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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Symposium #324
Descriptive Analysis and Treatment of Challeging Behavior in the Classroom
Monday, May 30, 2005
10:30 AM–11:50 AM
Continental A (1st floor)
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Helena L. Maguire (Melmark New England)
CE Instructor: Frank L. Bird, M.Ed.

The current investigation replicated and extended the assessment and treatment methodology of Aggression and self Injurious behavior as well as tantrums behavior. The environmental variables that maintained elopement were identified in each case, and successful treatments were implemented for the 4 participants in settings which the challenging behaviors occurred. Longitudinal data is displayed graphically for each presentation.

Functional Analysis and treatment of Tantrum Behavior for an Eleven-Year-Old Boy with Autism
STACY WILLIAMS (Melmark New England), John Demanche (Melmark New England), John Stokes (Melmark New England)
Abstract: This study reviews the implementation of several intervention programs for tantrum behavior of an 11year-old boy with autism. Initial descriptive analyses were completed and identified a function of positive reinforcement (access to tangibles). The initial treatment package included a relaxation training program and functional communication training. Descriptive analyses continued to be conducted after the treatment package was implemented and systematic manipulations (Iwata et. al. 1982) were also conducted. Results indicated the function of the tantrum behavior had changed and was currently being maintained by negative reinforcement (escape from demands). The treatment package was then modified to include escape extinction and functional communication and no longer included relaxation training. Continued implementation resulted in decrease in tantrum behavior. IOA was completed for tantrum episode and duration. Results are displayed graphically.
Evaluation and Treatment of an Eighteen-Year-Old with Childhood-Onset Schizophrenia
ADRIAN OBLAK (Allegheny College), Rodney D. Clark (Allegheny College), Frank L. Bird (Melmark New England), John Stokes (Melmark New England)
Abstract: Childhood-onset schizophrenia is a severe disorder that usually is chronic and persistently disabling. Despite the fact that the majority of cases of schizophrenia have onsets in late adolescence or early adulthood, a consensus has emerged that schizophrenia does develop in children and can be reliably diagnosed. Treatments that help young patients manage their illness have improved significantly in recent decades. As in adults, antipsychotic medications are especially helpful in reducing hallucinations and delusions. The newer generation "typical" anti-psychotics, such as olanzaine and clozapine, may also help improve motivation and emotional expressiveness in some patients. This case study examines the medication history of a 20 year old male and the behavioral changes that have resulted from the medication changes in the past five years. Longitudinal data is displayed graphically.
Reducing Challenging Behavior in a Young Girl with Autism
MARIJKE P. CALLAHAN (Melmark New England), Mike Conard (Melmark New England)
Abstract: Reducing Challenging Behavior in a young girl with AutismResearchers in this study assessed the effectiveness of an Activity Time Out procedure (with required relaxation) to decrease challenging behavior including aggression, in an 11 year-old girl with Pervasive Developmental Disorder. The student attends, as a day student, a non-profit, private residential school for children with autism, acquired brain injury and other neurological disorders. Descriptive Analysis (ABC data) was conducted to determine the function of aggressive behavior. Data determined that the primary function of aggression was negative reinforcement - to escape demand situations. Data also suggested a secondary function of positive reinforcement - attention. Through the implementation of the Activity Time Out procedure, the researchers were able to decrease the frequency of aggressive behavior. The data – displayed graphically – shows that the frequency of aggressive behavior decreased with the introduction of the procedure. A longitudinal analysis illustrates that aggressive behavior has been maintained at low rates over a two year period.
Decreasing Challenging Behavior in a Thirteen-Year-Old Teenager While Increasing Alternative Adaptive Behaviors
SILVA ORCHANIAN (Melmark New England), Mike Conard (Melmark New England)
Abstract: This study demonstrates the results of an Activity Time Out procedure paired with relaxation strategies in decreasing challenging behaviors while increasing alternative adaptive behaviors. Target behaviors include aggression and tantrum. The individual is a 13 year old male student with a diagnosis of Pervasive Developmental Disorder. He attends a non-profit, private residential school for children with autism, brain injury and other neurological disorders. Descriptive Analysis (ABC data) was conducted throughout the duration of treatment to determine the maintaining variables of the target behaviors. Treatment strategies were developed based on the analysis of the data which indicated a primary function of escape. A longitudinal graphic data display demonstrates the effectiveness of the treatment strategies in deescalating the challenging behaviors over time. Strategies developed to teach adaptive alternative behaviors were effective to increase rates of appropriate alternative behavior.



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