Chew with your Mouth Closed: Using Multiple Exemplar Procedures to Teach Social Skills to a Child with Autism Spectrum Disorder
ABAI Conference, Philadelphia, PA
Saundra Bishop and Christina Ryan
Children with Autism display deficits in social skills in areas of communication, social interactions, and the ability to naturally learn what is polite. There are many different strategies used to teach social skills (DiGennaro, Reed, Hyman, Hirst, 2011). This poster explores whether Multiple Exemplar Instruction (MEI) can be used to effectively teach social skills. This model is traditionally used to teach language (Greer, Yaun, & Gautreaux, 2005 & 2008). MEI procedures teach using the exemplars of tact, intraverbal, and match. We created scenarios that were used to target these areas. We also added Natural Environment to record whether the skill was generalizing. This model was used with one student to teach a set of ten “Table Manners” (ie: chew with mouth closed, wait for others to sit before eating, etc). Data was recorded on each exemplar and graphed separately. Tact and match were recorded at high rates throughout. Intraverbal and Natural environment began at low levels and increased at a similar rate. The skills were mastered over the course of 15 sessions. This appears to be an effective model, however, further research must be done to determine whether teaching Natural Environment or Intraverbal in isolation would be as effective.
The Effectiveness of Executive Functioning Checklists for Improving Executive Skills in Autistic Children and Adolescents
Saundra Bishop and Hannah Frank
Children with autism often exhibit impaired functioning on a variety of executive functioning tasks, particularly in tasks demanding inhibition, working memory, mental flexibility and planning (Hill, 2004). Diminished ability in these areas causes deficits in several areas of daily functioning including the ability to run errands, get dressed, complete homework assignments, manage money, and keep track of a daily schedule (Dawson, P. & Guare, R., 2004). The present study aims to examine whether using executive functioning checklists is an effective means to improve executive skills across these areas in autistic children and adolescents. In the present study, a multiple baseline design was used to develop skills in categories such as writing a letter, going grocery shopping and cleaning the kitchen. Executive functioning checklist categories were determined through a task analysis, in which participants were asked to perform the tasks to obtain a baseline graph. Tasks were subsequently taught with full prompts, and eventually mastered independently without prompts. This set of uniquely tailored goals formed the basis of the executive function checklist for each client. Preliminary results are currently only available for one of the three clients using these checklists. However, this data indicates a significant improvement from a baseline when using the executive functioning checklists for a number of tasks.