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Wednesday, August 7 • 9:00am - 12:00pm
43. Teaching "Learning How to Learn" - A Functional Analysis of Curriculum Programming for Children with Autism - Presidents Hall 4

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Following the publication of the Me book, the first textbook that outlined a behaviorally based instructional sequence for children with autism, numerous curriculum manuals have been published. Manuals have been invaluable in providing both parents and practitioners with sequences of objectives and behavioral procedures to establish verbal and nonverbal skills in children with autism. While some manuals have organized their objectives across traditional developmental areas, favoring a more structural approach to teach language skills, other have employed a functional approach to categorize language objectives. Regardless of their conceptual premise, all published manuals share common characteristics: they all provide a list of objectives that are operationally defined, for each objective they describe a prompt hierarchy, and a corresponding mastery criterion based on a number of specific responses to be demonstrated. In this presentation, I will attempt to illustrate a functional analysis of curriculum development and suggest an additional level of specificity in the design and implementation of behaviorally derived instructional sequences for children with autism. Firstly, I will suggest a way of organizing skills based on whether they constitute a generalized operant class or cumulative/finite skills and how such classification necessarily induces a consideration of mastery criteria for each skill. Secondly, I will endeavor to demonstrate how when behavioral topographies are brought under the relevant and multiple sources of environmental control they lead to rapid and generalized learning, enabling the child to acquire novel responses with minimal teaching. This conceptual framework will be illustrated in relation to two pivotal skills that may lay the foundation for the development of multiply controlled generalized verbal behavior: Simple and conditional discriminative learning and naming. Credits: Act 48, SW, Psych, PT, OT, BACB, INFANT, ASHA

avatar for Francesca degli Espinosa

Francesca degli Espinosa

BCBA-D, ABA Clinic, UK
Francesca gained her undergraduate degree in Psychology from Goldsmith’s College, University of London and her Ph.D. at the University of Southampton, under Prof. Bob Remington. She was the Lead Clinician for the first UK-based EIBI outcome study (Remington et al., 2007) at the... Read More →

Wednesday August 7, 2019 9:00am - 12:00pm EDT