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 #206
CE Offered: BACB — 
The Ethics of and Alternatives to Traditional Escape Extinction in Education and Home Settings
Monday, May 30, 2016
9:00 AM–10:50 AM
Columbus Hall CD, Hyatt Regency, Gold East
Area: PRA/AUT; Domain: Translational
Chair: Robert Schramm (Knospe-ABA)
Discussant: Wayne Fuqua (Western Michigan University)
CE Instructor: Megan Miller, Ph.D.

Behavior analysts recognize the importance of incorporating motivation and reinforcement within service delivery. Additionally, behavior analytic treatment programs incorporate effective function based procedures to increase compliance with demands and decrease escape maintained challenging behavior. These procedures often include forced physical prompting and paced prompts that may increase the occurrence of challenging behavior or reduce acceptance of the procedures by caregivers and staff. This symposium explores potential ethical alternatives to traditional escape extinction using 7 Steps to Earning Instructional Control, wait-outs, and conditioning work as a reinforcer that address the problems behavior analysts face with traditional escape extinction procedures in discrete trial programming.

Keyword(s): Escape Extinction, Ethical Practice, Instructional Control

Ethical Considerations and Exploration of Alternatives to Forced Prompting

MEGAN MILLER (FSU CARD/Navigation Behavioral Consulting)

Behavior analytic intervention programs frequently include the use of forced prompting to earn compliance with demands and reduce escape maintained challenging behavior. This approach is effective but can result in an increase in challenging behavior if the challenging behavior is also maintained by attention or can be difficult to implement with clients who are larger in size. Additionally, caregivers and staff may not accept the use of forced prompting and may not implement the procedure during the naturally occurring routine, which also reduces the effectiveness of the procedure. The purpose of this presentation is to explore ethical considerations regarding the use of forced prompting by drawing from the BACB Guidelines for Responsible Conduct and Van Houten et al. (1988). Additionally, the presentation will explore how the 7 Steps to Earning Instructional Control addresses these ethical considerations and whether research in the basic or applied areas supports alternatives to forced prompting such as the 7 Steps as viable options for reducing escape maintained challenging behavior.

Developing Learner Cooperation through the 7 Steps to Earning Instructional Control
Abstract: The ABA/VB Autism Intervention Institute Knospe-ABA GmbH (based in Germany), which serves over 350 children throughout Europe, prioritizes the research and procedural recommendations of Verbal Behavior. Robert Schramm, Knospe-ABA's lead supervising Behavior Analyst has developed an approach to earning instructional control that encapsulates ABA/VB and brings motivated learning to its fullest potential. Over 95% of the providers using these techniques have been able to demonstrate greatly improved instructional control with their learners. The 7 Steps to Earning Instructional Control are based on sound behavioral principles and practice. This approach to instructional control does not rely on basic escape extinction techniques such as escape blocking, forced physical prompting or repeating SD's. In addition to offering a more simple way to develop instructional control with most learners, it also is easy to teach to adults and therefore valuable in reproduction with less trained caregivers and therapists. Preliminary data will be presented to demonstrate that instructional control can be earned with the 7 Steps. Additionally, an integrity checklist for training on the 7 steps, which has demonstrated the benefits of training providers on this technique in order to decrease non-compliance of learners with autism, will be presented.

The Use of Wait Outs and Task as a Reinforcer as an Ethical Alternative to Traditional Escape Extinction

STEVEN J. WARD (Whole Child Consulting LLC)

Escape-avoidance behavior is a common impediment to skill acquisition and a frequent maintaining variable for a variety of behavioral excesses. While a great number of antecedent interventions (e.g., demand fading, student choice, errorless teaching) can decrease problem behavior levels, escape- avoidance behaviors do not immediately drop to zero levels, and reactive measures invariably account for some part of the behavior intervention plan. Among potential reactive treatments, escape extinction has the greatest empirical support and is typically recommended. This presentation will demonstrate the efficacy of an alternative to escape extinction in 3 studies across 5 participants. In this procedure, task resistance is followed by a temporary withdrawal of that task and a substantial limit upon student options until the task has been completed. Though counter-intuitive (because escape-maintained behavior produces temporary escape), this procedure, colloquially known as a wait out, tends to not only decrease escape-maintained behavior, but also to improve a number of qualities of student participation. Participants will learn the rationales behind the use of wait and will see examples of how to implement the procedure.

7 Steps of Instructional Control to Decrease Maladaptive Behaviors and Increase Skill Acquisition: A Case Study
HEATHER GILMORE (Autism Centers of Michigan), Leasa Androl (Autism Centers of Michigan)
Abstract: A case study was conducted to address maladaptive behaviors, including severe self-injurious behaviors (head banging, chin hitting, and scratching) and whining/crying behaviors, as well as limited skill acquisition in a four year old child with a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder. The intervention was conducted in a center-based setting. A functional analysis was conducted which identified both escape from demands and access to tangibles as the function of maladaptive behaviors. This study involved evaluating the effectiveness of the "7 Steps of Instructional Control" developed by Robert Schramm, MA, BCBA. The "7 Steps" were used as a replacement for the previous maladaptive behavior reduction plan. The previous plan (baseline) included escape extinction procedures. Reliability was strengthened by providing Behavior Technicians with extensive training and continuous monitoring of procedural fidelity by the BCBA using a treatment integrity checklist developed by Megan Miller, PhD, BCBA, LBA. The results indicated that maladaptive behaviors decreased and skill acquisition increased for this child.



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