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.


32nd Annual Convention; Atlanta, GA; 2006

Event Details

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Symposium #381
CE Offered: BACB
Functional Analysis and Assessment in the Applied Environment
Monday, May 29, 2006
3:00 PM–4:20 PM
Regency VII
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Susan Ainsleigh (Simmons College)
Discussant: Michael F. Dorsey (Vinfen Corporation & Simmons College)
CE Instructor: John Stokes, Other

The purpose of this symposium is to review innovative methods for conducting functional analysis in the applied setting. The first paper demonstrates how to train staff teacher and families to implement functional analysis condition using performance feedback and video modeling. The second two presentations review innovative methods for conducting functional assessment and analysis. Additionally the relevance for using hypothesis driven interventions based off of the results of assessment is reviewed. All programs review present Reliability and results graphically.

The use of Performance Feedback and Video Modeling in Training Staff and Parents to Implement Functional Analysis Conditions.
JOHN STOKES (Charles River ARC), Michael F. Dorsey (n/a)
Abstract: The present Study examined the use of performance feedback, video modeling and workshop training for staff and family member to conduct functional analysis. Results indicated that all 4 subjects met accuracy criterion following individual training and feedback. During generalization probes two subjects accurately conducted sessions with individuals in the day program.
Functional Assessment in the Public School Classroom: Methods for Selecting Effective Treatment for Compliance to Academic Instruction.
KRISTOFER VAN HERP (Stoneham Public Schools, Massachusetts), Susan Ainsleigh (Simmons College)
Abstract: An unwillingness to participate in academic instruction on the part of a student prevents optimal learning in school settings. Research shows that high rates of engaged academic learning time is associated with a higher degree of success on the part of the student (Fischer & Berliner, 1985; Ysseldyke & Christensen, 2002). Teachers must identify the conditions associated with optimal learning in order to maximize instructional time and minimize time away from engaged learning in school settings. The subject of this study was a 7-year old non-verbal male diagnosed with pervasive developmental disorder (PDD) who attended a public school inclusive classroom. The student demonstrated low rates of compliance to academic instruction and, concurrently, high rates of problem behaviors such as self-injurious behavior, aggression, and bolting from the instructional setting. Indirect and direct functional assessment methods were utilized to identify variables hypothetically associated with optimal learning and compliance to instructional tasks. A structured analog assessment using a reversal design was conducted to verify these hypotheses. Results of these assessments were used to identify classroom-based interventions to increase academic compliance and, hence, engaged time in the classroom. Results demonstrate an overall increase in compliant behavior following implementation of the intervention package. Subsequent interview of teachers implementing the intervention package support its efficiency for use in the classroom.
Functional Assessment and Analysis of Bolting Behavior in a Preschool Setting: Analyzing Topography of Attention Maintaining Problem Behavior.
ELISE COOKE (Simmons College), Susan Ainsleigh (Simmons College)
Abstract: Indirect and direct functional assessment methods were used to develop hypotheses regarding the maintaining variables of the bolting behavior of a 3.5 year old male diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. The subject of this study demonstrated bolting behavior in school and community settings. A long-term 1:1 staffing assignment was determined to be inefficient for maintaining this student during transitions, yet continued concerns for safety of the subject had been reported by both teachers and parents. The results of functional assessments suggested that attention from adults was a likely maintaining variable of bolting behavior. In order to determine the form of attention that was maintaining the bolting behavior, four attention conditions were implemented using an alternating treatment design: stern vocal attention with physical guidance (Condition A), physical guidance with no vocal attention or eye contact (Condition B), playful physical attention with no vocal attention or eye contact (Condition C) and playful physical attention and playful vocal attention (Condition D). Conditions were scheduled randomly, and each condition was scheduled for an entire school day; data were collected during three separate daily transitions. All staff throughout the school that typically interacted with the student were involved in implementing each condition, including teachers, therapists, secretaries, and the school nurse; the Lead Teacher provided direct training to each participant. Results showed that Condition D (playful physical attention and playful vocal attention) was associated with high rate bolting behavior and Condition A (stern vocal behavior with physical guidance) was associated with low rate bolting behavior. Results were used to design a multi-component treatment package. Implementation of the treatment package resulted in near zero-rate bolting behavior after 2 month follow-up. Functional analysis procedures can be successfully and efficiently implemented in public school elementary school classrooms, and can result in individually design treatment plans.



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