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 #468
Using Choice to Improve Treatment Outcomes with Activity Schedules
Tuesday, May 31, 2005
12:00 PM–1:20 PM
Continental B (1st floor)
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Harry A. Mackay (E.K. Shriver Center, University of Massachusetts Medical School)
Discussant: Robert K. Ross (Beacon ABA Services)
CE Instructor: Robert K. Ross, M.S.
Abstract: This symposium will highlight the use of choice and choice making procedures, in the context of photographic activity schedules. 1) Teaching Independent Choice Making Using Activity Schedules: This presentation will describe the procedures used to teach choice a making in the context of a photographic activity schedule. Data will be provided showing acquisition of choice making in the activity schedule as well as a step by step description of the methodology for teaching choice making in this format. 2) Reducing the frequency of rectal prolapse: Effects of initiating activity schedule choices.This presentation will focus on how the incorporation of a choice procedure into a photographic activity schedule resulted in a significant reduction in the frequency of occurrence of a serious maladaptive behavior (rectal prolapse), in a boy with Autism. 3) Increasing Compliance to Task in Children with Autism Via ChoiceThe use of a “Choice” or a “No Choice” (of the activity to be completed and order of completion) procedure to teach activity schedule following was compared. Data reflect more rapid acquisition of and compliance to the photographic activity schedule activities where student choice was offered, than when no choice was available.
Reducing the Frequency of Rectal Prolapse: Effects of Initiating Activity Schedule Choices
HARRY A. MACKAY (E.K. Shriver Center, University of Massachusetts Medical School), Judy Hurlburt (Evergreen Center), Robert F. Littleton Jr. (Evergreen Center)
Abstract: Several behavioral techniques were used over a one-year period in treating a boy with autistic who exhibited “voluntary Rectal Prolapse” (RP). In RP, the individual voluntarily protrudes several inches of the lower intestine through the anus. RP is socially inappropriate and medically dangerous, possibly leading to severe bleeding, irreversible damage to the intestinal tract, and anemia. Treatment typically involves surgery. Nothing is known about behavioral intervention.Initially, application of several procedures yielded only limited reduction in RP. However, dramatic reduction in rate of RP immediately followed initiation of an activity schedule program together with continuation of physical intervention to inhibit abdominal contractions and pushing. The program allowed the boy to construct his entire daily schedule by making choices at the beginning of each staff shift that determined the sequence of predictable activities (including school work, toileting opportunities, transitions) that were to occur. The activity choices were made via computer and transferred to a visual schedule board. Stars were delivered following completion of each activity. Four accumulated stars led to a choice of back-up reinforcers. Treatment and follow-up data are discussed.
Teaching Independent Choice Making Using Activity Schedules
BRIAN J. JOERGENS (Beacon ABA Services), Joseph M. Vedora (Beacon ABA Services), Robert Stromer (E.K. Shriver Center, University of Massachusetts Medical School)
Abstract: This paper summarizes a method for teaching choice making in the context of an activity schedule. The participant initially failed to make choices during the activity schedule despite repeated prompting. During pre-training, a new choice making procedure involving a matching to sample routine was established. Next, the choice making routine was imbedded in a three item photographic activity schedule. Subsequent phases systematically increased the number of choice components until the student constructed hi own schedule. The results indicate that the student ultimately learned to make choices
Increasing Compliance to Task in Children with Autism Through Choice
ALLISON GAUTHIER (Beacon ABA Services), Robert K. Ross (Beacon ABA Services)
Abstract: Previous research has shown that providing opportunities for choice, has increased task completion and produce more effective reinforcement procedures. Research has also shown that activity schedules also produce an increase in student participation. This study sought to determine if providing opportunities for choice in the context of activity schedules would result in increased compliance in children with autism. Choice was introduced in the context of Activity Schedules. Two activity schedule conditions were compared, a “Choice” and “No choice” condition. In the choice condition, all participants chose the activities comprising the activity schedule and the order in which they were completed. In the no choice the activity schedule used was identical to the one created by the student in the choice condition, but was presented by the educator as a set schedule. The sessions were yoked to demonstrate experimental control. The data are presented in a comparison of conditions implemented, the first being a choice condition and the second being a no choice condition. The results show more rapid acquisition and increased compliance to the activity schedule in the “Choice” condition.



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