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.


First International Conference; Italy, 2001

Event Details

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Symposium #80
Challenges for ABA Service Providers in Autism: Measuring Effectiveness, Improving Public Awareness, and Addressing the Full Spectrum of Needs
Friday, November 30, 2001
11:00 AM–11:50 AM
Photographs Hall
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Jan Handleman (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, Rutgers University)
Discussant: Sandra L. Harris (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, Rutgers University)
Abstract: There has been impressive growth and progress in ABA research and clinical services for individuals with autism. Researchers and agencies committed to serving this population are faced with the challenge of improving service delivery, expanding existing technology, and coordinating efforts in these areas. During the past decade the emphasis on empirical validation and documented efficacy has become increasingly critical with growing consumer awareness and demand for services. These concerns are compounded by increased reporting of prevalence of Autism and PDD-NOS, a broadened spectrum within Autistic Disorder, and the addition of Asperger’s Disorder to the PDD category. These changes present ABA researchers and clinicians with the challenge of meeting diverse and growing consumer needs, exploring and implementing current technology, and documenting and disseminating efficacy data. Our symposium presents data on how these challenges are addressed at the Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, a program founded in 1972 and committed to conducting research and providing empirically supported services to children and adults with autism. Data will be presented on past and current measures of program efficacy and treatment integrity as well as from a statewide sample of consumers regarding the availability of ABA services and research information.
Measuring the Effectiveness of a Center Based ABA Program: Evaluating Student Progress and Monitoring Treatment Integrity
MARY JANE WEISS (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, Rutgers University), Lara M. Delmolino Gatley (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, Rutgers University), Maria S. Arnold (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, Rutgers University), Rita F. Gordon (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, Rutgers University)
Abstract: Two of the hallmark characteristics of ABA programs are reliance on data-based decision making and empirical validation of instructional efforts. The DDDC has been serving children with autism for over 25 years. Pilot data of 27 children indicated that 11% of children were placed in regular educational settings without support, 30% were enrolled in regular educational settings with support, and the remainder were enrolled in special education. Additional data will be presented on the educational outcomes of preschool and older children who have subsequently been enrolled in the DDDC. Furthermore, data will be presented on characteristics related to these educational outcomes. Pilot data on the development of treatment fidelity measures will also be presented. These measures verify the intensity of the instructional model, and include the assessment of the number of trials in learning sessions, the engagement of learners, and adherence to the educational program and schedule. Reliability (IOA) data for all treatment fidelity measures will be included in the presentation.
Improving Public Awareness and Increasing Accessibility to Services
BETH A. GLASBERG (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, Rutgers University), Peter F. Gerhardt (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, Rutgers University), Marlene Brown (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, Rutgers University)
Abstract: While applied behavior analysis has had tremendous impact on the lives of individuals with autism and related disorders, it has not gone far enough. Specifically, behavior analytic services are not yet accessible to all the individuals who could benefit from them. For many individuals, this inaccessibility stems from a failure on the part of behavior analysts to effectively disseminate information. Data were collected from 276 consumers via a statewide survey distributed in New Jersey (USA) and will be shared to demonstrate that many consumers are not made aware of ABA or its supporting research. For other individuals with autism or a related disorder, inaccessibility stems from an insufficient degree of information gathered by behavior analysts. First, adults with autism are rarely focused upon by behavior analytic researchers, with the exception of the study of challenging behaviors. Similarly, individuals with Asperger’s Disorder have unique habilitative needs that have not been a major focus for behavior analysts. Strategies to better share known information with the public, as well as strategies to increase our behavior analytic knowledge base regarding these under-served populations will be presented.



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