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.


48th Annual Convention; Boston, MA; 2022

Event Details

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Symposium #28
Behavioral Skills Training: Applications in Real-World Settings With Typical Caregivers
Saturday, May 28, 2022
10:00 AM–11:50 AM
Meeting Level 2; Room 254A
Area: AUT/DDA; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Peter Sturmey (The Graduate Center and Queens College, City University of New York)
Discussant: Wendy A. Machalicek (University of Oregon)
CE Instructor: Peter Sturmey, Ph.D.
Abstract: Behavioral Skills Training (BST) is an evidence-based practice that behavior analysts must be competent to deliver. Despite its widely recognized importance, further real-world models and evaluations are needed. This symposium will present four examples of applying BST to such varied contexts as training a grandparent to deliver a behavior support plan to an adult with autism spectrum disorders; efficient training of discrete trial teaching to typical staff; training staff to implement correct redirection and restraint procedures; and, training parents via telehealth to implement effective sleep protocols. These studies demonstrate the versatility and robustness of BST in real-world-applied settings.
Instruction Level: Advanced
Keyword(s): behavioral-skills training, caregeiver training, telehealth
Target Audience: Advanced: Participants should have at least a basic knowledge of graduate-level ABA such as is described in Cooper et al. including modeling, feedback, contingencies of reinforcement, programming generalization, small N experimental design. This can include current and potential supervisors.
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) describe how to implement behavioral skills training (BST) in at least two contexts; (2) describe the telehealth application of BST; (3) describe strategies to maximize the efficiency of BST.

Grandparent-Implemented Interventions to Reduce Challenging Behavior of an Adult With Autism: A Pilot Telehealth Study

EMILY GREGORI (University of Illinois at Chicago), Christine Drew (Auburn University), Catharine Lory (Baylor University), Namhee Kim (University of Illinois at Chicago)

Adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) often engage in challenging behaviors that require intensive intervention. Due to the lack of services for adults with ASD, their caregivers are often responsible for providing behavioral support. However, caregivers, including grandparents, often lack adequate training and have limited access to ongoing support from professionals that prevents them from providing high-quality behavioral intervention. Telehealth is a mechanism that can potentially increase access to effective intervention for adults with ASD and training for their caregivers. However, most telehealth research has been conducted with young children and their parents. There is limited research to support the use of telehealth as a mechanism for improving service delivery for adults and their caregivers. This study explored the effects of grandparent-implemented interventions on the challenging behavior of an adult male with ASD. Research staff used individualized telehealth training and coaching to teach a grandparent to implement two function-based behavioral interventions. Data were collected on the grandparent’s implementation fidelity of both interventions and on the challenging behavior of the adult with ASD. Results showed that both interventions resulted in low to moderate levels of challenging behavior and that telehealth training and coaching resulted in high levels of implementation fidelity.

An Efficiency Tactic for Behavioral Skills Training
BRIAN C. LIU-CONSTANT (The Evergreen Center), John Claude Ward-Horner (Evergreen Center)
Abstract: Behavioral skills training (BST) was used to teach staff members a discrete trial training (DTT) procedure in a setting with a low trainer-to-staff ratio. Although effective, the rehearsal and feedback components of BST can be time-consuming and require more time with an expert trainer than the trainer has available. For the BST protocol, the researcher recorded and presented instructions and modeling on video, and developed scripts that participants followed during rehearsal and feedback. Each participant was assigned to a group of three. Participants took turns in one of three roles (teacher-participant, student-participant, or observer-participant) and, when serving in the role of teacher-participant, practiced the DTT procedure with a student-participant while the observer-participant delivered performance feedback to the teacher-participant. Results indicated that all participants were able to learn the DTT procedure when all feedback was provided by an observer-participant. The procedure was also efficient as evidenced by the expert trainer providing minimal feedback to observer-participants, and participants subsequent to the first participant of each group learning the DTT procedure in less time and with fewer sessions.
Behavioural Skills Training for Teaching Safety Skills to Mental Health Clinicians: A Pragmatic Randomized Control Trial.
Elizabeth Lin (Centre for Addiction and Mental Health; University of Toronto), Mais Malhas (Centre for Addiction and Mental Health), Emmanuel Bratsalis (Center for Addiction and Mental Health, Toronto), KENDRA THOMSON (Brock University ), Rhonda Boateng (Centre for Addiction and Mental Health; University of Toronto), Fabienne Hargreaves (The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health), Heba Baig (Center for Addiction and Mental Health, Toronto), Louis Paul Alexander Busch (Centre for Addictions and Mental Health)
Abstract: Workplace violence is an increasingly significant topic, particularly as it applies to staff working in mental health settings. The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Canada’s largest mental health hospital, considers workplace safety a high priority and consequently has mandated clinical staff safety training. Key components of this training are self-protection and 2–5 person team control skills, which serve as a last resort when other interventions are ineffective (e.g., verbal de-escalation). Training-as-usual (TAU) for the past 20 years has been based on a 3-D approach (description, demonstration, and doing), but without any competency-based assessment. Recent staff reports indicate that the acquisition and retention of these skills is problematic and that there are issues with staff confidence in their ability to address workplace violence. We will present the results of a pragmatic randomized controlled trial designed to evaluate the effectiveness of behavioral skills training (BST) against TAU in terms of the acquisition and 1-month post-training retention of self-protection team control skills as well as the impact on staff confidence. Results to date support the effectiveness of BST vs. TAU for improving staff performance compared to TAU.

Evaluation of a Telehealth Parent Training Program for Parents of Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder who have Sleep Difficulties

AMANPREET RANDHAWA (Brock University), Julie Koudys (Brock University), Angeline Savard (The Gregory School for Exceptional Learning), Catherine McConnell (Ontario ABA), Meghan Dunnet (Kalyana Support Systems), Jeffrey Esteves (York University), Andrea Valencia (kalyana Support Systems)

Research supports parent-implemented, behavior-analytic sleep interventions to address sleep problems in children with autism spectrum disorder (Jin et al., 2013; Linnehan et al., 2021). Further, some research exists to support distance models of parent education and sleep intervention (Corkum et al, 2016). However, few studies directly assess parents’ ability to accurately implement sleep interventions (i.e., treatment fidelity). This limits our understanding of whether parents are implementing sleep interventions as designed and draws into question whether child behavior changes can be attributed to the interventions. As parents are typically the primary mediators of behavioural sleep interventions––and intervention success depends on the accurate implementation of the procedures and the consistency with which those procedures are implemented in the natural environment––this is a significant gap in the literature. The purpose of this concurrent multiple baseline design across participants study was to evaluate whether parents could accurately implement their child’s behavior-analytic sleep intervention. Four parent-child dyads were recruited. Behavioral skills training and nightly coaching support were provided to parents using a telehealth approach. Nightly coaching support was systematically faded. Results demonstrate that treatment fidelity increased for all participants. Interobserver agreement was above 80%. Clinical implications and future research recommendations will be discussed.




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