solution to a problem. When given a problem, such as a question that involves recalling a
past event, an individual arrives at a solution by engaging in a few possible behaviors, such
as asking herself questions, drawing out possible solutions, and visualizing. A challenge of
analyzing problem solving is it often occurs covertly, or within an individual’s skin. Although
typically developing people engage in problem solving on a daily basis, there is limited
research on teaching problem solving strategies to individuals with disabilities, especially in
a behavior analytic framework. Two potential benefits of teaching problem solving skills to
children with disabilities are less rote responding and more generalization. In this
presentation, the presenter will provide a conceptual analysis of problem solving and review
previous research on using problem solving to teach academic, communication, and social
skills. The presenter will also describe a current study on teaching problem solving to help
children with autism recall past events, and he will recommend directions for research and
At the end of the presentation, participants will be able to:
1. Define problem solving from a behavior analytic perspective
2. Explain how problem solving was taught in previous studies
3. Describe avenues for studying and using problem solving in research and practice
10:05 am: Pretest
10:10 am: Presentation begins
11:30 am: 10 minute break
11:40 am: First Q&A Session- submit questions via chat
11:50 am: Presentation resumes
12:45 pm: Q&A submit questions for chat
1:00 pm: Posttest, Evaluation and submit attendance codes
at Simmons College and the Director of the Special Education Program at Simmons. Dr. Axe received
his M.A. and Ph.D. in Special Education and Applied Behavior Analysis from The Ohio State
University. He conducts research with children with autism in the areas of verbal, social, and
challenging behavior. Three current research topics are the effects of problem solving on recalling
past events, conditioning praise as a reinforcer, and presession pairing for addressing compliance
and problem behavior. Dr. Axe’s research has been recognized by the California Association for
Behavior Analysis and the Berkshire Association for Behavior Analysis and Therapy (BABAT). He
serves on the editorial boards of The Analysis of Verbal Behavior and Behavior Analysis and Practice.
Dr. Axe is the past-Chair of the Verbal Behavior Special Interest Group of the Association for Behavior
Analysis International (ABAI), the Co-Coordinator of the Verbal Behavior Area for the ABAI
Conference, the Chair of the Student Relations Committee of BABAT, and a Trustee and the
Continuing Education Coordinator of the Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies.
Presenter Disclosure Statement
Dr. Axe does not receive speaker fees for presenting as part of the ABACLive Cambridge Center
Series. These fees are donated directly to The Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies (TM).
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