Amanda Tyrell (University of Kansas), Brandon McFadden (University of Kansas), Jan B. Sheldon (University of Kansas), James A. Sherman (University of Kansas)
Abstract: This study compared two different methods of prompting that have been reported to be effective in two-choice discrimination learning tasks. One method, simultaneously prompting, involves prompting the child, immediately following an instruction, to the correct choice for an entire teaching session. A second method, no-no-prompting, gives the child opportunities to respond without any prompts, but, if the child makes two errors in a row, the teacher prompts the correct response. Daily probes assessed if the participant could respond without any prompts. Three young children with autism were taught receptive language skills and rote math skills. Both types of prompting procedures were used with each child using different sets of words or addition problems comparable in difficulty within a multi-probe experimental design. The two methods were compared in effectiveness as indicated by the number of teaching trials and the durations of teaching sessions required for children to reach a mastery criterion.
The Study of Behavioral Cusps in Programs for Children with Autism and Their Families.
SHAHLA S. ALA'I-ROSALES (University of North Texas), Jesus Rosales-ruiz (University of North Texas)
Abstract: In this presentation we will describe the concept of a "Behavioral Cusp" (any behavior change that brings the organism’s behavior into contact with new contingencies that have even more far-reaching consequences), discuss its importance for young children with autism, and provide a brief review of methodologies that have been suggested to study Behavioral Cusps. We will then present a description of our family intervention program, The Family Connections Project (FCP). The mission of FCP is to produce meaningful and generative behavior changes in young children with autism and their family members. The measurement systems we will describe are our first attempts to identify Behavioral Cusps, if and when they occur, during the course of our intervention. Data will be presented and discussed in the context of logistical issues, technological supports, experimental design, and social validity.



Back to Top
Modifed by Eddie Soh