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The research department and BACA staff are currently working on several projects. The tact-to-mand study has been ongoing.  So far, 8 children at the center have participated.  The purpose of this study is to assess, then establish “transfer” between tacts and mands, which is a higher-order verbal skill. This means that after a tact is trained, the corresponding mand emerges without direct training. This transfer skill may require careful teaching to establish, in children with autism.  With one child, 4 untrained mands for missing items emerged after tacts for all the items, then 4 tact-mand pairs were trained. With a second child, 8 untrained mands emerged after tacts for all the items, then 1 tact-mand pair was trained.  With a third child, 9 untrained mands emerged after tacts for all the items were trained and mand conditions were introduced. A fourth child currently appears to be showing similar results.  We are continuing this study with 4 additional participants.  This study is being presented as a poster at the Behavior Analysis Association of Michigan (BAAM) conference in February and the Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI) conference this May, in San Antonio, TX.  The authors for this poster are Genae Hall, Jennifer, Elia, Meghan Miles, Kelli Luck, and Mark Sundberg.  A second study, to be started when participants are identified, will assess and establish mand-to-tact rather than tact-to mand transfer.  A third current study assesses whether teaching intraverbals and tacts, then a “joint control” procedure, leads to accurate listener responding (manded stimulus selection).  The current participant in this study has had difficulty acquiring listener behavior in the past, with standard listener discrimination procedures.  Staff currently working on this study include Erin Orr, Kelli Luck, Erica Goodman, Genae Hall, Jennifer Elia, and Carl Sundberg.

 

In addition to the above, Jennifer Elia, MA, the BACA research assistant, has been working with BACA staff on several smaller studies to be presented at a BACA poster session to be held in mid April.  The poster topics and authors participating so far are as follows:

 

-Trial-based functional analysis of physical aggression in a child with autism

-Poster 1 presented by Rebecca Dipiro and Christina Weldy

-Poster 2 presented by Lorna Fischer

-Establishing textual responding to numbers and letters via precision teaching, by Carrie Van Hoover and Christina Weldy

-The effects of habit reversal procedures to reduce toe walking, by Brittany Fewell and Christina Weldy

-The effects of the listener emersion intervention on the acquisition of listener relations, by Ashley May

-The effects of stimulus-stimulus pairing to increase appropriate toy play in young children with autism, by Alyssa Toney and Stephanie Bills

-The effects of differential observing responses on the acquisition of multiple component listener responding, by Melany Shampo and Lorna Fischer

-The effects of stimulus-stimulus pairing on vocalizations in a young child with autism, by Jennifer Gaskill

-The effects of matrix teaching (or another topic to be determined), by Allison Ackerman and Parini Shah

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