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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Poster Session #470
Monday, May 26, 2014
7:00 PM–9:00 PM
W375a-d (McCormick Place Convention Center)
110. Analysis of a Free/Say Fluency Technique on Novel Activity Involvement and Problem Behaviors
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
OANH LUC (University of Nevada, Reno), Alison Szarko (University of Nevada, Reno), Melissa Nosik (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: The current data were collected during clinical work at a day treatment facility for adults with developmental disabilities. At our facility we use a Free/Say fluency procedure to familiarize some of our individuals that struggle with following some of the rules that are important to follow when in this environment. Additionally, the language of the contractual rules needs some simplification to facilitate understanding. In the cases presented, the individuals also had data tracking in place for decreasing problem behavior and increasing the amount of novel activities they participate in daily. The comprised rules are written in a more accessible language represented using: Dos and Donts. Since the participants have fluent language skills and can articulate them when prompted, it is assumed by rule-governance that they will be more likely to adhere to the rules if they are fluent and able to tact them. The data represent the results of this clinical training strategy.
111. Interventions for Individuals With Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Who Engage in Inappropriate Sexual Behavior
Area: DDA; Domain: Service Delivery
ALICIA KOBYLECKY (Baylor University), Tonya Nichole Davis (Baylor University), Wendy A. Machalicek (University of Oregon), Vincent E. Campbell (University of Oregon), Sarah E. Pinkelman (University of Oregon), Rachel Scalzo (Baylor University)
Abstract: Although inappropriate sexual behaviors among individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities may often be considered a taboo topic, it is essential that practitioners are prepared to intervene when such behaviors occur. Inappropriate sexual behaviors are defined as a response class performed within an environment that deems the sexual behavior unacceptable either by societal standards and/or by consequence of the potential harm the behavior poses to self or others. Inappropriate sexual behaviors demonstrated among this population include behaviors such as public masturbation, public disrobing, and inappropriate sexual touching of others. We conducted a systematic search to identify studies that implemented a behavior analytic intervention to reduce inappropriate sexual behavior among participant(s) with intellectual or developmental disabilities. Results were analyzed in terms of (a) participant characteristics, (b) target behaviors, (c) intervention characteristics, and (d) study outcomes. Results conclude that a variety of both reinforcement and punishment techniques have been used across the literature to reduce inappropriate sexual behaviors. Practical implications for practitioners are discussed.
112. Enhancing the Therapeutic Value of Special Olympics Programs for Young Children with Autism and Developmental Disabilities
Area: DDA; Domain: Service Delivery
KATHERINE R. MEZHER (Miami University (Ohio))
Abstract: The Special Olympics International Young Athletes™ program reaches large numbers of children under the age of 8 with developmental disabilities across the globe. With not only an emphasis on sports and physical development, the program also targets communication and socialization skill development. As a relatively new program, research should focus on aspects of the program that most benefit participants and their families. This paper describes how and why the systematic incorporation of applied behavior analysis techniques into the program model is a worthwhile undertaking. Program adaptations that incorporate research-based interventions for youth with autism and developmental disabilities (e.g., visual supports, appropriate prompting and prompt fading procedures, effective use of reinforcement by parent and teacher facilitators) have the potential to improve outcomes for children in schools and communities across the world. The current session describes this unique service delivery model, laid out in stages, with recommended program adaptations included. In this way, the therapeutic value of the Young Athletes™ program may be enhanced. Additionally, materials developed for the program will be presented (e.g., visual schedules for participants, training materials for facilitators). Discussion focuses on international dissemination of applied behavior analysis techniques and empirically-based interventions for children with autism and developmental disabilities.
113. Functional Communication Training (FCT) for a Child with Multiple Profound Disabilities
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
SHAUNA COSTELLO (Western Michigan University), Thomas Ratkos (Western Michigan University), Jessica E. Frieder (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: The effects of Functional Communication Training (FCT) with the use of Talk Blocks™ were assessed for a 9-year child with profound developmental disabilities including cerebral palsy and severe mental retardation. The child was non-ambulatory, non-vocal, and mostly blind engaged in aberrant behaviors including eye gouging, mouthing of fingers (to the point of amputation), and pulling out a gastrointestinal tube (GI-Tube). Many studies have demonstrated that FCT is an effective treatment in reducing severe problem behaviors while increasing an alternative response (e.g., Wacker, Wiggins, Fowler, & Berg, 1988). Dependent measures included frequency of responding on different available Talk Blocks™ and the frequency of aberrant behavior throughout the day. Preliminary data demonstrate vast improvements in the alternative behavior of pressing the Talk Blocks™ and a decrease in aberrant behavior. Continued directions and intervention troubleshooting will be discussed.
114. The Use Of A Token Economy System And Reinforcement To Increase Self-Feeding During Meal Time
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
KATARZYNA M BABIK (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Carrie S. W. Borrero (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Abstract: The purpose of the current study was to investigate the token economy system as an intervention to increase self-feeding (independency) during mealtimes. Token economy systems have been used to increase different topographies of appropriate behavior with different populations. One application of a token economy may be to increase self-feeding with children who have a history of food refusal. We evaluated the use of a differential reinforcement of alternative behavior (DRA) procedure paired with tokens in a reversal design to determine if access to a tangible would increase self-feeding. One 5-year-old-male admitted to an intensive feeding program designed to assess and treat inappropriate mealtime behavior, participated. Highly preferred activities were identified via a preference assessment. Initially each instance of self-feeding resulted in access to a token that could be immediately exchanged for 15-s access to a preferred activity. Following an increase in self-feeding, we increased the tokens required for exchange. Results demonstrated that the DRA and token system increased levels of self-feeding from baseline.
116. Using Precision Teaching to Increase Staff Fluency With the Content of Behavior Support Plans
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
ALISON BRANCH (Northumberland Behaviour Analysis and Intervention Team, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust), J. Carl Hughes (Bangor University), Richard P. Hastings (University of Warwick), Michael Beverley (Bangor University)
Abstract: The use of behavior support plans (BSP) by staff working with adults with challenging behavior is essential. However, non-adherence to such guidance is common. One possible explanation for failure to adhere to the plan is that staff lack fluent knowledge of its content. Non-fluent knowledge has been shown to prevent learners from applying and retaining information. This study investigated the effectiveness of fluency training (FT) and precision teaching on learning BSP with community residential staff. An intervention group (n = 14) completed timed fluency drills using flashcards to increase the rate of learning key BSP components. A non-equivalent control group (n = 10) received consultation as usual (CAU), comprising standard support for learning a BSP. All staff completed pre- and post-intervention tests measuring frequency of component skills recall and their application. Results indicated the FT group made significantly greater gains in component skill recall which were maintained at follow-up, F (1, 22) = 34.70; p < .001, d = 2.46, and significantly higher scores in component skill application, F (1, 22) = 17.26, p < .001, d = 1.73. This study offers further evidence of the efficacy of precision teaching and fluency building procedures.
117. Clinical Outcomes of Behavioral Treatments for Pica in Individuals With Developmental Disabilities
Area: DDA; Domain: Service Delivery
CHRISTINA SIMMONS (University of Georgia), Nathan Call (Marcus Autism Center), Joanna Lomas Mevers (Marcus Autism Center), Jessica Alvarez (Marcus Autism Center)
Abstract: Pica, the recurrent ingestion of inedible or nonnutritive substances, is a severe form of self-injurious behavior most frequently exhibited by individuals with developmental disabilities. Although effective behavior analytic interventions for pica have appeared in the literature, the fact that successful outcomes are more likely to be published makes it difficult to ascertain the probability of successful outcomes. This study extends the literature by quantifying the overall effect size of behavioral treatment for all clients seen for treatment of pica through an intensive day treatment clinical setting, irrespective of treatment success. Ten individuals with developmental disabilities (8 males; 2 females), with a mean age of 10.3 years (range=6-19 years) were included in this analysis, representing 2.5 times the number of participants in any single previously published study. Nonoverlap of All Pairs (NAP) scores, an index of overlap of data between phases, were calculated for each client and a mean NAP score and Cohens d effect size were calculated across clients. The resulting treatment outcomes were: overall percent reduction=95.90%; NAP=0.955477; and Cohens d=2.00216. The large overall treatment effect size indicates that behavioral intervention is a highly effective method of reducing pica to near zero rates.

Using Percentile Schedules to Shape Longer Voids during Toilet Training

Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
KELLY AUTRY (Marcus Autism Center), Nathan Call (Marcus Autism Center), Seth B. Clark (Marcus Autism Center), Joanna Lomas Mevers (Marcus Autism Center), Andrea R. Reavis (Marcus Autism Center)

Percentile schedules offer a consistent and precise method for shaping behaviors while maintaining a constant rate of reinforcement. Percentile schedules have been used with children with developmental disabilities to shape new behaviors such as eye contact, to increase task engagement, and to increase behavioral variability. In the present evaluation, a percentile schedule was included as part of a rapid toilet training protocol with two children with autism to increase the duration of voids. During the implementation of a rapid toilet training package, urinations were usually brief (often 1 s or less), resulting in a failure to fully empty the bladder and frequent accidents. During application of the percentile schedule, voids lasting longer than the upper 50% of the distribution of the last 10 voids were reinforced. Results indicate that the percentile schedule increased the duration of continent voids for both participants from averages of 0.2 s and 1 s in baseline to averages of 2.9 s and 3.3 s, respectively. Discussion will focus on the potential utility of percentile schedules in applied settings based on these preliminary data.

119. Assessment of Training Methods to Train New Staff to Conduct Discrete Trial Training (DTT)
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
THOURAYA AL-NASSER (University of Nevada, Reno), W. Larry Williams (University of Nevada, Reno), Jenn Gheno (University of Nevada, Reno), Josette O'Mealia (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: Discrete trial training (DTT) is a systematic teaching methodology that includes frequent learning opportunities, shaping behavior by proper prompting hierarchies and delivering reinforcement and error correction. This often occurs in a one-to-one structured setting with fast paced training methods. Delivering a good service is often associated with staffs effective training and accurate application. There have been a number of training procedures and methods used in training staff with one mutual goal to increase staffs accuracy and effectiveness in applying ABAs methods while working with clients. Behavioral Skills Training (BST) is one of the most prominent training packages that is evidence-based in reducing undesired and disruptive behaviors. Other training methods introduced either alone or in combination with other procedures include: instructional procedures, role play, modeling, feedback, selfmanagement and self-monitoring , video tape training, computer based training (CBT). However, most of these trainings require the presence of expert trainers to train staff which might not be feasible all the time due to financial issues or issues in matching the trainers schedule with the staffs availability. In this poster a literary review will examine the pros and cons of a number of training methods comparing them to a self training packet training new staff with no behavior analysis background to conduct discrete trial training with no feedback given.
Keyword(s): poster session



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