Use of a Level System with Flexible Shaping to Improve Synchronous Engagement
- 253 Downloads
Level systems have been described as a framework which can be used to shape behavior through the systematic application of behavioral principles. Within level systems, an individual moves up and down through various levels contingent upon specific behaviors. Although level systems are commonly used within schools and other settings, they have a limited empirical literature base, and there is debate over the efficacy and overall acceptance of level systems. More especially, there is scant empirical literature on the use level systems to improve socially significant behaviors (e.g., synchronous engagement) with individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a level system with a structured, yet flexible approach to movement on improving synchronous engagement with two dyads of children diagnosed with ASD. The results of an ABAB reversal design indicated that the level system was effective at improving synchronous engagement for both dyads. The results are discussed in relation to potential future research difficulties and clinical implications.
KeywordsLevel system Flexible Shaping Feedback Autism Engagement
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that there are no conflicts of interest.
All procedures performed in studies 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 was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
- American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th Ed.). Washington, DC: Author.Google Scholar
- Cooper, J. O., Heron, T. E., & Heward, W. L. (2007). Contingency contracting, token economy, and group contingencies. In Applied behavior analysis (2nd ed.pp. 550–574). Upper Saddle: Pearson.Google Scholar
- Leaf, J. B., Leaf, R., Leaf, J. A., Alcalay, A., Ravid, D., Dale, S., … & Oppenheim-Leaf, M. (2016a). Comparing paired-stimulus preference assessments with in-the-moment reinforcer analysis on skill acquisition: a preliminary investigation. Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities, 1–11.Google Scholar
- Leaf, J. B., Leaf, R., McEachin, J., Taubman, M., Ala’i-Rosales, S., Ross, R. K., … & Weiss, M. J. (2016b). Applied behavior analysis is a science and, therefore, progressive. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 46(2), 720–731.Google Scholar
- Leaf, J. B., Leaf, J. A., Milne, C., Taubman, M., Oppenheim-Leaf, M., Torres, N., … & Yoder, P. (2017). An evaluation of a behaviorally based social skills group for individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 47(2), 243–259.Google Scholar