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 #198
CE Offered: BACB
Using ABA to Increase Community Participation for Adults with Developmental Disabilities
Sunday, May 25, 2014
11:00 AM–11:50 AM
W184d (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: PRA/DDA; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Theodore A. Hoch (George Mason University)
Discussant: Peter F. Gerhardt (JPG Autism Consulting, LLC)
CE Instructor: Christine Hoffner Barthold, Ph.D.

Many well-respected authors, researchers, and practitioners recommend behavior analytic -based interventions for adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. Very little empirical guidance, however, is available to practitioners working with adults. In this symposium, two presentations highlight promising procedures for applying evidence-based strategies to adults in community-based settings. Presentation 1 focuses on the role of technology in the training and support of individuals living and working in the community. The use of technology to teach is playing an ever-increasing role, yet a review of the literature reveals few research studies validating the causal relationship between the use of technology and increased independent functioning. Data will be presented on several cases of systematically applying technology to different individuals learning various skills in a number of community settings, and demonstrating a causal relationship between the use of technology and increased independent function. In presentation two, Functional Behavior Assessments and Behavior Support Plans were developed for individuals with problem behavior in community supported employment settings. Preliminary results suggest that assessments can be adapted to adult populations using Acceptance and Commitment Training and commercially available technologies. This symposium promotes examples of effective strategies that have been used with adults to increase community participation, and will serve as good models for other providers to expand in similar ways.

Keyword(s): ACT, Adults, Community Participation, Technology

The Use of Current Technology to Support Adults with Autism in the Community

Gloria M. Satriale (Preparing Adolescents and Adults for Life (PAAL)  ), AVI GLICKMAN (Mission for Educating Citizens with Autism), Thomas L. Zane (Institute for Behavioral Studies, Endicott College), Rickiesha March (Preparing Adolescents and Adults for Life (PAAL))

It is well established that instruction in natural settings promotes independent ability and generalization. Community-based training provides excellent opportunities to train functional life skills in the settings in which they will be used, such as grocery stores, exercise facilities, and vocational sites. Preliminary results demonstrate that community instruction paired with the use of readily available technology (iPhone, IPad, Android Device; Bluetooth) as a tool for instruction can increase skill acquisition and independent function. A literature review of the use of technology for individuals with autism show that although such devices and applications are used widely, there have been few research studies published showing a causal relationship between the use of technology and the acquisition of functional skills. In this presentation, several young people with autism were taught to use a variety of technology devices and apps, to increase independence in several community environments. Results show that the use of technology can result in establishing life skills that increases independence among this population. Future research questions related to technology and instruction will be proposed.

Functional Behavior Assessment and Interventions in Community Supported Employment
CHRISTINE HOFFNER BARTHOLD (George Mason University), Brian Freedman (University of Delaware), Natalie Castelluccio (University of Delaware), Matther Wattenmaker (University of Delaware)
Abstract: Problem behavior is often a barrier to sustained, competitive employment in the community. While many respected authors have called for the use of Functional Behavior Assessments (FBA) and Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) to increase appropriate behavior on the job, little guidance or empirical support is available to practitioners working with adults in the workplace. Challenges include incorporating person-centered philosophies as well as adapting FBA procedures to a community workplace. As part of the Swank Employment Services unit at the University of Delaware, three adults with problem behavior participated in the current investigation. Participants defined the problem behavior using tools adapted from Acceptance and Commitment Training. Observations were conducted in the community using commercially available technology. Preliminary results suggest that supports have the potential to be effective in the short term. Procedures continue to be refined as clinical data are collected. Long-term generalization and maintenance as well as replication of results remain areas for future investigation.



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