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.


45th Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2019

Event Details

Previous Page


Paper Session #217
Interventions to Decrease Problem Behavior
Sunday, May 26, 2019
9:00 AM–10:50 AM
Hyatt Regency West, Ballroom Level, Regency Ballroom C
Area: AUT
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Chair: Nancy I. Salinas (Harmony Behavioral Health)

Using a Daily Behavior Report Card to Reduce Off-Task Behaviors for a Student With Autism Spectrum Disorder

Domain: Applied Research
BENJAMIN SCOT RIDEN (University of Minnesota Duluth), Sal Ruiz (University of West Florida)

We examined the effectiveness of a daily behavior report card as a tier 3 support in reducing off-task classroom behavior for a high school student with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in two settings (i.e., Autism support classroom and inclusive science classroom). A preservice special education teacher in her final student teaching placement implemented the intervention. One 17-year-old female with ASD with high counts of talk outs and distractedness (i.e., looking at others) and moderate counts of finger picking during class was the focus of the intervention. A changing criterion design (CCD) across the three behaviors was used for baseline and intervention implementation data collection. Maintenance data were collected upon withdrawal of the intervention. The data were analyzed using visual analysis. Results indicate significant drops in level during intervention phases across all three behaviors with appropriate reductions in behavior with respect to increases in goal difficulty per use of CCD. Results suggest that the daily behavior report card intervention was an acceptable and effective treatment for reducing off-task behavior with this student. Data were collected to measure the preservice teacher implementation fidelity using a fidelity checklist. Additionally, results show that a preservice special education teacher can be trained to implement a tier three behavior management program for a student presenting inappropriate classroom behaviors with high fidelity.

Decreasing Motor Stereotypy Using Antecedent Exercise
Domain: Applied Research
KATHARINE ROBERTS (Arizona State University), Donald M. Stenhoff (Arizona State University)
Abstract: Children with autism often engage in some form of stereotypic behavior. Stereotypy is defined as repetitive body movements or repetitive movements of objects that provided the person with sensory stimulation. Additionally, stereotypy may be presented in all five senses: visual, auditory, tactile, taste, and smell. Stereotypy has been used by researchers as an effective reinforcer for task completion or to calm people down from overstimulation in their environment. Exercise has been shown to reduce or even eliminate stereotypic behaviors (Edelson, 2018). The purpose of this study was to evaluate the use of antecedent exercise to increase task engagement, and reduce stereotypy. All participants were diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder and were aged 2 to 15 years. The study took place in clinical and school settings. Participants were asked to engaged in antecedent exercise (jumping on a trampoline) prior to 20-min of an academic task. During the academic task, the participant was observed and scored on their engagement in the task. Participants’ completion rate and accuracy were also measured following antecedent exercise. Baseline results indicate the participant engages in high amounts of stereotypy as well as low rates of academic engagement and low rates of academic completion of tasks. This study demonstrates that participants benefited from antecedent exercise both with motor stereotypy as well as focusing in the classroom.
Trial Based Functional Analysis of Stereotypy
Domain: Applied Research
LYDIA RENFRO (Firefly Autism), Ken Winn (Firefly Autism)
Abstract: A trial based functional analysis was used to examine the function of motor stereotypy with a five-year-old diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The participant’s motor stereotypy was defined as any instance of body tensing/rigidity, back arching, hand flapping, or repetitive rocking (moving upper body back and forth in a rocking motion,) in a sitting/standing position for 2 seconds or longer. The analysis was conducted in the client’s natural environment and included 3 test conditions including demand, attention, and sensory access; all test conditions also had a control condition i.e. no demand, no attention, and no sensory access. Each set of control/test conditions were alternated every 2 minutes for a minimum of 10 minutes total before moving to another set. Results from the pairwise analysis revealed that stereotypy occurred at significantly lower rate during access to sensory items and when hands on engagement was high. These results were paramount in the development of an intervention plan incorporating sensory items/activities to decrease motor stereotypy.

Analysis of Automatically Reinforced Behaviors: Examining the Relationship Between Physiological Responses and Aberrant Behaviors

Domain: Applied Research
NANCY I. SALINAS (Harmony Behavioral Health), Stacy L. Carter (Texas Tech University), Shawn E. Happe (Harmony Behavioral Health)

Some types of repetitive and restrictive patterns of behavior characterized in autism and other developmental disabilities are maintained by automatic reinforcement assessed via functional analysis (FA). Due to the nature of automatic reinforcement (i.e., nonsocial/internal sources of reinforcement), tools that are sensitive to biological/physiological activity, and that can potentially differentiate sources of automatic reinforcement, are needed to measure whether stimulation is gained or attenuated. The current investigation applied the knowledge of FA, treatment analysis, and physiological measures to investigate the role that positive and negative automatic reinforcement play in the treatment of problem behaviors. Functionally equivalent physiological effects were utilized to determine if physiologically matched stimuli were more effective than non-matched stimuli in the treatment of automatically reinforced aberrant behaviors. The results show a connection between non-socially mediated behaviors and physiological outcomes. From a theoretical perspective, this research adds to the empirical basis for differentiating operant psychology principles of automatic positive and negative reinforcement, as well as, assessing the role that respondent conditioning plays in maladaptive behaviors (i.e., the extent to which sensory stimulation affects targeted behaviors – whether stimulation is gained or ameliorated).




Back to Top
Modifed by Eddie Soh