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 #223
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Use of Technology to Disseminate Applied Behavior Analysis into Applied Settings
Sunday, May 29, 2022
10:00 AM–11:50 AM
Meeting Level 2; Room 252A
Area: DDA/AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Natalie Badgett (University of North Florida)
Discussant: Jennifer Nicole Haddock (University of Kansas)
CE Instructor: Rose Nevill, Ph.D.

While ABA is considered an evidence-based approach for skill development and challenging behavior reduction with people with autism and broader developmental disabilities, many lack access to services due to a number of barriers (e.g., distance, cost, scheduling, lack of providers, and transportation). Further, families and professionals who deliver primary supports to people with ASD/DD often do not have training in ABA. Technological advances over recent years now present a wide range of options for disseminating ABA to people with ASD/DD, and delivering coaching on behavioral techniques to support systems. This selection of presentations will provide examples of how four different technological modalities (an app, bug-in-ear speaker system, virtual reality, and the videoconferencing) can be applied to disseminate ABA knowledge to difficult-to-reach populations. Preliminary data will be shared to demonstrate the effectiveness of each approach and to conclude we will discuss implications of use of technology for furthering the reach of ABA within the disability field.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): Accessibility, Dissemination, Technology, Telehealth
Target Audience:

A minimum of a masters degree in behavior analysis, psychology, education, technology, or a related degree.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentations, participants will be able to: (1) Understand how virtual reality systems can be used as skill building tools for people with autism (2) Identify innovative tech-based strategies for disseminating ABA into applied settings (3) Explain the ECHO model and understand how it can be modified to provide behavioral consultation in new settings
There’s an App for That! Teaching Daily Living Skills Using Tablet-Based Technology
NATALIE BADGETT (University of North Florida), Young Hee Byun (University of Virginia), Micah Mazurek (University of Virginia), Rose Nevill (University of Virginia)
Abstract: Daily living skills include appropriate self-care skills (e.g., tooth brushing) that enable individuals to function independently across environments. Children with autism commonly struggle with daily living skills, regardless of cognitive abilities and these deficits may worsen from childhood to adulthood. Deficits in daily living skills lead to over-reliance on caregiver support and limited independence. Evidence-based behavioral strategies targeting daily living skills include chaining, prompting, and task analysis. While ABA represents a useful approach to teaching daily living and other adaptive skills, many children are unable to access high quality ABA services. Barriers to access include provider shortages, long waitlists, high costs of services, and logistical barriers. SkillSTAR represents an innovative strategy to improve access to evidence-based intervention for children with deficits in daily living skills. In this presentation, we will introduce the SkillSTAR application, which fully integrates assessment, intervention, data analysis, and user support to promote acquisition of daily living skills. We will also share data from an initial pilot study evaluating the effectiveness of the tool in teaching tooth-brushing skills.

Effects of Coaching Parents of Children With Autism via Telehealth

YOUJIA HUA (University of Virginia), QIAN ZHANG (Kunming LIH SkyCity Rehabilitation Hospital), Yan Liu (University of Virginia), Qing Li (Kunming LIH SkyCity Rehabilitation Hospital)

We designed and implemented a parent coaching program that focused on procedures used to teach three types of spontaneous verbal request skills for children with autism in China during the COVID-19 pandemic. Two parent-child dyads from a southwestern city in China participated in the study. Using the telehealth service delivery model, a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) in China provided coaching. During the coaching sessions, the parents received BCBA’s immediate prompt and feedback from a Bluetooth earpiece. In a randomized multiple-baseline across the behaviors design, we confirmed a functional relation between the parent coaching program and their frequency of correct teaching trials. Both children also emitted more spontaneous verbal requests during the intervention.

Skill Building With Virtual Reality
REHAN MAIRAJUDDIN (Floreo Tech), Vijay Ravindran (Floreo, Inc.), Sinan Turnacioglu (Floreo, Inc.), Rita Solórzano (Floreo, Inc.), Stephen Donaldson (Floreo, Inc.)
Abstract: There remains a clear need for effective, accessible, and low-cost interventions that can address the diverse needs of individuals with the diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Virtual reality (VR) has emerged as a promising method of intervention with over two decades of research on its use for a variety of different skills. The safety, feasibility, and efficacy of a virtual reality intervention to teach skills needed to successfully navigate encounters with law enforcement officers in adolescents and adults with ASD was assessed during a funded research project. Results indicate that participants’ knowledge of appropriate encounters with police officers and comfort interacting with officers increased significantly as a result of the virtual reality intervention. Participants’ eye contact during police interactions was rated as significantly better during the post-intervention assessment compared with pre-intervention, and the appropriateness of their behavior was rated as being significantly improved after participating in the virtual reality intervention. Research suggests that a novel mobile virtual reality skill-building system designed to support children and adults with ASD through real-time coaching and feedback is safe and feasible for use by a range of autistic individuals and may be effective at improving community social problem-solving skills.

Use of the Videoconferencing-Based ECHO Model to Disseminate Applied Behavior Analysis to Inpatient Psychiatric Settings

ROSE NEVILL (University of Virginia), Natalie Badgett (University of North Florida), Gail Lovette (University of Virginia), Jaimee Traub (University of Virginia), Keith Page (University of Virginia)

Adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) experience high rates of behavioral crises, which significantly increase their risk of emergency room or psychiatric hospital admissions. While psychiatric hospitals typically specialize in the assessment and treatment of severe mental illness and substance abuse, providers in these settings generally have little to no training on working with IDD populations. This project piloted an application of the Extensions of Community Health Outcomes (ECHO) model to disseminate behavioral knowledge to inpatient psychiatric care teams in state-funded hospitals across Virginia through a videoconferencing platform. Six providers participated in a pilot evaluation of this program and completed pre-post test measures of ABA knowledge, self-efficacy in managing challenging behavior, and program satisfaction. Results demonstrated a significant improvement in providers’ self-efficacy, knowledge of ABA, and high program satisfaction. The model design will be described, after which implications and considerations for future use of the ECHO model as a mode for disseminating behavioral knowledge and consultation will be discussed.




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