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.


43rd Annual Convention; Denver, CO; 2017

Workshop Details

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Workshop #W2
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Hot Topics in Communication Intervention
Thursday, May 25, 2017
4:00 PM–7:00 PM
Hyatt Regency, Quartz A
Area: AUT/DDA; Domain: Service Delivery
CE Instructor: Catherine Horton, M.S.
CATHERINE HORTON (Pyramid Educational Consultants), LORI FROST (Pyramid Educational Consultants), JAIME WEDEL (Pyramid Educational Consultants)
Description: A variety of communication options are available for our learners with complex communication needs. Practitioners must routinely make a choice between implementing low-tech versus high-tech options. This presentation will review the literature related to this topic, including review of the teaching strategies related to the Picture Exchange Communication System. This evidence-based protocol can also be used to successfully teach learners to use Speech Generating Devices (SGDs) and/or tablets with communication apps. Additional concepts related to use of technology for communication purposes will be explored. The concept of Core Vocabulary will be addressed, including characteristics of each individual Core Vocabulary item, with a particular focus on vocabulary functions and relationships to vocabulary size during development. Considerations for appropriately teaching Core Vocabulary will be discussed. A popular approach to teaching Core Vocabulary, known as Aided Language Stimulation, will be reviewed including both pros and cons associated with the approach. In addition, other current approaches to teaching communication skills will be discussed and analyzed in terms of behavioral principles. The talk will conclude with discussion and recommendations for making informed, data-based decisions for teaching communication skills to our learners.
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the workshop, participants will be able to: (1) identify specific functions of individual core vocabulary items; (2) describe criteria for determining when a given vocabulary item should be introduced into a given learner's vocabulary; (3) describe teaching strategies related to both high- and low-tech communication systems.
Activities: Review of literature regarding high and low-tech communication, review PECS protocol, review published guidelines on how to effectively transition from PECS to SGD, review videos demonstrating effective use and potential problems with transitions, and review how to transition from PECS to SGDs and/or tablet apps brought to the workshop by participants.
Audience: This workshop is appropriate for any team member working with learners with complex communication needs. This may include behavior analysts, speech/language pathologists, teachers and/or others involved with communication training with children and adults with disabilities including ASD.
Content Area: Practice
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): Aided Language, Core Vocabulary, PECS, Pyramid



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