Advertisement

Behavior Analysis in Practice

, Volume 12, Issue 1, pp 52–65 | Cite as

Using the Teacher IRAP (T-IRAP) interactive computerized programme to teach complex flexible relational responding with children with diagnosed autism spectrum disorder

  • Carol MurphyEmail author
  • Keith Lyons
  • Michelle Kelly
  • Yvonne Barnes-Holmes
  • Dermot Barnes-Holmes
Research Article

Abstract

The research used an alternating-treatments design to compare relational responding for five children with diagnosed autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in two teaching conditions. Both conditions used applied behavior analysis; one was usual tabletop teaching (TT), and one was an interactive computerized teaching program, the Teacher–Implicit Relational Assessment Programme (T-IRAP; Kilroe, Murphy, Barnes-Holmes, & Barnes-Holmes, Behavioral Development Bulletin, 19(2), 60–80, 2014). Relational skills targeted were coordination (same/different), with nonarbitrary and arbitrary stimuli. Participants’ relational learning outcomes were compared in terms of speed of responding and accuracy (percentage correct) in T-IRAP and TT conditions. Results showed significantly increased speed for all five participants during T-IRAP teaching across all procedures; however, accuracy was only marginally increased during T-IRAP. Pre- and posttraining comparison of participant scores on the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test, Fourth Edition (Dunn & Dunn, 2007), and the Kaufman Brief Intelligence Test (Kaufman & Kaufman, 1990) was conducted. An improvement in raw scores on both measures was evident for one participant who learned complex arbitrary relations; no changes were shown for participants who learned only basic nonarbitrary relations.

Keywords

flexibility relational responding relational frame theory verbal behavior T-IRAP 

Notes

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Carol Murphy declares that she has no conflict of interest. Keith Lyons declares that he has no conflict of interest. Michelle Kelly declares that she has no conflict of interest. Yvonne Barnes-Holmes declares that she has no conflict of interest. Dermot Barnes-Holmes declares that he has no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from individual parents/guardians before their child’s participation in the study. Children cannot provide informed consent, but methods were carefully documented to ensure that each child participated on a voluntary basis (i.e., gave verbal or tacit assent at each session). Tacit assent was interpreted by the absence of any signs of distress, negative facial expression, or other behavioral indicators, which were monitored throughout. If indicators were that a child did not assent, the session was terminated; if a child did not assent for three consecutive sessions, participation was suspended and not recommenced without a review with child and parent at a later date. Safeguards were applied in accordance with current ethical standards when conducting research with vulnerable populations.

References

  1. Barnes-Holmes, D., Barnes-Holmes, Y., & Cullinan, V. (2000). Relational frame theory and Skinner’s Verbal behavior: A possible synthesis. The Behavior Analyst, 23, 66–84.Google Scholar
  2. Barnes-Holmes, D., Barnes-Holmes, Y., Power, P., Hayden, E., Milne, R., & Stewart, I. (2006). Do you really know what you believe? Developing the iImplicit Relational Assessment Procedure (IRAP) as a direct measure of implicit beliefs. The Irish Psychologist, 32, 169–177.Google Scholar
  3. Carr, E., Binkof, J., & Kologinsky, E. (1978). Acquisition of sign language by autistic children. 1: Expressive labelling. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 4, 489–501.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Cassidy, S., Roche, B., & Hayes, S. (2011). A relational frame training intervention to raise intelligence quotients: A pilot study. The Psychological Record, 61, 173–198.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Dixon, M. R. (2014). In ) (Ed.), The PEAK relational training system: Direct training module. Carbondale, IL: Shawnee Scientific Press.Google Scholar
  6. Dixon, M. R., Carman, J., Tyler, P. A., Whiting, S. W., Enoch, R., & Daar, J. H. (2014a). PEAK relational training system for children with autism and developmental disabilities: Correlations with Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test and assessment reliability. Journal of Developmental and Physical Disabilities, 26(5), 603–614.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10882-014-9384-2.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Dixon, M. R., Whiting, S. W., Rowsey, K. E., & Belisle, J. (2014b). Assessing the relationship between intelligence and the PEAK relational training system. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 8, 1208–1213.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rasd.2014.05.005.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Dougher, M. J. (1998). Stimulus equivalence and the untrained acquisition of stimulus functions. Behavior Therapy, 29(4), 577–591.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Dunn, L., & Dunn, D. (2007). Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test (4th ed.). San Antonio, TX: Pearson.Google Scholar
  10. Grandin, T. (2008). The way I see it: A personal look at autism and Asperger’s. Arlington, TX: Future Horizons.Google Scholar
  11. Hayes, S. C., Barnes-Holmes, D., & Roche, B. (2001). Relational frame theory: A post-Skinnerian account of human language and cognition. New York, NY: Plenum Press.Google Scholar
  12. Johnston, J. M., & Pennypacker, H. S. (1993). Strategies and tactics of behavioural research. Hillsdale, NJ: L. Erlbaum & Associates.Google Scholar
  13. Kaufman, A., & Kaufman, N. (1990). Kaufman Brief Intelligence Test (K-BIT). Circle Pines, MN: American Guidance Service.Google Scholar
  14. Kent, G., Galvin, E., Barnes-Holmes, Y., Murphy, C., & Barnes-Holmes, D. (2017). Relational responding: Testing, training, and sequencing effects among children with autism and typically developing children. Behavioral Development Bulletin, 22(1), 94–110.  https://doi.org/10.1037/bdb0000041.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Kilroe, H., Murphy, C., Barnes-Holmes, D., & Barnes-Holmes, Y. (2014). Using the T-IRAP interactive computer program and applied behavior analysis to teach relational responding in children with autism. Behavioral Development Bulletin, 19(2), 60–80.  https://doi.org/10.1037/h0100578.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Koegel, L., Koegel, R., & Carter, C. (1998). Pivotal responses and the natural language teaching paradigm. Seminars in Speech and Language, 19(4), 355–372.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Larsson, E. (2012). Analysis of the evidence base for ABA and EIBI for autism. Retrieved from http://www.behavior.org/resources/649.pdf.
  18. Larsson, E. (2013). Applied behavior analysis (ABA) and early intensive behavioral intervention (EIBI) an effective treatment for autism? A cumulative history of impartial independent reviews. Retrieved from http://www.behavior.org/resources/649.pdf.
  19. LeBlanc, L., Esch, J., Sidener, T., & Firth, A. (2006). Behavioral language interventions for children with autism: Comparing applied verbal behavior and naturalistic teaching approaches. The Analysis of Verbal Behavior, 22(1), 49–60.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Murphy, C., & Barnes-Holmes, D. (2010). Establishing complex derived manding with children with and without a diagnosis of autism. The Psychological Record, 60, 489–504.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Murphy, C., Barnes-Holmes, D., & Barnes-Holmes, Y. (2005). Derived manding in children with autism: Synthesizing Skinner’s verbal behavior with relational frame theory. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 38(4), 445–462.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Rehfeldt, R., & Barnes-Holmes, Y. (2009). Derived relational responding applications for learners with autism and other developmental disabilities: A progressive guide to change. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications.Google Scholar
  23. Rehfeldt, R., & Root, S. (2005). Establishing derived requesting skills in adults with severe developmental disabilities. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 38(1), 101–105.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Rosales, R., & Rehfeldt, R. (2007). Contriving transitive conditioned establishing operations to establish derived manding skills in adults with severe developmental disabilities. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 40(1), 105–121.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Sallows, G., & Graupner, T. (2005). Intensive behavioral treatment for children with autism: Four-year outcome and predictors. American Journal on Mental Retardation, 110(6), 417–438.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Sidman, M. (1971). Reading and auditory-visual equivalences. Journal of Speech and Hearing Research, 14, 5–13.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Skinner, B. (1938). The behavior of organisms. New York, NY: Appleton-Century-Crofts.Google Scholar
  28. Skinner, B. (1953). Science and human behavior. New York, NY: The Free Press.Google Scholar
  29. Skinner, B. (1957). Verbal behavior. New York, NY: Appleton-Century-Crofts.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Smeets, P., & Striefel, S. (1994). A revised blocked-trial procedure for establishing arbitrary matching in children. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 47B(3), 241–261.Google Scholar
  31. Sundberg, M., & Partington, J. (2001). The benefits of Skinner’s analysis of verbal behavior for children with autism. Behavior Modification, 25(5), 698–724.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Tincani, M. (2004). Comparing the picture exchange communication system and sign language training for children with autism. Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities, 19(3), 152–163.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Wulfert, E., & Hayes, S. C. (1988). Transfer of a conditional ordering response through conditional equivalence classes. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 50(2), 125–144.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Association for Behavior Analysis International 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyNational University of IrelandCo. KildareIreland
  2. 2.Department of Experimental Clinical and Health PsychologyUniversity of GhentGhentBelgium

Personalised recommendations