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.

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Third Annual Autism Conference; Jacksonville, FL; 2009

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Poster Session #11
Poster Session II
Saturday, February 7, 2009
8:00 PM–10:00 PM
Grand Ballroom
1. A Use of Discrete Trail Approach to Improve Communication of a Child with Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Basic Research
RANGASAMY RAMASAMY (Florida Atlantic University)
Abstract: One of the characteristics of autism is delay and difference in the communication skills. It is the deficit in communicative skills that prevents children with autism from typical learning, interacting with others, social play, and language development. Lovaas (1981) suggested the use of discriminative training in teaching to remediate the language deficits. Discrete trail teaching has been used in the recent past to improve receptive and expressive skills of young children with autism. Based on the recent research, the current study was conducted to determine that structured, discrete trial teaching is successful in promoting receptive and expressive communication of a prekindergarten-aged child with autism. Two therapists with training in discrete trail language intervention and a speech pathologist provided intensive therapy to the subject in his home environment. During intervention, he was asked to respond verbally to several questions and point to pictures. Within 16 therapy sessions he learned to respond verbally and point to pictures 100% of the time without any prompting. For expressive communication, he was presented with several WHO questions and nouns. He answered 100% of the questions presented to him within seven therapy sessions. The discrete trail teaching used in this study greatly improved his receptive and expressive skills.
 
2. Behavioral Interventions to Promote Safety for Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
JACK SCOTT (Florida Atlantic University), Toby J. Honsberger (Renaissance Learning Academy)
Abstract: Children with autism and other developmental disabilities are at elevated risk for injury and death. Yet, this problem has rarely been the focus of published studies of behavioral interventions. Lee, Harrington, Chang and Connors (2007) found these children to be at two to three times the risk for serious injury in contrast to typically developing children. Shavelle, Strauss, and Pickett (2001) found 202 deaths for the period 1983-1997 in California with 11 drownings, eight suffocations, and 30 deaths from other external causes. Children with autism between the ages two to five are five times more likely to drown in contrast to typical children of the same age and those ages of five to ten years are 14.1 times more likely to drown in contrast to their typical peers. In this poster we review the available behavior analytic safety literature for children with autism and propose a number of curricular modifications based on behavior analytic teaching for teaching children with autism to be safer. We then illustrate these suggestions with tactics used in behavioral safety instruction. Next we highlight parent and caregiver monitoring strategies for the child and environment to increase safety. Then we conclude with a series of recommendations for behavioral research to promote the safety of children with ASD.
 
3. A Component Analysis of Sensory Integration Protocols
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
JOHN C. RANDALL (Amego, Inc.), Annie K. Barlow (Amego, Inc.), Lisa B. Wirth (Amego, Inc.), Paul Hough (Walpole Public Schools)
Abstract: Interventions labeled as ‘sensory’ in nature are commonly recommended for children with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD); however, studies have failed to show direct correlation with introduction of sensory interventions with targeted dependent variables. Component analysis of treatments frequently labeled as ‘sensory breaks’ or components of a ‘sensory diet’ indicate that the breaks may actually function as a means to escape or for attention. The desire of educators and clinicians to repackage what already exists and to reduce data based processes may be the driving force behind the implementation of such procedures. While these practices may be motivated by a need for models that are easier to use or more efficient, moving away from data-driven service delivery is not in the best interest of those receiving services. Using A-B-A-B designs and relabeling the treatment phase while collecting data on identical dependent variables, we have explored the possibility that ‘sensory breaks’ have little to no impact, and positive results are in fact functionally matched to escape attention based treatments.
 
4. Can a Computer-Based Program Improve Color Identification for a Youngster with Autism?
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
E. AMANDA AMANDA BOUTOT (Texas State University)
Abstract: This poster session will present results from a case study comparing traditional Discrete Trial Training (DTT) and a computer-based digital flashcard program for teaching receptive and expressive color identification to a nine year-old with autism. Color identification had been part of “Elvis’” home program for more than a year, and data indicated inconsistencies consistent with lack of receptive or expressive abilities for all colors. The home program team began using a computer-based digital flashcard program with Elvis in fall, 2008. Following each computer session, Elvis was probed on receptive and expressive color ability using standard DTT techniques with either color cards or real life objects (counterbalanced by session). Data were collected on all probes and results of the computer-based program compared to data from the DTT sessions will be shared during this session. In addition, baseline generalization data were collected on Elvis’ use of color words incidentally and spontaneously throughout the day for three months prior to project implementation, and generalization data following implementation of the computer program will also be available as part of this poster session. Limitations and implications for future research will also be shared.
 
5. Developing Knowledge and Skills Online: An Educational Model for Improving Outcomes for People with ASD
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
VICKI ANN MOELLER (Institute of Applied Human Services)
Abstract: This research project evaluated the efficacy of an online learning model designed to increase knowledge and improve practice of professionals and direct support staff when supporting people who have ASD and other developmental disabilities. The learning model was developed to enhance learning outcomes in an online environment and is based in human learning theory. This model focuses specifically on the means by which information is presented and the structure and nature of the testing and re-testing process. Results demonstrated increased retention and recall of information when comparing a face to face seminar group with a matched group trained online using the learning model. Resulting data demonstrated a pronounced difference between the seminar group and the online group. Initial testing scores were 41% higher than those of the seminar group. While there was a decline in subsequent three, six and 12 month follow-up test scores for both groups, the online group performed consistently higher than the seminar group. Twelve month follow-up data indicate test scores of more than 84% for the online group as compared to just fewer than 43% for the seminar group.
 
6. Educating Michigan’s Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder: An Initial Exploration of Programming and Student Outcomes
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
SUMMER FERRERI (Michigan State University), Sara Bolt (Michigan State University), Nathan Von der Embse (Michigan State University), Josh Plavnick (Michigan State University), Sean Strasberger (Michigan State University), Jillian Fortain (Michigan State University)
Abstract: The Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 has identified several requirements for providing programming to students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). It is generally believed that incorporating these evidenced-based practices into service delivery systems for students with ASD will improve overall outcomes. However, the degree to which student services and goals are being met in public school settings is largely unknown. This study examined the nature of instructional services provided to students with ASD in public school settings across the state of Michigan by gathering, coding and analyzing (a) survey data of general educators, special educators; paraprofessionals and parents; (b) observational data from classroom visits; and (c) corresponding Individualized Education Plans. Data will be compared to national datasets. All associated findings will be disseminated through a hosted conference and a report to policy-makers with an ultimate goal of improving services for individuals with ASD. The presentation will share procedures, protocols and current findings.
 
7. Electronic Performance Support System Tools to Enhance School Success for Students with Aspergers Syndrome
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
KATHERINE J. MITCHEM (California University of Pennsylvania), Renae Kotchman (Intermediate Unit 1)
Abstract: The purpose of this poster is to describe and demonstrate two components of an electronic performance support system (EPSS) designed to increase independence of students with disabilities in inclusive environments. The software and web support environment will be showcased along with student outcome results gathered from a randomized, delayed intervention study in special and general education classrooms. Student outcomes demonstrated that: 1) students could learn to use the tools successfully, 2) use of tools impacted classroom behavior as compared to peers in inclusive settings, and 3) social competence of students improved as rated on social competence scales. Teacher recommendations for implementation based on interview results from teachers included: 1) ensure that students have adequate access to computers in classrooms and computer labs; 2) have students use the tools regularly, several times a week; 3) have teacher model making tools, guide tool use, and discuss other opportunities for tool use; and 4) support students in independently using the tools, especially allowing students to think and decide for themselves the content of their tools.
 
8. Establishing ABA Classrooms in a Public School Setting
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
BARBARA E. ESCH (Esch Behavior Consultants, Inc.), Patricia Oldham (Calhoun Intermediate School Disctrict), Jessica Clothier (Calhoun Intermediate School Disctrict), Laura Donner (Calhoun Intermediate School Disctrict), Maleah Goss (Calhoun Intermediate School Disctrict), Dianne Thompson (Calhoun Intermediate School Disctrict)
Abstract: The recent rise in the diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder has placed increased pressure on school districts throughout the United States to address the instructional needs of children with autism within the public school setting. This poster will present outcomes and process data for four public school classrooms, located in the Midwest, that serve children with a diagnosis of autism. Beginning with one preschool classroom in 2003 and now offering four such preschool and elementary classrooms, this Intermediate School District has actively supported instruction based on the principles and procedures of applied behavior analysis. Autism markers of deficits in language, social skills, and stereotypy are addressed from a behavioral perspective through functional language training (e.g., verbal behavior) and behavior plans based on functional assessment. Staff training, classroom design, curriculum sequencing, and program administration are carried out collaboratively between school district administration and their staff and Board Certified Behavior Analysts as program consultants.
 
9. Let’s Face It! A Computer-based Curriculum to Improve Face Processing Skills in Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
MAGALI SEGERS (University of Victoria), James Tanaka (University of Victoria), Robert Schultz (Children's Hospital of Philadelphia), Kim Maynard (University of Victoria), Rebecca Phillips (University of Victoria), Jeff Cockburn (University of Victoria), Matt Pierce (University of Victoria)
Abstract: A substantial body of literature suggests that individuals with ASD are selectively impaired in their face processing skills relative to typically developing children. The Let’s Face It! (LFI) curriculum is designed to improve and develop basic face processing skills in children with ASD. The curriculum targets three face processing domains: (1) selective attention to faces, (2) recognition of identity and expression, and (3) the interpretation of facial cues in a social setting. The LFI! program is a comprehensive instructional curriculum that employs both computer-based and hands-on activities. The LFI! software is a series of interactive exercises focusing on face processing skills related to the recognition of facial identity and emotion. The LFI! hands-on activities stress skills that promote the child’s attention to faces and understanding of face cues in a social context. Preliminary studies indicate that the LFI! curriculum shows promise to improve face processing abilities in children with ASD.
 
10. Autism Option in a Teacher Training Program for Children with Intellectual Disabilities
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
SULEYMAN NAZIF ERIPEK (Anadolu University)
Abstract: In Turkey, children with autistic characteristics are educated in inclusion classrooms as well as separate classrooms and schools. In these classrooms and schools, teachers who are graduated from teacher education programs for children with intellectual disabilities are employed. In Turkey there are only ten universities that have special education departments. Nine of these universities have teacher education programs for individuals with intellectual disabilities. However, in these programs there are not specific courses regarding children with autistic characteristics and their education. Because of this need, in 2006 under the Teacher Education Program for Children with Intellectual Disabilities, a secondary teacher education program was started for children with autistic characteristics. This program will be described in this presentation.
 
11. Supporting Mutual Benefits in English Class for Both Children with/without ASD to Facilitate Their GOOD BEHAVIORS
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
JEONGIL KIM (Lotus Flowers Children Center)
Abstract: This study examined the effect of the peer-mediated activity in English class to increase prosocial behaviors and to decrease maladaptive behaviors for kindergarteners with autism spectrum disorders. Three kindergarteners with autism spectrum disorders as subjects and six of their typically developing peers as peer members participated in the study. A multiple baseline design across subjects was used. The intervention program consisted of a structured play activity in English class mediated by singing and dancing in English. The results of the study showed that there was an increase in prosocial behavior and a decrease in maladaptive behavior with all the subjects. The level of peer acceptance by the classmates was also improved with all the subjects.
 
12. Using "The Inventory of Good Learner Repertoires"
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
STEVEN J. WARD (Whole Child Consulting)
Abstract: "The Inventory of Good Learner Repertoires" is designed to assess the quality of a learner's performance across a variety of environmental conditions. Teachers using this inventory develop an increased awareness of discrepancies in the quality of their learner's performance. They also become more aware of their learner's dependence upon a variety of supports. "The Inventory of Good Learner Repertoires" can be used to increase the immediate quality of learner performance, or to program for quality learner performance to be demonstrated in more natural contexts. This poster will present data from several students using "The Inventory of Good Learner Repertoires".
 
13. Using Video Modeling to Teach Children with Autism Extended Greetings
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
JOY MARIE TRAMUTA (Renaissance Learning Center), Rebecca Haynes (Renaissance Learning Center), Traci Tucker (Renaissance Learning Center), Sarah Tancig (Renaissance Learning Center), Toby J. Honsberger (Renaissance Learning Center)
Abstract: One of the defining characteristics of individuals with autism is a delay or abnormal functioning in the area of social interactions. The starting point for any social interaction is the greeting and accordingly is an important component in developing social interactions. Participants chosen were ages five to eight attending a charter school for children with autism. Participants each exhibited deficits in social greeting skills. A multiple baseline across subjects was used, with intervention consisting of participants watching a short video of adults engaging in a five exchange greeting. Greetings consisted of a mutual salutation, and social questions such as, “how are you?”, and “what are you doing?” Immediately following the video, the participant was approached by an adult who initiated the greeting exchange. Probes were conducted on a regular basis in the absence of the video. Additional data will be collected before conclusions can be made as to the effectiveness of this intervention.
 
14. Effects of In-service Behavior Management Refresher Training on Staff Implementation of Behavior Management Techniques in an Agency for Persons with Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
JAMES W. JACKSON (Southern Illinois University), Sarah M. Dunkel-Jackson (Southern Illinois University), Stephanie A. Norgard (Southern Illinois University), Michael Bordieri (Southern Illinois University Carbondale), Becky L. Nastally (Southern Illinois University), Mark R. Dixon (Southern Illinois University), Susan Szekely (Illinois Center for Autism)
Abstract: One of the primary issues preventing the effective education of persons with autism and other developmental disabilities is the high prevalence of challenging behaviors within this population. Although direct-care staff are often provided with substantial new-hire training in techniques for the management of challenging behaviors, subsequent follow-up training and performance feedback is often necessary to maintain treatment fidelity. The purpose of the current study was to examine the effects of a six-module, in-service Behavior Management Refresher Training at an agency for persons with autism and other developmental disabilities. The training sequence combined didactic in-service lectures with in-situ assessments of staff implementation of behavior management techniques both pre and post training. The six-modules focused on topics including antecedent environmental manipulations, functions of problem behaviors, basic reinforcement theory, and a number of specific behavior analytic techniques appropriate for managing and preventing problem behaviors (e.g., Premack principle, offering choices, redirection, escape extinction). The effectiveness of the training modules was assessed via pre-test post-test evaluations as well as in-situ observations of staff performance. Results indicate that performance of behavior management techniques improved across all groups trained.
 
15. Maintenance of Parent Behavioral Skills and Child Outcomes after a 12-Week Training and Consultation Program
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
MELISSA NOSIK (University of Nevada, Reno), Ashley Eden Greenwald (University of Nevada, Reno), Holly Seniuk (University of Nevada, Reno), W. Larry Williams (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: This poster will provide data on outcomes and maintenance of behavior skills trained to parents over a 12 week period of time. This training model incorporated the parent(s) acquiring skills along a parallel timeline as behavioral consultants conduct in-home assessments and interventions. Follow-up following training demonstrated the maintenance of some behavior skills taught during training but not others. Data on the maintenance of child outcomes will also be presented.
 
16. The Effectiveness of the Instruction Realized Through Activity Schedules on Leisure Skills of Children with Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Basic Research
IBRAHIM H. DIKEN (Anadolu University), Selmin CUHADAR (Anadolu University)
Abstract: The purpose of the current study was to examine the effectiveness of the instruction realized through activity schedules on leisure skills of children with autism. Three male pre-school children with autism aged between four and six participated in the study. Multiple probe design with probe conditions across subjects was implemented in the study. Findings revealed that the instruction realized through activity schedules required pre-school children with autism to follow activity schedules and to realize activities through these schedules. Both schedule follow and activity realization skills have been maintained even after the implementation process was finalized. In addition, it was revealed that the instruction provided through activity schedules helped children generalize their skills to different setting, times and individuals. It was also found that the instruction addressing the realization of activities and schedule follow skills increased children’s on-task ability in activities. Findings obtained from the interviews with mothers and teachers revealed that they had positive feelings towards instruction which is provided through activity schedules.
 
17. Assessment of Social Cue Recognition and Sequencing among Persons with Higher Functioning Autistic Spectrum Disorders
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
JAMES C. TOLAN (Independent Practice), William E. Stanley Jr. (Humanim, Inc.), Karyn H. Tolan (Comprehensive Developmental Services, LLC)
Abstract: The Wechsler scales of intelligence have historically allowed clinicians to extract information concerning an individual's social judgment through performance on two subtests - Comprehension and Picture Arrangement. Specifically, performance on these subtests provided information concerning a person's social "view of the world." However, the latest revisions of these standardized tests of intelligence have deleted the Picture Arrangement subtest, which required a person to use visual cues to sequence various vignettes. In the context of providing behavioral support services within the central region of Maryland, an assessment/intervention protocol termed "Social Scripts" was developed. Similar to the response set of the Wechsler Picture Arrangement subtest, each item requires the person to arrange a series of pictures to provide a description of a sequence of behaviors that specifically focuses upon social exchanges that frequently challenge persons with deficits in social cognition (i.e., introductions, prosocial interactions, conflict, etc.). Currently, quantified baseline performance on this instrument is used to target the instruction and rehearsal of socially skilled responses for persons with developmental disabilities. Social Scripts represent a time saving and objective methodology for targeting the acquisition of socially skilled behavior among persons with higher functioning autistic spectrum disorders.
 
18. Can Children with Autism Learn to Inquire About Unknown Auditory Stimuli?
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
GLADYS WILLIAMS (Centro de Investigacion y Ensenanza del Lenguaje, Spain), Monica Rodriguez Mori (Centro de Investigacion y Ensenanza del Lenguaje, Spain), Manuela Fernandez Vuelta (Centro de Investigacion y Ensenanza del Lenguaje, Spain), Carmen Rodriguez Valgrande (Centro de Investigacion y Ensenanza del Lenguaje, Spain), Catherine Mallada (Centro de Investigacion y Ensenanza del Lenguaje, Spain), Amy J. Davies Lackey (Hawthorne Country Day School), Heather Carew (David Gregory School), Stephen John Wuensch (David Gregory School)
Abstract: The purpose of this intervention was to teach several children with autism to ask questions about unknown auditory stimuli. All of them had some basic verbal behavior (echoic repertoire, mands, tacts, and intraverbals); however, they did not ask questions about unknown stimuli. We used a multiple baseline design across materials (pictures, items in the house, and items in the community). The procedure consisted of asking the children to select items they were familiar with. Sometimes the words were presented in a different language and the children were taught to ask “What is (unknown word)? The results indicated that, in the condition of selecting items, the procedure was effective to teach children to ask a question about the unknown stimuli (unfamiliar word).
 
19. Implementing Peer-to-Peer Manding Sessions for Non-Vocal Preschool Children Diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
SUZANNE N. TAYLOR TAYLOR (Autism Concepts, Inc.), Nancy J. Champlin (Autism Concepts, Inc.)
Abstract: Mand Training is a set of teaching procedures that focus on altering the MO to evoke verbal behavior (Sundberg & Partington, 1998). Teaching children to mand for preferred items is most successful when taught under a variety of environmental conditions (Sundberg & Michael, 2001). This study was designed to demonstrate that non-vocal children with autism spectrum disorders can spontaneously mand to multiple peers for preferred items. Participants include two non-vocal boys, ages 4.3-5.5, diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders. The boys are enrolled in an Applied Verbal Behavior center-based program. Participants were taught signs for preferred food items prior to the initiation of peer-to-peer manding. Training was conducted throughout their daily one-on-one direct instruction sessions. Peers on the autism spectrum were trained to respond and provide the requested edible reinforcer when the target child used the appropriate sign and/or vocal approximation during the timed sessions. Results of the study demonstrate that non-vocal children can independently mand to multiple peers for edible reinforcers using signs and/or vocal approximations.
 
20. Intensity of Mand Training by Parents and Its Influence on Language Development in Children with Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
SMITA AWASTHI (Association for Behavior Analysis of India)
Abstract: Parents in four Indian families from different regions were provided mand training using the sign protocol for non-vocal children with autism. All four families were monitored once a week for a period of 20 weeks. They were provided specific goals for mand trials after a preference assessment interview. Of the four, two parents were working and spent less hours per day in mand training, one working father and another at-home mother worked systematically to increase the number of mands. Each child received five hours per week of therapy from a therapist. The outcome of the study suggests that parents who provided high intensity mand training and worked systematically to increase the number of mand trials and contrived situations for manding, observed significantly quicker language development as compared to families who worked lesser number of trails on mands but spent the same amount of time on receptive and pre-academic skills.
 
21. Investigating the Generalization of Play Scripts on Symbolic Play for Children Diagnosed with Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
BRANDON MCFADDEN (Autism Concepts, Inc.), Nancy J. Champlin (Autism Concepts, Inc.)
Abstract: The purpose of this investigation was to determine the effectiveness of a procedure based on intraverbals (“Where does the cow live?- In the farm”) and their symmetry (“Which animal lives in the farm?- The cow”) to teach children with autism to describe novel objects. The procedure consisted of selecting one stimuli belonging to a category (i.e., animals), and teaching a series of intraverbals about that stimuli using visual cues (“where does the cow live?” “What does the cow says?”, “what does the cow have?” etc.) . First, we run a baseline phase with different stimuli within the same category (animals) and out of the category (e.g., fruits). The training was done with only one of the stimuli and it consisted of teaching the intraverbals and the symmetry where the child had to say all the characteristics of the stimuli. After the child learned the objective, we run the baseline again to see if the learned behavior emerged with the untrained stimuli.
 
22. Teaching Children with Autism to Describe Novel Objects: A Strategy Using Intraverbals
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
KIMBERLY VOGT (Teachers College, Columbia University), Gladys Williams (Centro de Investigacion y Ensenanza del Lenguaje, Spain), Luis Antonio Perez-Gonzalez (University of Oviedo), Monica Rodriguez Mori (Centro de Investigacion y Ensenanza del Lenguaje, Spain), Anna Muller Queiroz (Centro de Investigacion y Ensenanza del Lenguaje, Spain), Daniel de Matos (Centro de Investigacion y Ensenanza del Lenguaje, Spain)
Abstract: Previous research has suggested that Differential Reinforcement of Other behaviors (DRO) is an effective reinforcement-based procedure used to decrease undesirable behavior among individuals with disabilities. DRO procedures clearly fit the recent trend of Positive Behavioral Supports by offering an evidence-based intervention with potential for functional implementation in field settings. Reinforcement-based procedures are generally best practice and should be considered prior to punishment-based interventions (OSEP Center on Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports et al., 2000). This poster will discuss two DRO studies and the implications for feasibility among practitioners. For participant one, a whole interval DRO procedure was applied to decrease aggression and crotch grabbing behaviors. For participant two, a slight variation of a whole interval DRO treatment package with an embedded token economy was used to decrease screaming behavior. The first study explored a time series design, in which interval length was set based on the preceding session. For the second study, interval length was averaged on a weekly basis, offering a more user-friendly approach. This poster will highlight findings from the two studies which suggest that whole interval DRO procedures hold potential to efficiently decrease undesirable behaviors among children with autism.
 
23. Increasing On-Task Behavior in a Child with Autism with a Token Economy
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
KAROLINA PASZEK (Western Michigan University), Richard W. Malott (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: The results of the implementation of a token economy with an eight year-old boy diagnosed with autism in order to increase on-task behavior. Appropriate response-contingent tokens were presented as conditioned reinforcers. The behaviors that increased during implementation of the token economy include independence in completion of in-class material, manding for preferred reinforcers, and appropriate choice making in activities available as reinforcers. Implementation of the token economy also resulted in an increase in the duration of the intervals of on-task behavior, with a reduction of prompting from paraprofessionals. In addition to an increase in requesting preferred reinforcers, an increase in more complete and grammatically appropriate requests were made to the paraprofessionals. Data were collected on whether the child was attending, the need for a prompt to attend to a task, and whether a prompt to correct an inappropriate response was needed. Measured response intervals consisted of 15-second intervals or individual problems on scholastic worksheet material. Baseline data includes amount of time on task previous to the implementation of the token economy.
 
24. The Effectiveness of the Picture Exchange Communication System in an Early Childhood Developmental Delay Classroom
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
REBECCA A. MARKOVITS (Western Michigan University), Michelle Gagliano (Western Michigan University), Austin Misfud (Western Michigan University), Lydie Biedron (Western Michigan University), Richard W. Malott (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: The Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) developed by Frost and Bondy (1994) has been implemented in an Early Childhood Developmental Delay preschool classroom. In Project I, the effectiveness of PECS was analyzed to determine what improvements, if any, should be made to the intervention. Variables analyzed were length of time until completion, number of spontaneous mands by the child, and how accessible the child’s PECS book was. Through those measurements, it was determined that some improvements, such as issues with generalization, could be made. These results lead to Project II, which is currently ongoing. Project II is looking at improvements that can be made to the classroom PECS procedures by addressing not only the problems pinpointed through the analysis in Project I, but also addressing some of the criticisms of PECS made in the literature such as stimulus control and prerequisite skills. Issues with implementation of both the procedures analyzed in Project I and the procedures developed in Project II are also addressed.
 
25. Establishing a Generalized Manipulative Imitation Repertoire in Children Diagnosed with Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
BREANNE K. HARTLEY (Western Michigan University), Richard W. Malott (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: A generalized manipulative imitation repertoire is a fundamental collection of skills for all children to acquire because it leads to the acquisition of new behaviors, such as social behavior and appropriate play behavior. The current study was designed to evaluate the necessary training required to establish a generalized manipulative imitation repertoire in two children diagnosed with autism. The study took place in an Early Childhood Developmental Delay (ECDD) Preschool Classroom located within a public special education school in Southwest Michigan. The intention was to: a) determine whether or not training two manipulations with the same object would facilitate the acquisition of a generalized manipulative imitation repertoire, and b) to identify the essential components of manipulative imitation training required to obtain responding under imitative stimulus control of the model rather than stimulus control of the object. The data from this study demonstrated that, for some children, training two manipulations per object may not be enough to establish a generalized manipulative imitation repertoire. In addition, teaching two manipulations per object resulted in more responding under imitative stimulus control than in responding under stimulus control of the object. Additional data must be collected in order to expand on the findings in this study.
 
26. An Evaluation of a Vocal Language Assessment for Children with Developmental Disabilities in a Public School Setting
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
JENNIFER M. LONSDORF (Western Michigan University), Richard W. Malott (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: To provide an effective language program, it is critical to conduct an assessment of the child’s current skill level. Therefore, a vocal language assessment was developed for an Early Childhood Developmental Delay (ECDD) classroom in a public school setting. The purpose of this project was to implement the most appropriate individualized vocal language curriculum possible, based on assessment, in order to increase the rate of language acquisition in children diagnosed with autism and other developmental disabilities. This new assessment was a necessary addition to the public school setting to allow the students access to more effective behavioral treatments based on their individual educational needs.
 
27. An Evaluation of a Most to Least Prompting Strategy with Time Delay as Supplemental Instruction
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
AERANIE LYNN CRONICAN (Western Michigan University), Kristen L. Gaisford (Western Michigan University), Richard W. Malott (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: The design of the current case study was to assess a most to least prompting (MTL) strategy with a time delay as supplemental instruction. This supplemental instruction was introduced when a child was unsuccessful in acquiring the skill taught using the least to most prompting (LTM) strategy. Performance was assessed for multiple children selected from a classroom that provides services to children with Early Childhood Developmental Delays (ECDD). The purpose of this study was to systematically (1) intervene with the supplemental instruction when current practices failed and (2) evaluate the supplemental instruction once implemented. The evaluation of the supplemental instruction included (1) number of trials to acquisition, (2) rate of emotional responding during training, and (3) cumulative duration of session time to acquisition. The study took place in the Early Childhood Developmental Delay (ECDD) preschool classroom located within a public special education school in southwest Michigan.
 
28. A Comparison of Two Prompting Strategies in an Early Childhood Developmental Delay Public School Classroom
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
KRISTEN L. GAISFORD (Western Michigan University), Richard W. Malott (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: The design of the current case study was to compare two prompting strategies; most to least prompting (MTL) and least to most prompting (LMT). These two strategies were compared using a multi-element design, assessing the performance of three children, with ages ranging from two to four years of age. These children were selected from a classroom that provides services to children with Early Childhood Developmental Delays (ECDD). In order to compare the MTL and LTM strategies, children involved in this study were taught identical three-dimensional matching. The purpose of this study was to determine (1) which strategy resulted in fewer trials to acquisition (2) which strategy resulted in less emotional responding and (3) which strategy resulted in the least amount of time to acquisition. While it was not the focus of the study, generalized matching data are also presented. The study took place in the Early Childhood Developmental Delay (ECDD) Preschool Classroom located within a public special education school in southwest Michigan.
 
29. A Systematic Replication of a Generalized Manipulative Imitation Procedure with a Preschool Child with Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
CAITLIN ELIZABETH O'BOYLE (Western Michigan University), Richard W. Malott (Western Michigan University), Breanne K. Hartley (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: This case study looks at the effects of a Generalized Manipulative Imitation Procedure (testing and training) with a preschool boy with autism after previous mastery of a school-based manipulative imitation procedure in a school-based setting. This study tested a preschool aged boy for maintenance and imitation effects following mastery of a manipulative imitation procedure. Based on the results of the testing phase, a training phase was introduced. The training phase consisted of various manipulations, generalized and imitative, with three objects that were not previously mastered, probe sessions, and an 80 percent mastery level criteria. The goal of the study was to see how many sessions it would take to get generalized manipulative imitation for a child who had previously mastered a school-based manipulative imitation procedure. This was compared to a previous study looking at the acquisition of Generalized Manipulative Imitation using children with autism who had not already reached mastery with this school-based procedure prior to testing/training.
 
30. Generalized Concept Mastery: A Practitioner Approach to Research and Development
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
WOAN TIAN CHOW (Western Michigan University), Richard W. Malott (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: The current case study is designed to evaluate concept mastery training for three preschool-aged children diagnosed with autism in an applied setting. The purpose of this study is to evaluate effectiveness of two training methods that employ the use of multiple examples to teach concept mastery: (a) concurrent training, which multiple examples for the concepts are presented concurrently; and (b) combination training, which multiple examples are first presented in a successive manner and intermixed in later sessions. The effectiveness is evaluated by comparing the number of sessions needed to reach acquisition criteria and how well the trained stimuli generalized to novel stimuli; and to design, implement, and continuously evaluate a new protocol with the goal of improving the teaching of concept mastery. The study took place in the Early Childhood Developmental Delay (ECDD) Preschool Classroom located within a public special education school in southwest Michigan and data are to be collected.
 
31. Red Dot Database
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
KELLI PERRY (Western Michigan University), Jessica Rogers (The Early Intervention Center), Richard W. Malott (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: Children in the Early Childhood Developmental Delay classroom at Croyden Avenue School in Kalamazoo, Michigan are provided with one-on-one discrete-trial therapy using a specific set of procedures designed to develop a specific repertoire of previously-identified skills that are lacking or not complete. A “red dot” is a special distinction given to one of those procedures when a child fails to make significant progress on or displays difficulty with a procedure. Each red dot is evaluated by a graduate student, who implements some form of supplemental help, whether it be additional prompts, supplemental materials, or breaking down the required response into smaller steps. The red dot database is a collection of those red dots with the intention to pinpoint common problems in procedures so that they can be evaluated and rectified. This poster provides one such analysis and resolution of a problem procedure, as identified by the red dot database.
 
32. The Effects of a Picture Activity Schedule on a Child with Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
ELIZABETH SAUR (Western Michigan University), Rebecca A. Markovits (Western Michigan University), Richard W. Malott (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: The 2000 Bryan and Gast article described the picture activity schedule as, “sequences of visual prompts (e.g., picture symbols, photographs) to communicate what and how much work is to be completed," and they then follow-up by saying, “such visual prompts provide a structured teaching environment, make expectations clear, and lessen the need for continuous adult prompting” (554). Previous research has used the picture activity schedule to increase on-schedule and on-task behavior in such areas as: daily living skills, vocational skills, and academic skills. This poster will be a case study of the effects of a picture activity schedule on a young child diagnosed with autism in a discrete-trial training classroom. Data on the frequency of problem behavior will be directly measured to see if a decrease occurs following the implementation of the picture activity schedule. It is also a possibility that an increase in functional skills, such as a concept of which activities will occur after the current activity, being able to describe later in the day what activities have been performed, and an increase in the progression of skills acquired. All effects of the picture activity schedule will be reported in this poster.
 
33. Implementing Behavioral Strategies to Decrease Tantrums in a Public ECDD Classroom
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
KELLY MARIE HANLON (Western Michigan University), Melissa Anne Ainslie (Western Michigan University), Richard W. Malott (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: We reviewed the literature in order to identify some best practice techniques for reducing tantrums in children with autism receiving early intensive behavioral intervention. We implemented these techniques in an early childhood developmental delay preschool classroom in a public school. Children in the classroom receive discrete trial training from undergraduate tutors, and many of the tantrums behaviors the children exhibit are maintained by escape from task demands. Therefore, the strategy we emphasized most strongly was decreasing the conditional probability of escape contingent on tantrums and increasing the background probability of escape to simpler tasks. In order to do this, we required tutors to intersperse a certain number of maintenance trials when running novel and difficult teaching trials with their children. We also required that they not present maintenance trials to their children contingent on tantrum behavior, a practice that had previously been a part of the classroom protocol. Other strategies we used include changing the pacing of trial delivery, ensuring the use of effective reinforcers, and altering the tasks that evoked problem behavior.
 
34. Combined Strategy for Students with Autism to Flush Toilet
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
TAKETO NAKAO (University of Florida)
Abstract: This poster reports on a combined strategy implemented for a student with autism in an inclusive classroom to flush a toilet. Four components comprised the combined strategy. The first component involved visual steps on the floor to get the student closer to the bathroom door when his aide flushed the toilet. Visual steps were pieces of colored tape which was two inches apart. For the second component, colored tape was put on a wall in the bathroom where the student put his right hand. The colored tape was also two inches apart and put on at the end of the wall in the bathroom where the flush lever was reachable for the student. The third component involved a sticker selection. The student could choose a sticker as a reinforcer when he stayed in the bathroom after his aide flushed the toilet. The fourth component involved a choice for the student to either close the toilet or leave it open when he flushed. The last component did not include a sticker selection. The intervention effectiveness was evaluated using an ABCD design. After 19 sessions, the student was able to flush the toilet. Generalization for his flushing a toilet was also assessed.
 
35. Randomized Study Contrasting Behavioral and Naturalistic Approaches to Inducing Speech in Prelinguistic Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders: Preliminary Analysis
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
BRIAN REICHOW (Yale University Child Study Center), Rhea Paul (Yale University Child Study Center), Moira Lewis (Yale University Child Study Center), Elizabeth Schoen (Yale University Child Study Center)
Abstract: This poster presents preliminary findings from a study comparing the effectiveness of two intervention strategies (discrete trial instruction and naturalistic) in children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) between 36 to 72 months-old, who produce fewer than ten different words in spontaneous speech and have expressive communication levels below 18 months. The behavioral approach (i.e., direct speech-focused treatment) to be studied is Rapid Motor Imitation Training (RMIT; Tsiouri & Greer, 2003), and the naturalistic approach is Prelinguistic Milieu Teaching (PMT; Yoder & Warren, 2002). Participants were randomly assigned to one of the two treatments, which were delivered by Speech Language Pathology three sessions per week for 12 weeks. Preliminary data analyses of pre- and post-treatment measures consisting of three participants from each group were conducted. The results indicate participants in both treatment groups made progress on some outcome measures. Given the preliminary nature of the data, it is too early to determine the superiority of one treatment; however, the results suggest multiple types of intensive treatment delivered with high fidelity can be beneficial to young children with autism with limited verbal communication skills.
 
36. Southeastern Pennsylvania Autism Resource Center (SPARC): Designing an Effective Social Skill Group Using Empirically Validated Approaches
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
CHERIE ANN FISHBAUGH (Southeastern Pennsylvania Autism Resource Center), Corinne M. Murphy (West Chester University), Jennifer E. Dawson (Southeastern Pennsylvania Autism Resource Center), Phillip K. Duncan (West Chester University)
Abstract: Students with autism spectrum disorders have difficulty acquiring, maintaining, and generalizing appropriate social skills such as looking at speaker/listener, initiating a conversation, and sustaining a conversation. Arranging social opportunities in the natural environment is a critical, but challenging, component of effective social skill training programs. Another challenge is finding empirically validated treatment approaches focusing on social skill development. A need exists for empirically validated social skill development programs. This poster will identify the process taken to develop a social skill program for students, ages 3-12 years, as well as provide initial evidence collected on the effectiveness of the program as measured by student outcomes. The poster will also include 1) application process, 2) development of social skill objectives, 3) participant grouping, 4) protocol development, and 5) data collection. The poster emphasizes the planning, implementation and evaluation of a social skills program provided by SPARC. The poster will highlight areas of future research.
 
39. Facial Expression Discrimination in Children with Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Basic Research
STEPHANIE COUSIN (University of Lille 3 - Charles De Gaulle), Vinca Riviere (University of Lille 3 - Charles De Gaulle), Alan Chauvin (University of Lille 3 - Charles De Gaulle), Jean-Claude Darcheville (University of Lille)
Abstract: People with autism show impaired face discrimination, along with atypical eye gazes to the face. However, only few studies describe precisely how children with autism process social cues from faces. The aim of our study was to use a technique called Bubbles (Gosselin & Schyns, 2001) combined with a matching-to-sample procedure in order to assess how information from face is used by children with autism to discriminate between a happy and a fearful expression. First, children followed a matching to sample training phase. They were taught to select a happy face in the presence of a yellow dot. When the accuracy criterion was reached, they were taught to select a fearful face in the presence of a blue dot. Then, these two relations were mixed. Faces were gradually introduced at each step regarding the accuracy. Once this task was mastered, the test trial with Bubbles was presented. Subjects encountered the same faces than during the previous phase, but only partially revealed by Bubbles. Subjects had to match the sparse face to the sample. Results and implications for teaching strategies are discussed.
 
40. HANDS in Autism Training: An Efficacy Analysis of a Training Model
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
NAOMI SWIEZY (Christian Sarkine Autism Treatment Center at Riley), Melissa Stuart (Christian Sarkine Autism Treatment Center at Riley), Virgil Lee Gregory Jr. (Christian Sarkine Autism Treatment Center at Riley), Patricia A. Korzekwa (Christian Sarkine Autism Treatment Center at Riley), Iryna V. Ashby (Christian Sarkine Autism Treatment Center at Riley)
Abstract: The practical application of ABA-based interventions in an educational setting is an important component in the intervention of children with ASD. To decrease the discrepancy between empirically supported treatment and application in community settings, the HANDS (Helping Answer Needs by Developing Specialists in Autism) program trains teachers and staff to practice and implement ABA-based interventions to children with ASD through a hands-on coaching and mentoring model in an analogue classroom setting. Repeated measures administered prior to the training, at the conclusion of the training, and three months post training were taken via the Assessment of Knowledge - Expanded scale (AOK-E) (HANDS in Autism, 2007). The AOK-E was used to assess the efficacy of this training model through the evaluation of the participant acquisition and application of knowledge. An overall within subjects test provided a significant Pillai’s Trace (F = 23.356, p < .0001) and a partial eta squared of .809, indicating that 80% of the variance in the AOK-E scores could be explained by time. Significant Bonferroni adjusted pairwise comparisons demonstrate improvement in the participants’ knowledge acquisition and application across time. Study implications are discussed.
 
41. Helping Answer Needs by Developing Specialists (HANDS) in Autism: Year Four Training Evaluation and Fidelity
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
MELISSA STUART (Christian Sarkine Autism Treatment Center at Riley), Naomi Swiezy (Christian Sarkine Autism Treatment Center at Riley), Virgil Lee Gregory Jr. (Christian Sarkine Autism Treatment Center at Riley), Patricia A. Korzekwa (Christian Sarkine Autism Treatment Center at Riley), Stacie L. Pozdol (Christian Sarkine Autism Treatment Center at Riley), Iryna V. Ashby (Christian Sarkine Autism Treatment Center at Riley)
Abstract: The mission of HANDS in Autism (Helping Answer Needs by Developing Specialists in Autism) is to provide practical and applicable information to a variety of caregivers from an ABA-based framework and to provide an option for training that promotes practical learning opportunities through an innovative and intensive hands-on and coaching experience. Participants in the weeklong training program provided daily feedback on several aspects of the training, including rating the thoroughness of information presented, the materials provided, and the hands-on experiences. In addition, both training staff and participants were rated on their fidelity to the training curriculum. During the five days of training topics regarding program design, assessment, environmental control, behavior intervention, and skills teaching were presented. Results pertaining to the participants’ satisfaction with the training and the fidelity of both the participants and training staff are presented. Conclusions regarding implications, future research, and limitations will be discussed.
 
42. Stimulus Preference Assessment Protocol for a Pre-Primary Autism Classroom
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
REBECCA M. O'GORMAN (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: A protocol was developed for a pre-school autism classroom which involved determining a systematic way to conduct initial stimulus preference assessments for students beginning in the classroom, and preference assessments that are part of the child's daily schedules. A checklist was developed for the tutors to use for the assessment. The preference assessments are designed to assess edible reinforcers, tangible reinforcers, and leisure activities of multiple forms. Edible reinforcers are assessed across textures and content. Tangible reinforcers were assessed across variables such as: sound making, vibrating, lighting, textures, and types that might be idiosyncratically preferred by the individual (Buzz Lightyear, blue, cars, dolls). Leisure activities were assessed across effort level and intensity, for example: walking, wagon rides, going down a slide, singing songs. The initial intake protocol was designed to efficiently determine which stimuli might function as reinforcers for procedures. The daily preference assessments were designed to evaluate different stimuli separately so that the tutors could determine preferred stimulus rankings. This protocol was incorporated into the classroom curriculum and also into the training materials for the tutors working with the children.
 
43. The Use of Various Concurrent Schedules of Reinforcement to Decrease Inappropriate Classroom Behavior
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
JOHNATHAN KABOT (Nova Southeatern University)
Abstract: TA single subject study which examined the effects of various concurrent schedules of reinforcement to decrease inappropriate classroom behavior in a four-year old male preschooler, diagnosed with autism, will be presented. The student attended a university-based, publicly-funded special education school for children with an autism eligibility. The student was placed in a classroom with a 6:3 student to teaching staff ratio. The target behaviors were hitting and throwing. Hitting was defined as making forceful contact with a person and/or objects with an open or closed fist. Throwing was defined as projecting or attempting to project any item through the air, either in an aimless fashion or aiming it at another person. During baseline, the target behaviors ranged from 150 to 320 hits and throws per school day. A Functional Behavior Assessment was completed and a Positive Behavior Intervention Plan was developed for the student. Following intervention, results showed that the student reached zero instances of the target behaviors during the school day.
 
44. A Behavior Analytic View of Treatment Options for Children with Autism from Diverse Backgrounds
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
CHARLES DUKES (Florida Atlantic University), Melody Wright Left (Florida Atlantic University)
Abstract: The steady increase in the number of children diagnosed with autism from diverse backgrounds has garnered much attention. In spite of the raised awareness in regard to diverse populations, it is not clear whether this increase makes a fundamental difference in the selection or use of treatment options for this population of children. Race and ethnicity have traditionally been very difficult constructs to study and it is not clear that there is any empirical evidence that race or ethnicity significantly changes the outcomes associated with treatment. In short, it is not clear whether diversity makes a difference. In the absence of clear evidence, the authors were interested in reviewing the extant literature and answering two related questions. Our first research question was, is behavior analytic treatment effective for children with autism from diverse backgrounds? Our second research question was, are the procedures used to implement behavior analytic treatment options any different for children from diverse backgrounds? We conducted a review of the extant literature from 1997-present, to evaluate the behavior analytic treatment options used for children with autism from diverse backgrounds. A number of procedures were used to identify relevant studies, to include: search of databases, hand search of specific journals, and search of reference lists of relevant articles. Relevant articles were identified using the following criteria: a) the article describes an empirical study; b) the study was published in a peer reviewed journal in English; c) the participants in the study were identified as belonging to a diverse group (i.e., non-White); d) the study was based on the use of a behavior analytic procedure (e.g., single-subject design); and e) a separate analysis of results for children from diverse groups. The findings of the review will presented in the context of the current trend in diagnosis of diverse populations, and current theories on the most appropriate way in which to consider race and ethnicity as a variable in research and how if at all, the treatment options selected and used made any difference as a function of race of ethnicity. The results of the search will be summarized as well as the prominent themes drawn from the information currently available in the extant literature regarding children with autism from diverse backgrounds.
 
45. Current Research at the Center for Autism and Related Disorders
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
AMY KENZER (Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc.), Jonathan J. Tarbox (Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc.), Doreen Granpeesheh (Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc.), Dennis Dixon (Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc.), Missy Olive (Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc.), Michele R. Bishop (Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc.)
Abstract: CARD is committed to science as the only useful approach to evaluating treatment for autism. Our mission is to conduct empirical research on the assessment and treatment of autism and to disseminate our research findings and derived technology through publication and education of professionals and the public. The primary goal of our research is to produce information that will increase the number of individuals who recover from autism. To that end, several recent research projects have addressed an array of issues pertinent to the effective treatment of children with autism, including comparisons between teaching procedures to increase generalization of mands, assessment of therapists’ knowledge of effective reinforcers, and the use of play-dates to increase reciprocal social interactions. This poster will describe our general programs of research, provide sample data in several areas, and describe the scientist-practitioner model implemented at CARD.
 
 

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