Title

Infant sign-language training and functional analysis

Document Type

Poster

Department

Psychology

Conference Title

Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies: Applied Behavior Analysis: Evidence-based Solutions for Helping People conference

Organization

Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies

Location

Fresno, CA

Date of Presentation

4-1-2011

Abstract

Thompson et al. (2004, 2007) recently published a structured methodology for teaching sign language to infants. The current study attempted to teach signs to 5 typically developing infants (8 mos to 2 yrs 3 mos) utilizing Thompson et al.’s methodology in a non-concurrent multiple-baseline across participants design with reversals. Individual signs were selected for each participant based on reinforcers nominated by caregivers. During baseline, reinforcers were delivered on a time-based schedule. During intervention, individual signs were trained using a progressive prompting schedule. Following sign training, an experimenter will conduct a functional analysis to assess the function of the signs and assess the utility of the FA methodology for verbal behavior. Mean reliability for 43% of sessions is 97% (range: 75-100%). Results thus far suggest that age and reinforcer selection may be critical factors in determining sign acquisition.

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