Overcoming Everyday Challenges of Autism

Workshop description: This two-day workshop will outline how to minimize the effects of autism by zeroing in on the core deficits that define the diagnosis:  functional communication, social skills, and cooperation. The presenter will demonstrate, through extensive use of video case studies, how the basic behavioral principles can be applied effectively across settings and people to improve quality of life for children with developmental disabilities and their caregivers.

Workshop objectives: At the conclusion of this workshop, participants will be able to: (1) describe three methods used to assess a student’s positive reinforcers, (2) describe how unconditioned motivating operations (UMOs) and conditioned motivating operations (CMOs) can be used to ‘condition’ teaching staff, peers, teaching materials and teaching environments as positive reinforcers, (3) describe B.F. Skinner’s classification of language and explain its importance in teaching persons with language delays, (4) describe the behavior analysis of motivating operations (MOs) and explain its significance to mand training for persons with language delays, (5) describe the importance of the echoic and mimetic repertoire in language training, (6) describe and implement effective procedures and data collection for teaching vocal words as mands, (7) describe how motivating operations can be manipulated to increase manding opportunities, (8) describe how transitive motivating operations (CMO-T) can be used to expand functional communication repertoires, (9) describe when an alternative communication response form signing, pictures, or augmentative device is necessary, (10) identify three important variables that should be considered when selecting initial Sign/mand targets, (11) describe the difference between natural environment teaching (NET) and discrete trial training (DTT) and explain the benefits for each, and (12) list 9 research-based teaching procedures that have been proven to lower the value of escape as a reinforcer.

Target audience: This workshop provides essential information for behavior analysts (BCBAs and BCaBAs), special education staff, speech-language pathologists, program administrators, psychologists, and others who work with children and adults with developmental disabilities, including autism.

Workshop format: This workshop format will provide written descriptions, lecture, videotape examples, live demonstrations, and discussion of specific concerns shared by the audience.

Materials needed: A workshop manual will be provided to all participants.  The manual will contain all of the materials (forms, data collection sheets, templates, guidelines, references, etc.), required to meet each of the workshop objectives.

CEUs: If taking the workshop for CEUs (BCBA or professional development), participants will be required to sign in and out throughout the day.

Suggested supplemental materials:

Applied Behavior Analysis- John O. Cooper; Timothy E. Heron; William L. Heward Publisher: Prentice Hall Copyright Date: 2007-01-07

Koegal, L. K.., Carter, C.M., & Koegal R.L.. (2003).  Teaching children with autism self initiations as a  pivotal  response.  Topics in Language Disorders, 23 (2), 134-135

Michael, J. (1985). Two kinds of verbal behavior and a possible third. The analysis of verbal behavior, 3, 1-4.

McGill, P. (1999) Establishing Operations: implications for the assessment, treatment and prevention of problem behaviors. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 32.389.418.

VB-MAPP: Verbal Behavior Milestones Assessment and Placement Program- Mark L. Sundberg, AVB Press (http://www.avbpress.com)