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 #353
CE Offered: BACB
Advances in Increasing Verbal Behavior Across Children With and Without Developmental Disabilities
Sunday, May 24, 2020
4:00 PM–5:50 PM
Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Level 1, Salon I
Area: VRB/DEV; Domain: Translational
Chair: Natalia Baires (Southern Illinois University)
Discussant: Ruth Rehfeldt (Southern Illinois University)
CE Instructor: Ruth Rehfeldt, M.S.

Much research has been conducted on increasing verbal behavior of individuals with and without developmental disabilities; however, there remains several unaddressed empirical questions. For instance, there is a paucity of literature on pre-requisite skills needed to increase the effectiveness of procedures, the efficacy of automatic reinforcement to increase infant vocalizations, if pairing procedures can increase textual behavior, and whether particular procedures are more effective to increase intraverbals. The current symposium will attempt to narrow these gaps in research. The first presentation will discuss findings on which skills may enhance the effectiveness of a Stimulus Pairing Observation Procedure in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Following, the second presentation will present results on the effects of a Stimulus-Stimulus Pairing procedure on the rate of vocalizations of a typically developing infant. Next, the third presentation will review outcomes of a word-picture pairing procedure to produce emergent textual behavior in children with reading deficits. Finally, the fourth presentation will discuss the effects of an echoic prompt plus error correction procedure and a Differential Observing Response procedure on the acquisition of convergent intraverbals in children with ASD. A discussion highlighting and integrating the aforementioned presentations will then be conducted by Dr. Ruth Anne Rehfeldt.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): infant vocalizations, intraverbals, SPOP, textual behavior
Target Audience:

Behavior analysts


An Evaluation of Two Verbal Behavior Teaching Procedures on Teaching Convergent Intraverbals to Children With Autism

(Applied Research)
ANGELICA A. AGUIRRE (Minnesota State University, Mankato), Lauren Martone (Minnesota State University, Mankato), Greta Kos (Minnesota State University, Mankato), Melissa Schneider (Minnesota State University, Mankato), Breanna Perron (Minnesota State University, Mankato)

Answering social questions (i.e., intraverbals) is a skill that is commonly taught to children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) because it is a common deficit in this population (Aguirre et al., 2019). Some intraverbals have multiple components that an individual must attend to in order to give an appropriate response. Some children with ASD commonly do not recognize these multiple components in order to emit a correct intraverbal response and may give the same answer from previous intraverbals learned (Aguirre et al., 2019). An echoic prompt plus error correction is a typical procedure for teaching children with ASD to emit appropriate answers to these complex intraverbals. Another teaching procedure that has been used is called the differential observing response (DOR), in which the child must repeat certain parts of the intraverbal question before giving an answer (Kisamore, Karsten, & Mann, 2016). There is currently limited literature on which of these procedures are more effective. The purpose of the current study was to examine the effects of the echoic prompt plus error correction procedure and a DOR procedure on the acquisition of convergent intraverbals with three children with autism. An adaptive alternating-treatment design was used to determine the acquisition of two sets of intraverbal questions with each participant. Results and implications will be discussed.

Effects of the Stimulus-Stimulus Pairing Procedure on the Rate of Vocalizations of an Infant
(Applied Research)
SEBASTIAN GARCIA-ZAMBRANO (Southern Illinois University), Kwadwo O. Britwum (Southern Illinois University), Michelle Britwum (Morningstar Behavioral Associates), Ruth Rehfeldt (Southern Illinois University)
Abstract: The development of vocal verbal behavior begins with the emission of vowel sounds and babbling, which are influenced by the contingent and non-contingent speech sounds of caregivers. Automatic reinforcement seems to have an important role in increasing the babbling rate in the first months of life; however, there are a limited number of studies that evaluate this phenomenon. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the effects of the stimulus-stimulus pairing (SSP) procedure on the rate of vocalizations in a three-month-old typically developed infant. A multiple baseline across behaviors design was used. During baseline, the participant was placed in her play area with toys and occasional non-contingent auditory interactions from the mother for 5 minutes (Miliotis et al., 2012). During the SSP condition, the mother repeated the target sound (S +) for approximately 2s paired with the simultaneous presentation of varied preferred stimuli. The rate of pairings was 10 pairings per minute. The subsequent trial was delayed by 20-s when the participant emitted target sounds (S +) during the modeling and delivery of preferred stimuli during pairing. Finally, during post-pairing, the participant was returned to the play area and all vocalizations made by the participant were recorded.
Evaluation of a Skills Assessment for the Stimulus Pairing Observation Procedure
(Applied Research)
Rocio Rosales (University of Massachusetts Lowell), KRISTINE TRAPANI (University of Massachusetts Lowell; PrideStar Center for Applied Learning), Emily Bergman (University of Massachusetts Lowell)
Abstract: The purpose of the present study was to assess skills that may enhance the effectiveness of a stimulus pairing observation procedure (SPOP) for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). SPOP incorporates observational learning to teach stimulus relations via contiguous presentation of stimuli. Previous studies that have examined the use of SPOP with children with ASD have reported mixed results (Byrne et al., 2014; Rosales et al., 2012; Vallinger-Brown & Rosales, 2014). In this study, we first conducted a brief skills assessment of the following: identity matching, imitation, auditory discrimination, visual discrimination, echoic, and tacting. Following the skills assessment, participants were exposed to SPOP across three stimulus sets using a multiple baseline design. Subsequent probes for tact and listener responding were then conducted. The results of the assessment and corresponding performance on tact and listener probes will be reviewed. Discussion will be focused on the implications of these results for practitioners.

Can a Word-Picture Pairing With Orientation Response Generate Emergent Reading?

(Applied Research)
GIOVAN WILLIAN RIBEIRO (Universidade Federal de São Carlos), Letícia Regina Fava Menzori (Universidade Federal de São Carlos), Hindira Naomi Kawasaki (Universidade Federal de São Carlos), Deisy De Souza (Universidade Federal de São Carlos), Julio C. De Rose (Universidade Federal de São Carlos), Micah Amd (National University of Ireland Maynooth)

Textual behavior requires learning relations between dictated and printed words. Teaching printed words and pictures relations to individuals that already relates dictated words and pictures can establish equivalence classes that characterize reading with comprehension. We verified whether word-picture pairings produce emergent textual behavior (reading). Participants were three children (6-7 years) with reading deficits. Stimuli were printed words and their corresponding pictures, divided in three sets of three pairs. Pairing trials started with the presentation of a fixation cross in one corner of the screen. Clicking on the cross produced the presentation of a word followed by its corresponding picture. Three sessions were conducted for each stimulus set, and each word-picture pair was presented 12 times per session. Multiple probes evaluated the reading of all nine target words before and after teaching each set. Within sessions, pre- and post-tests assessed the reading of the three words. The probes showed emergence of reading after each set. Post-tests revealed an increase in reading within sessions. Participants did not read non-target words used only in probes. This study replicated, with a more rigorous experimental control, previous findings of our laboratory. We will discuss implications of these results for establishing reading with larger stimulus sets.




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