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; Online; 2020

Event Details

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Paper Session #396
Robot-Mediated Intraverbal Training for Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder
Monday, May 25, 2020
3:00 PM–3:20 PM
Area: AUT
Chair: Jessica Ann Korneder (Oakland University)

Robot-Mediated Intraverbal Training for Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder

Domain: Applied Research
JESSICA ANN KORNEDER (Oakland University), Wing-Yue Louie (Oakland University), Ibrahim Abbas (Oakland University )

The Center for Disease Control estimates that 1 in 59 children are diagnosed autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in the United States. The field of Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) has scientifically proven treatments to help address the deficits and excesses associated with ASD. Discrete Trial Training (DTT) and Natural Environment Teaching (NET) are applications of the principles of ABA in structured teaching environments. However, such methods require significant time from healthcare professionals, which can limit the number of individuals that professionals can positively impact. Socially assistive robots could be a supportive technology to professionals as they provide care to individuals with ASD. Numerous socially assistive robots have already been developed and utilized for interventions for individuals with ASD. Some applications of these robots have included: 1) imitation therapy 2) improving social skills 3) encouraging self-initiated social interactions 4) reducing challenging behaviors and 5) improving emotion recognition. In general, these robot-based interventions have had positive outcomes with children and adolescents with ASD, which has been the main demographic for such interventions. To date, socially assistive robots have not been utilized for intraverbal training with children with ASD. The purpose of this study is to assess if socially assistive robots can teach individuals with ASD to answer general information “WH-questions". Additionally, the study aimed to assess if the outcomes could generalize to human teachers. Through this study, a multiple-baseline design using a socially assistive robot was effective in teaching three preschoolers with ASD to answer three “WH-questions” within 5-7 teaching sessions and did generalize to the human teachers.




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