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

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Invited Paper Session #481
CE Offered: BACB

Precision Teaching for Students and Adults with Developmental Disabilities and Autism: Wheres the Data?

Tuesday, May 29, 2007
10:00 AM–10:50 AM
Douglas A
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
CE Instructor: Marlene Cohen, Ed.D.
Chair: Alison L. Moors (Private Practice)
MARLENE COHEN (Rutgers University)
Dr. Marlene Cohen, Ed.D., BCBA is a Research Assistant Professor at the Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology, Director of Adult and Transitional Services at the Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, and part-time instructor at the Graduate School of Education, Rutgers University. She received her Ed.D. in Educational Leadership from Nova Southeastern University and is a board certified behavior analyst. Dr. Cohen has over 25 years of experience with students and adults with autism in both private and public settings. Currently, Dr. Cohen is the President and co-founder of the New Jersey Association for Behavior Analysis. She has presented at both national and international conferences on a variety of applied behavior analysis topics.

A frequent criticism of precision teaching in the field of applied behavior analysis is that this method of instruction has not undergone the rigors of empirical research. There is a growing interest, in particular, about the potential effects achieved by precision teaching with frequency building procedures with children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). At present, there are no widely available empirical reports of precision teaching with frequency building procedures with students and adults with ASD. The limited research documenting the significant benefit of this teaching strategy has implications for education and the field of applied behavior analysis. Marlene Cohen and her colleagues at the Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center at Rutgers University have conducted three years of empirical research in precision teaching with frequency building with older learners with ASD. Specifically, their research has addressed the impact of precision teaching with frequency building procedures for the Big 6 plus 6 motor skills on the functional skills of adolescents and adults with autism receiving applied behavior analysis treatment. They have also evaluated the impact of frequency building for component language skills on the conversation complexity of an adult with autism. Current research focuses on the selection of aims for this population and evaluating which aims will produce the most efficient results. While a modest beginning, the empirical evidence suggesting that precision teaching is both efficient and effective with adolescents and adults with ASD has important implications. Dr. Cohens research uses single subject designs to assess the impact of precision teaching with individuals with ASD. Dr. Cohen will address the need for additional research examining other empirical questions regarding precision teaching with this population, and will offer suggestions for further research.




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