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

Event Details

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Symposium #206
CE Offered: BACB
Promoting Complex Generalized Responding in Children With Autism Through Advanced Technologies
Sunday, May 28, 2017
10:00 AM–10:50 AM
Convention Center Mile High Ballroom 4A/B
Area: AUT/DDA; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Amani Alholail (Southern Illinois University)
CE Instructor: Sarah M. Dunkel-Jackson, Ph.D.

Promoting the development of language skills within clinics provides an opportunity to utilize a variety of assessments and programming. To reduce rote responding in children with autism, language curriculums should be encouraged to include opportunities for generalization of skills to new settings, people, and concepts. The PEAK Relational Training System provides an assessment and guide for developing basic, intermediate, and complex verbal skills through direct training, generalization, and relational responding. The present symposium will look at the utility of using a random stimulus design within the PEAK programs to enhance generalized responding with basic and more advanced language skills. The ease of PEAK program implementation with children with autism will additionally be discussed with regards to graduate student training and in settings with intensive behavioral interventions. Finally, correlations between the commonly used Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales- Second Edition, and the PEAK Generalization module will be discussed. The implications of the presented studies provide an outline for how to promote generalized responding for individuals with autism and related disabilities, and the easy use of the PEAK curriculum.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): Assessment correlations, Clinic Utility, Generalization Training, PEAK

Using a Random Stimulus Design With the PEAK Curriculum for Objective Analysis of Concept Mastery

SETH W. WHITING (Central Michigan University; Central Autism Treatment Centers ), Michael Brooks (Central Michigan University; Central Autism Treatm), Marcel Kirberg (Central Michigan University; Central Autism Treatment Centers )

The PEAK curriculum for academic and verbal skills has demonstrated numerous benefits for children with autism. However, similar to other behavioral assessments, the number of stimuli trained does not imply concept mastery of the underlying skill and individual judgment is subject to bias. In the present study, we demonstrate the utility of combining the random stimulus experimental design with the PEAK curriculum in several human subjects diagnosed with autism. In the random stimulus design, groups of probe stimuli were presented without reinforcement or error correction as a baseline, and were alternated with groups of training stimuli which were presented with reinforcement for correct responses and error correction for incorrect responses. Response accuracy during probe sessions was low and all three groups of training stimuli were mastered (two consecutive sessions scoring 80% or higher) within ten sessions. One group of probe stimuli was then trained to criterion, requiring comparatively few sessions, thus indicating a faster learning rate than the previous training groups and suggesting mastery of the overall concept. The benefits of the random stimulus design in autism practice with the PEAK curriculum including avoiding repeated exposure of stimuli, replicating teaching effects, and objectively judging concept mastery are discussed.

Validity and Effectiveness of PEAK for Intensive Behavioral Interventions
SARAH M. DUNKEL-JACKSON (Southern Illinois University; Kinark Child and Family Services), Mark R. Dixon (Southern Illinois University)
Abstract: Curriculum assessments based primarily on Skinner’s Verbal Behavior and procedures such as discrete trial training (DTT) have proven useful to service providers when designing behavioral interventions for children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The PEAK Relational Training System is a recently published assessment and curriculum guide based on a contemporary behavior-analytic approach. With its focus on advanced language skills, PEAK addresses not only directly trained skills but generalization and generative language in particular. Preliminary studies have demonstrated its utility within ABA and Intensive Behavioral Intervention (IBI) services for children with ASD. The current studies demonstrate that (a) scores on the PEAK Direct Training Program Assessment and PEAK Generalization Program Assessment are significantly correlated with scores on the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales- Second Edition and (b) the PEAK Generalization module enhances directly trained and generalized advanced language skills of children diagnosed with ASD participating in IBI. Implications on the utility of PEAK with these populations is discussed.

Graduate Student Implementation of PEAK Direct Training in a University Clinical Setting With Individuals With Disabilities

BENJAMIN REYNOLDS (University of Nevada, Reno), Brian James Feeney (University of Nevada, Reno), Larry Williams (University of Nevada, Reno)

The PEAK Direct Training Module provides an assessment and instruction of basic behavioral repertoires grounded in Skinners Verbal Operant theory. Prior research has supported the reliability and convergent validity of PEAK assessments, as well as the application of several PEAK programs with individuals with disabilities. The current investigation will provide a discussion of how PEAK can be used in a university clinic run by graduate students and their advisors. This model provides a service for the community, as well as supervision and learning opportunities for students. In addition, we will show data detailing the assessment-to-treatment model of PEAK with 2 individuals with disabilities attending the clinic. The results show that the assessment was able to reliably provide targets for discrete trial instruction, and that the PEAK procedures were efficacious in establishing target skills. These results provide support for the use of PEAK with vulnerable populations, as well as extend prior research in a novel clinical setting.




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