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Article Reviews

Article Review: The Effects of Magnitude and Quality of Reinforcement on Choice Responding During Play Activities (Hoch, McComas, Johnson, Faranda, & Guenther, 2002)

Research has demonstrated that children with autism in an inclusion classroom interact with adults at similar rates as their typically developing peers. However, children with autism rarely respond to peer initiations or initiate social interaction with their peers. Furthermore, some children with autism appear to actively avoid interactions with their peers, whereas others appear to be unaware of their peers altogether. Research has begun to examine the lack of peer …Read More

Article Review: Using Analog Assessment Procedures for Determining the Effects of a Gluten-free and Casein-free Diet on Rate of Problem Behaviors for an Adolescent with Autism (Irvin, 2006)

Reviewed by Kathleen Moran Most readers of this newsletter are aware that autism is a growing diagnosis, affecting 1 in every 94 children in New Jersey. Despite the fact that applied behavior analysis has a proven track record for effectively developing skills and reducing problem behaviors in individuals with autism, many parents and practitioners continue to implement other treatments that are not empirically supported. A number of these non-supported interventions …Read More

A Review of Roane, Falcomata, & Fisher’s (2007) Applying the Behavioral Economics Principle of Unit Price to DRO Schedule Thinning

Reviewed by Eric Rozenblat In the field of Applied Behavior Analysis, there are numerous scientifically validated intervention procedures that can be helpful in decreasing problem behavior. One such procedure, differential reinforcement of other behavior (DRO) involves the presentation of a reinforcer contingent on the absence or omission of the targeted response during a given period of time. Although DRO procedures have been well documented, there are potential limitations to using …Read More

Article Review: Talking Points: A Review of Sarokoff, Taylor, & Poulson’s (2001) Teaching Children with Autism to Engage in Conversational Exchanges: Script Fading with Embedded Textual Stimuli

Reviewed by Catherine Taylor Pioneering the research of script-fading in 1993, Krantz and McClannahan found that scripts provide a setting-specific cue to guide children’s verbalization during social interactions. Although results of that study indicated that the use of scripts increased both scripted and unscripted social initiations, the scripts were only able to be minimally faded to written prompts and peer initiations did not generalize in the absence of the scripts. …Read More

Watch and Learn! A Review of Nikopoulos & Keenan’s (2004) Effects of Video Modeling on Social Initiations by Children with Autism

Reviewed by Hannah Kaplan-Reimer Research has demonstrated that children with autism engage in social interactions with peers for a limited amount of time, make and respond to fewer initiations, and play alone more often than typically developing peers do (Koegel, Koegel, Frea & Freedon, 2001). A limited repertoire of social behaviors can interfere with academic progress and friendship development. Fortunately, implementing effective strategies that improve social competence can lead to …Read More

Article Review Comparing ABA To An Eclectic Approach: A Review of Intensive Behavioral Treatment at School for 4- to 7-Year- Old Children with Autism (Eikeseth, Smith, Jahr, & Eldevik, 2002)

Reviewed by Claire L. Hess In the years since Lovaas’ seminal 1987 study, a number of researchers have conducted studies to assess the effectiveness of comprehensive ABA programs for children with autism. Owing primarily to a criticism of the design of Lovaas’ (1987) study, which did not attempt to compare other interventions to ABA for children with autism, Eikeseth, Smith, Jahr, and Eldevik (2002) sought to compare the efficacy of …Read More

Article Review: Discrimination Training for Persons with Developmental Disabilities: A Comparison of the Task Demonstration Model And the Standard Prompting Hierarchy (Repp, Karsh, & Lenz, 1990)

Reviewed by Denise Marzullo In the field of applied behavior analysis, principles of learning are applied to teaching procedures that seek to change socially significant behavior. Much research has focused on teaching individuals with developmental delays language, academic, social, self-care, and independent living skills. Over the years, many effective technologies have emerged to teach such skills, including errorless teaching, activity schedules, script-fading procedures, computer-assisted technology, and video modeling. Despite these …Read More

Article Review: Was Lovaas (1987) a Fluke? Intensive Behavioral Treatment for Children with Autism: Four-Year Outcome and Predictors (Sallows & Graupner, 2005)

Reviewed by Virginia S. Wong, MS. Ed. Over the past 40 years, early intensive behavioral treatment has been demonstrated to produce substantial gains in children with autism. Perhaps best known within the autism community are the studies by Lovaas and colleagues from the UCLA Young Autism Project. One study, in particular, that by Lovaas in 1987 in which 47% of children receiving extensive ABA treatment achieved IQ scores in the …Read More

Article Review: An Easier Functional Analysis? A Discrete Trial Approach to the Functional Analysis of Aggressive Behavior in Two Boys with Autism (Sigafoos & Saggers, 1995)

Reviewed by Joseph D. Salerno Knowledge of the variables that control behavior is helpful for designing interventions that effectively manage problem behaviors and for identifying functionally-equivalent alternative responses. The process of identifying variables that control problem behavior in a particular individual is referred to as functional assessment. When challenging behaviors interfere with the education of a student with a disability, resulting in suspensions or expulsions from a pre-established placement, the …Read More