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.

Second Annual Autism Conference; Atlanta, GA; 2008

Program by Day for Saturday, February 9, 2008


Manage My Personal Schedule

 

Special Event #2
Opening Remarks & Introductions
Saturday, February 9, 2008
8:00 AM–8:15 AM
Regency Ballroom

Dr. Heward will provide opening remarks for the conference.

 
 
Invited Paper Session #3

Because Our Kids Are Worth It: A Parent’s Perspective on Behavioral Interventions at Home and School

Saturday, February 9, 2008
8:15 AM–9:15 AM
Regency Ballroom
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Instruction Level: Basic
MARY BETH WALSH (Caldwell College)
Mary Beth Walsh is the mother of two children, a 9 year old who has autism, and a 13 year old, who does not. She is on the Board of Directors of The Association for Science in Autism Treatment (ASAT) and is currently serving a one year term as the Consumer Representative on the Board of the New Jersey Association for Behavior Analysis. She has presented on strategies for successfully including individuals with autism in faith communities at conferences sponsored by both the New Jersey Center for Outreach and Services for the Autism Community (COSAC) and NJABA. Working with the Autism and Faith Task Force of the Elizabeth M. Boggs Center on Developmental Disabilities, she is co-editor of a resource booklet for inclusion of individuals with autism in communities of faith. She holds a doctorate in theology and ethics from Union Theological Seminary in NYC, teaches in the Master of Arts Program in Pastoral Ministry at Caldwell College, works as a Pastoral Associate at St. Joseph’s Church in Maplewood, New Jersey, and co-chairs the Special Education Parent Teacher Organization in her town.
Abstract:

Parents play a critical role in all behavioral interventions for children with autism. From getting the child up and dressed each morning to putting the child to bed at night, parents spend a tremendous amount of time with their children and are presented with countless opportunities to reinforce (or undermine) their children’s learning and skill acquisition throughout each and every day. It is in the best interest of children with autism for their parents to know the contours of the science of applied behavior analysis so that their children can make all possible progress. Partnering successfully with teachers and behavior analysts requires parents to acquire some new skills, see beyond certain myths, commitment themselves to learning how to measure progress, and learn to work effectively with various professionals and educational systems. Teachers and behavior analysts can be more effective and will see better data if they learn how to work with parents. Children with autism are capable of so much more than was once thought – we parents have a unique role to play in bringing out their individual potential.

Target Audience:

N/a

Learning Objectives: N/a
 
 
Invited Paper Session #4
CE Offered: PSY/BACB

Teaching the Social Dance: Using Script-Fading Procedures to Promote Conversation

Saturday, February 9, 2008
9:15 AM–10:15 AM
Regency Ballroom
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Instruction Level: Basic
CE Instructor: Patricia J. Krantz, Ph.D.
PATRICIA J. KRANTZ (Princeton Child Development Institute)
Patricia J. Krantz, Ph.D., is Executive Director Emeritus of the Princeton Child Development Institute. In 1999, the Society for the Advancement of Behavior Analysis chose the Princeton Child Development Institute as the recipient of the Award for Enduring Programmatic Contributions in Behavior Analysis. Dr. Krantz holds academic appointments at the University of Kansas and Queens College of the City University of New York. Her current research focuses on stimulus control procedures that increase spontaneous generative language. She has made many international contributions to autism intervention, including lectures at the British Institute of Mental Handicap; the Congress of the European Association of Behavior Therapy; the Dean’s Leading Edge Lecture at Deakin University, Victoria, Australia; at the Norwegian Association for Behavior Analysis; and keynote addresses at the first conferences on autism in the Soviet Union and in Poland. In 2000, she presented a paper at Congrès Européen pour l’Analyse Expérimentale du Comportement at Amiens, France. Dr. Krantz and her colleague, Lynn E. McClannahan, have published many research articles on activity schedules and script fading and have authored two books, Activity schedules for children with autism: Teaching independent behavior and Teaching conversation to children with autism: Scripts and script fading.
Abstract:

This presentation describes teaching procedures that help children with autism learn to engage in the give and take of ordinary, daily conversation with parents, teachers, and peers. Our research on these intervention strategies began in 1993, and continues today. Scripts and script fading are not procedures for teaching children to speak, but procedures for teaching them to interact. These strategies help young people with autism learn the nonverbal components of conversation (approaching and visually attending to another person), as well as the verbal components (initiating conversation, waiting quietly while others talk, and then responding to what they say). We will discuss some of the factors that interfere with the acquisition of social-interaction skills and will show videotapes that illustrate scripts and script-fading procedures. The goal of these intervention strategies is to teach children to engage in real conversation with us.

Target Audience:

Licensed Psychologists and/or Certified Behavior Analysis

Learning Objectives: N/a
 
 
Invited Paper Session #5
CE Offered: PSY/BACB

A Clear Picture: The Use and Benefits of PECS

Saturday, February 9, 2008
10:45 AM–11:45 AM
Regency Ballroom
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Instruction Level: Basic
CE Instructor: Andy Bondy, Ph.D.
ANDY BONDY (Pyramid Educational Consultants, Inc.)
Andy Bondy, Ph.D., has over 35 years of experience working with children and adults with autism and related developmental disabilities. He served as the Director of the Statewide Delaware Autistic Program for more than a dozen years. He and his wife, Lori Frost, pioneered the development of the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS). This system is utilized around the world with remarkable success, as suggested by over 35 data-based publications and 11 descriptive publications regarding PECS and its impact. He has designed the Pyramid Approach to Education (with Beth Sulzer-Azaroff) as a comprehensive combination of broad-spectrum behavior analysis and effective communication strategies. The Pyramid Approach focuses on the development of functional activities and communication skills with an emphasis upon the systematic use of powerful reinforcement strategies. This approach has been cited as a model program for preschool and school-aged children within public and private school settings. He is the co-founder of Pyramid Educational Consultants, Inc., an internationally based team of specialists (with offices in 7 countries) from diverse fields providing guidance and services throughout the world. He has taught numerous college-level courses, has published extensively and has presented frequently at national and international conferences.
Abstract:

The Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) was developed over 20 years ago by Andy Bondy and Lori Frost. PECS was founded on the principles of applied behavior analysis, especially the analysis provided by BF Skinners work on Verbal Behavior. Early descriptive reports indicated that PECS was highly effective with young children with autism and related disabilities in rapidly establishing functional communication. Ongoing work with PECS has demonstrated its effectiveness with children and adults with a wide array of communication deficits. Research from around the world continues to document the success of this program in terms of the speed of acquisition, and its positive impact upon behavior management issues, social skills, and the development and expansion of speech. Reports from recent reviews and international conference presentations indicate that PECS is extremely popular and has very high social validity ratings from parents and professionals. This talk will outline the key elements of the PECS protocol, how it can best be implemented at school, home and in the community, and common mistakes that may undermine the utility of the system.

Target Audience:

Licensed Psychologists and/or Certified Behavior Analysts

Learning Objectives: N/a
 
 
Invited Paper Session #6
CE Offered: PSY/BACB

Effective School-Based Programs for Children with Autism

Saturday, February 9, 2008
11:45 AM–12:45 PM
Regency Ballroom
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Instruction Level: Basic
CE Instructor: Ilene S. Schwartz, Ph.D.
ILENE S. SCHWARTZ (University of Washington)
Dr. Ilene S. Schwartz is a Professor and Chair of the Area of Special Education in the College of Education at the University of Washington. She earned her Ph.D. in child and developmental psychology at the University of Kansas. Dr. Schwartz has an extensive background working with young children with special needs, specifically with young children with autism and other severe disabilities. Currently, Dr. Schwartz is the faculty advisor of the integrated preschool and kindergarten programs at the Experimental Education Unit at UW. Dr. Schwartz maintains an active line of research and personnel preparation activities. She is the Principal Investigator of a model demonstration project to develop school-based services for young children with autism, a research project to assess the differential effectiveness of preschool programs for young children with autism, and of a personnel preparation to prepare early childhood teachers who work with children with severe disabilities in inclusive settings. Dr. Schwartz has published numerous chapters and articles about early childhood special education and social validity. She is on the Editorial Review Boards of the Journal of Early Intervention and Topics in Early Childhood Special Education. Dr. Schwartz is very involved early intervention issues at the local, state, and national level.
Abstract:

Public education is the one great entitlement that is designed to help every citizen in the United States achieve their potential. For students with disabilities, including students with ASD, the right to a free, appropriate public education (FAPE) is further guaranteed by federal law. There remains, however, much debate over what constitutes FAPE for students with ASD and even if these services can be provided in the context of public schools. The purpose of this presentation is to review the research on what constitutes a high quality preschool and elementary school program for students with ASD and describe how educators/teachers and parents can work together to ensure that all students with ASD receive the high quality education to which they are entitled.

Target Audience:

Licensed Psychologists and/or Certified Behavior Analysts

Learning Objectives: N/a
 
 
Invited Paper Session #7
CE Offered: PSY/BACB

From DT to DI: Using Direct Instruction to Teach Students with ASD

Saturday, February 9, 2008
2:30 PM–3:30 PM
Regency Ballroom
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Instruction Level: Basic
CE Instructor: Cathy L. Watkins, Ph.D.
CATHY L. WATKINS (California State University)
Dr. Cathy L. Watkins received a doctorate from the University of Florida in 1987. She is a Professor of Special Education at California State University, Stanislaus and Co-Director of the Center for Direct Instruction. Dr. Watkins is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and past president of the California Association for Behavior Analysis. Dr. Watkins serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Direct Instruction and Education and Treatment of Children. She is a member of the Advisory Board of the Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies and the Board of Directors of the Association for Direct Instruction. She is co-author of The Components of Direct Instruction in Introduction to Direct Instruction and consulting author of SRA’s Ravenscourt Books. Dr. Watkins has experience working with both general and special education students. She trains and supervises teachers at the university and in public schools. She has consulted with schools and other agencies including the National Institute for Direct Instruction (NIFDI) and the Effective Schools Model of Project Follow Through. Dr. Watkins was honored with the Association for Direct Instruction's Excellence in Education Award for College Teaching and Staff Development. Her primary interest is in helping children and their teachers to be successful.
Abstract:

The number of children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) has increased substantially and many students with ASD are general education classrooms. The transition to a less restrictive educational placement presents special challenges for students with ASD whose early learning experiences have consisted primarily of structured 1:1 teaching. Teachers need effective instruction that can be integrated into typical classroom routines and activities. In addition, landmark legislation (IDEA and NCLB) requires the use of instructional methods that are based on scientific research. Direct Instruction can provide a practical and effective option. Direct Instruction programs are scientifically-based but, more importantly, they are empirically-validated. More than 30 years of research has shown Direct Instruction to be effective in addressing the needs of students ranging from those with severe disabilities to those identified as gifted, suggesting that the principles underlying effective instruction are more important in the process of learning than the special characteristics of any particular student population. Direct Instruction programs are based on two overarching beliefs: All children can be taught and all teachers can be successful when given effective materials and presentation techniques. In this session, Dr. Watkins will discuss how Direct Instruction programs can address the unique needs of learners with ASD while supporting the acquisition of academic skills. The presentation will provide an overview of Direct Instruction, present video examples of instructional programs, and describe features of instructional design and delivery methods of DI programs that make them effective and efficient tools to teach children with autism spectrum disorders.

Target Audience:

Licensed Psychologists and/or Certified Behavior Analysts

Learning Objectives: N/a
 
 
Invited Paper Session #8
CE Offered: PSY/BACB

Using ABA to Improve the Lives of Adults with Autism in Work, Community, and Residential Settings

Saturday, February 9, 2008
3:30 PM–4:30 PM
Regency Ballroom
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Instruction Level: Basic
CE Instructor: Gregory S. MacDuff, Ph.D.
GREGORY S. MACDUFF (Princeton Child Development Institute)
Gregory S. MacDuff, Ph.D., is the Director of Adult and Community-Living Programs at the Princeton Child Development Institute and Adjunct Professor at the University of Kansas and The College of New Jersey. He has authored articles and book chapters on incidental teaching, photographic activity schedules, staff training strategies, prompt- and prompt-fading procedures, behavioral intervention for adults with autism, and intervention models in residential settings. He has lectured nationally and internationally, and has provided consultation and training to a variety of public and private programs.
Abstract:

This presentation describes behavioral intervention programs that help adults with autism complete tasks in work, community, and residential settings. The presentation suggests that preparation for adulthood should begin in childhood, asserts that the curriculum should be as comprehensive and evaluation criteria as rigorous in programs for adults as in programs for children, and stresses the value of low client-teacher ratios. Our data suggest a number of skills that are key to adults successful transitions from education programs to supported employment and other community settings. These skills include remaining engaged without direct supervision, using delayed reward systems, completing assignments at criterion, following activity schedules, and exhibiting low levels of disruptive behavior. Discussion of keys skills will be supplemented by videotapes.

Target Audience:

Licensed Psychologists and/or Certified Behavior Analysts

Learning Objectives: N/a
 
 
Invited Paper Session #9
CE Offered: PSY/BACB

"Evidence-Based Practice: Improvement or Illusion?

Saturday, February 9, 2008
5:00 PM–6:00 PM
Regency Ballroom
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Instruction Level: Basic
CE Instructor: Gina Green, Ph.D.
GINA GREEN (San Diego State University)
Dr. Gina Green received a Ph.D. in Psychology (Analysis of Behavior) from Utah State University in 1986, following undergraduate and master’s degree studies at Michigan State University. She has been a faculty member in Behavior Analysis and Therapy at Southern Illinois University; Director of Research at the New England Center for Children in Southborough, Massachusetts; Associate Scientist at the E.K. Shriver Center for Mental Retardation in Waltham, Massachusetts; and Research Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics, University of Massachusetts Medical School. Dr. Green is currently in private practice in San Diego as a consultant and is on the faculty at San Diego State University and the University of North Texas. She has authored numerous publications on the treatment of individuals with developmental disabilities and brain injuries, as well as the experimental analysis of behavior. Dr. Green co-edited the books Behavioral Intervention for Young Children with Autism and Making a Difference: Behavioral Intervention for Autism. She serves or has served on the editorial boards of several professional journals in developmental disabilities and behavior analysis. Dr. Green also serves on the Board of Trustees and the Autism Advisory Group of the Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies, the Board of Directors of the Behavior Analyst Certification Board, and the advisory boards of several autism programs and organizations. She is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst, former president of the Association for Behavior Analysis and the California Association for Behavior Analysis, and a Fellow of the American Psychological Association and the Council for Scientific Medicine and Mental Health. Psychology Today named her “Mental Health Professional of the Year” in 2000. In 2005 she received an honorary Doctor of Science degree from The Queen’s University of Belfast, Northern Ireland for her work in autism. Dr. Green lectures and consults widely on autism and related disorders, behavioral research, and effective interventions for people with disabilities.
Abstract:

Evidence-based practice has become a popular buzz-phrase recently. Several groups have developed autism practice guidelines that are described as evidence-based, and that phrase is being used to market many interventions. Some laws and policies even mandate that practices be evidence-based. This would seem to be a good thing for behavior analysts and consumers of ABA services. But is it? Although evidence-based practice originally referred to practices that have proved effective in scientific studies, developers of some autism practice guidelines have defined evidence to include information that is not scientific at all. A number of others have defined science in a way that excluded most behavior analytic research. And some interventions that are being promoted as evidence-based have not been tested directly in anything resembling scientific studies. In light of these multiple, confusing usages, how are parents and practitioners to know whether they can have confidence in recommendations that are said to be evidence-based? Which of the many autism practice guidelines are grounded in real science? Why has the science of behavior analysis been ignored by so many guidelines developers, and what can be done about that? What is the best available scientific evidence about various interventions for autism? This presentation offers some answers to these questions, and some suggestions for using genuine scientific evidence to improve the practice of behavior analysis.

Target Audience:

Licensed Psychologists and/or Certified Behavior Analysts

Learning Objectives: N/a
 
 
Poster Session #10
Poster Session #2
Saturday, February 9, 2008
6:30 PM–8:00 PM
Grand Hall West
1. A Systematic Evaluation of a Pre-school Autism Intervention: Maintenance Training and Testing.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
NICHOLAS L. WEATHERLY (Western Michigan University), Richard W. Malott (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: The purpose of this study was (1) to evaluate the skills acquired by three preschool-aged children diagnosed with autism during their participation in an early intensive behavioral intervention (EIBI) public-school program, (2) to assess how well skills acquired by these three children maintained over time, and (3) to design, implement, and continuously evaluate a new maintenance protocol with the goal of improving the maintenance of these skills. The study took place in the Early Childhood Developmental Delay (ECDD) Preschool Classroom located within a public special education school in southwest Michigan. Objectives included examining the background of the children, the curriculum and training system involved, and the previous and new maintenance protocols.
 
2. A Systematic Evaluation of a Pre-school Autism Intervention: Continuous Quality Improvement and Extension of a Maintenance Training Program.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
KRISTEN L. GAISFORD (Western Michigan University), Richard W. Malott (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: The design of the current case study was to improve and extend an existing maintenance training and testing system by assessing the performance of two children selected from a classroom that provides services to children with Early Childhood Developmental Delays (ECDD). The purpose of this study was to systematically (1) track the performance of these two preschool-aged children during their participation in an early intensive behavioral intervention (EIBI) public-school program, (2) improve the skill acquisition of these skills and (3) transfer the maintenance of these skills across tutors and settings. The study took place in the Early Childhood Developmental Delay (ECDD) Preschool Classroom located within a public special education school in southwest Michigan.
 
3. A Systematic Evaluation of a Pre-school Autism Intervention: Concept Mastery Training and Testing.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
WOAN TIAN CHOW (Western Michigan University), Richard W. Malott (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: The current case study was designed to evaluate the concept mastery of two preschool-aged children diagnosed with autism. The purpose of this study was to (1) evaluate the current training protocol to teach concept mastery through object and picture labeling (receptive), (2) to assess concept acquisition by testing how well the trained stimuli generalized to novel stimuli, and (3) to design, implement, and continuously evaluate a new protocol with the goal of improving the teaching of concept mastery. The study took place in the Early Childhood Developmental Delay (ECDD) Preschool Classroom located within a public special education school in southwest Michigan.
 
4. A Systematic Evaluation of a Pre-school Autism Intervention: Generalized Imitation Training and Testing.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
BREANNE K. CROOKS (Western Michigan University), Richard W. Malott (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: The current case study was designed to evaluate the imitative repertoire of two children diagnosed with autism. The purpose of this study was to analyze the imitation portion of an early intervention curriculum. The intention was to evaluate the acquisition of various types of imitative skills including manipulative imitation, vocal imitation, and physical imitation, and to determine the generality of each of these imitative skills. The study took place in the Early Childhood Developmental Delay (ECDD) Preschool Classroom located within a public special education school in Southwest Michigan.
 
5. Training Master's Students to Conduct a Functional Assessment and Analysis with a 3-year-old Child with Severe Problem Behaviors.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
KRISTA GABRIAU (Western Michigan University), Nicole Hoffmeister (Western Michigan University), Richard W. Malott (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: The Behavior Analysis Training System (BATS) is a Master's program in behavior analysis. One component of BATS involves training students in various behavior analytic treatment interventions for children with developmental disabilities and autism, including the skills necessary to work in discrete trial classrooms. Occasionally, conducting simple discrete trial procedures is not enough to help individuals from this population; problem behaviors may prevent some children from experiencing the many benefits that discrete trial procedures present by inhibiting the number of learning opportunities available. Functional assessments and analyses are crucial for the identification of the functions of such problem behaviors and assist with the development of interventions. Until now, BATS has not trained students in conducting functional assessments and analyses. This case study describes both the training process involved in teaching functional assessment and analysis procedures to Master's students, as well as the benefits of conducting a functional assessment and analysis with a three-year-old child exhibiting problem behaviors including screaming, disruptive behavior, and self-injurious behavior.
 
6. A Systematic Evaluation of a Pre-School Autism Intervention: Skill Acquisition.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
KATIE MICHELLE RELPH (Western Michigan University), Richard W. Malott (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: The current case study was designed to evaluate the performance of one child diagnosed with autism. The purpose of this study was (1) to evaluate the skills acquired and increase skill acquisition by one preschool-aged child diagnosed with autism during his participation in an early intensive behavioral intervention (EIBI) public-school program, (2) to decrease several of the child's inappropriate behaviors, and (3) to evaluate the curriculum utilized and the training provided in the EIBI public-school program. The study took place in the Early Childhood Developmental Delay (ECDD) Preschool Classroom located within a public special education school in southwest Michigan. Objectives included examining the background of the child, previous and current rate of skill acquisition, and the curriculum and training system involved.
 
7. Advanced Autism Practicum.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
ABBY FERREE (Western Michigan University), Nicole Hoffmeister (Western Michigan University), Richard W. Malott (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: The Advanced Autism Practicum is the last in a set of three practica with the goal of training undergraduate student technicians to administer Discrete-Trial Therapy to preschool-aged children with autism. Students who show exemplary skills after completing the Basic and Intermediate Autism Practica are considered for the Advanced Autism Practicum. Our practicum site is an Early Childhood Developmental Delay preschool classroom. In addition to gaining experience with this population, the Advanced Autism Practicum students write an original procedure to be implemented with the children they work with. These student technicians must detect specific skill deficits, write a procedure to address the problem, interpret the data, and write any recycle phases to make the procedure as effective as possible. The student technician is also in charge of writing sub-phases to aid in a procedure for which the child is having trouble meeting criteria for mastery of a certain phase. Additionally, the student technician gives feedback to Intermediate practicum students to assist in these students' development as technicians. Lastly, as a part of the Advanced Autism Practicum, student technicians are trained in the analysis of the children's self-injurious or problem behavior. This includes introductions to functional assessments and taking observational data.
 
8. Behavior Analysis Training System.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
CAITLIN ELIZABETH O'BOYLE (Western Michigan University), Krista Gabriau (Western Michigan University), Tara Elizabeth Adams (Western Michigan University), Richard W. Malott (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: The mission of the Behavior Analysis Training System is to facilitate the improvement of the quality, accuracy, and timeliness of the overall system. This is accomplished by improving performance within and across all subsystems. Improved performance will be obtained through increasing system accomplishments, minimizing the number of and responding in a timely manner to disconnects, and improving the quality and accuracy of system products.
 
9. Evaluation of Discrete-Trial Training Interventions with Preschool Children with Autism.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
MEHREEN ARSHAD (Western Michigan University), Richard W. Malott (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: Discrete-Trial Training (DTT) often proves to be useful in intense early intervention with preschool children diagnosed with Autism. The current study examines the use of DTT in the rate of skill acquisition, and the type of functional skills acquired in a given period of time. The study evaluates the effectiveness of using DTT to teach curriculum in a public special education school in Michigan.
 
10. Competency-Based Staff Training in a Short-term Treatment Unit.
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
ROBERT A. BABCOCK (Laurel Heights Hospital), Beau Laughlin (Laurel Heights Hospital)
Abstract: Laurel Heights Hospital in Atlanta Georgia opened a 10 bed intensive residential treatment program for adolescent boys with ASDs in April of 2007 to provide ABA services enabling them to be successful with follow-up at home. Direct-care staff were trained in basic interaction skills needed to create a positive and predictable environment, respond to minor problem behaviors by reinforcing appropriate behavior being exhibited by peers, and teaching rule-following by catching, celebrating and tacting instances of appropriate behavior. Staff quickly mastered these skills creating levels of engagement needed to support individualized programming on the unit.
 
11. Empowering Parents to Use PBS Strategies to Manage In-appropriate Behaviours.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
UMESH SHARMA (Monash University)
Abstract: In recent years there is an increased emphasis on training parents about various strategies so that they feel empowered to work with their children with Autism. This study reports the results of a study in which two families were trained separately to use Positive Behaviour Support Strategies (PBS) to manage in-appropriate behaviours of eating playdough (Family One) and crying excessively (Family 2). An ABAB design was used to conduct the study. The first part of the training focused on Functional Behaviour Analysis (FBA) where parents were trained to independently identify functions of the inappropriate behaviour of their child. In the second part of the training the parents were trained to use selected PBS strategies. The results of the study indicated a significant improvement in the behaviours of both children. Parents also perceived more competent in managing other inappropriate behaviours of their children that were not targeted in this study. The results of the study will be discussed with possible implications for researchers who are planning to design parent training programs in PBS.
 
13. Staff Training: Making it Count.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
EVELYN JO HORTON (The Homestead)
Abstract: With a growing demand for well-trained interventionists in the field of ABA, it becomes increasing important to provide adequate, efficient means for training staff who will be direct service providers. This poster looks at the use of competency based training provided through brief direct instruction sessions and followed by the use of skills checklists and immediate feed back. Video taping is used for self analysis by participants. The results are compared with training done in the traditional lecture style with question and answer periods to provide general feedback. Skill areas targeted include the use of reinforcement, effective prompting techniques and the use of specific communication strategies used with children with disabilities.
 
15. Science of Education: Linking Part 100 Regulations with Databased Instructional Accountability.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
NYLA LAMM (Columbia University & AMAC), Frederica Blausten (Association for Metroarea Autistic Children)
Abstract: "Leave No Child Behind" challenges educators to rise above traditional educational practices and bring to their students a 'Science of education' (Lamm, 1992). Administrative knowledge and commitment to the science of education is paramount for the successful implementation and sustenance of a science-based school-wide program. Year 1, of a 3-year multiple baseline study investigated the effects of a systematic Applied Behavior Analytic staff training program on student academic outcomes. Subjects were 8 teachers, 13 teacher assistants, and sixty two students ages 3 - 18 years. Subjects were diagnosed with Autism, emotional disturbances, and/or multiple handicaps, and received ABA data-based special education and related services while attending the Association for Metroarea Autistic Children (AMAC) in NYC. A single case within and across subject design was used to measure the teacher instructional precision and accountability, and student academic responses linked to the NYS Education Regulations Part 100, each student's IEP goals, and the AMAC IGS Curriculum (Romanczyk, 1996). Daily ongoing databased graphic instructional analyses and permanent product quarterly Report Cards were used to evaluate student progress.
 
16. University of South Florida Masters Program in Applied Behavior Analysis.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
TIMOTHY M. WEIL (University of South Florida)
Abstract: This poster is meant to disseminate information on the University of South Florida Masters in ABA program.
 
17. Comparing Transfer of Stimulus Control Procedures Across Learners with Autism.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
CHRISTOPHER BLOH (Kutztown University)
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to compare the effectiveness of two procedures for transfer of stimulus control across people with autism who possessed varying verbal abilities. The objective was targeted at acquiring the correct label or tact for 36 previously unknown items. Five subjects were recruited who possessed different communicative abilities and were exposed to two methods: receptive-echoic-tact and echoic-tact. Their verbal abilities were assessed by a subset of The ABLLS prior to intervention. All but one of the subjects learned the 36 targeted tacts utilizing each of the transfer methods for a subset of the targeted stimuli. While some of the subjects appeared to have a preference regarding transfer method, neither procedure emerged as more efficient with learners with a higher or lower verbal ability. The results suggest that both transfer methods could promote the acquisition of a tacting repertoire for a learner with autism, provided that he possesses minimal communicative ability.
 
18. Derived Transfer of Mand Function: Establishing Novel Mands in Children with Autism Without Direct Training.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
DANIELLE LYNN COTTERILL (Mercyhurst College), Robert Gulick (Achievement Center), Ruth G. Auld (Mercyhurst College)
Abstract: Three children diagnosed with autism were trained to ask a question to obtain information within the context of a guessing game. The game required the children to systematically guess the identity of an unknown object depicted on a card held by the investigator. This study explored whether the establishment of an equivalence class of category-questions could evoke novel question-asking during the guessing game. This was tested by first directly training a single category-question. This specific question was then incorporated into conditional discriminations with five novel category-questions. Probes were then conducted for the derived transfer of mand response function from the initial category question to the five untrained questions. Participants #2 and #3 demonstrated derived transfer of mand function to the novel questions within five and eight days, respectively, of the onset of the conditional discrimination phase. Following 14 days of conditional discrimination training, Participant #1 failed to consistently demonstrate derived transfer during probes. An alteration in the schedule of reinforcement during probes was made and, subsequently, Participant #1 began consistently demonstrating derived transfer of mand function.
 
19. How Effective are Speech-generating Devices for Children with Autism? A Systematic Review.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
OLIVER WENDT (Purdue University), Ralf Schlosser (Northeastern University)
Abstract: A systematic review of experimental research literature evaluated how effectively speech-generating devices (SGDs) developed communication skills in individuals with autism. Published and unpublished intervention studies were retrieved through a literature search covering 1990-2007. Study inclusion criteria were: (1) intervention involves SGDs; (2) intervention targets an individual with autism; (3) experiment employs single-subject or group design; (4) experiment is an article in a refereed journal or an unpublished dissertation/thesis. Percentage of non-overlapping data (PND) was used to analyze and integrate single-subject studies. Interventions that resulted in a mean PND greater than 90% were considered highly effective, between 70% and 90%, fairly effective, between 50% and 70%, questionably effective, and below 50%, unreliable. This procedure allowed a quantitative description of SGD effectiveness in general and related to specific outcomes (e.g., natural speech production, requesting, spelling, etc.). Ten single-subject studies including a total of 28 participants were retrieved that met inclusion criteria. The PND procedure revealed a median PND score of 84.5% across interventions, implying that SGDs are potentially effective. Five studies showed PND scores above 80% (fairly/highly effective), and only one study had a PND score below 50% (unreliable). These results will be discussed in terms of their relevance to evidence-based practice.
 
20. Starting Verbal Language: Three Procedures to Initiate Verbal Imitation in Young Children with Autism.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
KIMBERLY ANN KROEGER (Kelly O'Leary Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders)
Abstract: Three verbal imitation strategies were used with three children diagnosed with autistic disorder. Two of the children were nonverbal and the third child displayed verbal behavior for only highly preferred, self-stimulatory words. A multiple baseline across subjects and treatment design was used. If a verbal imitation strategy was found to be unsuccessful with a given child, another strategy was implemented. This first nonverbal child was taught verbal imitation using an automatic reinforcement procedure (AB condition). The second nonverbal child began in an automatic reinforcement procedure, however found it to be aversive, and was then started in a less intense, generic verbal imitation program (ABC condition). The third child with nonfunctional verbal skills was started in the generic verbal imitation program, then moved to the automatic reinforcement protocol, and finally started in a verbal imitation program using priming and behavioral momentum (ABCD condition). All three children acquired verbal imitation skills. Results indicate that a variety of strategies exist to establish verbal imitation skills and that certain strategies appear to be more beneficial than others for certain children. Future research should focus on pairing child characteristics and verbal imitation strategies.
 
21. Effects of AAC Intervention on Speech Production in Autism: A Systematic Review.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
RALF SCHLOSSER (Northeastern University), Oliver Wendt (Purdue University)
Abstract: This systematic review aimed to determine the effects of augmentative and alternative communication intervention on speech production in individuals with autism. Systematic review methodology was used to limit bias in locating, appraising, and synthesizing studies. This involved a comprehensive search for treatment studies dated between 1975 and 2006 using various sources and search strategies. Studies had to meet 10 criteria. A coding manual and form facilitated data extraction regarding subject characteristics, treatment characteristics, design and measurement (including quality appraisal), and outcomes. IOA was obtained on data extraction and study inclusion. Seven studies met the criteria, including five studies using single-subject experimental designs (SSEDs) with a total of 22 participants and two randomized controlled trials with a total of 96 participants. The Percentage of Non-overlapping Data was calculated to determine effectiveness in SSEDs whereas Cohen’s d and/or Hedges’ g were calculated for group designs. Because of heterogeneity in speech measurements and interventions types, the outcomes were not aggregated across studies/subjects. Results suggest that AAC intervention does not hinder but increase speech production. The magnitude of increases, however, seems to vary across participants with type of AAC interventions, setting, and measurement of speech outcomes. Several directions for future research are posited.
 
22. The Assessment of Basic Language and Learning Skills-Revised: Building the Evidence Base.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
KOJI TAKESHIMA (Behavior Analysts, Inc.), Pamela G. Osnes (Behavior Analysts, Inc.), Joel Vidovic (Behavior Analysts, Inc.), Carrie S. W. Borrero (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Abstract: The Assessment of Basic Language and Learning Skills-Revised (ABLLS-R) is an assessment instrument frequently used to determine skill deficits and areas for improvement for children with language delays (Partington & Sundberg, 1998). Often, results of the ABLLS-R assist special education teachers in the development of goals for Individualized Education Plans. This poster will present updated results of the ongoing research that is determining the interobserver agreement (IOA) of the ABLLS-R repertoires. In the first study, an ABLLS -R assessment was conducted with one student with autism in a nonpublic school, the STARS School. Two independent observers collected IOA for the first ten task items in skills sets A-I as identified in the ABLLS-R. IOA was calculated using both occurrence and non-occurrence measures. Results revealed a mean occurrence agreement score of 65% and a mean non-occurrence agreement score of 95%. The second study was conducted with eight students with autism at the STARS School, and used a reversal design to assess the effectiveness of task-analyzed administration procedures and standardized materials in the administration. Results revealed improved levels of IOA with the use of task-analyzed procedures and standardized materials.
 
23. Teaching Correspondence Between Verbal and Written Yes and No Responses in the Function of Mands.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
GLADYS WILLIAMS (CIEL, SL), Monica Rodriguez Mori (CIEL, SL), Jennie Williams-Keller (Applied Behavioral Consultant Services, NY), Daniel Carvalho de Matos ( Applied Behavioral Consultant Services, NY)
Abstract: The purpose of this intervention was to teach the pre-requisite skill of correspondence between the verbal and written responses Yes and No in a functional context. The students were two male adolescents of 18 and 19 years of age. Even though both children had basic reading, they did not demonstrate the correspondence between saying Yes and No to the written words Yes and No in the mand functions. With this intervention the students learned to relate correctly their own spoken word "Yes" or "No" to the written word Yes or No in a functional context. They were required to select the written word Yes or No to receive the reinforcer or avoid the aversive consequence. In addition, they were taught to select the correct food to the written words Like and Not Like.
 
24. Teaching Pre-requisite Skills to Describe Novel Objects.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
MONICA RODRIGUEZ MORI (CIEL, SL), Gladys Williams (CIEL, SL), Manuela Fernandez Vuelta (CIEL, SL), Kimberly Vogt (Columbia University Teachers College)
Abstract: The purpose of this investigation was to determine the effectiveness of a procedure based on a combination of speaker and listener behavior using multiple exemplars to teach children with autism to describe novel objects. The procedure consisted of selecting two pairs of objects belonging to a category (i.e., animals), and running a series of steps. First, we run a baseline phase with two pairs. The training was done with only one of the pairs and it consisted of teaching several skills (matching to sample, naming, and answering intraverbals – including symmetry). The teaching was done using multiple exemplars. After the child learned the objective, we run the baseline again to see if the learned behavior emerged with the untrained pair. If the behavior did not emerge, we repeated the same steps with new pairs of objects. Three students with autism with ages ranging from four to 18 years participated in this study. Preliminary results indicate that with some children the procedure was effective.
 
25. Teaching Abstraction to Children with Autism.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
MANUELA FERNANDEZ VUELTA (CIEL, SL), Gladys Williams (CIEL, SL), Monica Rodriguez Mori (CIEL, SL), Anna Beatriz Queiroz (Catholic University of São Paulo (PUC-SP)), Kimberly Vogt (Columbia University Teachers College)
Abstract: Normal-developing children demonstrate the ability to generate novel behaviour by making associations to objects they encounter daily (e.g. "Look, it is number 8. It looks like a snow-man"). Children with autism generally are not able to see this kind of abstractions. The purpose of the study was to teach two children with autism to observe similarities between a variety of shapes and numbers (e.g. "It is number one", when seeing a string). The two participants were a seven-year-old child and a nineteen year-old adolescent, both diagnosed with autism. The procedure consisted of probing the responses presenting a string and a wooden measure in the shapes of numbers from 1, 2, 3, 4, 7 and 8. The instruction was "What does this look like?" Then, the children learned a series of conditional discriminations, following several phases, using multiple exemplars with shapes and drawings similar to numbers. When they completed all the phases we probed the emergence of the behaviour with the string and the wooden measure. The results indicated that the children were capable of naming correct numbers with the untrained material.
 
26. Using the Whole Blocking Procedure with Multiple Exemplars to Teach Object Selection.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
KIMBERLY VOGT (Columbia University Teachers College), Stephen John Wuensch (David Gregory School), Lydia Mekjian (David Gregory School)
Abstract: The purpose of this investigation was to determine if the use of the whole blocking procedure (Pérez-González and Williams, 2002) using multiple exemplars was effective in teaching two children with autism to select objects in an auditory-visual discrimination task. The boys, ages 3 and 7, had demonstrated previous difficulties to acquire the behavior with standard procedures to teach discriminations. Fork and Block were the target objects. We presented different types of forks and blocks during the presentation of each trial in all the phases of the whole blocking procedure. The results will follow. Pérez-González, L. A., & Williams, G. (2002). A multi-component procedure to teach conditional discriminations to children with autism. American Journal on Mental Retardation, (107) 4, 293-301.
 
27. A Comparison of a Verbal Behavior Approach on Students with Autism and Developmental Delays.
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
JANET I. GOODMAN (Haralson County Schools), Judy A. Grimes (Haralson County Schools), Cheryl Benefield (Haralson County Schools)
Abstract: As classrooms for students with autism continue to utilize a verbal behavior approach to language instruction, is there a difference in acquisition of language in students identified with different disabilities? Data will be presented on two students, one with autism and one with developmental disability and severe language delay, in a communication intensive classroom based on Skinner's Analysis of Verbal behavior. The students had very similar profiles based on the ABLLS-R assessment. When entering the program, both students had no language, spontaneously emitted limited sounds, and also scored very low in all areas of the ABLLS. Data on their individual progress of language acquisition will be presented to examine any differences in patterns or rate of acquisition.
 
28. Teaching Daily Living Skills to Individuals with Autism: A Comparison of Picture and Video Prompts.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
TONI R. VAN LAARHOVEN (Northern Illinois University), Jesse W. Johnson (Northern Illinois University)
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to compare the effectiveness of video and picture prompting for teaching daily living skills to two young men with autism. Participants were taught two different skills that were identified as instructional priorities in their educational programs. Each task was taught with either video prompts (presented on a laptop) or picture prompts (presented in a booklet) and the effects of the instructional conditions were evaluated and compared using an adapted alternating treatments design. Results indicated that video prompting was slightly more effective in terms of independent correct responding and number of prompts to use instructional materials. In addition, when efficiency scores were calculated by considering the ratio of each participant's growth (from pre-test to post-test) to the measured "cost" of minutes required to create instructional materials, video prompting was considerably more efficient than picture prompting. Instructional implications and future research will be discussed.
 
29. Self-Stimulatory Behaviors in Autism: Interventions in a Foot Fetish and Public Masturbation.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
SELA ANN SANBERG (California State University, Northridge), Tamara Obregon (California State University, Northridge), Ellie Kazemi (California State University, Northridge), Brian Rice (California State University, Northridge), Dee L. Shepherd-Look (California State University, Northridge)
Abstract: Normative sexual behavior in childhood includes genital play and masturbation with young children (i.e., ages 3- to 6-years) and boys engaging more frequently in such activities compared to older children (i.e., ages 7- to 12-years) and girls. Studies show as children become school-aged and learn social standards, sexual behaviors are concealed and become private. In individuals with developmental disabilities, however, there are higher incidences of inappropriate sexual behaviors such as public masturbation in later childhood and adulthood. Despite apparent implications, reduction of public sexual behaviors in this population has not been documented extensively. Furthermore, existing literature addresses reduction and/or elimination of public masturbation without reference to appropriate and private sexual behaviors. This study examined the outcomes of response blocking and redirection to a private setting to decrease public masturbation and foot fetish exhibited by a 6-year-old child with autism. Findings revealed that response blocking and redirection resulted in reduced public masturbation but no change in foot-fetish behavior. Parental attitudes toward inappropriate sexual behaviors, their compliance with the intervention plan, as well as suggestions for future studies are discussed.
 
30. Concurrent Validity of Behavioral Observations and Standardized Assessments for Young Children with Autism.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
GAIL G. MCGEE (Emory University School of Medicine), Michael J. Morrier (Emory University)
Abstract: Assessment of early treatment outcomes of young children with autism has historically used standardized measures for demonstrating positive outcomes (Lovaas, 1987). Behavioral treatment providers believe that observations of a child's behavior is the primary measure to be used. This poster will provide a concurrent validity assessment of naturally occurring verbal language skills and results of standardized language assessments for children with autism after 2 years of early intervention. In vivo verbal language use for 10 children with autism was compared to standard scores on verbal language assessments to determine that match between behavioral observations and standardized assessments. Both measures indicated language growth in children with autism, while behavioral measures indicated that children's generalized language use in a preschool classroom was increased. Results are one step in determining appropriate measures for outcome research of early intervention for children with autism.
 
31. Functionality of Preference Assessments: Stability and Parental Report.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
JANE MORTON (The Marcus Institute), Dawn Berg (Marcus Institute), Karen Myers (Marcus Institute), Leronda Phillips (Marcus Institute), David L. Jaquess (Marcus Institute)
Abstract: For children with autism, pair-wise preference assessments have been used by practitioners to systematically identify highly preferred reinforcers to be used in treatment of problem behaviors (Fisher et al., 1992). The advantage of the results over parent-report and the functionality of the results of pair-wise preference assessments, however, have not been thoroughly considered. By comparing the results of pair-wise preference assessments with the final items employed as reinforcers in behaviorally based treatment packages for problem behaviors, the current study aims to collect additional information about the stability and functionality of preferences. In addition, the relationship between parental report of child's preference and the results of the pair-wise preference assessment will be compared. In the current study, 16 item pair-wise preference assessments will be analyzed from 5 participants. A Spearman's correlation or a contingency coefficient will be used for all comparisons to determine significant relationships between (a) highest preferred item on preference assessment and terminal item in treatment, (b) parental report and highest preferred item on preference assessment, and (c) parental report and terminal item in treatment. Results will provide additional information about the stability and functionality of pair-wise preference assessments with children with disabilities such as autism.
 
32. One-to-One Correspondence and the Emergence of Novel Math Skills.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
ANNA BEATRIZ QUEIROZ (Catholic University of São Paulo (PUC-SP)), Gladys Williams (CIEL, SL), Monica Rodriguez Mori (CIEL, SL), Manuela Fernandez Vuelta (CIEL, SL), Belen Gomez Verdugo (CIEL, SL)
Abstract: This study had two objectives. First, to investigate the use of a specific procedure to teach one-to-one correspondence counting, and second, to investigate the effects of one-to-one correspondence counting on the emergence of untrained specific math skills. The procedure to teach counting objects consisted of three steps that involved the components of one-to-one correspondence, counting up to a certain number, and the matching of the spoken number to the gesture (moving the objects). Six students with autism participated. All six acquired the skill of one-to-one correspondence counting, and some demonstrated the emergence of some novel math skills.
 
33. Use of Differential Reinforcement Contingencies to Decrease Problem Behavior Associated with Task Compliance.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
REBECCA A. VEENSTRA (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Henry S. Roane (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Jason R. Zeleny (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center)
Abstract: Two differential reinforcement procedures were implemented to decrease problem behavior during academic and household tasks. Participants were a 12-year-old female diagnosed with Autism and a 15-year-old male diagnosed with Smith-Magenis syndrome. Initial assessments indicated that the highest rates of problem behavior were observed when participants were engaging in staff-selected low preference activities instead of their preferred activity. Thus, a treatment contingency was arranged in which access to preferred activities was delivered following engagement in low preferred activities. For one participant, extinction and differential reinforcement of other behavior (DRO) was implemented and for the other participant, extinction and differential reinforcement of low rates (DRL) of problem behavior was implemented. Finally, delay fading was used to increase the duration of the DRO interval or the number of sessions in which the DRL criterion must be met in order to gain access to reinforcement. For both participants reliability data were collected on at least 20% of sessions and averaged over 80% for all dependent variables. The combination of both extinction and the differential reinforcement contingencies were effective in reducing problem behavior during staff-selected tasks. These results are discussed in relation to the effectiveness of choice procedures and decreased problem behavior associated with Autism.
 
34. Targeting Restricted Interests and Repetitive Behaviors by Increasing Flexibility in Children with Autism and Asperger's Disorder.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
CHRISTIE ENJEY LIN (University of California, Santa Barbara), Robert L. Koegel (University of California, Santa Barbara), Lynn Kern Koegel (University of California, Santa Barbara)
Abstract: The category of restricted interests and repetitive patterns of behaviors (RIRB) is one of the core diagnostic features of Autism and Asperger's Disorder. These symptoms have been described as a heterogeneous group of behaviors that are ritualistic, invariant and developmentally/socially inappropriate. Despite the variety of RIRB observed across individuals with autism, there appears to be a common underlying thread of inflexibility. RIRB is a significant concern because of the pervasiveness of these symptoms, coinciding disruptive behaviors and research demonstrating less improvement in this area compared to social and communication domains. RIRB has implications for the quality of life of the individual and family. Research indicates that self-management is an effective behavioral intervention to target improvement in a variety of behaviors. This study investigated the implementation of a self-management program to target RIRB by increasing "flexibility." For this study, flexibility was defined as appropriately varying or adapting behaviors when presented with an opportunity to disengage from a RIRB without displaying disruptive behaviors and continuing to engage in the activity at hand. A non-concurrent multiple baseline across participants research design was implemented. Results demonstrated that self-management increased flexibility and was generalized to a variety of settings and activities.
 
35. Identity Matching in Children with Autism: Optimizing Fixed-Trial Teaching.
Area: AUT; Domain: Basic Research
WILLIAM J. MCILVANE (University of Massachusetts Medical School), Camila Graciela Santos Gomes (Universidade Federal de São Carlos), Deisy das Garcas De Souza (Universidade Federal de São Carlos)
Abstract: Our study assessed the performance of 20 persons with autism in an identity matching-to-sample task, using two procedures with different stimuli arrangements and different response requirements. The typical matching procedure presented one sample and three comparison stimuli; the adapted matching displayed three samples and three comparison stimuli simultaneously. Three consecutive blocks of trials were conducted: a 10-trials block of adapted matching, a 10-trials block of typical matching, and a 20-trials block intermixing both trial types in an unsystematic order. The average scores of correct performance were significantly higher under the adapted matching than under the typical matching. The adapted arrangement proved superior for participants with moderate and severe autism, a finding that suggests strategies for improving fixed-trial teaching methodology for children with intellectual disabilities. Our study assessed the performance of 20 persons with autism in an identity matching-to-sample task, using two procedures with different stimuli arrangements and different response requirements. The typical matching procedure presented one sample and three comparison stimuli; the adapted matching displayed three samples and three comparison stimuli simultaneously. Three consecutive blocks of trials were conducted: a 10-trials block of adapted matching, a 10-trials block of typical matching, and a 20-trials block intermixing both trial types in an unsystematic order. The average scores of correct performance were significantly higher under the adapted matching than under the typical matching. The adapted arrangement proved superior for participants with moderate and severe autism, a finding that suggests strategies for improving fixed-trial teaching methodology for children with intellectual disabilities.
 
36. Expanding The Little Tree Learning Center's EIBI Program.
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
KIMBERLEY HAYS SMITH (Auburn University & The Little Tree), Julie M. Harris (Little Tree Learning Center), Robert A. Babcock (The Learning Tree, Inc.)
Abstract: The Little Tree Learning Center, (A program of The Learning Tree, Inc.) is a preschool and in-home based early intensive behavior intervention program for children diagnosed with ASD. Children enrolled at The Little Tree attend 35 hours per week and receive up to 5 hours of in-home services. The Little Tree has collaborated with The Learning Tree, Inc. in developing the ACORN project which provides outreach to preschool teachers of children with ASD across the state of Alabama. Teachers attend 5 days of training at The Little Tree and follow-up consultation is provided in their local school district. Teachers participating in the project receive training on assessment, data collection, and behavior reduction and acquisition procedures. Data included on this poster show ABLLS skills mastered across children enrolled at The Little Tree and in a preschool that has participated in the ACORN project. Also displayed are single subject graphs showing examples of behavior acquisition and reduction for two students, and demographic information showing teachers, practicum students, and parents trained both at The Little Tree and ACORN project during 2006-2007 school year.
 
38. The Use of a Self-directed Learning Program to Provide Introductory Training to Parents of Children with Autism.
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
SHARON ELMENSDORP (University of California, Santa Barbara - Koegel Autism Center), Nicolette Nefdt (University of California, Santa Barbara - Koegel Autism Center)
Abstract: As a result of the increased incidence of autism spectrum disorders, the gap between the current need and availability of empirically supported treatments (EST) has widened. Researchers facing this need vs. services discrepancy with clinical populations other than ASD have been successful at using self-directed learning models as an effective and cost efficient way to educate parents about how to implement effective intervention methods. There is a need for research evaluating the use of self-directed learning models to teach parents to provide intervention for their child with autism. The purpose of this study was to evaluate, through a randomized clinical trial, whether the use of a self-directed learning program could result in behavioral change in parents and children. Results indicated significant differences between treatment and control groups at posttest on all of the dependent measures of fidelity of implementation, parent opportunities for language, observed parent confidence and child functional verbalizations. The data suggest the efficacy and effectiveness of a self-directed learning program as an introduction for parents on the implementation of an empirically supported treatment as part of a comprehensive intervention plan for children with autism. Limitations and directions for a programmatic line of research are discussed
 
39. Biomedical Research Routes Concerning the Causes of Autism; Evidence, Concerns, Qualifications, and Promising Directions.
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
BETTY FRY WILLIAMS (Whitworth University), Don Calbreath (Whitworth University)
Abstract: This poster examines evidence from three main research routes pursued by medical researchers seeking to establish the factors contributing to the development of autism: brain structure and function, opioid excess theories (the roles of thimerosal, casein, and gluten for example), and candidate genes involved. Also included are cautions regarding the evidence used to reach conclusions and qualifications that apply to findings that may affect their validity and application. Promising research is also identified.This poster examines evidence from three main research routes pursued by medical researchers seeking to establish the factors contributing to the development of autism: brain structure and function, opioid excess theories (the roles of thimerosal, casein, and gluten for example), and candidate genes involved. Also included are cautions regarding the evidence used to reach conclusions and qualifications that apply to findings that may affect their validity and application. Promising research is also identified.
 
40. Psychosocial Functioning of Children with Asperger's Syndrome: Implications for Treatment.
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
KARLA J. DOEPKE (Illinois State University), Anna M. Hickey (Illinois State University), Ashley Whittington (Illinois State University), Kate Gioia (Illinois State University), Lewis Mazzone (Illinois State University), Marjorie Heitz (Illinois State University), Kathryn Hoff (Illinois State University)
Abstract: Asperger's Syndrome (AS) is primarily a social disorder that is characterized by qualitative, pervasive impairments in social interactions and narrow, repetitive patterns of interests and activities. While children with AS often cannot be distinguished from their peers in terms of academic progress, they can easily be spotted in social situations as "different." Considering the impact of social competence and peer relationships on the development of internalizing disorders (e.g., depression and anxiety), it would not be surprising to find that rates of these disorders are higher among youth with AS. This investigation is directed at examining the relationships between depression, anxiety, problem-solving abilities, and social skills among two groups of children with AS who participate in a weekly social skills group. Initial data suggests that these children not only exhibit lower levels of social skills, but also concomitant difficulties with depression and anxiety. Of particular concern is the high proportion of children who are endorsing suicidal ideation than is typically observed in the child population. Implications for treatment are discussed.
 
41. Identification of Autism-specific Impairments During Brief Parent-child Interactions: Implications for Pediatrician Training.
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
SHARON ELMENSDORP (University of California, Santa Barbara - Koegel Autism Center), Robert L. Koegel (University of California, Santa Barbara), Lynn Kern Koegel (University of California, Santa Barbara), Nicolette Nefdt (University of California, Santa Barbara - Koegel Autism Center)
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to identify behavioral characteristics of young children at risk for autism to determine if these characteristics can be used by pediatricians to initiate a referral for further evaluation for autism. As early identification of children with autism is crucial for the provision of early intervention and thereby improved outcomes, this has important implications for community-based practice. The parent-child interactions of 33 participants were coded for specific child behaviors including: looking at face (eye contact), directed affect, and the initiation of joint attention. Results showed that the use of social behaviors, specifically directed affect and joint attention, were significantly lower in children at risk for autism spectrum disorder. Most importantly though is the finding that this decreased use was evident in all of the children with autism spectrum disorders during only ten minutes of parent-child interaction, suggesting that social abnormalities can be detected by providers in a short period of time so that children can be referred for further evaluation.
 
42. Research and Career Development Opportunities at the Center for Autism and Related Disorders.
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
JONATHAN J. TARBOX (Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc.), Rachel S. F. Tarbox (Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc.), Doreen Granpeesheh (Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc.)
Abstract: The Center for Autism and Related Disorders is an international organization providing comprehensive services for individuals with autism. This poster will describe recent research initiatives as well as ongoing career development opportunities for clinicians and researchers in the areas of applied behavior analysis and autism. A sampling of research data will be presented, as well as descriptions of graduate and professional training opportunities.
 
43. Where Are the Data? Publication Profiles of Articles on Autism in JABA, JADD, and JPBI.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
JIM ABEL (Delaware Autism Program), Peter J. Doehring (Delaware Autism Program), Brianne Wagner (Delaware Autism Program), Leslie R. Lesko (Delaware Autism Program), Kristi Peters (Delaware Autism Program), Kristin Myers (Delaware Autism Program)
Abstract: Practitioners seeking a scientific basis for their interventions are often surprised by the paucity of empirical support. As part of a broader initiative to catalogue existing outcome research pertaining to the education of students with autism, we summarize the characteristics of more than 400 articles that reference autism, were published between 2000 and 2006, and appeared either in two of the established journals commonly referenced by practitioners - the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis (JABA) and the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders (JADD) – or one of the newer journals – the Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions. We report on the article type (e.g., review, theoretical paper, basic research, outcome research, etc) and focus (behavior reduction and/or skill acquisition, each broken down by subtypes). For research articles, we further analyze articles based on other factors such as age of the student, type of design (single case, group design) and intervention methods examined. Our analyses reveal that these three journals have distinctive and complementary publication profiles with respect to these factors, especially as they pertain to the field of ABA. Further, while the overall number of outcome studies remains relatively surprising small, it is nonetheless increasing.
 
44. Current Research Trends on the Picture Exchange Communication System.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
LORI FROST (Pyramid Educational Consultants), Andy Bondy (Pyramid Educational Consultants), Anne O. Hoffman (Pyramid Education Consultants), Catherine Horton (Pyramid Educational Consultants), Beth Sulzer-Azaroff (University of Massachusetts, Amherst)
Abstract: Since the mid 1990's, when Bondy & Frost initially reported the outcomes of their applications of their Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) among non-speaking students within the Delaware Autistic Program, interest in and implementation of PECS has become rapid and widespread. Descriptive and experimental research on the system has followed apace. This poster will describe general trends and highlight some of the key features of this research, including purposes, locations, subject populations, intervention details, results and methodological issues needing to be addressed.
 
45. Enhancing Social Skills in Elementary Students with Autism through Direct Instruction.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
DEVENDER BANDA (Texas Tech University), Robin H. Locke (Texas Tech University), Carol Layton (Texas Tech University), Stephanie L. Hart (Texas Tech University)
Abstract: This study was conducted with two elementary students with autism to increase their social skills using direct instruction. The participants were taught to initiate, share, and respond to peers during daily recreational session. We used a multiple-baseline design across participants to evaluate the effects of the intervention. Results indicate that both students were able to initiate conversations and share material with peers.
 
46. Matching Learner Needs to Social Skill Instruction.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
JENNIFER E. COPELAND (Melmark), Lindsay Stangeland (Grant Wood Area Education Agency), David P. Wacker (University of Iowa), Brenda J. Engebretson (University of Iowa)
Abstract: Research is needed to identify effective and efficient programs for teaching social skills to children with autism. In order to develop instructional strategies for the acquisition of language during social play, four students with autism spectrum disorders participated in a classroom-based analysis. Five play conditions were designed to target the occurrences of appropriate and inappropriate speech when typical peers served as play partners. Results defined the individual deficits and strength areas for each student. A shaping program was developed for each student by matching learner needs with individualized instruction.
 
47. Starting Right: A Parent-Child Early Intervention Model.
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
CHRISTINE REEVE (Mailman Segal Institute), Heather O'Brien (Mailman Segal Institute)
Abstract: Starting Right is a parent-child early intervention model for children with autism or at-risk for autism, aged 18 to 36 months. Children and their caregiver attend a classroom-based program two mornings per week and then receive individual intervention sessions bi-weekly. Caregivers are taught the skills necessary to facilitate their children's skill development and behavioral adaptation through classroom staff modeling and coaching. Teaching strategies used include discrete trials, independent work systems, Picture Exchange Communication System, as well as other strategies appropriate for children with autism. Parents also have the opportunity to attend a weekly session led by family therapists/psychologists, which are educational and supportive in nature. Families requiring more intensive, individual or family intervention are referred to other university clinics. Each child is assessed for program planning and then an individual plan is developed. Data is analyzed and used to make decisions regarding skills to be targeted next. University students from psychology, family therapy, speech-language pathology, and special education serve as additional supports to the program, while receiving hands-on experience with the youngest children being diagnosed with autism.
 
48. Helping Answer Needs by Developing Specialists (HANDS) in Autism: Year Three Training Evaluation and Fidelity.
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
PATRICIA A. KORZEKWA (Christian Sarkine Autism Treatment Center at Riley), Naomi Swiezy (Christian Sarkine Autism Treatment Center at Riley), Melissa Stuart (Christian Sarkine Autism Treatment Center at Riley), Stacie L. Pozdol (Christian Sarkine Autism Treament Center at Riley), Gary Miller (Riley Hospital for Children)
Abstract: The mission of HANDS in Autism (Helping Answer Needs by Developing Specialists in Autism) is to provide practical and applicable information to a variety of caregivers from an ABA-based framework and to provide an option for training that promotes practical learning opportunities through an innovative and intensive hands-on and coaching experience. Participants in the weeklong training program provided daily feedback on several aspects of the training, including rating the thoroughness of information presented, the materials provided, and the hands-on experiences. In addition, both training staff and participants were rated on their fidelity to the training curriculum. Results indicated that participants were highly satisfied with several aspects of the training program. Training staff and participants were also able to maintain fidelity to the training curriculum. Taken together, the results suggest that the HANDS in Autism model of training is well received by participants and easy to implement with proper training.
 
49. Helping Answer Needs by Developing Specialists (HANDS) in Autism: Year Three Training Outcomes.
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
NAOMI SWIEZY (Christian Sarkine Autism Treatment Center at Riley), Melissa Stuart (Christian Sarkine Autism Treatment Center at Riley), Patricia A. Korzekwa (Christian Sarkine Autism Treatment Center at Riley), Stacie L. Pozdol (Christian Sarkine Autism Treament Center at Riley), Gary Miller (Riley Hospital for Children)
Abstract: The mission of HANDS in Autism (Helping Answer Needs by Developing Specialists in Autism) is to provide practical and applicable information to a variety of caregivers from an ABA-based framework and to provide an option for training that promotes practical learning opportunities through an innovative and intensive hands-on and coaching experience. Participants were rated on the following measures collected during the training session: identification of proper strategies for teaching individuals with autism, use of effective prompting strategies, development of teaching tasks, and utilization of informal assessment. Additionally, participants were rated through written activities on their ability to structure a classroom, determine functions of behaviors, and write IEP and BIP goals. Results regarding change in quality of factors measured will be presented.
 
50. Autism Knowledge Survey: Trends in Understanding of Autism Spectrum Disorders.
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
MELISSA STUART (Christian Sarkine Autism Treatment Center at Riley), Naomi Swiezy (Christian Sarkine Autism Treatment Center at Riley), Iryna V. Ashby (Christian Sarkine Autism Treatment Center at Riley)
Abstract: The Autism Knowledge Survey-Revised is a 20-item measure that assesses a participant's degree of agreement with several statements regarding autism spectrum disorders including etiology, interventions, and general knowledge. Participants included parents and caregivers, educational personnel (i.e., teachers, aides, paraprofessionals), medical care providers (i.e., physicians, pediatricians, nurses), and licensed therapists (i.e., Ph.D., BCBA, OT, SLP). Information regarding the trends in understanding of autism spectrum disorders across disciplines and years of experience with the ASD population will be presented.
 
52. Improving Outcomes for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders through Data Driven Decision Making.
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
KELLY L. HYDE (Accountability Solutions, LLC), Kathy L. Gould (Illinois Autism Training and Technical Assistance Project)
Abstract: This poster session will provide information and data to support the efficacy of the Focus Family Support for Autism Spectrum Disorders (FFSASD) of the Illinois Autism/Pervasive Developmental Disorders Training and Technical Assistance Project (IATTAP), a technical assistance center of the Illinois State Board of Education. This program employs an applied evaluation method that emphasizes user friendly, data driven decision making to improve outcomes for families with children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. In FY 2006-2007 school year, IATTAP provided supports and services to 46 families with children with ASD throughout the state of Illinois through its FFSASD process, a combination of positive behavior supports and family-centered planning. Of the 46 families, 35 were enrolled in the SIMEO (Systematic Information Management of Educational Outcomes) online evaluation system for extensive tracking of demographic, educational and behavioral outcomes. Findings will be presented from the repeated measures applied evaluation process and how these data are used by the Focus Family Facilitators to drive decision making and change in team meetings with families of children with ASD. FY2007 Evaluation finding areas include general and specifically targeted behavioral functioning, classroom behavioral functioning, training in the home, school and community, family quality of life and individual family stressors.
 
53. A Practitioner's Guide to Implementing DRO Procedures.
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
LEAH C. GONGOLA (Kent State University), Courtney L. McLaughlin (Kent State University), Rosie Daddario (Kent State University)
Abstract: The Differential Reinforcement of Omission of Behaviors (DRO) procedure has been found to be the least intrusive of all behavioral interventions, as reinforcers are not removed in this procedure. Rather, they are withheld, therefore enhancing the appeal of the intervention when seeking a protocol to diminish behaviors (Cowdery, Iwata, & Pace, 1990; Vollmer, Marcus, & Ringdahl, 1993). Although research suggests that DRO interventions are successful across varying populations and settings, there continues to be some resistance for choosing DRO as a primary intervention procedure. Despite hesitation for DRO, other research studies have insisted that the protocol is practical and simplistic to use (Poling & Ryan, 1982). Repp, Barton, and Brulle (1983) suggest that if whole interval DRO is excessively intensive, then variations such as momentary DRO are available to increase feasibility. The intent of this presentation is to provide a manual specifying the logistics of the DRO intervention to enhance clarity in implementation for practitioners working among individuals with behavior challenges. The DRO manual is designed to offer guidance to individuals seeking to use this reinforcement based intervention. Specific attributes of DRO will be delineated in the manual and procedural variations will be defined.
 
54. The Application of a Technical Assistance Model Within a Metro-Atlanta School District.
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
ERNEST L. WHITMARSH (Cobb County School District), Carina DeFazio (Cobb County School District), Amy Jefferson (Cobb County School District), Nadine Friedly (Cobb County School District)
Abstract: Northup et al. (1994) examined the use of a technical assistance model within school settings by evaluating the feasibility of local school personnel conducting functional analysis and reinforcement-based treatment procedures. The use of the technical assistance model was evaluated in a large Metro-Atlanta School District. The use of this model over an extended period time (2002-2007) was examined. The role of the technical assistance model is examined as it relates to the overall behavior support model for special students services, including services for students with autism eligibility, within the school district. Results indicated that amount of technical assistance required varied greatly from case to case. Additionally, the implementation of functional analysis and the treatment integrity of the behavior intervention plans derived from these analyses varied greatly.
 
55. Social Communication Skill Intervention for the Children with Autism.
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
EUN JUNG SEO (JinJu International University)
Abstract: The children with autism typically display great difficulties in social communication skills caused poor social interactions. Limited or nonexistent social communication skills such as deficits in eye contact, lack of turn taking skills, problems with speech, communication, limited use of appropriate gestures are also common in the students with autism. Common examples of poor social communication skills are also delayed, restricted, repetitive, or unusual responses to stimuli, such as squealing, hitting, pushing, screaming, and hand flapping. Therefore, lack of this area often deters other children from beginning or maintaining communication and friendships with children with autism. Thus, an important goal of increasing social communication skills for the children with autism is to teach both nonverbal and verbal social communication skills in order to decrease the problems often produced by social avoidance or awkwardness. In the previous studies, one of effective strategies to assist young children with autism in learning social communication skills was a form of visual support that allowed individuals to observe socially appropriate behaviors in the pictures, cartoons, and line drawing cards. Therefore, visual support program was developed to improve basic classroom survival social skills such as turn taking, sharing, and asking a help for the three young children with autism in the study. In addition, as they increase the skills, inappropriate social interactions with peers presenting as a lack of social skills were replaced with appropriate social interactions. It also evaluated the efficacy of visual support program for three target behaviors and extended previous findings by assessing their initiations and responses of the behaviors.
 
56. The Utility of the ABLLS in Comprehensive Assessment and Educational Planning: A Comparison of Instruments.
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
PETER J. DOEHRING (Delaware Autism Program), Donna Gigiotti (Delaware Autism Program), Heather Calkins (Delaware Autism Program), Donna Cain (Delaware Autism Program)
Abstract: The ABLLS has become an increasing popular choice amongst educators of children with autism. In this poster, we seek to understand this popularity by assessing the strengths and limitations of the ABLLS, relative to other commonly available instruments for assessment and/or curriculum planning. We evaluate the capacity of the ABLLS to comprehensively assess the full range of skills addressed in the IEPs of school-aged children, by systematically comparing the range of domains and distribution of items to that obtained via other assessment procedures. We summarize information supporting the potential of the ABLLS to describe distinctive profiles within and across domains that may predict future performance. To this end, we also include examples of statistical analyses of the integrity of specific subscales. Finally, we assess the utility of the ABLLS in IEP development and tracking, including teacher ratings of the potential of sample items from selected instruments for IEP purposes. These results suggest that the ABLLS' popularity may stem from the fact that it is uniquely suited to certain critical aspects of educational assessment and progress monitoring, although some limitations of the ABLLS underscore the need to fold it into a broader educational assessment.
 
 

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