Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


33rd Annual Convention; San Diego, CA; 2007

Event Details

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Symposium #361
CE Offered: BACB
BATSS to the Rescue: Interventions for Students at High Risk for Failure
Monday, May 28, 2007
10:30 AM–11:50 AM
America's Cup C
Area: EDC/CSE; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Janet Ellis (University of North Texas)
CE Instructor: Janet Ellis, Ph.D.

The label "high risk" in the past denoted dangerous areas to avoid/was predictive of a problem that might not be readily resolved. Currently, the "high risk" label is being applied to students with behavioral deficits--and children who have been so labeled are placed into special education classrooms along with those diagnosed as persons with mental retardation, autism, developmental delay. Behavioral Assessment & Technology Support Systems (BATSS) has been successful in training classroom staff to remediate these behavioral deficits and, thereby, enable these children to function more appropriately and effectively in public school classrooms. Our discipline does not encourage us to recognize boundaries established by descriptive assessments. The papers presented in this symposium describe how master's-level graduate students are demonstrating to educators and classroom staff how to bypass some of the problem type behaviors being exhibited in these classrooms. Following the presentations the audience will be included in a discussion of problems, problem-solving strategies, and directed to literature that will acquaint them with behavioral technology. The speakers and the chair will generate discussion by asking questions of the audience.

Teach Them while They're Young: Reading Program for Preschoolers.
SARAH A. LAW (University of North Texas)
Abstract: Reading skills are critical to student academic success-- especially for those at-risk for academic failure in kindergarten.. Nine pre-schoolers-- ages 4 and 5--participated in a reading program 10-15 minutes/day 5 days/week for 8 months. They were in a blended classroom--half typically developing students and half students with DD: 4 had no identified developmental disabilities, and 5 were diagnosed with language delays, autism, learning disabilities, and mild MR. Each received 1:1 training consisting of vocally identifying letter sounds, followed by sound blends and short words. 20-sec, 30-sec, and 1-minute timings were implemented daily, thus measuring each student’s fluent and accurate sounds, blends, and word production. A pre-test consisted of asking each student to verbally identify and sound out all 26 alphabet letters prior to intervention. Results of the pre-test showed that none of the students correctly identified any of the letter sounds. Final outcomes of this training will be presented at the convention.This on-going intervention will serve to teach young children letter sounds and blends, as well as how to read short words, before these children enter kindergarten.
Contingent Attention: An Effective "Magic Pill" for Decreasing Severely Aggressive Behavior.
JAIME GOETTL (University of North Texas)
Abstract: Managing aggressive behavior in special education classrooms can require a considerable amount of valuable time and attention that could be spent with students behaving appropriately. BATSS was invited to assist the staff in a Life Skills classroom (4:7 teacher-student ratio) in managing the aggressive behavior of a 14 year-old student diagnosed with Mental Retardation and Selective Mutism. Baseline data were consistent with staff descriptions of the amount of attention delivered to the student (62-96% of intervals) when appropriately engaged in an activity. However, attention followed physical and object aggression in 89.6% and 20% of intervals containing aggression, respectively. Appropriate vocalizations were recorded in 15-36% of intervals. Appropriate requests steadily increased from 3-25% of intervals. Staff training will include modeling, role-playing, and delivering feedback to teachers on checklist performance to increase the student’s appropriate requesting and commenting, leaning the schedule of attention delivered to the student while maintaining high levels of engagement in appropriate activities and concomitantly low levels of aggressive behavior. The training will allow teachers to distribute attention more evenly among students and increase learning opportunities throughout the day.
Effects of Staff Training on Aggression, Flopping, and Elopement by a 12-Year-Old Female in a SPED Classroom.
ANNA MARIE WHALEY (University of North Texas)
Abstract: Students in special education classrooms who engage in seriously disruptive behaviors can and do cause dangerous situations for the student, evoke imitative behavior in their peers, inflict physical damage on staff, and have been, in extreme cases, refused seating on the school bus, caused parents to come to the school many times/month--endangering their jobs, and create chaotic situations for all concerned. BATSS was recruited to train 3 classroom staff on behavioral intervention procedures to reduce inappropriate behavior (aggression, flopping, and elopement) and increase appropriate behavior (engagement and compliance) of a 12-year-old female. The procedures focused on limiting forms of attention that followed inappropriate behavior while increasing forms of attention that followed appropriate behavior. Baseline observations indicated that reprimands followed noncompliance and physical aggression 50%-100% of occurrences, whereas compliance was praised for less than 10% of occurrences. This intervention is ongoing and final outcome data will be displayed in graphic format for the presentation.
Overhauling an Entire Social Adjustment Classroom.
LARISA MAXWELL (University of North Texas)
Abstract: As public schools develop classrooms for students with emotional and behavioral disorders, the need for behavior analytic training increases, and the need for behavioral technology--appropriately applied--becomes ever more critical. In one such classroom, BATSS developed a class-wide intervention plan for 7 students, 1st through 5th grade, with diagnoses including ADHD, ED, and bipolar disorder. The available staff training intervention included: implementation of a reinforcer system, classroom restructuring, effective prompting techniques, and appropriate behavior management techniques. Baseline data across students indicated that student engagement ranged from 28% to 100% of intervals, compliance, from 35% to 100% of intervals, and physical aggression occurred in up to 35% of intervals. Data collection is in progress as the intervention is being implemented, and a completed data set will be available in full at the time of presentation. Potential impacts include the identification of an effective system for use in classrooms for students with severe emotional and behavioral disorders.



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