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.


36th Annual Convention; San Antonio, TX; 2010

Event Details

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Symposium #536
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Functional Analysis, Intervention, and Generalization Strategies for Challenging Behavior in Young Children With Autism
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
12:00 PM–1:20 PM
207AB (CC)
Area: AUT/DDA; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Amanda L. Little (The Meadows Center for Preventing Educational Risk)
CE Instructor: Amanda Little, Ph.D.
Abstract: Children with autism present unique challenges to parents, caregivers, and teachers in regards to their behavior. This symposium will present research conducted with children with autism in the areas of assessment, functional analysis, and intervention with a focus on generalization of skills. Participants will learn the methodology and results of research conducted with young children with autism who exhibit challenging behavior in a variety of settings (i.e., community, childcare, and the home).
Modifying Functional Analysis Protocol to Assess Challenging Behavior in Children With Autistic Disorder
Mark F. O'Reilly (The Meadows Center for Preventing Educational Risk), Christina Fragale (The Meadows Center for Preventing Educational Risk), PAMELA WHITE (The Meadows Center for Preventing Educational Risk), Jeannie Marie Aguilar (The Meadows Center for Preventing Educational Risk), Soyeon Kang (Meadows Center for Preventing Educational Risk)
Abstract: Children with autism are more likely to engage in challenging behavior than children with other developmental disabilities. The nature of their challenging behavior may be different from other developmental disabilities groups with an emphasis on stereotyped or automatic responding (American Psychiatric Association, 2000; Reese et. al., 2003, 2005). This study will include five elementary school-aged children, each diagnosed with autism. Functional analyses, using five sessions of each assessment condition will be conducted (Iwata et. al., 1982,1994). Additional sessions of the tangible conditions will also be conducted. Percentage of intervals of challenging behavior will be measured. In addition, we will measure the percentage of intervals with stereotyped engagement with the tangible object. This behavior will be analyzed using a non-concurrent multiple baseline design. We hypothesize that the tangible condition may, in fact, be measuring interference with stereotyped behavior and other challenging behavior exhibited by the child when the item is removed might better be interpreted as challenging behavior in order to gain access to stereotyped behavior (see Murphy et. al., 2000, Fisher et. al., Falcomata et. al., in press).
Parent Conducted Assessment and Intervention for Children With Autism During Problematic Family Routines
AMANDA L. LITTLE (The Meadows Center for Preventing Educational Risk)
Abstract: Though the display of challenging behavior is not an uncommon occurrence in young children, some children exhibit behaviors that may develop into more serious behavior problems impeding the child’s learning and the overall family quality of life. The purpose of this study was to investigate how to support parents as the primary interventionists through conducting a functional behavior assessment, intervention planning, and the implementation process to address their children’s challenging behaviors. A multiple-probe design across three family routines was utilized for one young children diagnosed with autism. The mother was taught to successfully implement interventions that resulted in a decrease in the child’s challenging behavior. The mother increased her use of targeted strategies across all routines after collaborative planning (e.g., average of 24% during baseline and 83% during intervention). A reduction in child challenging behaviors across all targeted routines was observed (e.g., average of 59% during baseline and 19% during intervention). A fourth non-trained routine was assessed to see if the mother applied the techniques without additional consultation from the professional. Finally, positive changes in the quality of life of the family were noted as demonstrated through increased satisfaction ratings on items related to child and family quality of life.
The Influence of Motivating Operations on Generalization for Students With Autism
CHRISTINA FRAGALE (The Meadows Center for Preventing Educational Risk), Jeannie Marie Aguilar (The Meadows Center for Preventing Educational Risk), Nigel Pierce (The Meadows Center for Preventing Educational Risk), Mark F. O'Reilly (The Meadows Center for Preventing Educational Risk)
Abstract: Individuals with autism are thought to have a difficult time generalizing skills without explicit programming to do so. Generalization, in this case, reflects an outcome of behaviors that occur outside of the conditions of the original training stimuli and remains a fundamental notion for therapists and educators to attend towards true behavior change. Additionally, behavioral researchers have had a steady interest in examining both the functional properties and clinical applications of establishing (motivating) operations. Motivating operations have been shown to be critical variables when developing and interpreting behavioral assessments (e.g. preference assessments), intervening on challenging behavior, and examining the interaction between various biological conditions (e.g., health variables, genetic syndromes) and operant behavior. This study adds to the motivating operation literature by evaluating the influence of motivating operation on the generalization of skills. Three students with autism who received discrete trial training targeting communication skills participated in this study. Generalization of communication was evaluated across settings and implementers while under the influence of different putative motivating operations in an alternating treatment design. Results suggest that motivating operations may influence the acquisition of novel behaviors and should be considered when designing and implementing instructional programs.
Evaluation of the Rate of Challenging Behavior Maintained by Different Functions Across Preference Assessments
SOYEON KANG (Meadows Center for Preventing Educational Risk), Mark F. O'Reilly (The Meadows Center for Preventing Educational Risk), Christina Fragale (The Meadows Center for Preventing Educational Risk), Jeannie Marie Aguilar (The Meadows Center for Preventing Educational Risk)
Abstract: Preference assessments yield valuable information regarding preferred items or activities that subsequently serve as reinforcers. But if any variable (i.e., implementation method) during the assessment conflicts with specific participant characteristics (i.e., challenging behavior) the assessment results may be affected, thereby leading to inaccurate conclusions. We examined the occurrence of challenging behavior maintained by attention, tangible or demand functions across preference assessments (i.e., paired-stimulus, multiple-stimulus without replacement, and free-operant). The experimenter administered each preference format times in a random order for children with developmental disabilities whose challenging behavior was maintained by attention, tangible or demand functions. Results demonstrate that challenging behavior maintained by a particular function occurred differently across the preference assessment formats, which presented a different relevant condition, evoking the challenging behavior (i.e., deprivation of attention, withdrawal of preferred items, or presentation of demand). The results suggest that there may be a relation between functions of challenging behavior and preference assessment formats. Implications for practitioners are discussed with regard to administration of preference assessment for individuals with developmental disabilities who exhibit challenging behavior.



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