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.


46th Annual Convention; Washington DC; 2020

Event Details

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Symposium #599
CE Offered: BACB
Recent Research in Skill Acquisition
Monday, May 25, 2020
5:00 PM–5:50 PM
Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Level 1, Room 102
Area: DDA/AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Allison Rose Bickelman (Autism Behavior Intervention; Pepperdine University; Endicott College)
CE Instructor: Allison Bickelman, Ph.D.

Three data-based papers will be presented on recent research on skill acquisition for children diagnosed with autism and other developmental disabilities. Paper one discusses a treatment package consisting of rules, feedback and multiple exemplar training to teach the emission of disguised mands. Paper two discusses a treatment package to teach children on the autism spectrum to tact past items and events. Paper three discusses percentile schedules of reinforcement to teach children with developmental disabilities to be on task. Applications of the research and recommendations for future research in these areas will be discussed.

Instruction Level: Basic
Keyword(s): autism, developmental disabilities, disguised mands, on task
Target Audience:

BCBAs, clinicians

Learning Objectives: NA for BACB

The Use of Multiple Exemplar Training and Rules to Teach Disguised Mands to Kids Diagnosed With Autism

Allison Bickelman (Autism Behavior Intervention; Pepperdine University; Endicott College), Marla Saltzman (Autism Behavior Intervention, Inc.), AZIZULL KAUR DHADWAL (Pepperdine University)

This study employed a nonconcurrent multiple baseline across participants design to teach three children diagnosed with autism to emit disguised mands. The intervention utilized was a combination of rules and multiple exemplar training, with direct in-vivo feedback. Results indicate the success of the intervention for all participants in emitting and reinforcing disguised mands, though generalization and maintenance results varied. Social validity data taken with participants’ parents and service providers demonstrate favorability of the intervention and its results. Suggestions for future research on complex verbal behavior and social skills are discussed.


Evaluation of a Treatment Package to Teach Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder to Tact Past Events

CARRIE ZUCKERMAN (Auburn University), Sacha T. Pence (Auburn University; Drake University)

Speaking about past events is an important part of a functional verbal repertoire. Social interactions, personal safety, and academic success may be enhanced by learning to speak about past events. Unfortunately, children with language delays may demonstrate deficiencies in speaking about past events. Despite the importance of this skill, few studies have evaluated how to teach children to speak about past events. Experiment 1 evaluated the effectiveness of a treatment package to teach tacts of previously seen items with three children with autism spectrum disorder. The treatment package consisted of differential reinforcement, intraverbal and stimulus prompt fading, and an increasing delay between seeing an item and being asked “What was in the box?" All three participants reached mastery at a delay of 64 min. Two participants demonstrated generalization to novel items and locations. Experiment 2 evaluated components of the treatment package. The add-in component analysis found that differential reinforcement was not sufficient to teach delayed tacts. Two of the three participants in Experiment 2 met mastery criterion and demonstrated generalization after all of the components of the treatment package were implemented. The treatment package in this study provides a potential model for clinicians interested in teaching tacts of past events.

Using Percentile Schedules of Reinforcement to Increase On-Task Behavior
DANIEL KWAK (Pepperdine University, Center for Applied Behavior Analysis)
Abstract: Percentile schedules of reinforcement provide a systematic way of specifying successive criteria, tailoring the criteria based on an individual’s current levels of responding (Galbicka, 1994). This paper examined the effectiveness of percentile schedules of reinforcement, with feedback and application of lower limits to change in criteria, in increasing on-task behavior in children with developmental disabilities. Data using a nonconcurrent multiple baseline across participants design revealed that the intervention increased on-task behaviors of participants with tasks involving writing and coloring. In conclusion, this study provides initial evidence that percentile schedules can be used to effectively increase on-task behaviors of individuals with developmental disabilities. General findings, limitations, and directions for future research are discussed.



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