Sponsored by the Master’s Program in Applied Behavior Analysis and the Department of Psychology.
Abstract: The presence of rigid and repetitive behavior patterns is a defining characteristics of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). In young children with ASD, this rigidity can be found both in verbal behavior and play behavior. Providing individuals with ASD with supplemental visual cues to engage in varied behavior, in combination with differential reinforcement, has been shown to effectively produce varied behavior. In the current presentation, studies will be presented that illustrate the effects of these stimulus control procedures on both verbal behavior and complex social play in young children with ASD. Strategies for transferring stimulus control to natural environmental cues will also be described and discussed.
Dr. Thomas S. Higbee is a Professor of Special Education and Rehabilitation at Utah State University where he has worked since 2002. He is also Director of the Autism Support Services: Education, Research, and Training (ASSERT) program, an early intensive behavioral intervention program for children with autism which he founded in 2003. His research interests include strategies for promoting verbal behavior, social behavior, and independence in individuals with autism and related disabilities as well as the functional assessment and treatment of aberrant behavior. He is a former associate editor for the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis (JABA) and currently serves as an associate editor of the European Journal of Behavior Analysis and the International Journal of Behavior Analysis and Autism Spectrum Disorders. He is on the board of editors of the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis and has served on the board of editors of a variety of other behavioral journals. Throughout his career, he has worked with children with autism and related disabilities in home-, center-, and school-based programs. Through workshops and consultation, he has trained teachers and related service providers in school districts throughout the U.S., Europe, and South America. He is the current president of the Utah Association for Behavior Analysis (UtABA) and serves on the Practice Board of the Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI).
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