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Flashcards in Exam 2 Deck (28):

Define and provide examples of mand, tact, echoic, and intraverbal.

Mand: a request or imperative; some response that is reinforced by the delivery of the item named via vocalization, PECs, signing, etc. e.g., a mand would be saying "apple" and receiving an apple. Mand points to own reinforcer.
Tact: label or description, functional control of SD maintained by social reinforcers. Second most studied verbal operant. e.g., saying "truck" when presented with a truck.
Echoic: verbal operant with point-to-point correspondence between stimulus and response. Maintained by social reinforcers and sound of match. e.g., teacher says "juice" and student echoes "juice."
Intraverbal: stimulus and response are topographically different no point-to-point correspondence. Maintained by social reinforcers. e.g., when asked "What is your name?" me saying "Katie" is an intraverbal


Briefly describe the ABLLS and VB-MAP and any experience you might have had with these assessments.

Both of these are assessment tools for verbal behavior that allow a practitioner to measure existing language skills, determine stimulus control deficits, prioritize target operants, and determining potential behavioral cusps in the existing repertoire.
ABLLS: Direct assessment tool that samples language abilities according to Skinner's taxonomy. Allows practitioner to determine aspects of environmental control to manipulate for intervention.
VB-MAPP: Based on Skinner's analysis of verbal behavior, typical developmental milestones, and field-tested data from typically developing children and those with autism. Includes assessments designed to provide comprehensive representation of existing verbal repertoire based on verbal operants and typical developmental milestones. Allows for identification of learning barriers, IEP goal creation, and tracking improvement between developmental milestones.
Experience: I have only had experience with the ABLLS. While it can take quite a bit of time to complete all sections of the assessment, it can be very useful for determining target skills for a child's ABA program.


What is the defining difference between Sundberg and Partington’s Verbal Behavior approach and other approaches such as EIBI?

In the Verbal Behavior approach, the target of teaching interventions is the development of specific stimulus control for each verbal operant. The goal is for each type of operant to be used functionally.


Generally summarize the elements of Sundberg and Partington’s Verbal Behavior approach. What is emphasized in their approach as compared to other behavioral approaches?

Mand training - first targeted response with kids with autism due to non-reliance on social reinforcers; effective mand repertoire directly improves environment; FCT effective with kids with disabilities; explicit effort to ensure EO presence during training; avoids prompts to decrease prompt dependence
Transfer of stimulus control - primary recommended strategy; establish responding under some version of multiple control; extraneous variables faded once response established
Mixed trial training - rapid alternation of many different trial types
Balancing DTT and NET - EIBI should involve a balanced combination of these; each has separate empirical support; no experimental studies of optimal proportions
Data collection procedures - high value in frequent measure of target skills; track acquisition rate and make timely decisions; intermittent collection with "cold probes" most efficient; continuous collection leads to better skill maintenance at follow-up
Preference for signing over selection-based responding - topography based; amenable to modeling, manual guidance, and rapid production; restricted verbal community (drawback)
Emphasis: Developing stimulus control for each verbal operant.


Explain criticisms of the Verbal Behavior approach. What are potential positive and negative outcomes of the debate that has been occurring within the behavioral community about the Verbal Behavior approach?

Criticisms: inadequate amount and nature of scientific evaluations of this approach; VB based on conceptual work and an experimental literature that describes training single operants and examination of transfer of stimulus control procedures; some studies done with non-autism populations; no large-scale, well-controlled evaluations of overall outcomes
Positive Outcomes: more studies involving target populations and long-term outcomes produced by the approach
Negative Outcomes: people being hesitant to use the approach when it may be the most effective alternative despite the lack of empirical research on it


Why is it so difficult to define joint attention (JA) behaviorally?

Much of the existing terminology regarding joint attention is largely mentalistic and little research exists to suggest that JA skills result from manipulable variables.


What later skills may be impaired when children with autism are lacking joint attention skills?

JA may serve as a behavioral cusp for later social and language skills such as symbolic abilities, language abilities, general social-cognitive processes in children.


Summarize the contributions of the Whalen and Schreibman (2003) study on how to teach joint attention.

Combination of DTT and PRT with 6 main components:
1 - use of sufficient prompts and a prompt-fading technique
2 - interspersing of mastered tasks between training tasks
3 - use of child-chosen tasks and materials
4 - teacher taking turns with child
5 - contingent reinforcement of prompted and unprompted correct responses
6 - use of natural reinforcers
RJA and IJA trained separately
Summary: many basic JA skills can be effectively trained in kids with autism


What did Jones and Carr (2004) offer as a possible strategy for truly establishing JA in children with autism?

Their strategy was to establish the presence of the adult as a generalized reinforcer. This is done by repeatedly pairing the presence of the adult with a wide variety of highly preferred reinforcers.


According to Dube et al. (2004), how does the mother’s looking at the interesting event (kitten) become established as a conditioned reinforcer for the child’s behavior?

This response is paired with smiles, signs of approval, affection, and other adult-generated generalized social reinforcers from the mother, the mother assists when needed, and the mother's facial expression predicts the absence of danger.


Based on this contingency analysis (baby reinforced by mother looking at kitten(?)), what two specific JA deficiencies did Dube et al. identify?

1 - child may fail to discriminate the gaze direction of others
2 - adult-mediated social consequences may fail to function as reinforcers (even when adults do mediate un/conditioned nonsocial reinforcers, the child may still fail to discriminate these responses/stimuli)


Based on the chapter, how might you define joint attention? How might you teach JA?

Definition: JA is the process during which two individuals attend to one another in addition to some other stimulus in the environment such that the two have a behavioral influence on each other.
Teach: It seems best to teach RJA and IJA skills separately, as in the research by Whalen and Schreibman (2003). To begin with, the object of joint attention should be something in which the learner is already interested, and additional contrived reinforcers should be delivered along with naturally-occurring stimuli that may not presently serve as reinforcement (but which might in time). As skills developed under these conditions, an assortment of stimuli would be used as the "interesting event" and contrived nonsocial reinforcers would be faded out.


Have you attempted to teach JA in your work? What were the difficult aspects of teaching JA?

Yes. Gaining the learner's eye contact can be difficult, but this initial eye contact is necessary for the gaze shifts that must follow. Additionally, the situations are highly contrived when the learner is not motivated by "sharing" the experience.


Describe theory of mind and provide an example of a ToM task. Do you think that perspective-taking might be a more behavioral term than ToM?

ToM: attributing thoughts and goals to others; deficits in ToM may be described as "mindblindness;" a well-developed ToM leads to attribution of information and emotion
Example: "Sally Anne task" - Marble in basket moved by Anne when Sally couldn't see. Where will Sally look for the marble?
Q: Perspective-taking seems like a more behavioral term as if describes what the person is doing while ToM seems like more of a mentalistic term.


What reason does McHugh give to explain why generalization does not occur with individuals with autism when teaching social skills?

Lack of social skill generalization in individuals with autism may be due to a failure to account for their lack in perspective-taking skills. If an individual is unable to consider a situation from another's perspective, it may not be possible for her to understand that her behaviors effect the behaviors of those around her.


According to Relational Frame Theory (RFT), what 3 frames are most important in acquiring perspective-taking? What is the significance of the 8 relational networks that are derived from the 3 frames?

3 most important frames: I & You; Here & There; Now & Then
Significance: These don't have formal or non-arbitrary counterparts and cannot be traced to formal dimensions in the environment. These properties are abstracted through learning to talk about own's own perspective in relation to the perspective of others.


What future research is needed to establish RFT as a framework for teaching perspective-taking to individuals with autism? In your opinion, does the framework have potential?

Future research: More research is needed with individuals having deficient relational repertoires. Only one study existed involving individuals with ASD at time of publication.
Potential: I do think that this framework has potential. For individuals that are, by definition, less likely to have developed social skills, learning under an RFT framework could prove highly beneficial.


What is a common example of a perspective-taking skill you have observed as lacking in an individual with autism (or any child)? How have you attempted to teach the skill?

The children I work with (most of whom have autism) often lack skills in understanding that others have thoughts different from their own. For example, if a child finds it reinforcing to pick his nose and eat it, he might be completely unaware of what this behavior makes those around him think. We have attempted to teach this skill by presenting scenarios and having kids name what might be in a person's "thought bubble."


How did the purpose of Taylor and Hoch’s study build on previous research?

Several emerging studies offer tentative support for the hypothesis that joint attention is established and maintained by environmental events and social contingencies, and that behavior analysts can manipulate those events and contingencies to promote joint attention in children with autism. research has not yet documented that social contingencies alone (e.g., adult attending stimuli and social interaction) can function as reinforcement for joint attention responses in children with autism. In addition, the effects of teaching responses to bids for joint attention on the subsequent emergence of initiations for joint attention have not been examined. Finally, the topographies of joint attention responses documented in the literature have been limited to eye contact and gestures, but gaze shifting, vocal comments, and vocal initiations have not been targeted. The purpose of the current study was to examine the effects of prompting procedures and social (rather than tangible) reinforcement contingencies to teach children with autism to engage in three components of joint attention: to shift their gaze between an object and an adult’s eyes, to vocally respond to bids for joint attention, and to initiate vocal bids for joint attention.


Summarize Taylor and Hoch’s intervention and results.

Purpose of study: determine effects of prompt procedures and social (rather than tangible) reinforcement contingencies to teach children with autism to engage in three components of JA (gaze shifts, vocal responses to bids for JA, initiation of vocal bids for JA)
Participants: 3 children with autism
Research design: multiple-baseline across participants (for IJA training)
Dependent variables: % of trials where look followed point; % of trials participant appropriately commented about item; % of trials participant looked back at instructor within 5 seconds of looking and commenting about item; number of bids for JA initiated by child
Procedures: interesting events set up around school. RJA taught first using graduated prompting procedures. IJA taught second, again using graduated prompting procedures. Each part consisted of a combination of baseline, teaching, and probe sessions.
Results: RJA effectively trained in all within 1-5 probe sessions; RJA didn't lead to IJA proficiency


How did Taylor and Hoch’s findings support previous research, including the hypothesis by Dube et al. (2004)?

The current study appears to be the first to have used only adult attending stimuli (i.e., the adult’s visual indicators that she was attending to the item or event) and social engagement as consequences for responses to and initiations for joint attention (with the exception of Erica). The findings support the hypothesis of Dube et al. (2004) that socially relevant stimuli are necessary and functional reinforcers for some of the responses associated with joint attention. Further, in the present study, reinforcers were social in nature and increased the likelihood that initiations would serve as mands for social reinforcers (e.g., adult attending stimuli and social engagement) and not for the tangible item.

Also, supports previous research finding that some children with autism engage in some of the components of JA without specific instruction.


What are the strengths and limitations of the study? What might you have done differently in the study? What future research should be conducted?

Strengths: used only adult-mediated social reinforcers as consequences for JA responses; focus on different JA responses than previous research (gaze shifting, vocal comments, and vocal initiations)
Limitations: Participants demonstrated all three responses (looking at the item, making a comment, and looking back) on 100% of trials only in 50% or fewer sessions. Participant-initiated bids about items that were not considered by the instructor as noteworthy or enticing were redirected and not scored. Erica’s responses to bids and initiations of bids tended to sound scripted, and the quality of the response did not appear to resemble those of typical peers. This study examined only two of the three possible reinforcement contingencies for joint attention responses proposed by Dube et al. (2004): positive social reinforcement and, in some cases (e.g., with distressing stimuli), negative reinforcement. This study incorporated only one pre- and posttest assessment to determine if the responses occurred in the presence of novel stimuli located in novel settings around the school building.
Do differently: Future researchers may want to conduct assessments with participants (or possibly typically develop- ing children) to ascertain the particular condi- tions and items that enhance the MO for joint attention, as well as the functions of vocalizations in these contexts. Future studies may want to ensure that criteria for mastery be several consecutive sessions in which all three responses are completed on 100% of trials if the presentation of all three responses truly comprise joint attention.
Future research: Future research may want to determine if initiations of bids for joint attention are mands (under the control of MOs) or tacts (under the control of discriminative stimuli) by manipulating and examining the strength of the MO systematically (e.g., conditions in which adult attention is available consistently vs. when it is unavailable; conditions in which the available items are more noteworthy or unusual vs. less noteworthy). It may be interesting in future studies to determine if teaching the response of gaze shifting between an object and an adult prior to introducing it in training for joint attention would lead to faster acquisition during the training sessions. Future studies may want to tease out the effects of these variables by assessing the acquisition of gaze shifting under conditions in which an MO for information about a distressing or fear-provoking stimulus is in effect compared to contexts in which an MO for social interaction is in effect.


Based on the study (Taylor), how might you define joint attention? How might you teach JA?

Define: coordinated attention between social partner and object or event in the environment
Teach: place interesting stimuli in learning environment. RJA: teacher uses IJA first then uses a graduated prompting procedure to get learner to look at the item, comment, and look back at teacher (assuming these are not done independently). prompt delay along with graduated (MTL) prompting for teaching IJA. Access to items would not be allowed contingent on IJA or RJA in order to develop a contingency in which social reinforcers are used (and so JA behaviors aren't simply taught to be used as mands for the items).


Explain each of the 3 general categories for facilitating generalization.

Use natural consequences: behaviors are more likely to generalize when teachers use reinforcers that are functionally/naturally related to the target response (e.g., say car, get car; not say car, get candy)
Train diversely: allow for natural variations in the conditions of training, and use a variety of different stimuli in teaching
Incorporate mediators: use stimuli in training that will also be present in other situations and natural conditions


Explain why practitioners should view the Key Elements of Analog and Naturalistic Procedures as a continuum, and why the continuum is not “good” vs. “bad’?

More or less of each type of procedure may be used in a given intervention. Many interventions do not solely use analog or naturalistic procedures. It is not good versus bad because each type is useful under specific conditions. For example, analog can be good for teaching new and complex skills, and naturalistic is important in cases of poor generalization


Compare and contrast the naturalistic teaching procedures discussed in the chapter.

Incidental teaching: learning trials initiated by child only
Mand-modeling: teacher initiates trials with verbal prompts
Time-delay: fades verbal prompt dependence and increases sponteneity
Behavior chain interruption: disrupts natural sequences to create teaching opportunities
Natural language paradigm: emphasizes increased child motivation - mastered trials interspersed, attempts reinforced, turn-taking incorporated
Pivotal response training: targets increase in self-initiations, response to multiple cues, and self-management
Script-fading: pictorial/written/auditory prompts for scripts in routine situations
Milieu teaching: any/all of these procedures combined and embedded into routine daily events


Based on the research presented for each naturalistic teaching procedure, propose a research question that would be fruitful to answer.

Does the inclusion of a time-delay both before the mand and before the model affect verbal prompt dependence differently than a time-delay used only before the mand?

Does behavior chain interruption work with children with autism?

What are the best approaches for training individuals to implement these procedures, and which are the most learner-friendly for these individuals?


What are cautions to keep in mind when using naturalistic teaching procedures?

1: comparison studies haven't universally found these procedures to produce better generalization than analog procedures
2: at least some teachers/parents have indicated frustration with using these procedures with kids with autism (and learning to use them)
3: most studies evaluating these procedures have focused on the development of communication, and a preponderance have focused on requesting, but more research is needed involving social and play skills
4: development of these procedures represents advancements from within a number of disciplines (psychology, special education, and communication sciences), which means one must attend to research developments in all of these areas