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 #82
CE Offered: BACB
Broad Applications of Programming for and Assessing Generalization for Individuals With Developmental Disabilities
Sunday, May 29, 2016
2:00 PM–3:50 PM
Columbus Hall GH, Hyatt Regency, Gold East
Area: AUT/DDA; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Lauren K. Schnell (Caldwell University)
Discussant: Eileen M. Roscoe (The New England Center for Children)
CE Instructor: Lauren K. Schnell, M.Ed.

The symposium includes four studies on programming for and assessing generalization in individuals with developmental disabilities. The first presentation evaluated the effect of teaching tolerance responses to children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) following training a functional communication request. Generalization was assessed with stimuli, settings, and caregivers not associated with treatment and the effects of treatment maintained up to 6 weeks. The second presentation examined several stimulus conditions under which vicariously reinforced responding might emerge by embedding probes within an experimental arrangement that included multiple exemplars. The third presentation evaluated behavior skills training to establish generalized safety responding in children with ASD. Multiple exemplars were taught to program for generalization to stimuli and settings not associated with training. The fourth presentation taught children with ASD to tolerate medical and dental procedures and determined the extent to which tolerance transferred to settings not associated with training. Collectively these studies provide support for the value of programming for and assessing generalization for individuals with developmental disabilities across a wide range of skill areas.


Improving Maintenance and Generalization While Teaching Children to Mand and Tolerate Delays to Mands

JORDAN CHUSID (Regis College), Lauren Beaulieu (Regis College)

We evaluated the effects of teaching tolerance responses on problem behaviors using a multiple baseline design across participants design with two young children diagnosed with autism. After identifying the function of the problem behavior by conducing a functional analysis, we taught the children simple and complex functional communication responses (FCR). Afterwards, we introduced delay and denial tolerance training. Our dependent measures were (a) problem behaviors, (b) tolerance responses, (c) simple FCR, (d) complex FCR, and (e) percentage of the delay the child was independently engaged in an alternative activity. Generalization was assessed with novel stimuli, settings and caregivers. Maintenance was assessed through a 6 week follow-up. Our results suggested that there was an inverse relationship between tolerance responses and problem behaviors. Additionally, after the children learned FCRs, they were able to accept delays or denials to reinforcement and spend the majority of the delay engaged in a less preferred alternative activity. The effects generalized to novel settings and stimuli and the results maintained at a 6 week follow-up.


Effects of Multiple Exemplars and Embedded Probes on Vicariously Reinforced Responding

HYPATIA BOLIVAR (University of Florida), Brian A. Iwata (University of Florida)

Vicarious reinforcement refers to an increase in ones behavior as a result of observing reinforcement delivered to a model, but in the absence of direct reinforcement delivered for imitation of the models response. We examined several stimulus conditions under which vicariously reinforced responding might emerge by embedding probes for vicariously reinforced responding within an experimental arrangement that included multiple training tasks (multiple exemplars) maintained by direct intermittent reinforcement. Four subjects attending a school for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities participated. Data for one subject showed maintenance and generalization of vicariously reinforced responding across three different probe tasks. Data for a second subject showed maintenance of vicariously reinforced responding on the first probe but no generalization to a second probe. Data for the remaining two subjects showed initial vicarious reinforcement effects but did not show maintenance on any probe. Implications for the applied use of vicarious reinforcement arrangements are described.


Teaching Safety Responding to Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder

Margaret Rossi (Caldwell University ), Jason C. Vladescu (Caldwell University), Kenneth F. Reeve (Caldwell University), Amy Gross (University of Minnesota), JESSIE NORTHGRAVE (Caldwell University )

Children have been taught to demonstrate a safety response when they encounter a dangerous stimulus using behavioral skills training (BST). However, little research has evaluated the usefulness of BST to teach safety skills to children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). In the current study, we evaluated BST to establish a generalized repertoire of safety responding in children with ASD. Three categories of dangerous stimuli were identified and multiple exemplars were taught to program for generalization to stimuli and settings not associated with training. The three participants demonstrated an appropriate safety response after BST training across trained and untrained exemplars and settings. Additionally, responding to trained exemplars maintained up to four weeks following training. High levels of social validity were also found. These results suggest BST is a viable training approach for training individuals with ASD to demonstrate safety responding and results are discussed in light of previous studies.


Increasing Cooperation With Medical and Dental Procedures in the Natural Environment for Children With Autism

CATHERINE K. MARTINEZ (University of Florida/Kaleidoscope Interventions), Iser Guillermo DeLeon (University of Florida)

Children with autism often engage in disruptive behavior (i.e., crying, refusal, aggression) at the doctor or dentist, preventing medical or dental personnel from completing routine procedures. Previous research has demonstrated that exposing clients to a hierarchy of systematic fading steps, while differentially reinforcing compliance, can effectively decrease disruptive behavior and increase cooperation with a variety of procedures, when conducted in a therapeutic setting. However, is it unclear if cooperation generalizes to the natural environment of the doctor or dentist. The purpose of this study is to teach children with autism to tolerate routine medical and dental procedures, without engaging in noncompliance or disruptive behavior, and determine the extent to which cooperation transfers to the natural environment of the childs primary care provider (i.e., doctor or dentist) via pre- and posttest.




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