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.


40th Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2014

Event Details

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Symposium #251
CE Offered: BACB
Intensive Intervention: Evidence for Bold New Directions in Special Education
Sunday, May 25, 2014
3:00 PM–4:50 PM
W195 (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: EDC/PRA; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Devin Kearns (Boston University)
Discussant: Joseph H. Wehby (Vanderbilt University)
CE Instructor: Rachel E. Robertson, Ph.D.
Abstract: Intensive intervention has emerged as an important new term in special education, mainly because many researchers have observed limited gains in student achievement in recent studies. The search for better approaches has stretched researchers’ thinking and highlighted the role of single-subject research in developing more effective, individualized interventions. As chair, Devin Kearns, Ph.D. (Boston University), will describe the reason “intensive intervention” has become an important term for special educators as it applies to academics and behavior. In the first presentation, Rebecca Zumeta, Ph.D. (American Institutes for Research; AIR), will describe her work with the National Center on Intensive Intervention to build intensive interventions for students. Second, Tara Moore, Ph.D. (University of Tennessee - Knoxville), will report the results of a study investigating teachers' knowledge and use of research-based classroom and behavior management strategies. Third, Rachel E. Robertson, Ph.D. (University of Pittsburgh), will discuss her work developing sustainable behavior interventions for racially and socioeconomically diverse parents of children with autism. Finally, Christopher Lemons, Ph.D. (Vanderbilt University), will describe his research building early reading interventions for children with Down syndrome. Joseph H. Wehby, Ph.D. (Vanderbilt University), who has decades of research experience in academic and behavior interventions, will serve as discussant to integrate themes across studies, highlighting the tension between rigor and relevance in applied research and the integration of academic and behavior interventions.
Keyword(s): Academic-Behavior Interventions, Developmental Disabilities, Response-To-Intervention, Teacher/Parent-Implemented Interventions

Putting the "Special" Back in Special Education: Using Data-Based Individualization to Provide Intensive Interventions

REBECCA ZUMETA (American Institutes for Research)

Analyses of intervention studies indicate that 3-5% of students, particularly those with disabilities, demonstrate insufficient response to academic and behavioral interventions that are generally effective for their peers. The National Center on Intensive Intervention works with schools and districts to help them implement data based individualization (DBI) to support this vulnerable population. In this session, Dr. Zumeta will describe the Center's work, implications for implementation in reading, mathematics, and behavior, and lessons learned to date. Specifically, case examples will be used to illustrate how DBI might be applied in the areas of academics and behavior. In addition, Dr. Zumeta will describe the Center's updated approach to providing systematic reviews of academic and behavioral intervention and assessment materials. The talk will conclude with a discussion of trends we have observed in the field related to delivery of tiered intervention services and the role of special education within tiered systems.


Teachers' Knowledge and Use of Research-Based Behavior Management Strategies: Implications for Intensive Interventions

TARA MOORE (The University of Tennessee, Knoxville), Regina M. Oliver (University of Nebraska-Lincoln), Joseph H. Wehby (Vanderbilt University)

Educators are accountable for implementing research-based classroom and behavior management strategies to prevent and intervene on problem behavior in classroom settings. However, little is known about the extent to which teachers are knowledgeable about such strategies and the extent to which these strategies are being implemented consistently in classrooms. In this session, findings will be presented from a teacher-completed survey where 104 preK-12 general and special education teachers were asked to rate how knowledgeable they are about specific research-based classroom and behavior management strategies for prevention and intervention and to rate the extent to which they implement these strategies in their classrooms. Results highlight teachers lack of knowledge and use of effective behavior management strategies needed to provide the most intensive interventions for students who exhibit problem classroom behaviors. Presenters will also summarize participants responses to questions about the adequacy of their teacher preparation programs and in-service training and support to promote their use of research-based strategies to prevent and reduce problem behaviors. Presenters will discuss implications for increasing teachers knowledge and implementation of effective strategies for intensive behavioral interventions through preservice, induction, and in-service training activities.

Intensive, Effective, Sustainable Behavior Interventions: Can We Prove Skinner Wrong?
RACHEL E. ROBERTSON (University of Pittsburgh)
Abstract: For a variety of reasons, gains made during behavior interventions can be extremely difficult to maintain – which may have ultimately left B.F. Skinner pessimistic about our ability to improve life conditions through behavior analysis (Chance, 2007). In this talk it is argued that one of the most critical ways for researchers to improve the effectiveness of behavior interventions is to make them implementable and sustainable for the family members, teachers, and direct care workers of people with problem behavior. Examples of successes and failures from a recent single-subject study with racially and socioeconomically diverse mothers of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) will be provided, including a detailed analysis of parent treatment integrity and maintenance of results over time. Parent statements and permanent products relevant to the acceptability, effectiveness, and sustainability of behavior interventions will also be presented, along with issues relating to the external validity of the current research base on parent-implemented behavior interventions for children with ASD. Results indicate that differential reinforcement plus a visual support was acceptable, effective, and sustainable in 2 of 3 diverse families of children with ASD, even though parent treatment integrity decreased over time. Implications for building effective and sustainable interventions will be discussed.
Enhancing Interventions for Children with Intellectual Disabilities: Adaptation, Intensification, or Individualization?
CHRISTOPHER LEMONS (Vanderbilt University)
Abstract: Many children with intellectual disability, including children with Down syndrome, have teachers who are unsure what type of reading instruction is likely to increase outcomes for their students. Effectiveness of two commercially available, evidence-based reading interventions was evaluated through 3 multiple baseline across participants, single-subject research design studies involving 15 children with Down syndrome between the ages of 5 and 13 years. School staff implemented the phonological awareness and decoding interventions for an average of 25 sessions across approximately 12 weeks. Results indicate improvements in the reading of taught phonetically regular and high frequency words associated with the decoding intervention, but no generalization to oral reading fluency. No reliable gains were associated with the phonological awareness intervention. This talk will present results from this and other studies of reading interventions for students with Down syndrome in which interventions were systematically intensified and discuss implications for research and practice.



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