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.

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46th Annual Convention; Online; 2020

Event Details


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Poster Session #394
AUT Monday Poster Session
Monday, May 25, 2020
1:00 PM–3:00 PM
Virtual
110. The Intricacies of Dating on the Autism Spectrum
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
ALEXANDRA ARENA (California State University Los Angeles )
Discussant: Corina Jimenez-Gomez (Auburn University)
Abstract:

There is a general agreement that individuals with high-functioning autism (HFA) struggle with social skills, but the extent to which this affects their dating lives needs further exploration. This research study sought to answer two research questions: (a) What are the perspectives of individuals with HFA as they navigate both the formation of and commitment to romantic relationships? (b) How do my experiences as a speech language pathologist (SLP) and behavior analyst working with individuals with Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) influence my perception of the difficulties individuals with HFA face while navigating and forming romantic relationships? The literature review revealed that individuals with HFA are highly interested in romantic relationships but do not feel they have the skills to initiate and maintain romantic relationships. This study presents a qualitative case study that also employs autoethnographic methods via focus groups, field notes, and a journal reflection. The analysis examined what individuals with HFA believe their challenges with dating are and identified ways to incorporate client-centered practice to address these difficulties. I maintained a journal throughout the research process to identify any biases. This study is rooted in a deep understanding of the socio-political model of disability. Data analysis revealed the following themes: self-management campaigns, “I’m different than you are,” and anxiety which are explained in detail throughout the study. Through this study, it is suggested that future research and practice includes the creation of therapeutic interventions and social supports aimed at decreasing the mental health risk in the lives of those with HFA.

 
110A. Reducing Challenging Behavior Following Denied Access
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
HAILEE PEREZ (Bancroft), Timothy Nipe (Bancroft), Brooke Ambert (Bancroft)
Discussant: Corina Jimenez-Gomez (Auburn University)
Abstract:

Challenging behaviors maintained by access to tangible items can be more difficult to treat if the individual already has a variety of functionally appropriate responses. Instead, the individual's inability to “accept no” or wait for items to become available often leads to high rates of challenging behavior. Unfortunately, there is little empirical research in the treatment of challenging under these conditions. Mace (2011) describes two effective alternative methods for reducing challenging behavior following denied requests. These effective methods are providing alternatives, or arranging contingencies to be completed prior to delivery of the preferred items. The purpose of this study was to present these evidence-based treatments in a variable order to maximize results and generalizability. Generalization of treatment effects were further assessed by including a “No” condition, in which the individual was not prompted to choose an alternative but they were available upon appropriate request.

 
112. A Consultation Model for Improving the Implementation of the "Accept, Identify, Move" Curriculum in Applied Behavior Analysis Programs for Children Diagnosed With Autism Spectrum Disorder
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
SARAH DUNKEL-JACKSON (Centria Autism Services), Jennifer Reid (Centria Healthcare), Kayleah Crosby-Rowley (Centria Healthcare), Laura Belz (Centria Healthcare)
Discussant: Corina Jimenez-Gomez (Auburn University)
Abstract:

Abstract Accept. Identify. Move. (AIM) (Dixon & Paliliunas, 2018) is a curriculum that incorporates contemporary behavior analytic approaches to enhancing social-emotional development of individuals diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Using case studies and a multiple baseline across participants, the current study will explore the benefits of a group consultation model to help clinicians implement this new curriculum with individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder who have behavior treatment goals of decreasing challenging behavior and increasing social-emotional regulation skills. Results will include changes in observed challenging behavior rates and psychological flexibility as reported by parents and clients as well as participation in Accept, Identify, Move (AIM) sessions and use of Accept, Identify, Move (AIM) skills. Participants include 3-10 individuals over the age of 6 years who are diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Participants may also be diagnosed with additional medical conditions (e.g., Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Epilepsy). Collaboration with additional service providers (e.g., psychiatrist, social worker) will occur as needed for children with additional diagnoses. Each participant will be receiving applied behavior analytic services from a large healthcare agency that provides in-home and center-based applied behavior analytic services. Participants will have challenging behavior reduction and social-emotional regulation goals in their behavior treatment plan.

 
113. Tobacco and E-Cigarette Use in Youth With Autism Spectrum Disorders
Area: AUT; Domain: Basic Research
NICOLE HIGGINS (Florida Institute of Technology), Vida Tyc (Florida Institute of Technology)
Discussant: Corina Jimenez-Gomez (Auburn University)
Abstract:

While there has been an extensive amount of research on tobacco use in children and adolescents, very little has been conducted in children with developmental delays, particularly Autism Spectrum Disorders. Similarly, research examining newer methods of nicotine use, such as electronic nicotine delivery systems has not yet been conducted in this population. It has previously been assumed that characteristics commonly observed in youngsters with autism serve as protective factors for the initiation of tobacco and ENDS use; however, no studies have identified the variables that contribute to a youngster’s intention to smoke/use e-cigarettes in this vulnerable population. This study aimed to determine rates of combustible cigarettes and e-cigarettes use, smoking and vaping rates in family homes and vehicles, and identify the factors associated with future intentions to use tobacco/e-cigarettes among youngsters with autism. A total of 70 children (ages 10-17 yrs) and their parents/guardians were enrolled on this study and completed an online questionnaire about their smoking and vaping habits. Half of children (50%) endorsed a history of cigarette use, 45.7% endorsed a history of ENDS use (n = 32), and 86.5% of children used tobacco also used ENDS products (n = 32).

 
114. The Long-Term Usage Patterns of App-Based Intervention Programs for Youths With Autism Spectrum Disorder in the Real World
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
YOUNKYOUNG LEE (Yonsei University), Kyong-Mee Chung (Yonsei University)
Discussant: Corina Jimenez-Gomez (Auburn University)
Abstract:

The advancement in information & communication technology (ICT) expanded development and distribution of technology-based interventions for individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). However, limited information is available regarding the effectiveness and long-term usage of those programs, which are critical factors for interventions. This study investigated the usage patterns of two evidence-based mobile apps named Yface and Ycog developed for improving social cognition and cognitive functions in individuals with ASD. Both apps were developed based on the principles of applied behavior analysis (ABA) and have been open for public for two years after the treatment outcome research was completed. The number of new users and active users were recorded with their usage patterns through the administrator website. The results showed that 931 users newly registered for the apps (Yface n=392, Ycog n=539), yet 57.91% for Yface and 41% for Ycog did not use the app after they joined. The percentage of completing the whole program of the app was 3.83% (n=15) and 7.76% (n=43), respectively. Findings suggest the need to adopt effective strategies (e.g., gamification) to promote long-term use of developed apps.

 
115. Increasing Child-Initiated Communication in Young Children With Autism Using Pivotal Response Treatment
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
DEVON WHITE (Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA), Jane Shkel (Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA), Morgan Steele (Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA), Antonio Hardan (Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA), Grace Werner Gengoux (Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA)
Discussant: Corina Jimenez-Gomez (Auburn University)
Abstract:

Many children with autism struggle to acquire fluent verbal communication skills in spite of early behavioral intervention targeting increasingly complex speech. Pivotal Response Treatment (PRT) employs maintenance tasks and reinforcement of child attempts to motivate children to initiate communication, and may have promise for rapidly increasing length of independent utterances. This pilot study presents preliminary data regarding the short-term benefits of clinician-delivered PRT on the length of independent utterances. Study participants received 12 hours per week of PRT in an early intervention classroom setting. A non-concurrent multiple baseline across participants design is being used to measure the effect on average length of independent utterances. Available data from 10-minute video samples for the first two participants (one female aged 2.9 years and one male aged 2.7) indicate rapid increase in number of words used during session probes over the course of treatment. Interobserver agreement was assessed for 30% of the videos and coders met an 80% reliability standard. Extended baseline data are currently being collected from additional participants scheduled to enter the program. Implications of the findings, as well as limitations, will be discussed with emphasis on the potential utility of PRT for motivating children with ASD to speak more independently.

 
116. Promoting the Use of Web-Based VB-MAPP in China: Some Preliminary Findings
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
Xuegang Wang (INGCare), ZIWEI XU (Institute for Accessibility Development Tsinghua University; INGCare), Zhen Wang (INGCare), Jiarui Yan (INGCare; Interactive Media Institute of Arts & Design Academy Tsinghua University), Youruo Ma (INGCare)
Discussant: Corina Jimenez-Gomez (Auburn University)
Abstract:

Typically, ABA-based treatment for individuals with ASD is supervised by master’s or doctoral-level certified clinicians (e.g., Board Certified Behavior Analysts) who are responsible for assessing skill deficits, developing treatment programs, tracking client progress, and adjusting treatment programs as needed (Behavior Analyst Certification Board, 2014). Unfortunately, that is not the case in China. Due to the lack of government support (McCabe & Deng, 2017) and shortage of credentialed practitioners (data retrievable from Behavior Analyst Certification Board), practitioners with high school or bachelor’s-level educations are stepping up to fill gaps in service delivery and play the dual role of behavior supervisors and technicians (e.g., conducting the assessment, writing treatment plans, and implementing the plans). The Verbal Behavior Milestones Assessment and Placement Program (VB-MAPP) is one of the most widely used assessment for the treatment of autism and it contains a functional analysis of language (Esch, LaLonde, & Esch, 2010; Gould, Dixon, Najdowski, Smith, & Tarbox, 2011; Sundberg, 2014). The launch and expansion of the web-based VB-MAPP in Chinese translation has brought dramatic changes to how Chinese practitioners assess skill deficits and design treatment plans for individuals with ASD. Given the increasing number of practitioners using the VB-MAPP, there is a need to further investigate the demographics of the practitioners, the healthcare organizations they are affiliated to, the clients they have implemented the assessment with, and the caregivers of the clients. The findings shed light on the breadth of current and future needs for early screening and diagnosis of ASD, parent education and training on ASD treatment, staff training on B.F. Skinner’s Analysis of Verbal Behavior, and non-governmental organizations that provide ABA-based direct services for children with ASD in China.

 
118. A Re-examination of Augmentative and Alternative Communication Interventions for Minimally Verbal Children With Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Theory
ANGELA T MACDONALD (McGill University; Centre for Research on Brain, Language, and Music), Aparna Nadig (McGill University; Centre for Research on Brain, Language, and Music)
Discussant: Corina Jimenez-Gomez (Auburn University)
Abstract:

Approximately 30% of people with autism will not develop the ability to communicate verbally. During childhood, many attempts are made to increase spoken language in these minimally verbal children with autism (MV), often without success. They are eventually taught to communicate using non-spoken methods using signs, pictures, or tablets (i.e., augmentative and alternative communication [AAC] systems).To date, research has shown that AAC interventions do not negatively impact the development of spoken communication for MV children, with some studies even reporting gains in spoken communication. When examined more closely, the AAC intervention studies that report gains often include additional strategies that serve to promote spoken communication (integrated AAC interventions). These will be distinguished from interventions that solely teach the use of the AAC system (AAC teaching interventions). This poster will review prior research to determine whether integrated AAC versus AAC teaching interventions promote the development of spoken communication to a greater degree. Of the 30 single-subject (see tables 1 and 2) and five group studies reviewed, 1) AAC teaching interventions do not hinder nor do they help the development of spoken communication 2) Integrated AAC interventions show promise in helping develop spoken communication. This poster will contribute to the evidence base on interventions for MV children, a currently under-researched group.

 
119. ABAcadabra: An App to Teach Conditional Discrimination to Individuals With Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
LUIZA GUIMARÃES (Universidade Federal de São Carlos), João S. Carmo (Universidade Federal de São Carlos)
Discussant: Corina Jimenez-Gomez (Auburn University)
Abstract:

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a developmental disorder that has deficits in social communication skills, and high frequency of stereotypy and restricted behavior. Behavior Analysis is an important intervention that helps to decrease ASD symptoms. The ASD behavioral intervention involves, often, language development, since part of this population is no vocal. Spoken by others is an important repertoire that involves learning relationships between stimuli. There are many studies that investigate computer-based technologies to teach people with autism. In this context, Tablets devices are a possible tool for teaching fundamental skills to ASD individuals, and it can help them to have a better quality of life. A lot of skill can be teaching by the Tablet device, one of them is the conditional discrimination that can be trained in MTS tasks. The present study proposed to evaluate three types of training: with ABAcadabra tablet application alone, with paper alone, and combined form (ABAcadabra and paper). In Experiments 1, the experimental stimuli were separated into three groups, each one related to the type of training (with ABAcadabra, paper and combined). One participant (ASD and non-vocal) had to identify items such as fruits and tools, and another (ASD and vocal) had to identify syllables. With both participants, combined training proved to be more efficient because facilitated the rapid acquisition of responses, as well as the emergence of untrained responses.

 
121. Let’s Work Together! A Family-Centered Services System in Mainland China
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
TANGCHEN LI (The Ohio State University)
Discussant: Kwang-Sun Cho Blair (University of South Florida)
Abstract:

Family plays a vital role in the behavioral and educational intervention for children with ASD (Zwaigenbaum et al., 2015). Family is the constant in the child’s life instead of the professional. The family is also in the best position to determine the needs and well-being of the child. When professionals also help the family, the child can get the best help, which may also extend to an understanding of the family’s community and to providing information that the family needs (Dempsey & Keen, 2008). This poster will present the readers with a family-centered approach for professionals and families to follow. In this family-centered approach, child with ASD, parents and other caregivers, and siblings will be considered as important roles in the services system. A model of how to provide service and how to incorporate the needs of all members in the family will be presented. Key components of this family-centered services system include: helping family members to understand their lives, goals, strengths, and challenges and establishing a cooperation relationship between family and professionals; working with family to set goals for their child with ASD and their whole family as a intervention team; providing individualized, culturally responsive and evidence-based intervention for each family; providing feedback on their progress. This family-centered system has been implemented in mainland China with more than 20 families. This poster will present the audience with a system on how to engage families with a Chinese cultural background actively and optimize the family outcome for families with a child with ASD in mainland China.

 
122. An Analysis of Exposure Procedures for Sound Aversion in an Adolescent With Autism Spectrum Disorder
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
CARISSA CAREY (Institute of Professional Practice, Learning Academy, Naugatuck ), Aine Murphy (Institute of Professional Practice, Learning Academy, Naugatuck), David R. Gallaway (The Institute of Professional Practice, Inc), Diane Dean (Institute of Professional Practice, Learning Academy, Naugatuck)
Discussant: Kwang-Sun Cho Blair (University of South Florida)
Abstract:

Carissa Carey, Aine Murphy, David Gallaway, and Diane Dean describe a process of innovative assessments and treatment using a matrix to identify salient sound variables for a 13-year-old male diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder in which sensitivity to the aversive sounds of peers was the identified antecedent. Procedures outlined include three phases of assessment and treatment. Phase 1 consisted of an initial sound exposure protocol to target the sensitivity. Phase 2 included a procedure for shaping a competing response. Phase 3 was an assessment of relevant variables of the antecedent sound using a matrix, which informed an update to the sound exposure protocol utilizing the identified salient stimuli of the aversive sound tied to the most severe challenging target behaviors. The matrix for assessment tested classes of sound, volume, location, and the severity of challenging behavior based on specific sound variables. Outcomes display a decreasing trend during treatment. Due to the limited research in the area of treatment for sound aversion, it is important to continue to assess alternative variations of exposure and like treatments.

 
123. Virtual Reality: What is Currently Known About aPromising Tool to Teach Social Skills to Children and Adolescents With Autism Spectrum Disorders
Area: AUT; Domain: Theory
ARGNUE CHITIYO (Ball State University), Chaidamoyo Goodson Dzenga (Tennessee Technological University)
Discussant: Kwang-Sun Cho Blair (University of South Florida)
Abstract:

Approximately 1 in 68 children in USA have autism. Children with autism exhibit deficits in social communication and interaction skills. Social skills are directly related to quality of life since they entail building relationships with other people and accessing opportunities where social skills are an essential pre-requisite. Virtual reality technological strategies have recently gained prominence as a potentially effective tool for training social skills to people with autism. Virtual reality creates simulations of the real-world social situations that can be personalized to meet the personal preferences of children with autism and used to train target social or professional skills to the individuals. Despite the promising rise of virtual reality in the fields of human skills training, there is not yet enough evidence base for its efficacy on children and adolescents with autism. This review evaluates literature on virtual reality on children and adolescents with autism. Variations of tools used, social skills outcomes investigated, and generality of the taught skills are examined. Furthermore, the study computes effect sizes to assess the magnitude of effect of the interventions. Recommendations for future research are suggested.

 
124. Using Functionally Matched Interventions to Reduce Transition-Related Challenging Behavior for Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
LAURA ROJESKI (The University of Texas at Austin), Mark O'Reilly (The University of Texas at Austin), Cindy Gevarter (University of New Mexico)
Discussant: Kwang-Sun Cho Blair (University of South Florida)
Abstract:

Transitioning between activities is a common challenge for individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). While a body of research has examined effective interventions targeting transitions for individuals with ASD, very few studies have assessed the function of behavior relative to the transition. Determining functionally matched interventions is a critical component to successful outcomes, thus, the present study examined the effectiveness of a functionally matched, embedded preference intervention for three young children with ASD, aged 2 - 7. Using an ABAB reversal with an embedded multi-element design, the function of transition-related challenging behavior was first assessed through a transition functional analysis. The transition functional analysis included two conditions for each traditional functional analysis condition, meaning there was an activity initiation (transitioning to), and activity termination (transitioning away from) component to each function. Transitions with elevated levels of challenging behavior were subsequently targeted for individualized intervention based on participant preferences and behavioral function. Intervention components varied for each participant but included strategies such as themed materials, "place savers" when interrupting routines, and modified instructional materials. Results for all three participants showed clear functions maintaining transition-related challenging behavior, and included 2-3 targeted transitions for each participant. Results indicated the functionally matched interventions were effective for all three participant, with behavior decreasing to zero or near-zero levels during intervention across all conditions. Interventions appeared to be equally effective across functions of behavior. Results generalized to new skills or people for all participants. Behavior maintained at the 1-month follow-up across all interventions for two participants. One participant had less consistent maintenance data. However, behavior did reduce to near zero levels again after a second maintenance check with an added component for one condition. This study indicated important implications for both home and school settings. Results demonstrated the importance of assessing function and using functionally matched interventions during transitions for individuals with ASD, and added to the body of research demonstrating the effectiveness of individualized intervention.

 
125. A Component Analysis of Self-Monitoring for Increasing Task Engagement
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
SAM SHEETS (Western New England University New England Center for Children), Eileen M. Roscoe (The New England Center for Children Western New England University)
Discussant: Kwang-Sun Cho Blair (University of South Florida)
Abstract: Self-monitoring has been suggested to be an effective treatment procedure by previous research. Although self-monitoring has been found to be an effective approach for increasing a variety of skills such as increasing time on-task, vocational engagement, and productivity, it is often conducted with additional treatment components such as prompting and differential reinforcement of alternative behavior (DRA). Therefore, the potential benefit of self-monitoring alone remains unclear. The purpose of the current study was to conduct a component analysis of a self-monitoring intervention for increasing task engagement and productivity in a 20-year old male with autism spectrum disorder. During the treatment analysis, four treatment components were sequentially evaluated: self-monitoring alone (baseline) before and after training, self-monitoring plus DRA (accuracy), self-monitoring plus DRA (accuracy & engagement), and DRA (engagement). Dependent variables measured were task engagement, productivity, and stereotypy (Reliability was assessed in 25.5% of sessions; M = 98.1%). Self-monitoring alone was ineffective both after training and DRA (accuracy & engagement). By contrast, DRA (accuracy) was effective following exposure to DRA (accuracy & engagement). Therefore, self-monitoring can be effective when combined with only DRA (accuracy) under certain circumstances. The implications of these findings for using effectively using self-monitoring will be discussed.
 
126. Treatment of Escape-Maintained Problem Behavior Without Extinction
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
ANGELICA J SEDANO (The New England Center for Children; Western New England University ), Eileen M. Roscoe (The New England Center for Children), Zoe Newman (The New England Center for Children; Western New England University)
Discussant: Kwang-Sun Cho Blair (University of South Florida)
Abstract: Differential reinforcement of alternative behavior (DRA) has been demonstrated to be an effective treatment for escape-maintained problem behavior. Although DRA typically includes an extinction component, escape extinction may not always be feasible or safe to implement. For this reason, researchers have evaluated DRA without extinction. DRA without extinction is a concurrent-schedules arrangement in that multiple schedules of reinforcement are operating, one for problem behavior and the other for appropriate behavior. When both problem behavior and appropriate behavior result in escape, it is important to consider reinforcement parameters, such as quality or magnitude, that may shift response allocation from problem behavior to compliance. The purpose of this literature review is to examine previous research using DRA without extinction to treat escape-maintained problem behavior. We conducted a literature search using the following keywords alone or in combination: DRA, contingent reinforcement, escape maintained problem behavior, reinforcer quality in four major journals (Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, Behavior Analysis in Practice, Behavior Modification, and Behavioral Interventions). All studies that included treatment analyses without extinction for escape-maintained problem behavior were selected for review. Important findings regarding efficacious stimuli to include in the DRA contingency and areas for future research will be discussed.
 
127. A Review of Targeted Response Complexity during Functional Communication Training
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
CHARLENE NICOLE AGNEW (The Graduate Center, City University of New York; Queens College), Joshua Jessel (Queens College, City University of New York)
Discussant: Kwang-Sun Cho Blair (University of South Florida)
Abstract: Functional communication training (FCT) is a well-established treatment for problem behavior. Clinical recommendations regarding the topography of alternative responses suggest functional communication responses (FCRs) should be initially less effortful and then gradually shaped to be more complex following reductions in problem behavior. However, the extent to which these recommendations are followed has not yet been systematically evaluated. We searched PsychInfo, PubMed, and Google Scholar to identify applications of FCT, then scored FCR topography in relation to baseline language ability for each individual. We also recorded variations of FCR topographies taught throughout the course of treatment and if teaching multiple FCRs of increasing complexity improved treatment outcomes. We found that FCT is expected to decrease problem behavior, regardless of whether single or multiple FCRs are taught. However, when multiple FCRs are taught, reductions in problem behavior are greater than when a single FCR is taught. Increases in social and developmental appropriateness may increase the likelihood of FCRs recruiting reinforcement in typical environments. Clinicians may also wish to be aware of the client’s communication ability before implementing FCT in order to determine initial FCRs that are less complex than the individual’s baseline ability in order to better compete with problem behavior.
 
128. An Individualized Treatment Package to Increase Urinary Continence
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Erica Jones (Florida Autism Center), BRANDON PEREZ (University of Florida), Janelle Kirstie Bacotti (University of Florida), Kerri P. Peters (University of Florida), Timothy R. Vollmer (University of Florida)
Discussant: Kwang-Sun Cho Blair (University of South Florida)
Abstract:

Greer, Neidert, and Dozier (2016) evaluated the effectiveness of three components presented within a toilet-training package for typically-developing children: a 30-min sit schedule, placing subjects in underwear, and differential reinforcement for remaining dry and eliminating in the toilet. These components were evaluated both in isolation and together in a treatment package with 19 typically-developing children and 1 child diagnosed with ASD. Perez, Bacotti, Peters, and Vollmer (accepted) recently replicated the treatment-package condition with 13 children with ASD. To date, we now have 3 subjects for whom this treatment package was ineffective. The current study will present these 3 data sets and discuss the modifications that were made to increase appropriate urinations (for 2 of the 3 subjects). Importantly these modifications only consisted of reinforcement-based procedures (i.e., aversive consequences, such as reprimands or overcorrection, were never delivered contingent on accidents).

 
129. Assessing the Criterion Validity of the Verbal Behavior Milestones Assessment and Placement Program
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Courtney Maher (Michigan State University ), BRITTANY HUNTER (Michigan State University), Shelby Rosalik (Michigan State University ), Josh Plavnick (Michigan State University)
Discussant: Kwang-Sun Cho Blair (University of South Florida)
Abstract: Early intensive behavioral intervention (EIBI) services are supported by empirical research showing positive gains on standardized assessments, such as the Mullen Scales of Early Learning (MSEL; Mullen, 1997) and the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales (VABS-3; Sparrow, Cicchetti, & Saulnier, 2016). Clinical practices however, often rely on commercially available skill assessments like the Verbal Behavior Milestones Assessment and Placement Program (VB-MAPP; Sundberg, 2008). There is little research evaluating the validity of the VB-MAPP and specifically, no research that we know of examining the criterion validity between the VB-MAPP and standardized assessments used in research. The current study examined the criterion and predictive validity of the VB-MAPP to determine whether gain scores on the VB-MAPP at intake, 6-months, and 12-month timepoints during EIBI treatment can predict outcomes on the MSEL and the VABS-3. Participants of the current study were children aged 2-5 that were enrolled in a university-based Midwestern EIBI center for 30 hours per week. Results will be discussed as they apply to concurrent and predictive validity of the VB-MAPP. Secondary analyses will address treatment planning based on outcomes from commercially available skill assessments.
 
130. Aesthetic Theming of Token Economies and its Affect on Target Response Rates
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Kimberly Ghorm (Vista Autism Services), Nora Healy (Vista Autism Services), Bernadette Damiano (Vista Autism Services), JONATHAN IVY (The Pennsylvania State University - Harrisburg )
Discussant: Kwang-Sun Cho Blair (University of South Florida)
Abstract:

Despite common use, the appearance of a token economy’s board and tokens depends on style, preferences, and treatment institutions’ norms. This study evaluates target response rates when using aesthetically themed token economies and plain token economies. Two students attending a school for autism spectrum disorder were each introduced to a plain token economy and one themed towards the students’ interests based on interviews with treatment teams and a series of multiple stimulus preference assessments without replacement (MSWO). During baseline, target responses were recorded. In the unconditioned phase, participants’ target responses when using no token board, the plain token board, and the themed token board were recorded without use of backup reinforcers. One participant displayed a steady increase in response rates when using the themed token economy, contrasting a decrease over time in the other 2 conditions. Inter-observer agreement, treatment fidelity checklists, and role-play training contribute to confidence in this data, while the small sample size detracts. In an applied setting, a student shows increasing target response rates when using an unconditioned themed token economy, as opposed to decreasing response rates while using a plain token economy. This may have implications on the use of token economies without backup reinforcers.

 
133. A Descriptive Analysis of Ear Plugging in Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
KATIE ANN ALVAREZ (University of Florida ), Samuel L. Morris (University of Florida), Brandon C. Perez (University of Florida), Timothy R. Vollmer (University of Florida)
Discussant: Michele M Davidson (Penn State)
Abstract:

Ear plugging is a behavior that may be especially prevalent in the population of individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) due to their characteristic sensitivity to some visual and auditory stimuli as well as the prevalence of rigid and repetitive behavior. Ear plugging or covering can make communicating, teaching, and otherwise interacting with the individual much more difficult. Furthermore, ear plugging may influence compliance with instructions, especially with regard to personal safety. Tang, Kennedy, Koppekin and Caruso (2002) conducted a descriptive assessment of one subject’s ear plugging to identify if any antecedent or consequences reliably preceded or followed ear plugging, respectively. They identified that this subject’s ear plugging most often occurred when another child was screaming. Additionally, in a subsequent functional analysis, they determined this subject’s ear plugging was maintained by automatic negative reinforcement or escape/attenuation of aversive noises. The current study will extend the procedures of Tang et al. (2002) by conducting a descriptive assessment to identify the common antecedent events that usually surround ear plugging and determining the relative probability of ear plugging occurring following these events through the use of risk ratios.

 
134. Distance-Based Collaborations for Assessing and Treating Problem Behavior
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
RACHEL METRAS (Western New England University; FTF Behavioral Consulting), Matthew Carbone (Western New England University), Gregory P. Hanley (Western New England University; FTF Behavioral Consulting)
Discussant: Michele M Davidson (Penn State)
Abstract: An interview-informed synthesized contingency analysis (IISCA) and related skill-based treatment process can result in socially valid outcomes for clients exhibiting severe problem behavior when implemented by professionals and then transferred to teachers and parents (Hanley, Jin, Vanselow, & Hanratty, 2014; Santiago, Hanley, Moore, & Jin, 2016; Taylor, Phillips, & Gertzog, 2018). However, many families do not have access to professionals trained to implement functional analyses or function-based treatments (Deochand & Fuqua, 2016). In similar situations, parents have achieved differentiated functional analyses and have taught their children functional communication responses with telehealth support from behavior analysts (Suess et al., 2016). In the present study, three parents of children exhibiting severe problem behavior were trained to implement the IISCA and skill-based treatment process through distance-based collaborative consulting without local professional support. Following the implementation of a behavior skills training package, all parents achieved differentiated functional analyses and at least a 90% reduction in problem behavior relative to baseline. The extent to which general and socially validated outcomes are possible when parents implement these processes with support provided at a distance will be addressed in this study.
 
135. A Comparison of Mixed and Blocked-Trial Formats for Teaching Conditional Discriminations to an Individual With Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
JAMES SHERMAN (Evergreen Center), Joseph M. Vedora (Evergreen Center), Kimberly Beckman (Evergreen Center), Kayla Christenson (Evergreen Center)
Discussant: Michele M Davidson (Penn State)
Abstract:

Mixed-trial instruction is often used to teach auditory-visual conditional discriminations (AVCD) to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). During mixed-trial instruction, different sample stimuli are presented in a random but balanced manner across an instructional session. Blocked-trial instruction has also been used by researchers to teach AVCD to individuals struggling to learn these discriminations (Perez-Gonzalez & Williams, 2002). In blocked-trial sessions, the same sample stimulus is presented for a fixed number of consecutive trials before presenting a different sample stimulus for an equal number of consecutive trials. A recent comparison by Bentham, Walker, Pluym, and Tejeda (2019) evaluated blocked vs. mixed-trials used to teach AVCDs to three adults with IDD. Their results suggested the blocked trial format was more efficient, however the differences for the two of the participants was nominal (i.e., 1 and 2 sessions) and there were no within-subject replications. The purpose of the current study was to compare blocked vs. mixed-trials used to teach AVCDs to a teenager with autism. The preliminary results of the first comparison indicated the blocked-trial procedure was slightly more effective. The implications of different trial presentations are discussed.

 
136. Behavioral Assessment and Early Intervention Protocol for Autistic Risk Babies: Increasing the Generality of Previous Results
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Paula Gioia (Pontifical Catholic University of São Paulo), Simone Assunção Keiner (Pontifical Catholic University of São Paulo), FLAVIA MORAIS (Pontifical Catholic University of São Paulo)
Discussant: Michele M Davidson (Penn State)
Abstract:

This research has been carried out for several years to identify ASD risk in siblings of children diagnosed with ASD and its design is a longitudinal prospective one. We pretend to identify early risk signs in siblings aged 7 to 36 months old. Thirteen tasks were developed to evaluate siblings target behaviors by therapists or parents: turning the body to sounds, following instructions, pointing, making eye contact, babbling or speaking, social smiling, imitating, understanding signs, looking to an object pointed by others, pretend play. Evaluations of every infant are taken monthly and, each new year, new infants are included . This study was developed in 2019 and its aim was to verify if new results obtained by application of the protocol on five infants aged 8 to 36 months old would increase the generality of previous results. Four infants had speech language impairment and referral for speech therapist assessment. Only one of the siblings showed severe impairment in different areas of development and has been referred to ASD specialists that agreed with our evaluation, showing protocol´s generality with new participants. Additional results were related to protocol improvement.

 
137. School Staff-Implemented High Probability Request Sequence to Enhance Compliance and Social Skills for Preschoolers With Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Richard Cowan (Kent State University), LINDSAY CANDEL (Kent State University)
Discussant: Michele M Davidson (Penn State)
Abstract:

This study investigated the impact of school staff-implemented antecedent strategy (high probability request sequence; HPRS) on percentage compliance with low-probability social requests for preschoolers with autism. Percentage of intervals engaged in social interactions with peers in the naturalistic classroom setting was also measured. The use of HPRS to enhance social-communicative skills development for children with disabilities has received preliminary support in the literature. This study extends on previous research by incorporating HPRS with children with autism within the context of a naturalistic setting with teachers and paraprofessionals as the intervention agents. A multiple baseline design across participants was utilized. School staff were trained to implement the intervention via the behavioral consultation model. Treatment integrity was monitored via self-report on an intervention checklist. Social significance was measured via school-staff self-report. Generalization and maintenance of skills were also measured. Results indicate that the HPRS intervention was effective at improving compliance with low-p requests even when the intervention was removed. Limited improvement with overall social interactions was observed.

 
138. The Efficacy of Behavioral Skills Training on the Administration of the Verbal Behavior Milestones Assessment and Placement Program by Clinical Staff
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
SADAF KHAWAR (Montclair State University/Helping Hands Therapeutic Services, Inc), Chana Tilson (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, Helping Hands Therapeutic Services, Inc)
Discussant: Michele M Davidson (Penn State)
Abstract: This study is important because it expands the current research on using behavioral skills training (BST) on the administration of the Verbal Behavior Milestones Assessment and Placement Program (VB-MAPP) by clinical staff in an Early Intervention Program in Manhattan, New York. It was hypothesized that BST will increase the reliability of the administration of the VB-MAPP by staff members in center-based and home-based Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) programs with children under 3 years of age diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. The VB-MAPP is an assessment tool that is used to determine skills that a child has in their repertoire, as well as, deficits and barriers that are interfering with skill acquisition. The BST consisted of instructions via PowerPoint presentation, modeling, skill rehearsal and performance specific feedback. Generalization probes were conducted following the BST portion. Pre-BST and Post-BST data were collected to assess the reliability of VB-MAPP administration across six participants. All participants demonstrated an increase in the earned points following the training. These results confirm that BST improves accuracy and reliability of VB-MAPP administration. Details of the BST procedure and results will be discussed.
 
139. Mand Training Techniques for Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Systematic Review
Area: AUT; Domain: Theory
REMINGTON SWENSSON (Baylor University), Jessica Akers (Baylor University)
Discussant: Michele M Davidson (Penn State)
Abstract:

We conducted a systematic review of the literature on behavior analytic interventions targeting manding in children with autism spectrum disorder. We were primarily interested in research addressing manding which met the definition outlined by Skinner (1957) that a mand is a verbal operant under the control of relevant states of deprivation, satiation or aversive stimulation, thus we excluded studies that did not specifically include the term mand. We identified the studies which met our preliminary inclusion criteria of having been published in a peer reviewed journal and contained participants under the age of eighteen diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. These articles are being further coded to obtain both descriptive and quality information. We are using the standards provided by the What Works Clearinghouse (WWC; 2017) to assess the designs of each experiment as well as using visual analysis to determine the evidence provided. Results will be further analyzed and discussed.

 
141. Replacement Skills Training to Address Inappropriate Throwing and Aggression in a Student With Autism Spectrum Disorder
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
JOHN SCULLY (The Center for Discovery), Rena Marr (The Center for Discovery), Johanna F Lantz (The Center for Discovery)
Discussant: Michele M Davidson (Penn State)
Abstract:

Challenging behaviors in classroom settings can disrupt learning. “Roger” was an adolescent with autism spectrum disorder who would throw objects so that they became stuck in difficult to access places (e.g., rooftops, high shelves) or to rattle or break other objects. Objects included those belonging to other students such as iPads used for communication. Attempts to block throwing resulted in severe aggression to the point that during baseline, staff did not attempt to block the behavior. During Phase 1, staff worked with Roger in a treatment space stripped of objects with the exception of non-contingent access (NCA) to an appropriate safe item to throw (ball). Other objects were gradually introduced. Throwing inappropriate objects was put on extinction using response blocking. In Phase 2, functional communication training (FCT + Ext) was used to teach Roger to request to throw the ball. In Phase 3 (Generalization), Roger completed tasks around the campus, but not with peers in his classroom and the intervention continued. Eventually, Roger was fully reintegrated into his classroom with continued access to his safe throwing item as well as all other objects typically found in this setting. This intervention was successful at reducing inappropriate throwing and aggression and increasing functional communication responses.

 
142. Effects of a Chained Schedule Procedure to Treat Challenging Behavior Maintained by Escape
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
JESSICA DETRICK (Western Michigan University ), Kelsey Webster (Western Michigan University), Stephanie M. Peterson (Western Michigan University)
Discussant: Michele M Davidson (Penn State)
Abstract: We evaluated a procedure consisting of a chained schedule of reinforcement to treat escape-maintained challenging behavior exhibited by a 22-year-old Caucasian female diagnosed with IDD and ASD. This study is an extension of Falcomata, White, Muething, and Fragale (2012). First, we conducted a baseline condition in which compliance to complete requests was not reinforced. Next, we implemented a chained schedule of reinforcement procedure in which during the initial link, compliance with a demand was reinforced on a FR1 schedule of reinforcement. The participant’s compliance with the demand signaled the second link of the chained schedule that consisted of providing a schedule of reinforcement for a minimum of 2-min. Reinforcement included a “boss hat” in which the participant was able to provide demands to anyone in the space that was within reason and did not cause harm. After baseline, the “boss hat” was used in all conditions of the chained reinforcement schedule. Last, we modified the chained schedule procedure to increase the amount and complexity of demands. The results showed that the treatment was successful in the treatment of challenging behavior maintained by escape.
 
143. A Practitioner’s Approach to Decrease Severe Behavior Problems and Increase Skills Across Critical Settings
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
WOAN TIAN CHOW (Applied Behavior Consultants, Inc.), Monica Topete (Applied Behavior Consultants, Inc. ), Nichole Shumake (Applied Behavior Consultants, Inc.)
Discussant: Michele M Davidson (Penn State)
Abstract: The purpose of this poster is to present a practitioner’s approach to address severe behavior problems demonstrated by a 5-year-old child diagnosed with autism, including aggression, property destruction, disrobing, intentional voiding of urine, and elopement. The functional assessment conducted identified access to items and attention as the functions of the behaviors. Initial attempts to address the behavior problems solely through function-based alternative behavior and functional communication training were unsuccessful. The team then completed a thorough analysis within his treatment, home and community settings, which included interview, direct observation, and probing of the behavior problems. Motivating operations, skill deficits, and barriers contributing to the behavior problems were identified across environments, which impeded socially significant behaviors and critical functioning skills. Treatment included restructuring ABA programming to focus on systematic shaping to address skill deficits and barriers. Concurrently, the team worked closely with parents on parent training and ongoing analysis to ensure generalization and maintenance across the home and community. Immediately upon implementation a significant decrease in problem behaviors was observed. Subsequently, the child demonstrated consistent progress toward skill acquisition while maintaining absence of severe behavior problems. Parents also reported significant improvement of behavior problems across home and community settings.
 
144. A Treatment Analysis for Increasing Physical Activity in a Child with Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
HANNAH MARIE KRUEGER (The New England Center for Children), Chelsea Hedquist (New England Center for Children), Eileen M. Roscoe (The New England Center for Children)
Discussant: Michele M Davidson (Penn State)
Abstract: The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends children receive a minimum 60 min of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) daily. Many children, particularly those with intellectual disabilities, do not meet these guidelines. Therefore, it is important to evaluate strategies for increasing physical activity among this population. The purpose of the current study was to conduct a treatment analysis of various intervention components within the context of a single activity duration-based preference assessment for an individual with autism spectrum disorder. The goal of this analysis was to identify the most effective treatment component and physical activity combination. Intervention components included prompting alone, prompting plus noncontingent reinforcement (NCR), and prompting plus differential reinforcement of alternative behavior (DRA), and a combination of prompting plus NCR and DRA. Dependent variables were appropriate activity engagement and heart rate. Following the treatment analysis, a modified paired-stimulus preference assessment was conducted to assess the effects of intervention on response allocation to a physical activity relative to a sedentary activity. A generality analysis was subsequently conducted with the two most effective exercise activity and treatment combinations with the goal of increasing physical activity duration and intensity in accordance with CDC guidelines.
 
145. Assessing Preference of Two Communication Modalities
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
DAPHNE SNYDER (Western Michigan University), Cody Morris (Salve Regina University ), Kelsey Webster (Western Michigan University), Stephanie M. Peterson (Western Michigan University)
Discussant: Michele M Davidson (Penn State)
Abstract:

Augmentative and alternative communication methods are commonly utilized to support individuals with developmental disabilities. Therefore, it is necessary to consider which augmentative and alternative communication method best serves the individual’s specific communication needs. Along with the individual’s efficiency, the individual’s preference for the specific augmentative and alternative communication method should be considered and evaluated when selecting the specific modality to be taught. This study describes the methodology and results of assessing the accuracy and preference for two augmentative and alternative communication methods utilized by one 17-year-old male with autism. Specifically, the use of the Core Word Board and a picture icon system were assessed. The results from this study showed a greater accuracy of mands when the picture icon system was utilized as compared to the Core Word Board. Additionally, the participant showed a strong preference for the picture icon system. The results from this study were utilized to advocate for the use of appropriate augmentative and alternative communication modalities for the individual across settings.

 
146. Differences in Pretend Play Between Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders and Typically Developing Children
Area: AUT; Domain: Basic Research
GENEVIEVE KREBS (Beacon ABA Services)
Discussant: Chelsea R. Fleck (New England Center for Children; Western New England University)
Abstract:

Pretend play is a diagnostic indicator and treatment area for children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD); however, minimal research is available on the actual occurrence of pretend play in children with ASD who do not have cognitive delays (American Psychiatric Association, 2013). This study compared pretend play of children with ASD to typically-developing (TD) children, dividing the ASD sample into lower-functioning (i.e., LF ASD) and higher-functioning (HF ASD) groups. Children 8 to 64 months were evaluated with the Developmental Play Assessment- Research Edition (Lifter, 2000); 289 children were included the TD sample and 38 children in the ASD sample. Hierarchical multiple regression was run to determine if differences were apparent between groups after accounting for age. Significant differences in pretend play were found between groups. Subsequent analysis determined that significant differences were only present between the LF ASD group and the other groups and no significant differences were found between the HF ASD group and TD group. Notably, visual analysis of trends suggests there may be differences that are not statistically significant in this study due to sample size. This finding suggests that children with HF ASD may not show the delays in pretend play that are expected.

 
147. Performance of Students With Autism Spectrum Disorder in the Original and Adapted Versions of the Basic Literacy Repertory Assessment Instrument
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
CÁSSIA LEAL DA HORA (Paradigma - Center of Science and Behavioral Technology), Najra Lima (Paradigma - Center of Science and Behavioral Technology)
Discussant: Chelsea R. Fleck (New England Center for Children; Western New England University)
Abstract:

It is essential that teachers assess skills and develop pedagogical programs tailored to the specific learning characteristics of individual with ASD. The IAR (Basic Literacy Repertory Assessment Instrument) is a simple, low-cost and language-accessible tool for Brazilian educators. However, this material is for students without developmental disabilities. Therefore, it’s necessary that instruments also consider the behavior patterns commonly exhibited by individuals with ASD. This study aims to investigate if material adaptations (e.g., decreased verbal instructions, visual support, etc.) would favor assessment of literacy repertoire of students with ASD. Three Brazilian boys diagnosed with ASD, aged 8 to 9 years and literate, were submitted to assessments using both instruments: original and adapted IAR. All participants performed better on the adapted version of IAR. In addition, there was a significant reduction in the application time from the original IAR to the version adapted for all participants. Finally, the data show a significant decrease in the total amount of errors issued, reduction in the presentation of disruptive behaviors and increased engagement for all participants. The improvement on participants performance, reduced disruptive behaviors and increased task engagement indicate that adaptations made in the IAR favored the performance of participants with ASD.

 
148. Effects of Language on Functional Analysis Outcomes: A Systematic Replication
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
AMANDA MARIE FINLAY (Melmark; Temple), Matthew Tincani (Temple University)
Discussant: Chelsea R. Fleck (New England Center for Children; Western New England University)
Abstract:

This study evaluated the effects of type of language on rates of challenging behavior during a functional analysis with individuals who come from families where Spanish is the primary language. This study replicated and expanded on Rispoli, O’Reilly, Lang, Sigafoos, Mulloy, Aguilar, & Singer 2011, study to see how language impacts challenging behavior during an FA and whether language is relevant in function-based treatment. Three individuals with autism spectrum disorder in a residential treatment facility participated in a multi-element (i.e., demand, attention, play- verbal, and play-nonverbal) functional analysis (FA) within this study. The FA was conducted in an ABAB experimental design with the A conditions conducted in Spanish and the B conditions conducted in English. Language did not have an effect on rates of challenging behavior during the FA. One participant displayed no responding across conditions and the other two participants responded similarly during the demand conditions regardless of the language in which the conditions were conducted. Functional communication training (FCT) was conducted for one participant in both languages. The results indicated for this individual that there was no difference according to language in rates of challenging behavior as well as acquisition and maintenance of a functionally communicative response.

 
149. Use of Principles of Applied Behavior Analysis to Decrease Maladaptive Behavior and Increase Skill Acquisition in Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Review of Few Case Studies
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
SADAF KHAWAR (Montclair State University/Helping Hands Therapeutic Services, Inc), Chana Tilson (Chicago School of Professional Psychology/Helping Hands Therapeutic Services, Inc.)
Discussant: Chelsea R. Fleck (New England Center for Children; Western New England University)
Abstract:

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) has been shown to be effective in reducing symptoms of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and improving cognitive and language skills (Vietze and Lax, 2018). Prior research has identified early diagnosis and early intervention as key factors to maximize therapeutic outcomes for children with ASD (Vietze and Lax, 2018). The case studies included in this presentation, highlight the progress of four children diagnosed with Autism between the ages of 2 and 3 enrolled in a center-based early intervention program in Manhattan, New York. Ben’s tantrum behaviors were reduced by functional communication training (FCT), social stories, and a sensory diet. Max’s expressive language increased from basic animal sounds to more complex intraverbal language by play-based learning and social skills training. Jane’s aggression was decreased by implementing Differential Reinforcement of Other Behaviors (DRO) and FCT. Michael’s severe tantrum behaviors were reduced by environmental manipulations, FCT, and escape extinction. For the cases presented, antecedent and consequence-based manipulations will be discussed, along with specific interventions used for each student, including behavior and skill acquisition graphs.

 
150. Increasing Adaptive Behaviour Using the "Accept, Identify, Move"Curriculum
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Danielle Esselink (Instructor Therapist), TARA WEIR (Shining Through Centre for Children with Autism), Shiri Bartman (Shining Through Centre for Children with Autism)
Discussant: Chelsea R. Fleck (New England Center for Children; Western New England University)
Abstract:

The purpose of the current study was to explore the effects of the Accept. Identify. Move. (AIM) curriculum on increasing adaptive coping skills and reducing emotional dysregulation in a nine-year-old boy with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Using self-monitoring, reinforcement, and specific Acceptance and Commitment Training (ACT) processes as outlined by the AIM curriculum, students can be taught to accept aversive situations and experience them, while remaining focused and value-driven (Dixon & Paliliunas, 2018). The goal was to teach the participant the skills necessary to deal with unpleasant situations and consequently improve quality of life (i.e., friendships, family participation). Results through the first phase demonstrate AIM to effectively assist with teaching functional replacement skills for this participant. Specifically, by day eight of treatment in step one the participant displayed zero rates of tantrum behaviours and 20 or more instances of ACT consistent behaviours. As this research is being conducted in a centre-based privately funded environment, limitations to resources exist which limit opportunities for interobserver agreement (IOA) and treatment fidelity checks. Future research should plan for these limitations to support social and internal validity.

 
151. Treatment Integrity in Applied Behavior Analysis: Are We Measuring the Right Thing?
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
JACQUELINE LUGO (California State University, Los Angeles), Luisana Medina (California State University, Los Angeles), Valerie Perez (California State University, Los Angeles), Ya-Chih Chang (California State University, Los Angeles), Mitch Fryling (California State University, Los Angeles)
Discussant: Chelsea R. Fleck (New England Center for Children; Western New England University)
Abstract: Behavior analysts have been interested in the topic of treatment integrity for many years. Indeed, it is well-known that a failure to collect treatment integrity data can lead to researchers and clinicians drawing inaccurate conclusions about the results of a study and/or intervention plan. Moreover, researchers are beginning to understand the extent to which integrity errors (and even varying amounts of errors) impact client behavior. The present project will focus on how treatment integrity is commonly measured in behavior analysis, and in particular consider the extent to which task analyses are the primary means of assessing treatment integrity. Alternative means of assessing treatment integrity will also be explored, particularly those that draw attention to the quality of implementation beyond traditional checklists that are commonly used in research and practice. Specific examples of such fidelity measures, drawn from outside of traditional ABA research, will be reviewed. The strengths and weaknesses associated with different measurement systems will be considered, and implications for research and practice will be discussed.
 
152. An Evaluation of Visual Schedules to Treat Vocal Stereotypy
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Daniella Emmer (Rowan University), PHOEBE LEACH (Rowan University), Giovanna Salvatore (Rowan University), Sherah Somervell (Rowan University), Christina Simmons (Rowan University)
Discussant: Chelsea R. Fleck (New England Center for Children; Western New England University)
Abstract:

Vocal stereotypy is often maintained by automatic reinforcement and treated with response interruption and redirection, competing stimuli, or differential reinforcement. The current study compared the effectiveness of an in-home electronic versus paper visual schedule in treating vocal stereotypy related to time for a 9-year-old with autism. An extended ignore and alone functional analysis (FA) identified vocal stereotypy as an overt versus covert behavior. A multielement FA measured rates of stereotypy in ignore, attention (i.e., contingent discussion of time), and control (i.e., continuous discussion of time) conditions. Results suggest that vocal stereotypy was likely maintained by access to information regarding time, persisting with extinction. Baseline rates of vocal stereotypy were extremely high (M = 191.39 per hour) and accompanied by negative vocalizations and aggression when not reinforced. An electronic (iPad) and standard paper visual schedule with attention extinction (i.e., not responding to statements about time) were introduced using a reversal design. Rates of vocal stereotypy were higher with the electronic (11.94 per hour) versus paper schedule (7.5 per hour). A preference assessment indicated the participant’s preference for the electronic schedule (5 of 6 selections), with the final electronic schedule phase yielding a 94.65% reduction from baseline (M = 10.24 per hour).

 
153. The Effects of Functional Communication Training as Identified from a Comparison of Descriptive Assessments and a Trial Based Functional Analysis on Interfering Behavior in the Home
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
GEORGE MCCLURE (Beacon ABA Services ), Lisa Tereshko (Beacon ABA Services), Robert K. Ross (Beacon ABA Services)
Discussant: Chelsea R. Fleck (New England Center for Children; Western New England University)
Abstract: Previous studies have identified a trial based functional analysis as an effective method to assess behavior function in school settings (Bloom et al., 2011) however, the use of descriptive assessments is often used in the home setting to identify behavior function. A comparison of a descriptive assessment and trial based functional analysis was conducted to determine effective methodology to identify behavior functions in the home setting of a child diagnosed with autism exhibiting protesting. Based on each assessment results, an intervention was implemented to increase functional communication and to decrease the rate of protests. The method used to implement intervention consisted of discrete trial instruction with a visual aid to initially prompt the participant. The rate of functional communication responses for desired activities began to increase, as instances of protesting began to decrease. Rate of reinforcement of the functional communication response was then systematically faded and rate demands increased. The results suggest the trial based functional analysis was more effective in identifying behavior function to implement a functional communication response than descriptive assessments in the home setting.
 
154. The Comparison of a Descriptive Assessment and a Trial Based Functional Analyses on Interfering Behavior as the Basis of Treatment in the Home Setting With Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
THOMAS MARSH (Beacon ABA Services ), Lisa Tereshko (Beacon ABA Services), Robert K. Ross (Beacon ABA Services)
Discussant: Chelsea R. Fleck (New England Center for Children; Western New England University)
Abstract:

In functional behavior assessment research, there is a deficit of research conducted in the home setting that compares the descriptive methods of behavioral assessments and experimental functional analyses. The effects of the intervention implemented based on results of the Antecedent-Behavior-Consequence (ABC) narrative recording method were compared to the effects of the intervention implemented based on results of the trial-based functional analysis (TBFA) in a multiple baseline across subjects design. Three children, ages 2-4, with a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder that displayed a high rate of interfering behaviors (protesting or aggression) that reduced the participants’ abilities to engage in sessions participated in the study. Sessions were conducted in the participants’ home where home therapy typically occurred. The ABC narrative data collection consisted of three 30-minute observations which were varied to include start, middle, and end of sessions which was implemented followed by the TBFA. Baseline conditions and treatment conditions were implemented for each assessment’s results. Results showed that the treatments implemented did reduce target behaviors across assessment types but the TBFA results showed greater reductions in target behaviors and faster acquisition of communication response. This suggests the TBFA accurately identified the function of the target behaviors more effectively than the ABC data collection method.

 
155. The Use of Autism Curriculum Encyclopedia in Program Development and Service Delivery for Children With Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
KAORI G. NEPO (NeurAbilities), Kathleen Bailey Stengel (NeurAbilities)
Discussant: Chelsea R. Fleck (New England Center for Children; Western New England University)
Abstract:

Program development based on on-going assessment is critical for service delivery for individuals with ASD. The Autism Curriculum Encyclopedia (ACE) is a comprehensive educational package for ABA program. The Core Skill Assessment in ACE covers 52 foundational skills and helps clinicians to identify target skills. Additionally, ACE lesson programs guide clinicians to develop targeted programs for children with ASD. This poster presentation will share preliminary data supporting the use of curriculum-based assessment in program development. The Core Skill Assessment was administered for two children with ASD, and their skill acquisition programs were developed with the results of the assessment and curriculum recommended by ACE. Data indicate that both children with ASD have made significant gains after the implementation of assessment-based programs. The poster will also include the most recent core skill assessment results to demonstrate the effective use of the assessment and assessment-based curriculum.

 
156. Evaluating the Relationships Between Derived Relational Responding, Intelligence, and the Function of Challenging Behavior in Children With Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
CHANTAL RAINFORD (Autism Care West), Jordan Belisle (Missouri State University), Hannah Wallace (Missouri State University), Kaitlin Beason (Missouri State University), Celeste Unnerstall (Missouri State University)
Discussant: Oswaldo Ochoa (Bloom Behavioral Health)
Abstract:

Several studies have evaluated the relationship between derived relational responding and intelligence (Belisle, Dixon, & Stanley, 2018) and how both relate to the functions of challenging behavior (Belisle, Stanley, & Dixon, 2017). In these studies, scores were obtained using the Equivalence and Transformation Pre-Assessments contained within the PEAK Relational Training System (Dixon, 2015, 2016). We developed a measure (Relational Acquisition Scale - Children) that may be more sensitive to detecting early acquisition of derived relational responding from basic experimental research with infants. In the present study, we administered the RASC along the PEAK Equivalence and Transformation Pre-Assessments across participants to provide an overall estimate of derived relational responding. These scores were then correlated with intelligence test scores (WPPSI-IV and WISC-V) as well as measures of the function of challenging behavior (Questions About Behavior Function, Challenging Behavior Inventory). Results examine the positive relationship between both measures of derived relational responding and intelligence. Additionally, results examined endorsement of items on measure of challenging behavior for participants who demonstrated derived relational responding on the RASC assessment.

 
157. Decreasing Pica in a Child With Autism Spectrum Disorder Using a Differential of Low Rates of Reinforcement Procedure
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
AMY VICTORIA RICH (Beacon ABA Services), Lisa Tereshko (Beacon ABA Services), Robert K. Ross (Beacon ABA Services)
Discussant: Oswaldo Ochoa (Bloom Behavioral Health)
Abstract:

Pica is a dangerous interfering behavior in which an individual ingests inedible items. This behavior can cause serious health issues such as choking, oral problems, serious illness, or death (Rettig et al., 2019). The current study examined the effects of a differential reinforcement of low rates procedure used to establish control of pica in the child’s home. During the first hour of the child’s home Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) session a timer was set initially for five minutes, which was determined by the interresponse time. Upon the timer going off, the child would request for attention using his Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) book, physical play choice board, or one word vocal mands. The parent would deliver 1 minute of verbal and physical attention contingent on the child’s request. After three consecutive rings with no occurrences of pica at the current interval, the time interval would increase by 20 seconds. If the child engaged in pica during the interval, the time interval would decrease by 40 seconds. The data indicates that this procedure was effective in decreasing the number of occurrences of pica during the training sessions, but this behavior was not eliminated. The results of this study are discussed in terms of the function of pica, establishment of stimulus control, future directions, and limitations.

 
158. Teaching Cooking Skills to Individuals Diagnosed With Autism Spectrum Disorder Via Video Modeling and Self-Monitoring
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
ELIZABETH FONTAINE (The Chicago School/ KGH Autism Services ), Ariana Ronis Boutain Hopstock Hopstock (KGH Autism Services)
Discussant: Oswaldo Ochoa (Bloom Behavioral Health)
Abstract:

Many persons diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder have difficulty completing functional daily living tasks and often rely on caregivers to assist with tasks such as dressing, cooking, cleaning, and basic hygiene. Previous research has shown that the use of video modeling can be an effective way to teach daily living skills to individuals diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder and developmental disabilities. An area in which research is lacking, however, is whether video modeling can also be used as a tool to facilitate self-monitoring and, in turn, help maintain functional living skills and decrease the reliance on caregiver assistance in completing these tasks. This study examined the effectiveness of a video modeling protocol to teach four teens diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder to complete basic cooking skills using a microwave, stove-top, and counter-top. Furthermore, this study examined the effectiveness of using the videos as a self-monitoring system to increase and maintain higher levels of independence in the kitchen. Preliminary results show that the video modeling protocol increased cooking skills for each participant, the skills maintained over time, and the video models helped increase independence in the kitchen.

 
159. Evaluating Global Changes in Verbal Relational Performance Following Three Months of PEAK Instruction in a Special Education Setting
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
KAYLA WELCH (Pender Public School), Lindsey Audrey Marie Dennis (Missouri State University), Leah E Clark (Pender Public Schools), Nicole Choate (Missouri State University), Jordan Belisle (Missouri State University)
Discussant: Oswaldo Ochoa (Bloom Behavioral Health)
Abstract:

Current research on the PEAK Relational Training System (Dixon, 2014-2016) has largely been conducted in controlled arrangements and has lacked measures of socially valid changes in language and cognitive skills (e.g., reasoning, problem solving). We embedded PEAK relational training within the regular school day of 6 children with autism in a special education setting over the course of 3 months. All programming was individualized to meet the needs of the students and skills were introduced in a multiple probe across skills experimental design as developed by Belisle, Clark, Welch, and McDonald (under review), replicated across each of the participants. Results supported systematic mastery in target skills across all participants despite considerable differences in the programming for each. The PEAK Comprehensive Assessment (Dixon, 2019) is a standardized test of verbal relational performance that is directly implemented with participants, and all participants showed an increasing score of this assessment at the end of the intervention relative to initial performance. Social validity questionnaires were administered, and both parents and school staff identified an increase in the use of language and problem solving strategies relative to prior academic semester, suggesting performance generalized beyond the discrete trial training arrangement used in the present study.

 
160. Exploring the Relationship Between Derived Relational Responding and Autism Symptom Severity
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
KWADWO BRITWUM (Southern Illinois University, Carbondale), Zhihui Yi (Southern Illinois University), Anne Sheerin (Southern Illinois University), Caleb Stanley (Utah Valley University), Mark R. Dixon (Southern Illinois University)
Discussant: Oswaldo Ochoa (Bloom Behavioral Health)
Abstract:

Despite the lifelong implications of an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) diagnosis, very few empirically validated treatments currently exist to address the symptoms associated with these conditions. Currently, Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) holds the most empirical evidence when it comes to ameliorating the symptoms associated with ASD. The current investigation explores the relationship between participants’ abilities to engage in derived relational responding and ASD symptom severity as indicated by the Gilliam Autism Rating Scale-Third Edition (GARS-3). The GARS-3 instrument consists of 56 clearly stated items describing characteristic behavior of persons with ASD. Derived relational responding skills were assessed using the Promoting the Emergence of Advanced Knowledge Comprehensive Assessment (PCA), which measures the following repertoires: ability to engage in basic verbal operants, generalization of basic verbal operants across activities and items, ability to display equivalence relations, and ability to display other relational operants consistent with Relational Frame Theory (Dixon, 2019). Assessments will be conducted across 45 individuals with ASD. Preliminary results of a bivariate correlational analysis indicated a strong negative correlation between participants’ PCA Total scores and GARS-3 total raw scores (r = -.716, p < .05). These findings provide some preliminary implications for behavior analytic treatments for individuals with ASD.

 
161. Evaluating the Efficacy of PEAK in Children With Autism and Corresponding Increases in Derived Relational Responding
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
TAYLOR MARIE LAUER (Missouri State University), Jordan Belisle (Missouri State University), Megan Kimzey (Missouri State University), Lindsey Schneider (Missouri State University ), Celeste Unnerstall (Missouri State University )
Discussant: Oswaldo Ochoa (Bloom Behavioral Health)
Abstract:

A prior randomized control trial evaluation (Dixon, Paliliunas, et al., 2019) suggested that low-dosage (4-hours / week) behavioral language and cognitive training guided by all four PEAK modules leads to greater gains in derived relational responding and intelligence test scores relative to more traditional training strategies or a control condition. We attempted to replicate these findings in a single-case experimental design for tighter experimental control and allowing for greater individualization of programming across participants. The study involved 5 children with autism. Two children demonstrated symmetry but not transitivity prior to the study. We conducted Equivalence and Transformation training from PEAK in a multiple probe across skills design (Belisle, Clark, Brewer, & McDonald, under review) with intermittent probes of derived relational responding (PEAK-CA; RASC). Results evaluated improvements in symmetrical and transitive relational responding throughout intervention for both participants. Two other children demonstrated basic reflexivity but not symmetry prior to the study. We conducted training using all four PEAK modules with intermittent probes of derived relational responding. Results evaluated improvements in symmetrical relating for both participants. A final participant did not receive PEAK training during this time and scores were evaluated at the beginning and end of the study for comparison.

 
163. Analogical Reasoning of Opposition-Opposition Relations Within a Matrix Reasoning Task in Children With Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
LINDSEY AUDREY MARIE DENNIS (Missouri State University), Leah E Clark (Pender Public Schools), Rebecca Jepsen (Tower School), Nicole Choate (Missouri State University), Kayla Welch (Pender Public Schools), Jordan Belisle (Missouri State University)
Discussant: Oswaldo Ochoa (Bloom Behavioral Health)
Abstract:

Analogical reasoning can be defined in Relational Frame Theory as relating of relations, and is often presented in the form: “if A is X to B, then C is X to what?” Where the correct response is controlled by not only the comparison stimulus C, but also the relational cue X that is derived from the already established relationship between A and B (Belisle, Paliliunas, et al., in press). Matrix reasoning tasks allow for a demonstration of analogical reasoning by presenting two stimuli along the top of a 2x2 grid that are related across X dimensions (e.g., coordination, opposition), a third stimulus in the bottom left, and an array of stimuli that the participant matches based on the shared relation X. In the present study, we evaluated a procedure for promoting analogical reasoning across three children with autism. In baseline, participants were unable to match stimuli in terms of coordination and opposition and did not successfully complete the matrix reasoning task. Following mixed coordination and opposition relational training, one participant completed the matrix task. For the remaining participants, we reinforced one exemplar class during the matrix task, which was effective in promoting the untrained emergence of the remaining matrix relations.

 
164. The Effects of Video Modeling on Staff Training: Beyond Discrete Skills
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
ELAINE ESPANOLA (University of Miami), Anibal Gutierrez Jr. (University of Miami), Melissa N. Hale (University of Miami)
Discussant: Oswaldo Ochoa (Bloom Behavioral Health)
Abstract: Remote training and supervision have increasingly become a topic of interest. Some of the general methods of remote supervision include video modeling and self-evaluation. The purpose of the present study was twofold: a) to replicate a previous study by Catania et al. (2009) which demonstrates the effectiveness of video modeling as a staff training technique; b) and to further explore whether video modeling is effective for skills that are not as discrete, such as pairing. Results will discuss differences in staff performance and generalization of skills.
 
165. Imitation Type as a Predictor of Skill Mastery During Intervention
Area: AUT; Domain: Basic Research
ELAINE ESPANOLA (University of Miami), Melissa N. Hale (University of Miami), Anibal Gutierrez Jr. (University of Miami), Andre V. Maharaj (University of Massachusetts Boston)
Discussant: Oswaldo Ochoa (Bloom Behavioral Health)
Abstract: In typical development, research demonstrates that imitation is essential across a variety of skill domains. However, for children with ASD, who often demonstrate deficits in imitation, there is limited information regarding the impact that choosing imitation as a target for skill acquisition may have on general skill acquisition. The present study sough to evaluate how gains in imitation skills impacts general skill acquisition and directly evaluated whether the type of imitation (e.g., oral vs. object imitation) affects the relationship between imitation and total skill mastery.
 
167. Assessing Preference and Aptitude for Leisure Activities for Adults With Autism Spectrum Disorder
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
ROBERT W. ISENHOWER (Rider University ), Jenna Budge (Rutgers University), James Maraventano (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center), Robert LaRue (Rutgers University)
Discussant: Oswaldo Ochoa (Bloom Behavioral Health)
Abstract:

Individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) often have limited opportunity in choosing novel and engaging leisure activities, and behavior analysts need guidance in identifying leisure activities their clients may prefer. Four adult clients participated in a leisure activities assessment in three phases. During Phase 1 concurrent operant arrangements were used to develop a client profile for each of three critical leisure skills components: social interaction versus no interaction; electronic versus non-electronic tasks; and stationary tasks versus those that require movement. Figure 1 shows the percent of session learners engaged with each of the three component comparisons. Data revealed clear patterns for 3 of 4 participants. Phase 2 compared client on-task behavior for a leisure activity matched and a leisure activity unmatched to the profile generated in Phase 1. Clients were on-task more often for activities matched to profile (Figure 2). Phase 3 assessed client preference for the matched versus the unmatched activity using another concurrent operant arrangement. Clients showed preference for the matched activity (Figure 3). Overall, this study presents a user-friendly leisure activity assessment that considers both client preference and aptitude in determining appropriate leisure activities for individuals with ASD who require significant support.

 
168. Exercise Intensity and Its Importance in Promoting Physical Activity for Individuals With Autism Spectrum Disorder
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
SHANNON MARIE DIERINGER (Ball State University), Constance McIntosh (Ball State University), David E. McIntoch (Ball State University)
Discussant: Oswaldo Ochoa (Bloom Behavioral Health)
Abstract:

It is recommended that children ages 6-17 engage in 60 minutes or more of moderate to vigorous physical activity (PA) daily. However, many children do not meet these guidelines, especially those with disabilities. Furthermore, individuals on the autism spectrum often lack the social and communicative skills necessary to participate in PA with others. In order to promote positive PA behaviors, it is essential to include interventions that teach the importance of PA and how to engage in it appropriately. The purpose of this study was to 1. Examine intensity of the PA during sessions; 2. Examine use of a social story to teach exercise intensity; and 3. Examine use of social stories in addition to heart rate monitors to teach PA intensity. Nine male participants ages 8-11 with ASD were recruited. Data were collected during 30-minute sessions three days/week for 5 weeks. All participants wore a heart rate (HR) monitor and a perceived exertion scale was completed twice each session. An A/B/B+C design was used. Phase A, participants wore HR monitor and engaged in the required PA. In Phase B, participants read or were read a social story which explained the importance of and what to expect when engaging in PA. Phase B+C, participants continued to use the social stories, but also self-monitored their HR using an iPad). Results indicated that most participants engaged in moderate levels of PA during sessions however, there was no clear indication that participants were able to self-monitoring of HR intensity increased PA.

 
 

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