Evaluation of a Behavior Change System Essays

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System: Incidental Teaching
Incidental teaching is a method of teaching in which the interaction is child initiated and the reinforcer is directly related to the behavior being taught (Hart & Riley, 1975). Incidental teaching makes use of motivating operations by ensuring the environment is set up to encourage the child's interest and then waiting for the child to seek assistance from an adult to gain access to the desired item (Hart & Risley, 1975). The adult will then reward the child with the desired item or activity after receiving the correct response from the child with the level of prompting appropriate to the child's developmental level and necessary to promote errorless learning. Prompts are then faded until the child can respond
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When the child had responded correctly he was immediately rewarded with the desired item and descriptive praise (McGee et al., 1985). The findings of the study suggest that compared to traditional teaching methods, incidental teaching promotes greater generalization of preposition use and also increased more spontaneous use of speech (McGee et al., 2007).
A later study by McGee & Daly (2007) used incidental teaching to teach 3 children with autism between the ages 4-5 the to use two different social phrases (“all right” and “you now what?”) during play. Incidental teaching took place during playtime at a regularly used activity table in the classroom. The students were taught to respond with “all right” if they requested an item that someone else was playing with and were told by the teacher “you can play with the item next, all-right?” If the child responded with “all right” or “right” with prompts or within 5 seconds for independent scoring, the child was rewarded with the desired object and descriptive praise. This method was repeated for the second phrase. Incidental teaching resulted in the immediate use of the target behavior and the phrases generalized to others settings without prompts (McGee & Daly, 2007).
Method
Participants and setting
The participant chosen for this behavior change system project is a 4 and ½ year old boy diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder and speech delay. Billy (a pseudonym)

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