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Autism and Developmental Disorders

Publisher: Moscow State University of Psychology and Education

ISSN (printed version): 1994-1617

ISSN (online): 2413-4317


License: CC BY-NC 4.0

Published since 2003

Published quarterly

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Open Access Journal


ABA in Teaching to Individuals with Special Needs: The Role of the Transitive Conditioned Establishing Operation in Teaching Novel Verbal Behavior and Other Meaningful Responses 1702


Dibari A.
PhD, Psychologist, Board Certified Behaviour Analyst, Associazione ALBA ONLUS, Italy

Rizzi D.
PhD, Psychologist, Board Certified Behaviour Analyst, Associazione ALBA ONLUS, Italy

Following the learner’s motivation is fundamental when teaching new skills to people with autism. Novel verbal behavior, play skills and functional skills are easily acquired by the learner when they directly benefit him.But sooner or later the variety of teaching opportunities available to the teacher may be hindered by restricted interests and limited motivation for social consequences. The severity of this barrier varies across the learner’s profile and features, but the challenge has to be faced at some point. Behavior analysis can help, by providing powerful strategies with which to overcome these barriers and expand teaching opportunities. Analysis of the Transitive Conditioned Establishing Operations (CEO-T) describes how, when access to a terminal reinforcer is blocked or denied, the environment operates to condition new stimuli as reinforcers [16; 12]. To date, several studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of strategies derived from the analysis of the CEO-T in teaching verbal and nonverbal behavior [6; 2]. The variety of target behavior taught suggests that teaching opportunities based on this analysis are countless, but despite its power in explaining behavior and inspiring teaching strategies, the concept of CEO-T has been overlooked in the teaching of skills other than manding. The defining features of the CEO-T will be discussed and a list of teaching ideas will be provided in order to stimulate a broader use of the analysis of CEO-T in clinical practice.

Keywords: Transitive Conditioned Establishing Operation, applied behavioral analysis, Motivating Operation, language, functional skills.


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