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.


42nd Annual Convention; Downtown Chicago, IL; 2016

Event Details

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Symposium #316
CE Offered: BACB
Recent Advances in Health, Recreation, and Safety Interventions for Individuals With Developmental Disabilities
Monday, May 30, 2016
4:00 PM–5:50 PM
Grand Suite 3, Hyatt Regency, Gold East
Area: DDA/AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Jeffrey Michael Chan (Northern Illinois University)
Discussant: Josh Plavnick (Michigan State University)
CE Instructor: Jeffrey Michael Chan, Ph.D.

Individuals with developmental disabilities have a variety needs in the domains of personal health, recreation/leisure, and personal safety. The current symposium includes four data-based projects that examine methods for improving the well-being of children and adults with disabilities. The first study is a research synthesis of physical activity studies conducted with individuals with intellectual disabilities. The synthesis is an update of a review by Lancioni and OReilly (1998) and includes research published in the past 15 years. The second study examines the effect of goal-setting and reinforcement on increasing the number of daily steps taken by young adults with autism spectrum disorder in multiple environments. Additionally, changes in weight and body mass indices were reported. The third study is an examination of a video modeling intervention to teach three adults with developmental disabilities to play Fruit Ninja on an Android tablet device. The fourth study analyzes the effectiveness of a training program to teach abduction-prevention skills to three children with autism.

Keyword(s): health, recreation, safety
A Review of Physical Activity for People With Disabilities
EDWARD PAGE (The Ohio State University), Helen I. Cannella-Malone (The Ohio State University)
Abstract: Obesity is a disease that affects people with intellectual disabilities (ID) at a higher rate than the general population. This disease can increase the risk for other diseases such as cardiovascular disease or cancer, and can even cause premature death. Previous research has indicated that there were gaps in the literature and more research was needed on physical activity with this population. This review updates the literature review by Lancioni and O’Reilly (1998) and found that although more research has been published, the interventions mainly focused on people with cerebral palsy or autism spectrum disorder, and the results were mainly mixed. Finally, this review highlighted the need for more research in physical activity for people with ID.

Increasing Physical Activity in Young Adults With Autism Spectrum Disorder

KATE LA LONDE (Michigan State University), Alan D. Poling (Western Michigan University)

The present study comprised two experiments that evaluated behavioral intervention on physical activity in young adults with ASD. The first experiment employed a multiple-baseline-across-participants design with a reversal design to determine the effects of a treatment package on the number of daily steps measured using a pedometer. During treatment, participants set individual goals and received reinforcers for meeting those goals. By the end of each treatment condition all participants were successfully meeting their goals and walking at least 10,000 steps per day. These findings suggest that behavioral intervention can substantially increase walking in individuals with ASD. Experiment 2 extended the findings in three ways. First, participants wore the pedometer in less structured settings (i.e., nights and weekends) to see if the treatment would be as effective in natural settings. Second, self-monitoring was evaluated to determine if participants could manage their goal independently and if doing so would maintain high levels of walking. Lastly, participant�s weight was measured to see if the intervention had a positive impact on these health measures. Results suggest that self-monitoring can be effective at maintaining steps, but reinforcers may need to be periodically provided. Additionally, participants� weight decreased during the experiment.


A Video Modeling Intervention to Teach Adults With Multiple Disabilities to Play Fruit Ninja on an Android Tablet

Jeffrey Michael Chan (Northern Illinois University), MALANA WALUS (Grand Canyon University/Individual Advocacy Group), Kristy Saylor (Northern Illinois University)

Recreation and leisure skills are an important part of everyones daily lives. These skills are important for rest and relaxation as well as improving ones quality of life. However, adults with disabilities often have limited access to recreation and leisure skills. In the current study, we implemented a video modeling intervention to teach three adults with physical and developmental disabilities to play Fruit Ninja on an Android tablet at a community-based day treatment program. A multiple baseline across participants design was utilized. The video modeling procedure consisted of showing participants a brief video that highlighted the main components of game play, such as selecting the game mode, earning points (e.g., slicing virtual fruit), avoiding obstacles (e.g., slicing virtual bombs), and earning bonus points. Participants scores achieved during game play served as the dependent variable. Results indicate that scores improved following implementation of the video modeling intervention. Social validity and maintenance data will be presented, and future directions for research will be discussed.


Effects of Behavioral Skills Training and In Situ Feedback on the Abduction-Prevention Skills of Children With Autism

KATHERINE LEDBETTER-CHO (Texas State University), Katy Davenport (Texas State University-San Marcos), Russell Lang (Texas State University-San Marcos), Melissa Moore (Texas State University), Allyson Lee (Texas State University), Mark O'Reilly (The University of Texas at Austin), Laci Watkins (The University of Texas at Austin), Terry S. Falcomata (The University of Texas at Austin)

Children with autism have characteristics that would seem to make them particularly susceptible to abduction (e.g., a higher rate of elopement from safe places, difficulty interpreting the intentions of other people). A concurrent multiple baseline across participants design was used to evaluate the effects of behavioral skills training and in situ feedback on the abduction-prevention skills of four children with autism. In each phase of the study children were exposed to four different abduction lures delivered by strangers including: (a) simple requests; (b) appeals to authority; (c) requests for assistance; and (d) incentives. Prior to intervention, one or more of the lures was effective with each participant. Following intervention, three children demonstrated the three-step target response to abduction lures (i.e., refuse to go with the stranger, leave the area, and report the event) and one child refused to leave with strangers but did not consistently leave the area or report the event. These results generalized to novel settings and were maintained during four-week follow-up probes. Implications for practitioners and directions for future research are discussed.




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