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 #37
CE Offered: BACB
CANCELED: Factors Affecting Early Progress in EIBT Programs
Saturday, May 24, 2014
2:00 PM–2:50 PM
W183b (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: AUT/PRA; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Amanda N. Adams (Central California Autism Center)
CE Instructor: Amanda N. Adams, Ph.D.

Although a great deal of research has focused on factors that contribute to progress in early intensive behavior therapy (EIBT), few studies have refined this examination to those variables that most contribute to progress in the first six months of beginning a EIBT program. This symposium will feature three papers that examine this early progress. The first study will provide an analysis of the variable of team consistency and training of behavior therapists assigned to a case and it's correlation to child progress. The second paper examines the degree to which a child demonstrates attending skills across different stimuli arrangements. The final paper in this symposium will discuss types of stimuli classified by categories used to describe art, and measures the length of time each child spent looking at each kind of painting. These results were used to manipulate the type of stimuli used in programming and results on the effect of progress will be discussed. Several factors can effect initial progress in EIBT programs. These three papers will present findings that suggest some strategies to maximize progress in the very initial months of EIBT to shift a child's acquisition rate, which, in turn, can effect the overall developmental trajectory. A second point is that some mistakes that may be common in the early stages of behavior programs with children with autism, can be avoided if careful evaluation in consistently applied to specific factors.

Keyword(s): attending skills, early intervention

An Examination of Different Categories of Visual Stimuli/Art as a Factor in Children with Autism and Attending Skills.

KATY LEWIS (Fresno State), Eduardo Avalos (Fresno State), Amanda N. Adams (Central California Autism Center)

Children with autism can demonstrate preferences for particular kinds of stimuli. The visual characteristics of such stimuli have rarely been studied. One approach to classifying types of visual stimuli is to use categories used in the field of visual art. The purpose of this study was to determine if children diagnosed with Autism have a visual preference for certain types of art paintings from different categories of art. Another purpose of this study was to see how the introduction of art paintings in a controlled versus a free operant environment affected the rate of stereotypic behaviors. This paper will present two different experiments. In experiment one, art paintings varying in feature intensiveness were presented to participants in a controlled environment. Experiment one, required the use of a projector, which the art paintings were displayed through, and video cameras, which helped determine where participants were directing eye contact. In experiment two, art paintings, from seven different categories, were displayed in a free operant environment where the participants had free access to roam the room and orient to the paintings of their choice. The dependent variable for each experiment was the duration spent orienting towards different visual art categories, and the frequency of visual attendance towards each art painting. Stereotypic behavior was measured during the waiting period, or therapy session, and during each trial for experiment one and two. Preliminary data from experiment two, provides evidence that some participants preferred attending to their own image relative to all other categories.


Team Stability and the Effects on Inappropriate Behavior in Children with Autism

EDUARDO AVALOS (Fresno State), Shady Alvarez (California State University, Fresno), Amanda N. Adams (Central California Autism Center)

It is common that children with autism have trouble generalizing what they have learned from a specific person to other people. Having a team of therapists work with a child with autism is the primary method used to program for generalization across people during clinical intervention. Team variables impacting progress are often under analyzed and changes in team variables during the intervention are often not closely monitored to access immediate effects on the learning rate and measures of the child's inappropriate behavior. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of team stability on the levels of inappropriate behavior in children with autism during EIBI treatment. Therapy sessions were sampled via video recording and coded for frequency and/or duration of a variety of inappropriate behaviors observed during treatment. Team Stability was gathered from center records. General trends were analyzed between dependent and independent variables to conclude general correlations. Preliminary results showed a negative relationship between team stability and level of inappropriate behavior during therapy, in most, but not all teams. Overall findings suggest significant positive clinical relevance to monitoring team variables throughout different stages in early intervention in children with autism, especially team stability.


Evaluating Levels of Attending with Various Degrees of Distraction in the Work Environments of Children with Autism: Implications for Intervening on Early Learning Issues.

JULAYNE JORGE (California State University, Fresno), Eduardo Avalos (Fresno State), Amanda N. Adams (Central California Autism Center)

Measuring attending levels during early intensive behavior intervention for children with autism can be difficult. The purpose of this study was to measure specific visual attending skills in children with autism. An analysis of the effects of environments with differentiating distraction levels on participants attending during discrete trial training (DTT) was conducted. Children with ASD were evaluated to see if they would habituate to the varying degree of distractors placed into their environment, and if it would later generalize to a typical environment. Trend lines of correct responding for each target item were compared during each stage of the study. The Wide Range Assessment of Memory & Learning Second Edition Assessment Tool was used to measure changes in clients attending level, as well as data collected of time spent gazing off-task, and measuring the number of correct responses during DTT.




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