Relational operants and Child Development: The Science and the Practice

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About the presentation: 

This presentation will provide an overview of the concept of relational
learning and what it means in terms of language and social development in children. The
role of arbitrarily applicable relational responding and multiple exemplar instruction will
be emphasized as it applies to the acquisition of basic, rudimentary language, early
academic skills, and more complex repertoires such as perspective-taking and problem-
solving. Representative research and curricular approaches for children will be discussed.

Learning Objectives
At the conclusion of the presentation, the participants will be able to:

1. Design a simple teaching protocol to establish relational skills in students
2. Recognize the efficiency that programming relational responding repertoires provides
3. Articulate the concept of relational operants and their role in many important educational tasks.

About the presenter:

Dr. Rehfeldt holds a BA in psychology from the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, WA (1993), and masters and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Nevada (1998). Dr. Rehfeldt is now serving as assistant chair and professor in the Applied Behavior Analysis program at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology Chicago campus. She is ecstatic to be living and working again in Chicago. Dr. Rehfeldt has published over 100 articles and book chapters in behavior analysis, most of which have focused upon language interventions for persons with developmental disabilities. She co-edited a book with Yvonne Barnes-Holmes entitled, “Derived Relational Responding: Applications for Learners with Autism and other Developmental Disabilities,” and recently co-edited a text entitled, “Applied Behavior Analysis of Language and Cognition,” with Mitch Fryling, Jonathan Tarbox, and Linda Hayes as co-editors, due to be released in 2021. Dr. Rehfeldt served as the editor and business manager for The Psychological Record for 12 years, a journal started by J. R. Kantor and for which B. F. Skinner was one of the first editorial board members. She is or has been an editorial board member for a number of prominent behavior analytic journals, including Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis and Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, and has held a number of leadership positions within the Association for Behavior Analysis International. She is currently serving as Program Chair for the ABAI Annual Autism Convention, and at-large representative on the ABAI Council. Dr. Rehfeldt was a professor in the Behavior Analysis and Therapy program at Southern Illinois University for twenty years, where she won a number of teaching and research awards and served as PI on several state and federal autism-related grants. Some recent accomplishments include being awarded ABAI Fellow designation, a recognition granted to outstanding contributors in research and scholarship, and co-authoring a chapter on relational framing which was published in the highly anticipated Cooper et al 3 rd edition text (the “white book.”)