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.

  • AUT: Autism

    CBM: Clinical/Family/Behavioral Medicine

    CSS: Community, Social, and Sustainability Issues

    DDA: Developmental Disabilities

    DEV: Behavioral Development

    EAB: Experimental Analysis of Behavior

    EDC: Education

    OBM: Organizational Behavior Management

    PCH: Philosophical, Conceptual, and Historical Issues

    TBA: Teaching Behavior Analysis

    VRB: Verbal Behavior

16th Annual Autism Conference; Seattle, WA; 2022

All times listed are Pacific Standard Time (UTC -8 at the time of the convention in March).

Event Details

The terminology utilized in the presentation titles and abstracts for this conference was selected to adhere to the seventh edition of the American Psychological Association Publication Manual and to be inclusive of those who prefer person-first as well as identity-first language.

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Poster Session #14
Even-Numbered Posters
Sunday, March 6, 2022
7:00 PM–8:00 PM
Fourth Floor; Fifth Avenue

Parent Peer Coaching Program: A Cascading Intervention for Parents of Autistics/Children With Diagnosed Autism Spectrum Disorder in Mongolia

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
JAMES LEE (Juniper Gardens Children's Project, University of Kansas), Hedda Meadan (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)

Parents of Autistics/children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD)a child with autism have reported severe hardships related to raising their children, possibly due to their limited capacity to respond to the children’s unique needs and attenuate behavioral challenges that are often accompanied by limited or delayed social-communication skills. These hardships are exacerbated in low-resource settings, such as Mongolia, where they have little access to evidence-based practices, which challenges autism researchers to examine different intervention approaches. In this single case research using multiple probe design, four parent coaches and five novice parents in Mongolia and their Autistic children/children diagnosed with ASD and their children with ASD in Mongolia participated in a parent peer peer-coaching program. The intervention package was comprised of training and coaching in evidence-based practices that was delivered via telepractice. Parent coaches completed online training and then were coached by a local research assistant in a staggered fashion. Visual analysis revealed a functional relation between the intervention package and the coaching fidelity of parent coaches. Social validity data also indicated that parent coaches and novice parents were satisfied with the program and reported it was acceptable, feasible, and effective. Implications for conducting intervention research in a low-resource setting are also described.


The Effects of Antecedent Exercise on Stereotypy and Non-Stereotypic Behaviors Exhibited by Autistics/Individuals Diagnosed With Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Systematic Review

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
TRAVIS WONG (The University of Texas at Austin), Terry S. Falcomata (The University of Texas at Austin), Monique Barnett (The University of Texas at Austin)

The presence of stereotypy is one of the core features exhibited by Autistics/individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Stereotypy can interfere with academic engagement and become a major barrier to appropriate education and social development of Autistics/individuals diagnosed with ASD. Studies have shown that exercise can produce reductions in stereotypy and positive collateral effects. The purpose of the current systematic review was to examine the effects of physical exercise on stereotypy and engagement in appropriate non-stereotypic behaviors. The findings suggest that Autistics/individuals diagnosed with ASD can benefit from incorporating antecedent exercises with regard to stereotypy and other positive collateral behaviors. Implications of the results and areas for further research are discussed.


Self-Efficacy Measures for Special Educators Teaching Austistic Students/Students Diagnosed With Autism

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
JULIA M HRABAL (Baylor University), Tonya Nichole Davis (Baylor University), Stephanie Gerow (Baylor University), Tracey Sulak (Baylor University ), MacKenzie Raye Wicker (Baylor University), Providence Lively (Baylor University), Kathleen Hine (Baylor University), Kailah Hall (Baylor University)

Self-efficacy refers to an individual's perceived ability to accomplish specific expectations. Research indicates that individuals with higher self-efficacy are more likely to demonstrate persistent behaviors associated with meeting expectations. Special educators are required by law to implement evidence-based practices for Autistic students/students diagnosed with autism, most of which are rooted in the concepts and principles of applied behavior analysis. Special educators with high self-efficacy are likely to believe that they have the ability implement evidence-based practices for students with autism and behave in a manner that ensures such practices are implemented with fidelity. Therefore, it is pertinent that special educators have high self-efficacy related to the ability to effectively teach Autistic students/students diagnosed with autism. The Autism Self-Efficacy Scale for Teachers (ASSET) is a reliable and valid measure of special educator's self-efficacy for educating Autistic students/students diagnosed with autism. We administered the ASSET to 100 special educators who work with Autistic students/students diagnosed with autism in public schools. Results indicated variability in responding across and within participants. We evaluated potential moderating variables such as grade level taught, instructional setting, and years of experience. Practical implications and recommendations for future research will be discussed.

12. Efficacy of a Promise Reinforcer as an Antecedent Intervention for Transitions in Young Autistic Learners/Young Learners Diagnosed With Autism Spectrum Disorder
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
ELIZABETH COOK (Barber National Institute), Jennifer Musolff (Barber National Institute), Randall L Schlegel (Barber National Institute)

Autistic children/children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) often have difficulty during times of transition. Autistics/individuals diagnosed with ASD may display a host of challenging behaviors such as tantrum, self-injury, elopement, or aggression to maintain possession of an activity, or to avoid an upcoming task or activity. Several studies have focused on the use of antecedent interventions to increase the probability of compliance during times of transition. The current study examined the use of a promise reinforcer as an antecedent intervention during transitions for two elementary-aged male Autistic students/students diagnosed with ASD. The effectiveness of the promise reinforcer was evaluated using a single-subject reversal design (ABAB) during transitions from a preferred activity to an instructional activity, a preferred activity to a different preferred activity, and from an instructional activity to a different instructional activity. The results showed decreases in the frequency of tantrum behavior during each transition type when a promise reinforcer was presented as an antecedent strategy.


A Treatment Manual for Schedule Thinning Following Functional Communication Training

Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
EMILY PAIGE EXLINE (Baylor University), Jessica Akers (Baylor University), Tonya Nichole Davis (Baylor University), MacKenzie Raye Wicker (Baylor University)

Functional communication is an evidence-based practice that is extremely effective in reducing challenging behavior. Thinning the schedule of reinforcement is a seeing a decrease in challenging behavior and an increase in communication is an important element of the intervention. After examining the literature, three primary techniques emerged including multiple schedules, chained schedules, and delay-to-reinforcement. There are different variations in each of these techniques that can be difficult to navigate as a practitioner. Thus, we developed a decision-making guide for selecting a schedule thinning technique and three separate treatment guides, one for each technique. We believe these guides will assist in implementing schedule thinning with their clients.


Parents Effectively Addressing Challenging Behavior en Español (PEACE): Facilitating Equitable Accessibility to Evidence-Based Interventions

Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
ANNIETTE F MALDONADO (University of Utah), Bethany Jorgensen (University of Utah), Aaron J. Fischer (University of Utah), Ashley Stuart (University of Utah), Keith C Radley (University of Utah)

While ample evidence exists on the impact of parent training and psychoeducation on the mental health and behavior management skills of caregivers of Autistic children/children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), there is still a critical need to systematically implement interventions that evaluate their impact on caregiver stress and socioemotional factors, while providing equity in accessibility to families from historically underserved communities (e.g., racial and ethnic minorities). The current study examines the implementation of a broader adaptation of the Research Units in Behavioral Intervention (RUBI) Autism Network Parent Training for Disruptive Behaviors program for child challenging behaviors in combination with acceptance commitment therapy (ACT)-oriented supports on caregivers of Autistic children/children diagnosed with ASD whose primary language is Spanish. We will discuss the components of this program that made it accessible to Spanish-speaking families and look at the impact of its implementation. We anticipate that final outcomes will demonstrate improved child adaptive behavior and parent-reported stress. Creating culturally and linguistically sensitive behavior analytic supports for Spanish-speaking families is an area of great need in the literature and our hope is that this study will highlight ways to make these interventions more equitably accessible for underserved families.


Benchmark Autism Services: Meeting Individuals Where They Are

Area: AUT; Domain: Basic Research
TAMMY A. CARROLL (Benchmark Human Services), Kristen Sappe (Benchmark Autism Services), Dymon Coachman (Benchmark Autism Services)

Autism service delivery is key to success across all settings. While most organizations choose to deliver mostly clinic-based services, our organization has chosen to meet the individuals where they are. Benchmark Autism services was initiated in South Georgia, primarily in the homes. Our team was charged with the task of delivering services differently from others. Data presented will reflect individual differences across various settings overtime. Individuals were randomly sampled across locations, age, and behaviors. Results showed that when service delivery occurred across various settings throughout the week, then target behaviors initially increased and then decreased. As autism demands increase, it is very important for providers to consider how individual services are delivered and challenge themselves to think outside of the box.


Community-Based Comparison of Behavior Analytic Intervention Across Dosages for Autistic Children/Children Diagnosed With Autism Spectrum Disorder

Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
JANE MORTON (Emerge Center)

Early intervention (EI) services are considered to be critical for young Autistic children/young children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. Comprehensive programming often includes applied behavior analysis, speech therapy, and/ or occupational therapy. Although EI services have been found to be effective, additional research is necessary to reveal what combination for these services works best for individual children. This study evaluated outcomes from two concurrent EI programs: A five-day/week clinic-based therapy program that included behavior analytic therapy in addition to group speech therapy and individualized speech or occupational therapy (37.5 hours of therapy per week) and a part-time clinic-based program that included behavior analytic therapy five days/week in addition to group speech therapy and individualized speech or occupational therapy up to two days per week (19.5-22 hours of therapy per week). Both year-round programs were compared using outcomes gathered from regular VB-MAPP milestones. Results are summarized and discussed and recommendations for service dosage are provided.


Utilizing Telehealth to Improve Access to Social Skills Groups During and Post-Pandemic

Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
Lilian Hernandez (360 Behavioral Health; California Psychcare), ELIZABETH ANNE PASCUAL (360 Behavioral Health; California Psychcare)

Social skills groups are used to provide opportunities for learners to practice social skills with peers regularly. Groups are typically organized based on age and interests, and are offered for kids, preteens, teens and young adults. Social skills groups are usually conducted face-to-face, however, during the COVID-19 crisis, conducting social skills groups in person presented many challenges. Telehealth has evolved as a new platform for participants to gather virtually to continue developing their social skills. Without the social interactions learners typically access while in school, participating in a social skills group virtually provides a safe and supportive environment where they can continue to learn the skills needed to improve social-emotional development. Compared to in-person social skills groups, through the use of telehealth, we’ve been able to increase both the number of different social skills groups being conducted at a given time as well as the number of participants attending each group. Additionally, we have been able to increase the variety of groups we offer and further specialize them to their ages and needs. Social skills through telehealth is a service delivery model that has offered us the opportunity to increase our outreach and will continue to post pandemic.


Investigating Search Patterns and Cue-Dependent Fixations in Autistic Children/Children Diagnosed With Autism Spectrum Disorder

Area: AUT; Domain: Basic Research
GESULLA CAVANAUGH (Nova Southeastern University), Blake Lockard (Nova Southeastern University, Dr. Kiran C. Patel College of Allopathic Medicine)

Successful social interactions require awareness of others’ intentions for better prediction. Autistic children/children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) lack sufficient abilities to engage; they misinterpret cues and often exhibit incorrect responses. Neurotypical children (N=12) and Autistics/children diagnosed with ASD (N=8) were recruited from the community and learning centers. Data were collected using the Tobii Pro Nano while Tobii Pro lab and IBM SPSS V 27.1 were used for analysis. Areas of Interest (AOIs) were created for each object (actress, dog, and toys) in a video. Number of saccades, fixations, and fixation duration on each AOI were calculated. Autistics/children diagnosed with ASD demonstrated wider and less specified gaze patterns with greater variability. Neurotypical children averaged 12.33 ± 4.16 fixation events on the actress’ face and 33.67 ± 11.55 on the dog compared to 13.00 ± 14.05 and 23.57 ± 15.95 from Autistics/children diagnosed with ASD. There were no significant differences by group (p = 0.783) for fixation duration on the objects (alpha 0.05, 95% CI). 25% of the children with ASD verbally expressed the correct object choice, while 75% of the neurotypical children verbalized the correct choice. The results suggest that behavioral therapies utilizing eye-tracking technologies may optimize therapies for Autistics/children diagnosed with ASD.


Addressing Social Interactions in Minimally Verbal Young Autistic Children/Minimally Verbal Young Children Diagnosed With Autism Spectrum Disorder through Peer-Mediated Interventions

Area: AUT; Domain: Theory
MICHAEL JOSEPH DOMINGUEZ (California State University, Los Angeles), Lizette Graciano (California State University, Los Angeles), Joshilyn Hernandez (California State University, Los Angeles), Jennifer B.G. Symon (California State University), Mitch Fryling (California State University, Los Angeles), Ya-Chih Chang (California State University, Los Angeles)

Autistic children/children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) often have difficulties with social skills, including initiating and responding to social interactions with peers. Challenges in these areas can impact their development in forming meaning social relationships and friendships. Many Autistic children/children diagnosed with ASD learn social skills through adult modeling and scaffolded supports, although, these skills may not always generalize across individuals and contexts. Peer-mediated intervention (PMI) is an evidence-based intervention that can be implemented in schools with typically developing (TD) peers to help Autistic students/students diagnosed with ASD improve their social skills. PMIs are implemented in naturalistic settings (e.g., school) and TD peers are intervention agents who are readily available to model appropriate social skills. There have been many PMI studies with young Autistic children/young children diagnosed with ASD; however, minimally verbal Autistic children/minimally verbal children diagnosed with ASD are often excluded from the study sample. This presentation will review different PMIs that have included minimally verbal Autistic children/minimally verbal children diagnosed with ASD. Examples will include integrated playgroups, buddy systems, and social initiation trainings. Commonalities among these interventions will be examined and discussed, and opportunities for practicing behavior analysts to incorporate PMIs into their work will be described. The strengths and weaknesses of PMIs will also be considered.


An Overview and Synthesis of Research on Emergent Verbal Behavior in Applied Behavior Analysis: Conceptual and Practical Recommendations

Area: AUT; Domain: Theory
NATHALIE PRISCILLA PARRA (Student ), Jennifer Ramirez (91730), Victor Solano-Griffith (California State University, Los Angeles), Mitch Fryling (California State University, Los Angeles), Ya-Chih Chang (California State University, Los Angeles)

Developing verbal behavior is fundamental to many educational and therapeutic efforts in applied behavior analysis (ABA). While many strategies researched in ABA have focused on developing verbal behavior directly, a significant amount of research has also shown that verbal behavior may develop indirectly, or emerge as a result of other experiences. Research on emergent verbal behavior is described in many ways within the literature, both inside and outside ABA, however, which may result in confusion regarding core processes. This may have many implications for practice, particularly when working in interdisciplinary settings. The aim of the present poster is to review some studies representative of research on emergent verbal behavior (e.g., instructive feedback, derived intraverbals), highlighting both similarities and differences. In doing so, common processes will be underscored, and opportunities for integration across different areas of research, including different disciplines, will be described. This will promote a shared understanding among researchers and practitioners working in this important area. Specific recommendations along these lines will be provided.


Scoping Review of Behavioral Assessments and Interventions for Bilingual Autistic Children/Children Diagnosed With Autism Spectrum Disorder

Area: AUT; Domain: Theory
MELANIE MARTIN (University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign)

Autistic children/children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) from bilingual or non-English speaking homes in the United States experience the intersection of disability and linguistic marginalization. They are underrepresented in behavioral research, and limited empirical studies examine how to conduct assessments and interventions across languages. Despite bilingualism having no known negative impacts, parents have reported that professionals advise them against maintaining their heritage language with their children. This scoping review examines the representation of bilingualism in the behavioral literature. Criteria for inclusion are a) empirical research that is behaviorally based and utilizes single-case research design; b) participants are bilingual children identified with autism or other developmental disabilities; c) the dependent variable is a direct measurement of the child's behavior. The included studies (n=10) were examined by a) purpose and methods (i.e., behavioral intervention or assessment strategies); b) participant demographics; c) interventionist demographics; and d) researchers' stated practice recommendations. Outcomes were varied and demonstrated the heterogeneity of Autistic children/children diagnosed with ASD. Some children experienced positive outcomes with heritage language instruction (e.g., reduction of challenging behavior), while others demonstrated similar responses across languages. Implications of these findings highlight the necessity of including heritage languages when conducting behavioral assessments and interventions for Autistic children/children diagnosed with ASD and other developmental disabilities.


Emotional Regulation for Autistic Children/Children Diagnosed With Autism Spectrum Disorder: A New Approach

Area: AUT; Domain: Theory

Emotional regulation is defined as one's ability to modify their own emotional states and actions to reflect adaptive or goal-oriented behavior. It is common for Autistic individuals/individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) to react to major stressors with dysfunctional and unorganized behaviors, leading to more significant challenges and even higher states of mental and physiological arousal. Autistic individuals/individuals diagnosed with ASD are known to have challenges with socio-communicative functionality as well as restrictive and repetitive behaviors, which can often lead to difficulty regulating emotional states especially when faced with significant stressors. Despite this, and the fact that it is a widespread topic amongst other human service fields, there is very little known within behavior analysis about the efficacy of procedures pertaining to emotional regulation. Within the literature, there is a strong evidence base suggesting implementation of such procedures would benefit Autistic individuals/individuals diagnosed with ASD in both response to stressors as well as cognition pertaining to both intrapersonal and interpersonal relationships, thus strengthening social skills, another common area of deficit. In this poster, the author will discuss the lack of emotional regulation skills being addressed by applied behavior analysis professionals, the benefits of teaching emotional regulation strategies to Autistic individuals/individuals diagnosed with ASD, as well as common procedures for implementation of these strategies./p>


Evidence-Based Review of Experimental Research Examining the Effectiveness of Simultaneous Prompting With Autistic Students/Students Diagnosed With ASD

Area: AUT; Domain: Theory
MICHELLE HUFF (University of West Florida), Timothy Morse (University of West Florida), Sarah Kent (University of West Florida)

Simultaneous prompting procedure is an evidence-based practice for individuals with disabilities (Tekin-Iftar et al. 2019). A benefit of simultaneous prompting is that once an instructor establishes an instructional trial, they are able to determine how to adjust the procedure to each student to provide efficient and individualized instruction. A second benefit of simultaneous prompting is promotion of incidental learning, as evidenced in several studies. This review will report findings from an analysis of the use of this intervention with Autistics/individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) specifically. Consequently, 28 peer-reviewed studies reporting the results of investigations that involved 71 Autistics/individuals diagnosed with ASD were analyzed with respect to 25 variables. The participants included 68 students across the spectrum who were enrolled in preschool-grade 12, plus three adults who received educational services in their residential home. A visual analysis of the data concluded simultaneous prompting was effective, as acquisition, maintenance, and generalization of target skills were attained. In addition, several guidelines are also provided for the use of this procedure in the classroom setting for Autistic students/students diagnosed with ASD.


Using Stealth Assessments in Minecraft to Teach Self-Regulated Learning to Autistic Adolescents and Young Adults/Adolescents and Young Adults Diagnosed With Autism Spectrum Disorder

Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
JENN GALLUP (Idaho State University), Joel Bocanegra (Idaho State University ), Greg Callan (Utah State University)

Researchers identified that video games can increase student participation, engagement, support social and emotional learning, and motivate students to take risks, and moreover, utilize creative and innovative tools for authentic assessments (Nguyn, 2021). Additionally, Autistics/individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) can learn communication, social-skills, and hone in collaboration skills through video games. Moreover, video games provide a natural conduit to learn, practice, and refine complex competencies necessary for secondary transitions. Specifically, problem-solving skills taught through a self-regulated learning (SRL) lens (Zimmerman, 2000) can be applied while students learn and practice complex competencies through challenges or problems created in the Minecraft EDU. This presentation will include a sample of situated learning paired with an authentic assessment in the context of Minecraft used to teach SRL and problem solving to Autistic individuals aged 15-21/individuals diagnosed with ASD and/or related disabilities. The intervention was delivered during a weeklong summer using distance technology and video games.


Increasing Active Responding During Academic Instruction for Autistic Students/Students Diagnosed With Autism Spectrum Disorder and Limited Vocal Communication

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
JULIE L. THOMPSON (Texas A&M University)

Increasingly, Autistics/individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), including those with limited vocal communication, are taught in group instructional arrangements. Yet, within both inclusive and specialized settings Autistic students/students diagnosed with ASD often remain passive participants expected to observe instruction with occasional opportunities to participate or practice. This study compared the effects of two types of group instruction, sequential turn taking and response cards, on opportunities to respond, off-task behavior, academic related vocalizations, and skill acquisition of five elementary Autistic students/students diagnosed with ASD. After reviewing this poster and engaging with the presenter, participants will be able to: a) define active responding and describe its impact on learning, b) define and compare sequential turn taking and response card instruction, c) list the steps of response card instruction, d) describe ways these group instructional arrangements can be embedded into inclusive academic instruction.


Instructional Strategies for Teaching Mathematics to Autistic Students/Students Diagnosed With Autism Spectrum Disorder

Area: AUT; Domain: Theory
JARED R MORRIS (Brigham Young University), Patsy Gibbs (Brigham Young University), Ryan Kellems (BYU), Cade T. Charlton (Brigham Young University), Vicky Macias (BYU), Jamie Norman (BYU)

Individuals with disabilities consistently perform below their neurotypical peers on national assessments of mathematics (NAEP, 2015, 2017). Further, it is estimated that around one fourth of Autistic students/students diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have a mathematics learning disability (Williams et al. 2008) which directly impacts their academic performance. Effective and efficient methods and strategies for teaching mathematics to Autistic students/students diagnosed with ASD are critical for preparing them to increase their post-secondary educational and employment opportunities. Multiple reviews have evaluated interventions and instructional approaches for teaching mathematics to Autistic students/students diagnosed with ASD (Barnet & Cleary, 2015; Bouck et al., 2013; Gevarter et al., 2016). This review aims to evaluate the instructional components of interventions, technology, resources (i.e., number lines), virtual resources, and manipulatives researchers have used to improve the mathematical outcomes of Autistic students/students diagnosed with ASD. It is anticipated that the results of this review will be applicable to teachers of Autistic students/students diagnosed with ASD and will provide evidence-based strategies for teaching mathematics. It is also anticipated that this review will provide direction for future research.


Early Autism Project ECHO: Bridging the Collaboration Gap Between Behavior Analysts and Part C Providers

Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
ASHLEY PENNEY (University of Washington Autism Center), Adriana Luna (University of Washington ), Katherine Bateman (University of Washington ), Ilene S. Schwartz (University of Washington), Annette Estes (University of Washington)

Autistic children/children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) who are age three and younger receive intervention services from multidisciplinary Part C Early Interventionists and Behavior Analysts, often from separate agencies. Collaborating with professionals from other disciplines to meet the needs of clients is recommended as a best practice and an ethical guideline (Code 2.10). Little is known about collaboration between these two groups of providers. Researchers from the University of Washington’s On-Time Autism Intervention (OTAI) project conducted a six-month pilot Project ECHO (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes) with these two groups. Our ECHO was a case-based professional development and collaboration opportunity designed to increase collaboration. Participants in the pilot included behavior analysts and Part C early interventionists working with Autistic clients/clients diagnosed with ASD aged three or younger who served Medicaid-eligible or Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) children. Project ECHO met biweekly online and included short didactics and structured case-based participant collaboration. Preliminary findings from post-ECHO semi-structured interviews suggest major barriers to collaboration include time constraints, willingness of providers, and individual characteristics. We suggest that Project ECHO, which has been successfully used in the medical field, is an efficient and effective way to support behavior analysts in engaging “colleagues from their own and other professions” in meaningful collaboration.


Improving Generalization of Caregiver Skills by Leveraging Telehealth Availability

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
BRITTANY TOMASI (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Aila K. Dommestrup (Kennedy Krieger Institute)

Generalization and maintenance of child and caregiver skills targeted through behavior therapy have been long documented as a crucial aspect of intervention (Stokes & Baer, 1977). However, minimal data-based research documenting the long-term generalization and maintenance of trained skills exists (Hong et al., 2018). Following increased availability of telehealth services due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our hospital-based clinic for challenging behavior modified systemic protocols to continue providing effective behavioral interventions, and to increase data-based monitoring of maintenance of treatment gains during follow-up services (Figure 1). The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of the modified protocol for three Autistics/individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and their caregivers, during the transition from clinic-based to telehealth services. The protocol utilized novel baseline data collection procedures, various phases targeting goals through treatment, supported generalization, independent generalization, and follow-up services. Preliminary results suggested the protocol allowed clinicians to identify and target initial drops in caregiver integrity when transitioning behavior plan implementation from clinic to home (Figure 2). A similar pattern was observed following the transition to follow-up services. Improvement in data collection by clinicians was also observed. Results and implications focusing on the generality of client and caregiver behavior will be discussed.


Exploring Issues, Challenges, and Opportunities in Telehealth Service Provision: Perceptions and Experiences of Practitioners and Caregivers of Autistic Children/Children Diagnosed With Autism Spectrum Disorder

Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
ARGNUE CHITIYO (Ball State University), Jessica Wojton (Ball State University)

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, several human healthcare and education services have transitioned from in-person to online in an effort to curb the spread of the contagious disease. Families of Autistic children/children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) represent a large proportion of the growing population relying on telehealth services since the beginning of the pandemic. Although these remote technologies have created several opportunities in varying fields of patient care, they also present challenges that may impede access to essential services. This study explores the issues, challenges, and opportunities in telehealth service provision among practitioners and families of Autistic children/children diagnosed with ASD. The study also examines internal validity elements of primary interventions research on telehealth training of parents and caregivers of Autistic children/children diagnosed with ASD. The Children for Exceptional Council (CEC) indicators for identifying evidence-based practices in this field were applied to experimental research conducted between 2000 and present. Preliminary findings show gaps in the extent to which authors address internal validity. Suggestions for future research are discussed.


Barriers to Receiving Applied Behavior Analysis Services in Autistic Children/Children Diagnosed With Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
EMILY LITTMAN (University of Central Florida College of Medicine), Leslie Gavin (Nemours Children's Hospital), Andrew Broda (University of Central Florida College of Medicine), Ansley Catherine Hodges (Nemours Children's Hospital ), Lisa Spector (Nemours Children's Hospital)

Introduction: Applied behavior analysis (ABA) is the current gold standard for treatment of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), yet barriers for treatment are not well understood. Methods: Patients were identified from four children’s hospitals in Florida, Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania during 2021. Autistic children ages 1-8/children diagnosed with ASD were included. ASD diagnosis (67%) compared to Delaware (45%) (p<.001). Caregivers with children who received ABA services were more likely to know how to find the right services (2.06[1.38-3.08]p<.001), know what to do when not getting the right services (1.98[1.33-2.95]p=.001), comfortable finding services through phone (2.04[1.25-3.34]p=.004), email (1.81[1.05-3.14]p=.034) and social media (1.72[1.16-2.56]p=.007). Caregivers believe the earlier a child gets treatment for ASD the more progress they will make (3.07[1.61-5.86]p=.001), and with proper treatment, behavior (2.24[1.36-3.69]p=.001) and development (1.70[1.01-2.83]p=.044) will improve (OR[95% CI]p-value). Conclusion: Barriers to accessing ABA services is a multifactorial issue. Demographics, parental assertiveness, treatment perceptions, and knowledge contribute to Autistic children/children diagnosed with ASD not receiving ABA services.


Outcomes of Three Different Clinical Assessment Tools Evaluated in Autistic Populations

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
JESSICA M. HINMAN (University of Illinois at Chicago ), Zhihui Yi (Univeristy of Illinois at Chicago), Mark R. Dixon (University of Illinois at Chicago)

In practice, clinical assessments allow practitioners to make decisions about programming and to evaluate learners’ progress using standardized measures. The PEAK Comprehensive Assessment (PCA), Children’s Psychological Flexibility Questionnaire and LIFE Skill Emergence System: Functional Model Caregiver Assessment Form are three distinct yet interrelated clinical assessment tools that can be utilized to inform meaningful programming across the lifespan. The PCA, which evaluates relational responding abilities; CPFQ, which measures psychological flexibility; and the LIFE Functional Model Caregiver Assessment, which assesses functional life skills, have all been validated among Autistic populations. Previous research has found robust psychometric properties, good convergent and divergent validity, and increasing clinical applications of these three assessments among neurodivergent populations. The current study synthesizes previous and ongoing research on the utility and outcomes of these three measures in Autistic populations. Preliminary evidence suggests a significant difference in scores on the PCA t(135.4) = 9.459, p < .0001 and CPFQ t(72.41) = 3.662, p = .0005 between neurotypical and Autistic populations. Clinical implications include the potential use of the PCA, CPFQ, and LIFE Functional Model Caregiver Assessment for determining programming and evaluating progress across various domains.


Effects of Parent Involvement on Reading Skills of Autistic Middle School Students/Middle School Students Diagnosed With Autism Spectrum Disorder

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
HEIDI L. HILLMAN (Eastern Washington University)

While studies have shown the value of providing books at home for elementary-level children (e.g., Barton et al., 2007; Hawes & Plourde, 2005), the focus was on elementary school children. Research has shown a relationship between parents’ perception toward reading to their elementary children and reading levels (Hawes & Plourde, 2005), but these studies have not included Autistic middle school children/middle school students diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). When Autistic students/students diagnosed with ASD struggle with reading, they may also struggle with other academic areas, such as math, history, and science (McIntyre et al., 2017). Parent involvement may have a positive impact on student achievement. Boonk et al. (2018) conducted a review of 75 studies published between 2003 and 2017, focusing on the relationship between parent involvement and student academic achievement. Even though these studies concluded there was a positive relationship, the studies focused on neurotypical students. Evaluating the relationship between parent involvement and reading levels among Autistic middle school students/students diagnosed with ASD could provide insight into whether parent involvement can positively impact reading scores of Autistic middle school students/students diagnosed with ASD.


A Systematic Review Exploring Social Skills Interventions for Autistic Young Adults/Young Adults Diagnosed With Autism Spectrum Disorders

Area: AUT; Domain: Theory
STEPHANIE HUFF (University of Nevada Las Vegas)

The purpose of this systematic literature review was to evaluate current research on using applied behavior analysis (ABA) to teach social skills to Autistic young adults/young adults diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Although there is extensive research identifying ABA as a successful intervention for increasing social skills in Autistic children and adolescents/children and adolescents diagnosed with ASD, there is a dearth of research on its implementation with Autistic young adults/young adults diagnosed with ASD. A systematic literature review was conducted to evaluate current research on social skills interventions for Autistic young adults/young adults diagnosed with ASD. The literature review was conducted using Education Full Text, ERIC, and PsycINFO. Keywords used for searching included variations of “young adults with autism,” “social skills instructions,” and “applied behavior analysis.” To be included in this literature review, the journal articles must have 1) contained a combination of the previously listed keywords, 2) been published between 2011 and 2021, 3) be written in English, and 4) be peer-reviewed. While it is commonly posed that research should be conducted to determine the effectiveness of social skills interventions with Autistic adults/adults diagnosed with ASD, there continues to be a paucity of research in this domain. This literature review summarizes current research and trends, discusses themes, identifies gaps in the literature and presents possible opportunities for future research.


Individuals with Disability who Miss Preventative Healthcare Visits Might be at Greater Risk for Emergency Medical Care

Area: AUT; Domain: Basic Research
VALERIE MONICA COLANTUONO (A.J. Drexel Autism Institute at Drexel University), Georgina Perez-Liz (A.J. Drexel Autism Institute at Drexel University), Karen Lindgren (Bancroft & Bancroft NeuroRehab), Keerthi Suryadevara (Bancroft), Giacomo Vivanti (A.J. Drexel Autism Institute at Drexel University)

This project examines the frequency of missed scheduled preventive healthcare visits in a population of 364 adolescents and adults aged 13-40 years old with developmental disability, among other co-morbid diagnoses. Data was obtained through Bancroft's de-identified electronic medical records. We conducted a preliminary examination of the prediction that individuals missing preventative healthcare visits will be at greater risk for using emergency care services. Subjects appeared to be more likely to utilize emergency room services when two or more visits are missing compared to one visit, providing preliminary support for the notion that individuals with developmental disability who miss preventative healthcare visits might be at greater risk for emergency medical care. The research team will conduct inferential statistical analyses to test the contribution of age, gender, main and co-occurring diagnoses, placement, and other relevant variables on missing preventative healthcare visits and emergency room visits. A survey will be administered to participants’ caretakers to examine barriers underlying completion of healthcare visits. The research team will analyze qualitative data and categorize common themes of barriers. These contributions may help inform practices and future policies for organizations and families caring for individuals with developmental disabilities or Autistics/individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders.


The Reality of Obtaining a Registered Behavior Technician Credential and It’s Impact on Providers and Patient Access to Care

Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
BRITTANY RADER (Behavioral Framework ), Angela West (Behavioral Framework )

Applied behavior analysis therapy is now covered by most private and government insurance providers, yet there are not nearly enough Board Certified Behavior Analysts to serve the Autism population. Additionally, there is an uneven distribution of those practitioners across the United States. While coverage for applied behavior analysis therapy by insurance providers may seem to have taken us in the right direction, inconsistent funder requirements may further limit access to care. With limited practitioners, increasing numbers of Autistics/individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, and vastly different funder requirements, we should seek to learn more about the reality of obtaining a Registered Behavior Technician credential in an applied setting where services are funded by insurance providers, this credential is required to provide care, and practitioners trained to oversee these cases are already limited.


A Meta Analysis of Point of View Video Modeling Research for Autistic Students/Students Diagnosed With Autism Spectrum Disorder

Area: AUT; Domain: Theory
JARED R MORRIS (Brigham Young University), Ryan Kellems (Brigham Young University), Cade T. Charlton (Brigham Young University), Patsy Gibbs (Brigham Young University), Jamie Norman (Brigham Young University), Vicky Macias (Brigham Young University)

This meta-analysis and systematic review was conducted to synthesize research studies on point-of-view (POV) video modeling and analyze the behavioral, academic, and social outcomes it had on Autistic students/students diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Video modeling has been established through research as a robust intervention with positive effects across disabilities to teach behavioral, academic, functional, social, and life skills. Methods: A literature search was conducted using the online databases ERIC, APA PsychInfo, and Proquest Dissertations. The Boolean search string: video technology AND modeling AND point of view AND autism was used. The titles and abstracts of the articles were reviewed to identify relevance and, in order to be included in the review, studies had to meet the following criteria: (a) POV video modeling independent variable, (b) study participants are individuals with autism, and (c) study was conducted using a single-subject research design. Results: Thirty-five studies met these criteria. Studies were evaluated using CEC quality indicators and two studies were removed. Data were extracted from each of the graphs and are being analyzed currently. Preliminary analysis of the remaining studies indicates a functional relation between POV video modeling and the skills and behaviors the researchers were targeting.


Stepping Inside the Mind of Someone With Autism

Area: AUT; Domain: Theory
DYLAN VOLK (D&A Publishing)

The rare chance to hear about autism from an individual who is actually on the spectrum and has lived it, is invaluable. This presentation will take audiences through my roller coaster of a life living with high-functioning autism. I discuss my plight of trying to get through the public school system, how it failed me, and what educators can do better. I cover in-depth my experiences trying to socially fit in with many different crowds and cultures, and I provide invaluable insight into the behaviors of neurotypical people that I have obtained through much observation. I also go through my experience of being fired from over fifty jobs and give insight as to how to deal with autism in the workplace. My presentation provides a number of strategies and tools for the attendees. By welcoming the audience inside my head and heart, they walk away with an understanding about the Autistic brain and the raw emotions that go along with it. My keynote addresses issues such as loneliness, communication patterns, and fitting in as a teenager to even heavier topics such as suicide and drug abuse. I guarantee no one will view autism the same after hearing me speak.


Teaching Life-Saving Swim Skills to Autistic Children/Children Diagnosed With Autism Spectrum Disorder

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
VINCENT LAMARCA (Applied Behavior Center for Autism)

Drowning is the primary cause of accidental death in Autistic children/children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD; Alaniz, Rosenberg, Beard, & Rosario, 2017). This research demonstrates the effectiveness of behavioral strategies to teach basic swim safety skills while also indicating the need for additional research. Less than 20 research studies exist that focus on autism and swimming, and the majority of those studies have focused on advanced swim skills (e.g., swim stroke technique) rather than basic swim skills (e.g., learning to float, kicking, and blowing bubbles). In this study, a multiple baseline design across behaviors with replication across participants was used to demonstrate the acquisition of basic swim skills. Participants were all Autistic children/children diagnosed with ASD, under the age of 10, who could not pass a basic safety swim skills pretest. All sessions were conducted with a certified swim instructor in the water. Treatment procedures included the use of flexible prompt fading and reinforcement based on a preference assessment. Results were mixed, with an increase in some swim skills, but not at the rate or number initially expected. The data contribute to ongoing efforts to teach life-saving swim skills both quickly and effectively.


Use of Visual Supports to Promote Independence in the Community

Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery

Visual supports are an evidence-based practice that increases independence for adults with disabilities, however, they are rarely utilized. They are often used with children in school settings, yet are not frequently observed in adult service environments. One way to enrich the instructional environment is to provide visual supports that might include choice boards, visual schedule, or work systems. Visuals increase independence. As Hume, Loftin, and Lantz (2009) determined, visual supports decrease the need for adult management, and increase the individuals' independence and self-determination. Crites and Howard (2011) demonstrated increased engagement and independence through the use of visual supports in several day habilitation programs. Even with these known benefits, no visual support resources have been developed specifically for adults and the direct support professionals and family members who truly want to encourage greater independence.


Effective Applied Behavior Analysis Treatment for a 17-Year-Old Autistic/Individual Diagnosed With Autism Spectrum Disorder and Avoidance Restrictive Food Intake Disorder

Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
LANA RANCH (Easterseals Southern Calfornia), Joyce Chenchen Tu Battersby (Easterseals of Southern California), Rick Gutierrez (Easterseals of Southern California)

Avoidance Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID) is a newer diagnosis in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) that describes an individual who cannot meet their nutritional needs due to fear of aversive consequences, sensory sensitivity, and/or lack of interest in eating or food. Individuals with ARFID display rigidity around eating and avoid certain food types, resulting in insufficient calorie intake. In the current study, the participant is a 17-year-old male Autistic/individual diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder and ARFID. This participant had a history of intense, outpatient treatment that focused on increasing his calorie intake and weight gain. After a functional behavioral assessment, a self-management intervention using a behavior contract was implemented to increase and maintain a higher caloric intake. The intervention included weekly 1- to 2-hour telehealth visits with a Board Certified Behavior Analyst, the participant, and a caregiver. At baseline, the average daily caloric intake for the participant was 1530 per day and he weighed 98 pounds. After 14 sessions, the average daily caloric intake for the participant was 1840 per day and he weighed 113.5 pounds. This applied research demonstrates the effectiveness in the treatment of behavioral symptoms related to ARFID.


Using an App-Based Token Economy to Increase Engagement in Daily Living and Vocational Tasks With Adults with Developmental Disabilities

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
EINAR T. INGVARSSON (Virginia Institute of Autism), Lydia A Beahm (University of Virginia; Virginia Institute of Autism), Noelle Arico Funk (Virginia Institute of Autism), Lauren Haskins (Virginia Institute of Autism), Jake Frazier (Virginia Institute of Autism), Ethan S. Long (Virginia Institute of Autism)

Token economies have been shown to improve outcomes across populations, settings, and behaviors. Nonetheless, their complex nature frequently leads to ineffective implementation. Additionally, little is known about the extent to which token economies are effective for increasing engagement in adult Autistics/adults diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder and other developmental disabilities. Therefore, we conducted a multiple probe across participants study to evaluate the effectiveness of an app-based token economy to increase engagement in daily living and vocational tasks in adults with disabilities. All participants increased their engagement with tasks following the introduction of the intervention. However, social validity results indicate that staff members found some components of the interventions challenging to implement.


Advocacy for Autistic Children/Children Diagnosed With Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Comparison of Stress and Coping Profiles, Severity of Autism, Cultural Factors, Ethnicity, and Knowledge Base of the Parents

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
SABA TORABIAN (Intervention Center for Autism Needs), Eduardo Ibarra (Intervention Center for Autism Needs)

As more children are being diagnosed with autism, more families are facing the shortage and lack of proper services for their children especially as their children get older. This is when parental advocacy becomes a major part of receiving the proper and intensive therapy, mainly applied behavior analysis. The purpose of the present study was to understand how parental stress and coping behaviors as well as the severity of autism, cultural factors, and knowledge base of the parents impact parental advocacy for their Autistic children/children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This study used discriminate function analysis to further understand different characteristics of caregivers who are more likely to advocate for their Autistic child/child diagnosed with ASD. A sample of 100 families with Autistic children/children diagnosed with ASD were recruited. Despite what was hypothesized originally, parents of children whose severity of autism was more significant were less likely to advocate for their Autistic children/children diagnosed with ASD compared to the ones whose autism was mild to moderate. This could be due to the fact that more parental stress and anxiety were reported among parents of more severely impacted Autistic children/children diagnosed with ASD compared to higher-functioning Autistic children/children diagnosed with ASD. In other words, the level of advocacy was negatively correlated with severity of autism as severity of autism was positively correlated with stress and anxiety level of parents of Autistic children/children diagnosed with ASD. Other important factors that were found to have significant relationship with parental advocacy were age of the child, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, cultural factors, parental level of exhaustion as well as their knowledge in regard to the rights for their Autistic children/children diagnosed with ASD.


Examining the Overlap of Characteristics Between Autism Spectrum Disorders and Anxiety

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
STEPHANIE NORTHINGTON, PHD (PACES, LLC), Keisha Nagai (PACES, LLC), Kirsten Canada (PACES, LLC), Kyle Bringmann (PACES, LLC)

Background: Information regarding the similarities between Autistics/individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and anxiety disorders was presented at the 47th Annual ABAI Convention by this author (Northington et al., 2021). Though autism previously was viewed as a lifelong condition initially diagnosed during infancy or childhood, there is current support and growing evidence that autism is more heterogeneous than originally thought, and that autism is not necessarily a lifelong condition (Whiteley et al., 2019). It also is apparent that there is an increased likelihood that Autistics/individuals diagnosed with ASD also develop an anxiety disorder (Kerns et al., 2016). Objectives: To examine the overlap of autism symptoms and anxiety symptoms in Autistics/individuals diagnosed with ASD in comparison to those not diagnosed with ASD. Methods: Data were previously collected for more than 50 participants ages 3 to 17. All participants completed a diagnostic assessment; consent was obtained from parents and assent was obtained from the participant. All assessments included a measure of autism spectrum symptoms (SRS-2; WPS, 2012) and a measure of anxiety symptoms. T scores obtained on the questionnaires were analyzed to determine if significant differences in symptoms of anxiety and autism existed between the two groups. Results: Initial independent samples t test results demonstrate no significant differences between the two groups in regard to overall autism spectrum symptoms (p = 0.054). While data are gathered for anxiety symptoms, those data are in the process of being entered for analysis. Conclusions: Initial results indicate similarities in the level of autism-related symptoms in Autistics/individuals diagnosed with ASD in comparison to those diagnosed with an anxiety disorder.


Training Teachers With Video Modeling: A Review of the Literature

Area: AUT; Domain: Theory
MARY HASPEL (Monmouth University), Stacy Lauderdale-Littin (Monmouth University), Alexandra Hollo (West Virginia University)

Video modeling is an established evidence-based practice for teaching children and adolescents a variety of skills, particularly in school-based settings (Wong et al., 2015). In contrast, relatively few studies emphasize video modeling as a primary training tool for educational staff. The authors of this poster reviewed the current body of literature on video modeling for teachers to identify the focus of interventions, implementation procedures, and outcomes for participants. Findings indicated a predominant focus on basic video modeling procedures, with enhancements such as voice-over instruction and performance feedback. Interventions primarily pertained to behavioral skills training and preference assessments. Notably, the research for educators indicated positive outcomes for participants similar to children, with 100% of studies identified within this literature review reporting improvement from baseline and 92% reporting attainment of mastery criteria. Additional themes were identified in relation to participants, setting and outcomes. Limited, but promising results are reported for training personnel in school-based settings. Implications for future research are discussed.


Applied Behavior Analysis Consultation in Early Childhood Classrooms: Recommendations and Exemplars

Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
BERENICE DE LA CRUZ (Texas A&M University-San Antonio), Megan G. Kunze (University of Oregon)

Teachers in early childhood classrooms are faced with a diverse student population, including Autistic students/students diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), requiring a range of professional skills to address their broad spectrum of adaptive and academic needs. Diverse early learners often exhibit challenging behaviors requiring extensive teacher training to replace maladaptive responses with appropriate skills. Yet, teachers often find themselves ill-prepared to teach under these circumstances with limited training to manage behavior in their classroom. Applied behavior analysis (ABA) is an effective treatment for children with various developmental differences, including ASD, and has proven successful in classroom settings. Despite these findings, many early childhood educators are unfamiliar with ABA technologies. Over four consecutive years, the authors provided ABA consultation to 44 early childhood classrooms, 196 teachers, and 97 children who exhibited challenging behavior and had a diagnosis of ASD or were waiting to be evaluated. Based upon this work, this poster outlines recommendations and exemplars for ABA consultation in early childhood classrooms.




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Modifed by Eddie Soh