PLAY-SAY: Assent & Speech with Play Chains
July 28, 2022
July 28, 2022
Increased emphasis on client assent refocuses the importance of naturalistic developmental behavioral intervention (NDBI) to improve the value of social stimuli and shape indicating responses. Defining and measuring indicating responses (e.g., eye gaze, approach, gesture, vocalization) to identify ”likes” (declarations of establishing operations), “dislikes” (declarations of abative operations) and withdrawal of assent provides opportunities to honor The Ethics Code for Behavior Analysts and shape agency in children with autism. Indicating responses provide opportunities to teach functional and formal communication to make choices, indicate assent, and calmly and clearly indicate assent withdrawal. Improving the frequency and variety of Indicating responses is also correlated with improved language outcomes (Topping, et al. 2013), learner cooperation (Shillingsburg, Bowen & Shapiro, 2014; Shillingsburg, Hansen & Wright, 2019), and has been correlated with social behavioral cusps and better learner outcomes (Harms & Greer, 2020). Instruction can be challenging when confronted with individuals with limited attending to others and restricted reinforcer pools. A view of early social, play, and communicative milestones through developmental and behavioral lenses allows the operationalization of methods to create play chains via four different categories of play. Pausing or adding novelty to the play chains provides opportunities to reinforce and shape early non-verbal communication, promote attending and responding to instructor social stimuli, condition ongoing social interaction as a reinforcer, and shape verbal behavior. Learn to scale and sequence training for successful staff implementation and client improvement. Outcome data from a pilot project which demonstrates improvement in learning opportunities after training implementation will also be presented.