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 #408
DDA Poster Session 4
Monday, May 31, 2010
12:00 PM–1:30 PM
Exhibit Hall A (CC)
92. Using Noncontingent Reinforcement to Increase Compliance With Wearing Prescription Prostheses
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
SARAH M. RICHLING (University of Nevada-Reno), John T. Rapp (St. Cloud State University), Regina A. Carroll (St. Cloud State University), Jeannette Smith (St. Cloud State University), Aaron Nystedt (St. Cloud State University), Brooke Siewert (St. Cloud State University)
Abstract: The effects of noncontingent reinforcement (NCR) on compliance with wearing prescription eye glasses and foot orthotics were evaluated with 2 individuals using a nonconcurrent multiple baseline across participants design. For the first participant, although NCR alone increased compliance with wearing eye glasses, it was necessary to deliver preferred items contingently to further increase and maintain high levels of compliance with wearing glasses. For the second participant, NCR alone increased compliance with wearing foot orthotics to 100% after just a few sessions. For both participants, increases in compliance that were produced during 5 min sessions maintained during lengthier sessions. The results are discussed in terms of the potential value-altering effects of NCR on negatively reinforced noncompliant behavior.
93. Solving Aversive Adaptation in the Treatment of Case-Hardened Knee-and-Fist-to-Head by Gradually Expanding the Treatment Period
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
MATTHEW L. ISRAEL (Judge Rotenberg Center), Susan M. Parker (Judge Rotenberg Center), Nathan Blenkush (Judge Rotenberg Center)
Abstract: When adaptation of an aversive is observed, the usual options involve continuing to apply treatment throughout the entire day, but changing some aspect of the procedure that is used—e.g. increasing the strength of the aversive, and/or decreasing the number of behaviors being treated. Another option, successfully used in this case, involves reducing the treatment period to a very small period each day and gradually expanding that period until it encompasses the entire day. Other aspects of the treatment approach included: treating the earliest possible antecedents aided by automatic alerting equipment; consequating with an aversive when a target behavior occurred and negatively reinforcing returning the hand or feet to desired positions; and requiring an active holding still responses—involving feet holding down a foot switch and hands holding down a switch in pocket holsters-- that are incompatible with the self-abusive behavior being treated. The participant engaged in refractory head-hitting that previously resulted in the detachment of her retinas. The procedure was effective and eliminated, almost completely, all forms of the self-injurious behavior. The decelerative effect spread to other problem behaviors and allowed the participant to make remarkable progress in skill acquisition and community participation.
94. An Evaluation of the Relationship Between Self-Injury and Self-Restraint
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
KATIE CHAMBERLIN (Bancroft), Bianca Pizzo (Bancroft), Denise Marzullo Kerth (Bancroft)
Abstract: The literature on self-injury and self-restraint suggests that there may be an idiosyncratic relationship between these two behaviors (Fisher & Iwata, 1996; Rap & Miltenberger, 2000; Rooker & Roscoe, 2005; Smith, Iwata, Vollmer, & Pace, 1992; Vollmer & Vorndran, 1998). Thus, evaluating each behavior in isolation may confound functional relationships (Smith, et. al, 1992). Self-restraint may be beneficial to the individual if it is incompatible with self-injury and therefore effective at reducing the behavior. Some forms of self-restraint may be perceived as socially acceptable alternatives to self-injury (Kerth, Progar, & Morales, 2009; Silverman, Watanabe, Marshall, & Baer, 1984). However, chronic self-restraint may limit adaptive behavior and negatively impact social interactions. Therefore, the evaluation of both self-injury and self-restraint is important to treatment development. The purpose of the present study was to apply the functional analysis method outlined by Smith et al. (1992) to evaluate the functional relationship between self-injury and self-restraint in a 12-year-old male diagnosed with autism and mental retardation. Results indicate that self-injury and self-restraint may serve the same function of escape from demands. Further correlations between these behaviors are discussed.
95. Functional Analysis of Self-Injury Maintained by Automatic Reinforcement: Assessing the Use of Protective Equipment and Response Blocking
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
AMBER BORKOSKI (Kennedy Krieger Institute), SungWoo Kahng (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Nicole Lynn Hausman (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Nicole Elizabeth Marchetto (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Abstract: The use of protective equipment is often implemented for severe self injurious behavior (SIB) that could potentially cause major tissue damage or even death (Dorsey et al., 1982). Research on the use of protective equipment has shown that protective equipment suppresses self injury and only when the protective equipment is removed can a function for that behavior be identified (Harding et al., 2001). However, the systematic application of protective equipment may help isolate specific topographies of SIB. In the current study, a functional analysis was conducted to identify the variables that maintain several topographies of SIB exhibited by an 8-year-old male. Initially, the participant primarily engaged in hand-to-head SIB. Multiple forms of protective equipment (i.e., a helmet and gloves) were systematically applied to evaluate each topography of SIB separately. Results suggest that each topography of SIB is maintained by automatic reinforcement; however, it is unlikely that different topographies of SIB would have emerged in the absence of the protective equipment manipulations.
96. A Review of Applied Behavior Analysis Approaches to Self-Injurious Behavior in Lesch-Nyhan Syndrome
Area: DDA; Domain: Theory
CHRISTELLE FABIOLA GARZA (University of Texas-Pan American), Alfonso G. Garza (University of Texas-Pan American), Frederick A. Ernst (University of Texas - Pan American), Luis Carlos Ortega Tamez (Centro Neuropsicologico CENEPI)
Abstract: Lesch-Nyhan syndomre (LNS) is a rare genetic disorder first studied by Michael Lesch and William Nyhan in 1964. This disorder is caused by a mutation on the ‘X’ chromosome most commonly observed in males. There are multiple neurological and behavioral symptoms that characterize LNS including mental retardation, spasticity, choreathetosis, and self-injurious behavior (SIB). Often the incidence and severity of SIB in LNS patients leads to its correct diagnosis. SIB is characterized by biting tongue, lips, fingers, and arms, sometimes resulting in the destruction of significant amounts of lip tissue. Indeed, SIB can be so severe as to require teeth extraction. A variety of medications have been employed to control symptoms of LNS and only a few behavioral interventions have been published since the identification of this devastating disorder despite a rich behavioral literature on SIB. An early study addressing SIB in LNS discredited operant conditioning on a basis completely unsupported by empirical data or functional analysis. This poster reviews the literature on functional analysis and behavioral interventions for SIB generally and for LNS specifically. We also evaluate a recent dopamine-based theory of reinforcement to explain SIB in LNS (Zilli & Hasselmo (2008) and propose an experiment to test the theory.
97. One Year Follow-Up: Treatment of Aggressive Pubescent Female in Home Setting
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
LACEY R. BAILEY (Help Services, Inc.), Richard M. Foxx (The Pennsylvania State University)
Abstract: During a 2009 ABA International panel presentation entitled, "A Consultant Model for Treating Challenging Children and Adolescents in Home, School and Community Settings", one of four case studies highlighted service delivery for a pubescent female with Autism (ABA International, 2009). This poster will continue to chronicle the service delivery for the same, now 15 year old female with Autism. When treatment began in June 2008, the student exhibited near daily instances of intense, aggressive behavior and even higher rates of intimidation behaviors. By May of 2009, rates of aggressive behavior were reduced by 95.5% from baseline. Continued monitoring and antecedent management of hormone cycles, bowel movements, caloric intake and exercise have proven effective in the reduction of aggressive and intimidation behaviors. Antecedent strategies include reduced demands, increased reinforcement rate, pain-reduction strategies, and hormone regulation. Successes in additional domains will also be reported, including the introduction of vocational training and preparation for independent living.
98. The Effect of Augmentative Communication on Appropriate Communication in Preschool Children With Disabilities
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
DAWN M. ROBINSON (Whitworth University), Tonya Bybee (Whitworth University), Katheryn Herfurth (Whitworth University), Betty Fry Williams (Whitworth University), Dana J. Stevens (Whitworth University)
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to determine if increasing student’s communication skills using an augmentative communication device would increase appropriate forms of communication and decrease inappropriate forms of communication. The study was implemented in a preschool classroom with two children having characteristics of autism and one child with Down syndrome. Prior to intervention, all of the children had few communication skills and high levels of inappropriate behaviors. The Flip N’ Talk was used to augment communication. The device was used by the student and by the interventionist who used it to both model its use and respond to the student. All communication interactions were paired with verbal language. Student’s attempts at communication were immediately responded to. A 30 second wait time was given for the student to respond. Students’ communication attempts were matched and extended by one word to further promote communication growth. During baseline, students’ communications averaged 2.4 per 15 minutes. At the end of the study, the students had increased their mean number of appropriate communications to 10.3 per 15 minutes. In addition, inappropriate forms of communication decreased.
99. A Comparison of Two Methods to Teach Auditory-Auditory Identity Matching to Persons With Severe Developmental Disabilities
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
SANDRA SALEM (St. Amant Research Centre, University of Manitoba), Lee MacPherson (University of Manitoba), Toby L. Martin (St. Amant Research Centre, University of Manitoba), Jon Viel (University of Manitoba), Garry L. Martin (University of Manitoba), C.T. Yu (St. Amant Research Centre, the University of Manitoba), Aynsley K. Verbeke (University of Manitoba)
Abstract: The ability to recognize that two sounds are the same is a part of accurate vocal imitation, and teaching of vocal imitation is an important part of language programs for persons with developmental disabilities (DD). Researchers have developed a prototype assessment task called auditory-auditory identity matching (AAIM) to assess whether persons with DD are able to recognize whether two sounds are the same (Harapiak, Martin, & Yu, 1999). Performance on the AAIM prototype task is correlated with measures of language skills (Marion et al., 2003). Thus far, few studies have attempted, with little success, to teach AAIM tasks to persons with DD. The purpose of this research is to use a single-subject, alternating-treatments design to compare extra-stimulus prompt fading to within-stimulus prompt fading for teaching AAIM training tasks to persons with DD who fail the AAIM prototype task. Teaching has been completed for one participant and is ongoing with 3 more participants. Thus far within-stimulus prompt fading is the more effective.
100. Evaluating the Role of Generalization on Untrained Functional Communication Mands
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Rachel C. Maher (Kennedy Krieger Institute), PATRICIA F. KURTZ (Kennedy Krieger Institute), John M. Huete (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Abstract: Functional communication training (FCT) often is utilized in treatment of maladaptive behavior (Durand & Carr, 1991). Despite its frequent use as an intervention, there are no clear guidelines for selecting functional communication responses or conducting training. Few studies have evaluated methods for decreasing training time or promoting generalization to untrained responses. Typical methods of training may neglect the individual’s existing repertoire of communication, and result in extra time and effort without commensurate gains in skills. The current study evaluated including training and generalization sessions of FCT responses by a 3-year-old male with Down Syndrome and self-injurious behaviors. Specifically, throughout FCT + EXT, probe sessions were conducted to examine generalization of manding to other untrained responses. Results indicated that when two mand responses were trained, the participant began to generalize the relation to two novel responses. With a functional communication treatment in place, rates of problem decreased by 73.33% from the baseline, with zero rates of problem behavior observed in the last four treatment sessions. Results are discussed in relation to the benefit of expediting communication training while simultaneously attaining untrained generalization gains.
101. Choice Behavior as a Function of Exposure to Contingencies
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
KENNETH SHAMLIAN (University of Southern Maine), Michael E. Kelley (University of Southern Maine), Joanna Lomas (The Marcus Autism Center), Robert S. Pabico (Center for Behavior Analysis and Language Developm), Henry S. Roane (SUNY, Upstate Medical University)
Abstract: Previous research has shown that children may engage in problem behavior to avoid or escape academic tasks. Treatments may include escape extinction, reinforcement contingent on cooperation, or a combination of these treatment components (i.e., differential reinforcement). To date, little research has focused on the extent to which antecedent stimulus conditions may be arranged such that students cooperate with instructions to initiate academic tasks. In the current study, we first showed that students did not reliably choose one of two workstations when those workstations were correlated with contingent work. Subsequent to exposure to differential contingencies (i.e., one workstation correlated with extra work, and one workstation correlated with reinforcement), students’ choices were reliably shifted towards the workstation correlated with reinforcement. Results suggest that exposure to stimuli that are associated with differential consequences may produce discriminative and motivations conditions that occasion and evoke cooperative behavior.
102. Behavior Treatment of Adaptive Decline in Adults With Down Syndrome
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
AMY K. RODRIQUEZ (MHMRA of Harris County), Dorothea C. Lerman (University of Houston-Clear Lake), Jennifer N. Fritz (University of Houston-Clear Lake), Deborah L. Grossett (The Center - Houston)
Abstract: The risk of adaptive decline significantly increases with age for persons with Down syndrome. Behavior analytic technologies may be employed to effectively treat identified skill deficits. In this study, repeated administrations of the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales were employed to assess adaptive decline in three adults with Down syndrome. After areas of decline were detected, behavior treatment packages were developed to address specific skill deficits. Results indicated that visual aids improved memory performance, independent vocal responding and writing ability for three participants with adaptive deficits in communication, daily living skills and socialization. Although the findings from this research were from a small pool of participants, the preliminary results suggest adaptive skills can improve and possibly maintain with the employment of effective behavior technologies.
103. Teaching Toilet Training to Developmentally Delayed Individuals
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
MICHELLE HARRINGTON (Judge Rotenberg Center), Jill Hunt (Judge Rotenberg Center)
Abstract: In this study, we examined the use of an entire room dedicated to toilet training. Individuals who used this room have various diagnoses to include mental retardation and autism. This room allowed the individuals to be no more than eight feet away from the toilet at from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., while continuing to work on various academic tasks. Individuals received one-on-one instruction, while gradually decreasing the time spent on the toilet throughout the day. We examined various methods used to encourage voiding in the toilet, data collection methods, fading back to a regular classroom environment and how long it took to toilet train the individuals using this room.
104. A Comparison of Differential Reinforcement With and Without Textual Prompts to Increase Conversational Verbal Behavior
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
LAUREN A. CHERRYHOLMES (AdvoServ), James F. McGimsey (AdvoServ), Kimberly Ecott (AdvoServ)
Abstract: Individuals with mental retardation often have complex verbal behavior that may be lacking in some areas, specifically in conversation. This study included one participant, diagnosed with mental retardation, who engaged in complex verbal behavior, but during conversational exchanges, asked questions and made statements almost exclusively regarding gaining access to preferred items. A functional assessment was conducted, which concluded that this verbal behavior was maintained by social positive reinforcement, specifically in the form of attention and access to items. This experiment was designed to decrease verbal behavior about accessing preferred items, while increasing conversational verbal behavior that results in an exchange between the speaker and listener. The treatment effectiveness of differential reinforcement with and without textual prompts, with conversational questions and statements, will be compared. Data to be collected will demonstrate this comparison. This experiment provides an applied method for teaching appropriate conversational skills with high functioning adults with verbal behavior, which can allow more opportunities for independence in community living and employment.



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