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 #117
CE Offered: BACB
Teaching Derived Relational Responding and Arbitrary Applicable Relational Responding to Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder
Saturday, May 23, 2020
3:00 PM–4:50 PM
Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Level 2, Room 206
Area: AUT/VRB; Domain: Translational
Chair: Breanna Newborne (My Canopy)
Discussant: James Moore (Canopy Children's Solutions)
CE Instructor: James Moore, Ph.D.

Derived relational responding (DRR), in general, refers to the ability to perform novel responses that have never been directly taught in a variety of different and novel conditions by relating concepts together. In other words, relating may be simply defined as responding to one event in terms of another. For example, rhesus monkeys may be trained to respond relationally to, and thereby select the taller or two stimuli (see Harmon, Strong, & Pasnak, 1982). This response, which can be produced by humans and animals, is controlled entirely by the nonarbitrary or formal properties of the stimuli (i.e., one stimulus is actually taller than the other, and as such is not a verbal process. In contrast, Arbitrary Applicable Relational Responding (AARR) is a verbal process, because it is under the control of contextual features beyond the formal properties of the related stimuli or events. Both types of generalized operants are often significantly impaired in individuals with autism. In this symposium, data will be presented on teaching both DRR and AARR to children with autism in clinical settings.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): arbitrary-applicable relational-responding, autism, derived-relational responding, verbal behavior
Target Audience:

Practicing behavior analysts

Learning Objectives: 1. Participants will define and describe derived relational responding. 2. Participants will define and describe arbitrary applicable relational responding. 3. Participants will describe four specific applications of DRR and AARR to the treatment of autism.

A Method for Evaluating and Teaching Basic Derived Relational Responding for Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder

(Service Delivery)
BREANNA NEWBORNE (Canopy Children's Solutions), James Moore (Canopy Children's Solutions), Christopher M. Furlow (Canopy Children's Solutions )

Recently, the importance of teaching individuals with autism spectrum disorder the generalized operant behavior known has derived relational responding (DRR) has been highlighted (Ming, Moran, & Stewart, 2014). Although an entire curriculum system, known as the PEAK Relational System, Equivalence Module (PEAK-E, Dixon, 2015) has emerged, some behavior analysts may not have the ability to switch curriculum materials in order to accommodate for the evaluation and teaching of DRR. In this presentation, a model for evaluating and teaching DRR, using single exemplar training will be offered, as well as data across six participants. Three multiple baseline designs across participants were employed to evaluate the effects, with IOA and integrity data collected across 25% of all sessions.


Using Matrix Training to Teach Multiple Echoic Targets in Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder

(Service Delivery)
ROBYN BREWER (Canopy Children's Solutions), Mary Nicole Thomason (Canopy Children's Solutions), Christopher M. Furlow (Canopy Children's Solutions )

Matrix training is a type of teaching that leverages derived relational responding as a generalized operant to produce more effective and efficient outcomes (e.g., Axe & Sainato, 2010; Sidman, 1994). This method is a generative approach to teaching specific targets in which stimuli are arranged in a matrix resulting in the direct training of fewer targets with others emerging without training. In the current presentation, matrix training was used to teach echoic targets of increasing difficulty with two children with autism. Results suggest that matrix training may offer an effective and efficient method for teaching a broad number of echoic targets. A multiple baseline across matri


Further Examination of Teaching Coin Equivalencies to Individuals With Autism

(Service Delivery)
LAURA-KATHERINE K BARKER (Canopy Children's Solutions), Madeline Potter (Canopy Children's Solutions), Christopher M. Furlow (Canopy Children's Solutions )

The use of conditional discrimination training promotes the emergence of novel relations (Sidman & Tailby, 1982). Stimulus equivalence paradigms have been used to teach a variety of skills/task to various populations. Keintz, Miguel, Kao, and Finn (2011) conducted conditional discrimination training to teach children with autism to discriminate between basic coins and their values. The current study aimed to replicate and extend these findings by incorporating alternative coin values (e.g.., two nickels are equal to a dime). Ten relations emerged following training on a dictated coin to an actual coin, an actual coin to a printed price, a dictated price to a printed price, and alternative coins to a printed price. All participants reached mastery from pre- to posttest following relatively few training sessions with the exception of one relation for two participants.


Teaching a Non-Arbitrary Frame of Coordination to Promote the Emergence of Multiple Operant Targets Related to Sameness for Children With Autism

(Service Delivery)
MARK GARRETT YEAGER (Canopy Children's Solutions), Lana Warren (Canopy Children's Solutions), James Moore (Canopy Children's Solutions), Christopher M. Furlow (Canopy Children's Solutions )

Arbitrary Applicable Relational Responding (AARR) is a verbal process, often significantly impaired for individuals with ASD. Deficits in AARR are not universal or consistent across individuals with ASD. Some individuals may show some ability with AARR with less complex stimuli, but as the complexity increases, so too does their difficulty in navigating the relations. Given that the engine of AARR and relational framing is language, and considering that a core feature of ASD is impairment in language and communication, it is reasonable to assert that many individuals with ASD may show significant impairment in AARR and relational framing. In the current presentation, two children with autism were taught non-arbitrary frame of coordination targets (namely picture-to-picture matching). Once this skill was mastered, not only did it generalize to new targets within the same operant class, but a novel operant (namely gross motor imitation) also emerged without training.




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