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.


31st Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2005

Event Details

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Poster Session #249
#249 Poster Session - AUT
Sunday, May 29, 2005
5:30 PM–7:00 PM
Southwest Exhibit Hall (Lower Level)
1. Toilet Training Children with Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
RACHEL L. LOFTIN (Children's School Success, Indiana University), Naomi Swiezy (Children's School Success, Indiana University), Megan N. Grothe (Children's School Success, Indiana University)
Abstract: Children with autism exhibit a variety of cognitive, sensory, and communicative impairments that make the acquisition of self-help skills, such as toileting, a challenge. The existing literature on toileting reports gains that were achieved through a number of different strategies, typically employing both positive and more intrusive training methods. Invasive strategies included toileting removal of clothing, manipulation of diapers, incontinence alarms, the amplification of incontinence to others, and verbal punishment.The authors will present data from multiple case studies in which clients in an outpatient behavioral clinic for children with autism were taught appropriate toileting behavior. The clinician devised interventions in which positive strategies alone, including visual supports and positive reinforcement, were used to teach toileting routines. Results, including positive gains in independent toileting behavior for all participants, will be presented.
2. Effects of a Weighted Hat on Self-injurious Behavior
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
CHRISTOPHER J. PERRIN (Bancroft NeuroHealth), April S. Worsdell (Southern Illinois University)
Abstract: Previous research has demonstrated that the noncontingent application of sensory equipment may be useful in reducing self-injurious behavior (SIB) (Dura, Mulick, & Hammer, 1988; Van Houten, 1993; Wells & Smith, 1983). Examples of sensory devices that have been assessed include wrist weights, platform swings, and vibrating massagers. The present study used a multielement design to evaluate the effectiveness of a weighted baseball cap on the SIB of a young girl with autism. Based on an occupational therapist’s assessment, a weight of 0.68 kg was selected for evaluation. In the no hat condition, the child did not wear a baseball cap. In the weighted hat condition, the child wore a baseball cap with three 0.23 kg weights attached to the inside top. Throughout all sessions, (a) noncontingent access to a preferred toy was provided, (b) praise and physical attention were delivered for hand-toy interaction, and (c) the therapist blocked all attempts at SIB. Results showed that SIB decreased to low levels when the weighted hat was worn. Further, reductions in SIB maintained for over 35 sessions. Exact agreement averaged at least 80% during sessions. Possible mechanisms responsible for the effectiveness of the weighted hat are discussed.
3. A Waiting Program for Increasing Session Behaviors Through Differential Reinforcement of Other Behaviors
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
RICK SHAW (Northeastern University)
Abstract: A waiting program was developed to increase waiting and session behaviors for 9-year old female with pervasive developmental disorder. The results of the waiting program indicated that it was successful for increasing in-seat session behaviors, and for deceasing environmental destructions, but was unsuccessful for decreasing the frequency of SIB, aggression, tantrums, and tantrum duration.
4. Using Preference to Compete with Echolalia
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
APRIL N. KISAMORE (Marcus Autism Center), Daniel B. Shabani (Marcus Autism Center), Wayne W. Fisher (Marcus Autism Center)
Abstract: In the current investigation, the echolalic speech (repeating or “echoing” of all or part of what was just said) of a child diagnosed with autism was assessed using an ABAB withdrawal design. Prior to the echo assessment, a multiple stimulus preference assessment without replacement (MSWO) was conducted in order to identify highly preferred toys and foods. The first two and last two items selected during the MSWO were subsequently used for the echo assessment. During the assessment, the experimenter read from a list that included both the top two and bottom two items selected. The order of the items read was counterbalanced across conditions such that during one condition (A) one of the two highly preferred items was read last, and during a second condition (B) neither of the two highly preferred items was read last. Results indicated that when the highly preferred items were not read last, the participant was less likely to echo the last item read by the experimenter and instead chose one of the two highly preferred stimuli. Similarly, when one of the two highly preferred items was read last by the experimenter, the participant was more likely to echo what was just said.
5. Functional Communication Training to Reduce Biting in a Child with Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
CAROL DEPEDRO (Beacon Services)
Abstract: Session Abstract: Most would agree that problem behaviors in children with autism should be replaced with socially appropriate behaviors. This study addresses this issue in two experiments. The first experiment describes the use of a functional (experimental) analysis to assess the functional relationship between biting in a child with autism, who is non-verbal and specific environmental events. A child with autism, who bites, was exposed to three different analogue conditions each associated with different experimenters. The results of Experiment 1 suggest that biting was primarily maintained by negative reinforcement, escaping a demand situation. The results also suggest that biting may be maintained by sensory stimulation or to gain attention, however the data were not conclusive. In Experiment 2, the assessment data were used to select an alternative for biting. The participant was taught to exchange a break card. When the participant exchanged the break card, all demands were removed. This treatment, which involved the differential reinforcement of functional communication, produced a significant reduction in biting. The results were consistent with the hypothesis that some problem behaviors in children with autism serve the function of nonverbal communication. According to this hypothesis, teaching functional communication to a child with autism can reduce biting.
6. Assessing the Effects of Two Different Escape Extinction Procedures on the Occurrence of Extinction Bursts and Extinction Induced Aggression
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
BECKY PENROD (University of Nevada, Reno), Michele D. Wallace (University of Nevada, Reno), Megan D. Nollet (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: While applied research studies are evaluating ways in which undesirable side effects of extinction (specifically, escape extinction) can be attenuated, little research has been conducted with respect to how escape extinction procedures are implemented and, further, how different procedures for implementing escape extinction differentially affect the occurrence of extinction bursts and extinction-induced aggression. Hence, the purpose of this study was to extend the research in this area. This study evaluated the effects of two different escape extinction procedures (physical guidance and continuous prompting) on the occurrence of extinction bursts and extinction-induced aggression with a 6 year old girl who engages in escape-maintained problem behavior. Results indicated that there was more problem behavior in the physical guidance condition than in the repeated prompting condition; however, the percentage of compliance with task demands was similar in both conditions.
7. Termination of Stereotypic Behaviors as an Establishing Operation to Tantrums, Aggressive and Destructive Behavior
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
KATHERINE V. POWERS (Marcus Autism Center), Wayne W. Fisher (Marcus Autism Center)
Abstract: Stereotypic behaviors are essential features of autism. Caregivers often discourage or interrupt these behaviors because they interfere with social and academic development. Destructive behaviors (e.g., aggression) are often associated with autism, but are not defining features of the disorder. Fisher et al. (1996) proposed an operant model of these essential and associated symptoms of autism in which (a) stereotypic behaviors are often maintained by automatic reinforcement; (b) caregivers interrupt these responses, which produces deprivation from automatic reinforcement and evokes more destructive responses (e.g., aggression); (c) caregivers then stop interrupting the stereotypies, which may function as reinforcement for destructive behavior, and (d) analyzing the functions of both essential and associated features of autism can lead to more effective treatments. In this investigation, a 13-year old, nonverbal male with an autism diagnosis was referred for aggression and destruction. The child also engaged in stereotypic responses that persisted independent of social contingencies. Functional analysis results revealed that destructive behaviors were reinforced by escape from demands, but also by discontinuation of interruption of stereotypies. A FCT procedure was implemented in which escape from demands and discontinuation of interruption of rituals were delivered contingent on picture-exchange communication and destructive behavior was placed on extinction. This treatment reduced destructive behavior by 90%.
8. Comparing Two Durations of Response Latency on the Academic and Challenging Behaviors of Children with Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
MATTHEW TINCANI (University of Nevada, Las Vegas), Shannon Crozier (University of Nevada, Las Vegas)
Abstract: The poster will describe research on the effects of short and long duration response latencies on the academic and challenging behaviors of children with autism. Two children were taught the Language for Learning Direct Instruction Curriculum in two conditions, administered in an alternating treatments design. In condition A, the teacher cued a short response latency of less than 1-second. In condition B, the teacher cued a long response latency of 4- to 5-seconds. Children’s rates of participation, rates of correct responding, accuracy, and off-task behavior were recorded to assess if any differences emerged between conditions. Results of the study will be discussed in terms of previous research on instructional pacing. Ideas for future research will also be presented.
9. Stimulus Preference Assessment Procedures: A Review and Application for Children with Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
ROCIO ROSALES (Southern Illinois University), Anthony J. Cuvo (Southern Illinois University)
Abstract: Significant advances have been made to develop procedures for identifying preferred stimuli that may function as reinforcers for individuals with severe and profound developmental disabilities. The purpose of this project was to review the literature on stimulus preference assessments and consider its applications for children with autism attending a center in a university-based setting. The importance of preference and/or reinforcer assessments is discussed. Details on the different procedures including direct vs. indirect assessments, advantages and disadvantages of each, and any established psychometric properties are discussed. Considerations and characteristics of each individual that should be noted in determining the type of assessment to conduct are also reviewed. The authors examined the potential application of a combination of direct and indirect methods to determine reinforcers for the children in a specific setting.
10. Project GATORSS: A Comparison of Perceived Functions in Naturalistic Observations and Functions Identified via Functional Analysis
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
ELIZABETH L.W. MCKENNEY (University of Florida), Jennifer A. Sellers (University of Florida), Jennifer M. Asmus (University of Florida), Maureen Conroy (University of Florida), Brian A. Boyd (University of Florida)
Abstract: Function based treatments have been shown to be more effective than treatments selected based on descriptive assessment. However, treatments based on direct assessments are more effective than those based on indirect assessments, and can be useful in generating hypotheses regarding the function of behavior. The purpose of this study was to determine the correlation between perceived functions identified in direct descriptive assessments and functions identified in experimental analyses in the assessment of socially withdrawn and inappropriate behavior (Lennox & Miltenberger, 1989). A comparison will be provided between the perceived functions obtained from direct observations of social behavior and the empirically derived outcomes from functional analyses of social behavior of 6 young children (ages 2 – 5 years old) with autism spectrum disorders enrolled in Project GATORSS (Generalized Assessment Tools for the Observation and Remediation of Social Skills), a federally funded project focusing on the development of functional assessment methodology of withdrawn and inappropriate social behavior. Findings demonstrated that direct descriptive observation assisted in generating hypotheses regarding the functions of socially withdrawn and inappropriate behavior. Data were collected in the natural classroom setting by trained graduate students. Interobserver agreement was obtained on 25% of sessions, and averaged 92%.
11. Increasing Food Repertoires of a Selective Eater with Autism: Intervention and Generalization Procedure Outcome Data
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
KAREN NAULT (Beacon Services), Robert K. Ross (Beacon Services)
Abstract: Research indicates that there are a number of effective protocols for expanding food repertoires in selective eaters. This case study focuses on a six year-old male with autism whose parents had expressed concern over his limited diet despite their implementation of a protocol designed to expand the variety of food he would accept. Initial treatment data showed increases in food acceptance. However, early attempts to generalize the procedure to the parents resulted in continued resistance to novel foods. Parent training was subsequently emphasized before introducing a new food to enhance its effectiveness and subsequent generalization across people and time. The parent training consisted of a review of the protocol before beginning the procedure, specific instructions on the reinforcement procedure, modeling the procedure during teaching sessions, providing feedback on parent behavior to ensure treatment fidelity, parent training on the to generalization protocol, ongoing informal meetings to review data, and modifications to the protocol as the data indicated. The results showed effective parent implementation and subsequent generalization to other persons and settings.
12. A Comparison of Stereotypy as Reinforcement and Traditional Reinforcement on Response Acquisition
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
MELISSA J. GARD (LIFE Midwest), Kala J. Dable (LIFE Midwest), Kristi Born (LIFE Midwest)
Abstract: Children with autism exhibit behavioral excesses in the form of stereotyped behavior and behavioral deficits related to language and social skills. Decreasing the behavioral excesses and increasing the skills in the deficient areas are typically primary concerns in therapy for a child with autism. This presentation reviews the current literature on the use of stereotypy as reinforcement. This preliminary study will evaluate the comparative effectiveness of traditional reinforcement and contingent access to stereotyped behavior as reinforcement on response acquisition. An alternating treatment design was used, and the target exemplars to be taught were randomly assigned to the two treatment conditions. The skills taught include motor imitation and receptive skills. Each exemplar was taught to a consistent mastery criterion. Reliability data will also be presented.When allowing access to stereotyped behaviors, there is the possibility of unwanted collateral effects. Therefore, the current study also included probes to examine the rate of this child’s stereotypy.
13. Conducting an Analogue Functional Analysis in a Public School Setting
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
CHRISTINE HAGENLOCHER (Newton, Massachusetts Public Schools), Daniel Cohen-Almeida (Melmark New England), Mary Towle (Simmons College)
Abstract: An analogue functional analysis was conducted on the motor and vocal stereotypies of a 4-year old boy diagnosed with autism. The functional analysis was conducted in a public preschool setting in the 1:1 classroom area used by the student. Ten minute sessions were run over a period of 2 weeks. Interobserver agreement was conducted in a minimum of 30% of sessions and averaged above 95%. Conditions included alone, social attention, physical attention, high demand, and low demand. The 2 teachers working directly with the student both conducted analogue sessions and data for attention and demand conditions was analyzed separately for each teacher. Results for both topographies of stereotypy showed higher occurrence in the alone condition and undifferentiated responding in attention and demand conditions. This study demonstrates that sophisticated assessment procedures such as analogue functional analyses can be conducted in public schools and in naturalistic settings.
14. Behavioral Functional Assessment Comparisons
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
CAITLIN HERZINGER (University of Georgia)
Abstract: Problem behaviors are a commonly associated feature of people diagnosed with autism. Functional assessment has become the norm for evaluating these behaviors. There has been much research concerning functional assessment over the past twenty years, but several important research questions have yet to be answered. One is the comparison of different types of functional assessment, including experimental functional analysis, direct observation, and indirect/informal assessment. Controversy exists regarding the types of functional assessments and their validity. The current study aims to compare the different methodologies of functional assessment and their effectiveness in ascribing function to a target behavior and in the treatment selection that follows such an assessment. The quantitative synthesis data will be used to answer questions such as a) Does the observed function of the behavior have an effect on the effectiveness of treatment? and b) Is there a relationship between the type of maladaptive behavior observed and the obtained function for that behavior? Preliminary statistical data analyses suggest that the function of escape is more predominant than other possible functions. Future analyses will asses if different methodologies (e.g., functional analysis versus direct observation) lead to different ascribed functions and if function assignment has a significant effect on treatment selection.
15. Factors Associated with Occurrence and Duration of SIB of a 10-Year-Old Boy with Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
COURTNEY MICHELLE MOODY (Behaviour Institute), Joel P. Hundert (Behaviour Institute), Nicole Walton-Allen (Behaviour Institute)
Abstract: This poster will present an analysis of factors that trigger and maintain self-injurious behaviour (SIB) in a boy with autism. The topography of the SIB consists of open-hand slaps to the face and pulling on his ear. The information that will be presented consists of: a) daily time series data of the number of SIB episodes per day over the past 1.5 years; b) an eco-behavioral analysis indicating the conditional probabilities of SIB given the presence of particular therapists, activities, and the presence of other behaviours; c) a sequential analysis of self-injurious behaviours with signals associated with the beginning and end of tasks; and, d) a functional analysis of the occurrence of SIB under four conditions. The data indicated a relatively steady level of self-injurious behaviour that persisted despite the treatment by a number of psychotropic medications. The eco-behavioral analysis indicated higher rates of SIB associated with particular staff and particular activities. Finally, the sequential analysis and the functional analysis indicated that triggers of SIB were associated with increased work demands and the duration of SIB episodes were associated with the boy receiving attention.
16. The Effects of a Multi-Component Program on Reduction of Aggression in a Student with Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
LEIGH ANN STRAIN (The Learning Tree, Inc.), Ellen K. Taylor (The Learning Tree, Inc.), Sharon K. Kell (The Learning Tree, Inc.), Jerre R. Brimer (The Learning Tree, Inc.), Ann M. Morris (The Learning Tree, Inc.), Holly Rogers (The Learning Tree, Inc.), Jacquese Fails (The Learning Tree, Inc.), Robert W. Montgomery (Reinforcement Unlimited, LLC)
Abstract: This poster will describe the effects of a program including language training, DRO/DRA, response block and manual restraint on the reduction of aggression in a student with autism. Data were collected using 15 minute partial recording. During baseline the student had occurrences of aggression to others during an average of 27% of intervals daily. During September 2004 the student had an average of 7% of intervals with aggression to others. A discussion will also be presented about the students increases in acquisition of mands, tacts and receptive language.
17. A comparason Functional Analyses Conducted in both the Natural and Experimental Environments for a child with PDD-NOS
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
MEGAN GUIDI (Allegheny College), Rodney D. Clark (Allegheny College)
Abstract: A brief Functional Analysis was developed for the Self-Stimulatory Behavior of an 8 year old girl. to focus on the similarities or differences between the functions from Experimental Environment and Natural Environment. Functional Analysis was conducted in a diagnostic room and then re-implemented in a natural classroom environment. the behavior was examined under four conditions-social positive reinforcement (attention), social-negative reinforcement (escape), access to tangibles, and the play (control) condition- to determine the controlling function. A different staff member was used for each condition to serve as the discriminative stimulus for that particular condition. the results of the study were similar over each condition, supporting the validity of conducting Functional Analysis in the natural environment.
18. Matching Treatment to Function to Reduce SIB in a Six-Year-Old Male with Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
ANDREA RODRIGUEZ (Behavioral Concepts, Inc.)
Abstract: Only a few studies have studied the effect of a DRO which directly matched the function of a behavior. A six year old male student with autism participated in this multiple baseline study. The effect of a DRO consisting of praise, contingent tokens and contingent sensory breaks to reduce self-injurious behavior with multiple functions was studied during his two hour one-to-one discrete trial sessions. It was compared to a DRO (positive social reinforcement and an escape component) plus non-contingent sensory reinforcement (every 30 minutes) package which was easier to implement in the classroom. Prior to treatment, rates of head banging and head hitting (SIB) were at a mean of 8 during Discrete Trial Sessions and 65 in the classroom. With treatment, rates decreased to a mean of 3.0 for the remaining of the school year (about three months) and remained at a 3.1 mean in the maintenance phase (with a novel instructor) during Discrete Trial Sessions. In the classroom, rates were reduced to a mean of 30 for the final three months. Having a treatment that matches multiple functions of the behavior has shown to have positive results in decreasing the participant’s SIB.
19. The Effects of Differential Reinforcement of Alternative Behvaior on Food Refusal
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
STEFANIE HORVATH (Bancroft NeuroHealth), Christopher J. Perrin (Bancroft NeuroHealth)
Abstract: Previous research has demonstrated that differential reinforcement of alternative behavior (DRA) is not sufficient for decreasing levels of food refusal (Piazza et al. 2003). Usually an escape extinction procedure consisting of either non-removal of the spoon (Cooper et al, 1995) or physical guidance (Ahearn et al., 1996) to accept the bite is required. The present study used a reversal design to evaluate the effectiveness of differential reinforcement of alternative behavior (DRA) without a non-removal of the spoon or physical guidance procedure on the food refusal of a 23 year-old male. In both conditions, verbal prompts to take a bite were provided on a FT 30 second schedule. During the baseline condition, contingent on acceptance, verbal praise was provided. In the treatment condition, contingent on acceptance, verbal praise and 30s of access to a video was provided. Results showed that food refusal decreased to low levels when access to a preferred video was provided. Food variety was further increased through systematic delay to bite replacement. Exact agreement averaged at least 80% during sessions. Keywords: Food Refusal, DRA
20. Assessment of FCT on Increasing Hair Washing Tolerance
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
AIMEE E. HOLSTE (Bancroft NeuroHealth), Christopher J. Perrin (Bancroft NeuroHealth), Frances A. Perrin (Bancroft NeuroHealth)
Abstract: The present study evaluated the effects of functional communication training (FCT) on rates of avoidance movements during hair washing of a six-year-old child with autism. During FCT sessions, the participant was given a 30-second break contingent on exchanging a “no washing” card. The schedule on which the “no washing” card was made available was systematically thinned with additional components of the task analysis for hair washing added until all steps in the hair washing process were completed, including washing and rinsing, prior to providing the “no washing” card. Interobserver agreement data were collected during 26% of sessions. The mean agreement for all measures was 96% or above. Results showed that FCT was effective in decreasing avoidance movements during hair washing. In conclusion, the use of FCT to decrease avoidance movements while increasing hair washing tolerance can be an effective treatment in promoting and maintaining hygiene related skills, such as hair washing. Keywords: FCT, avoidance movements
21. Use of a DRO + Blocking Procedure to Reduce Food Stealing in a Residential Setting
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
MARIAMA ANNAN (Eden II Programs), Meagan Gregory (Eden II Programs), Frank R. Cicero (Eden II Programs)
Abstract: A reversal design was used to evaluate the effects of a DRO + blocking procedure on an individual with autism’s inappropriate food grabbing behavior in a group home setting. During baseline sessions, the room was baited with items that staff reported to be highly preferred. There were no programmed consequences for grabbing or consuming the baited items. The session was terminated after 10 minutes or when all items were consumed, whichever came first. Prior to the beginning of the initial DRO + blocking session, Randy was informed of the new contingencies in place. Every 30 seconds, Randy earned a token for not grabbing any food items during the interval. After earning four tokens, Randy received a piece of eggroll. If Randy grabbed during an interval, the 30 seconds was reset and he was told, “No grabbing if you want to earn your token.” Treatment session lengths varied to account for the interval during which Randy consumed his reinforcer. Rates of grabbing and consuming were high during baseline but reduced to zero during treatment sessions. key words: food stealing, DRO, residential
22. Comparison of Matched Versus Unmatched Stimuli in the Reduction of Automatically Reinforced Stereotypy
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
LISA BARSNESS (St. Cloud State University), Kristie M. Thompson (Minnesota Autism Center), Kimberly A. Schulze (St. Cloud State University)
Abstract: Decreasing stereotypical behavior can improve the social, communicative and academic functioning of people with autism. Research has demonstrated that the presence of stereotypy prevents or delays acquisition of more appropriate skills. Within the last 10 years, research has focused upon positive, non-aversive strategies to decrease stereotypy. A common denominator in recent studies on stereotypical behavior is the use of functional assessment technology, or systematically exposing the behavior to varying conditions such as attention, social interaction and demands, to determine the specific functions of the stereotypy. The purpose of this study is to extend the literature on positive interventions by comparing the effectiveness of two different types of stimuli in reducing stereotypical behavior and increasing appropriate stimulus engagement in three children with autism. Automatically reinforced stereotypy is the focus of this study. A combination of reversal (ABAB) and multielement design is utilized to compare the effects of matched versus unmatched stimuli in the reduction of non-socially reinforced stereotypical behavior. The dependent measure will be the percentage of 10- second intervals of target stereotypical behavior and duration of appropriate stimulus interaction. The independent variables will be the matched and unmatched stimuli used in the intervention.
23. Determining the Behavioral Function and Implementing Subsequent Intervention Planning for Running Behavior of a Preschooler Diagnosed with Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
MELISSA KISS (Crossroads Center for Children), Elaine Stack-Taylor (Crossroads Center for Children), Helen Bloomer (Crossroads Center for Children)
Abstract: When determining an appropriate intervention strategy, it is critical to determine the function of a behavior. This study will highlight the function of running behavior in a preschooler diagnosed with autism. Intervention strategies, implemented at Crossroads Center for Children, a preschool utilizing techniques of applied behavior analysis, will be discussed. Results of this study will demonstrate effectiveness of the intervention planning.
24. Token Economy Methods to Reduce Out-of-Seat Behavior, Crying, and Vocal Outbursts
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
BETH ANN JACOBS-JONES (University of Nevada, Las Vegas), Lindsay Allazetta (University of Nevada, Las Vegas), Lenise Kryk (University of Nevada, Las Vegas), Matthew Tincani (University of Nevada, Las Vegas)
Abstract: The poster will describe research that examined the effects of a token economy on out-of-seat behavior, crying, and vocal outbursts of a student with autism. The study was conducted in a general education classroom using a single-subject, ABCAD design. Interventions consisted of a 3-token economy, a 5-token economy, and self-monitoring paired with a 5-token economy. The student's target behaviors were recorded to compare across conditions. Results showed that out-of-seat behaviors decreased from 16% during baseline to .4% during the final intervention. Results will be discussed in terms of previous research of token economies and self-monitoring.
25. The Assessment and Treatment of Inappropriate Foot Touching Maintained by Automatic Reinforcement
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
AJAMU NKOSI (May South), Michael M. Mueller (May South), Cynthia Maynard (May South)
Abstract: The purpose of this investigation was to assess and treat the inappropriate foot touching of a 14 year old male diagnosed with moderate mental retardation and autism. A functional analysis revealed that inappropriate foot touching was being maintained by some form of automatic reinforcement. An attempt was made to isolate the specific source of sensory stimulation (automatic reinforcement) by providing the client with access to the feet of a female therapist under several experimental conditions. Based on the functional analysis several behaviorally-based interventions were employed that resulted in a significant reduction of inappropriate foot touching. This investigation represents a significant contribution within the field of applied behavior analysis insofar as it provides behavior analysts and other therapists with a behaviorally-based explanation and treatment approach to behavior typically comceptualized and treated from a developmental, psychodynamic point of view under the broad hypothetical construct of "foot fetish".
26. Reevaluating “Necessary” Prerequisites for Toileting Training Children with Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
JAMIE M. LENTZ (Cincinnati Childrens' Hospital Medical Center), Rena Sorensen-Burnworth (Cincinnati Childrens' Hospital Medical Center), Kimberly Kroeger-Geoppinger (Cincinnati Childrens' Hospital Medical Center)
Abstract: An intensive toilet training program was used with four children with autism, ages 3 to 9, who did not meet seven traditional prerequisite criteria (i.e., show interest in toileting, demonstrate discomfort when soiled, etc.) for toilet training readiness. The training program was composed of extended scheduled sittings, hydration, graduated guidance, and positive reinforcement for voiding. Three of the four children were successfully toilet trained within 7 days. One child withdrew from the program. The child who met the most prerequisite criteria required the addition of a brief overcorrection procedure to train. Training success demonstrates that there are a number of skills considered prerequisite to introducing toilet training that may not be necessary, but may be acquired during the course of training.
27. Effects of Medication on the Treatment of Severe Self-Injurious Behavior of a Child with Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
DAVID J. SHAW (Behavior Analysis, Inc.), David Garcia (Behavior Analysis, Inc.)
Abstract: Results of a functional analysis of severe self-injurious behavior (SIB) exhibited by a four-year-old girl with autism indicated that her SIB was maintained by access to preferred stimuli and escape. A multi-faceted treatment package consisting of functional communication training (FCT), discrimination training, and extinction was ineffective while the child was receiving varying dosages of multiple psychotropic medications. The same treatment package reduced SIB to acceptable levels following the removal of all medications.
28. Choice-making as a Treatment for Disrobing and Inappropriate Urination in a Child with Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
JANE I. CARLSON (The May Institute), Amy Slyman (The May Institute), Andrea Markowski (The May Institute)
Abstract: This case study presents a functional assessment and intervention for disrobing and inappropriate urination in a 11 year old with autism. Functional assessment data revealed that the behaviors were motivated by access to new/preferred clothing. Baseline data indicated that the rate of disrobing was 5 per day and the rate of inappropriate urination was 6 times per day. Intervention included choice of clothing during change opportunities and scheduled non-contingent opportunitites to change clothes. An FCT component rinforced appropriate requesting to change clothes. During intervention, disrobing decreased to a rate of 0 per day and inappropriate urination decreased to a rate of 0 per day. Inter-observer agreement was taken on 30% of sessions (IOA= 98%).
29. Investigation of Differences in Preference Stability Over Time Among Individuals with and without Autism Spectrum Diagnoses
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
AMI S. SPENCER (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Meghan Moore (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Marilyn D. Cataldo (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Iser Guillermo DeLeon (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Lynn G. Bowman (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Yaniz Padilla (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Abstract: Past research has shown that an individual’s highly preferred items from a paired stimulus choice preference assessment will likely function as reinforcers for that individual (Piazza, Fisher, Hagopian, Bowman, & Toole, 1996). Although preference assessments are often conducted with individuals with developmental disabilities, little is known about the stability of preferences across time and even less is known about the determinants of changes in stimulus preferences. One possible influence over preference stability is related to varying diagnoses. Individuals who are diagnosed with Autism Spectrum disorders may have more stable preferences over time than individuals with other developmental delays, possibly in relation to core diagnostic symptoms involving ritual and repetition. The present study compared preference stability across time among developmentally disabled individuals with and without Autism Spectrum diagnoses. Mean rank-order correlation coefficients across assessments conducted thus far indicate that preferences appeared to be less stable among developmentally disabled, non-autistic individuals (mean r = .39) than among those individuals diagnosed with autism (mean r = .65). These results are discussed in terms of their implications for the frequency of conducting stimulus preference assessments.
30. Differential Reinforcement With and Without Stimulus Fading for Escape-Maintained Problem Behavior
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
GRIFFIN ROOKER (New England Center for Children), Eileen M. Roscoe (New England Center for Children), Diana Ervin (New England Center for Children)
Abstract: Recent research suggests that differential reinforcement of alternative behavior (DRA) procedures were more effective when combined with stimulus fading (Ringdahl et al., 2002). However, it remains unclear whether similar findings would be obtained when DRA is conducted without extinction. In the current study, an individual diagnosed with autism, who exhibited disruptive behaviors, participated. Results of a functional analysis indicated that her destructive behavior was maintained by escape from demands. Following a demand baseline condition, two different treatment procedures were compared, DRA without fading and DRA with fading, using a reversal design. During DRA without fading, compliance resulted in access to tokens, and 38 demands were delivered during each session. During DRA with fading, the number of demands were gradually faded in across sessions (beginning with one demand and fading up in 1-to-3 demand increments) while the DRA contingency remained in effect. Results indicated that DRA with fading resulted in reductions in disruptive behavior, and this reduction was maintained until the criterion number of demands (38) was obtained. By contrast, DRA without fading was not associated with decreases in problem behavior. IOA was collected during at least 30% of sessions and averaged 90%.
31. Starch Satiation Treatment for Rumination in a Child with an Autism Spectrum Disorder
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
CAMMARIE JOHNSON (New England Center for Children), Melissa A. Bidwell (Behavior Consultation and Therapy Services)
Abstract: A starch satiation procedure reduced the post-meal rumination of a boy diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder from 1.2 responses per minute to near-zero rates. The satiation procedure consisted of providing the participant with unlimited quantities of starch following each meal. A functional relation between the satiation procedure and rumination was demonstrated in an ABAB withdrawal design. Trends in ruminations within observation times (post-breakfast, post-lunch, post-dinner, and other non-meal times) and within experimental phases were analyzed. Interobserver agreement was collected in over 20% of sessions; mean agreement exceeded 98%. Directions for future research, particularly assessing collateral behaviors, will be presented.Keywords: Rumination; satiation; developmental disabilities; autism spectrum disorders
32. Supplementing Brief Functional Analysis Data to Ameliorate Invalid Hypotheses Regarding Response Function
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
LISA MARIE ANGELLO (The May Institute), Amanda E. Beattie (Ivymount Autism Program), Sara L. Kuperstein (Ivymount Autism Program), Tamara J. Marder (Ivymount Autism Program), Meghan Dougherty (Ivymount Autism Program), Jane M. Barbin (Behavioral Directions, LLC)
Abstract: Full analog functional analyses are typically too time consuming to conduct in a center-based program where maintaining the integrity of the program is paramount. As such, brief functional analyses are often used in the treatment development process for behaviors identified that are either interfering with learning or stigmatizing to the student. The results of brief functional analyses can sometimes be inconclusive or difficult to interpret. Additional data may need to be collected and analyzed in conjunction with the brief functional analysis data. The current study demonstrates the use of supplemental data in developing an effective treatment to reduce finger picking exhibited by a 10-year old boy diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. The use of supplemental data led to an alternative hypothesis regarding the variables maintaining finger picking. A functionally-related treatment package was developed and implemented resulting in a reduction in finger picking. A DRO procedure was added resulting in even further reduction in the target response. Finally, the components of the treatment package were systematically faded while maintaining the positive treatment effects. Practitioners working in programs with high clinical and curriculum demands will benefit from the efficiency and validity of the multi-method assessment procedures utilized in this case study.



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Modifed by Eddie Soh