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 #402
#402 Poster Session - DDA
Monday, May 30, 2005
5:30 PM–7:00 PM
Southwest Exhibit Hall (Lower Level)
63. Using Social Stories With Developmentally Disabled Adolescent Sex Offenders
Area: DDA; Domain: Service Delivery
LOUIS VENEZIANO (Woodward Resource Center)
Abstract: Until recently, very little attention was paid to adolescents who committed sex offenses. Epidemiological studies now indicate that adolescents are responsible for 20% of rapes and between 30 to 50% of child sexual abuse cases. In addition, approximately 50% of adult sexual offenders report that their first sexual offense occurred during their adolescence. Research studies have repeatedly demonstrated that adolescent sex offenders are a heterogeneous population with diverse characteristics and different treatment needs. Adolescent sex offenders with developmental disabilities constitute a subpopulation with unique treatment needs. The present study used a multiple-baseline-across-subjects design to evaluate the effectiveness of using social stories with developmentally disabled adolescent sex offenders. Social stories are a tool for teaching social skills to individuals with autism and related disabilities. Social stories provide an individual with accurate information about those situations that he may find difficult or confusing. The goal of the story is to increase the individual’s understanding of, make him more comfortable with, and possibly suggest some appropriate responses for the situation in question. The results were discussed in terms of their theoretical and practical significance.
64. Investigating the Relationship Between Stereotypic Behavior and Learning
Area: DDA; Domain: Basic Research
DANIELLE LISO (Vanderbilt University), Mark Wolery (Vanderbilt University)
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to investigate the potential relationship between stereotypic behavior and learning. Young children with disabilities were taught to receptively identify common objects in two conditions. In the first condition, children were taught the receptive identification skill while their stereotypic behaviors were ignored. In the second condition, children were taught a comparable set of receptive identification skills, but all instances of steretoypic behavior were interrupted using a verbal and physical interruption procedure. All instruction was delivered during 10-min play sessions. Skill acquisition in both conditions was compared. In addition, procedural fidelity and social validity were measured.
65. Evaluating the Long-term Outcome of DRA in a Classroom Setting
Area: DDA; Domain: Service Delivery
TIFFANY KODAK (Louisiana State University), John A. Northup (University of Iowa), Laura L. Grow (Marcus Autism Center)
Abstract: Previous research on differential reinforcement of alternative behavior (DRA) has shown that DRA is effective in reducing problem behavior (Carr & Durand, 1985). However, studies reported in the literature do not typically provide follow-up data assessing the long-term effectiveness of treatment procedures. Furthermore, it’s unclear whether treatment procedures are extended to other settings and whether caregivers/teachers are trained to implement treatment once the study is completed. Treatment may be implemented under less than optimal conditions by caregivers or teachers who do not have training in applied behavior analysis. Research has shown that DRA may still be effective in maintaining low levels of problem behavior, even when it is not implemented under optimal parameters (Vollmer, Roane, Ringdahl, & Marcus, 1999). However, it remains unclear whether DRA will continue to be effective when implemented over an extended period of time under less than optimal conditions. The current investigation evaluated the effectiveness of DRA in maintaining low levels of problem behavior when implemented over a two-year period by lay people in a school setting. Results indicate that treatment was relatively effective in maintaining low levels of problem behavior and high levels of compliance, although treatment was not implemented with optimal integrity.
66. Deducing a Behavioral Function from an Inconclusive Brief Functional Analysis
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
JEFFREY R. LUKE (Melmark), Sean D. Casey (Melmark)
Abstract: Previous investigations that have analyzed the maintaining conditions for problem behavior have extended functional assessment procedures. Often an extended functional analysis procedure is not practical due to time constraints, and as a result a clear and replicable response pattern does not emerge. We conducted a brief functional analysis with a young adult who engaged in self-injury. During the assessment, the client's self-injurious behavior occurred most frequently when they were provided with contingent access to preferred items in the tangible condition, suggesting that their inappropriate behaviors were maintained by gaining or maintaining access to preferred items. These results are discussed in terms of how a tangible function was deduced from an undifferentiated brief functional analysis. Also discussed are intervention efforts focusing on decreasing the child’s self-injury.
67. Assessment of Differential Task Preferences
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
APRIL N. KISAMORE (Marcus Autism Center), Ashley Glover (Marcus Autism Center), Henry S. Roane (Marcus Autism Center)
Abstract: Previous research has developed a variety of procedures to differentially identify preferred stimuli that function as effective positive reinforcers. In contrast to this research, few studies have examined procedures to identify differentially preferred tasks. Iwata et al. (1994) showed that many individuals display problem behavior that is maintained by negative reinforcement (i.e., escape or avoidance of aversive tasks). To assess negatively reinforced problem behavior, it is necessary that the task is sufficiently aversive to evoke problem behavior. Thus, in the current investigation conducted an assessment to identify the differential preference for a variety of tasks. We found that the intensity and frequency of problem behavior varied as a function of the type of task presented. Subsequent phases showed that the participants chose engagement in tasks that were associated with less problem behavior relative to those associated with high rates of problem behavior. Finally, results of functional analyses validated the result of the initial assessment and showed that higher rates of problem behavior were associated with the demand condition in which lower preference demands were presented. Specifically, the low preference demands produced increases in problem behavior that were greater than 80% the rate of problem behavior associated with high preference demands.
68. Acquisition of Systematic Behavior Relaxation Training (BRT) in Persons with Dual Diagnosis
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
J. HELEN YOO (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Theodosia R. Paclawskyj (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Julia T. O'Connor (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Abstract: BRT is a technique in which motoric behaviors associated with a relaxed state are objectively taught and measured. BRT aims to decrease anxious behaviors by teaching relaxation skills as replacement behaviors. Because BRT targets autonomic arousal, it may augment operant behavioral protocols in decreasing anxious behaviors (Paclawskyj, 2002). Previously, we presented BRT acquisition data for 10 persons with MRDD (Braud et al., 2002). Results from that study indicated an average time to acquisition of relaxation of 100 minutes. Moreover, systematic teaching resulted in more generalization across behaviors (m=5) than random order (m=1).In replication of this study, we present data from 3 additional participants trained in BRT. 1-2 behaviors were taught systematically using a 3-step prompt hierarchy in conjunction with modeling and differential reinforcement of target behaviors. Results indicate that an average of 3 relaxed behaviors necessitated training, while an average of 5 behaviors were acquired without training. Average time to acquisition was comparable to previous findings. Taken together, results indicate that the systematic training method is far more efficient in promoting acquisition due to generalization across untrained behaviors. Further research is needed to evaluate the treatment efficacy of BRT.
69. The Use of Competing Items to Decrease Socially Inappropriate Behavior
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
MICHELLE A. FRANK-CRAWFORD (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Lynn G. Bowman (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Kristie L. Arnold (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Jennifer Lynne Bruzek (University of Kansas)
Abstract: The present study examined the effects of using competing stimuli to reduce socially inappropriate behavior in a 9-year-old male diagnosed with autism. “Penis pressing” was defined as the child pressing or touching his penis outside of his clothing with one or both hands, with objects, or against surfaces or people. Penis pressing was observed across all conditions of the functional analysis suggesting that the participant’s penis pressing was maintained by automatic reinforcement. Previous research suggests that competing stimuli have been successful in reducing aberrant behavior maintained by automatic reinforcement such as self-injurious behavior (Piazza et al, 1998; Piazza et al., 2000). A competing stimulus assessment was conducted with the participant and a slinky, lanyard with keys, and puzzles were identified as items with high levels of item interaction and low to zero levels of penis pressing. These items were then incorporated into the functional analysis across all conditions. Treatment effects were evaluated using an ABAB reversal design. Approximately 48% of sessions were conducted with two or more observers. Exact agreement for penis pressing was 94%. A treatment consisting of competing stimuli and redirection was successful in reducing penis pressing to near zero levels, resulting in an 87% reduction from baseline.
70. Is Choice a Reinforcer for Non-Verbal Persons with Severe or Profound Developmental Disabilities?
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
KRISTEN L. CAMPBELL (University of Manitoba), Tamara L. Ansons (University of Manitoba), Toby L. Martin (University of Manitoba), Garry L. Martin (University of Manitoba), Dickie C. T. Yu (St. Amant Research Centre)
Abstract: The current study examined the reinforcing value of choice. Three adults with severe or profound developmental disabilities who displayed limited verbal abilities participated. On each trial, a participant was offered a choice between two boxes. One box contained a single edible and the second box contained two edibles, in which case the participant chose one of the items. We predicted that participants would learn to display a preference for choice by selecting the choice box more frequently than the no-choice box, which received some support in only one of three participants. However, a positive relationship was found between the percentage of choice selections in which participants switched between reinforcers and the overall percentage of choice selections, which provides new insight on the reinforcing effects of choice.
71. Functional Analysis of Pica Using Non-Toxic Stimuli
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
JULIA H. FIEBIG (Kennedy Krieger Institute), David E. Kuhn (Kennedy Krieger Institute), SungWoo Kahng (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Kyong-Mee Chung (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Traci M. Brown (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Katharine Gutshall (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Abstract: Pica, which consists of the ingestion of inedible, sometimes toxic items, is oftentimes difficult to assess because of the life-threatening risks associated with this behavior. Given that functional analysis has become the standard assessment for problem behavior, it is important to develop a safe method of conducting functional analyses of pica. We conducted a functional analysis of pica for three individuals with developmental disabilities, all of whom had a history of engaging in pica. In these functional analyses, we used various types of non-toxic items to bait the session room during each condition. These items included dry pasta, rice paper, Play-Doh, and crayons. The items were placed around the session room so that they were easily accessible to the individual during all conditions. Attempts at pica were not blocked during the functional analyses. Using these items allowed us to safely conduct functional analyses of pica without disrupting the contingencies of the test conditions.
72. Informed Functional Analysis and Treatment of a Common Preschool Problem Behavior
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
JEFFREY H. TIGER (University of Kansas), Gregory P. Hanley (University of Kansas), Kimberly K. Bessette (University of Kansas), Einar T. Ingvarsson (University of Kansas), Virginia Ndoro (University of Kansas)
Abstract: An initial functional analysis (Iwata et al., 1994) of a preschooler’s handmouthing failed to generate sufficient levels of handmouthing for a determination of behavioral function to be made A descriptive functional assessment was conducted which showed that the preschooler’s handmouthing occurred more frequently during naptime than during free play, centers, or outdoor time. However, the reinforcers for handmouthing were still unknown because relevant social reinforcers were delivered intermittently in all activities. The stimuli associated with naptime (lying on a mat with a blanket, continuous display of a video) were then incorporated into all functional analysis conditions. High levels of hand mouthing were observed across all conditions suggesting maintenance via automatic sources of reinforcement. The effects of including relevant antecedents (i.e., naptime stimuli) during functional analyses were then demonstrated within an ABAB design. A function-based treatment, which involved interrupting the putative response-reinforcer relation via response blocking, was sequentially introduced across settings and classroom teachers. Handmouthing was observed at the lowest levels only when treatment was in place. Interobserver agreement was assessed during 45% of all assessment and treatment sessions and averaged above 98%. The importance of conducting informed functional analyses for common preschool behavior problems will be discussed.
73. Training Parents to Implement Discrete Trial Instruction in Natural Environments
Area: DDA; Domain: Service Delivery
NANCY L. FOSTER (Munroe-Meyer Institute), Stephanie Cooper (Munroe-Meyer Institute)
Abstract: Discrete trial instruction (DTI) is an empirically supported intervention for increasing functional communication of individuals with Autism and Autism-spectrum disorders. Although the efficacy of DTI is established, implementing DTI with integrity is essential to ensure maximum benefits are obtained. DTI is often utilized by professionals and paraprofessionals that receive extensive training, supervision, and feedback specific to DTI techniques. However, many individuals with communication deficits also benefit from the application of techniques such as DTI that are implemented by their parents in the home environment. Because many individuals do not have access to intensive services, it is imperative that they are able to receive strategies to effectively address communication or other adaptive skills. The present studies examine the effects of a program to train parents or other care givers to implement DTI with integrity with individuals with Autism and one individual with Kabuki Syndrome. The training program includes the following components: (1) education about behavioral principles that inform DTI; (2) modeling; (3) practice; and (4) continuous feedback. In addition, parents were taught to systematically collect data that were utilized to determine the effectiveness of DTI as well as to assess treatment integrity.
74. Fluency Building of Reading for Students with Learning Disabilities
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
HIROSHI SUGASAWARA (Keio University, Japan), Jun'ichi Yamamoto (Keio University, Japan)
Abstract: Students with learning disabilities could not read texts accurately and /or fluently, but they could acquire phonological awareness. When students were trained the accuracy and the fluency of tool skills (write a letter), they could acquire component skill and composite skill (write a text) without additional training. The correlation between reading-fluency and reading-comprehension was found in recent studies. In the present study, (1) we assessed the speed of reading among the stimuli (array of digits, letters, and words and real text) for 11 students, (2) in multi-baseline design, we trained to read fluently for some non-words, then tested for another non-words and for texts, (3) When the students could read text fluently, we evaluated to improvement of reading-comprehension. As results, (1) reading speed correlated among the stimuli (array of digits, letters, words and text) in 11 students with learning disabilities. (2) When we trained to read word fluently for 5 students, they could read fluently about novel words and novel texts. (3) 5 students improved reading-comprehension.
75. Decreasing Job Coach Assistance During Supported Work Routines: An Outcomes Management Approach
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
LEAH BRACKETT (J. Iverson Riddle Developmental Center), Dennis H. Reid (Carolina Behavior Analysis and Support Center), Carolyn Green (J. Iverson Riddle Developmental Center)
Abstract: The poster will describe a program for reducing job coach assistance provided during break routines for four adults with severe multiple disabilities in a part-time community job. The program involved assessing the amount of job coach assistance provided for each of four tasks conducted during the break routine at the supported work site. Observations of job coach assistance included the amount of job coach assistance in completing all or part of each of four respective tasks. If instruction was provided by the job coach to complete any of the tasks, the level of instructional prompt was recorded in addition to praise and/or corrective feedback provided. Observation of supported worker independence in performing any or all tasks was also recorded. Following baseline observations across two job coaches, intervention to reduce job coach assistance was implemented. The intervention included an initial decision-making meeting with each job coach to discuss intervention strategies across the four tasks of the break routine for a respective worker. During the meeting a worksheet guided discussion for strategies (instructional and/or material adaptation) to increase worker independence across the four tasks. Once intervention began for each respective worker, observation of worker/job coach behavior resumed with specific verbal feedback given by the job coach supervisor following each observation. A multiple baseline design across the two job coaches and four supported workers was used to evaluate intervention effectiveness. Across the two job coaches and four supported workers, the percentage of tasks completed by the job coaches was significantly reduced while independent worker behavior increased.
76. Using Competing Stimulus Assessments to Direct Treatment using Noncontingent Reinforcement with Blocking
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
KELLY M. VINQUIST (University of Iowa), Wendy K. Berg (University of Iowa), Joel Eric Ringdahl (University of Iowa), David P. Wacker (University of Iowa), Jason M. Stricker (University of Iowa)
Abstract: We conducted a functional analysis with a young man who engaged in severe ear picking, face rubbing, mouth hitting, hand biting and finger mouthing. The results of the functional analysis indicated that self-injury was maintained by automatic reinforcement with highest levels of self-injury occurring during the free play condition. We conducted a competing stimulus assessment to identify objects that resulted in low levels of self-injury and high levels of item engagement when provided on a noncontingent (NCR) basis. We compared levels of problem behavior and item engagement across sessions in which a competing stimulus was provided NCR to sessions in which other preferred stimuli were presented NCR (free play) within an ABABAB design. We then compared the effectiveness of noncontingent access to the competing stimulus with and without blocking problem behavior within a BCBCACBC design. NCR access to the competing stimulus plus blocking resulted in the greatest reduction (77% reduction) in problem behavior as compared to the free play condition of the functional analysis. Interobserver agreement data were collected for 30% of the sessions and averaged 94% for problem behavior.
77. The Effects of a Multi-component Program and Elimination of Stimulant Medication on the Reduction of Profanity
Area: DDA; Domain: Service Delivery
SHARON K. KELL (The Learning Tree, Inc.), Jerre R. Brimer (The Learning Tree, Inc.), Robert W. Montgomery (Reinforcement Unlimited), Ellen K. Taylor (The Learning Tree, Inc.), Robert A. Babcock (Auburn University), Melanie Davis (The Learning Tree, Inc.), Howard McPhail (The Learning Tree, Inc.), James Kelly (The Learning Tree, Inc.)
Abstract: This poster will describe the effects of a program incoporating reinforcement for appropriate communication and ignoring occurrences of profanity on the reduction of profanity used by a student with a developmental disability. Data for profanity were collected by event count. During baseline the student averaged 207.5 events of profanity daily. During September 2004 the student averaged 6.44 events of profanity daily. A discussion of the effects of the program and subsequently the reduction and elimination of stimulant medication on the occurrence of profanity will be presented. Data display will show changes. A discussion will also be provided on the student's increases in appropriate language usage.
78. The Effects of Providing Choice on the Consumption of Food in Children Exhibiting Food Selectivity
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
MERRILL J. BERKOWITZ (St. Joseph's Children's Hospital), Paula Tokar (St. Joseph's Children's Hospital), Veronica Armellino (St. Joseph's Children's Hospital)
Abstract: In order to obtain adequate nutrition, it is recommended that children consume a variety of foods across all food groups. Some children, however, consume only a limited number of foods, thereby compromising their nutritional intake. Providing the opportunity to make choices between reinforcers (e.g., Graff, Libby, & Green, 1998) or tasks (Lattimore, Parsons, and Reid, 2002) has been shown to enhance task completion. Two children admitted to an intensive day treatment program for the assessment and treatment of food selectivity participated in the study. Using a multielement design the effects of providing choice between foods was evaluated during the study. A four-food, paired-choice assessment (Fisher et al., 1992) was conducted immediately prior to half of the treatment meals. The three most chosen foods were then presented during the treatment meal. The child engaged in a playtime activity immediately prior to the other treatment meals. Reinforcement and escape extinction components were also implemented to increase each participant’s consumption of a wider variety of foods. The results of the evaluation and their implications on the treatment of food selectivity will be discussed. Limitations of the current study and recommendations for future research will also be provided.
79. The Effectiveness of Intense Positive Programming and Supplemental Contingent Skin Shock in Reducing the Frequency of Severe Maladaptive Behaviors for Individuals in a Residential Treatment Center
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
PATRICIA RIVERA (Judge Rotenberg Educational Center), Matthew L. Israel (Judge Rotenberg Educational Center), Robert Von Heyn (Judge Rotenberg Educational Center), Ed Langford (Judge Rotenberg Educational Center), Robert W. Worsham (Judge Rotenberg Educational Center), Robert Kalinowski (Judge Rotenberg Educational Center)
Abstract: The Judge Rotenberg Educational Center operates day and residential programs for children and adults with behavior problems, including conduct disorders, emotional problems, brain injury or psychosis, autism and developmental disabilities. The basic approach taken at JRC is the use of behavioral psychology and its various technological applications, such as behavioral education, programmed instruction, precision teaching, behavior modification, behavior therapy, behavioral counseling, self-management of behavior and chart-sharing. Prior to their admission to the Judge Rotenberg Center (JRC) all students exhibited severe inappropriate behaviors that prevented their academic and social development, were dangerous to themselves and others and in many cases required multiple psychiatric hospitalizations. Upon admission to JRC, all individuals were treated with an intensive, positive only behavioral treatment plan. For some individuals the data indicated that they continued to exhibit severe inappropriate behaviors at a very high rate and/or intensity. For these individuals court approved contingent skin shock was introduced as a supplement to the positive behavior programming. Data will be presented demonstrating the effectiveness of this treatment package to treat the major inappropriate behaviors for these individuals using standard celeration charts.
80. Analysis of Idiosyncratic Variables During Functional Analysis
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
LAURA L. GROW (Marcus Autism Center), Tracy L. Kettering (Marcus Autism Center), Michael E. Kelley (Marcus Autism Center), Wayne W. Fisher (Marcus Autism Center), Kelly J. Bouxsein (Marcus Autism Center)
Abstract: Results of previous research suggest that the problem behavior of some individuals may be sensitive to idiosyncratic variables that are not generally tested during analogue functional analyses (e.g., Fisher et al., 1998; Van Camp et al., 2000). In the current assessment, we conducted functional analysis conditions with both therapists and a parent. Problem behavior occurred at low levels across conditions. Based on parental report and anecdotal observations, we compared a modified tangible session in a pairwise analysis with a control condition. First, we identified the manner in which the participant preferred to interact with items. Next, we provided access to preferred interaction contingent on aggressive behavior. Results suggested that problem behavior was maintained by positive reinforcement in the form of access to preferred interaction. Based on the assessment data, we assessed several potential treatments in a multielement with reversals design. Results showed that choice of interaction and extinction for problem behavior reduced the occurrence of problem behavior.
81. The Use of Competing Items to Decrease Socially Inappropriate Behavior Maintained by Social Attention
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
APRIL STACHELSKI (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Lynn G. Bowman (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Katharine Gutshall (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Jennifer Lynne Bruzek (University of Kansas)
Abstract: The present study was conducted to decrease the inappropriate language of an 8-year-old female diagnosed with moderate mental retardation. Inappropriate language was defined as cursing, name-calling, derogatory statements, and directives (i.e. shut up). The results of the functional analysis (Iwata et al., 1984/1994) suggested that inappropriate language was maintained by social attention. Previous research suggests that competing stimuli have been successful in decreasing destructive behavior maintained by automatic reinforcement (Piazza et al., 1998) as well as behavior maintained by social attention (Fisher et al., 2000; Fisher et al., 2004). A competing items assessment was conducted in order to identify items that were associated with high levels of interaction and low levels of inappropriate language. A walkman was identified as a competing item and was introduced across all functional analysis conditions. Approximately 40.8% of sessions were conducted with two or more observers. Exact agreement for inappropriate language was 87.26%. The combination of a competing item plus extinction resulted in a clinically significant reduction of inappropriate language in the attention conditions of the functional analysis.
82. An Evaluation of Liquid and Food Quantity Intake on Automatically Maintained Rumination and Vomiting
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
JANET HUNTER (W.A. Howe Center), Dynata Funderberg (W.A. Howe Center), Yemonja Smalls (W.A. Howe Center)
Abstract: As many as 80% of individuals with developmental disabilities experience serious feeding problems including rumination (chronic regurgitation, chewing and reswallowing of food) and vomiting which place them at risk for malnutrition, aspiration and esophageal damage. In this study an individual who exhibited continuous rumination and high rates of vomiting was evaluated. The treatment analysis was done as an attempt to replicate results of past literature indicating that quantity of food may impact frequency of rumination as well as to expand it by manipulating when liquids were given during mealtime. Although full satiation quantities were not attempted due to medical contraindications to continuation of the study, a significant reduction of rumination and vomiting occurred when liquids were given immediately prior to the meal. Liquids following the meal resulted in increased rates of rumination.
83. The Use of Video Modeling to Increase Social Interaction Between Two Preschool Children with Developmental Disabilities
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
ABIGAL CLINTON FERGUSON (Hawthorne Country Day School), Darci A. Fischer (Hawthorne Country Day School)
Abstract: Nikopoulos and Keenan (2004) used video modeling to increase social interaction between two autistic students. This project aims to replicate the use of the video modeling on preschool students with developmental disabilities. Generalization and maintenance are discussed.
84. A Method for Identifying the Reinforcing Efficacy of Tokens
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
STACIE L. FITCH (New England Center for Children), Jason C. Bourret (New England Center for Children)
Abstract: Participants were exposed to three conditions (contingent tokens, contingent edibles, and extinction) in a multielement design. In the contingent tokens and contingent edibles conditions, consequences were delivered according to a random interval (RI) schedule which was arranged such that the number of arranged reinforcers in the session matched the number of tokens that the participant typically earned before exchange in his daily programming (e.g., if a participant usually exchanged tokens after the delivery of 10 tokens, an RI 30-s schedule was used such that, on average, 10 tokens or edibles would be arranged for delivery contingent upon responding). The edibles used were those that typically served as back-up reinforcers for the tokens earned by the participants outside of experimental sessions. The tokens used, were also those already in use for each participant. The data indicated that the tokens served as reinforcers for one participant but not for the other. The results suggested that the methodology used in the study may be useful in identifying the reinforcing efficacy of tokens currently being used for behavioral programming and may also provide a baseline for treatments designed to increase the reinforcing efficacy of tokens.
85. Fading of Protective Equipment in the Treatment of Self-Injurious Behavior
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
ATLI F. MAGNUSSON (New England Center for Children), Eileen M. Roscoe (New England Center for Children), Daniel Gould (New England Center for Children), Allen J. Karsina (New England Center for Children)
Abstract: This study evaluated the fading of protective equipment during the treatment of self-injurious behavior (SIB) in an 8-year-old boy diagnosed with autism. Results of an analog functional analysis revealed that SIB was not maintained by social reinforcement, as indicated by undifferentiated responding across all conditions. During treatment, protective equipment was removed contingent on SIB and re-presented contingent on completion of a simple task with no occurrence of SIB. Treatment resulted in a substantial reduction in SIB relative to baseline. Data were also collected during 30-minute probe sessions, where the participant engaged in academic activities, in an attempt to determine whether gradual fading of protective equipment had been successful in maintaining low levels of SIB. Results indicated that after more than 75% of the protective equipment was faded, SIB was maintained at near zero levels. Interobserver agreement was collected in at least 30% of sessions across all conditions and averaged over 90%.



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