Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


36th Annual Convention; San Antonio, TX; 2010

Event Details

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Poster Session #404
AUT Poster Session 4
Monday, May 31, 2010
12:00 PM–1:30 PM
Exhibit Hall A (CC)
1. An Evaluation of Mentor Feedback on Masters Candidate Skills Educating Preschoolers With Autism Spectrum Disorders
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
YASEMIN TURAN (San Diego State University), Laura J. Hall (San Diego State University), Hillary Whiteside (The Institute for Effective Education)
Abstract: Five M.A.Degree candidates and supervisor dyads participated in the study conducted during master candidates’ practicum experience in preschool classrooms for children with autism. The purpose of the study was to evaluate effectiveness of a mentoring and coaching program on M.A.Degree candidates’ use of praise and error correction procedures. The effect of the intervention was evaluated via a multiple baseline replicated across 4 dyads and the data were collected on candidates’ use of consequent procedures, university mentors’ coaching skills and children’s engagement behavior. Observations revealed that the intervention influenced both the M.A.Degree candidate’s behavior as well as their supervising mentor.
2. A Parent Education Program to Further Enhance the Developmental Growth of Infants At-Risk for Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
CASANDRA C. NGUYEN (Autism Spectrum Therapies), Erin McNerney (Autism Spectrum Therapies)
Abstract: Children are being diagnosed with autism at very young ages. Current research has focused on identifying specific markers, or skill deficits in infants that may be indicative of a child being at-risk for a diagnosis of autism. In order to address these deficits, intervention needs to begin as early as possible. The present study presents the preliminary findings of a parent education program to help “at-risk” infants reach appropriate developmental milestones. Participants were parents of 28 infants classified as “at-risk” or assessed by the local regional center to demonstrate global developmental delays. The intervention program provided parents with information regarding typical infant development, and taught parents behaviorally-based strategies to facilitate communication and social-interaction skills. Parents were taught strategies to encourage development of skills that previous literature has suggested are hallmark signs of a later diagnosis of autism. This study presents the overall program model and outcome data on parents’ fidelity of implementation of specific strategies taught, and children’s gains in communication and social skills. Results demonstrated that overall gains were observed in the 28 children across the following developmental areas: expressive language skills, receptive language skills, cognitive skills, and social/emotional skills.
4. The Effects of Verbal Feedback on Staff Performance in a Clinical Setting
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
DANIELLE LISE LAFRANCE (Therapeutic Pathways, Inc.), Diana Lynn Morgan (Therapeutic Pathways, Inc.)
Abstract: The effects of feedback on performance have been evaluated in a variety of organizational settings (e.g., offices, restaurants, etc.) and for a variety of behaviors (e.g., typing, posture, etc). The current study measured the effects of feedback on the performance of 3 direct interventionist staff in an early intensive behavioral treatment (EIBT) program. A multiple baseline design across participants was used to evaluate whether feedback resulted in higher treatment integrity of client-specific procedures across team members. Results showed that the use of feedback alone produced a greater degree of consistency and treatment integrity. Maintenance of these results is currently being assessed with follow up measures.
5. Training School Personnel to Implement Positive Behavior Support Plans
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
DARYN KALMUS (Autism Spectrum Therapies)
Abstract: The Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEIA, 2004) requires IEP teams to conduct a functional behavior assessment (FBA) and develop a positive behavior support plan (PBS Plan) for all students who engage in persistent, problematic behavior. Few teachers receive formal training in evidence-based practice (National Research Council, 2001) or training in behaviorally based methodologies (Polsgrove, 2003). The present study utilized a training package that included written and verbal instructions, modeling, rehearsal, and performance feedback to train a classroom teacher and the classroom paraprofessionals to implement a PBS Plan to reduce aggressive, non-compliant, and tantrum behavior of an eight year old boy diagnosed with autism. Research has demonstrated that individuals with limited clinical experience are able to quickly acquire the skills necessary to implement functional analyses (Iwata et al., 2000; Moore et al., 2002), discrete-trial teaching (Sarokoff & Sturmey, 2004), and stimulus preference assessments (Lavie & Sturmey, 2002) using similar training packages. The classroom teacher and paraprofessionals were taught strategies including priming, choice making, visual supports, token economies, differential reinforcement, functional communication training, extinction, and redirection; all of which were either not used or used inconsistently/inappropriately at baseline. Results indicate that given appropriate training, the classroom teacher and paraprofessionals acquired the skills necessary to implement the positive behavior support plan, resulting in a significant reduction in aggressive, non-compliant, and tantrum behavior in the target student. In addition, the classroom teacher and paraprofessionals generalized these skills to other students in the class.
6. Effects of Computer-Assisted Instruction on Procedural Integrity for Inexperience Therapists During Generalization Training Trials
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
NITASHA DICKES (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Tiffany Kodak (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Wayne Fisher (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Kelly J. Bouxsein (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Andrea Clements (Munroe-Meyer Institute)
Abstract: Computer-assisted instruction (CAI) has been used to teach children with developmental disabilities a variety of academic skills (Bosseler & Massaro, 2003; Moore & Calvery, 2000). Although preliminary studies indicate CAI may result in greater acquisition of target skills and have benefits over direct instruction with a therapist, it remains unclear to what extent CAI will increase procedural integrity and decrease the amount of time required to train therapists to implement individualized instruction. The current study compared procedural integrity during generalization trials conducted either via CAI or one-on-one instruction by three inexperienced therapists. The therapists read a protocol and asked questions prior to implementation of the generalization training trials. A multi-element design was used to evaluate correct implementation of each step in the trial across CAI and one-on-one instructional sessions. Results indicated that each therapist implemented CAI with 90% to 100% accuracy by the second session, whereas procedural integrity levels were 60% or lower during one-on-one instruction. The advantages of using CAI to promote procedural integrity for inexperience therapists are discussed.
7. Evaluating Sensory Integration Procedures Using a Reversal Design: A Lack of Treatment Effect
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
JENNIFER SMITH (BEACON Services), Robert K. Ross (BEACON Services)
Abstract: The field of Behavior Analysis holds itself up to a standard of requiring that procedures have empirical support in order for their use to be considered ethical. However not all disciplines subscribe to this standard. This is particularly true in autism treatment where non-validated treatments abound (Jacobson, Foxx, and Mulick, 2005). One category of frequently implemented interventions for children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are treatments to address so called “sensory issues”. Sensory based “treatments” can include “Sensory Integration Therapy (SIT)” and or a “sensory diet”. These types of treatment are implemented despite a lack of objective evidence to support its effectiveness. Although these types of intervention are being applied frequently, few studies conducted have shown sound results, by demonstrating a causal relationship between SI interventions and targeted behavioral changes. The current study assessed the use of sensory integration strategies to increase attending skills during seatwork in the classroom of a fifth grader diagnosed with Autism. A reversal design was used. The results indicate that SI intervention was not correlated with desired changes in the student’s behavior.
10. A Comparison of Most to Least Prompting and No-No-Prompting During Discrete Trial Training
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
TAMI S. SANBORN (The Groden Center)
Abstract: Discrete trial training has become one of the most commonly used teaching procedures with children with autism. However, there are several variations of prompting procedures used during discrete trial training across agencies and schools. This study examines the use of two prompting procedures to teach children diagnosed with autism to respond to one-step directions. This study incorporated an alternating treatments design with an initial baseline and final best treatment phase to compare the effectiveness of the two procedures. During the most to least prompting condition, prompts were faded across sessions from full physical to partial physical prompting. During the no-no-prompt condition, the therapist presented corrective statements (vocally stating “no”) when the child engaged in an incorrect response. The therapist presented the correction statement if two consecutive incorrect responses occurred. When the third consecutive incorrect response occurred, the therapist presented a physical prompt. Initial results suggest that most to least prompting produces higher percentage of trials correct and faster rates of acquisition.
11. Outcomes of Behavioural Interventions at a Centre Combined With Mainstream Placement for Children With Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
ALISON SHARLAND (Highfield Centre), Sigmund Eldevik (Akershus University College), J. Carl Hughes (Bangor University)
Abstract: A model of provision has been developed for children with autism at the Highfield Centre which combines behavioural intervention at the centre with part-time placement in preschool or school (depending on the child's age). The Highfield Centre trains and certifies all staff involved in intervention. The children typically follow ca 40 hours a week and it is individually determined how much time should be spent on working with targets in school and at the centre each week. Effects of this model were evaluated using a pre -post test design.
12. Who Are the Folks Most Commonly Implementing, Collecting Data, and Supervising Behavior Plans of Individuals With Autism?
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
ELLIE KAZEMI (California State University, Northridge), Alyssa Rylander (California State University, Northridge), Robert W. Burns (California State University, Northridge), Marnie Nicole Shapiro (California State University, Northridge), Amanda Valencia (California State University, Northridge), Yesenia Larios (California State University, Northridge), Meline Pogosjana (California State University, Northridge), Melissa Nayar (California State University, Northridge)
Abstract: Research has shown that intensive early applied behavior analytic (ABA) intervention is the most effective form of treatment for children with autism (Howard, 2005; Lovaas, 1987). An increase in the number of children diagnosed with autism, as well as awareness about the disorder, has augmented the need for accountable effective treatments. In Southern California, behavioral agencies vendored with the Regional Centers and Special Education Local Plan Area, are the most common providers of ABA services for individuals with autism. These agencies employ therapists at different levels who provide an average of 10-30 hours of direct instruction and behavior therapy, or supervise and monitor behavior plans, in school and home settings. The survival of behavioral agencies and the quality of services they offer depends heavily on these agencies’ abilities to recruit, train, monitor, and maintain highly motivated competent employees. However, at this time, research regarding such employees is limited. We have recruited 130 behavior therapists (40% supervisors) who work with children with autism. The purpose of this presentation is to shed light on the level of education, years of experience, hours of ABA training, immediate goals, and other factors depicting the current pool of behavior therapists in our region.
13. Increasing Reading Comprehension Skills Using High School Level Textbooks in a Special Education Classroom
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
AINSLY DUFF (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology), Tara A. Glavin (Hope Institute Learning Academy)
Abstract: Positive reinforcement using a point system has been shown to increase academic skills in students with developmental disabilities. We used a contingency-based point system to increase reading comprehension skills of a high school level textbook in a 16-year-old student with autism. The reading comprehension skills included looking up words in a glossary, using a table of contents, and answering questions regarding the text. During sessions, reinforcement was contingent upon the student giving a correct response to the presented target. It has been shown that when access to a reinforcer is contingent upon the response, the number of correct responses increases (McEvoy & Brady, 1988). The student had five opportunities to give a correct response per session. At the end of the session, the student had the opportunity to trade in the points for an activity reinforcer, such as time on the computer. The objective of this research was to improve reading comprehension skills and increase independence in the classroom for a 16-year-old student with autism.
14. Teaching Functions to a Child With Autism Using of Multiple Learning Channels
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
ELYSE REYNOLDS (FEAT of Washington), Kelly J. Ferris (Organization for Research and Learning), Michael Fabrizio (FEAT of Washington)
Abstract: In fluency based instruction, teachers often move instructional concepts through different learning channels as part of the instructional design sequence. However, there are often many skills to teach a young child with autism and often too few minutes to teach all the skills at once. To maximize a student’s instructional minutes, an alternating learning channel strategy was used to teach a five-year-old boy with autism to both mediate teacher directions about functions (Hear/Touch Function Pictures) and to tact 2D pictures of functions (See/Say Function Pictures). The poster will report on the instruction slice sequence, share student daily performance data charted on the Standard Celeration Chart, and a cumulative record graph showing the rate of concept mastery in for each learning channel.
16. Equivalence Class Formation by Adolescents With Asperger’s Disorder
Area: AUT; Domain: Experimental Analysis
ANDREW R. RILEY (Western Michigan University), Linda A. LeBlanc (Auburn University), Brian J. Feeney (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: Stimulus equivalence is an empirical phenomenon which demonstrates a process of generative learning pertinent to language development and symbolic communication, whereby stimuli that share no physical properties come to be functionally similar (i.e., form an equivalence class). Individuals diagnosed with Asperger’s disorder (AD) display high rates of atypical language functioning and dysfunctional communication. Such abnormal development could be the result of differences in a fundamental learning process such as equivalence class formation. This study sought to compare the equivalence class formation abilities of adolescents with AD to those of typically developing adolescents. Ten adolescents diagnosed with AD were compared to ten typically developing adolescents on a computerized task of equivalence class formation. Results suggest that when conditional discriminations are taught to mastery, there are no significant differences between adolescents with AD and typically developing adolescents in the emergence of untrained relations. These results indicate atypical language observed in those with AD is likely not caused by abnormalities in the basic process of equivalence class formation.
17. The Effects of Priming on Academic Acquisition of a Boy With Autism in an Inclusive Educational Setting
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
DONNA C. CHANEY (Behaviour Institute), Joel P. Hundert (Behaviour Institute), Shawn Brumby (Behaviour Institute)
Abstract: Providing students with disabilities appropriate educational opportunities in inclusive educational settings has been an important focus for service providers. One of the challenges of inclusion is that many children with disabilities have difficulty learning in the traditional group instructional format associated with general education settings. One possible intervention is the use of priming on the academic material about to be taught in a general education classroom. Priming of academic material consists of pre-exposing the child to the material in an individual session before the teach teaches a group lesson. This poster will describe the results of a study comparing the effects of lession priming to group instruction presentation only on academic acquisition for a child with autism in an inclusive educational setting.
18. A Clinical Evaluation of Response Interruption and Redirection on Vocal Stereotypy in a Preadolescent With Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
LESLEY A. MACPHERSON (California State University, Sacramento), Jessica Love (California State University, Sacramento), Caio F. Miguel (California State University, Sacramento)
Abstract: Vocal stereotypy can be defined as nonfunctional repetition of sounds, words, breathing, and/or delayed echolalia of previously heard dialogue. It is often noncontextual and can be disruptive in both social and academic environments. Previous research has demonstrated that a Response Interruption and Redirection (RIRD) procedure was effective in reducing vocal stereotypy of children diagnosed with autism. The purpose of the current study was to clinically evaluate the effectiveness of RIRD with an 11-year-old male diagnosed with Autism. A functional analysis was conducted suggesting a possible automatic function. During treatment, implementation of RIRD alone produced minimal reduction in vocal stereotypy. Prompted engagement with preferred items and response cost were later introduced in conjunction with RIRD. Appropriate vocalizations significantly increased only when response cost was implemented. Overall, findings contribute to the sparse research examining vocal stereotypy treatment among preadolescent populations.
19. Evaluation of Client Location and Preferred Items on Head Weaving
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
WILLIAM J. HIGGINS (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Terry S. Falcomata (University of Texas at Austin), Kasey Stephenson (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Henry S. Roane (State University of New York, Upstate Medical University)
Abstract: Previous research has shown that automatically reinforced problem behavior can be reduced via the noncontingent presentation of preferred stimuli. In the current investigation, we conducted a functional analysis of repetitive head weaving that produced undifferentiated results. This outcome was indicative of an automatic reinforcement function for head weaving. Next, we conducted a preference assessment in which measures of item engagement were compared to measures of head weaving. Those results suggested that specific high-preferred items competed with the behavior; however, anecdotal observations suggested that other variables also affected the occurrence of head weaving. Finally, we conducted an assessment in which an antecedent variable (child location) was manipulated to evaluate the establishing effects of child location on head weaving. A treatment consisting of both competing items and antecedent manipulation reduced head-turning stereotypy to clinically significant levels. Interobserver agreement was obtained during at least 30% of sessions for each evaluation and averaged above 90%. The results will be described within the context of the effects of idiosyncratic antecedent variables on the occurrence of problem behavior maintained by automatic reinforcement.
20. Stimulus Fading, Positive Reinforcement, and Extinction to Treat Food-Related Packing
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
LAURA GORMLEY (Trinity College Dublin), Kristen A. Maglieri (Trinity College Dublin), Rita Honan (Trinity College Dublin), Ciara Tolan (Stepping Stones ABA School for Children with Autism)
Abstract: Packing, holding accepted food in the mouth for extended periods, has significant health implications, including insufficient caloric intake, failure to thrive and an increased risk for aspiration. The current study aimed to reduce the frequency of packing behaviour displayed by a nine-year old male diagnosed with autism. First, non-preferred foods (foods, which were consistently packed) were identified through indirect and direct assessment. Next, a baseline was conducted in which previously non-preferred foods were presented systematically. During baseline, each non-preferred food was packed at 100 percent when presented. A treatment consisting of a combination of stimulus fading (systematic increases in portion size), positive reinforcement for ‘appropriate’ chewing and swallowing and extinction for food avoidance was then implemented. Results demonstrated that the treatment package was successful in reducing packing to near zero levels within 61 days of intervention including follow-up. In addition, the participant was successfully completing presented meals within 30 minutes.
21. A Practitioner’s Guide to Implementing Differential Reinforcement of Other Behaviors Among Students With Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
LEAH C. GONGOLA (Youngstown State University), Rosie Daddario (Kent State University), Dru Perren (Youngstown State University)
Abstract: Current research supports the increase in prevalence of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) to be one out of every 91 children. Along with the drastic increase in ASD prevalence, No Child Left Behind calls for scientifically-based practices; therefore obligating educators to provide proven and effective behavioral interventions when seeking to reduce challenging behaviors in the classroom setting (Odom et al., 2005; Simpson, 2005). Further, literature discusses the need for schools to incorporate reinforcement-based behavioral technologies into classrooms servicing children with ASD (Lerman et al., 2004). While reinforcement and punishment procedures both influence the decrease of challenging behaviors, differential reinforcement of other behaviors (DRO) has been found to provide a reinforcement-based alternative to punitive behavioral approaches (Poling & Ryan, 1982). When seeking a protocol to diminish undesirable behaviors, DRO is an appealing intervention for students and practitioners alike as the DRO intervention reinforces acceptable behaviors already within a student’s repertoire. This poster will define user-friendly procedural variations of DRO to include whole interval application, interval reset, and weekly averages of interresponse times. The DRO case examples, checklists, and charts included will offer step-by-step support to practitioners in search of a feasible and structured intervention for students with ASD and undesirable behaviors.
22. The Effects of Functional Communication Training and Progressive Delays to Reinforcement on Problem Behavior and Task Compliance
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
ALFRED BREWIN IV (Rowan University), Michelle Ennis Soreth (Rowan University)
Abstract: In this study, we examined the utility of Functional Communication Training with a progressive delay to reinforcement and extinction on problem behaviors of an 8-year-old male diagnosed with autism. Results of a brief functional analysis indicated that the participant’s aggression was maintained primarily by an escape from demands. The goal for the participant was to teach a functionally equivalent communicative response to replace aggression. Following initial training of the FCT response (exchange of a break card during tasks resulting in an escape from demands); work requirements and subsequent delays to reinforcement were gradually and systematically increased to a terminal goal of completing 25 tasks on a fixed-ratio schedule. The results of a reversal design indicated that this treatment procedure was effective in reducing problem behaviors by at least 83% from baseline while maintaining high levels of compliance. The implications of the use of this treatment in applied settings and future research were discussed.
23. Response Interruption and Redirection as Treatment for Vocal Stereotypy in Children With Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
MEGAN DUFFY CASSELLA (Garden Academy), Tina Sidener (Caldwell College), David W. Sidener (Garden Academy), Patrick R. Progar (Caldwell College)
Abstract: This study systematically replicated and extended Ahearn, Clark, MacDonald, and Chung (2007) to evaluate the effects of response interruption and redirection (RIRD) using nonvocal demands on the vocal stereotypy of two boys diagnosed with autism. Functional assessments conducted suggested an automatic reinforcement function for the vocal stereotpy emitted by both of the participants. Results from the reversal design showed that RIRD produced substantial decreases in vocal stereotypy following the procedure. Generalization measures showed that vocal stereotypy did not decrease in novel settings or with novel instructors. A social validity assessment revealed that overall, the procedures used were found to be acceptable and effective. Despite the hypothesis that changes may be observed in collateral behaviors, no clinically significant changes were observed in motor stereotypy, appropriate vocalizations, or toy manipulation. The length of time that each participant spent in treatment per session may be a limitation to the overall success of this intervention. The results of this study were in agreement with previous research and revealed the effectiveness of the RIRD procedure.
24. The Effects of Response Interruption and Redirection and Differential Reinforcement of Other Behaviors on Vocal Stereotypy in Children With Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
MARY ELIZABETH GARTLAND (The May Institute), Courtney Fleming (The Ohio State University), Sheila R. Alber-Morgan (The Ohio State University)
Abstract: One problem behavior that interferes with the daily functioning of many children with autism is their frequent engagement in vocal stereotypy. Vocal stereotypy is defined as any instance of noncontextual or nonfunctional speech including singing, babbling, repetitive grunts, squeals, and phrases unrelated to the present situation (Ahern et al., 2007). Researchers have investigated various interventions designed to reduce vocal stereotypy in children with autism. The purpose of this study was to replicate and extend previous research by Ahern et al. (2007) to decrease vocal stereotypy in three individuals with differing levels of disability. The independent variable was a treatment package including response interruption and redirection (RIRD) combined with differential reinforcement of other behaviors (DRO). A multiple baseline across students design demonstrated a functional relationship of the treatment package on substantial decreases in vocal stereotypy for three students with autism. Additionally, all three students also demonstrated generalization and maintenance of decreased vocal stereotypy.
25. Can't Touch This
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
TARA A. GLAVIN (Hope Institute Learning Academy), Lorraine M Bologna (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology), Brooke Owens (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology), Robyn Fisher (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology)
Abstract: The current study focused on a 16 year-old high school student diagnosed with Autism. The student lacked sufficient functional communication skills. He exhibited inappropriate behavior of touching, tickling, and grabbing other students and staff during transitions from one classroom to another within the school setting. The function of his behavior has been determined as attention seeking. According to Goldstein (2002), “when individuals with autism are taught communication skills that serve efficiently and effectively as alternative behaviors, reductions in challenging behaviors result” (p. 389). In order to decrease the frequency of this behavior, as well as increase the student’s functional communication skills, a Functional Communication Training intervention was implemented. During transitions, staff was instructed to prompt the student with an appropriate verbal response when he approached individuals before the target behavior occurred and the behavior was reinforced using a continuous reinforcement schedule, giving verbal praise as a reinforcer after every appropriate interaction with another individual during transitions. When the prompt was not given before the target behavior occurs, staff provided zero attention to the student for 3-5 seconds, after which an error correction was implemented. Occurrences of the target behavior were observed and recorded during each transition, and data was graphed daily by target behaviors exhibited per day. A phase change was implemented when criteria were met and when the intervention needed to be adjusted based on student needs or when the behavior frequency became stable. If the student reached a low and stable frequency of target behavior, staff began fading reinforcement for appropriate social interactions. The objective of this research was to determine and implement an effective intervention in decreasing the student’s inappropriate physical requests for attention and increasing his appropriate verbal requests for attention.
26. A Comparison of Random Versus Fixed Order Functional Analyses
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
KRISTEN SILLIMAN (California State University, Sacramento)
Abstract: Functional analysis methodology is generally effective in determining functions of behavior; however, occasionally results are undifferentiated due to interaction effects. Iwata et al. (1994) suggested that functional analysis conditions be presented in a multielement design with a fixed cycle order of conditions in order to minimize unwanted interaction effects and capitalize on motivating operations. The purpose of this study was to compare results from functional analyses in which conditions were presented in either a random or fixed order, as suggested by Iwata et al. Functional analyses of aggressive and tantrum behaviors were conducted with three male participants, between the ages of two and three. The order in which the two functional analyses were conducted was counterbalanced across participants. Both the fixed and random order functional analyses resulted in the same interpretation for one participant. For a second participant, the no interaction condition was differentiated from the control condition in the random order functional analysis but not in the fixed order functional analysis. For the third participant, the fixed order functional analysis revealed a secondary function of behavior.
27. Changing of Preferences Over Time: Is It True?
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
CHERYL J. DAVIS (Consultant), Michele D. Brock (Crossroads School for Children), Kristin McNulty (Crossroads School for Children), William Timothy Courtney (Little Star), Mary Rosswurm (Little Star)
Abstract: Children with autism are often notorious for being rigid in their preferences and routines within their school and home settings. One could assume that this would translate into reinforcers remaining stable over time and that individuals with autism would not vary their preferences. However, as practitioners, we conduct preference assessment on a regular basis to determine if we have items that may function as reinforcers. This poster will explore changes of preferences over time with multiple participants with autism across two day programs. Assessments will be conducted at regular three-month intervals after the original assessment to determine if and when changes of preferences occur with these participants. Current data reveal that preferences remained stable at the nine months intervals for one participant and changed for two other participants. Additional data will be collected over the next six months to determine if this trend continues with these participants, and additional participants will be assessed.
28. The Effects of Response Blocking and Restraint on the Assessment of Competing Stimuli for Severe Self-Injury
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
DENISE KUREK (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Heather K. Jennett (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Abstract: Self-injurious behaviors (SIB) oftentimes can be so severe that protective equipment is necessary to maintain a child’s safety. The use of mechanical arm restraints can be associated with low levels of problem behaviors, but can also limit engagement. In the current investigation, we evaluated several competing stimuli with various levels of restraint with a 7-year-old boy diagnosed with Mental Retardation, Fragile X Syndrome and Autistic Disorder. The functional analysis indicated that his SIB was automatically maintained. Three separate competing stimulus assessments were conducted: 1) without protective equipment and without response blocking, 2) without restraint and with response blocking, and 3) with restraint and without response blocking. The initial assessment indicated that without any restraint present, no stimuli were associated with low levels of SIB. The second assessment (i.e., without restraint and with response blocking) also failed to identify stimuli that were associated with low levels of SIB. Findings from the third assessment (i.e. full rigid arm splints) resulted in the identification of several stimuli that were associated with high levels of engagement and low levels of SIB. These data suggest that arm restraints may limit SIB to the extent that engagement with stimuli is possible, and thus permit evaluation of preference and/or reinforcer competition. Reliability data were collected for one third of sessions and averaged above 80%.
29. Teaching Perspective-Taking to Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
KERRI L. WALTERS (University of Manitoba), Victoria Sobie (University of Manitoba), C.T. Yu (St. Amant Research Centre, University of Manitoba), Jacklyn M. Caners (St. Amant Research Centre, University of Manitoba)
Abstract: Typically developing children show signs of perspective-taking skills by 4 years of age. Approximately 80% of children with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) with a verbal mental age of 4 years do not possess this skill. The purpose of this study was to improve upon previous perspective-taking training research in the following ways: (a) administering consistent baseline and generalization assessments throughout the study, (b) clearly defining prompting and fading procedures, (c) delivering reinforcement following correct responses, (d) implementing an error correction procedure following incorrect responses, (e) systematically programming for generalization, (f) establishing a clear mastery criterion, and (g) confirming ASD diagnoses. A task analysis of a commonly used perspective-taking assessment produced six teaching components. A multiple-baseline across tasks design was used to teach each of the six components to three males between the ages of 6 and 10 years old who failed three perspective-taking tasks. Generalization and maintenance were assessed for all training components. Following mastery of all six components children were assessed on the same three perspective-taking tasks they had failed during baseline assessments. The ability to perform these tasks following intervention will provide evidence of successful training and generalization programming of perspective-taking among children with ASDs.
30. Exploring a Social Skills Intervention for Children With Autism Using a Video Modelling Procedure
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
LOUISE CRITCHLEY (Monash University), Angelika Anderson (Krongold Centre, Monash University)
Abstract: Deficits in social skills are one of the core symptoms in children with autism and are therefore an important target for intervention. Video modelling is an emerging evidence based intervention for autism and shows promise in ameliorating the deficits in social skills in this population. An intervention using a video modelling procedure was explored using a single subject, multiple baseline across behaviours design. A child with autism was shown videos for target behaviours including sharing and turn-taking in his natural kindergarten environment. Free play followed where opportunity was given to perform the target behaviours. Compared to an initial baseline period, the participant’s sharing and turn-taking behaviours increased during intervention. The increase in target behaviours generalized to another setting and maintained at follow-up at which time the participant’s sharing and turn-taking behaviours occurred at a rate comparable to his peers. Feedback from kindergarten staff and parents was positive. The outcome provides additional support for the place of video modelling in intervention programs for children with autism.
31. A Follow-Up Study: Pivotal Response Training on Social Skills of One Preschool Child With Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
SHU-HWEI KE (SEEK Education, Inc. - Taiwan), Hua Feng (National Changhua University of Education), Shu-Feng Kuo (SEEK Education, Inc. - Taiwan)
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to investigate the follow-up effect on social skills of one preschool child with autism by giving pivotal response training. The child was first trained on one-on-one session. Later the child was trained during a group activity with his peers at school setting. A single-subject experimental design of multiple probes across situations was used in this study. The independent variable was pivotal response training. The dependent variables of this study were the increased social skills. Questionnaires and interviews of the parent and teachers were used to collect the data for social validity. After training child with autism maintained prolonged interactions with peers and teachers, initiated play and conversation, and increased engagement in language and joint attention behaviors. In addition, parents and teachers reported positive changes in social skills. Further, the treatment outcome showed generality and maintenance.
32. The Use of Discrete Trial Instruction With Mastery Interspersals to Teach Joint Attention Behavior
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
ANDREA CHAIT (Pathways Strategic Teaching Center), Sheila Quinn (Salve Regina University), Samantha Sandland (Salve Regina University), Alexandra Pereira (Salve Regina University), Carin Heaney (Salve Regina University), Katherine Jensen (Pathways Strategic Teaching Center), Jennifer L. Marshall (Trudeau Center)
Abstract: Children with autism display deficits in joint attention thought to impact their social competence, development of language, and other areas of functioning (Jones & Carr, 2004). Joint attention has a variety of forms and functions but generally refers to people sharing or monitoring each others attention toward an object or event (Jones & Carr, 2004). Few studies have focused on methods used to teach joint attention. Interspersing material that is already mastered within a block of discrete trials of new material is thought to be a successful technique for the acquisition of some skills and is theorized to increase the rate of acquisition of the new material (Weiss, 2008). According to Jones & Carr (2004), activity interspersals may increase motivation and opportunities for adult-child interactions; sustaining joint attention. The purpose of this study was to determine the effectiveness of discrete-trail instruction with mastery interspersals to teach joint-attention behaviors. A task analysis of joint attention was conducted, breaking the complex skill into multiple teaching steps. Three students with autism on the same step of the task analysis were selected. A multiple baseline design across subjects was used to evaluate treatment. Results are discussed along with implications for research and practice. Research funded by RI-INBRE.
33. Training and Generalization of Social Skills in a Student With Asperger's Syndrome
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
RYAN GOVER (Evergreen Center), Gordon A. DeFalco (Evergreen Center)
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to determine if a student diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome would demonstrate generalization of social skills from a training setting to non-training settings with novel persons. Using a multiple baseline design across skills, the student was taught a conversational skill and to accept criticism. The experimenter modeled, had the student role play the skills and provided feedback on skill performance using a variety of scenarios. Following training the student was assessed in various locations within his school for skill performance. To facilitate generalization, the student was given a verbal prompt to use his skill followed by a situation requiring use of the social skill embedded in a social interaction with a novel person. The time between the prompt and the situation requiring the social skill was gradually increased. A probe was conducted at the end of each interval without a verbal prompt until the student performed the skill correctly in three consecutive situations. The student was also probed for social skill generalization one time per week throughout the study in his vocational training setting without generalization prompts. Results indicated that the student demonstrated generalization of the social skills following training and prompt fading.
34. Using of Differential Reinforcement to Increasing Eye Contact and Attention Seeking in Children With Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
AUDREY ALBERSTADT (The Aurora School), Meg Napolitono-Evans (The Aurora School), E. J. Lee (The Aurora School), Carlos F. Aparicio (The Aurora School)
Abstract: Research shows that the behavior of making eye-contact with persons is necessary for the acquisition of the vocabulary and social-communicative functions of children. Low emissions of eye-contact behavior and deficiencies in social communication skills are indicators of a delay in the child’s development and autism. Behavioral programs designed to increase the frequency and duration of eye-contact serve to establish verbal behavior repertories and social communicative functions in children with autism. This study assessed the use of differential reinforcement to acquire and maintain eye contact and attention seeking behaviors in a 10-year old boy (A.C.) with autism. An ABAB design was used. Condition A recorded the number of times (baseline) that A.C. made eye-contact with the therapists. Condition B used differential reinforcement to shape and maintain the eye-contact behavior; sessions began with the therapist placing her face close to A.C’s face, setting the occasion for A.C to make eye-contact with the therapist who immediately reinforced and praised the emission of this behavior. When the eye-contact behavior consistently occurred for two consecutive sessions, several Mands in A.C’s repertory (as determined by VB-MAPP) were paired with the eye-contact behavior. Thus, Mands accompanied by the eye-contact behavior produced reinforcement, and Mands in the absence of eye-contact behavior did not produce reinforcement. Results showed that the eye-contact behavior increased with differential reinforcement, so did Manding in the presence of the eye-contact behavior. We will discuss the importance of differential reinforcement in establishing eye-contact, verbal behavior repertories, and social communicative functions in children with autism.
35. Increasing Vocal Initiations to Play by Individuals With Autism Through the Use of Video Modeling
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
MARCUS A. LOZANO (Caldwell College), Sharon A. Reeve (Caldwell College), Kenneth F. Reeve (Caldwell College), Tina Sidener (Caldwell College)
Abstract: Children with autism often display deficits in communication. This may lead to a lack of unprompted social initiations, such as asking questions, offering information, commenting, or inviting another peer to play. One technique that has been shown to be effective in teaching social and communication skills is video modeling. To date, however, few studies have investigated ways in which video modeling may be used to teach vocal initiations of play. The present study used a multiple-probe across-participants design to assess the effectiveness of video modeling, prompting and prompt fading strategies, and reinforcement to teach 3 children with autism to vocally initiate play statements to an instructor. Several strategies were used to promote generalization including the use of multiple exemplars of scripted statements and play actions, as well as multiple peer models and multiple instructors. Generalization probes were conducted on novel stimuli and a follow-up measure was taken 30 days after mastery criterion was met. The results indicated that all participants learned to vocally initiate play. This skill also generalized across novel stimuli and maintained. Such results should increase the likelihood that these students may be more readily accepted by their peers.
36. A Comparison of Video Priming and Simultaneous Video Modeling to Teach Play Skills to Children With Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
KIMBERLY SANCHO (Garden Academy), Tina Sidener (Caldwell College), Sharon A. Reeve (Caldwell College), David W. Sidener (Garden Academy)
Abstract: Video modeling has been shown to be effective in teaching play to children diagnosed with autism using a variety of techniques, including video priming, video prompting, and video error correction. Simultaneous video modeling is used clinically, but has not previously been evaluated as a method for teaching play skills. The current study employed an adapted alternating treatments design with multiple probe design across participants to compare the effects of video priming and simultaneous video modeling on the acquisition of play skills in two children diagnosed with autism. Generalization was programmed across play sets, instructors, and settings. Overall, both video modeling procedures proved to be effective in teaching and producing maintenance of play skills for both participants. For one participant, these procedures appeared to be equally effective in terms of acquisition of the main dependent variable, scripted actions. For another participant, scripted actions were acquired more quickly in the simultaneous condition.
37. Utilizing Speaker Immersion and Communication Packages to Increase Verbal Behavior and Decrease Unsafe Behaviors
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
JOHN TOLSON (Faison School for Autism), Alexis Reeb (The Faison School for Autism), Kitti South (The Faison School for Autism), Adam S. Warman (The Faison School for Autism)
Abstract: Students attending The Faison School for Autism are part of a CABAS component program which addresses their learning needs through a verbal behavior analysis approach. As a result, the students participate in tactics to increase their level of verbal behavior which, consequently, typically decreases instances of problem behavior and increases access to less restrictive activities. In this presentation, two tactics were implemented to increase communication and to decrease unsafe and interfering problem behaviors for several students. In the first two data collections, speaker immersion was used to increase mands and tacts. In the third data collection, a communication package consisting of using high probability instructions, planned ignoring, and functional communication training, was implemented for a student emitting low levels of mands and high rates of assaultive and self-injurious behavior. As a result of these interventions, all students emitted higher instances of mands. The results of these data collections are discussed in terms of verbal behavior and the literature targeting self-injurious and problem behavior.
38. Video Modeling Paired With Schedules to Teach a Student With Autism to Request a Break
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
JANET A. BUTZ (Collaborative Autism Resources & Education), Greg Ryan (Tomball Intermediate School District), Debra Cummins Roth (Tomball Intermediate School District)
Abstract: This study shows how an elementary student with Autism enrolled in a self-contained class in a public school was taught to request a break in lieu of using aggression to escape non-preferred task demands. The student had a significant history of noncompliance and physical aggression. He required a high level of adult support to manage his behavior and responded inconsistently to the use of various interventions. This study utilized antecedent manipulations which involved teaching staff to recognize triggers to his aggressive behavior as well as developing a safety plan for removal of his classmates to another location when his aggression escalated. The behavior package included the use of video modeling which involved showing the student himself engaged in appropriate behaviors during transitions, instructional activities, requesting a break and using self-calming techniques. A transportable schedule was used to add predictability to his day. Cue cards were also developed to remind him how to request a break or engage in self-calming behaviors when needed. Data show that the frequency of the student's aggressive behaviors significantly decreased across the school year and resulted in his continued placement on a regular education campus rather than a more restrictive placement option.
39. Comparison of Prompting Procedures on Intraverbal Behavior on Children With Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
JENNIFER LYNN JORANDBY (University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire), Stephany Kristina Reetz (University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire), Chelsea B. Hedquist (University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire), Amanda Buchmeier (University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire), Kathryn R. Haugle (University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire), Kathryn Larson (University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire), Kevin P. Klatt (University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire)
Abstract: Teaching intraverbal behavior is important in the development of communication skills and social interactions among children with autism. Echoic, picture, and textual prompts have been compared in teaching intraverbal behavior to these children. Previous research with children diagnosed with autism has shown that textual prompting is more effective on the acquisition of intraverbal skills. Few studies, however, have examined the effects of echoic, picture, and textual prompts on intraverbal behavior. The current study compared the three prompting procedures in teaching intraverbal behavior to five children diagnosed with autism. Comparisons between prompting procedures were evaluated on the acquisition, generalization, and maintenance of intraverbal behavior. Some differences were found in the acquisition, generalization, and maintenance of the three prompting procedures.
40. Response Priming in a Young Child With Autism: Duplicating Vocal Responses Facilitates Vocal Imitation
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
LEIF ERIK NIELSEN (University of Nevada, Reno), Jennifer A. Bonow (University of Nevada, Reno), Patrick M. Ghezzi (University of Nevada)
Abstract: This case study investigated the effects of response priming whereby an adult first imitated the vocalizations of a young child with autism and then instructed the child to imitate the vocalizations made by the adult. A significant increase in the number of imitative vocal responses given by the child to the adult’s model was consistently and repeatedly observed. The outcome is important in that it may provide the means by which to strengthen a child’s vocal imitative behavior, and it also provides a clear and rare example of what Skinner identified as response priming.
41. A Comparison of The Verbal Behavior Milestone and Placement Program in Typically Developing Children and Children on the Autism Spectrum
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
ASHLIE LINDER GRILL (Florida State University), Kassi J. VanderPloeg (Florida State University), Gina Marie Ballone (Brilliant Minds)
Abstract: The Verbal Behavior Milestone and Placement Program (VB-MAPP) is an assessment tool, curriculum guide, and skill tracking system that is designed for children with autism, and other individuals who demonstrate language delays created by Mark Sundberg, PhD. The use of the VB-MAPP in applied behavior analytic programs for children with autism is becoming increasingly popular, as it is an efficient and uncomplicated tool for practitioners and teachers to use. In order to provide parents, practitioners, and other professionals with a comparison of skill deficits in typically developing children, and children with Autism, the authors conducted Verbal Behavior Milestone and Placement Programs (VB-MAPP) on four typically developing children, ages 1-4 years and compared them to the VB-MAPPs of four children of the same age, diagnosed on the autism spectrum. Using the Milestones Skills Assessment portion of the VB-MAPP, the authors assessed up to 170 milestones across participants. This assessed 16 key skill areas including mands, tacts, intraverbals, echoics, listener receptive function, feature, and class, visual perceptual, play, social, and early academic skills.
42. Using Applied Behavior Analysis Strategies to Improve Motor Coordination of a Child With Autism in Competitive Swimming
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
LAN LIU-GITZ (Texas Tech University), Stacy L. Carter (Texas Tech University), Joseph Bales (Texas Tech University Health Science Center)
Abstract: Motor and social-communication impairments in individuals with autism severely limit their opportunities to successfully participant in organized sports. Reduction in physical activity becomes more significant at the secondary school when nondisabled peers may rely mostly on organized sports to get their physical exercise. Few studies are found implementing ABA strategies to improve participation in competitive sports for children with autism. This study used a multiple-baseline design to investigate the effectiveness of a treatment package designed to support a child with autism participating in competitive swimming. The participant was a 10 year old boy with normal IQ who displayed frequent tantrums and noncompliance to swimming instruction. He presented with a history of limited skill acquisition which had prevented him from developing any formal swimming strokes in spite of numerous swim lessons. Researchers implemented a fixed schedule of reinforcement, a chaining procedure, and a task analysis into typical coaching techniques in a local swim club. Results revealed that within six months the child had mastered three of four basic swim strokes and competed with age equivalent peers in swim meets regulated by the US Swimming Association. The importance of using structured ABA techniques within typical coaching strategies will be presented.
43. Teaching Cooking Skills Using Video Modeling With Teens With Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
ANNE K. RYE (San Diego State University), Bonnie Kraemer (San Diego State University)
Abstract: According to data from the National Longitudinal Transition Study 2 (NLTS-2), adolescents with autism have significant deficits in the area of daily living skills and in particular the preparation of food. Yet, these skills are critical to increase their independence as adults. It has been established that individuals with autism benefit from evidenced-based instructional strategies presented in a visual format such as video modeling (Bellini & Akullian, 2007). The present study will evaluate the effectiveness of the use of video models to teach simple recipes to 3 adolescents with moderate to high functioning autism, all with adequate observational skills and verbal communication to describe what they see in the video. A unique aspect of the present study will be the use of the video model alone with no other instructional supports. A multiple probe design will be utilized across participants to evaluate if the participants can through a stand-alone video model (1) acquire the cooking skills and (2) if the video model also serves to be an efficient instructional delivery method where the students acquire the skill quickly.
44. Evaluating the Effectiveness of a Photographic Schedule to Teach Adults With Autism to Use an Apple iPod
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
MELISSA ANGLESEA (Alpine Learning Group), Peter M. Vietze (Institute for Basic Research)
Abstract: Many individuals with autism display deficits in the areas of verbal and written language. Picture prompts, in the form of a photographic schedule, can be a useful tool because they can be used in place of verbal and written language. In addition, a photographic schedule can replace prompts from an instructor. Using a multiple-baseline-across- subjects design, this study demonstrates the effectiveness of using a photographic schedule to teach three adult males with autism to use an Apple iPod. By the end of the study, all participants were able to successfully operate the iPod® to listen to music without prompts from the investigator.
45. A Comparison of Acoustical (Clicker) and Visual (Token) Conditioned Reinforcers for Teaching Children With Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
NORA IANNACCONE (San Diego State University)
Abstract: There is a recommendation by some interventionists to use clickers as conditioned reinforcers when working with individuals with autism due to the effectiveness of this procedure with animals. No published research on the use of this clickers with children, including children with disabilities was found. This study incorporated an alternating treatment design to evaluate the effect of acoustical (clicker sounds) and visual (tokens) conditioned reinforcer systems on the acquisition of labeling objects and pictures of four young children with autism spectrum disorders. Event recording was used to score correct responses across both conditions. Fidelity of intervention measures were taken for the implementation of both the token systems and clickers by the paraprofessional staff who implemented the child's programs. Rates and maintenance of acquisition in both conditions was assessed. Interobserver agreement rates were obtained at above 80% for each of the four participants. The social validity of both approaches to intervention is discussed.
46. The Effects of Conditioning Looking at Faces as a Reinforcer on Observing Responses
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Dolleen-Day Keohane (Teachers College, Columbia University), R. Douglas Greer (Teachers College, Columbia University), Jacqueline Maffei-Lewis (Teachers College, Columbia University), KARLEE D. MILLER (Teachers College, Columbia University), Lisa Dawn Tullo (Teachers College, Columbia University)
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to test the effects of using a conjugate reinforcement procedure on the acquisition of reinforcement for observing adult faces, as evidenced by an increase in observing responses. Three students diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder were selected for this study. The study followed a delayed multiple probe design across participants. Pre- and prost-probes consisted of 20 trials each of three types of observing responses. Students then began intervention, in which continuous reinforcement was delivered, contingent on the student looking at the teacher’s face. Appropriate looking was immediately reinforced with continuous tactile stimulation, vocal praise, and singing, which ceased as soon as the child looked away. Continuous reinforcement was reinstated only when the student resumed observing the adult’s face. The process was continued until the students total duration of looking at the teacher’s face across 20 trials reached 160 seconds. Post probes were then conducted following the completion of the intervention. A functional relation was found, as all three students demonstrated significant increases in observing responses.



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