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.


35th Annual Convention; Phoenix, AZ; 2009

Event Details

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Symposium #535
Every Child Deserves a Voice: Increasing Access to Behavioral Interventions for Children with Autism
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
10:30 AM–11:50 AM
North 126
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Nicole Zeug (Easter Seals North Texas)
Discussant: David A. Celiberti (Association for Science in Autism Treatment)
Abstract: At-risk families often do not access high quality services for their children with autism. This can be due to a myriad of factors (lack of resources, inability to navigate the social service systems, immigration status, etc.). In 2007, Easter Seals North Texas and the University of North Texas were awarded a state contract to provide evidence-based autism interventions grounded in behavioral construct and methods. In particular, the program serves children whose families are considered "at-risk" for a number of reasons (poverty, mental illness, homelessness, etc.). The purpose of this symposium is to present an overview of the program, to describe intervention fidelity approaches, and to present preliminary program evaluation data. Data indicate that the program has been successful in increasing access to effective interventions for children with autism: the voices of children with autism whose families are at risk are being heard.
An Overview of Easter Seals North Texas: The Autism Treatment Program
NICOLE ZEUG (Easter Seals North Texas), Jennifer Friesen (Easter Seals North Texas), Shahla S. Ala'i-Rosales (University of North Texas), Jesus Rosales-Ruiz (University of North Texas), Alicia ReCruz (University of North Texas), Bertina Combes (University of North Texas)
Abstract: This presentation will present an overview of a unique program developed by Easter Seals North Texas and the University of North Texas and funded through an award granted by the State of Texas: the Autism Treatment Program (ATP). ATP began offering behavioral interventions to children between the ages of 3 to 8 years in April of 2008. This presentation will describe qualifying criteria (risk factor analysis and sliding scales), the array of services offered (comprehensive assessments, parent training, individualized intervention plans in multiple domains, EIBI and after school support) and the collaborative approach across interventionists (BCBAs, BCBAs in training, para-professionals, Speech-Language Pathologists, Occupational Therapists, Physical Therapists, and Audiologists). Because of the at-risk population the program also involves active participation of a Social Worker and frequent professional consultation with PhD level behavior analysts. Furthermore, regional needs require consultation with professionals with expertise in cultural context and responsiveness. The nature of the program is collaborative and therefore requires consultation with professionals in public school and special education contexts. All Easter Seals ATP staff and consultants work together to ensure that every child receives interventions dedicated to maximizing his or her abilities to live, learn and play.
Monitoring Intervention Fidelity: Quality and Quantity
MEGAN GEVING (University of North Texas), Claire Anderson (University of North Texas), Nicole Zeug (Easter Seals North Texas), Sara M Weinkauf (University of North Texas), Shahla S. Ala'i-Rosales (University of North Texas), Jesus Rosales-Ruiz (University of North Texas)
Abstract: Early and intensive behavioral intervention outcome research offers a set of descriptions regarding critical intervention elements. This study was designed to develop an observation system that incorporates and expands on commonly suggested variables that may be important to the success of EIBI programs. These measures include learn units, instructional domains, teaching formats, material access and engagement, and quality of interventionist-child interactions. Additionally, parent, teacher and child evaluation of teaching sessions were assessed using social validity methods. It is proposed that this observation system can be used by supervisors to monitor interventions from a variety of disciplines. It is also an additional step towards insuring that all children, regardless of life circumstances, have access to quality services.
Evaluating Program Effectiveness
LASHANNA BRUNSON (University of North Texas), Malika N. Pritchett (University of North Texas), Shahla S. Ala'i-Rosales (University of North Texas), Nicole Zeug (Easter Seals North Texas), Jesus Rosales-Ruiz (University of North Texas)
Abstract: The results of ATP program effectiveness during the period of May 2008 and May 2009 will be presented. The data include 1) demographics and program features; 2) general functioning, and 3) program progress measures. Program features include client and staff demographics (age, race, ethnicity, risk factors, etc), direct therapeutic contact hours (across all disciplines), indirect support hours (consultation, training), fees for services, staff salaries, costs per hour, staff and community involvement, staff and client attendance and satisfaction, and state auditing results. General functioning includes periodic assessments of children and families in the natural ecology of the home and community and on non-curricular formal assessments. Program progress measures include the number of active teaching programs, the number of SDs mastered, and progress on curriculum-based measures and IPP goals. It is proposed that all programs serving children with autism, regardless of parent ability to advocate, should include accountability methods and are ethically bound to evaluate program effects.



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