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Date of Award

Spring 2014

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Department of Graduate Psychology

Abstract

This study developed applied behavior analysis skills in a different discipline through training and coaching speech-language pathology graduate students providing therapy services in a program for children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. Two graduate students in applied behavior analysis trained 9 graduate students in speechlanguage pathology in 3 concepts: function of behavior, positive reinforcement and differential reinforcement. These trainings occurred within the framework of a systematic multiple baseline design. After training, each participant received bug-in-theear coaching on the use of positive reinforcement daily for 5 days during therapy delivery. At the end of each day therapists developed a list of activities that their clients preferred that day. The following day, coaching encouraged therapists to provide these activities, social praise, and positive touch to the client when the client was on- task. If the client was off-task, these preferred activities were withheld. Coaching focused on differential attention to providing access to preferred activities when the client was on task, as well as a few prompts. If therapists increased the use of these skills by 30 percentage points so that they were using the skills in greater than 60% of intervals, they were likely to maintain a high level of performance after coaching was discontinued.

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Psychology Commons

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