Type of Document Dissertation Author Cross, Scott C URN etd-04272007-232547 Title Serial and Concurrent Intra-program Objective Sequences for Children with Autism Degree Doctor of Philosophy Department Psychology, Department of Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title Jon Bailey Committee Chair Keywords
- Applied Behavior Analysis
- Early Intervention
Date of Defense 2006-12-05 Availability unrestricted AbstractABSTRACT
The positive effects of behavior analytic intervention for children with autism have been repeatedly documented (Cohen, Amerine-Dickens & Smith, 2006; Howard, et. al., 2005; Lovaas, 1987; McEachin, Smith & Lovaas, 1993; Sallows & Graupner, 2005) and are viewed by many state and federal agencies as the most effective intervention to date (Maine Administrators, 2000; New York State Department of Health; 1999; Satcher, 1999). However, there is wide variability in response to behavior analytic intervention. At best, half of the children progress significantly to the point of the diagnosis of autism removed. Of the remaining half, most make significant progress in cognitive, language, and adaptive behavior skills, yet still require specialized educational programs. Increasing the effectiveness of behavior analytic treatment is a laudable goal for researchers.
Many providers of behavior analytic services advocate conflicting procedures based more so upon their experience and training than empirical data. Additionally, consumers of behavior analytic services for their children with autism are not privy to the research and make treatment decisions based upon more accessible information presented on the internet or through conference or workshop attendance. This information can sometimes be misleading or false. The current study sought to analyze one of the recommended conflicting procedures, i.e., serial and concurrent intra-program objective sequencing for the dual purpose of increasing the efficacy of treatment and evaluating a conflicting recommendation. A review of the treatment comparison research in autism intervention was conducted. A resulting methodological standard was then utilized to test acquisition rates, generalization, and maintenance of objectives taught with both serial and concurrent instruction. The results revealed clearly superior acquisition based upon a priori established criteria for four out of five of the participants. Practical contributions to intervention methods and future directions for research are discussed.
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