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.


32nd Annual Convention; Atlanta, GA; 2006

Program by Continuing Education Events: Monday, May 29, 2006

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Symposium #283
CE Offered: BACB
International Symposium - Applications of Basic Research on Behavioral History, Cooperation, and Demand Effects on Preference
Monday, May 29, 2006
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
Centennial Ballroom IV
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Patrick R. Progar (Caldwell College)
Discussant: Ralph Spiga (Temple University)
CE Instructor: Patrick R. Progar, Ph.D.

The symposium will integrate the research of three unique but related topics under the heading of translational research. The first symposium will present data on behavioral history effects on both problem and appropriate behavior using a pseudo-random binary sequence. The behavior of scripting - repeating lines from a movie or TV show out of context and manding for a preferred food item appeared sensitive to both proximal and more distal contingencies of reinforcement, replicating work from the basic laboratory. The second presentation used a matrix-style game to assess levels of defection and cooperation in sets of two individuals diagnosed with a developmental disability. Rates of cooperation were generally low, however a component analysis suggested alternative strategies to increase cooperation in this population. The third presentation applied behavior economic principles to a free-operant preference assessment. By increasing the "cost" of the most preferred item, consumption of that item decreased and preferences for previously less-preferred items tended to increase suggesting that the items were substitutable for each other. Demand curves were fit to the data and explained a significant portion of the variance.

An Analysis of Behavioral History Effects on Scripting.
PATRICK R. PROGAR (Caldwell College), Frances A. Perrin (Bancroft NeuroHealth), Camille Daniels (Bancroft NeuroHealth), Misty B. Simmons (Bancroft NeuroHealth), Caron Casciato (Bancroft NeuroHealth), Michael C. Davison (University of Auckland)
Abstract: The present study adapted the use of a pseudorandom binary sequence (PRBS) from basic research findings to an applied setting. The study examined the influence of both proximal contingencies (i.e., those in effect today) and distal contingencies (i.e., those in effect on previous days). The participant was an 15-year old female diagnosed with autism. Appropriate behavior in the form of manding for a preferred food item and inappropriate behavior in the form of scripting (e.g., repeating lines from a movie or TV show out of context) were reinforced for 10 sessions in a pseudorandom fashion between concurrent variable interval 15-s variable interval 15-s schedules, followed by 31 sessions conducted on a concurrent variable interval 15-s variable interval 60-s schedule. Interobserver agreement data were collected during 51% of the sessions with an average total agreement of 97% for scripting and 99% for manding. The results indicated that both proximal (i.e., current) contingencies and more distal contingencies exerted control over the behavior of the individual. These results have implications for the generalization and maintenance of behavior as well as for preventing relapses due to poor treatment integrity.
Examining Cooperation and Self-Control in Individuals with Developmental Disabilities.
ERIC EBERMAN (Bancroft NeuroHealth/Temple University), Ralph Spiga (Temple University), Frances A. Perrin (Bancroft NeuroHealth), Patrick R. Progar (Caldwell College)
Abstract: In this study, we examined different means to train cooperative behavior in the applied setting. Using the basic framework developed by Brown and Rachlin (1999), we used a matrix-style game to assess social cooperation and different methods in which this could be trained. Participants in the current study consisted of two individuals diagnosed with developmental disabilities. This study examined cooperation by having the two participants engage in turn-taking game in which each participant’s choice subsequently affected the other participant’s choice. Participants received 0 to 4 tokens depending on their choice and phase of the study. Cooperation and defection within each session was determined by the combination of choices that were made by both participants during an individual trial. The data indicate that, despite our training efforts, participants continued to behave in a non-cooperative manner during the majority of sessions. Some cooperative behavior was observed, but these results could not be replicated during the reversal. Interobserver agreement was collected during 48% of all sessions with a mean agreement of 99%.
Demand Effects on Preference.
FRANCES A. PERRIN (Bancroft NeuroHealth), Patrick R. Progar (Caldwell College), Ralph Spiga (Temple University)
Abstract: Behavioral economic procedures may provide important concepts and methods for assessing and describing the reinforcing effects in the applied setting. Specifically, the concept of demand is central to the behavioral economic approach. According to this perspective, demand assesses consumption as a function of price (e.g. response cost) of the reinforcer (commodity). Participants in the current study consisted of three individuals diagnosed with developmental disabilities. During a session each participant has a choice between a preferred food item and alternative food items. The price of the preferred item, in this case the distance from the participants, was manipulated. The concurrently available items were initially placed 1 ft from the participant. Over sessions, the preferred item was placed at ascending and descending order of 6, 9, 12, 15, 18, 21, & 24 inches away from 1-ft mark while the alternatives remained on that mark. The data indicate that increasing the price of the preferred item increased choices of non-preferred items. Once these behavioral patterns developed successfully, consumption of alternative items increased as consumption of the preferred item decreased. The profile of choices indicated that the alternatives function as economic substitute commodities. The demand equation was fit to the data and explained a significant portion of the variance.
Symposium #287
CE Offered: BACB
Evaluating the Effectiveness of Floridas Behavior Analysis Services Program Across Multiple Settings
Monday, May 29, 2006
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
Area: TBA; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Kimberly Crosland (University of South Florida)
CE Instructor: Kimberly Crosland, Ph.D.

Floridas Behavior Analysis Services Program (BASP) is a statewide program for dependent children and their caregivers. Over 60 board certified behavior analysts from the University of South Florida and the University of Florida work with parents and staff to improve their interactions with previously abused and neglected children. Caregivers receive training in the Tools for Positive Behavior Change Curriculum and learn how to implement individualized behavior plans when necessary. Three presentations within the current symposium discuss the results of the training across several settings; Foster homes, group homes, a group shelter, and a Statewide Inpatient Psychiatric Program (SIPP) Facility. The results of these studies indicated that the training was effective in producing positive outcomes (i.e., decreasing restrictive procedures and increasing positive interactions across all of these settings). The final presentation focuses on two components of the training; the in-class and in-home components. Results indicated that caregivers who received both components showed higher post-test scores and greater increases in positive interactions with their children when compared to those caregivers who only received the in-class component. In summary, the results of the current studies indicate that the BASP program can be effective across multiple settings and caregivers.

Longitudinal Evaluation of Placement Disruptions within Individual Foster Homes.
DAVID GELLER (University of South Florida), Bryon Neff (University of South Florida), Michael Cripe (University of South Florida), Terresa A. Kenney (University of South Florida), Kimberly Crosland (University of South Florida)
Abstract: There appears to be a consensus among different professionals and families in the foster care system that too many children experience multiple placement changes. Few articles have been published that have focused on foster parenting skills in relation to placement disruptions, although there is some evidence that placement disruptions could be prevented by providing more services and training to foster parents. Stone and Stone (1983) found that greater case worker contacts and rapport building with foster parents was associated with increased placement stability. The current study proposes to teach foster parents how to interact in a positive way with foster children using the Tools for Positive Behavior Change Curriculum which could result in decreases in behaviorally based placement disruptions. Behavioral disruptions prior to and after parents met competency measures in the curriculum were recorded. Results showed that 15 out of 19 foster homes showed decreases in behavioral placement disruptions after training. The overall rate of behaviorally based disruptions decreased from .75 to .47 disruptions per year from baseline to treatment. This reduction was found to be significant (z=2.12, p<.05). Although a small sample size, this study shows that teaching foster parents a behaviorally based curriculum may reduce placement disruptions.
Decreasing the use of Restrictive Procedures at a group shelter and Statewide Inpatient Psychiatric Program Facility.
ALFREDO BLANCO (University of South Florida), Tamela Giddings (University of South Florida), Maricel Cigales (University of South Florida), David Geller (University of South Florida)
Abstract: The use of some restrictive procedures, including physical restraint, has been controversial. The Child Welfare League of America (CWLA) has estimated that between 8 and 10 children in the United States die each year due to restraint, while numerous others suffer injuries such as broken bones and damaged joints (CWLA, 2002). For foster care children who have already suffered various degrees of abuse, restrictive procedures may only add to their emotional and behavioral problems. In the current study, staff from both a group foster care shelter and a SIPP facility for foster children were trained in the Tools for Positive Behavior Change Curriculum. Baseline measures were conducted in which the use of restrictive procedures was recorded based on incident reports at each facility. Following training, decreases in several restrictive procedures were observed at both facilities. At the group shelter, take down procedures reduced significantly from approximately 10 per month to less than 1 per month. The SIPP facility showed a 70% or greater reduction in physical holds, restraint procedures, and psychiatric medication use. These results indicate that the training was effective in decreasing the use of the most restrictive procedures used by these facilities over several months following treatment.
Effects of Staff Training on Types of Interactions Observed within Several Group Homes for Foster Care Children.
CATHERINE WILCOX (University of South Florida), Wayne A. Sager (University of South Florida), Terresa A. Kenney (University of South Florida), Randi Pickle (University of South Florida)
Abstract: Staff training is an often used intervention designed to strengthen caregiver behaviors that may function to decrease inappropriate child behavior and increase appropriate child behaviors. Weise (1992) conducted a critical review of caregiver training research and suggested that more studies need to collect specific direct observation data on caregiver behavior change. She reported that approximately 83% of published caregiver training studies only used subjective measures, such as rating scales and self-report measures. The current study collected both baseline and treatment measures, employing both AB and multiple baseline designs across a total of five group homes. All caregivers were trained in the Tools for Positive Behavior Change Curriculum. Direct observation measures were conducted in which data were collected on positive interactions, negative interactions (i.e., coercives), and tool use. Reliability measures were obtained for approximately 20% of the sessions. Increases in both positive interactions and tool use were observed in the treatment phase while decreases in negative interactions were also found for four of the group homes. For one of the group homes, positive interactions did not increase, however, tool use increased and negative interactions decreased. Overall, the Tools for Positive Behavior Change Curriculum resulted in positive changes in staff behavior.
Evaluating the Tools for Positive Behavior Change with Parents of Children Enrolled in ESE Programs.
KIMBERLY CROSLAND (University of South Florida), Amanda Keating (University of South Florida), Bryon Neff (University of South Florida), Glenn Dunlap (University of South Florida)
Abstract: The majority of parent training studies have evaluated either a group training curriculum or some form of individual behavioral training, while few studies have specifically compared the effects of group training versus individual training with the same curriculum. Two studies have suggested that some didactic group training along with home supports may provide an optimal combination of services to increase parenting skills (Hampson, Schulte, and Ricks, 1983, Kaiser et al., 1995). Using a cross-over design, the current study evaluated the effects of in-class training alone versus in-class training plus in-home training and attempted to determine when the in-home training is more effective (i.e., during or after the in-class training). Parents from the Hardee County School District attending the positive behavior change program were randomly selected for each group. Reliability measures were collected on approximately 30% of the pre- and post-test scores and 25% of the home observations and were consistently above 80% interval agreement. Results showed that parents who received both the in-class and in-home components showed greater improvement on post-test scores and also showed greater increases in positive interactions during home visits when compared to parents who only received the in-class component.
Symposium #288
CE Offered: BACB
Improving Behaviors at Home, School, and Inpatient Settings
Monday, May 29, 2006
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
Regency VI
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Alan E. Harchik (The May Institute)
Discussant: Patrick C. Friman (Father Flanagan's Girls and Boys' Town)
CE Instructor: Alan E. Harchik, Ph.D.

Ensuring correct use of behavioral procedures by families, staff members, and paraprofessionals is an ongoing challenge for behavior analysts. In this symposium, three papers are presented that provide examples of the successful application of behavior analysis in different settings and with different behavior change agents. All three studies target serious problem behaviors of children with autism and other developmental disabilities. In the first paper, the researchers present a program for incorporating the use of single-subject experimental design methodology in working with family members. The second paper addresses serious problem behavior in a residential treatment program. Finally, the author of the third paper describes the successful use of behavioral intervention procedures in an inpatient setting.

Keeping the Analysis in ABA: A Data-Based Program Description.
KATHLEEN S. LAINO (University of North Texas), Shahla S. Ala'i-Rosales (University of North Texas), Jessica Leslie Broome (University of North Texas), Donna Dempsey (University of North Texas), Victoria A. White Ryan (University of North Texas), Michelle Greenspoon (N/a)
Abstract: Although research designs are often difficult to employ in clinical practice, all providers of human services should be aware of and utilize as many evaluation methods as possible, including single-case research designs. Because the multiple baseline design can be employed across behaviors, settings, or individuals, it is a feasible, ethical and valuable method for evaluating behavior analytic interventions in a variety of applied programs. One such program is The Family Connections Project (FCP). FCP is designed to enhance the quality of relationships within families who have young children with autism. FCP offers treatment packages that include, but are not limited to, communication training, planned activities training, and extended family training. Ongoing empirical evaluation using single-subject research designs is considered an essential component of FCP. Specifically, the multiple baseline design is used to inform the treatment process and analyze observed behavior change as a function of the manipulation of independent variables. Single case experiments from FCP are provided as case study examples. In all cases, initial baselines indicate low levels of target responses. Following intervention, meaningful increases are demonstrated with confidence across skill sets, settings and materials, and people. Results are discussed in the context of effectiveness, practicality and ethics.
Assessment and Treatment of Trichotillomania in a Child with Cri-du-Chat.
CHRISTINA M. VORNDRAN (Bancroft NeuroHealth), Gary M. Pace (The May Institute), James K. Luiselli (The May Institute), Jennifer Flaherty (The May Institute), Lauren E. Christian (The May Institute), Ava E. Kleinmann (The May Institute)
Abstract: Published interventions of trichotillomania (chronic hair pulling) have involved punishment or the use of protective equipment. The present study sought to reduce trichotillomania, in an 8 year-old girl with Cri-du-Chat and severe mental retardation, using alternatives to aversive or restrictive interventions. A functional analysis revealed that hair pulling was maintained by attention and automatic reinforcement. Assessment data also indicated that hair pulling co-varied with thumb sucking. Based on the results of the functional analysis an intervention consisting of noncontingent attention and response blocking plus redirection to preferred items was developed. A reversal design established that the intervention reduced hair pulling. Follow-up data indicated that the treatment generalized to another setting and results maintained one year later. The co-variation between hair pulling and thumb sucking was not observed during follow-up sessions. This study demonstrates the importance of conducting functional analyses for behaviors historically considered to be habit disorders maintained by automatic reinforcement. It also provides preliminary evidence that relatively non-intrusive procedures can effectively reduce hair pulling maintained by automatic reinforcement.
Shaping Approach Responses as Intervention for Specific Phobia in a Child with Autism.
JOSEPH N. RICCIARDI (The National Autism Center), James K. Luiselli (The May Institute)
Abstract: Anxiety is being described as a common complication of autism. In addition, there are several reports of the diagnosis of DSM-criteria anxiety disorders in children with autism. What is not clear is how such cases can be treated, given the complicating language and cognitive deficits that are at the core of autistic disorder. We evaluated a simple procedure, contact desensitization (reinforcing approach responses), as a fear-reduction intervention with a child who had autism and a psychiatric diagnosis of specific phobia. During hospital-based intervention the boy was able to encounter the feared stimulus without distress or avoidance, and results were maintained post-discharge. Notably, the intervention was based on a purely behavioral model, and does not incorporate popular “cognitive” explanations of behavior. In addition, researchers directly measured change in multiple dimensions of the central feature of phobia, avoidance of specific stimuli. IOA were acceptable (88-100%, across 28% of sessions). The project utilized an experimental design (changing criterion).
Symposium #291
CE Offered: BACB
Precise Descriptions: Why Autism Treatment Requires Them and the Effects of Their Absence
Monday, May 29, 2006
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
Area: TPC; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Harry A. Mackay (Northeastern University, Shriver Center)
Discussant: David M. Corcoran (BEACON Services)
CE Instructor: Robert K. Ross, M.S.

A defining characteristic of applied behavior analysis is the requirement for precise descriptions of target behaviors and carefully specified interventions to enable replicability. In applied autism treatment we have found a number of instances and common problems that do not meet this standard. For example terms such as transition problems, sensory processing dysfunction, and auditory processing problems are commonly used to identify what are hypothesized causes of difficulty rather than specific behaviors to be treated. These terms do not enable clinicians to identify the behavioral problem to be treated with any degree of specificity, nor do they address the environmental variables of which the behavior may be a function. Often these inadequate descriptions are used to explain or even justify why the individual is having difficulty. Indeed for many people these inadequate descriptions are now treated as symptoms of autism. However, the lack of precision in description may misdirect those providing interventions and thus focus on irrelevant variables that may not produce an effective outcome. This symposium will outline the parameters of effective and precise descriptions and then present three case examples where poor description has led to ineffective treatment.

"Transition Problems": Why They are not "Transition Problems".
Abstract: The term “transition problem” does not meet the requirement of precise description as required in applied behavior analysis. It is a misnomer that lacks precision about the behavior(s) involved, and actually suggests variables that may not be relevant. This description may even misguide the clinician into implementing potential solutions to problems that do not exist. A transition problem does not involve the inability to end one activity and move to another. In its common usage the term rarely refers to a lack of ability to move from place to place. Indeed, it is almost always used to describe situations in which a person is asked or directed to leave a preferred condition and go to a less preferred setting or activity. The relevant variables thus involve considerations about reinforcement, and stimulus control by instructions. Case examples will highlight how imprecise description has led to ineffective treatment and how accurate description has resulted in positive outcomes.
"Sensory Processing Dysfunction": What Does This Mean? And Imply?
Abstract: The term “sensory processing dysfunction” does not meet the requirement of precise description as required in applied behavior analysis. It is a misnomer that lacks precision about the behavior(s) involved, and actually suggests variables that may not be relevant. This description may even misguide the clinician into implementing potential solutions to problems that do not exist. A “sensory processing dysfunction” is inferred from evidence that the individual either does not respond in a typical manner to auditory, visual or tactile stimuli. It is rarely backed up with neurological or neuro-physiological data showing the presence of a “processing dysfunction”. That someone covers their ears in the presence of a particular sound, is evidence that they cover their ears in the presence of that sound. The inference of neurological dysfunction on the basis of this evidence alone is not sound behavior analytic (or indeed medical) practice. The “processing dysfunction” explanation, takes us away from considering relevant variables such as reinforcement history with respect to the stimulus in question. Case examples will highlight how imprecise description has led to ineffective treatment and how accurate description has resulted in positive outcomes.
Abstract: BLANK
Symposium #295
CE Offered: BACB
The Acquisition and Generalization of Verbal Operants
Monday, May 29, 2006
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
Learning Center
Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Jeffrey H. Tiger (University of Kansas)
CE Instructor: Jeffrey H. Tiger, Ph.D.

Skinner's (1957) analysis of verbal behavior has served as the foundation of many language interventions for children with developmental disabilities. The present symposium presents four evaluations of teaching procedures to further improve the communicative abilities of young children. Specifically procedures to promote the acquisition and generalization of Skinner's tact and intraverbal relationships were examined.

Acquisition of Signed Tacts in Infants and Toddlers.
KELLY A. DANCHO (University of Kansas), Rachel H. Thompson (University of Kansas), Jennifer Lynne Bruzek (University of Kansas), Tanya Baynham (University of Kansas)
Abstract: Thompson, McKerchar, and Dancho (2004) trained three typically developing infants to sign using delayed physical prompting and reinforcement. Children in the Thompson et al. (2004) study exhibited a limited communicative repertoire consisting of a single mand displayed only under controlled experimental conditions. This investigation sought to expand the signing repertoires of three typically developing children and two children diagnosed with developmental disabilities by (a) teaching tacts, (b) teaching multiple signs to the same child, (c) evaluating whether the effects of sign training would generalize to other appropriate conditions, and (d) evaluating whether signs occurred under stimulus control of relevant events. All participants acquired signs using delayed model and physical prompting and reinforcement. Generalization of the effects of sign training was observed with two participants, and results for two participants showed that signing was under stimulus control of relevant stimuli. Interobserver agreement was assessed during a minimum of 30% of all sessions, and agreement ranged between 60 and 100% for all participants.
An Evaluation of Tact Generalization.
ELIZABETH S. ATHENS (University of Florida), Timothy R. Vollmer (University of Florida)
Abstract: A number of techniques for generalization training are available; however, few have undergone experimental scrutiny for training verbal behavior. The purpose of the current study was to evaluate a method of examining the effects of explicit within-stimulus category generalization training on the subsequent sensitivity to generalization of other related responses. Methods were modeled after those presented by Haring (1985), and were designed to test a model based on the training of sufficient exemplars strategy. Specifically, verbal responses to pictures of items of varying representativeness were progressively trained until generalization occurred within a stimulus class (e.g., pictures of “castles”). In addition, generalization probes were conducted in other stimulus class sets, in a sense to test a “generalized” generalization effect. Interobserver agreement was collected during at least 30% of sessions across participants and averaged 99.5%. Results showed that the sufficient exemplar method is useful for teaching within class generalization, but a sensitivity of generalization in other stimulus sets emerged idiosyncratically.
An Analysis of Procedures to Generate Socially-Appropriate Answers to Novel Questions.
EINAR T. INGVARSSON (Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine), Jeffrey H. Tiger (University of Kansas), Kasey Stephenson (University of Kansas), Gregory P. Hanley (University of Kansas)
Abstract: Four preschool children (with and without disabilities) who often responded inappropriately to developmentally appropriate questions participated in the current study. Pretests established sets of questions that the children either did or did not answer appropriately (i.e., known and unknown questions). We then sequentially taught two specific answers to a subset of unknown questions: (a) “I don’t know,” and (b) “I don’t know, please tell me” (an information-seeking response). Results showed that the targeted answers generalized across questions and behavior-change agents for all participants. Following the “I don’t know” training, some undesirable generalization to known questions occurred for three participants, and some limited undesirable generalization of the “I don’t know please tell me” response occurred for two participants. An enriched reinforcement contingency was necessary to establish correct answers to previously unknown questions. The importance of teaching generalized responses that enable the acquisition of novel intraverbals is discussed.
An Evaluation of Intraverbal Training and Listener Training for Teaching Categorization Skills to Preschool Children.
ANNA I. PETURSDOTTIR (Western Michigan University), James E. Carr (Western Michigan University), Sarah A. Lechago (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: Curricula employed in early and intensive early intervention programs sometimes recommend teaching receptive before expressive skills, but the empirical literature suggests that the reverse sequence may sometimes be more efficient. In particular, it appears fairly well established that tact training is more likely to generate an emergent listener repertoire than listener training to generate an emergent tact repertoire. Less is known about the extent to which a similar relation holds for intraverbals and listener behavior, even though the sequencing of intraverbal and listener training is a consideration in many language training programs, such as those that teach various categorization skills. The purpose of the present study was to provide a controlled evaluation of the effects of intraverbal training and listener training on intraverbal and listener categorization, as well as on other untrained categorization skills. The participants were3- and 4-year-old typically developing children who learned to categorize previously unfamiliar stimuli, such as characters from foreign writing systems, and outline maps of foreign countries. Overall, little emergence of untrained categorization skills was observed. Interobserver agreement was assessed on at least 25% of all sessions and averaged over 96% for each participant.
Symposium #298
CE Offered: BACB
Toward a Neurogenetics of Problem Behavior
Monday, May 29, 2006
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
Area: CBM; Domain: Basic Research
Chair: Craig H. Kennedy (Vanderbilt University)
Discussant: Travis Thompson (University of Minnesota)
CE Instructor: Craig H. Kennedy, Ph.D.

The causes of problem behavior involve environmental and biological determinants that impose organizational structure on responding. The past two decades have seen parallel, but separate innovations in (a) the functional analysis of problem behavior and (b) neurogenetics. The former innovations have allowed behavior analysts to identify and manipulate the discriminative stimuli, motivating operations, reinforcement contingencies, and reinforcing/punishing stimuli that influence response probability. The latter innovations have allowed for the molecular identification and measurement of single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNPs) occurring within genes that regulate neural circuitry function. In this symposium, we present data on the first synthesis of these two scientific domains. Our goal is to develop an integrated biobehavioral analysis of gene-brain-environment determinants of problem behavior. Each experiment will focus on problem behaviors, but within a distinct population. The experiments also build on each other by expanding the complexity of the SNPs and neural circuitry involved in the occurrence of problem behaviors. Our findings indicate distinct pattern of SNPs regulating monoaminergic circuits that are associated with the development and maintenance of behavior problems.

Association between the Monoamine Oxidase A (MAOA) Gene and Chronic Problem Behavior in Adults with Developmental Disabilities.
MICHAEL E. MAY (Vanderbilt University), Laura Hodges (Vanderbilt University), John A. Phillips (Vanderbilt University), Randy D. Blakely (Vanderbilt University), Craig H. Kennedy (Vanderbilt University)
Abstract: A functional polymorphism in the promoter of the monoamine oxidase A (MAOA) gene has been associated with aggression in a general population sample of males. In this study, we sought to extend these findings to adults with developmental disabilities with histories of aggression. DNA samples and behavioral records were obtained from adult males with developmental disabilities, distinguished only by the presence or absence of aggression. These data were compared with a gender, ethnicity, and age-matched contrast sample. Our findings indicate that 54% of adults with developmental disabilities who were aggressive had the short allele version of the MAOA gene. In comparison, 23% of adults with developmental disabilities who were nonaggressive and 18% of the contrast group had the short allele MAOA polymorphism. Our findings suggest that a polymorphism in the MAOA gene may be associated with an aggressive phenotype in people with developmental disabilities.
Associations among the MAOA and Serotonin Transporter (SERT) Genes and Problem Behavior in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
JOHN A. W. JACKSON (Vanderbilt University), Michael E. May (Vanderbilt University), Christina F. Roantree (Vanderbilt University), Jill Parks (Vanderbilt University), Molly Ann McGinnis (Vanderbilt University), John A. Phillips (Vanderbilt University), Randy D. Blakely (Vanderbilt University), Craig H. Kennedy (Vanderbilt University)
Abstract: We analyzed SNPs in two genes – monoamine oxidase A (MAOA) and the serotonin transporter gene (SERT) – for an association with behavior problems in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). DNA samples and behavioral records were obtained from male children with ASD, along with behavioral samples using direct observation and interview. Our findings indicated a high correlation (.76) between the less efficient MAOA gene polymorphism and the degree of problem behaviors. There was a moderate association (.53) between autism severity, behavior problems, and MAOA gene polymorphism. No association was observed for type of ASD or polymorphisms in the SERT gene. Our findings suggest that polymorphisms in the MAOA gene are associated with problem behaviors in children with ASD and that a stronger association exists for those with a higher severity of autism.
Associations among the MAOA, SERT, and catechol-O-methyl transferase Genes and Problem Behavior in Children with Severe Behavior Disorders.
CRAIG H. KENNEDY (Vanderbilt University), Joseph H. Wehby (Vanderbilt University), Christina F. Roantree (Vanderbilt University), Katherine Falk (Vanderbilt University), John A. Phillips (Vanderbilt University), Randy D. Blakely (Vanderbilt University)
Abstract: Problem behaviors affect a broad range of children and adolescents, from those with autism spectrum disorders to those with severe behavioral disorders (SBD). Although a range of treatments are being developed to reduce the occurrence of problem behavior, intervention is usually started after the onset of behavior problems. Yet to be established are neurobiological conditions that might increase the probability an individual develops behavior problems, thus potentially leading to prophylactic treatment. In this study, we analyzed three candidate genes for an association with problem behavior in children with SBD. We obtained participant characteristic and behavior problem data in the form of rating scales and direction observations from a group of males (age= 6 to 10 years) with SBD (N=60) and matched comparisons without SBD (N=60) and tested for associations with polymorphisms in the MAOA promoter gene, SERT gene, and catechol-O-methyl transferase (COMT) gene. We found positive associations between MAOA and COMT genes and problem behavior. In addition, there was a strong interaction between MAOA and COMT genes and the presence of environmental stressors, suggesting a gene x brain x environment effect on problem behavior.
Symposium #299
CE Offered: BACB
Using Direct Instruction to Improve Educational Outcomes for Children
Monday, May 29, 2006
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Jennifer L. Austin (California State University, Fresno)
Discussant: Timothy A. Slocum (Utah State University)
CE Instructor: Jennifer L. Austin, Ph.D.

Direct instruction programs have proven beneficial to improving learning outcomes for a wide range of children. This presentation will present three studies in which different DI programs were used to teach important skills to children of various populations (e.g., English language learners, typically developing low SES students, etc.). The effects of the DI curricula on language, mathematics, and calendar performance will be presented. For the majority of participants in all studies, the use of DI programs was associated with improvements in performance across all target behaviors and assessments.

The Effects of a Direct Instruction Math Program on Higher-Order Problem Solving Skills.
JENNIFER L. AUSTIN (California State University, Fresno), Pamela Christofori (Tri-County TEC)
Abstract: One of the most firmly held beliefs of educators who object to Direct Instruction programs is that they are only appropriate for teaching basic skills, and subsequently impede the development of higher order problem-solving skills. This study was designed to examine the validity of this criticism. Specifically, the study sought to determine whether students taught basic addition and subtraction skills using Saxon Mathematics (a DI program) were able to generalize those skills to solve more advanced mathematics problems requiring the same skill set. Using a multiple baseline design, the effects of the DI program on two groups of 2nd graders with low math performance were assessed. Math word problem probes were administered during both baseline and treatment sessions to assess the children’s performance on higher-order math skills. For both groups and all participants, the Saxon Math curriculum produced immediate and positive changes in mathematics performance. In addition, the novice teacher who taught the DI math lessons reported that the program was easy to learn, easy to use, and produced visible changes in the students’ math skills.
The Impact of Language for Learning and Language for Thinking.
LAURA D. FREDRICK (Georgia State University), Alice Nanda (Georgia State University), Amy C. Scarborough (Georgia State University)
Abstract: Language for Learning was taught to 163 kindergarten students while Language for Thinking was taught to 167 first grade students, 40 of whom were Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL). The Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test—3rd Edition (PPVT-III) and six subtests of the Test of Language Development—Primary 3rd Edition (TOLD-P3) were administered as pre and posttest assessments with approximately eight months of language instruction between administrations. For both kindergarten and first grade students and for the 40 ESOL students there was a statistically significant improvement on the PPVT-III and on all administered subtests of the TOLD-P3 based on age norms. The improvement from pre to posttest for both percentile scores and standard scores was statistically significant for both kindergarten and first grade students on all six composite scores of the TOLD-P3—Listening, Organizing, Speaking, Semantics, Syntax, and Total Spoken Language. For ESOL students, there was a statistically significant improvement on all composite scores of the TOLD-P3 except for the Listening Composite. According to teacher log data, during the instructional days between the pre and posttest teachers averaged one lesson every two days.
Teaching Calendar Concepts and Operations to Preschoolers: Comparisons between Traditional and a Direct Instruction Program.
PAUL WEISBERG (University of Alabama), Roberta Stark Weisberg (Tuscaloosa Association for Citizens with Mental Retardation)
Abstract: Traditional calendar instruction in the early grades is a ubiquitous and useful activity, but it suffers from many programming deficiencies which slow the rate of progress of many concepts and operations. At least five negative outcomes are likely to result because of programming limitations: (1) teaching of generalized date identification is severely delayed; (2) insufficient practice and cumulative review results because only a few of these events are usually practiced during each day; (3) learning to report the dates by saying the month and the relevant ordinal number is not taught; (4) children are not independently tested for reporting different dates either for the current or other months; (5) a calendar table filled with an assortment of unknown stimuli can lead to distractions that interfere with the learning basic calendar facts and skills. In the present DI program, the calendar content was divided into smaller teaching units called Tracks. Comparisons of mostly at-risk kindergarten-entering children taught by the DI program with three kindergarten classes taught through traditional calendar procedures revealed substantial and significant difference in favor of the DI group after one school year. The content areas assessed were calendar facts, reporting the sequence of major events without reference to the calendar, calendar operations, and knowledge about special calendar events.
Symposium #301
CE Offered: BACB
Verbal Behavior: The Model Used for Changing/Expanding the Repertoires of Students and Staff. Everyday Applications across Educational Settings in NYC
Monday, May 29, 2006
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Gina Marie Feliciano (Shema Kolainu - Hear our Voices)
Discussant: Susan M. Silvestri (Hawthorne Country Day School)
CE Instructor: Gina Marie Feliciano, Other

The following symposium will highlight how a non public school in New York City implements verbal behavior teaching procedures for both students and staff. The application of Skinners analysis of verbal behavior has been utilized to increase the rule governed and contingency shaped behaviors of teachers, to evoke initial verbal operants from young children and as a framework for implementing speech and language services and augmentative and alternative communication devices for students with an autism spectrum disorder. Our goal is to demonstrate how verbal behavior and applied behavior analysis can be integrated into an entire educational system to change student and staff behaviors.

Changing the Behavior of Teachers through Video Monitoring and Supervisor Presented Instruction.
SARAH NATARELLI (Shema Kolainu - Hear our Voices), Gina Marie Feliciano (Shema Kolainu - Hear our Voices)
Abstract: Research has shown that providing learn units to teachers in the form of teacher performance rate and accuracy in center based settings is effective for changing the repertoires of teachers (Ingham, & Greer, 1992). However supervision for teachers providing discrete trial training in a community based setting does not always allow for frequent, intensive supervision and training. The purpose of this study was to investigate the efficacy of video monitoring and learn unit delivery to teachers as a model for changing rule governed and contingency shaped behavior of teachers. Three teachers who provided discrete trial training in a community based setting participated in this study. A multiple treatment design was used to teach teachers specific target behaviors to improve teacher repertoires and in turn student performance.
The Increased use of Verbal Operants Following the Implementation of Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) Devices with Children on the Autism Spectrum.
GILI P. RECHANY (Shema Kolainu - Hear our Voices), Megan Anne Petrizio (Shema Kolainu - Hear our Voices)
Abstract: The current investigation focused on the evaluation and implementation of AAC devices with school age children presenting with an autism spectrum disorder. This study examined the prerequisite skills needed for successful implementation of an AAC device by examining the children’s performance on the ABLLS assessment, as well direct observation of functional communication in the classroom. A multiple baseline across participants design was implemented. This study measured the increase in verbal operants following the implementation of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC), and examined the verbal behavior procedures used to implement the AAC. Three verbal behavior topographies were measured, generalized mands, generalized tacts, and generalized intraverbals.
The Use of a Pairing Procedure in Conditioning Vocalizations to Evoke Parroting and Echoic Responses to Teach Mands.
CHANIE KESSLER (Shema Kolainu - Hear our Voices), Gina Marie Feliciano (Shema Kolainu - Hear our Voices), Jessica D. Rodriguez (Shema Kolainu - Hear our Voices)
Abstract: The current investigation used a stimulus- stimulus pairing procedure to condition vocalizations as reinforcers in order to increase the frequency and number of vocalizations that could be used to teach an echoic response to nonvocal verbal children. Once parroting responses were evoked an echoic to mand function was taught using a multiple baseline design. Following pre-experimental observations target vocalizations were identified for parroting and echoic training and pairing. Upon meeting criterion in pairing an echoic to mand training procedure was used, followed by a return to the pre-pairing condition. The data suggest that a pairing procedure was effective in evoking parroting responses which could then be taught as echoics, for some students.
Special Event #303
CE Offered: BACB
2006 ABA Tutorial: Professional Development Series: Introduction to Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
Monday, May 29, 2006
10:00 AM–10:50 AM
Centennial Ballroom II
Area: CBM
Chair: Marianne L. Jackson (University of Nevada, Reno)
CE Instructor: Steven C. Hayes, Ph.D.

2006 ABA Tutorial: Professional Development Series: Introduction to Acceptance and Commitment Therapy


Behavior analysis has had a hard time penetrating the mainstream of psychology since the rise of cognitive psychology. The two primary barriers underlying this problem are a lack of clarity and understanding of the philosophical core of radical behaviorism, and the need for a comprehensive and experimentally adequate account of language and cognition. The first is primarily a terminological problem that is rectified by functional contextualism; the second is an empirical and theoretical problem that is rectified by Relational Frame Theory. With these two barriers removed, there is nothing to prevent behavior analysis from capturing center stage in many areas of psychology, but the form of behavior analysis results is decidedly post-Skinnerian -- that is, true to the Skinnerian tradition philosophically and empirically, but distinct in its approach to complex human behavior as a consequence of empirical developments. The empirical and political success of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy is offered as a concrete demonstration of the success of this strategy. Other possible extensions are briefly explored.

STEVEN C. HAYES (University of Nevada, Reno)
Dr. Steven C. Hayes is Nevada Foundation Professor at the Department of Psychology at the University of Nevada. An author of twenty five books and 340 scientific articles, his career has focused on an analysis of the nature of human language and cognition from a behavior analytic point of view and the application of this to the understanding and alleviation of human suffering. In 1992 he was listed by the Institute for Scientific Information as the 30th "highest impact" psychologist in the world during 1986-1990 based on the citation impact of his writings during that period. Dr. Hayes has been President of Division 25 (Behavior Analysis) of the American Psychological Association, of the American Association of Applied and Preventive Psychology and of the Association for Advancement of Behavior Therapy. He was the first Secretary-Treasurer of the American Psychological Society, which he helped form. He has received the Don F. Hake Award for Exemplary Contributions to Basic Behavioral Research and Its Applications from Division 25 (Behavior Analysis) of the American Psychological Association and was appointed by US Health and Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala to a 5-year term on the National Advisory Council on Drug Abuse in the National Institutes of Health.
Invited Paper Session #304
CE Offered: BACB

Verbal Behavior and Autism Intervention

Monday, May 29, 2006
10:00 AM–10:50 AM
Centennial Ballroom I
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
CE Instructor: Mark L. Sundberg, Ph.D.
Chair: Jack Scott (Florida Atlantic University)
MARK L. SUNDBERG (Sundberg and Associates)
Dr. Mark L. Sundberg received his doctorate degree in Applied Behavior Analysis from Western Michigan University (1980), under the direction of Dr. Jack Michael. Dr. Sundberg is a Licensed Psychologist and Board Certified Behavior Analyst who has been conducting language research with children with autism for over 30 years. He is the founder and past editor of the journal The Analysis of Verbal Behavior, and is the co-author (with James W. Partington) of the books Teaching Language to Children with Autism or Other Developmental Disabilities, The Assessment of Basic Language and Learning Skills: The ABLLS, and (with Jack Michael) A Collection of Reprints on Verbal Behavior. He has published over 40 professional papers, given over 400 conference presentations and workshops, and taught 80 college courses on behavior analysis, verbal behavior, sign language, and child development. Dr. Sundberg received the 2001 “Distinguished Psychology Department Alumnus Award” from Western Michigan University.

Should we stop doing mand and intraverbal language training for children with autism? It was suggested by Green (2005) that language training procedures for children with autism that are based on Skinners (1957) analysis of verbal behavior should not be disseminated until data supporting those procedures are obtained. The purpose of the current presentation will be to present an analysis of the existing data on the mand and intraverbal relations. In addition, an analysis of how the mand and intraverbal repertoires are addressed and taught in traditional discrete trial programs will presented. The results will show that there is empirical support for the distinction between the mand, tact, and intraverbal, and it is a mistake to assume these repertoire will emerge from the tact only training common to most discrete trial curricula.

Symposium #307
CE Offered: BACB
Behavior Analysis and Biomedical Psychiatry: Conflicting Concepts and Treatment Approaches
Monday, May 29, 2006
10:30 AM–11:50 AM
Area: CBM; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Stephen E. Wong (Florida International University)
CE Instructor: Stephen E. Wong, Ph.D.

This symposium examines some conflicting concepts and treatment approaches of behavior analysis and biomedical psychiatry, with a critical eye on assumptions underlying the biomedical model and financial backing of this model by the pharmaceutical industry. Dr. Wyatts presentation discusses external pressures on the profession of psychiatry and dynamics within the profession that encouraged it to adopt a biomedical approach to mental disorders. This philosophical realignment allowed the new biomedical psychiatry to regain its dominant position over the other mental health professions, including behavior analysis. Dr. Winstons presentation by takes a humorous look at logical fallacies in DSM-IV diagnoses and pharmacological treatments. It also provides a behavioral re-interpretation of some common mental disorders. Dr. Wongs presentation compares behavioral and biomedical treatments for schizophrenia and depression. It also examines ideological, political, and economic forces that promote the latter over the former, regardless of the latters scientific merits.

Psychiatry’s Flight from Science: A Profession’s Headlong, Non-empirical Rush to Biological Explanations.
W. JOSEPH WYATT (Marshall University)
Abstract: Psychiatry underwent a struggle of reduced professional esteem within and outside the medical profession, starting in the 1960s and 1970s. The percentage of medical school graduates choosing psychiatry as their specialty declined by more than half, from 11% to 5% from 1970 to 1980. Adding to organized psychiatry’s concerns was the influx into the mental health arena of increasing numbers of non-physicians (behavior analysts, clinical psychologists, counselors, clinical social workers) who threatened to undermine both psychiatry’s status and patient base. In response, organized psychiatry turned toward increasing reliance upon biological explanations of complex behaviors, including most depressive disorders, anxiety disorders, child conduct disorders and others. As a result, over the past several decades the culture has been inundated with claims of biological causation, often minus empirical support. With those claims has come the suggestion that physicians are the best qualified to undertake treatment, and that medication is the treatment of choice. This presentation will review the history of the biological causation movement of the past thirty-five years, with suggestions for dealing with the phenomenon at a community level.
A Behavioral Analytic Look at Mental Disorders, the DSM-IV, and Functional Effects of Psychotropic Medications.
MERRILL WINSTON (Professional Crisis Management, Inc.)
Abstract: This presentation critiques diagnostic criteria for mental disorders listed in the DSM-IV, as well as examines functional effects of medications (in terms of behavior) as opposed to their supposed neurochemical effects. The presentation provides behavior analysts with a framework that they may use to better understand mental disorders and how treatment goals may be formulated. Participants will also be more prepared to “get to the heart of the matter” regarding the problems that give rise to a particular diagnosis. Individuals will also be better equipped to help evaluate the effectiveness and appropriateness of various medications as they pertain to target behaviors.
Behavioral vs. Biomedical Treatments for Schizophrenia and Depression.
STEPHEN E. WONG (Florida International University)
Abstract: This paper will examine biomedical and behavioral treatments for two mental problems, schizophrenia and depression, revealing that the current dominance of biomedical approaches to these problems is not based on their superior treatment efficacy. Some of the serious side-effects of biomedical treatments, typically psychotropic drugs, will be reviewed. Reasons why biomedical and pharmacological solutions are the dominant approach to dealing with these problems will be discussed, including: huge profits garnered by the pharmaceutical industry, industry-controlled clinical research, drug company sponsorship of professional education, extensive media advertising campaigns, financial influence of client advocacy groups, infiltration of government regulatory agencies, and lobbying of legislative representatives.
Symposium #310
CE Offered: BACB
Evaluation of Deviant Sexual Behavior in Sex Offenders with Developmental Disabilities
Monday, May 29, 2006
10:30 AM–11:50 AM
Centennial Ballroom IV
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Jorge Rafael Reyes (University of Florida)
CE Instructor: Timothy R. Vollmer, Ph.D.

This symposium will include four papers describing various methods for the assessment and treatment sex offenders with developmental disabilities. The first presentation, given by Robert Reed, is a discussion of some of the cultural issues related to sexual deviance including the historical development of assessing and treating deviant sexual behavior. The second presentation, given by Jorge Reyes, shows outcome data from the assessment and treatment of deviant sexual arousal. The third presentation given by Cristina Whitehouse, describes two novel assessment procedures. One of the procedures involves assessing responding in high-risk situations, and the other involves assessing preference for deviant stimuli (e.g., pictures of children) through the use of a computerized program. The final presentation, given by David Pyles, involves a discussion of assessments and services needed for sex offenders with developmental disabilities that may differ from needs posed by non-developmentally delayed offenders.

Deviant Sexual Behavior in our Culture.
ROBERT H. REED (The Seguin Unit), Astrid Hall (The Seguin Unit), Timothy R. Vollmer (University of Florida), Jorge Rafael Reyes (University of Florida), Kimberly Sloman (University of Florida)
Abstract: The focus of the current presentation is on the historical issues related to identifying, assessing, and treating deviant sexual arousal. Cultural and legal factors related to sexual deviance will be discussed with a special emphasis on the feasibility or lack thereof for community reintegration with sex offenders with developmental disabilities. Three general themes will be elaborated upon. One, “deviant” sexual behavior is a relative and culturally defined phenomenon. Two, existing research is inadequate to determine whether sexual behavior deemed deviant in our culture can be modified to safe levels. Three, the issue of reintegration is especially complex for offenders with developmental disabilities, due to the tenuous balance between public safety and active, personalized, treatment.
Replications and Extensions in Plethysmograph Based Arousal Assessments.
JORGE RAFAEL REYES (University of Florida), Astrid Hall (The Seguin Unit)
Abstract: Previous research by our group has shown that the use of the penile plethysmograph, designed to measure penile tumescence in the presence of various stimuli, can identify differential patterns of arousal for sex offenders with developmental disabilities. For example, Reyes et al. (in press), identified three general outcomes: a) deviant arousal to a specific age category and gender, b) deviant arousal across a range of child age groups, and c) no deviant arousal. The current clinical evaluation consisted of two separate components. The first component was a replication of Reyes et al., and involved conducting additional arousal assessments with 4 participants. Results from the arousal assessments showed similar patterns of responding as in the previous study. The second component involved an evaluation of pre-session masturbation on arousal. For this investigation, the participants were instructed to masturbate immediately (i.e., within 5-min) before the session was conducted. Results showed decreased levels of arousal during the pre-session masturbation sessions. Treatment implications for these types of manipulations as well as other potential manipulations will be discussed.
A Description of Two Novel Assessment Components.
CRISTINA M. WHITEHOUSE (University of Florida), Jorge Rafael Reyes (University of Florida), Andrew Samaha (University of Florida), Kimberly Sloman (University of Florida), Timothy R. Vollmer (University of Florida), G. Wade Brodkorb (The Seguin Unit)
Abstract: Two assessment components for sex offenders with developmental disabilities will be described. Ultimately, these assessment components will be part of a more comprehensive assessment protocol. The first procedure involves assessing responding in high-risk situations. The procedures were based on other studies that involved covertly observing people placed in high-risk situations (e.g., Himle et al., 2005). Participants, who believed they were alone, were observed in a waiting room (via a one-way mirror) that contained both appropriate materials (e.g., sports and car magazines) and high-risk materials (e.g., magazines with pictures of children). Data were collected on their responses to the high-risk and appropriate materials. The second procedure involves a visual preference assessment in which participants select one of three different pictures that vary in terms of gender, age, and more specific characteristics within categories such as hair and eye color. By determining specific victim characteristics this information could be included as one component of a larger evaluation of risk of re-offense. Although the primary purpose of this presentation is to describe methodology, some preliminary data from each procedure will be presented.
Risk Assessment and Supervision Needs for Sexual and Criminal Offenders with Developmental Disabilities.
DAVID A. PYLES (Illinois DHS Division of Developmental Disabilities)
Abstract: A number of standardized assessment instruments have been developed to assess risk of sexual offenders reoffending in the future. At this time, the instruments have not been developed or normed for people with developmental disabilities, and in fact may skew the results. Because sexual offenders with developmental disabilities do not reflect a homogeneous population, the assessment of risk and programming/supervision needs become particularly important. This presentation discusses risk factors and supervisory needs of non-charged and charged sex offenders.
Symposium #311
CE Offered: BACB
International Symposium - Imitation Its Sources, Lines of Fracture, and Role in Expanding Behavioral Repertoires
Monday, May 29, 2006
10:30 AM–11:50 AM
Area: DEV; Domain: Basic Research
Chair: Jacob L. Gewirtz (Florida International University)
Discussant: Jacob L. Gewirtz (Florida International University)
CE Instructor: Jacob L. Gewirtz, Ph.D.

Imitation is widely considered fundamental in human learning, in natural development as well as in special education programs for developmentally disabled persons. The purposes of the present symposium are to review (1) the history of imitation theory and empirical research, (2) current research questions and empirical data, (3) conceptual issues, and (4) directions for future behavior-analytic research on imitation.

The History of Imitation Research and Suggestions for its Future.
MARICEL CIGALES (Advance Behavior Consulting)
Abstract: The act of imitating is widely considered fundamental for normal human learning and development. Imitation has been ascribed an important role in cognitive, language, moral and social development. This is evidenced by the more than 500 peer-reviewed articles published on the subject between 1967 and 2005. Yet, there is no consensus on the mechanisms of imitation. Multiple theories have been proposed to account for why and how humans imitate. This paper reviews the history and trends in imitation theory and empirical research. The role of imitation in higher-order learning processes is explored and directions for future behavior analytic research on imitation are suggested.
Stimulus Control in Generalized Imitation.
DEBRA PAONE (Graduate School and University Center, City University of New York), Claire L. Poulson (Graduate School and University Center, City University of New York)
Abstract: This study examined the extent to which imitation generalizes within a set of stimulus models that can be arrayed along a physical continuum. The participants, three typically developing children, were presented with a choice to imitate one of two stimulus models during both probe and training trials. During training trials, one of two stimulus models that occasioned reinforcement was presented with one stimulus model that never occasioned reinforcement. Probe trials, which were interspersed among training trials, were used to measure the extent to which imitation generalized within a set of stimulus models. Imitation of stimulus models used during probe trials was never reinforced. Following training, tests of generalization were conducted under extinction conditions. The data showed that as the physical similarity of the probe models to the S+ models increased, the level of imitative responding increased. The results are discussed in terms of stimulus control of imitative responding.
Imitation as Continuous Repertoires.
PER HOLTH (The Behavioral Center, Oslo)
Abstract: A multiple exemplar training aimed at establishing imitative skills must necessarily consist of a limited number of exemplars in which reinforcement is contingent upon responses that are similar to the responses of a “model”. Such “imitation training” may sometimes be considered successful when a certain number of directly taught performances can occur in mixed order with few or no errors. However, this result may be nothing more than a series of separately reinforced discriminated operants in which the similarity between responding and the responses of a “model” remains irrelevant to the controlling relation. Instead, a true imitative repertoire can be characterized as a continuous repertoire in which novel values on some dimension of behavior varies as a function of similar novel values on that dimension of the behavior of a “model”. However, in behavior analysis, characterizations, be it higher-order classes, relational frames, or continuous repertoires, remain characterizations rather than explanations. Sources, possible prerequisites, and optimal sequencing of tasks to facilitate the development of continuous repertoires still need to be investigated.
Symposium #320
CE Offered: BACB
International Symposium - The Implicit Association Test (IAT) and Derived Relational Responding: Conceptual Analyses and Empirical Tools
Monday, May 29, 2006
10:30 AM–11:50 AM
Area: TPC; Domain: Theory
Chair: Maria R. Ruiz (Rollins College)
CE Instructor: Maria R. Ruiz, Ph.D.

The Implicit Association Test (I.A.T.) developed by Anthony Greenwald is said to measure unconscious cognitions that influence attitudes and preferences towards a wide range of social phenomena including race, politics and views on sexual orientation. Interestingly, the I.A.T. technique bears a striking similarity to behavioral methods of attitude and behavior assessment that rely on the concept of stimulus equivalence and derived relational responding. Our symposium provides an overview of the I.A.T and outlines its relevance to behavioral research in the social sciences. We will present a functional analytic model of the IAT in terms of derived stimulus relations and data supporting the behavioral account will be outlined.

The IAT and Derived Relational Histories as Epistemological Tools.
BRYAN T. ROCHE (National University of Ireland, Maynooth), Maria R. Ruiz (Rollins College), Amanda Gavin (National University of Ireland, Maynooth)
Abstract: The Implicit Association Test was developed by Anthony Geenwald and colleagues (1998) for the express purpose of identifying racial prejudice. In the test a participant responds to a series of items on a computer screen that can be classified into four categories; usually two representing a concept such as race (eg black, white) and two representing an attribute (pleasant/unpleasant). Participants respond more rapidly and accurately when the concept and attribute sharing the same response key are strongly associated (white/pleasant) than when they are weakly associated (lack/pleasant). We have begun to construct a functional-analytic model of the Implicit Association Test in which the effects are construed in terms of the subjects’ fluency with verbal categories (ie. derived relations) and their degree of experience juxtaposing members of those categories. We will present data on relational verbal histories constructed in the laboratory and employing nonsense syllables, and from field studies using actual words that we assume participate in culturally driven relational histories to illustrate our model and its potential uses.
Juxtaposing Images of Children and Sexually Explicit Words: Gender and Criminal History as Predictors of the IAT Effect.
MARIA R. RUIZ (Rollins College), Bryan T. Roche (National University of Ireland, Maynooth), Kevin M. Miraglia (Rollins College)
Abstract: Roche, Ruiz, O’Riordan and Hand (2005) used an IAT-type procedure to examine differences in relational responding between paedophiles serving time for sex crimes against children, male criminals from the general prison population and a random sample of non incarcerated individuals (male and female) from the general population. The procedure is designed to assess participants’ fluency in associating terms related to sexuality with images of children. On one block of tasks participants are presented with rules that instruct them to press left for sexual terms and images of children and right for horrible words and images of adults. On any given trial a cartoon image of a child, a cartoon of an adult, a sexually explicit word, or a nonsexual disgusting word is presented. Thus there are four types of trials, each presented twenty times in a quasi random order. The results suggest that paedophiles make significantly more correct responses when child images and sexual terms require the same operant response. Thus the convicted paedophiles were distinguishable from the other groups using these tests. An unexpected but very interesting finding was that only the female control group responded with fewer errors when adult images –sexual words and child images -horrible words shared the same operant response. In the current study we are replicating our procedure to examine the apparent sex differences in relational responding using sexually explicit words and images of children. We will discuss the potential implications of our results.
A Derived Relations Model of the Implicit Association Test: Testing a Key Prediction.
AMANDA GAVIN (National University of Ireland, Maynooth), Bryan T. Roche (National University of Ireland, Maynooth), Maria R. Ruiz (Rollins College)
Abstract: Subjects were exposed to a word-picture association training phase in which two nonsense syllables, one blue and one red, were paired with sexual and disgusting images, respectively. Subjects were then exposed to an equivalence training procedure which led to the formation of two three-member equivalence relations, each containing one of the two nonsense syllables. Subjects were then exposed to an IAT-type test consisting of red, blue, sexual, and disgusting images and a more complex IAT-type test consisting of sexual and disgusting images, and all members of the trained equivalence relations. Subjects were then exposed to a further equivalence training procedure in which one of the baseline conditional discriminations was reversed, before being re-exposed to the original IAT. Results suggested that IAT performances can be understood as relational performances, and moreover that such performances are sensitive to respondent conditioning histories, as well as both long term and short-term relational histories with the relevant stimuli.
Acquisition and Generalization of the Implicit Association Test (I.A.T.) Effect: A Replication.
CHRISTEINE M. TERRY (University of Washington), Bryan T. Roche (National University of Ireland, Maynooth), Maria R. Ruiz (Rollins College)
Abstract: The Implicit Association Test (I.A.T.) is hypothesized to measure unconscious attitudinal biases/preferences. Recent research on the I.A.T. using a derived stimulus relations’ model suggests that the I.A.T. does not measure unconscious attitudinal bias, but instead provides a description of the organization of the verbal relations in an individual’s verbal repertoire. Specifically, this model suggests that the I.A.T. effect is the result of an individual’s fluency with specific types of verbal relations. The current paper further investigates the use of the I.A.T. as a measure of an individual’s organization of verbal relations by reporting on an ongoing study designed to examine and replicate findings from a previous study that tested a derived stimulus relations’ model of the I.A.T. effect. The method used in both studies involved participants matching stimuli that are either equivalent or non-equivalent in a given context. The results from the previous study found participants’ performances improved across trials and generalized to another set of equivalent stimuli. These findings suggest that the I.A.T. effect is not based on unconscious attitudinal bias, but on the participant’s experience and fluency with the task. Preliminary results from the ongoing study will be discussed along with implications and extensions of the paradigm.
Symposium #321
CE Offered: BACB
The Use of Staff Training and Performance Feedback to Increase Staff Performance in Community Based Day and Residential Settings
Monday, May 29, 2006
10:30 AM–11:50 AM
Area: TBA; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: John Stokes (Charles River ARC)
CE Instructor: John Stokes, M.S.

The following studies review the use of current training strategies and their effects on staff performance in community treatment settings. The first studies review the use of performance feedback on staffs ability to exhibit desired appropriate behaviors in the at a vocational training program. The studies also examine the effects combined with video modeling. The second study examines the effects of staff training on the reliability of indirect assessment of challenging behavior across three day treatment setting. The third study demonstrates how to implement the combination of performance feedback and video modeling to increase the implementation of behavioral treatment programs.

Becoming Measurable and Observable: The Use of Performance feedback and Video modeling in Training Clinical Competence and Vocational Skills in an adult program.
JOHN STOKES (Charles River ARC), John C. Randall (Charles River ARC), Donna Gagne (Charles River ARC), Liz Deren (Charles River ARC)
Abstract: A three step performance training program was implemented across 4 day programs. The goal of the training was to instruct staff in how to increase their delivery of positive consequences for appropriate behaviors as well as provide extinction for undesirable behaviors. The program involved defining desired staff behavior, training and performance feedback. The procedure resulted in increased rates of appropriate teaching behaviors being exhibited by staff working in the respected programs. (Parsons, 2004). The greatest increase in teaching behavior by staff was demonstrated during the performance feedback session of the training. All staff increases their performance to at least 90% within 4 trials during this session. Data is displayed graphically and results are discussed in terms of using effective staff training as a means of increasing the use of intervention procedure and individuals performance in a vocational program. Inter-observer agreement data was taken for 30% of trial for each subject. There was a mean IOA of 89% with a range of 76% to 100%.
The Effects of Staff Training on the Reliability Analysis of the MAS, FAST, and PBS.
AMY SLYMAN (Vinfen Corporation), Jennifer L. Link (Vinfen Corporation), Diana Poles (Vinfen Corporation), Michael F. Dorsey (Vinfen Corporation & Simmons College)
Abstract: The MAS, FAST, and PBS are widely used indirect functional assessment instruments. All three are questionnaires contain likert based scales designed to determine the function of an individual’s behavior. Zarcone et al., (1991) published a study demonstrating that inter-rater reliability on the MAS was well below the generally accepted 80%. The current study expanded on those findings. The staff of three day programs (n=60) serving adults diagnosed with mental retardation completed the MAS, FAST, and PBS in groups of two to three staff for a single subject. Staff then received training in a didactic format regarding functional analysis and role plays in completing each of the respective scales. These trainings were staggered in a multiple baseline fashion across the three day programs. After completion of the training the staff then completed a second series of scales for a second time on a new set of subjects. The primary dependant variable was the Interobserver Reliability scores on each of the three scales calculated as in the Zarcone et al., (1991) study. The results demonstrated the effects of training on staff reliability scores.
The Use of Digital Video Recording and Performance Feedback to Increase Program Implementation.
AMY INCLIMA WOOD (Judge Rotenberg Educational Center), Angela Glavin (Judge Rotenberg Educational Center), Susan Ainsleigh (Simmons College)
Abstract: Treatment integrity and program implementation are consistent issues for agencies serving individuals with developmental disabilities. This study presents the use of live Digital Video Recording (DVR) and examines the effectiveness of immediate versus delayed feedback on program implementation. Subjects in the study included teachers and paraprofessional staff hired to implement written programs for each student in a classroom. The setting of this study was a day and residential school serving individuals with conduct disorders, emotional disorders, brain injury, psychosis, or autism and other related disabilities. Through the use of DVR, program administrators are able to monitor program implementation for treatment drift; frequency of such deviations were measured. Providing immediate feedback via verbal conference was compared to providing delayed feedback, both in verbal and written format. The effect of various frequencies and format of feedback on program implementation is reported.
The Use of Public Posting to Increase Safety Procedures in a Public School Setting.
JOHN C. BARKER (Simmons College), Susan Ainsleigh (Simmons College)
Abstract: In this study, areas for improvement in school safety were identified after consultation with local law enforcement. Two specific problems were identified at a public elementary school: 1) staff and visitors to the school were not consistently wearing required employee and visitor badges while working or visiting the school building and 2) staff members were not enforcing the visitor sticker program, nor were they approaching individuals in the school who were not displaying proper identification. This study used public posting throughout the school building to increase compliance with identification procedures. Results demonstrated a significant increase in staff and visitor compliance with school safety procedures.
Symposium #323
CE Offered: BACB
Token Reinforcement Systems: Investigations on the Value of Tokens and the Selection of Back-Up Reinforcers
Monday, May 29, 2006
10:30 AM–11:50 AM
Area: EAB; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Iser Guillermo DeLeon (Johns Hopkins University)
CE Instructor: Iser Guillermo DeLeon, Ph.D.

In both basic and applied behavior analysis, the consequent stimuli that maintain behavior often derive their reinforcing function from their association with stimuli that have previously been established as reinforcers. Termed conditioned reinforcers, these stimuli play a crucial and ubiquitous role not only in our understanding of learning processes, but in the application of behavioral principles to the solution of socially-relevant behavioral problems, perhaps most conspicuously in the establishment of token reinforcement systems. The present symposium will attempt to expand further our knowledge of the factors that modulate the efficacy of tokens and other behaviorally neutral stimuli as conditioned reinforcers. Specifically, the presentations will discuss (1) token value as a function of response effort, (2) changes in efficacy during the conditioning process to establish tokens as reinforcers, (3) the correspondence between preference assessment outcomes and the selection of back-up reinforcers and (4) direct comparisons of response maintenance between primary and token reinforcers.

Sensitivity to Token Loss as a Function of Earning Requirements.
LISA M. TOOLE (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Iser Guillermo DeLeon (Johns Hopkins University), David M. Richman (University of Maryland, Baltimore County), Gregory A. Lieving (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Melissa J. Allman (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Abstract: The purpose of the current investigation was to examine the influence of earning requirements on the differential value of token reinforcers. Subjects participated in two phases. In Phase 1, experimental subjects were required to earn 20 tokens by identifying target stimuli in a field of stimuli. Control subjects were simply given 20 tokens (no earning requirement), one at a time, while the times of gains and losses were yoked from an experimental subject. All subjects then had the opportunity in Phase 2 to gamble with their tokens during discrete trials that each could result in a win or loss. The probability of a loss during these trials increased systematically across blocks of 10 trials. Of primary interest was the number of trials in Phase 2 at which the participant opted to escape from the task (i.e., cash out tokens). Generally, those who earned their 20 tokens in Phase 1 spent less time in Phase 2 and opted out sooner than those who received free tokens. These results are discussed in terms of the possible direct, positive relation between the effort required to earn tokens and the subsequent value of those tokens, particularly as value relates to the efficacy of response cost.
An Assessment of the Reinforcing Efficacy of Tokens.
STACIE L. FITCH (New England Center for Children), Jason C. Bourret (New England Center for Children)
Abstract: Participants were 5 children diagnosed with autism. All sessions were conducted in the children’s classroom. Participants were exposed to three conditions (contingent tokens, contingent edibles, and extinction) in a multielement design. Sessions ended following 5 min or following the delivery of the number of reinforcers that matched the number of tokens that the subjects typically earned prior to token exchange. In the contingent tokens and contingent edibles conditions, consequences were delivered according to a random interval (RI) schedule which was arranged such that the number of arranged reinforcers in the session matched the number of tokens that the participant typically earned before exchange in his daily programming (e.g., if a participant usually exchanged tokens after the delivery of 10 tokens, an RI 30-s schedule was used such that, on average, 10 tokens or edibles would be arranged for delivery contingent upon responding). The edibles used were those that typically served as back-up reinforcers for the tokens earned by the participants outside of experimental sessions. The tokens used, were also those already in use for each participant. The data indicated that the tokens served as reinforcers for two participants but not for the other three. The results suggested that the methodology used in the study may be useful in identifying the reinforcing efficacy of tokens currently being used for behavioral programming.
Token Training and Motivating Operation Effects on the Outcomes of Preference and Reinforcer Assessments.
CARLY MOHER EBY (New England Center for Children, Northeastern University), Daniel Gould (New England Center for Children), Richard B. Graff (New England Center for Children), Jason C. Bourret (New England Center for Children)
Abstract: Preference assessments have been shown to be effective procedures for identifying potential reinforcers. Typically, the stimuli included in preference assessments are limited to edible or activity items, rather than conditioned reinforcers (e.g., tokens). The present studies made use of preference- and reinforcer-assessment procedures to evaluate the reinforcing efficacy of tokens as they were being established as conditioned reinforcers (Experiment 1). Three participants underwent a series of paired-stimulus preference assessments with edibles and tokens. In token training, novel stimuli were paired repeatedly with either the participants’ highest- or lowest-preferred edible items. Reinforcer assessments were carried out using a multi-element design across conditions of baseline, novel tokens, and conditioned tokens. Following this, the effects of motivating operations on the reinforcing effectiveness of tokens was tested (Experiment 2). The reinforcing effectiveness of tokens and edibles was assessed in an ABAB design. Controlled-access and satiation conditions were compared. Results for Experiment 1 indicated that the tokens were effectively established as conditioned reinforcers. Results for Experiment 2 indicated that reinforcer effectiveness decreased for both edibles and tokens during satiation relative to the controlled-access condition.
Correspondence Between Preference Assessments and Actual Item Selection.
KIMBERLY SLOMAN (University of Florida), Timothy R. Vollmer (University of Florida), Jorge Rafael Reyes (University of Florida)
Abstract: We conducted a study to evaluate the correspondence between various preference assessments and actual item selection for highly verbal adult males with developmental disabilities. First, we conducted a verbal preference assessment with items in the unit token store and compared the results with actual items purchased. Next, preference assessments were conducted using picture representations of the items and correspondence was again assessed. Finally, preference assessments using the actual items were conducted. There was little to no correspondence between any of the preference assessment methods and actual item selection. Additionally, there was little correspondence between assessment types (e.g. verbal compared to picture preference assessment). However, there was high to perfect correspondence between token store selections across months. Implications for reinforcer assessments with individuals who have extensive verbal repertoires will be discussed.
Symposium #324
CE Offered: BACB
Using Voice Output Communication Aids with Children with Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities
Monday, May 29, 2006
10:30 AM–11:50 AM
Regency VI
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Melissa L. Olive (University of Texas, Austin)
CE Instructor: Melissa L. Olive, Ph.D.

Children with autism and other developmental disabilities often fail to develop spoken language. Consequently, augmentative or alternative communication (AAC) strategies must be made available to ensure the development of expressive communication skills. One type of AAC is the use of a voice output communication aid (VOCA). This session will focus on the use of VOCAs to teach a variety of communication skills. The first paper will briefly overview the types of AAC products available to consumers. Strengths and weaknesses of each will be highlighted. The second paper will review the literature on the combined use of FCT and VOCA for young children. Areas for application and future research will be discussed. The third paper will present the results of a study where a 4-button VOCA was used to teach greeting skills to children with autism. The fourth paper will present the results of teaching a child to request attention using a VOCA during play activities.

Overview of Voice Output Communication Aids.
BERENICE DE LA CRUZ (University of Texas, Austin), Melissa L. Olive (University of Texas, Austin), Tonya Nichole Davis (University of Texas, Austin), Russell Lang (Lake Travis Independent School District), Hyung-Mee Kim (University of Texas, Austin)
Abstract: This paper will provide an overview of the types of VOCA available to consumers. Relevant literature will be presented to support the use of such devices. Finally, literature will be used to describe the strengths and weaknesses of each device.
A Literature Review of the Combined use of FCT and VOCA with Young Children.
HYUNG-MEE KIM (University of Texas, Austin), Melissa L. Olive (University of Texas, Austin)
Abstract: Studies have demonstrated that AAC is a beneficial intervention for children with severe communication delays. Unfortunately, AAC is not widely accepted and used with young children. One could assume then, that children with severe communication delays and challenging behavior will likely need an intervention package consisting of FCT and AAC. However, if AAC strategies are underutilized with young children; it is likely that the combined use of FCT and AAC is also underutilized. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to complete a literature review of studies where AAC strategies were combined with FCT for young children. 17 articles were reviewed. A total of 28 children participated in the 17 studies across settings such as clinical, home, and educational settings. Most participants were male, nonverbal, diagnosed with mental retardation, and engaged in self-injury or aggressive behavior. The combination of FCT and AAC has been effective in increasing new communication responses while concomitantly reducing challenging behaviors. The most commonly used AAC strategy consisted of symbols and voice output communication aids (VOCAs).
The Effects of Using a VOCA to Teach Greetings to Young Children with Autism.
RUSSELL LANG (Lake Travis Independent School District), Melissa L. Olive (University of Texas, Austin), Jennifer K. Burns (University of Texas, RISE School), Laura Brown (The Westview School), Amy Narbut (Infant Parent), Jessica Kerfoot (Moore-Weis School for Children), Hsiaoying Chen (University of Texas, Austin)
Abstract: Children with autism and other developmental disabilities often have delays in communication and social interaction. VOCAs have been used successfully to teach a variety of communication skills. While greeting skills have been taught to children with disabilities (e.g., Barry et al., 2003; Simpson, Langone, & Ayers, 2004), VOCAs have not been used to teach this skill. Therefore, this study sought to teach a social greeting to children with autism and developmental disabilities using a VOCA. A second purpose was to assess for generalization of the greeting skill across behavior therapists. If generalization did not occur spontaneously, systematic training across therapists was used using the method, “train sufficient exemplars”. The results showed rapid skill acquisition for one children using naturalistic intervention. However 1 child needed training using a discrete trial format. Once the greeting skill was acquired, generalization was observed to other therapists. Two children began vocalizing the greeting.
The Effects of Using a VOCA to Teach Attention Requesting to a Young Child with Autism.
TONYA NICHOLE DAVIS (University of Texas, Austin), Melissa L. Olive (University of Texas, Austin), Russell Lang (Lake Travis Independent School District), Berenice de la Cruz (University of Texas, Austin), Chia-Hui Ma (University of Texas, Austin)
Abstract: Functional Communication Training is one intervention that may be used to address challenging behavior. However, when the new topography of the behavior requires more response effort than the existing topography (i.e., challenging behavior), skill acquisition may be slow. One way of lessening the response effort of the new communicative skill is to use a Voice Output Communication Aid (VOCA) where only a button pressing response is needed. This study examined the use of a 4-button VOCA to teach attention requesting to a 4-year-old with autism. The child learned to use the VOCA and she began verbalizing the request. Additionally, following intervention she used fewer pronoun reversals than in baseline.
Invited Paper Session #329
CE Offered: BACB

On the Utility of the Concept of Automatic Reinforcement in Applied Behavior Analysis

Monday, May 29, 2006
11:00 AM–11:50 AM
Centennial Ballroom II
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
CE Instructor: Melissa L. Olive, Ph.D.
Chair: Kent Johnson (Morningside Academy)
TIMOTHY R. VOLLMER (University of Florida)
Dr. Timothy R. Vollmer received his Ph.D. from the University of Florida in 1992. From 1992 until 1996 he was on the psychology faculty at Louisiana State University. From 1996 to 1998 he was on the faculty at the University of Pennsylvania Medical School. He returned to the University of Florida in 1998 and is now an Associate Professor of Psychology and recently was named Research Foundation Professor. His primary area of research is applied behavior analysis, with emphases in developmental disabilities, reinforcement schedules, and parenting. He has published over 80 articles and book chapters related to behavior analysis. He was the recipient of the 1996 B.F. Skinner New Researcher award from the American Psychological Association (APA). He received another APA award in August, 2004 for significant contributions to applied behavior analysis. Currently, he is principal investigator for a collaborative project with the Florida Department of Children and Families, teaching parenting skills to foster parents. In addition, his research in developmental disabilities runs the basic-to-applied gamut with studies in an operant rat lab, a human operant lab, and school-based assessments and treatments of behavior disorders.

Automatic reinforcement refers to (positive or negative) reinforcement in the absence of social mediation. Despite early discussions of automatic reinforcement by Skinner and other eminent behaviorists (e.g., Michael), the concept of automatic reinforcement was not widely discussed or incorporated into applied research until the last couple of decades or so. Now, the notion of automatic reinforcement is widespread in applied research and practice. The presenter will show data reflecting the increasing trend of studies on automatic reinforcement. A result of the recent proliferation of research is that we now have enough data to at least begin exploring questions about the utility of the automatic reinforcement concept. While discussing a range of advantages and disadvantages of the concept, the presenter will reach two very general conclusions: 1. The concept of automatic reinforcement is useful because it draws attention to the fact that not all reinforcement is socially mediated, but 2. The concept of automatic reinforcement is limiting when and if it detracts from an analysis of specific stimuli and events that may function as reinforcement.

Symposium #342
CE Offered: BACB
An Evaluation of Clinical Procedures in Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention Programs for Children with Autism
Monday, May 29, 2006
1:30 PM–2:50 PM
Regency VII
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Janice K. Doney (University of Nevada, Reno)
Discussant: JiYeon H. Yoo (Center for Autism and Related Disorders)
CE Instructor: Janice K. Doney, M.A.

This symposium addresses effects of clinical procedures that may be encountered in an early intensive behavioral intervention program for children with autism. The first paper is a discussion of an analysis on the effects of decreases in number of treatment hours per week on accuracy of performance on previously mastered tasks and problem behavior. The second paper is a discussion of an examination of whether vocal or non-vocal feedback following an incorrect response is more effective in teaching a child with autism a new skill. The third paper is a discussion of the comparison of retention of academic skills following fluency-based versus discrete trial instruction with children with autism.

Analysis of the Effects of Decreases in Treatment Hours during Early Intervention for Children with Autism.
SIENNA GREENER-WOOTEN (Center for Autism and Related Disorders), Rachel S. F. Tarbox (Center for Autism and Related Disorders), Jonathan J. Tarbox (Center for Autism and Related Disorders), JiYeon H. Yoo (Center for Autism and Related Disorders), Doreen Granpeesheh (Center for Autism and Related Disorders)
Abstract: There is no consensus regarding the optimum number of hours per week of ABA based intervention for children diagnosed with autism. Previous authors have suggested that more than ten hours per week of ABA treatment is necessary to affect significant change (e.g. Lovaas, O.I., 1987; Smith et al, 1997), however, one study found no correlation between change in IQ scores and number of intervention hours per week (Sheinkopf & Siegel, 1998). There are a number of ways to interpret this finding (e.g. perhaps more impaired children received more intensive therapy), but no one has empirically evaluated this as of yet. Moreover, other previous investigators have suggested that 30 to 40 hours per week of therapy results in the greatest treatment gains (for a review see Smith 1999), however often times this recommended level of intervention is not met. Decrements in treatment hours resulting from circumstances such as decreases in funding for services or frequent or prolonged absences from treatment (i.e., for vacation or due to illness) often occur. However, the effects of such circumstances on treatment efficacy have yet to be evaluated. An analysis on the effects of decreases in number of treatment hours per week on accuracy of performance on previously mastered tasks and problem behavior will be presented.
Effects of Vocal and Non-Vocal Feedback on Discrete Trial Instruction with Young Children with Autism.
AMY KENZER (University of Nevada, Reno), Ginger R. Wilson (University of Nevada, Reno), Patrick M. Ghezzi (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: Discrete trial instruction has been demonstrated to be very effective in the education of children with autism. However, it is unknown whether vocal or non-vocal feedback following an incorrect response is more effective in teaching a child a new skill. Due to deficits in language development, vocal feedback following an incorrect response (i.e., “No” or “Try again”) may be confused with vocal feedback following a correct response (i.e., “Yes” or “That’s right”). Thus, vocal feedback in general may be reinforcing and lead to continued incorrect responding. Non-vocal feedback following an incorrect response may be less likely confused with the consequence for a correct response. Unfortunately, very little documentation is available to demonstrate that either type of feedback following incorrect responses leads to faster acquisition of a new skill. This study compared vocal and non-vocal feedback on the rate of acquisition of a novel task using discrete trial instruction.
A Comparison of Discrete Trial Instruction and Fluency Instruction on Retention of Academic Tasks with Young Children with Autism.
AMY KENZER (University of Nevada, Reno), Patrick M. Ghezzi (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: The use of discrete trials procedures is currently viewed as the method of choice for educating individuals with disabilities. Fluency instruction, in contrast, is rarely implemented with children with autism. Further, investigations concerning potential beneficial outcomes of fluent performance have primarily included undergraduate students. Thus, the extent to which benefits of fluency instruction extends to individuals with developmental disabilities is not known. The retention of academic skills was assessed up to 21 weeks following fluency and discrete trial instruction with children with autism.
Symposium #345
CE Offered: BACB
Behavioral Parent Training in Child Welfare
Monday, May 29, 2006
1:30 PM–2:50 PM
Area: CBM; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Kristin Mayfield (University of Florida)
Discussant: John R. Lutzker (C.D.C.)
CE Instructor: Kristin Mayfield, Ph.D.

Three presentations will examine the role of behavioral parent training within the context of child welfare. The first presentation will evaluate program outcomes for the University of Florida Behavior Analysis Services Program (UF-BASP), which provides behavioral parent training to caregivers of children who have been abused and/or neglected and who are currently involved in the child welfare system in Florida. The evaluations will involve both large scale (i.e., over hundreds of caregivers) and single-subject evaluations of the effectiveness of the program at a) teaching parenting skills and b) increasing placement stability for children in foster care. The second presentation will describe a systematic replication of the UF-BASP being conducted at the University of North Texas. Descriptions of the projects progress and future plans will be provided. Our final presentation will describe a behavioral parent training program for parents at risk of committing child maltreatment. Single-subject data on improved parent and child behaviors as a function of parent training will be presented.

The Behavior Analysis Services Program and Caregiver Training: Evaluations of Program Effectiveness.
CAROLE M. VAN CAMP (University of Florida), Janet L. Montgomery (University of Florida, Behavior Analysis Services Program), Han-Leong Goh (University of Florida), Timothy R. Vollmer (University of Florida)
Abstract: One of the primary objectives of the Behavior Analysis Initiative involves improving caregiver parenting skills, with the ultimate goals to decrease placement disruptions (the movement of a foster child from one foster home to another) from the homes of trained foster parents. Over the last 4 years, hundreds of caregivers have completed a 30-hour positive parenting course, during which 9 parenting skills are taught. Parent performance on these skills is measured on the first day of class (pre-test) and on the last day of class (post-test) via role-play assessments. Hundreds of caregivers have demonstrated an increase in accurate skill use following the completion of the course. Data on caregiver performance on these A-B assessments will be presented. In addition, more controlled evaluations of caregiver performance, which include repeated measures of parent performance and multiple-baseline across skills designs will be presented for a smaller sample of caregivers. Next, data on the effectiveness of the program in increasing the length of placements for individual children will be presented. Finally, the effects of “booster” remedial training on parent performance on skills assessments will be described.
Reducing Child Maltreatment in Texas: The Texas Child Welfare Project.
AARON A. JONES (, Richard G. Smith (University of North Texas), Kerri P. Berard (University of North Texas), Kathleen S. Laino (University of North Texas), Michelle S. Greenspan (University of North Texas), Anna Whaley Carr (University of North Texas), Roxanne L. Wolf (University of North Texas), Carla M. Smith (University of North Texas)
Abstract: Last year, the Department of Behavior Analysis at the University of North Texas created a service-learning program to serve child victims of abuse and neglect. The Behavior Analysis Resource Center has established relationships with local and regional organizations and agencies to provide services to parents. Initiated as a systematic replication of the Florida Department of Children and Families' foster parent training program, this project soon developed its own identity as it adapted to the meet the specific needs of the Texas child welfare system. The project, though young, has already begun to produce some impressive results. This presentation offers a description of this project’s inception and growth, its progress so far, and some plans and expectations for the future. Recent accomplishments include the development of a curriculum for training professional personnel to deliver the parent training modules, establishment of a practicum experience for graduate students interested in conducting parent training and delivering related services, and delivery of a five-week sequence of classes to parents referred for intervention from Texas’ Department of Families and Protective Services.
Parent Training for Parents At-Risk for Child Maltreatment: Prevention through Intervention.
JENNIFER L. CROCKETT (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Meagan Gregory (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Michael F. Cataldo (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Abstract: We evaluated a Behavioral Parent Training program for parents at risk of Child Maltreatment that focused on increasing parent-child interaction and increasing parents’ effective use of instructions and behavior management skills. Additional targets included increasing child compliance with parental instruction and decreasing child inappropriate behavior. Such parent and child behaviors are related to a trajectory or pathway that begins with poor parenting, Child Maltreatment, disruption of families, and eventually leads to delinquency, violence, and other negative physical and mental health outcomes. Training consisted of didactic instruction, modeling, role-playing, and feedback. Training was conducted in a multiple-baseline design across Child-Lead Play, Parent-Lead Play, and Parent-Lead Demand conditions. Following training, we evaluated the effects of providing live feedback to parents while they worked directly with their children (coaching sessions). Results indicated improvements in parent behavior across conditions following training with further improvements following coaching sessions. Similar improvements were observed with child compliance and behaviors. Parent and child gains continued across generalization and maintenance sessions. Inter-rater reliability was assessed across 49% of sessions, and ranged from 78.44 – 100 (mean 91.77).
Symposium #350
CE Offered: BACB
From Chaos to Competence: Implementing ABA Instructional Technology and Procedures in Pre-School Through High School Classrooms
Monday, May 29, 2006
1:30 PM–2:50 PM
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Janet Ellis (University of North Texas)
CE Instructor: Janet Ellis, Ph.D.

Instruction oftentimes includes more than delivering academic material to students in well-organized, smoothly running classrooms. Behavioral consultants are invited into classrooms where problematic behavior and lack of instructional technology run rampant. These papers include successful interventions conducted in vastly different academic settings: from PPCD classrooms for pre-schoolers with seriously disruptive behavior to a special education life skills classroom wherein one child was taught to feed herself and to walk independently to 3 high school teen-agers with severe reading deficits in regular education classrooms. The 4th paper describes an experiment in literacy training conducted in 2 PPCD classrooms for children ages 3-1/2 to 5 years old. In all of these settings behavioral technology came to the rescue when traditional academic instruction had failed or, due to the ages of the students, had never been undertaken. All data will be presented in graphic formats and a short video clip will also be included.

Introducing Environmental Restructuring, Academic Tasks, Staff Training, and Individualized Teaching Materials into a PPCD Classroom.
JANET ELLIS (University of North Texas), Brook B. Wheetley (Spectrum Center)
Abstract: This intervention was designed to meet the needs of the 13 different preschool students in morning and afternoon classes. Because of teacher frustration with problematic behavior exhibited by 4 of the 7 students in the morning class and 3 of the 6 children in the afternoon class, we targeted individualized interventions for these 7 while also focusing on necessary environmental changes and individualized academic training for all students in both classes. Relocation of activity areas, discontinuing “open center” activities, providing sound cues for staff and students, establishing a 1-on-1 training area for academics, and staff training were the primary environmental program changes. Also, individualized interventions for these 7 students were designed and implemented. Data will be presented in graphed formats.
Yes We Can! Teaching Reading to Pre-Schoolers with DD using Fluency-Based Instructional Technology.
SARAH A. LAW (University of North Texas)
Abstract: One-on-one trainers taught reading skills to pre-school children with developmental disabilities. The 6 participants, ages 4 to 5, were trained to expressively and receptively identify sounds and blends in a discrete trial format. Individualized training occurred for 15-30 minutes/day/child. When students met 90% mastery criterion for each letter sound both expressively and receptively, fluency-based instruction was introduced. Fluency-based instruction consisted of short timings that included mastered letter sounds following by timings of blends and short words. Pre-and post data are presented in graphed formats showing the week-to-week progress of each student.
Developing Reading Repertoires for Teenaged-High School Nonreaders: Success Story with A Bittersweet Ending.
LISA G. FALKE (University of North Texas)
Abstract: NCLB mandates that schools will be accountable for student reading and math test scores regardless of student skill level. In a pilot program for 3 high school non-readers: 2 entered training on 8 November 2004; 1, on 24 January 2005. They attended two 1-hr training sessions/day. In addition to reading, comprehension was also targeted as all students, regardless of skill level, took an NCLB-mandated reading achievement test in April 2005. Teaching materials included the Morningside Phonics Fluency, DISTAR Decoding, and the SRA Specific Skill Series. The morning training session focused on training fluent decoding, while afternoons trained reading comprehension. Baseline and post training data will be presented in graphed format. The bittersweet ending was that after the pilot project and school administration saw that reading skills could be improved significantly over a short time span the administrators decided to hire a “reading specialist” to train all the non-readers in the 11-12th grades.
Teaching Critical Survival Skills (Self-Feeding, Drinking, Walking) for Long-Term Retention.
JASON C. COHEN (University of North Texas)
Abstract: Early intervention is important in building functional skills into behavioral repertoires of children with disabilities. A 4-year-old girl with multiple disabilities in a PPCD classroom could not walk without assistance, feed herself, drink independently, or imitate adaptive behavior. The purpose of the intervention was to shape skills including independent walking, self-feeding, independent drinking, gross motor imitation, and the use of a picture based communication system. Walking was trained using most to least prompting (first standing alone then walking) and access to preferred items contingent on independent standing and walking. Self-feeding and drinking were trained using hand-over-hand prompting and a prompt fading procedure. Gross motor imitation was also trained using hand-over-hand prompting, prompt fading, and access to preferred items contingent on approximations of imitative behavior. The picture communication system was introduced initially by using photographs of preferred items. Data indicate the progress made in all skill sets.
Symposium #355
CE Offered: BACB
Implementing an Evidence Based Educational Program for Children with Autism: What are the Characteristics of a Good ABA Classroom?
Monday, May 29, 2006
1:30 PM–2:50 PM
Regency V
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Michael F. Dorsey (Vinfen Corporation & Simmons College)
Discussant: Patricia A. Gonzalez (U.S. Department of Education)
CE Instructor: Michael F. Dorsey, Ph.D.

The primary focus of this symposium will be to discuss the concurrence between the federal regulations requiring evidence-based practices found in the No Child Left Behind Act of 2003, as well as in the 2001, the U.S. Department of Educations Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) report by the National Research Council on the education of children diagnosed with autism, and the generally accepted educational practices of Applied Behavior Analysis. The participants will first to operationally define evidence-based, and second to describe an externally validated process by which a research literature might be reviewed systematically. Next, a review of the evidence base and present survey data on the types, characteristics, intensity, and combinations of services approved, as opposed to recommended, will be presented for very young children. Finally, an objective measurement system for evaluating educational services, based on current literature, will be presented with examples taken form actual assessments. The Discussant, from the Education Sciences -- U.S. Department of Education, will comment on the implications of these regulations on special education services for children with Autism.

Evidence-Based Practice in Autism: Why We Need It and What it Is.
JOSEPH N. RICCIARDI (National Autism Center)
Abstract: Over the past several years the demand for educational and intervention services for children with autism and related conditions has risen. A range of approaches are presently popular and widely available. However, few of these approaches are supported by scientific evidence, though most claim such. In addition, a veritable “cottage-industry” of interventions and products with claims of efficacy and even cure for autism has emerged. No doubt, a rationale for identifying what constitutes evidence of effectiveness would help families, educators, and policy-makers. The purpose of this presentation is to 1) operationally define evidence-based, 2) describe an externally validated process by which a research literature might be reviewed systematically and with care to reduce bias, in order to identify evidence-based interventions, and 3) to report current thinking on which programmatic and procedural interventions for autism presently meet criteria as “evidence-based”. This presentation includes both theoretical/conceptual material, service delivery recommendations, and data.
Evidenced Based Practices in ABA: Application to Early Intervention and Preschool Programs.
RAYMOND G. ROMANCZYK (Institute for Child Development), Jennifer M. Gillis Mattson (State University of New York, Binghamton)
Abstract: Prior to participation in ABA classrooms, many children receive services as part of Early Intervention programs, home programs, and preschool programs. Great controversy exists as to which treatment approaches, and what treatment intensities, are appropriate for very young children. We briefly review the evidence base and present survey data on the types, characteristics, intensity, and combinations of services approved, as opposed to recommended, for very young children. Appropriate program characteristics are presented in the context of the rapid developmental changes for children 1-5 years of age. ABA programs for children in this age group are critiqued for poor goal selection and poor repertoire assembly, as well as poor procedural integrity. Supposed evidenced based programs must meet the boundary conditions of the research protocol if use of the now ubiquitous self-promotion of ‘evidenced based practice’ is to be claimed. Quality control indicators for consumers are presented.
The Use of Applied Behavior Analysis in the Education of Children With Autism: What is a “Good ABA Classroom?”
MICHAEL F. DORSEY (Simmons College), Katherine A. Johnson (Advances Learning Center and Simmons College)
Abstract: The use of Applied Behavior Analysis is widely recommended for use in the education of children with autism, including: support from the United States Surgeon General, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education, the National Science Foundation, the New York Department of Health Clinical Practices, among others. Educational services for children diagnosed with Pervasive Developmental Disorder/Autism, requires consistent attention to detail, including the application of scientifically validated educational approaches (No Child Left Behind Act of 2003). However, in a review of the current literature, no objective definition of what constitutes the critical components of such services is found. This presentation will attempt to clarify this issue, by combining various recommendations from numerous publications and other sources. In addition, an objective assessment tool for the evaluation of classrooms will be presented for use by teachers, administrators and evaluators.
Panel #359
CE Offered: BACB
Positive Behavioral Support and Applied Behavior Analysis: Is there a necessary distinction?
Monday, May 29, 2006
1:30 PM–2:50 PM
Centennial Ballroom III
Area: AUT/DDA; Domain: Applied Research
CE Instructor: David A. Celiberti, Ph.D.
Chair: David A. Celiberti (Private Practice)
JAMES E. CARR (Western Michigan University)
GLEN DUNLAP (University of South Florida)
GINA GREEN (San Diego State University)
LEN LEVIN (Coyne & Associates)

For the last 15 years, the field has witnessed much interest in the area of Positive Behavioral Support (PBS) as reflected by conference events, published literature, and the formation of the PBS SIG. This burgeoning interest has been met with concerns about the need for a new school of thought, the potential for misconceptions and schisms to arise, and the extent to which PBS actually falls under the umbrella of ABA. In recent years, there have been a few attempts to address the relationship between Positive Behavioral Support and Applied Behavior Analysis. Unfortunately, some of these discussions have been not been constructive, were often one sided, and may even be perceived as contentious. This topic deserves a professional and balanced dialogue. To that end, the panel will tackle this critically important matter and be comprised of individuals with rather divergent perspectives.

Symposium #362
CE Offered: BACB
Recent Research on Establishing Operation Manipulations
Monday, May 29, 2006
1:30 PM–2:50 PM
Centennial Ballroom IV
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Henry S. Roane (Marcus Autism Center and Emory University School of Medicine)
Discussant: F. Charles Mace (University of Southern Maine)
CE Instructor: Henry S. Roane, Ph.D.

In the past 20 years, a number of applied investigations have examined the relative influence of motivational variables on responding during reinforcement-based programs for individuals with developmental disabilities. One category of such variables that has been the subject of considerable research is establishing operations (EOs). An EO is an environmental event that has two effects on behavior: (a) it changes (increases or decreases) motivation for a particular reinforcer; and (b) it changes (increases or decreases) the probability of responses that have produced that reinforcer in the past. The present symposium will focus on three recent areas of research in which EOs have been used to influence appropriate behavior. Collectively, these studies will examine (a) the establishment and termination of reflexive conditioned EOs, (b) the modification of reflexive conditioned EOs to increase in-seat behavior, and (c) the effects of peer observations on item preferences.

Basic and Applied Analyses of Reflexive Conditioned Establishing Operations.
MICHAEL E. KELLEY (Marcus Autism Center and Emory University School of Medicine), Joanna Lomas (Marcus Autism Center), Robert-Ryan S. Pabico (Marcus Autism Center), Michael J. Schafer (Marcus Autism Center), Karen Myers (Marcus Autism Center), Henry S. Roane (Marcus Autism Center and Emory University School of Medicine)
Abstract: Results of previous research have shown that establishing operation manipulations can influence responding during assessments of preference (e.g., Gottschalk, Libby, & Graff, 2000; Zhou, Iwata, & Shore, 2002), assessment of problem behavior (e.g., Iwata, Dorsey, Slifer, Bauman, & Richman, 1994), assessment of reinforcement efficacy (e.g., Vollmer & Iwata, 1991), and treatment (e.g., Mace & Lalli, 1991). However, the influence of conditioned establishing operations (CEO) on responding has not been well evaluated in the literature (McGill, 1999; Michael, 2000). In the current study, we evaluated the extent to which (1) CEO relations may be generated and terminated and (2) applied treatments may be enhanced as a result of the identification and/or manipulation of CEOs. Thus, the purpose of Experiments 1 was to demonstrate a methodology to both establish and extinguish reflexive CEO relations in a basic arrangement. The purpose of Experiment 2 was to provide an applied example of a reflexive CEO relation and demonstrate its potential for enhancing assessment and treatment development.
Manipulating Reflexive Conditioned Establishing Operations with Young Children with PDD.
M. ALICE SHILLINGSBURG (Marcus Autism Center), Steven Shapiro (Auburn University)
Abstract: Previous research has demonstrated the effects of manipulating establishing operations (EO) on the effectiveness of items as reinforcement (e.g., Vollmer & Iwata, 1991), preferences for tangible items (e.g., McAdam et al., 2005), and problem behavior (e.g., McComas, Thompson, &Johnson, 2003). Much research on EO has focused on deprivation and satiation effects, whereas little research has been conducted on the manipulation of conditioned EO (CEO), such as surrogate, transitive, and reflexive CEO. We examined the effects of manipulating reflexive CEO on in-seat behavior during instructional tasks. In phase 1, two children diagnosed with Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) were administered tasks during 10-min demand sessions. In phase 2, one therapist removed demands and paired the teaching environment with the participant’s preferred activities while a second therapist continued to conduct demand sessions. In phase 3, both therapists conducted demand sessions. Results indicated that (1) in-seat behavior during demands was higher and aberrant behavior was lower following pairing and (2) pairing the teaching environment with the child’s preferred activities established interacting with the therapist as reinforcement and evoked behaviors that prolonged that interaction. Results are discussed in terms of the benefits of manipulating reflexive EO prior to demand presentation.
Peer Observations as an Establishing Operation for Preschool Play Materials.
JENNIFER LYNNE BRUZEK (University of Kansas), Rachel H. Thompson (University of Kansas)
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of peer observations on the reinforcing value of toys among preschoolers. A 10-item paired choice preference assessment was conducted to identify a preference hierarchy. Based on the results of that assessment, a reinforcer assessment was conducted wherein the most highly preferred item and the least preferred item were presented along with a control (no item) to test the relative reinforcing effects of those stimuli. Data collectors recorded the frequency or duration of the target response and interobserver agreement was assessed during a minimum of 30% of all sessions with a mean agreement of above 85% for all participants. During baseline, no peer observation was conducted, and participants responded consistently for the high-preference item. Participants then observed a peer playing with one of the items for 2 min prior to each reinforcer assessment session. During the peer observation phases, the participants consistently responded for access to the toy manipulated by the peer during pre-session observation, independent of initial preference for that item. These data suggest that preschooler preferences may be, in part, a result of peer observation.
Symposium #368
CE Offered: BACB
An Analysis of Stimulus-Stimulus Pairing Procedures for Increasing Language in Children with Autism
Monday, May 29, 2006
3:00 PM–4:20 PM
Chicago A-F
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Laura Lee McIntyre (Syracuse University)
Discussant: Meredith S. Needelman (AMAC)
CE Instructor: Laura Lee McIntyre, Ph.D.

Stimulus-stimulus pairing has been suggested as a means by which children learn language, and therefore a means by which children with lagging language skills may be taught to communicate. Studies presented will address the effectiveness of stimulus-stimulus pairing procedures with augmentative communication, manding procedures, and comparisons of stimulus-stimulus pairing with contingent reinforcement procedures.

Stimulus-stimulus Pairing Used with Augmentative Communication for Students with Autism.
BOBBY NEWMAN (Room to Grow), Rocio E. Chavez (AMAC), Laura Lee McIntyre (Syracuse University), Debora Harris (ELIJA Foundation), Nicole Dibra (ELIJA Foundation)
Abstract: Stimulus-stimulus pairing procedures have been described as a means of teaching language to children with autism. The literature has focused exclusively on spoken responses, however. In this paper, the use of stimulus-stimulus pairing will be examined with an augmentative communication system.
Stimulus-stimulus Pairing used to Teach Manding in Students with Autism.
ROCIO E. CHAVEZ (AMAC), Tammy Hammond Natof (EPIC), Laura Lee McIntyre (Syracuse University), Bobby Newman (Room to Grow)
Abstract: Stimulus-stimulus pairing procedures have been described as a means of increasing language. Several published studies, however, have focused on phonemic responses that had no meaning to a listener. The current study will examine such a procedure applied to manding in students with autism.
Stimulus-stimulus Pairing Versus Direct Reinforcement for Increasing Language in Students with Autism.
LAURA LEE MCINTYRE (Syracuse University), Bobby Newman (Room to Grow), Rocio E. Chavez (AMAC)
Abstract: Stimulus-stimulus pairing procedures have been recommended as a means of increasing language. There is no direct reinforcement of a spoken response within such procedures, however. The stimulus-stimulus pairing procedure will be compared with a direct contingent reinforcement procedure for increasing language in students with autism.
Symposium #373
CE Offered: BACB
Behavioral Developmental Approaches to Interventions with People and Organizations
Monday, May 29, 2006
3:00 PM–4:20 PM
Area: DEV; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Patrice Marie Miller (Salem State College)
CE Instructor: Patrice Marie Miller, Ed.D.

We examine how the Model of Hierarchical Complexity, a behavioral-developmental model of stage-like development, improves interventions with people and organizations. Behavior analytic techniques are helpful in bringing about the acquisition of single behaviors in a sequence. But almost all ABA approaches are limited to the acquisition of 2 or 3 behaviors in a sequence. Each sequence has to be discovered on its own. Here, we address some issues which people and organizations find difficult. We examine how elemental behaviors are formed into complex behaviors, and those in turn are formed into even more complex behaviors. The more complex behaviors are more than chains; they are defined in terms of the elemental behaviors and organize them. This model identifies what new behaviors must be more hierarchically complex, specifying the sequence of actions that would be most helpful. It also helps identify what current behaviors can be combined to form a more complex combination and what the entire sequence of increasingly more complex behaviors should be. With a universal notion of how complex behaviors are formed, many problematic issues stand a better chance of being successfully solved. Using this model, we address interventions with interpersonal and social relationships, teachers, and organizations.

Organizing Components into Combinations: How Transition Works.
MICHAEL LAMPORT COMMONS (Harvard Medical School)
Abstract: To plan how to intervene in problems that people and organizations may have, it is important to understand both the new behavior to be acquired and the means by which the intervention is to proceed. The Model of Hierarchical Complexity, a non-mentalistic model of development, suggests that more complex behavior results from non-arbitrarily combining two or more less complex behaviors. The resulting combinations are not arbitrary chains, but instead, new, more powerful behaviors that can be shown to more effectively address the problems at hand. Using this model as a generator, sequences of tasks can be constructed. These sequences, as will be illustrated in this symposium, allow specification of both prerequisite behaviors, and the behavioral goals of interventions. Performance of a task at a particular order of complexity is said to be at a particular stage. Transition from one stage to the next is posited to consist of alternations in previous-stage behavior. As transition proceeds, the alternations increase in rate until the previous stage behaviors are “smashed” together. Once the smashed-together pieces became co-ordinated, new-combination behavior can be said to have formed. This view of transition is used to make suggestions for interventions in the papers that follow.
Teaching Stages and Interventions to Change Teacher Stage.
PATRICE MARIE MILLER (Salem State University)
Abstract: We present a sequence of minimal behavioral developmental stages at which teaching takes place. The stages range from the Primary Stage, exhibited by many Teacher’s Aids, who are closely supervised, to the Concrete stage for the early grades of Elementary School in which teachers carry out an established curriculum, to Formal Operations for High School teachers, and Systematic stage for four-year college instructors. Metasystematic performance is required to design an entire educational enterprise such as computer aided instruction that works really well. Serious problems occur with concrete and abstract stage performance. Formal stage performance is needed to have the skills to provide empirically based solutions to individual student problems. But with extensive training and support, people who normally function at the abstract stage may also solve such problems. Performing at a higher stages may increase the teacher’s effectiveness but may lead individuals to leave teaching at that level for better opportunities. Following the overall model of how to bring about transition, when individual’s current strategies of doing things fail, sets the conditions for them try different behaviors. If new behaviors modeled and reinforced stage change may take place.
Deficits in “Attachment Stages” in Adults and Suggested Interventions for Each Stage.
SUSANNE T. LEE (Dare Institute)
Abstract: The Model of Hierarchical Complexity has generated descriptions of predictable sequential behavioral changes in close relationships with others. Here, we argue that behaviors characteristic of each stage determine what kinds of interventions to carry out. For example, the Preoperational stage is characteristic of young children do not differentiate between individual’s their fantasies and reality, and tend to provide magical explanations for occurrences. This stage is usually seen only in highly disordered adults, such the most dangerous prisoners. Suggested interventions focus on providing supervision and support to understand others’ perspectives and to differentiate fantasy from reality. At the formal stage -- the adult modal stage -- individuals generate simple one-cause models for explaining behavior of themselves and others. As a result, formal operational explanations of relationships often include blaming the other or oneself for relationship problems. Because of the greater tendency of individuals at this stage to reflect upon their own behavior, the strategy is to expose them to situations in seeing how each person’s behavior contributes to the success and failures. This may occur during impasses when focusing on the bidirectional interaction begins to improve both individuals’ behavior.
Bringing About Changes in Workplace Behavior.
MICHAEL LAMPORT COMMONS (Harvard Medical School)
Abstract: stage organizations are characterized by bureaucracy, and one-dimensional logically-understood regulations. Systematic stage organizations look to the purpose of regulations, balance multiple relationships to achieve goals. We propose that the hierarchical complexity of the contingencies that constitute a particular workplace atmosphere affects how the individuals within it behave. Individual’s stage of performance is described by the hierarchical complexity of the task demands and contingencies that they discriminate and prefer. Most organizations have short lives because below the Metasystematic stage, conformity is valued over creativity. Organizations that show unchanging allegiance to their founders and their principles do not flourish in the long run. Organizations that are democratic are also less creative, especially those relying on a popularity vote. At the metasystematic stage, the contingencies tend to be based upon absolute creative achievement alone, not popularity. Research universities and start-ups are the exceptional organizations and many tend to be organized using metasystematic principles. Some companies are also experimenting in being “learning” organizations by reorganizing along the lines of research universities.
Symposium #374
CE Offered: BACB
Behavioral Economic Applications in Individuals with Developmental Disabilities
Monday, May 29, 2006
3:00 PM–4:20 PM
Centennial Ballroom IV
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Iser Guillermo DeLeon (Johns Hopkins University)
Discussant: Steven R. Hursh (Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine & SAIC)
CE Instructor: Iser Guillermo DeLeon, Ph.D.

In behavioral economics, reinforcement contingencies are viewed as transactions in which work (responding/behavior) is exchanged for a commodity (a reinforcer or stimulus). Overall consumption of a commodity is determined as a function of its price (work or response requirements), often in relation to the availability and price of concurrently available commodities that vary with respect to the degree to which they substitute for the first. Investigators have recently begun to explore behavioral economic relations in the response allocation of individuals with developmental disabilities, most notably with the aim of interpreting responding under various experimental constraints related to enhancing habilitative efforts. The present symposium will further discuss ongoing research in translating behavioral economic theory into practical application for individuals with developmental disabilities. Collectively, the presentations will examine (a) the relation between relative stimulus preference and demand and response output functions; (b) consumption of various reinforcers examined through demand and work functions derived from progressive-ratio schedules; (c) and the influence of unit price on response output in the context of treating problem behavior.

Demand and Response Output Functions for High and Low Preference Stimuli.
WILLIAM H. AHEARN (New England Center for Children), Kathleen M. Clark (New England Center for Children), Kacie Burregi (New England Center for Children), William V. Dube (University of Massachusetts Medical School, E.K. Shriver Center)
Abstract: Behavioral economics views behavior as a transaction between the supply of a functional consequence and the demand for it whereby the amount of reinforcer accessed is analyzed with respect to the responding that was emitted for that access. Demand and response output functions are generated by exposing behavior to varying contingencies for access to a specific reinforcer. This presentation will describe the demand and response output functions obtained for commodities identified as either high or low preference during paired stimulus preference assessment. A discussion of the preference assessment procedures will follow presentation of the results of the study. Steady state responding was obtained with several variable ratio schedules (from VR6 up to a maximum of VR45) for access to both high and low preference commodities. A progressive ratio (PR) exposure to the same schedule values was conducted after the maximum VR schedule was completed for each item. Demand and response output functions are presented for each of these analyses. Generally, demand and response output functions were systematic with responding for the high preference item occurring at higher levels relative to the lower preference item. Results were not always systematic for the PR exposures to the same schedule values.
The Utility of Progressive Ratio Schedules to Determine Reinforcer Value: An Economic Analysis.
HENRY S. ROANE (Marcus Autism Center and Emory University School of Medicine), Ashley C. Glover (Marcus Autism Center), Michael E. Kelley (Marcus Autism Center and Emory University), Robert-Ryan S. Pabico (Marcus Autism Center), Joanna Lomas (Marcus Autism Center)
Abstract: Progressive ratio (PR) schedules allow for the examination of responding under multiple schedule values that increase throughout the course of a single experimental observation. As such, PR schedules provide a method for briefly determining the relative value of a reinforcer. Despite this utility, relatively few studies have examined the usefulness of PR schedules in applied setting. In this presentation, sample data will be presented in which PR schedules were used to evaluate the relative value of reinforcers for individuals with developmental disabilities. Specifically, data will be presented in which PR schedules were used to evaluate the efficacy of different reinforcers when (a) the reinforcers were presented in a single- or concurrent-operant arrangement, and (b) different magnitudes of similar reinforcers are presented under PR schedules. Responding for and consumption of various reinforcers will be presented by examining demand and work functions. Results will be discussed in terms of procedural differences that might affect responding for reinforcers under PR schedules.
Applying the Concept of Unit Price to Severe Problem Behavior: A Descriptive Analysis.
JOHN C. BORRERO (University of the Pacific), Monica T. Francisco (University of the Pacific), Alayna T. Haberlin (University of the Pacific), Noel A. Ross (University of the Pacific), Sandeep K. Sran (University of the Pacific), Jamie Bartels (University of the Pacific)
Abstract: We evaluated behavior exhibited by several individuals with developmental disabilities using the behavioral economic conceptualization of unit price. Descriptive observations were conducted during interactions between the participants and their primary care providers in a clinical laboratory environment, the participants’ home or school. Data were recorded on potential reinforcers and problem behavior. After identifying reinforcers for each participant’s problem behavior by way of functional analysis, the descriptive data were analyzed retrospectively, using the concept of unit price. Results showed that in some, but not all cases, overall response output decreased, when unit price increased. The results represent an extension of the concept of unit price to severe problem behavior under naturally occurring environmental conditions.
Invited Symposium #375
CE Offered: BACB
Cambridge Center Symposium: The Accreditation of Behavioral Applications: Promoting Evidence-Based Practices
Monday, May 29, 2006
3:00 PM–4:20 PM
Centennial Ballroom I
Area: OBM; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Dwight Harshbarger (Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies)
Discussant: Dwight Harshbarger (Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies)
CE Instructor: Dwight Harshbarger, Ph.D.

Behavior analysis is engaged in a competition to determine whether services aimed at making positive changes in behavior and in the impact or results of behavior will be based on demonstrably effective methods or left to tradition, professional custom, and union or guild protection. If the arbiters of success are uninformed client choices, testimonials, and unsubstantiated claims, that competition may not be winnable. If client choices can be based on evidence of effectiveness, services grounded in applied behavior analysis have a higher probability of being chosen. In addition, evidence-based decisions may provide a method to help us sort more effective from less effective behavior-analytic methods. The Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies has recent initiatives that award accreditation to behavioral programs of service based on evidence of effectiveness. Accreditation of principles of behavior-based safety programs has now been awarded to multiple organizations. Standards and methods for accrediting applied behavior analytic clinical services have been developed and the launch of this initiative is underway. The presenters in this symposium will discuss evidence-based accreditation, including alternatives in standards and methods. Initial problems and successes with accreditation efforts will be presented and analyzed.

Standards for Accreditation.
HENRY S. PENNYPACKER (University of Florida)
Abstract: The public relies on a variety of accreditation or certification sources for information to inform their purchasing decisions. Such organizations as Good Housekeeping, Consumer Reports, and Underwriters Laboratory have earned the trust of the public over a long period by producing data that are both understandable and reliable. The Cambridge Center would like to join this select group by accrediting programs that engender desirable behavior change in identifiable populations of consumers. To succeed in this endeavor, the Center must adopt a set of standards against which candidate programs may be evaluated. I have suggested elsewhere that the standards used by the Food and Drug Administration, safe and effective, serve as temporary placeholders until more suitable ones can be crafted. We may have problems in reaching agreement on how to evaluate effectiveness. I will argue that we should adhere firmly to our traditions of direct, objective behavioral measurement and eschew such devices as testimonials, consumer satisfaction surveys, and the like. I will illustrate this strategy with a short discussion of how we have developed criteria for certifying clinical breast examiners that rely on accepted concepts of sensitivity and specificity.
Dr. Henry Pennypacker, Jr. has been a guiding force in Behavior Analysis since the 1960s. His seminal book "Strategies and Tactics in Behavioral Research" with Johnston has been used as an essential textbook and reference by many in the field. His most recent book with Gutierrez and Lindley titled "Handbook of the standard celeration chart" was recently published by the Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies. His six books along with 21 book chapters and over 60 scholarly publications has established Dr. Pennypacker as one of ABA's most prolific authors. He was president of ABA from 1986-1987. Since the 1970's Dr. Pennypacker devoted his considerable talents toward applying ABA to the early detection of breast cancer. His work in this area has earned him patents in the US, Germany, Britain, and Canada as well as a grant from the National Cancer Institute. He is currently a Professor Emeritus at the University of Florida, President of Precision Teaching of Florida, Inc., and CEO of Mammatech Corporation.
Accrediting Principles of Behavior-Based Safety Programs.
BILL L. HOPKINS (Auburn University, Emeritus)
Abstract: CCBS began accrediting safety initiatives built on the principles of behavior in 2004 to recognize and publicize exemplary programs. The need for this accreditation will be argued. The primary standard for accreditation of a safety program is evidence of effectiveness. Accreditation also requires strong arguments that the chosen safety data are important to conditions at the site, evidence that the safety data are accurate, methods that are based on the principles of behavior, and a written description of the program that is sufficiently detailed to allow for replications. Reasons for advancing the nomenclature “principles-of-behavior-based” rather than “behavior-based” or “applied-behavior-analysis-based” will be explained. The accreditation methods will be presented and explained. To date four programs have been accredited. Common and unique characteristics that go beyond the standard behavior-based safety program and primary data of accredited programs will be presented. Arguments will be advanced that applied behavior analysis can succeed as a widely used source of services only if it promotes evidence of effectiveness as the primary means of deciding program value.
Dr. Bill L. Hopkins is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Psychology of Auburn University. He has done applied behavior analytic research with developmentally disabled children, with chronically mentally ill adults, with normal school children, and, since nineteen-seventy, with adults in work organizations . He has published many research and technical papers as well as papers on research methodology and four edited books about behavioral applications to education. Hopkins has served on the editorial boards of JABA, JOBM, and TBA. He has also sat as a member of study sections for several government agencies reviewing proposals for research and training and chaired the study section of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. He was the Director of the John T. Stewart Children’s Center at the University of Kansas and Head of the Department of Psychology at Auburn University. He chaired the ABA committee that drafted standards and guidelines for the certification of graduate programs of instruction in behavior analysis. He chaired the Cambridge Center committee that drafted standards and guidelines for the accreditation of principles-of-behavior-based safety programs and has chaired the review and site-visit teams for all of the successfully accredited programs.
Accreditation of Organizations Providing Applied Behavior Analysis Services.
MICHAEL WEINBERG (Southbury Training School)
Abstract: The purpose of the CCBS Behavior Analysis clinical services accreditation is to establish a set of standards for programs and services that utilize Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) as a core or essential treatment approach. The standards and accreditation process are intended to provide a higher quality of service, and assurances to consumers of the services, and the public, that sound intervention methods are being used. Given the many significant developments in the field over the past two decades, and the questionable methods used in the name of applied behavior analysis, there has been confusion among the public and purchasers of these services. These events have also led to varying degrees of harm to service recipients which will be briefly reviewed. These concerns were among the reasons for creating a certification process (BACB). The BACB devised a means of identifying those using sound practices in the field, and has also promoted the notion that ABA is also a treatment approach. We believe that the time has arrived for the accreditation organizations that provide ABA services. The reasons and implications for the field and society will be further discussed during the presentation.
Dr. Michael Weinberg is the director of psychological services at Southbury Training School in Connecticut, and is the owner and CEO of Orlando Behavior Health in Florida. He received his Ph.D. in 1985 in the experimental analysis of behavior program at Temple University in Philadelphia, and was previously at the E.K. Shriver Center and Northeastern University where he received his B.A. in psychology in 1977, with an emphasis in Applied Behavior Analysis. Dr. Weinberg is a licensed psychologist in three states, and is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst with 30 years of experience in the field, providing treatment to children and adults with developmental disabilities, autism, and various behavioral and learning disorders. Dr. Weinberg has been on the part-time faculty of Temple University, Psychology Department, and also adjunct at Rutgers University, where he taught courses in basic principles of behavior. Since becoming a charter certificant with the BACB, he has been teaching pre-approved courses for certification in Florida for the past five years, and is ACE coordinator for his company which is a BACB approved Type 2 CE provider. Dr. Weinberg is also the editor of the Behavior Analyst Today, an online journal which publishes articles in the philosophical, experimental and applied aspects of behavior analysis. Dr. Weinberg has also published articles and book chapters in behavior analysis, has developed a behavioral approach to treating reactive attachment disorder, and conducts workshops and seminars on OBM. He has been collaborating with the Cambridge Center since early 2005 to develop accreditation standards and review processes for programs and agencies providing ABA services. Dr. Weinberg is also a Trustee of the Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies.
Symposium #377
CE Offered: BACB
Comparing Methods to Improve the Tact Repertoire in Children with Autism
Monday, May 29, 2006
3:00 PM–4:20 PM
Centennial Ballroom III
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Kelle Wood Rich (Central Texas Autism Center, Inc.)
Discussant: Kelle Wood Rich (Central Texas Autism Center, Inc.)
CE Instructor: Kelle Wood Rich, M.Ed.

These studies compared relative effectiveness of procedures to improve the tact repertoire in children with autism. The first study compared the Effects of Mimetic-Tact versus Intraverbal-Tact training on the Acquisition of Sign Tacts in a Child with Autism. Similar to results obtained by Partington, Sundberg, Newhouse, & Spengler (1994), the subject acquired 14 tacts via intraverbal-tact transfer while acquiring 2 via mimetic-tact transfer demonstrating the superiority of intraverbal-tact transfer. The second study, a Comparison of Two Procedures for Teaching the Tact Repertoire in Children with Autism compared the relative effectiveness of repeated set prompting versus errorless teaching of individual items on rate of acquisition of tacts. Results revealed superior improvement in rate of acquisition in the repeated set prompting group and improved retention and application. The last study, the Effect of Tutor Modeled Successive Approximations Versus Tutor Modeled Adult Forms to Improve Topography of Tacts, extended the findings of Kasper and Godwin, 2003 and Carbone, 2005 from the echoic repertoire to the tact repertoire. Tutor-modeled successive approximations were used to improve topography of the vocal tact in a child with poor articulation. Use of tutor-modeled approximations resulted in improved articulation of tacts compared to other methods.

Effects of Mimetic-Tact versus Intraverbal-Tact training on the Acquisition of Tacts in a Child with Autism.
TAMARA S. KASPER (CCC-SLP/BCABA), Jennifer R. Godwin (Early Autism Project, Inc.)
Abstract: Development of verbal repertoires in children with autism and limited vocal repertoires is the focus of many intensive behavior programs. For children who are non-verbal, manual sign language has been encouraged as an effective response form (Carr, 1979; Fulwiler & Fouts, 1976, Brady & Smouse, 1992; Layton, 1988). Many have examined procedures to facilitate the tacting repertoire. Carroll & Hesse (1987) and Arntzen & Almas (2002) examined the effects of mand-tact and tact-only training procedures on the acquisition of tact performance and demonstrated that fewer trials were needed to learn tacts in the mand-tact condition. Partington, Sundberg, Newhouse, & Spengler (1994) used procedures to transfer stimulus control from verbal to nonverbal stimuli in a subject who has an established mand repertoire and the subject was able to quickly acquire a total of 18 tacts. The current study extends these findings. The subject acquired 14 tacts via intraverbal-tact transfer while acquiring 2 via mimetic-tact transfer demonstrating the superiority of intraverbal-tact transfer compared to mimetic-tact transfer or no training for a child with autism who possessed an imitative repertoire but experienced difficult acquiring tacts.
Comparison of Two Procedures for Teaching the Tact Repertoire in Children with Autism.
ANGIE B. KEITH (Early Autism Project, Inc.)
Abstract: This study compared the relative effectiveness of repeated set prompting versus errorless teaching of individual items on rate of acquisition of tacts in children who demonstrated slow acquisition rates of tacts. Repeated set prompting involved echoic prompting for each member of a target set of tacts with systematic probes and mastery criteria for the entire set. The Individual item condition consisted of training individual tacts via errorless teaching with systematic structure fade and time delay fading (Touchette and Howard, 1984) with mastery criteria for individual tacts. Comparison of results of the two independent variables to a no treatment group revealed gains with both methodologies, but superior improvement in rate of acquisition in the repeated set prompting group. In addition, improved retention and application were demonstrated for items acquired via repeated set prompting which may be related to three learning outcomes associated with automatic, or fluent behavior: retention, endurance, and application (Binder, 1993, 1996).
Effect of Tutor Modeled Successive Approximations versus Tutor Modeled Adult Forms to Improve Topography of Tacts.
ANN D. ELDRIDGE (Early Autism Project, Inc.)
Abstract: Improving speech intelligibility is often an important component of home treatment programs for children with autism. Kasper and Godwin (2003) explored the effectiveness of use of tutor-modeled successive approximations to target words (based on the work of Nancy Kaufman 1998, 2001) to improve speech intelligibility in a child with autism. Results revealed significant improvement in intelligibility across the verbal operants and response class generalization to non-target words in one child with autism and apraxia of speech. Carbone (2005) compared the relative effectiveness of tutor-modeled approximations to tutor-modeled adult forms and demonstrated superiority of the approximations (Kaufman, 1998, 2001) in terms of rate of acquisition and articulatory precision for three children with autism. The current study extends these finding to the tact repertoire in which tutor-modeled successive approximations were used to improve topography of the vocal tact in a child with adequate stimulus control for tacting, but poor topography. Results were compared to tutor modeled adult forms and no treatment conditions. Use of tutor-modeled approximations resulted in improved articulation of tacts for the subject studied compared to other methods.
Symposium #380
CE Offered: BACB
Evidence-Based Practice and Special Education: An Analysis of Cultural Contingencies
Monday, May 29, 2006
3:00 PM–4:20 PM
Area: EDC; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: John E. States (Wing Institute)
Discussant: Timothy A. Slocum (Utah State University)
CE Instructor: Ronnie Detrich, M.S.

The purpose of this symposium is to examine the characteristics of culture within special education, analyze how these characteristics either facilitate or obstruct a movement toward evidence-based practices. We focus on special education because it has largely been ignored in the education reform efforts and, in many ways, it is a separate system from general education. Specifically, we will examine the role of formal and informal contingencies and how they relate to evidence-based practice in special education. Those contingencies operate at several levels. We propose an expanded model of an evidence-based education approach that requires both a demonstration of efficacy in controlled research conditions but also demonstrations of effectiveness once practices are taken to scale and implemented under usual conditions; a continuum of rigor that allows decision makers when the best available evidence does not meet the most rigorous standards of research. Finally, we propose a set of steps that can be taken to build an evidence-based culture within special education.

An Expanded Model of Evidence-based Practice in Special Education.
RONNIE DETRICH (Wing Institute), Randy Keyworth (Wing Institute), John E. States (Wing Institute)
Abstract: The movement toward evidence-based education requires that we define what is a necessary and sufficient demonstration for evidence. It is the perspective of this paper that the necessary demonstration of evidence is not only a demonstration that an intervention is efficacious (producing results in a controlled research setting) but it is also necessary to demonstrate that the intervention is effective (producing results when taken to scale). A demonstration that a procedure is efficacious is an important step but it is critical as evidence based procedures are applied more broadly that consideration is given to the various social and political contingencies that may ultimately impact the effectiveness of an intervention. A simple example is that an intervention that is efficacious but is not acceptable to teachers expected to implement it is not likely to produce the expected results because the teachers are not likely to implement the intervention with sufficient integrity to produce the results. In addition to proposing a model of evidence-based practice that includes demonstrations of effectiveness, some of the common social and political contingencies that may negatively impact wide scale implementation will be described. Examples of successful and unsuccessful large-scale implementation will be considered for illustrative purposes.
The Evidence Based Practice Bandwagon: Should Behavior Analysts Jump On? Can We?
MARK D. SHRIVER (Munroe-Meyer Institute)
Abstract: Although behavior analysts have previously discussed the need to bridge the divide between basic and applied research and the need to more effectively disseminate behavior analytic technology and principles, it is apparent that behavior analysis techniques and principles are still not widely accepted or used. In the past decade, there has been an increasing emphasis in education, medicine, and psychology as well as federal policies and legislation on the identification and dissemination of evidence based practices (EBP). In essence, there is a bandwagon of support across professional and governmental groups for EBP. Fads come and go and typically it is best to stay off bandwagons. It can readily be argued; however, that applied behavior analysis (ABA) is all about EBP. Barriers to the dissemination of ABA technology and principles for EBP are obstructing ABA’s jump on this bandwagon. This paper presents on some of those barriers including definitional issues (i.e., what do we disseminate?), research to practice issues (i.e., ABA research is not practice) and issues in how we disseminate technology and principles (i.e., ABA as an organization does not have a strategy to disseminate research to practice or EBP). Possible solutions to overcoming these barriers are presented.
Getting There From Here: Creating an Evidence-based Culture within Special Education.
JOHN E. STATES (Wing Institute), Randy Keyworth (Wing Institute), Ronnie Detrich (Wing Institute)
Abstract: At each level in the special education culture there exist obstacles to implementing evidence-based practices. This paper will provide suggestions for each level within the special education culture. From a systems perspective, it is important that each level of the system has pieces in place that promote evidence-based practices. Failing to do so will result in the ultimate collapse of an evidence-based culture. One of the critical features of an evidence-based culture is that there is evidence for decision makers to evaluate. A second feature is that the decision makers routinely interact with the data. Curriculum based measurement shows great promise for bringing decision makers into regular contact with the relevant data. Other levels within the special education system also require attention if evidence-based practice is to become the primary working model for decision-making. As an example, the due process procedures built in as a safe-guard for parents has become so expensive for school districts that they often agree to settle disputes rather than proceed with a hearing to determine services. Problems arise when the settlement results in the adoption of unvalidated procedures.
Symposium #381
CE Offered: BACB
Functional Analysis and Assessment in the Applied Environment
Monday, May 29, 2006
3:00 PM–4:20 PM
Regency VII
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Susan Ainsleigh (Simmons College)
Discussant: Michael F. Dorsey (Vinfen Corporation & Simmons College)
CE Instructor: John Stokes, Other

The purpose of this symposium is to review innovative methods for conducting functional analysis in the applied setting. The first paper demonstrates how to train staff teacher and families to implement functional analysis condition using performance feedback and video modeling. The second two presentations review innovative methods for conducting functional assessment and analysis. Additionally the relevance for using hypothesis driven interventions based off of the results of assessment is reviewed. All programs review present Reliability and results graphically.

The use of Performance Feedback and Video Modeling in Training Staff and Parents to Implement Functional Analysis Conditions.
JOHN STOKES (Charles River ARC), Michael F. Dorsey (n/a)
Abstract: The present Study examined the use of performance feedback, video modeling and workshop training for staff and family member to conduct functional analysis. Results indicated that all 4 subjects met accuracy criterion following individual training and feedback. During generalization probes two subjects accurately conducted sessions with individuals in the day program.
Functional Assessment in the Public School Classroom: Methods for Selecting Effective Treatment for Compliance to Academic Instruction.
KRISTOFER VAN HERP (Stoneham Public Schools, Massachusetts), Susan Ainsleigh (Simmons College)
Abstract: An unwillingness to participate in academic instruction on the part of a student prevents optimal learning in school settings. Research shows that high rates of engaged academic learning time is associated with a higher degree of success on the part of the student (Fischer & Berliner, 1985; Ysseldyke & Christensen, 2002). Teachers must identify the conditions associated with optimal learning in order to maximize instructional time and minimize time away from engaged learning in school settings. The subject of this study was a 7-year old non-verbal male diagnosed with pervasive developmental disorder (PDD) who attended a public school inclusive classroom. The student demonstrated low rates of compliance to academic instruction and, concurrently, high rates of problem behaviors such as self-injurious behavior, aggression, and bolting from the instructional setting. Indirect and direct functional assessment methods were utilized to identify variables hypothetically associated with optimal learning and compliance to instructional tasks. A structured analog assessment using a reversal design was conducted to verify these hypotheses. Results of these assessments were used to identify classroom-based interventions to increase academic compliance and, hence, engaged time in the classroom. Results demonstrate an overall increase in compliant behavior following implementation of the intervention package. Subsequent interview of teachers implementing the intervention package support its efficiency for use in the classroom.
Functional Assessment and Analysis of Bolting Behavior in a Preschool Setting: Analyzing Topography of Attention Maintaining Problem Behavior.
ELISE COOKE (Simmons College), Susan Ainsleigh (Simmons College)
Abstract: Indirect and direct functional assessment methods were used to develop hypotheses regarding the maintaining variables of the bolting behavior of a 3.5 year old male diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. The subject of this study demonstrated bolting behavior in school and community settings. A long-term 1:1 staffing assignment was determined to be inefficient for maintaining this student during transitions, yet continued concerns for safety of the subject had been reported by both teachers and parents. The results of functional assessments suggested that attention from adults was a likely maintaining variable of bolting behavior. In order to determine the form of attention that was maintaining the bolting behavior, four attention conditions were implemented using an alternating treatment design: stern vocal attention with physical guidance (Condition A), physical guidance with no vocal attention or eye contact (Condition B), playful physical attention with no vocal attention or eye contact (Condition C) and playful physical attention and playful vocal attention (Condition D). Conditions were scheduled randomly, and each condition was scheduled for an entire school day; data were collected during three separate daily transitions. All staff throughout the school that typically interacted with the student were involved in implementing each condition, including teachers, therapists, secretaries, and the school nurse; the Lead Teacher provided direct training to each participant. Results showed that Condition D (playful physical attention and playful vocal attention) was associated with high rate bolting behavior and Condition A (stern vocal behavior with physical guidance) was associated with low rate bolting behavior. Results were used to design a multi-component treatment package. Implementation of the treatment package resulted in near zero-rate bolting behavior after 2 month follow-up. Functional analysis procedures can be successfully and efficiently implemented in public school elementary school classrooms, and can result in individually design treatment plans.
Panel #383
CE Offered: BACB
How to Build a Quality Autism Program in Your School District
Monday, May 29, 2006
3:00 PM–4:20 PM
Regency V
Area: AUT/EDC; Domain: Service Delivery
CE Instructor: Elisabetta Pestrichella, M.S.
Chair: Donna K. Anzalone (The Autism Help Center)
DONNA K. ANZALONE (The Autism Help Center)
BRIAN GOLDBERG (The Autism Help Center)

Because the prevalence of autism continues to rise dramatically, school administrators struggle with the needs of children with autism and how best to provide appropriate, data-based programming in their district. This symposium will provide administrators and other district persons with practical solutions to assist in including students with autism into their district and building quality programs that fit their needs and add benefit to their staff. We will discuss the building of a district program by following several case study districts from their inception to their recognition by the state of New York as a quality school district program for students with autism spectrum disorder. Often, administrators find challenges at all levels of program creation, including finding resources, training personnel, and answering tough questions from parents and staff about including students with autism. The presenters will provide participants with answers to difficult questions and practical solutions to the challenges faced by administrators looking to create new programs. For those administrators who have existing programs in their district, this workshop will highlight issues of quality control and how to maintain programs as the district continues to grow. Handouts will include a framework for administrators to use with their district and a quality control checklist.

Invited Symposium #385
CE Offered: BACB
International Symposium - Intersections Between Joint Attention and Social Referencing in Children With Autism and Typically Developing Children
Monday, May 29, 2006
3:00 PM–4:20 PM
Centennial Ballroom II
Area: DEV; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Rebecca P. F. MacDonald (New England Center for Children)
Discussant: Jacob L. Gewirtz (Florida International University)
CE Instructor: Rebecca P. F. MacDonald, Ph.D.

Joint attention and social referencing have received increased attention in developmental psychology and behavior analysis because of their relation to the development of autism. Joint attention involves the coordinated attention between a social partner and an object in the environment and has been identified as one of the earliest emerging social behaviors in typically developing children. Social referencing involves the child searching or looking for cues in the facial expressions of the caregiver to determine how to act in the context of ambiguity. Deficits in joint attention and social referencing are apparent in very young children with autism. The development of operant models for the analysis of joint attention and social referencing are seen as important to the treatment of these deficits. The purpose of this symposium is to describe several research projects in which the authors are using an operant analysis of joint attention and social referencing to develop protocols for evaluating and treating children with autism. Data that support the etiology of social referencing with 18 very young infants will be reported. The implications of these analyses will be discussed as they relate to a behavioral analysis of this very important developmental phenomenon.


Analysis and Treatment of Joint Attention in Young Children with Autism.

REBECCA P. F. MACDONALD (New England Center for Children), William V. Dube (University of Massachusetts Medical School, E.K. Shriver Center), Jennifer L. Klein (New England Center for Children), Sally N. Roberts (New England Center for Children), Krista Smaby (New England Center for Children), Emily E. Wheeler (University of Massachusetts Medical School, E.K. Shriver Center)

This paper will describe a contingency analysis of joint attention in which the characteristic gaze shifts, gestures, vocalizations, are shaped and maintained by conditioned socially mediated reinforcers. According to this analysis, joint attention deficits in children with autism spectrum disorders may be related to failures of socially mediated consequences to function as conditioned reinforcers. Profiles of child performance will be shown using data from a concurrent choice procedure used to determine the value of social reinforcers, as well as, assessment data on joint attention initiations and responsiveness to joint attention bids. The assessments were administered to both children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders and typically developing children, aged 2 to 4 years. Interobserver agreement was high for all behavioral measures. Case examples of intervention procedures to establish joint attention initiations will be presented. Results will be discussed in the context of the posited behavioral contingency analysis of joint attention.

Dr. Rebecca MacDonald is a Licensed Psychologist in Massachusetts and a Board Certified Behavior Analyst who serves as the Director of Intensive Instructional Preschool Program for children with autism at the New England Center for Children. She is an Adjunct Professor in the Masters in Applied Behavior Analysis (MABA) Program at Northeastern University. Rebecca received her doctorate in Developmental and Child Psychology from the University of Kansas in 1983. Dr. MacDonald began at The New England Center for Children as the Clinical Director in 1983. She then taught for three years in the Graduate School of Education at Simmons College in Boston (1992-1995). In 1995 she returned to the New England Center for Children in her current position. Dr. MacDonald was a past Program Chair for the American Psychological Association for Division 25. Rebecca has presented her research at numerous conferences over the past twenty years and published studies that have appeared in the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, Research in Developmental Disabilities, and Analysis and Intervention of Developmental Disabilities. Dr. MacDonald’s research interests currently include; assessment and teaching joint attention, teaching play and social reciprocity to children with autism, and measuring clinical outcomes of early intensive behavior intervention.
Infants Learning to Reference Maternal Facial Expressions of Emotions.
MARTHA PELAEZ (Florida International University)
Abstract: The assumption that infant social referencing behaviors can result from contingency-based learning processes was tested. In a context of ambiguity or uncertainty, maternal emotional expressions can be learned by the infant as cues for positive and aversive events. Eighteen 4- to 5-month-old infants and their mothers participated in a repeated-measures reversal design. Infants were trained differentially to reach for an ambiguous object following joyful maternal expressions and not to reach following fearful maternal expressions. During baseline, none of the infants responded differentially to the joyful and fearful maternal expressions. After training sessions, however, infants learned to reach differentially following presentations of joyful and fearful cues. During a subsequent extinction (reversal) phase, the pleasant and aversive contingencies on reaching for the ambiguous object were discontinued producing extinction of the differential reaching response. During the last phase, infants were retrained differentially to respond again to the two maternal expressions. This study provides the basis for the alternative hypothesis that infant social referencing may result from contingency-based learning.
Dr. Martha Pelaez is a Professor of Psychology. In 1992, she received her Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology, winning the International Dissertation Award from the International Society for Infant Studies (ISIS) on "Infant learning to reference maternal emotional expressions." In 1994, she completed a postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Miami, School of Medicine. She has studied mother-infant interactions, maternal depression and its effects on infant behavior, and early social-learning processes like attachment, fears, and social referencing. Her theoretical contributions include the creation of taxonomy of rules and a behavior–analytic approach to moral development. Dr. Pelaez has published more than 40 articles in refereed journals (including the American Psychologist and the journal of Child Development); co-authored 11 chapters, published 1 textbook (with G. Novak) on child development, and edited several monographs. Martha Pelaez was the past Program Chair for the American Psychological Association for Division 25 and past Program Co-Chair for the Association for Behavior Analysis. She is the founder of the Behavior Development Bulletin and has served as its editor since 1990. She was awarded Fellowship status by the American Psychological Association. Currently, she serves in nine editorial boards of refereed journals, including The Behavior Analyst and is a member of the Florida Board of Governors--the board that rules the State University System.
The Role of Joint Attention in Verbal Operants.
PER HOLTH (The Behavioral Center, Oslo)
Abstract: Research on joint attention, the synchronizing of the attention of two or more persons, has progressed mainly outside of behavior analysis. Research within the cognitive-developmental tradition has shown that deficient joint attention skills are strongly correlated with later developing ‘language abilities’ and that children diagnosed with autism may display a syndrome-specific joint attention deficit. The present paper focuses on the role of joint attention phenomena in verbal operants, such as tacts, mands, verbal behavior controlled by verbal stimuli, and autoclitics. An operant analysis of joint attention skills and how they are interwoven with verbal operants may point directly to suggestions for effective intervention strategies.
Dr. Per Holth is currently a researcher at the Norwegian Center for the Studies of Conduct Problems and Innovative Practice and associate professor at Akershus University College. He is interested in behavior analysis in general; basic research as well as conceptual issues and various areas of application. His interest in an operant analysis of joint attention arose while he was the program director at the Center for Early Intervention in Oslo, working with children diagnosed with autism (2000-2003). His interest in verbal behavior extends back to his early study days, when he came across a copy of Skinner’s (1957) book (some people are lucky), and he teaches courses on verbal behavior at the Masters Program in Learning and Relational Competence at Akershus University College, Norway.
Symposium #391
CE Offered: BACB
Where Do We Fit in: Behavior Analysis in Psychiatric and Medical Settings
Monday, May 29, 2006
3:00 PM–4:20 PM
Area: CBM; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Ivy M. Chong Crane (William Beaumont Hospital)
Discussant: Martin J. McMorrow (Center for Comprehensive Services, Inc.)
CE Instructor: Ivy M. Chong Crane, Ph.D.

The role of behavior analysts working amongst inter-disciplinary teams within health care settings has varied over time. In the age of managed care the need for empirically based treatment options has amplified the utility of behavior analysis within these settings. However, due to the constraints of the philosophical underpinnings of the medical model behavior analysts have been forced to adapt. Although behavior analysts typically follow a functional approach to understanding human behavior, much success has been witnessed by integrating these two models. The current symposium examines the specific dynamics within this integrative model through an exploration of theoretical concepts, challenges involved and current case examples within both psychiatric and primary care facilities

The Role of Behavior Analysts in Psychiatric Settings.
KIMBERLY DWYER-MOORE (Our Lady of Peace), Jaime Flores (Our Lady of Peace), Katherine Miriam Johnson-Patagoc (Our Lady of Peace)
Abstract: This paper examines the history and current practice of behavior analysis in psychiatric settings. Whereas the psychiatric approach to care has traditionally been predominated by the medical model, the effectiveness of combining the medical model with the behavior analytic treatment model is examined. A case illustration of this model in practice at Our Lady of Peace psychiatric hospital is presented. This facility is a unique and multi-faceted organization that provides state-of-the-art services to a range of inpatient and outpatient populations. Within this 200-bed facility behavior analyst work specifically with children and adolescents with developmental disabilities or brain injuries and psychiatric disorders including bi-polar disorder, conduct disorder and oppositional defiant disorder. Behavior Analysts work in conjunction psychiatrists and other trans-disciplinary team members to develop and implement individualized function based behavioral support plans derived from functional assessment outcomes. The role of behavior analysts in designing and implementing behaviorally based data collection procedures to aid psychiatrists in making clinically relevant decisions regarding medications, community access, length of stay and discharge placement is discussed within this case example.
A Present Day Illustration of Behavior Analysis in a Psychiatric Setting.
JAIME FLORES (Our Lady of Peace), Kimberly Dwyer-Moore (Our Lady of Peace), Beth A. Duncan (Our Lady of Peace)
Abstract: The current paper depicts the role of behavioral assessment, data collection, treatment and staff training within Our Lady of Peace psychiatric hospital. Within this 200-bed facility, the Innovations and Neurobehavioral Centers encompass 62 beds and employ a unique combination of the behavior analytic and medical treatment models. The inpatient acute level of care required for admission and the rapid rates of admission and discharge necessitate immediate initiation of data collection and basic standard treatment protocols. While these basic protocols are in place, the behavior analyst immediately begins a thorough assessment including preference assessments, descriptive analyses, and analog functional analyses as appropriate. Following assessment, individualized function-based behavior intervention plans are developed. Intervention plans consist of customized data collection, proactive procedures, antecedents to problematic behaviors, strategies for teaching replacement behaviors and function based crisis intervention. A major focus of the behavior analysts is staff, family, and community provider training. Case illustrations exemplify the diverse and challenging population served and the innovative interventions implemented focusing on least restrictive treatment alternatives in a psychiatric setting. Challenges to providing treatment in this setting are explored.
Beaumont Hospital Brings HOPE: Behavior Analysis Within the Medical Model.
JENNIFER A. DELANEY (William Beaumont Hospital), Ivy M. Chong Crane (William Beaumont Hospital), Veronica J. McAtee (William Beaumont Hospital), Ruth M. Anan (William Beaumont Hospital)
Abstract: The Division of Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics has been providing diagnostic, assessment, and treatment services since 1968. An inter-disciplinary team including developmental pediatricians, child psychiatrists, child psychologists, and clinical social workers collaborate to identify problems and develop treatment plans for children with variety of diagnosis (e.g. autism, selective mutism, ADHD, disruptive behavior disorders). More recently behavior analysts have increasingly been involved in treatment decisions and interventions (i.e., functional assessment, parent training, intensive early intervention, and behavioral consultation). Historically behavior analytic services have been dichotomized from the medical model, as they are traditionally viewed as educational in nature rather than psychological or medical. As the healthcare community continues to strive for empirically based, efficacious treatment modalities, behavior analysts have been able to provide reimbursable services within the medical model. Currently, seven members of the psychological staff are nationally recognized Board Certified Behavior Analysts. Case examples of children who were treated with behavioral analytic principles and procedures under a mental health billing system will be reviewed.
Special Event #393
CE Offered: BACB
Presidential Address: Aversively Motivated
Monday, May 29, 2006
4:30 PM–5:20 PM
Centennial Ballroom I & II
Chair: Frances K. McSweeney (Washington State University)
CE Instructor: Thomas S. Critchfield, Ph.D.

Presidential Address: Aversively Motivated


Behavior analysis once supported a rich tradition of studying aversive control, that is, behavior change through punishment or negative reinforcement. A variety of factors have shifted our contemporary emphasis -- almost exclusively -- to the study of positive reinforcement. This status quo is most easily justified for service delivery (especially with vulnerable populations) in which we are concerned about excessive reliance on aversive control and the side effects that this can cause. I will argue, however, that our collective disregard for the study of aversive control has left us in an untenable position, both scientifically and practically. Where science is concerned, the past three decades have seen important advances in the understanding of positive reinforcement for which no parallel insights exist regarding aversive control. Moreover, scientists outside of our field have revealed robust aversive-specific phenomena that behavior analysts have largely ignored. Our silence about these effects allows them to be explained within, or even seen as evidence for, nonbehavioristic theoretical frameworks. Where practice is concerned, a lack of new behavior analytic data on aversive control may suggest that we have nothing to say on the topic. As a consequence, perhaps, policy makers and others seeking consensus on issues like corporal punishment may not consult our field for guidance. Moreover, because aversive control is ubiquitous in the everyday world, it is difficult to see how a thorough analysis of socially important behavior can proceed without a proper understanding of aversive control. For instance, emerging notions about aversive control may generate counterintuitive treatment predictions that cannot be reached by thinking about positive reinforcement alone. In summary, the world out there encompasses, and is fascinated by, aversive control, and we should be motivated to reanimate our tradition of studying it.

THOMAS S. CRITCHFIELD (Illinois State University)
Dr. Thomas S. Critchfield graduated from West Virginia University, where he received his M.A. (1984, under the direction of Dr. Ernest Vargas) and his Ph.D. (1989, under the direction of Dr. Michael Perone). At Auburn University, he coordinated the doctoral program in Experimental Analysis of Behavior and served as Undergraduate Program Coordinator. He currently is Professor of Psychology at Illinois State University. Dr. Critchfield completed terms on the ABA Executive Council as Student Representative (1986-1989) and Experimental Representative (2002-2005), and has held positions with the Society for the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, with Division 25 of the American Psychological Association, and on the editorial boards of a number of behavior analysis journals. His scholarly interests focus on basic operant processes, on verbal behavior, and on scientific translation within behavior analysis.



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