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.

38th Annual Convention; Seattle, WA; 2012

Program by Day for Tuesday, May 29, 2012


Manage My Personal Schedule

 

Business Meeting #436
Reunion of Users and Friends of the Text Principles of Behavior
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
8:00 AM–8:50 AM
401 (Convention Center)
Chair: Gerald C. Mertens (St. Cloud State University)
Presenting Authors:

Users and friends of Malott's Principles of Behavior, 6th edition, join Jerry Mertens and Dick Malott for a discussion of issues related to the text, sharing of teaching gems, activities used in teaching text material, test questions and other materials you are willing to share, problems encountered in teaching the text, and suggestions—surprise us with what you bring, or just come to enjoy the friendship and fun of people who share an interest in the text. (Rumor has it that a sighting of a large Skinnerian pigeon is at some probability level!!!)

 
 
Panel #437
CE Offered: BACB
Providing ABA Services in Community-Based Settings: Common Practical and Ethical Issues and Considerations for Service Provision
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
9:00 AM–9:50 AM
602 (Convention Center)
Area: CSE/PRA; Domain: Service Delivery
CE Instructor: Emily Huber Callahan, Ph.D.
Chair: Emily Huber Callahan (Institute for Child Development, Binghamton University)
SARA WHITE (Sendan Center)
ROSE F. EAGLE (The Children's Program)
KURT A. FREEMAN (Oregon Health & Science University)
Abstract:

Providing behaviorally based services can be a difficult process in any setting. Providing services in community-based settings provides its own unique challenges which can include working within established (often non-behavioral) systems, providing services within the confines of contracts (e.g., limitations on hours per week you can provide services, limitations on the number of sessions you can provide), and working with staff who have little to no background in basic behavioral principles. Each of these issues presents different practical and ethical considerations. The panel will discuss common issues encountered by individuals working community-based settings and how they have handled them. Emphasis will be placed on the use of ethical and professional guidelines in the decision-making processes for addressing such issues.

Keyword(s): Community-based services, Ethics, Professional Issues
 
 
Panel #438
CE Offered: BACB
Its Never Too Late to Sprout! Teaching Developmentally Delayed Adults using the Headsprout Reading Program.
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
9:00 AM–9:50 AM
LL05 (TCC)
Area: DDA/EDC; Domain: Basic Research
CE Instructor: Emily Dickens, M.S.
Chair: Emily Dickens (Agency for Persons with Disabilities, State of Florida)
EMMA GUILARTE (Agency for Persons with Disabilities, State of Florida)
EMILY DICKENS (Agency for Persons with Disabilities, State of Florida)
MARY LEBLANC (Headsprout, Inc.)
Abstract:

Headsprout offers Early Reading-an animated, online reading program that takes a nonreader to midsecond grade level in 80 lessons, and Reading Comprehension-an online program that ensures grades 3-5 reading comprehension for every learner in 50 interactive episodes. Part of the development for all Headsprout programs is rigorous testing with a wide range of children to ensure effectiveness with all learners. This program was expanded to developmentally delayed adults deemed incompetent to proceed and housed in a secure facility. The results of the expansion to this novel setting and population will be discussed including progress graphs and impact on maladaptive behavior. The Headspout program's skill acquisition data from other settings including schools and home based learning from recent and past research will also be discussed.

Keyword(s): Computer based, PSI, Reading Program, Teaching Adults
 
 
Panel #439
CE Offered: BACB
Behavior Analysts Legal (and Thus Ethical) Responsibilities Under Federal Special Education Law
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
9:00 AM–9:50 AM
616/617 (Convention Center)
Area: EDC/PRA; Domain: Service Delivery
CE Instructor: Melissa L. Olive, Ph.D.
Chair: Rebecca Ryan (Applied Behavioral Strategies)
CLAIRE CHARLES (DDRC)
PAMELA M. MARTIEN (DDRC)
MELISSA L. OLIVE (Walden University and Applied Behavioral Strategie)
Abstract:

This 3 panel presentation covers the behavior analysts responsibilities to practice in special education settings or to be reimbursed by special education budgets. The first panelist will present the behavior analysts responsibilities for completing a Functional Behavioral Assessment (FBA) under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEIA). The second panelist will present the behavior analysts responsibilities for developing and overseeing Behavior Intervention Plans (BIP) including the use of Positive Behavior Supports (PBS). The third panelist will focus on the proposed federal requirements for restraint and time out as well as to briefly overview requirements in a few select states.

Keyword(s): Education Law, Ethics, Special Education
 
 
Panel #440
CE Offered: BACB
Dual International Masters Program in Behavior Analysis
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
9:00 AM–9:50 AM
612 (Convention Center)
Area: TBA/EDC; Domain: Service Delivery
CE Instructor: William F. Potter, Ph.D.
Chair: Monika M. Suchowierska (Warsaw School of Social Psychology)
WILLIAM F. POTTER (California State University, Stanislaus)
JOHN CARL HUGHES (Bangor University)
MONIKA M. SUCHOWIERSKA (Warsaw School of Social Psychology)
Abstract:

This panel will discuss the difficulties in creating, and funding an international Behavior Analysis Masters program. Three universities have collaborated: Bangor University, Wales; SWPS, Poland; and California State University, Stanislaus. We obtained a grant from the Department of Education and the European Union to fund the development of the program and more importantly fund students while overseas ($12,000 or equivalent). In addition we will discuss the struggles with University administration and suggest some advice for those setting up similar international exchange programs. We will discuss the key issues you will need to think about in terms of compiling the general agreement and designing a program of study between three Universities.

Keyword(s): BCBA, Dual Degree, Grant, International
 
 
Symposium #441
CE Offered: BACB
The Conditioning and Implementation of Reinforcement and Reinforcement Systems for Children With Autism
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
305 (TCC)
Area: AUT/DDA; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Ronald B. Leaf (Autism Partnership)
Discussant: Justin B. Leaf (Autism Partnership)
CE Instructor: Justin B. Leaf, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Children with an autism spectrum disorder may play with limited objects or toys and may have difficulty changing their aberrant behavior with reinforcement based procedures. This presents challenges for teachers trying to identify reinforcers to use in teaching new skills and in using reinforcement to decrease aberrant behaviors. This symposium will present3 papers on ways inwhich teachers can create new reinforcers for children diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder and ways reinforcement can be used effectively in decreasing aberrant behaviors for children diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. The first study will describe an observational conditioning procedure used to switch the preference of stimuli for3 high functioning children diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. The second paper will describe an extension of the first papers findings as it looks to change the preference of stimuli for5 children with autism who are more severely impacted. The final paper will describe a differential reinforcement procedure to reduce elopement for a child diagnosed with autism. Implications for clinical implementation about ideas for future research will be discussed.

Keyword(s): Conditioned Reinforcement, Differential Reinforcement, Preference, Reinforcement
 
Conditioning the Preference of Stimuli for Three High Functioning Children on the Autism Spectrum
MISTY OPPENHEIM-LEAF (Great Strides Behavioral Consulting, Inc.), Justin B. Leaf (Autism Partnership), Ronald B. Leaf (Autism Partnership), James A. Sherman (University of Kansas), Jan B. Sheldon (University of Kansas), John James McEachin (Autism Partnership), Mitchell T. Taubman (Autism Partnership)
Abstract: Children with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) may play with limited objects or toys. This presents challenges for teachers trying to identify reinforcers to use in teaching new skills. The goal of the present study was to switch childrens preferences from highly preferred toys to toys that were originally less preferred using an observational conditioning procedure. In this procedure, an adult known to the child played with toys that were less preferred by the child in novel and presumably interesting ways while the child watched. After the observation period, each child switched his preference to the toy with which the adult had played. Maintenance of preference of the changed preference was idiosyncratic to each child. The results of the current study suggest teachers may be able to influence the level of preference that children with ASD show for potential reinforcers and expand the range of items that students will sample.
 
Conditioning the Preference of Stimuli for Five Children on the Autism Spectrum: A Replication Study
ALYNE KASSARDJIAN (Autism Partnership), Justin B. Leaf (Autism Partnership), Courtney Muehlebach (Autism Partnership), Mitchell T. Taubman (Autism Partnership), Ronald B. Leaf (Autism Partnership), John James McEachin (Autism Partnership)
Abstract: Children with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) may play with limited objects or toys. This presents challenges for teachers trying to identify reinforcers to use in teaching new skills. Previous research has demonstrated that an observational conditioning procedure has been effective in switching the preference for3 "high functioning" children diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. Although, this research showed that preference can be conditioned the procedures were only implemented to "high functioning" children and thus it is not known what the effects would be for children who are more severely impacted. The goal of the present study was to extend the previous research on conditioning preference by implementing and observational conditioning procedure to children who were more severely impacted and diagnosed with autism. The results of the current study suggest teachers may be able to influence the level of preference that children with ASD however it may be more difficult than children who are considered "high functioning."
 
Using Differential Reinforcement of Other Behaviours to Reduce Elopement in a Child With Autism
RESHANI I. SATHARASINGHE (Autism Partnership), Toby Mountjoy (Autism Partnership), John James McEachin (Autism Partnership), Ronald B. Leaf (Autism Partnership), Mitchell T. Taubman (Autism Partnership), Eric Rudrud (St. Cloud State University)
Abstract: Differential reinforcement of other behaviours (DRO) was the intervention procedure used in this study to reduce the occurrence of elopement in a child with autism who eloped almost daily. DRO intervals began at 1 minute and the largest interval being 30 minutes. DRO segments were also run intermittently instead of continuously. Edible reinforcement was used with social reinforcement in the form of praise being added at larger intervals. The results showed that the DRO intervention was highly successful at reducing the occurrence of eloping for intervals below 10 minutes but less successful at reducing the behaviour at larger intervals above 10 minutes. By the end of the intervention, zero occurrence of eloping had been achieved for 15 consecutive sessions at a DRO interval of 30 minutes.
 
 
Symposium #442
CE Offered: BACB
When "Believing" Is Not Enough: The Systematic Evaluation of Fad Treatments for Autism and Developmental Disabilities
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
LL02 (TCC)
Area: AUT/DDA; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Jeffrey Michael Chan (Northern Illinois University)
Discussant: Lloyd D. Peterson (Western Michigan University)
CE Instructor: Jeffrey Michael Chan, Ph.D.
Abstract: Despite studies and reviews citing the lack of empirical support for several intervention approaches for autism and developmental disabilities (e.g., Elder et al., 2006; Hyatt, Stephenson, & Carter, 2009; Mulloy et al., 2010), popularity of such interventions remains high with parents and teachers (Green et al., 2006; Hess, Morrier, Heflin, & Ivey, 2008). With the current mandates for the use of evidence-based practices for individuals with disabilities, an important task for parents, clinicians, teachers, and researchers is to determine the effectiveness of these various strategies through systematic research and evaluation. This symposium will present data collected on the use of a deep brushing method and its effects on the self-stimulatory behavior of a child with autism. Additionally, data will be presented on the effect of a weighted vest on the challenging behavior of a child with autism. A systematic review of the literature on Gentle Teaching will also be presented.
Keyword(s): brushing, controversial treatments, gentle teaching, weighted vest
 

The Effects of a Brushing Protocol on Stereotypical Behavior

SHANNON DURAND (University of North Texas), Tonya Nichole Davis (Baylor University), Jeffrey Michael Chan (Northern Illinois University)
Abstract:

In this study we analyzed the effects of a brushing protocol on stereotyped behavior of a young boy with autism. In the first phase of the study, functional analysis results confirmed that the participants stereotypy was maintained by automatic reinforcement. Next, a brushing intervention, the Wilbarger Protocol, was implemented by the participants parents and in-home therapists. An ABA design was implemented in which the participant was observed during four phases: (a) baseline, prior to the administration of the brushing protocol; (b) week three of implementation of the brushing protocol; (c) week five of implementation; and (d) baseline, six months after the discontinuation of the brushing protocol. The brushing protocol had no marked affect on levels of stereotypy.

 

The Effectiveness of Weighted Vests to Reduce Aggressive and Self-Injurious Behavior

KRISANN CHRISTIAN (Baylor University), Tonya Nichole Davis (Baylor University), Sharon Dacus (Baylor University), Erica Strickland (Baylor University), Kara Blenden (University of Texas at Austin), Staci Weathers (Baylor University), Kellsye Wells (Baylor University)
Abstract:

Weighted vests are a commonly implemented form of sensory integration therapy. In this study we analyzed the effects of a weighted vest on aggressive and self-injurious behavior of a boy with autism. The effects of the weighted vest were examined during a functional analysis utilizing an ABAB design, with the participant wearing a 5 lb weighted vest of no vest at all. The results failed to demonstrate a functional relationship between the weighted vest and challenging behavior. Findings suggest the weighted vest had no marked effect on levels of aggression and self-injurious behavior.

 

A Review of Published Data Evaluating the Effects of Gentle Teaching

SHAWN PATRICK QUIGLEY (Western Michigan University), Sean Field (Western Michigan University)
Abstract:

Gentle Teaching is a psychological approach for altering aberrant behaviors (e.g., McGee, Menolascino, Hobbs, & Menousek, 1987). Although Gentle Teaching was once thought to be waning (Cullen & Mudford, 2004), its popularity is growing in some areas. In fact, the State of Michigan currently endorses the use of Gentle Teaching principles for individuals displaying aberrant behaviors (MDCH Technical Requirementss for Behavior Treatment Plan Review Committees, 2012). The purpose of this presentation is to review published articles evaluating the effectiveness of Gentle Teaching. Each published article was reviewed utilizing a previously published set of standards for evaluating research (National Autism Center, 2009). Data from the evaluation process of each published article will be presented.

 
 
Symposium #443
CE Offered: BACB
Visual Strategies to Support the Initiation of Social Interactions and Sociodramatic Play in Children With Autism
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
302 (TCC)
Area: AUT/EDC; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Steven Woolf (BEACON Services)
Discussant: Joseph M. Vedora (BEACON Services)
CE Instructor: Joseph M. Vedora, Ed.D.
Abstract:

Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) often demonstrate difficulty responding to verbal stimuli; yet such stimuli are commonly used to prompt responding. Children with ASD also have difficulty with social interactions and often require explicit social skills training. The use of visual prompts and cues may provide an effective alternative to verbal prompting and may be particularly useful during social skills training. Visual prompts provide a static reference that may enhance responding in social situations. This symposium reviews several types of visual prompts used to increase social interactions in children with ASD. The implications of visual supports and the use of visually-based instructional procedures are discussed.

 

Textual Cues and Prompting Fading to Increase Social Initiations

EMILY W. HARRIS (BEACON Services), Robert K. Ross (BEACON Services)
Abstract:

Children with a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) often display significant delays and deficits in the area of social communication skills (Ricks & Wing, 1975). Providing visual cues has been shown to increase the production of social communication responses (Sarokoff, Taylor & Poulson, 2001; Thiemann & Goldstein, 2001). However, the ability to produce social responses may not automatically generalize to production of social responding in the natural context. The current study evaluated the use of textual prompts to establish initiation of social communication in the natural setting (the familys home) and the use of prompt fading procedures to transfer control of social initiations from the text cue to the childs parent. Baseline data confirmed that no social initiations were occurring in the natural environment for the participant. Following pretests, a multi-element reversal design was used to assess social initiations across conditions. The percent of correct initiated targeted social comments, compliments, and questions were assessed. The data demonstrate that social communication in the natural context may be established with textual cues and prompt fading procedures.

 

Use of a Conversation Box: Establishing and Expanding Social Communication

RACHEL DACOSTA (BEACON Services), Robert K. Ross (BEACON Services)
Abstract:

Children with a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) often display significant delays and deficits in the area of social communication skills. One strategy used to facilitate social communication skills in children with ASD is called the conversation box. Conversation box procedures consist of procedures to establish the verbal repertoire under the control of visual prompts and then prompt fading procedures to transfer control to the natural environment. The present study evaluated the effects of visual prompts (conversation box) to facilitate asking and answering questions, which is a complex social skill. Specifically, answering and asking questions about past and present events were the target behaviors. Results indicate that the use of a visually enhanced conversation box produced independent social exchanges between the participant and a variety of communicative partners, including his therapists, his parents, and his peers. These findings suggest that the conversation box (visual prompt) may be effective in teaching complex social communication skills to children with ASD.

 

Using Video Based Activity Schedules and Matrix Training to Teach Sociodramatic Play

DAVID ROBERT DILLEY (BEACON Services), Joseph M. Vedora (BEACON Services)
Abstract:

In this study, we investigated the effects of using video modeling and matrix training to teach socio dramatic play skills to a boy with autism. A 6X6 instructional matrix identified eighteen activities to be performed including combinations of six objects and six actions. In Phase 1 the child is shown a video model and learned to imitate videos of six socio-dramatic play vignettes. In Phase 2 the child learned to combine the characteristics of the six trained socio-dramatic play vignettes across the other twelve new action-object combinations. The results suggest that treatment packages involving video modeling aimed at teaching socio dramatic play can achieve generality across untrained targets when matrix training is employed.

 
 
Symposium #444
Treatment of Food Selectivity in Children With an ASD: Clinical Applications in an Educational Setting
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
301 (TCC)
Area: AUT/DDA; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Rachel N.S. Cavalari (Binghamton University)
Discussant: Courtney A. Aponte Pooler (Binghamton University)
Abstract:

Although feeding problems occur in both typical and clinical populations, the prevalence of food selectivity in children with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is elevated compared to their typically developing peers. More specifically, children with an ASD are often described as picky eaters who refuse to eat a variety of foods necessary for sufficient dietary balance. Due to ongoing family concerns about nutritional intake and related health problems, parents are often referred to specialty feeding clinics. While controlled clinical settings ensure high levels of internal validity, there are only a few locations across the country that can provide these interventions with high degrees of expertise. In addition, translating the treatments developed in these specialty clinics to naturalistic settings can be a challenge. This symposium will present and review group-based peer-modeling and individual exposure-based approaches to the treatment of food selectivity in children with an ASD as implemented in an educational setting. Challenges to maintenance and generalization of treatment gains across educational staff, home, and community settings will be presented. Finally, a discussion will be offered outlining the advantages and disadvantages of conducting feeding interventions in specialty clinics versus educational settings.

Keyword(s): autism, exposure-based intervention, food selectivity, peer modeling
 

Peer-Modeling and Exposure-Based Interventions for Food Selectivity in an Educational Setting

RACHEL N.S. CAVALARI (Binghamton University), Stephanie Lockshin (Institute for Child Development, Binghamton University), Dawn Marie Birk (Institute for Child Development, Binghamton University), Courtney A. Aponte Pooler (Binghamton University)
Abstract:

Food selectivity, defined as consuming a limited repertoire of foods, can result in significantly deficient nutritional balance (Cermak et al., 2010). Previous research has demonstrated that children with an ASD demonstrate greater food selectivity compared to typically developing children, with texture, taste, presentation, and idiosyncratic behavior anecdotally reported as common reasons for restricted food preferences (Bandini et al., 2010; Shreck & Williams, 2006). The purpose of this presentation is to present and review the application of peer-modeling and exposure-based interventions for food selectivity as implemented with seven children with autism in an educational setting. Emphasis will be placed on the integration of social awareness skills with peer modeling of desirable behavior in the context of group-based food selectivity interventions conducted at regularly scheduled mealtimes during the school day. Results suggest that students with prerequisite social skills might benefit from group feeding interventions to expand existing food repertoires. Discussion will focus on advantages and disadvantages of group-based interventions, with particular attention to peer modeling of escape from non-preferred food item presentation. Finally, recommendations will be offered for determining necessary prerequisite skills for group participation, as well as referral for individual intensive intervention in a one-to-one setting with clinical staff.

 

Intensive Individualized Feeding Interventions for Increasing Novel Food Tolerance in an Educational Setting

LAUREN BETH FISHBEIN (Binghamton University), Dawn Marie Birk (Institute for Child Development, Binghamton University), Stephanie Lockshin (Institute for Child Development, Binghamton University)
Abstract:

Feeding challenges have been reported in about one third of children with developmental disabilities. These challenges can be broken into four different categories: lack of independent eating skills, disruptive behavior, consuming too much or not enough food, and food selectivity by type or texture. Feeding problems are typically examined in a clinical setting; however, given that most meals take place within the home setting, the success of feeding interventions should be evaluated by the extent to which caregivers are able to implement a program consistently and effectively. This component of the symposium will describe one type of food selectivity, specifically food texture selectivity, in two, school-age male children diagnosed with autism. Individualized exposure-based interventions designed to target food texture selectivity were utilized to address restricted food repertoires. Additionally, parent training with practice and feedback was conducted in a one-to-one setting for one participant and his family to increase food acceptance and independent eating skills across home and school settings. Results indicate successful expansion of food texture acceptance with consistent implementation of individualized food selectivity protocols. Considerations and challenges to implementing intensive food selectivity interventions in an educational setting, specifically with regard to training educational staff and parents, will be discussed.

 

Challenges to the Implementation of Feeding Interventions in Educational Settings: Logistical and Training Issues

STEPHANIE LOCKSHIN (Institute for Child Development, Binghamton University)
Abstract:

Children with autism frequently exhibit restricted food repertoires (e.g., preferences based on the visual characteristics, texture, taste, brand, temperature, etc.), inflexibility regarding the order in which foods are consumed, dinnerware and/or utensils used during mealtime, preferred locations and schedules for food consumption, and method of ingesting food (self-feeding or insistence on being fed by others). While severe feeding problems may best be treated in specialty clinics, center-based school programs that provide ABA services can serve as alternative settings within which mild to moderate feeding problems can be addressed. These programs are unique in that they generally have comparatively high staff to child ratios, staff who are trained in ABA methodology (i.e., they specialize in addressing problem behaviors, developing individualized sequential and systematic teaching programs, monitoring of child progress, and engaging in data-driven decisions about programmatic changes). The school setting also provides opportunities to expand feeding repertoires within the context of a social milieu that may facilitate generalization of skills to other social settings (i.e., home and community). This presentation will outline important issues to consider when implementing feeding interventions within the school setting. These will include identification of students, specific targets for intervention, and staff, staff training, and family involvement.

 
 
Symposium #445
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy in the Classroom: Promoting Adaptive Coping and Adjustment Through Psychological Flexibility and Academic Engagement
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
4C-4 (Convention Center)
Area: CBM; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Kelly Ho (University of Mississippi)
Discussant: David R. Perkins (University of Louisiana at Lafayette)
Abstract:

This symposium addresses issues pertaining to college student stress and adjustment, with a particular emphasis on applications involving acceptance and commitment therapy. The first segment describes prevalence data regarding the extent to which undergraduate students utilize various coping strategies. Given the widespread use of coping strategies that tend to be associated with poorer outcomes, interventions targeting increased use of acceptance-based strategies are warranted in this population. The second segment delineates a specific intervention designed to foster adaptive coping and increased academic engagement among undergraduate students. The intervention involved promoting psychological flexibility through acceptance- and values-based classroom exercises. The third segment describes a study evaluating the feasibility and impact of including a journaling component within a freshmen seminar. The journaling component was designed to increase psychological flexibility in at-risk students enrolled in a first-time freshman college skills course. Following these presentations, a discussant will further integrate the topics by leading a discussion pertaining to the role of psychological flexibility interventions in fostering college student adjustment.

 

Coping With Stress: Strategies Employed by College Students

LINDSAY SCHNETZER (University of Mississippi), Maureen Kathleen Flynn (University of Mississippi), Kate Kellum (University of Mississippi), Kelly G. Wilson (University of Mississippi)
Abstract:

Literature suggests that ways of coping tend to be associated with differential outcomes. That is, strategies such as cognitive reappraisal and acceptance are associated with more positive outcomes such as greater quality of life (e.g., Gross & John, 2003; Ruiz, 2010), whereas thought suppression, emotional suppression, and avoidance are associated with greater psychological difficulties (e.g., Rassin, Merckelbach, & Muris, 2000; Ruiz, 2010). While a number of studies have examined how coping strategies correlate with other variables, to date, no basic prevalence data have been reported. The purpose of this study was to obtain prevalence data regarding the extent to which college students utilize various coping strategies. Participants accessed an online survey database, which prompted them to write a brief description of a recent stressful event, then complete a survey indicating whether or not they used certain coping strategies to deal with this stressor. Results indicate widespread use of cognitive reappraisal and avoidance. Suppression strategies were also frequently endorsed. Further, respondents indicated relatively less frequent use of acceptance techniques. Given the connection between avoidance/suppression strategies and maladaptive outcomes, training college students in acceptance-based coping techniques may be warranted.

 

Stress in the Modern World: An Acceptance and Commitment Therapy-based Approach to Dealing With College Stressors

NADIA LUCAS (University of Mississippi), Solomon Kurz (University of Mississippi), Maureen Kathleen Flynn (University of Mississippi), Lindsay Schnetzer (University of Mississippi), Regan M. Slater (University of Mississippi), Kelly G. Wilson (University of Mississippi), Kate Kellum (University of Mississippi)
Abstract:

The most recent data on graduation rates published by the National Center for Education Statistics suggest that 22.5 % of students who enrolled at four year public institutions were no longer enrolled in any school and had not completed a degree after six years. These data further suggest that risk factors such as number of dependents, students dependency status, job status, parents highest degree attained, and familys income status are related to degree attainment (NCES, 2011). Given the stressors that may prevent students from obtaining a degree, a seminar, based on the principles of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), was designed to help students to learn about the effects of stress as well as ways of coping with stress, with specific focus on education. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy is a third wave behavioral therapy that focuses on the development of psychological flexibility. Several studies have shown that it is an effective intervention in both clinical and non-clinical populations (Hayes et al., 2006). The current study looks at the effects of an Acceptance and Commitment Therapy-based class curriculum on students ability to cope with stress and engage in behaviors associated with academic success. Preliminary data has been collected regarding target behaviors related to academic success, which include class attendance, timeliness, asking or answering questions, preparation, and utilizing outside resources.

 

Moving on Up: The Psychological Inflexibility of First Generation and Low Income Freshmen

DANIELLE E. LANDRY (University of Louisiana at Lafayette), Emily Kennison Sandoz (University of Louisiana at Lafayette), Emmie Hebert (University of Louisiana at Lafayette)
Abstract:

College is a period of life during which psychological adjustment is particularly important, not only for academic success, but for long-term psychological health. This is often addressed through first-time freshman courses that target behaviors like study skills, time management, money management, campus resources, and student involvement. First-generation or low-income students may need additional support to foster college adjustment. Recent studies have provided preliminary evidence that intervening on psychological flexibility can improve academic achievement for at-risk students (Ely, 2004; Slater, Sandoz, Kellum, & Wilson, 2007) and college adjustment for typical upperclassmen (Sandoz et al., 2011). The current study evaluated the feasibility and impact of including a journaling component that targets psychological flexibility in a first-time freshman college skills course for first-generation or low-income college students. Baseline data suggest that the participants exhibit lower levels of psychological flexibility when compared with typical students. Those participating in the journaling are expected to demonstrate increased psychological flexibility and improved college adjustment over the course of the semester.

 
 
Symposium #446
CE Offered: BACB
Behavioral and Medication Interventions for Treating Adults With Intellectual Disabilities and Comorbid Psychiatric Disorders
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
4C-3 (Convention Center)
Area: CBM/DDA; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: William A. Flood (May Institute)
Discussant: John C. Randall (Amego, Inc.)
CE Instructor: William A. Flood, M.A.
Abstract:

Many adults with intellectual disabilities receiving community-based residential and day habilitation services are diagnosed with comorbid psychiatric disorders. Treatment planning for these individuals includes the use of applied behavior analysis in combination with psychiatric medication. The first study in this symposium found that of the 102 participants with intellectual disabilities, 70.6% were diagnosed with a comorbid psychiatric disorder and 67.6% were prescribed at least 1 psychiatric medication. The second study found that treatment compliance with medication was improved with the addition of a long acting injectable antipsychotic medication. Prior to its addition, the participant was compliant with treatment only 84% of the time. With the addition of the injectable medication, treatment compliance averaged 100%. When certain medications are prescribed it may be necessary for the individual being treated to receive medical monitoring. The third study found that by using systematically increasing approximations to a doctor's visit with a blood draw via role plays reinforced by the administration of a $1.00 token that was later redeemed for money the participant was successful for 100% of the steps with actual blood draws and this behavior has maintained for 6 consecutive months.

Keyword(s): Day Habilitation, Prescribing Patterns, Psychotropic Medications, Residential Habilitation
 

Psychotropic Prescribing Patterns for Adults Receiving Community-based Residential and Day Habilitation Services

CHRISTINE M. MAGEE (May Institute), James M. Sperry (May Institute), Michelle Graham (May Institute)
Abstract:

Many adults receiving community based residential and day habilitation services are prescribed psychotropic medications for the management of both psychiatric and behavioral issues. The following study is a descriptive report of the prescribing patterns for 102 adults receiving community based residential and day habilitation services. Of the 102 adults all are diagnosed with intellectual disabilities and 70.6% with a comorbid Axis I psychiatric disorder. The average age of the individuals reviewed was 47.8 years with a range of 23 to 83 years and gender being 38.2% female and 61.8% male. Of the individuals reviewed, 67.6% were prescribed at least one psychiatric medication and many were prescribed more than one, including different classes of medication. Patterns of prescribing were varied and the prescribers consisted of community-based psychiatrists, behavioral neurologists, and a consulting psychiatrist who is part of a multidisciplinary treatment team. Three master's level clinicians collected data for the study and IOA was 100%.

 

Treating Medication Noncompliance in an Adult Diagnosed With Schizoaffective Disorder and Intellectual Disabilities

JAMES M. SPERRY (Amego, Inc.), Justin Kelly (May Institute), Christine M. Magee (May Institute)
Abstract:

Medication treatment non-compliance is a long-standing issue for individuals with a diagnosed psychiatric disorder including those with intellectual disabilities. This treatment non-compliance interferes with the individual's stability making it difficult to manage their behavior on an outpatient basis. The current study is a review of medication non-compliance of a 57-year-old female diagnosed with a late onset Schizoaffective Disorder and Intellectual Disabilities in the moderate range. Exacerbation of her mental illness manifests as paranoia, which interferes with medication treatment compliance. Prior to addition of a long acting injectable antipsychotic medication she was compliant with medication treatment 84% of the time with a monthly range of 23% to 100%. With the addition of the injectable medication treatment compliance averaged 100% with a monthly range of 99% to 100%. The addition of the injectable medication makes it more likely the individual is compliant with taking prescribed medication. Interobserver agreement data was collected and was 100%.

 

The Effects of Needle Desensitization Upon Blood Draws for a Woman With Schizoaffective Disorder

ROBERT S. CROMARTIE IV CROMARTIE (May Institute), William A. Flood (May Institute)
Abstract:

Doctor refusal and needle avoidance are common problems for people with and without disabilities. Certain medications must be accompanied by routine blood draws to ensure the overall safety of the person. The absence of this blood work could delay or prevent appropriate medications from being administered. The current study evaluated the effects of a systematic desensitization treatment package for doctor refusal and needle avoidance for a 21-year old woman with Schizoaffective Disorder and an Intellectual Disability. The woman was exposed to systematically increasing approximations to a doctor's visit with a blood draw via role plays. Successful exposure resulted in the administration of a $1.00 token that was later redeemed for money. During baseline, the woman was successful for 0% of steps across three opportunities and during treatment she was successful for 95% of steps across 44 sessions. After treatment, the woman was successful for 100% of the steps with actual blood draws and this behavior has maintained for 6 consecutive months. Interobserver Agreement (IOA) data were taken across 22.7% of sessions and were 100%.

 
 
Symposium #447
CE Offered: BACB
A Risk-Benefit Analysis of Antipsychotic Medication and Contingent Skin Shock for the Treatment of Destructive Behaviors
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
LL04 (TCC)
Area: DDA/BPH; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Nathan Blenkush (Judge Rotenberg Educational Center)
Discussant: F. J. Barrera (Private Consultant Practice)
CE Instructor: Nathan Blenkush, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Antipsychotic medications are commonly used to address destructive behaviors in people with developmental disabilities. Contingent skin shock is less commonly employed. Here, the risks and the benefits of antipsychotic medication and contingent skin shock are enumerated and compared. First, the major untoward effects of antipsychotic medications and contingent skin shock are summarized. Second, an efficacy analysis was conducted consisting of the following components: a brief description of the conclusions of a 1991 review of antipsychotic medications; a complete analysis of the effect of first generation and second generation antipsychotics on the irritability subscale of the Aberrant Behavior Checklist; a complete analysis of first generation and second generation antipsychotics on the Clinical Global Impression Improvement Scale; a complete analysis of the effect of first generation antipsychotics, second generation antipsychotics, and contingent skin shock on destructive behavior frequency. The results of the analysis suggest that contingent skin shock is by far the most effective procedure and has the most favorable side effect profile.

Keyword(s): antipsychotic medication, destructive behaviors, risk-benefit analysis, skin shock
 

A Review of the Side Effect Profile and Efficacy of First Generation Antipsychotic Medication in the Treatment of Destructive Behaviors

NICK LOWTHER (Judge Rotenberg Educational Center), Nathan Blenkush (Judge Rotenberg Educational Center)
Abstract:

The side effects of first generation antipsychotic medication include acute extrapyramidal syndromes, chronic extrapyramidal syndromes, neuroleptic malignant syndrome, weight gain, sexual dysfunction, seizure, prolactin level elevation, and sudden cardiac death, among other side effects. These effects are described and summarized. To describe the efficacy of first generation antipsychotics in treating destructive behaviors the conclusions of a 1991 review by Thompson, Hackenberg, and Schaal (1991) are first summarized. Second, because only six relevant studies since 1990 were found, each is briefly reviewed. Finally, Aberrant Behavior Checklist Irritability Subscale, Clinical Global Impression Improvement, and frequency data derived from the Thompson, Hackenberg, and Schaal (1991) review and six subsequent studies since are described. The results suggest that generally, first generation antipsychotic medications have limited efficacy with respect to the three dependent variables reviewed.

 

A Review of the Side Effect Profile and Efficacy of Second Generation Antipsychotic Medication and Their Efficacy in the Treatment of Destructive Behaviors

NATHAN BLENKUSH (Judge Rotenberg Educational Center)
Abstract:

The side effects of second generation antipsychotic medication include acute extrapyramidal syndromes, chronic extrapyramidal syndromes, neuroleptic malignant syndrome, weight gain, sexual dysfunction, seizure, prolactin level elevation, and sudden cardiac death, among other side effects. These effects are described and summarized. To describe the efficacy of second generation antipsychotics in treating destructive behaviors, a literature search was conducted. Studies were included for analysis if second generation antipsychotic medications were used to treat the destructive behaviors of people with developmental disabilities and any of the following dependent variables were used: Aberrant Behavior Checklist Irritability Subscale, Clinical Global Impression Improvement, problem behavior frequency. For those studies with a placebo control, the mean change in ABC-I was 12.3 for those given a drug compared to 5.75 for those given placebo. The CGI-I data show that approximately 54% of participants given a drug were rated as much or very much improved compared to approximately 16% of those given placebo. The analysis of frequency data suggest that second generation antipsychotic medication was effective in reducing destructive behavior frequency by 90% in 34 of 136 destructive behaviors.

 

A Review of the Side Effect Profile and Efficacy of Contingent Skin Shock in the Treatment of Destructive Behaviors

ROBERT VON HEYN (Judge Rotenberg Educational Center), Nathan Blenkush (Judge Rotenberg Educational Center)
Abstract:

The negative side effects of contingent skin shock include emotional behavior, avoidance responses, and anxiety among other negative side effects. However, positive side effects are most often reported. These effects are described and summarized. To describe the efficacy of contingent skin shock in treating destructive behaviors, a literature review was conducted. Studies were included for analysis if contingent skin shock was used to treat the destructive behaviors of people with developmental disabilities and problem behavior frequency was the dependent variable in the study. 117 different behaviors or groups of behaviors exhibited by 114 different participants are summarized. The results show that 110 of 117 behaviors were reduced by 90% or more.

 
 
Symposium #448
CE Offered: BACB
Research in Relational Responding and Stimulus Functions
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
608 (Convention Center)
Area: EAB/VRB; Domain: Basic Research
Chair: Shimin Bao (University of Mississippi)
Discussant: Karen H. Griffee (Concord University)
CE Instructor: David E. Greenway, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Relational responding, including stimulus equivalence is intimately involved in complex human behavior such as language and social bias. The symposium presents three studies that examine various aspects of relational responding. The first study in this symposium examines the effects of using different types of input methods on participants Implicit Relational Assessment Procedure (IRAP) performance. The IRAP is increasingly attracting attention as a measure of beliefs and this study shows differences in the amount of biased behavior detected by the measure using different types of input devises. The second study in this symposium examines the use of contextual cues to influence priming in the transformation of stimulus functions. The study suggests the possible presence of an episodic priming effect on the transformation of stimulus functions. The final study in this symposium examines processes by which stimulus and functional stimulus classes may emerge. The study brought relating like and non-like classes under contextual control using different reinforcement.

Keyword(s): Equivalence, Relational Responding, RFT, Stimulus Functions
 
Using Assistive Technology in Behavioral Research: A Comparison of IRAP Input Methods
LAUREN FASSERO (University of Mississippi), Joi Tucker (Alcorn State University), Kate Kellum (University of Mississippi), Michael Bordieri (University of Mississippi), Kelly G. Wilson (University of Mississippi)
Abstract: The Implicit Relational Assessment Procedure measures the differences in a participant’s responses to two sets of stimuli. As the computer displays a pair of stimuli, participants are expected to choose from two responses within a very short time frame and with few errors. The task has traditionally required participants to respond using the “k” and “d” keys on a standard keyboard. The IRAP can be scored in multiple ways; however, most often scoring deletes trials with long response times and responses from people with high error rates. It may be that some of the delayed responses and errors are due to the computer task itself. The present study examined within subject differences in error rates, response latencies, and bias for participants using different input methods (i.e., a standard keyboard and a switch interface, or a standard keyboard and a simplified keyboard). Response patterns indicate that alternative methods of input should continue to be explored for the IRAP.
 

Using Contextual Cues to Influence the Role of Priming in the Transformation of Stimulus Functions

JACOB H. DAAR (University of South Florida), Timothy M. Weil (University of South Florida), Mark R. Dixon (Southern Illinois University)
Abstract:

Stimuli participating in relational frames have been shown to be sensitive to implicit procedures such as priming; however, the role of context in the priming of derived relational responses has not yet been established. In the present study, 11 participants were trained to respond to 4 3-member equivalence classes, consisting of word-like stimuli, under the contextual control of 2 background colors. Participants then completed a single-word lexical decision task in which prime/target pairs, consisting of related and unrelated pairs, were presented with and without contextual cues. Response latencies to identify related pairs were shorter than for pairs involving a neutral word. However, response latencies between related pairs and unrelated pairs, consisting only of previously trained stimuli, failed to meet statistically significant differentiation. Responses were also similar between contextually related and contextually unrelated word pairs. The results fail to indicate the presence of a contextually controlled semantic priming effect at a statistically significant level; however, these results do suggest the possible presence of an episodic priming effect. These results support previous findings that primed semantic and associative relations are similar with respect to response latencies to identify stimuli. Implications of implicit contextual controls on relational networks and future directions are discussed.

 

The Relationship Between Stimulus and Functional Equivalence

DAVID E. GREENWAY (University of Louisiana at Lafayette)
Abstract:

Stimulus (SE) and functional equivalence (FE) are intimately involved in complex human behavior such as language and concept formation. Although training and testing for these 2 types of stimulus classes are quite different, questions arise regarding whether they spring from the same or different processes. The present study looked at this by relating the 2 types of equivalence classes structurally with common elements of compound stimuli, and functionally with differential reinforcement. Two SE and 2 FE classes were established, which were related via elements of compound stimuli. The preference for relating like (e.g., SE to SE) versus nonlike (e.g., SE to FE) classes was assessed in nonreinforced tests. Then, relating like versus nonlike classes was brought under contextual control using differential reinforcement and assessed in non-reinforced tests. Implications for understanding underlying behavioral processes, language, and cognition are discussed.

 
 
Paper Session #449
Schedule Effects III
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
609 (Convention Center)
Area: EAB
Chair: John R. Smethells (Central Michigan University)
 
Stimulus Control by Flash Rate in Rats
Domain: Basic Research
JOHN R. SMETHELLS (Central Michigan University), Andrew T. Fox (University of Kansas), Stefanie Stancato (Central Michigan University), Mark P. Reilly (Central Michigan University)
 
Abstract: Flashing lights at different rates is sometimes used to signal distinct schedule components in experiments with rats. However, little research exists on the extent to which rats can actually discriminate flash rates. Two experiments were conducted to explore this issue. Experiment 1 employed four rats in a discrete-trials conditional discrimination procedure where a 1 or 5 Hz flash rate indicated which of two lever responses would be reinforced (i.e., 1 Hz = respond left; 5 Hz = respond right). During test sessions, responses to intermediate sample stimuli revealed that flash rate produces the same sigmoidal psychophysical function as other types of stimuli (e.g., light duration). In Experiment 2, rats responded under a mult VI 60 EXT schedule where components were differentially signaled with 1.56 and 3.13 Hz flashing stimulus lights. Test sessions examined responding occasioned by a range of flash rates (0.63 Hz to 8.3 Hz). Similar to other types of stimuli (e.g., light wavelength), peak shift was observed. Various flash rates can serve as discriminative or conditional stimuli and appear to be similar to other stimulus modalities.
 

Behavioural Economics of Food Choices of the Common Brushtail Possum (Trichosurus vulpecula)

Domain: Basic Research
KRISTIE E. CAMERON (University of Waikato), Lewis A. Bizo (University of Waikato), Nicola J. Starkey (University of Waikato)
 
Abstract:

The demand for six different foods was assessed using a concurrent available Fixed and Progressive Ratios for the Common Brushtail Possum. Responses to the left lever were reinforced with timed access to one food type on a FR 30, and responses to the right lever were reinforced according a geometric PR schedule with timed access to another food type. The food pairs were based on the results of single and paired stimulus preference assessments combinging pairs of mushroom, egg, foliage, blackberry, raw chicken, egg and locust. Cross-point demand functions showed the shift from the PR schedule to the constant FR 30 schedule occurred at about 30 responses for most food pairs. Cross-points that occurred before the equivalence point suggested a preference for food available on the FR schedule as the possum responded more for this food over responding on the PR schedule which initially required fewer responses. There was no significant difference in overall elasticity between the foods. This means that as the response requirement increased, responding decreased. Pooled consumption data from within each pair of foods showed inelastic demand for several preferred foods when paired with non-preferred foods. These data show that the context for assessing demand affects the conclusions of food preference.

 

Investigating Picture/Object Transfer in Hens

Domain: Basic Research
RENEE RAILTON (University of Waikato), Therese Mary Foster (University of Waikato), William Temple (University of Waikato)
 
Abstract:

In animal research, artificial 2-dimensional stimuli (e.g., photographs or slides) have often been used as substitutes for real animals or objects. There is, however, relatively little research addressing the issue of whether animals can or do interpret such 2-dimensional stimuli as the 3-dimensional objects they represent and the results of such research are often conflicting. This paper will report a series of experiments that attempted to assess whether hens transferred a discrimination of 3-dimensional objects to 2-dimensional photographs of those objects, and vice versa. It was found that the hens could discriminate based on color but had difficulty learning to discriminate between the objects when discrimination was based on shape alone. None of the hens transferred their discrimination to the alternative stimuli. It was concluded that hens do not respond to objects depicted in pictures in the same way they do to the real objects. Thus, caution is needed when using 2-dimensional images as representations of 3-dimensional objects.

 
 
 
Panel #450
Professional Development Series: Harmonizing School, Work, & Life: How to Be a More Effective Student, Employee, and Person
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
611 (Convention Center)
Area: EDC/CSE; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Raul Mendoza (Walden University)
AMANDA N. KELLY (SEEM Collaborative)
LAUREN HOPKINS (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology)
CHRISTINA DANOS (York Central Hospital)
JESSICA GAMBA (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology)
Abstract:

Are you an undergraduate or graduate student interested in behavior analysis? Ever wonder how other graduate students interested in the field of behavior analysis juggle so many responsibilities AND seem to have some semblance of a life outside of their profession and academics? This discussion panel is designed to give current and future graduate students insight on the art of balancing life and work while obtaining a graduate degree. Topics of discussion will include time management and organizational skills considered necessary, as well as how we all continue to contribute to the science of applied behavior analysis through our practice, research, or personal endeavors . Each panelist will provide various perspectives of their own lives to help other relate to the conversation and promote audience involvement in the discussion. These suggestions for developing a proactive way of life will help you obtain success not only in graduate school, but your professional, and personal life as well.

Keyword(s): Balancing Life, Graduate School, Professional Development, Time Management
 
 
Paper Session #451
Behavioral Methods for Training Teachers and Healthcare Workers
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
618/619 (Convention Center)
Area: EDC
Chair: Lee L. Mason (The University of Texas at San Antonio)
 

A Function-Based Assessment of Virtual Learning Environments for Training Preservice Teachers

Domain: Applied Research
LEE L. MASON (University of Texas at San Antonio), Peter Blair (Utah State University), Nancy Glomb (Utah State University)
 
Abstract:

This study takes a new twist on functional assessment interviews by employing qualitative research methods to determine how virtual learning environments function for preservice special education teachers enrolled in a distance teacher education program. The individualized education program is a critical component of providing special education services to children with disabilities, outlining the services and modifications that will be provided to help them make progress toward the general curriculum. While simulations have been shown to be an effective means of teaching special education policies and procedures, this can be challenging when working with distance students. The purpose of this study was to identify and examine how virtual simulations function to train preservice teachers learning to conduct individualized education program team meetings. Seven preservice special education teachers enrolled in a mild/moderate distance degree and licensure program participated in this research. Through multiple case study analysis, this study examined the specific behaviors emitted by each participant throughout these simulated meetings, as well as the antecedent stimuli and consequences controlling these behaviors. Results indicate that virtual simulations serve a variety of functions for training teachers to work on a collaborative team.

 

The Use of Simulation Training to Shape Teaching Behaviors in a Multiuser Virtual Environment

Domain: Applied Research
LEE L. MASON (University of Texas at San Antonio), Nancy Glomb (Utah State University), Jim Barta (Utah State University)
 
Abstract:

Training programs, including teacher education programs, often provide employees with a set of rules to follow in performing their job functions. Typically, the trainee is taught to identify certain conditions, and then state the rule about how to respond in that situation. With skills that are frequently practiced, the behavior eventually comes under control of the natural contingencies in the environment, and rule-governance fades out. However, newly acquired behaviors may not come into contact with the natural contingencies frequently enough to fine-tune or maintain these behaviors. While many teaching behaviors are shaped by day-to-day interaction with students and faculty, others only have the opportunity to occur every so often, and therefore must be maintained by rules. When the natural consequences are too infrequent to maintain such behaviors, preservice teachers may construct specific rules to specify the contingencies of their teaching behaviors. One example of the latter is developing individualized education programs for students with disabilities. This study examined simulation training as a means of teacher development, seeking to uncover the rules generated by each pre-service teacher to manage his or her own behavior within an individualized education program meeting.

 

Response to Intervention for Higher Education

Domain: Service Delivery
TRUDI GAINES (University of West Florida)
 
Abstract:

In recent years, the K-12 public school system in many states has begun to implement the response to intervention (RtI) model as a new way to respond to the instructional needs of their students. In an effort to eliminate the use of labels for deficits, RtI emphasizes the examination of the learning environment and how it might be contributing to the student's academic deficits as well the use of instructional strategies in an increasingly intense systematic way for struggling students. The challenges and needs of students in higher education are clearly different from those in the K-12 setting, yet the principles of RtI can be adapted to provide a multitiered system of supports and services at this level of learning as well. The focus in this model is on academic as well as professional behaviors of students as they prepare to be teachers.

 
Applying Applied Behavior Analysis to the American Heart Association Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) Program: Shaping Behavior of Healthcare Professionals Who Treat Critically Ill Children
Domain: Service Delivery
RICHARD COOK (Penn State University), Keith E. Williams (Penn State Hershey Medical Center)
 
Abstract: The American Heart Association (AHA) Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) course has become a required certification for many physicians, nurses, and other health care professionals who take care of acutely critically ill children. The course, now in its 24th year and 6th revision, emphasizes key concepts in the first phases of resuscitation of children, including teamwork, performance of medical skills, applying critical interventions, and evaluating their effectiveness. The program's evolution has increased the focus upon consistency in educational content thru the use of video presentations, and purports to place great emphasis on "hands on" learning. However, increased quantity of informational content, decreased time requirements, and lack of task analyzed specific guidelines for skill learning, skill performance, and equipment availability, result in decreased opportunity to learn "cold" the many skills, including the “skills” related to making judgments, conducting clinical evaluations, determining appropriate interventions, evaluating effectiveness, and making ensuing, immediate revisions to the treatment plan. Given the importance of learning psychomotor and algorithmic assessment skills, ABA is well suited for use in both assessing and improving (making more behaviorally consistent) the teaching methods, and in assessing and comparing that which students have learned in the various approaches. While consistency in the manner in which the course is offered is emphasized by the AHA, variations occur regularly not only between programs offered by the many different training centers and sites, but also within the program a given site offers. Task analysis allows one to compare learning of component skills, which can be linked to form habits. While the AHA notes incorporation of techniques for adult learners, evaluation from an ABA perspective quickly reveals areas for improving learning effectiveness, such as in having enough items of equipment to allow the student to develop discrimination, generalization, and maintenance. Some studies cited in support of the program's teaching effectiveness purport supportive conclusions, but fail to cite socially valid or clinically significant parameters or outcome variables, and lack the data to do so. This paper presents a behaviorally based evaluation of the program's teaching approaches, as well as suggestions for changes likely to foster more efficient, generalized, and maintained learning.
 
 
 
Symposium #452
CE Offered: BACB
Developing and Maintaining Effective and Mutually Reinforcing Collaborative Relationships With Professionals From Disciplines Outside of Behavior Analysis
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
204 (TCC)
Area: PRA/CSE; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Kelly J. Ferris (Organization for Research & Learning)
Discussant: Michael Fabrizio (Organization for Research & Learning)
CE Instructor: Kelly J. Ferris, M.Ed.
Abstract:

Working effectively and cooperatively with members of other disciplines can prove very rewarding. By coming into contact with the professional repertoires of persons trained quite differently from the way most applied behavior analysts are trained, the repertoires of both the behavior analyst and the member of the other discipline can be enriched and the lives of the clients they mutually serve may be improved. Achieving such salutary results, however, often requires several things including the ability to identify the functional reinforcers for ones own and ones colleagues behavior, the ability to communicate effectively with professionals whose verbal repertoires often differ quite a bit from those of a behavior analyst, and the ability to see both what the behavior analyst might bring to the table in terms of strengths as well as what the professional from another discipline may bring. This symposium will provide three examples of how such successful relationships have been established and the results they achieved in areas as diverse as augmentative/alternative communication device use, data-based decision making in public schools, and improving the verbal repertoire of various youths with disabilities. Throughout the symposium, clinical data will be shown to illustrate various points made within each paper.

Keyword(s): autism, collaboration, public education, speech pathology
 

Collaborating With Educators to Improve the Data Based Decision-making Skills of Classroom Teachers

ELIZABETH GRACE LEFEBRE (Organization for Research and Learning), Leslie Vincent (Bellevue School District)
Abstract:

Public school special education classrooms are growing in size and student-to-teacher ratios are getting higher each year. Demands for teachers in special education classrooms are significant, and make it difficult for teachers to incorporate intensive, high quality data collection and analysis systems in their classrooms. In addition, recent trends in public education such as the Response to Intervention (RTI) movement place increasing pressure on public educators to employ data collection and analysis systems that allow instruction to change when students fail to progress adequately. Using data gathered across multiple elementary and middle public school special education classrooms within one district in the Seattle area, this paper examines how behavior analysts and public educational administrative professionals collaborated to teach special education teachers the importance of collecting data and making data-based decisions can not only simplify their teaching, but also help guide their practice in working with students with differing myriad needs.

 

SLP andBCBA: An Effective Team for Communication Development in Children With Autism

KELLY J. FERRIS (Organization for Research & Learning), Marci Revelli (Seattle Children's Hospital)
Abstract:

Professionals from various disciplines are assumed to bring different perspectives when collaborating on a clinical case together. Programming for effective communication development for children with autism using Speech Generating Devices (SGDs) is still an emerging practice area. Furthermore, Speech-Language Pathologists and Behavior Analysts tend to speak rather different languages when it comes to explaining language learning and development. Despite these vocabulary and theoretical differences, each has important contributions for helping advance and shape a childs communication repertoire. Careful and respectful communication is required to share ones science with the other while hearing and integrating the perspective their partner brings. This paper will present a review of effective collaboration between one Speech-Language Pathologist and a Board Certified Behavior Analyst for the ultimate gain of the client learning to use an augmentative/alternative communication device. From device selection through planning verbal behavior instruction, these two professionals will share their perspectives on how they have benefitted from the others expertise.

 

Method and Content: Lessons Learned From 15 Years of a Behavior Analyst Collaborating With a Speech-Language Pathologist

MICHAEL FABRIZIO (Organization for Research & Learning), Kris Meilahn (Partners in Therapy)
Abstract:

Practicing as an applied behavior analyst involves bringing to bear combinations of antecedent and consequent variables to improve the repertoires of the clients they serve. As behavior analysts we have very powerful interventions that can greatly improve the current and future lives of the clients we serve. However, while our discipline focuses greatly on procedures and combinations of procedures and the effects that those do and do not produce under varying conditions (methods), there is still much to be learned in terms of exactly what behavior change should be achieved. Knowing what should be taught and when (content) when married with effective methods, is a truly powerful combination that maximally benefits the clients we serve. Using the context of a 15-year-long collaborative relationship with a Speech-Language Pathologist, this paper will present multiple examples of how experts in methods (behavior analysts) and experts in content (for language, speech therapists) can combine forces to produce real, lasting good for their clients and learn a bit from one another at the same time.

 
 
Symposium #453
CE Offered: BACB
The Behavior Analyst's Role in Changing Sexual Behavior: A STEP SIG Symposium
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
202 (TCC)
Area: PRA/DDA; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Fawna Stockwell (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology)
Discussant: Bobby Newman (Full Inclusion Living and Learning Unitarian University)
CE Instructor: Fawna Stockwell, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Behavior analysts can employ scientifically supported treatments to build functional skills related to sexuality, as well as effectively decrease levels of sexual problem behaviors. Sexual behaviors are comparable to other types of human responding in that they can be understood as resulting from similar processes, but they are unique because of their sensitive aspects on both personal and cultural levels. The purpose of this presentation is to discuss how behavior-analytic techniques have been, and can be, used to improve peoples sexual well-being and minimize potential risk of harm. This presentation will also explore the current roles that behavior analysts play in the assessment and treatment of sexual behavior issues and investigate strategies that may promote high-quality, ethical work in this area.

Keyword(s): developmental disabilities, sex education, sex work, sexual behavior
 

Prevalence, Prevention, and Treatment of Sexual Abuse in the Developmentally Disabled Population

LAURA MAHLMEISTER (KGH Consultation & Treatment, Inc.), Charles T. Merbitz (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology), Fawna Stockwell (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology)
Abstract:

Sexual abuse toward individuals with developmental disabilities is an increasing concern as they may be more susceptible to abuse than the general population (Lumley et al., 1998). Sobsey and Doe (1991) reported that 49% of developmentally disabled individuals will be a victim of 10 or more incidences of sexual abuse in his or her lifetime. Previous research has examined preventive procedures which include behavioral skills training in both structured and naturalistic settings (e.g., Lumley et al., 1998; Miltenberger, Roberts, Ellingson, & Galensky, 1999). The purpose of this presentation was to review previous research on behavior-analytic preventive programs and treatment for sexually abused individuals with developmental disabilities. In addition, this presentation described the barriers of reporting sexual abuse cases, the factors that make individuals with developmental disabilities more susceptible to sexual abuse, and the strategies for identifying the signs of abuse. Discussion will also include recommendations for graduate school programs to teach future behavior analysts how to detect and implement preventive methods to decrease sexual abuse in the developmentally disabled community.

 
An Analysis of the Metacontingencies Maintaining Prostitution
KASSIDY RATLEDGE (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology), Farah Bacchus (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology), Fawna Stockwell (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology)
Abstract: Prostitution (i.e., sex work), is a moral dilemma that has been historically relevant since 4000 B.C. (Clarkson, 1939). Despite legal interventions, social stigma, and reported violence, the practice of sex work persists in current society. Therefore, it is critical to analyze the individual and metacontingencies that maintain sex work from a functional, not only moral, standpoint. This presentation will include a review of maintaining variables that perpetuate continuation of illegal sex work. The field of behavior analysis can play a critical role in developing possible interventions to arrange the environment to maximize welfare and minimize violence related to individuals directly and indirectly impacted by sex work. Proposed interventions to promote welfare and minimize safety issues related to sex work will be analyzed and discussed in behavior analytic terms.
 

Sex Therapy and Educational Programming (STEP) Special Interest Group: Promoting Responsible Treatment of Sexual Behavior

Lorraine M. Bologna (The Cincinnati Center for Autism), Jessica Gamba (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology), FAWNA STOCKWELL (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology), Bobby Newman (Full Inclusion Living and Learning Unitarian University)
Abstract:

The field of behavior analysis lacks training programs and certifications specific to the analysis and treatment of sexual behavior, despite the typical behavior analysts occasional inclusion of sexual behavior in treatment goals. Existing training programs and certifications are not behavior-analytic, and few behavior analysts involve themselves in them. This project aimed to assess how STEP SIG could support behavior analysts who treat sexual behavior in equipping them with training specific to their needs. We constructed a survey to gather information in key areas such as: how many behavior analysts assess and treat sexual behavior, how often do so, what behavioral issues are most common, and what resources they would find helpful in their work (e.g., ethics training, measurement systems, behavior-analytic resources such as libraries and online clinical communities, creation of ABA certification program to promote competent and ethical treatment). Results indicated high variability in training and experience working with sexual behavior, and multiple participants indicated a need for additional resources and training in this area. The results of this survey will inform future projects completed by STEP SIG to offer support to behavior analysts and promote the use of effective, ethical techniques in the treatment of sexual behavior.

 
 
Symposium #454
CE Offered: BACB
Using Verbal Behavior Approach to Teach Skills to Children Diagnosed With Autism
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
LL03 (TCC)
Area: VRB/AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Junelyn Lazo (Center for Behavioral Sciences, Inc.)
CE Instructor: Junelyn Lazo, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Skinner's Verbal Behavior (1957) has long been criticized as a work of theory. However, in recent years, many practitioners and researchers have applied principles of Verbal Behavior when working with individuals with or without disabilities. Many of them have shown when functional analysis of verbal behavior is applied to teach language, effective outcomes can often be obtained within short period of time. Four studies are presented in this symposium. In the first study, the2 types of verbal behavior, topography-based (The Picture Exchange Communication System) and stimulus-selection-based verbal behavior (American Sign Language) were taught to3 children with autism. The result shows that all3 children gained numerous mands in their repertoire with both types of verbal behavior. In addition, the barriers and decisions in selecting the types of verbal behavior to be taught were discussed. In the second study, the notion of joint control (Lowenkron, 1991; Tu, 2006) was applied when teaching manded selection responses to children with autism. The result shows that only after joint control training did the children acquired manded selection responses. The third study examines the effectiveness of social stories when changing challenging behaviors. The result shows that corresponding training between "doing" and "saying" is necessary to promote generalization of skills when social stories failed to do so. Finally, descriptive autoclitic training was implemented in an intensive early intervention program for a 4-year-old male with autism. Trainers captured and contrived opportunities for the participant to make contextually appropriate use of autoclitics. Result shows that children diagnosed with autism can acquire and generalize autoclitics.

 

Manding for Children With Autism: Comparing Topography-Based Verbal Behavior With Stimulus-Selection-Based Verbal Behavior

RHYSA MORENO (Center for Behavioral Sciences, Inc.)
Abstract:

Michael (1985) categorized speaking, writing, and signing as types of verbal behavior where each different verbal relation involves a different topography as "topography-based verbal behavior." He also stated that pointing or in some way indicating the relevant verbal stimuli where response topographies do not differ from one verbal relation to another, can be categorized as "stimulus-selection-based verbal behavior." In this study, one type of stimulus-selection-based verbal behavior, the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) is used to teach mands for3 nonvocal children diagnosed with autism at the beginning of their in-home intensive behavior interventions. However, when other identified barriers that were interfering with acquisition of mands, topography-based verbal behavior were introduced into the intervention. The result shows that, all participants acquired and generalize mands using either type of verbal behavior. For Participant 1, 4 mands were mastered and generalized using signs, but 2 via PECS. For Participants 2 and 3, more mands were mastered using PECS than signs at the beginning of the programming. However, Participant 2 generalized 6 mands using signs but only 4 using PECS. Participant 3 generalized more than 20 mands using PECS but only 3 using signs. The implication of key programming decisions (when, why, and what forms of verbal behavior to introduce) will be discussed.

 

Using Joint Control to Teach Manded Selection Responses to Children With Autism

JOHANNA F. LORCA (Center for Behavioral Sciences, Inc.)
Abstract:

The notion of joint control (Lowenkron, 1991; Tu, 2006) is applied when teaching 3 children with autism manded selection responses. Typical discrete trial teaching methodology was used to teach manded selection responses to all 3 children at baseline. However, no responses were acquired during baseline after at least 3 months of teaching. Joint control procedures were then implemented. During joint control phase, joint echoic and tact control were established to evoke selection responses. All 3 participants acquired manded selection responses within a month. This is a multiple baseline across participants study. For Participant 1, the number of acquired manded selection responses in baseline was zero, whereas the number of acquired manded selection responses after joint control training was 11. For Participant 2, the number of acquired manded selection responses in baseline was zero, whereas the number of acquired manded selection responses after joint control training was 3. For Participant 3, the number of acquired manded selection responses in baseline was zero, whereas the number of acquired manded selection responses after joint control training was 8. The presentation will discuss specific steps to establish joint echoic and tact control and present a different way to teach manded selection responses to children with autism than the traditional discrete trial teaching methodology.

 

Correspondence Training Between "Doing" and "Saying" When Social Stories Failed to Promote Program Generalization

HOANG THUY NGUYEN (Center for Behavioral Sciences, Inc.)
Abstract:

Social stories are widely implemented and have been proven effective with children with ASD, adolescents, adults, and typical individuals (Gray, 1995). A social story provides information, social cues, perspective taking and responses individualized to the participant. However, when social story failed to produce program generalization, additional strategies will need to be implemented. Correspondence training is used in this study to promote generalization. Correspondence training is defined as a person giving a verbal report "saying" is followed by the actual behavior "doing," and the behavior is reinforced only when saying and doing is observed (Lima & Abreu-Rodrigues, 2010). This study examines the effectiveness of correspondence training when promoting generalization. Social stories were first used to teach appropriate social interactions for 3 children diagnosed with autism. Answering questions regarding the stories read, role play, and life-situation practice were also implemented immediately after reading of the stories. However, when these procedures did not produce program generalization, correspondence trainings were introduced. The result shows 100% generalization after the implementation of correspondence training.

 

Teaching Autoclitic Responses to Children Diagnosed With Autism

CYNTHIA L. BOYLE (Center for Behavioral Sciences, Inc.), Joyce C. Tu (Center for Behavioral Sciences, Inc.)
Abstract:

Autoclitics are secondary verbal operants, which are dependent upon other verbal behavior, that is, they are always emitted along with some other primary verbal operants (Skinner, 1957). The autoclitic prepares the listener for what the speaker is about to say and increases the probability of an appropriate listener response. One category of autoclitics defined by Skinner (1957) is the descriptive autoclitic. These can modify the strength of a verbal response, for example, saying, "I guess you can come inside," versus "I insist you come inside." In the latter example, a sense of "urgency" is imposed upon the listener, thus increasing the probability of changing the rate of response. In the current study, descriptive autoclitic training was implemented within a 1:1 direct intervention program for a 4-year-old male with autism. Trainers captured and contrived opportunities for the participant to make contextually appropriate use of autoclitics. Trainers used playful and humorous conversations, or conversations about highly preferred reinforcers as a method for prompting autoclitic responses. Baseline data indicate no repertoire of autoclitic verbal behavior. Preliminary case study data indicate that descriptive autoclitics can be introduced within intensive early intervention programs for children with autism as early as 4 years of age. Implications for verbal behavior programs and social skill development in children with autism and directions for future research are discussed.

 
 
Paper Session #455
Effects of Video Modeling and Feedback in Equine Recreation
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
10:00 AM–10:20 AM
602 (Convention Center)
Area: CSE
Chair: Katie M. Licht (UAMRICD)
 

Straight from the Horse's Mouth: Effects of Video Modeling and Video Feedback Treatment Packages in Equine Recreational Activities

Domain: Applied Research
KATIE M. LICHT (Southern Illinois University), Brandon F. Greene (Southern Illinois University)
 
Abstract:

Two experiments were conducted to evaluate the effects of various approaches to training equestrian skills. The purpose of Experiment 1 was to compare an instructional video(s), in combination with verbal instruction, to verbal instruction alone on the percentage of horseback riding and safety errors made among beginner trail riders. An analysis of the overall percentage of steps completed independently revealed significant differences between instructional conditions that favored the use of video. Experiment 2 involved more experienced riders and more sophisticated equitation skills. Specifically, it examined whether a training package would decrease the percentage of jumping equitation errors among riders training in the sport of eventing. Using a multiple baseline across participants design, a training package was evaluated which entailed written feedback and video footage of the lesson from the trainer's point of view in addition to standard instruction. The findings of this study are inconclusive. The overall performance of riders through a six jump course was highly variable from week to week, regardless of the type of instruction utilized during lessons. Although several jumping equitation skills were never problematic for riders, no other skills routinely improved. Limitations and future studies are discussed.

 
 
 
Symposium #456
CE Offered: BACB
Practical and Experimental Alternatives to Extended Functional Analyses: Considerations for School and Clinical Settings
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
10:00 AM–11:20 AM
616/617 (Convention Center)
Area: EDC/DDA; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Ariel Ravid (Binghamton University)
Discussant: Emily Huber Callahan (Institute for Child Development, Binghamton University)
CE Instructor: Emily Huber Callahan, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Research has shown that behavioral interventions based on functional analyses yield more effective results than those chosen arbitrarily (Iwata et al., 1994). However, much of the research on functional analyses comes from highly controlled experimental settings (Northrup et al., 1991). Because of the controlled and extensive nature of the designs, some in the educational and clinical communities have argued that it is not appropriate, feasible, or ethical to implement such procedures in their settings (Scott et al., 2005; Thompson & Caruso, 2006). The purpose of this symposium will be to present alternative methods for assessing the function of problem behavior that address the limitations and barriers present when working in school and clinical settings, yet still adhere to sound experimental design. Presentations will include descriptions of efforts to implement function based assessment for problem behavior in a full and partial-hospitalization program, the use of brief functional analyses of disruptive behavior in a school for children with pervasive developmental disabilities, and the use of brief functional assessment procedures for determining the function of self-injurious behavior in an educational setting.

Keyword(s): Brief Methodology, Functional Analysis
 

Modified Functional Analysis Procedures in a Hospital Setting

JULIA BARNES (Children's Hospital Colorado), Robin L. Gabriels (Children's Hospital Colorado)
Abstract:

The Neuropsychiatric Special Care (NSC) Program of Children's Hospital Colorado provides short-term inpatient and day treatment care for children and adolescents with developmental disabilities and co-morbid medical and/or psychiatric conditions. Treatment of individuals in this program embodies an interdisciplinary approach to treating a variety of disruptive behaviors (e.g., self-injury, aggression and property disruption) using collaborative cognitive-behavioral and medical approaches. Determining the function and underlying factors for "tip of the iceberg" presenting crisis behavior problems is of significant importance to designing effective intervention. However, there can be several limitations to implementing functional analytic assessments in the context of brief inpatient and partial hospitalization stays, such as those arising from factors like environmental control, staffing rotations, and hospital-wide policies and procedures. The aim of this talk is to identify these limitations and ways this program utilizes specific modified functional analytic procedures to inform interventions within this setting. Illustrative case examples will be included.

 

Brief Functional Analysis in the Schools: Usefulness, Challenges, and Considerations

LAURA B. TURNER (Binghamton University), Ariel Ravid (Binghamton University), Stephanie Lockshin (Institute for Child Development, Binghamton University)
Abstract:

Brief functional analysis was developed as a practical alternative to the traditional functional analysis (Northrup, Wacker, Sasso, Steege, Cigrand, Cook, & DeRaad, 1991). In an effort to develop an effective intervention plan to reduce high rates of screaming (a highly disruptive behavior within a classroom setting) in a timely manner, a brief functional analysis is currently being conducted with a 7-year-old boy with autism. Each of the 4 analog conditions (i.e., control, demand, attention, and tangible) were implemented once. All conditions were 10 minutes in duration with a 2 minute break separating the conditions. Preliminary results allow us to hypothesize that social positive reinforcement (i.e., attention) appears to be maintaining screaming. Based on this function, a contingency reversal will be implemented to confirm the hypothesized effect of attention as a reinforcer of behavior. Results will be compared to the data obtained via a structured descriptive behavior assessment. The final results of the brief functional analysis will then be used to develop a functionally equivalent intervention. Discussion will highlight the benefits, challenges, and considerations of implementing a brief functional analysis in a school setting.

 

Brief Procedures for Determining the Function of Self-Injurious Behavior in a School Setting

ARIEL RAVID (Binghamton University), Laura B. Turner (Binghamton University), Stephanie Lockshin (Institute for Child Development, Binghamton University)
Abstract:

Functional analytic procedures have the capability to demonstrate the causal relation between environmental variables and the display of self-injurious behavior (Iwata et al., 1982/1994). However, educational settings often face logistical barriers when attempting to conduct functional analyses (Fox & Davis, 2005). Additionally, some have expressed concern over the use of procedures that allow for the occurrence of self-injurious behavior (Repp, 1994). Recently, trial-based functional analytic procedures have been described (Bloom et al., 2011) in which latency until onset of self-injurious behavior is the dependent variable. Therefore, the maximum number of attempts at self-injury for each trial is limited to 1. The purpose of this presentation will be to describe the use of trial based functional analysis procedures for assessing the function of self-injurious behavior displayed by 2 students diagnosed with pervasive developmental disorders. Structured descriptive assessments were conducted to inform selection of conditions to include in a multielement design. Data is currently being collected in 6-minute trials across the children's school day. The value of the trial based functional analysis will be discussed in terms of identification of the function of behavior, the impact on treatment, and for the feasibility of implementing this procedure in a school setting.

 
 
Paper Session #457
Selected Topics in Clinical, Family, and Behavioral Medicine
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
10:30 AM–11:20 AM
4C-3 (Convention Center)
Area: CBM
Chair: Chris Persel (Centre for Neuro Skills)
 

Critical Factors: The Impact of Neurological Deficits After Brain Injury on Behavior Program Development

Domain: Theory
CHRIS PERSEL (Centre for Neuro Skills), Jessica A. Thompson Scibilia (Centre for Neuro Skills)
 
Abstract:

Integration of sound behavior analytic programs into active rehabilitation therapy after a traumatic brain injury is essential to meet common outcome goals. Whether the reduction of maladaptive behavior or development of functional skills, behavior analysts must be familiar with brain function and neurology as well as other therapy specialties that treat this population. Creating a behavior plan for brain injured individuals must account for changes in neurological function, physical, cognitive, and emotional deficits and complicated medical conditions that are common. Specific impairments or conditions may alter the methodology, approach, and potentially, the impact a behavior plan can have. Once developed, the behavior analyst must work closely with therapists across multiple disciplines, physicians, case managers, and families to implement the plan and maintain treatment integrity. This address will outline the challenges facing the behavior analyst in this setting and using examples from current programs, describe treatment options and appropriate program adjustments to maximize outcome. The objective of the address would be to further conceptualize curriculum for future behavior analysts interested in the field of brain injury rehabilitation.

 

Cuts Like a Knife: On the Similarities and Differences Between Self-Injury and Self-Mutilation

Domain: Service Delivery
RAYNA M. HOUVOURAS (Applying Behavior Concepts), Andrew John Houvouras (Applying Behavior Concepts)
 
Abstract:

Applied behavior analysis is uniquely poised to tackle difficult questions about why human beings inflict harm upon themselves. Self injurious behavior has been the focus of a great deal of behavior analytic research, holding a unique place in ABA as it was the behavior assessed in the seminal article Toward a Functional Analysis of Self Injury. While a common problem among young men and women, self mutilation is not well researched by behavior analysts. This paper will take a historical and cultural look at self injury and self mutilation, note where the responses appear similar and in what aspects they may be different. Considerations for assessment and treatment will be discussed in an interactive, graphic and illuminating presentation.

 
 
 
Panel #458
Professional Development Series: Eventually Kids Grow Up: Supporting Adults With Developmental Disabilities in Community
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
10:30 AM–11:20 AM
LL04 (TCC)
Area: DDA/CSE; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Benjamin Reiman (University of British Columbia)
PETER F. GERHARDT (The McCarton School)
MARY ROBERTA HOADLEY (Parley Services Limited)
Abstract:

The research, practice, and funding available to support children with developmental disabilities is extensive and widely known. However, once these children reach adulthood supports and strategies become scarce and many of these individuals end up unemployed and isolated in community. This panel event is designed for individuals interested in learning how to support adults with developmental disabilities in community settings. Topics will include various aspects of supporting adults including lifeskills development, employment, community integration, behaviour support, and more. Panelists with a wide range of experience with a variety of disabilities including autism, brain injury, and intellectual disability across the lifespan will share their tools and techniques for supporting this growing population. All are encouraged to attend.

Keyword(s): adults, community, employment, transition
 
 
Symposium #459
CE Offered: BACB
Minimizing the Research to Practice Gap in Autism Treatment Research
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
10:30 AM–11:50 AM
305 (TCC)
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Marjorie H. Charlop (Claremont McKenna College)
Discussant: MendyAnn B. Minjarez (Seattle Children's Hospital)
CE Instructor: Alissa Greenberg, Ph.D.
Abstract:

As researchers in applied behavior analysis, it is our responsibility to ensure that our research findings have implications beyond the laboratory. The presentations included in this symposium demonstrate how investigations of behaviorally based interventions can be conducted to result in findings of maximal utility. Methodologies include choosing socially valid target behaviors, using parents as trainers, and evaluating an intervention's effectiveness in real-world settings. The first study used a multiple baseline design across children to teach three children with autism to play competitive group games to increase their group play in natural settings such as recess. The second study investigated the effectiveness of using parents (n = 6) to implement a script intervention aimed at increasing their children's conversation skills. Lastly, in the third study, an effectiveness research model was applied to the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS). Parents (n = 81) and teachers (n = 63) completed surveys assessing their children's PECS training and PECS use, their own attitudes toward PECS, and the identification of moderators of PECS effectiveness. These3 presentations demonstrate the various ways in which researchers can, and should, assume an active role in decreasing the research-to-practice gap in the field of autism.

Keyword(s): research-to-practice gap, treatment research
 

Teaching Competitive Group Play to Children With Autism

CATHERINE ANNE MILTENBERGER (Claremont Graduate University), Marjorie H. Charlop (Claremont McKenna College)
Abstract:

Researchers can enhance the applicability of their research findings to applied settings by choosing relevant target behaviors. One such behavior includes the ability to play age-appropriate recess games, a skill that is often lacking in children with autism. In the present study, a multiple baseline design was used to teach3 children with autism to play competitive group games (e.g., handball and 4-square). Treatment was composed of2 phases designed to teach the children the athletic skills and rules required to play the targeted games. Generalization probes were taken at the children's schools during recess. All of the children mastered the targeted athletic skills when assessed one-on-one with the trainer. Mastering the athletic skills and rules training effectively increased the children's group play at their treatment center and during maintenance probes taken 10 to 12 weeks post intervention. Higher levels of group play were also accompanied by increased speech. Unfortunately, the increased group play did not generalize to school recess. These findings highlight the need to examine the extent to which interventions that are effective in research settings are accompanied by the desired behavior changes in children's natural environments.

 

Teaching Conversation to Children With Autism: A Parent-implemented Script Procedure

MELAURA ANDREE ERI TOMAINO (Center for Autism Research, Evaluation, and Service)
Abstract:

While children with autism demonstrate a deficit in communication and conversational skills (Kanner, 1943), few studies have been conducted that teach this population to engage in an entire "to and fro" conversation (Charlop & Milstein, 1989). The present study utilized a multiple baseline design across participants to evaluate the effectiveness of a collaborative parent-training program. The parent-training program focused on teaching parents to implement scripts to teach their children with autism to engage in a reciprocal conversation. A collaborative approach was used to enhance the contextual fit of the intervention, increase parent motivation during intervention, and ensure clinical significance. Results indicated that all6 children showed increases in conversational speech during scripted conversations. Additionally,5 children generalized the skill across conversational topic. Findings also demonstrated generalization across people and setting. Ancillary benefits included decreases in parent stress, depression, and concern regarding their child's conversational speech. Results are discussed in terms of the value of a collaborative approach to parent education by viewing parents as experts on their children. Further, using parents as interventionists promotes generalization and maintenance of the target skill, demonstrating the applicability of this treatment approach to real life situations.

 

Applying an Effectiveness Research Model to the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS)

ALISSA GREENBERG (Nationwide Children's Hospital)
Abstract:

Although the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) is widely used to teach communication to nonverbal persons with autism, most of the research on this intervention focuses on its outcomes under tightly controlled conditions (i.e., efficacy research). The present study applied a 4-part effectiveness research model, including (1) program evaluation, (2) social validation, (3) identification of moderators, and (4) collaboration with consumers, to PECS. Surveys assessing children's PECS training and PECS use, adult attitudes toward PECS, and the moderators of PECS effectiveness were widely distributed to parents (n = 81) and teachers (n = 63). Findings demonstrated that PECS training fidelity did not meet the guidelines outlined in the PECS Training Manual (Frost & Bondy, 2002). Further, many children were not using PECS as it was intended (i.e., as a form of generalized spontaneous communication). Despite these mediocre outcomes, participants still demonstrated generally favorable attitudes toward PECS. Analyses also revealed the role that adult variables (e.g., involvement in PECS programs, social validity) played in moderating children's PECS outcomes. These results have direct implications for optimizing PECS outcomes. Further, the study offers support for an effectiveness research model that can be applied to other areas of autism intervention in an effort to decrease the research-to-practice gap.

 
 
Symposium #460
CE Offered: BACB
Advances in Understanding and Treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorders
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
10:30 AM–11:50 AM
302 (TCC)
Area: AUT/EDC; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Mark O'Reilly (University of Texas at Austin)
Discussant: Jennifer J. McComas (University of Minnesota)
CE Instructor: Mark O'Reilly, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Children with autism exhibit deficits in learning and excesses in behavior that challenge educational and family systems. While there is a plethora of research on interventions to teach and support challenging behavior with these children, further research is needed. In this symposium we present 3 studies that advance our knowledge of the education of children with autism and the treatment of challenging behavior. In the first paper, Russell Lang will present research on the use of lag schedules to teach generalized play skills to children with autism. Beyond teaching generalized play skills Lang and colleagues examine the social validity of the skills taught and argue against developmental criticisms of behavioral interventions to teach play. In the second paper, Wendy Machalicek examines the use of functional analysis to assess and treat transition-related challenging behavior in school settings for children. Novel interventions to treat transition-related challenging behavior were examined (multiple schedule arrangements) and are discussed in the context of function-based classroom interventions. Finally, Mandy Rispoli and colleagues examine the embedding of choice arrangements to treat escape-maintained behavior for children with autism. Various choice arrangements were evaluated in comparison to a no choice condition. This function-based choice intervention proved effective in treating challenging behavior with3 children with autism. Finally, the results of these three studies will be analyzed and discussed by Professor Jennifer McComas of the University of Minnesota, a leading international figure in the use of behavioral technology to treat children with autism.

 

Behavioral Intervention to Improve the Generalization and Diversity of Play Skills in Children With Autism

RUSSELL LANG (Texas State University-San Marcos), Christie Layton (Building Blocs Foundation, Inc.), Brandy Windham (Building Blocs Foundation, Inc.), Mandy J. Rispoli (Texas A&M University), Laura Bernard (Texas State University), Courtney Britt (Texas State University), Katy Davenport (Pflugerville Independant School District)
Abstract:

Children with autism often do not develop typical play skills. Previous research has demonstrated that improvements in play behavior are associated with reduction in stereotypy and improvements in language. However, previous play intervention research has been criticized for not teaching genuine play but instead teaching children to engage in behaviors that merely look like play. Specifically, critics contend that play should be internally motivated, flexible in form, generalize across contexts, and bring joy to the individual playing. This study challenges these criticisms by (a) using lag schedules of reinforcement to target the spontaneous generation of novel play behaviors, (b) assessing generalization of play across toys and, (c) measuring indices of child happiness. An ABACA design in which "B" represents the typical prompting and reinforcement strategies used in behavioral interventions, and "C" represents typical intervention plus lag schedules of reinforcement. The ABACA design is embedded within a larger multiple baseline design across3 participants with autism. Generalization probes were taken during each A phase. Maintenance of play skills was assessed at 4, 6, and 8 weeks. Results demonstrate that play increased and stereotypy decreased for all3 participants. Parent ratings suggest that the children were happier following play intervention.

 

Functional Analysis and Treatment of Challenging Behavior Associated With Transitions in Classroom Settings

WENDY A. MACHALICEK (University of Oregon)
Abstract:

Children with autism often engage in challenging behavior during transitions (initiation or termination of activity with or without location change). Assessment and treatment is complicated by the possibility of challenging behavior maintained by positive or negative reinforcement. Past research suggests functional analysis of transitions and treatment using differential reinforcement of alternative behavior with extinction can be effective in decreasing challenging behavior (Fisher, Adelinis, Thompson, Worsdell, & Zarcone, 1998; McCord, Thompson, & Iwata, 2001). However, transitions in classrooms are frequent, requiring strategies to increase the frequency of transitions to socially acceptable levels. The present study evaluated the (a) use of classroom-based functional analysis of transitions, (b) effectiveness of functional communication training with extinction to decrease challenging behavior associated with transitions, and (c) effects of two-component multiple-schedule arrangements (Hanley, Iwata, & Thompson, 2001) to progressively increase the frequency of difficult transitions for 3 school-age children with autism. This is an extension of clinic-based structured descriptive assessment and treatment of challenging behavior (see graph). Although challenging behavior decreased within session, all children continued to experience difficulty transitioning from preferred to nonpreferred activities. The results of this study could further the functional analysis and treatment of transition related challenging behavior in classroom settings.

 

A Comparison of Within-Task and Across Task Choice on Challenging Behavior for Children With Autism

MANDY J. RISPOLI (Texas A&M University), Russell Lang (Texas State University-San Marcos), Leslie Neely (Texas A&M University), Siglia P. H. Camargo (Texas A&M University), Nancy Hutchins (Texas A&M University), Katy Davenport (Pflugerville Independant School District)
Abstract:

Students with autism spectrum disorders often engage in challenging behavior, which can present unique challenges to teachers in schools. Behavior maintained by negative reinforcement is one of the most common functions of challenging behavior in individuals with disabilities (Derby et al., 1992; Iwata et al., 1994). Escape maintained behavior can lead to negative outcomes including limited time spent engaged in instruction, placement in more restrictive setting, and loss of opportunity for social interaction (Horner, Albin, Sprague, & Todd, 2000). One means of preventing challenging behavior is through the use of choice. Such interventions involve providing the student with a choice of which task to complete (across task choice) or how to complete a task (within-task choice). The purpose of this study was to compare these types of choice on challenging behavior using a reversal with an embedded alternating treatments single case research design. Three boys and1 girl with autism participated in this study. Data were taken on rate of challenging behavior during each instructional condition. Results showed that both types of choice reduced challenging below the no-choice condition levels and that across task choice produced the lowest rates of challenging behavior for all four participants.

 
 
Symposium #461
CE Offered: BACB
Examining Variations of Discrete Trial Teaching for Children Diagnosed With an Autism Spectrum Disorder
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
10:30 AM–11:50 AM
LL02 (TCC)
Area: AUT/PRA; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Mitchell T. Taubman (Autism Partnership)
Discussant: Lara M. Delmolino Gatley (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey)
CE Instructor: Justin B. Leaf, Ph.D.
Abstract:

One commonly implemented teaching procedure to children and adolescents diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder is discrete-trial teaching. Discrete-trial teaching consists of3 components: (a) an instruction, (b) a response by the learner, and (c) a consequence following the learner's response. Discrete trial teaching has been shown to be effective in teaching a variety of skills ranging from increasing expressive language to increasing social behavior. Although, discrete trial teaching is commonly implemented their remains many questions related to its effectiveness. This symposium will present3 papers examining different variations of discrete trial teaching and their relative effectiveness for teaching new skills to children diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. The first paper to be presented examines the use of instructional feedback as part of discrete trial teaching implemented during dyad instruction. The second paper to be presented examines the use of discrete trial teaching in teaching complex social discriminations for children diagnosed with autism. The final paper compares the implementation of discrete trial teaching in one-to-one instructional formats to discrete trial teaching implemented in group instructional formats. Considerations of the findings for the3 papers, limitations, possible future research, and ways to translate the research to practice will be discussed.

Keyword(s): autism, discrete trial, discrimination teaching, group teaching
 
Comparing Discrete Trial Teaching Implemented in a One-to-One Instructional Format to a Group Instructional Format
JUSTIN B. LEAF (Autism Partnership ), Kathleen H. Tsuji (Autism Partnership), Amy Lentell (Autism Partnership), Misty Oppenheim-Leaf (Great Strides Behavioral Consulting, Inc.), Mitchell T. Taubman (Autism Partnership), John James McEachin (Autism Partnership), Ronald B. Leaf (Autism Partnership)
Abstract: Discrete trial teaching is a systematic form of teachingthat is commonly implemented to children diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. Discrete-trial teaching consists of three main components: (a) an instruction from the teacher, (b) a response by the learner, and (c) a consequence (e.g., positive reinforcement or corrective feedback) following the learner's response. Researchers and clinicians have implemented discrete trial teaching in one-to-one instructional formats and group instructional formats to teach a wide variety of skills to children diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. The purpose of this study was to compare discrete trial teaching implemented in a one-to-one format to discrete trial teaching implemented in a group instructional format in terms effectiveness, efficiency, observational learning, and maintenance. Six children diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder participated in the study and the researchers divided the6 participants into2 smaller groups. The researchers taught each participant6 targeted behaviors in the one-to-one teaching condition and6 targeted behaviors in the group teaching condition. Results of the study showed that both instructional formats were equally effective and that there was mixed results in terms of efficiency and maintenance. Finally group instruction resulted in better observational learning. Implications will be discussed.
 
Effects of Instructional Feedback for Children With Autism During 1:1 and Dyad Instruction
AMY PAIGE HANSFORD (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, Rutgers University, The State University of New Jersey), Meredith Bamond (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey), Lara M. Delmolino Gatley (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey)
Abstract: In instructional feedback, extra information about a learning target or a future learning target is embedded in the consequent portion of a learning trial. Although learners are not expected to respond to these stimuli when they are presented, research has shown that learners acquire this extra information (future targets) without specific instruction or with faster acquisition rates, resulting in more efficient instruction. This study attempts to replicate and extend these findings in a group of students with autism. In the first part of this pilot study, participants were taught3 skills using most to least prompting within a multiple probe across skills design. Within the instruction for each target, a related skill (future target) was embedded in the consequent portion of each learning trial. In the first part of this study, all learners acquired target and future targets with instruction, although only1 of4 learners showed more efficient learning of future targets with the use of instructional feedback. Considerations for these findings, such as the nature of the current and future targets will be discussed. Data regarding the use of instructive feedback within dyad instruction will also be presented.
 
Teaching Social Skills to Children With Autism Using the Cool Versus Not Cool Procedure
KATHLEEN H. TSUJI (Autism Partnership), Justin B. Leaf (Autism Partnership), Brandy Griggs (Autism Partnership), Mitchell T. Taubman (Autism Partnership), John James McEachin (Autism Partnership), Ronald B. Leaf (Autism Partnership), Andrew Edwards (Autism Partnership), Misty Oppenheim-Leaf (Great Strides Behavioral Consulting, Inc.)
Abstract: This study evaluated the effects of a variation on discrete trial teaching known as the cool versus not cool procedure for teaching 3 children diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder8 social skills. The cool versus not cool procedure is a social discrimination program used to increase children's ability to display appropriate social behaviors. In this study, the cool versus not cool procedure consisted of the participants observing the researcher demonstrating a social behavior either appropriately or inappropriately, followed by the participants discriminating whether the researcher demonstration was "cool" (appropriate) or "not cool" (inappropriate). For some social skills the participants role-played the social behavior following the teacher demonstration. Results indicated that participants reached mastery criterion on 50% of targeted social skills with the teacher demonstration and on an additional 37.5% of targeted social skills with teacher demonstrations plus role-plays. Only1 participant on1 social skill (12.5%) was unable to reach mastery criterion although performance increased from baseline. Implications of the findings, limitations, and future areas of research will also be discussed.
 
 
Symposium #462
Cultural Considerations in the Dissemination of Applied Behavior Analysis to Non-Western Countries
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
10:30 AM–11:50 AM
301 (TCC)
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Dennis Dixon (Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc.)
Abstract: Lack of effective dissemination of evidence-based research produces an enormous gap between proven research and its eventual translation into common medical practice. A broad review of research studies concluded that it takes 17 years to translate 14% of research findings into practice (Balas, 1998). Consequently, the dissemination component of evidence-based practices becomes almost as critical as the practices themselves. This symposium will address the infrastructure, social, cultural, and linguistic barriers that arise in efforts to implement applied behavior analysis in non-Western countries as they grapple with the growing, globally-unbiased, prevalence rates of autism spectrum disorders. This symposium will address this topic through four discussions of dissemination efforts across various countries and cultures.
 

The Wavering ABA Infrastructure in Iran

MORVARID NAGHSHINEH (Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc.)
Abstract:

Although Iran has experienced an increase in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) prevalence rate, awareness, treatment, and application of treatment remain inadequate. ASD is oblivious to race, culture, or socioeconomic status. Developing countries and emerging economies, such as Iran, often lack awareness of ASD. Further, the availability of effective treatment is often lacking. Due to inadequate availability of resources, current utilization of applied behavior analysis (ABA) often falls short of obtaining optimal results. Recent estimates of prevalence in Iran and utilization of empirically supported treatments are significantly less than in most Western nations (Samadi et al., 2011). This may be due in part to aspects of Iranian culture. A dire need exists for a structured ABA dissemination framework. This presentation discusses specific cultural and linguistic considerations and provides case studies of dissemination efforts as example.

 
Dissemination Challenges in India
DIPTI MUDGAL (May Institute)
Abstract: The cultural, linguistic, and economic diversity that characterizes India hinders the broad dissemination of medical developments in general and applied behavior analysis in particular. While technological advancements dominate the Indian culture, access to medical advancements via such technology represents a fundamental barrier. Consequently, unique and significant barriers exist for the behavior analyst in India. Dissemination efforts must consider the diverse ethnic, religious, and social groups. This talk discusses specific barriers to the dissemination of ABA within India and suggests potential strategies with which to overcome such barriers.
 

Translation in Dissemination of Applied Behavior Analysis to the Korean Community

JINA JANG (Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc.)
Abstract:

South Korea has experienced a significant increase in the prevalence rate of ASD over the past decade. While a recent report of ASD prevalence in South Korea is likely an over-estimate (Kim, et al., 2011), the prevalence rate of autism in South Korea is undeniably increasing. In spite of this demand, the availability of well-trained behavior analysts is extremely low (only 8 Board Certified Behavior Analysts in South Korea). Despite the desperate need for ABA in South Korea, a general lack of understanding and acceptance of ABA exists. Therefore, awareness and dissemination of the principles and procedures of ABA are crucial in South Korea. One of the problems of ABA dissemination in non-western cultures is overcoming the language barrier. In this presentation, two studies that aimed to translate the existing ABA information/materials (i.e. introduction to ABA, the Questions About Behavioral Function) are discussed. Further, obstacles that occurred in the process of translation and suggestions to improve future dissemination of ABA to the Korean community are addressed.

 
Challenges of Providing Services in Non-Western Countries
CATHERINE M. MINCH (Center For Autism and Related Disorders, Inc.)
Abstract: A number of challenges exist in the implementation of applied behavior analytic treatments within non-Western cultures. Existing policies and treatment standards may be less effective in non-Western cultures because they have been developed within the framework of western cultural values and resources. Further, when implementing ABA within non-Western countries, the lack of availability of resources and information is alarming. In this presentation, the aim is to discuss the implementation of ABA treatments from a clinical point of view, providing thorough descriptions of service delivery in Dubai, South Africa, and Japan through case studies. In addition, challenges of provision of consultation services in these countries, as well as the use of telemedicine, will be discussed.
 
 
Symposium #463
Finding Our Way: Intervening on Psychological Flexibility to Improve Performance on Specific High-Stakes Academic Tasks
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
10:30 AM–11:50 AM
4C-4 (Convention Center)
Area: CBM; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Emily Squyres (University of Louisiana at Lafayette)
Discussant: Eric J. Fox (FoxyLearning)
Abstract: The university experience is filled with obstacles to continued academic success. Many of these obstacles are high-stakes tasks that are difficult, not only because of the skill they require of students but also because of the dread they evoke. Thus, for many students, everything associated with tasks like advanced statistics or standardized tasks, exerts aversive control on behavior, resulting in a narrow, rigid repertoire, and limited learning. This symposium will include three studies that examined the impact of interventions on psychological flexibility for improved performance on such tasks. The first study will examine the impact of a statistics study group that includes a willingness component on statistics-related anxiety, willingness toward that anxiety, and course performance. The second study will examine the impact of training deictic relational responding, or perspective-taking, on reading comprehension subtests of two standardized exams. The third study will examine the impact of four practice conditions on Graduate Record Exam performance. Targeting psychological flexibility for college achievement will be broadly discussed in light of the findings.
Keyword(s): Perspective-taking, Psychological Flexibility, Willingness
 

Going From Null to Neat-O: Psychological Flexibility Processes Applied to a Behavioral Statistics Study Group

EMMIE HEBERT (University of Louisiana at Lafayette), Emily Kennison Sandoz (University of Louisiana at Lafayette)
Abstract:

This study examines the development of a support system for students struggling with the demanding coursework of statistics classes and the anxiety that comes along with it. Statistics coursework presents a significant challenge for students in behavioral science degree programs, with many students needing to take the class multiple times before earning a passing grade. Not surprisingly, previous research has found that statistics coursework induces significant anxiety (e.g. Richardson and Suinn 1972; Rounds and Hendel 1980; etc). Accordingly, this study examines the role of anxiety and psychological flexibility with respect to its influence on performance in statistics class. A study group was formed for undergraduates taking a course, required for psychology majors, on methodology and statistics at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Anxiety towards statistics and willingness to feel and think about it were measured at the beginning of each study session. In addition, the relationship of psychological flexibility to success in the course was also measured. Course content and psychological flexibility were both addressed during the sessions. Preliminary results suggest a successful experience by most study group members. Implications about the role of psychological flexibility and the experience of anxiety in such classes are discussed.

 
The Effects of a Perspective Taking Intervention on Reading Comprehension Scores in College Students
APRAL FOREMAN (University of Mississippi), Maureen Kathleen Flynn (University of Mississippi), Michael Bordieri (University of Mississippi), Kelly G. Wilson (University of Mississippi), Kate Kellum (University of Mississippi)
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of perspective taking training on reading comprehension scores. According to Relational Frame Theory (RFT), perspective taking involves a particular type of relational responding called deictic relational responding (Hayes, Barnes-Holmes, and Roche, 2001). In this type of responding, one responds to stimuli in terms of their relationship (e.g., spatial, temporal) with themselves and others. A few perspective taking protocols have been developed that incorporate deictic relational responding (e.g., McHugh, Barnes-Holmes, & Barnes-Holmes, 2004; Rehfeldt, Dillen, Ziomek, & Kowalchuk, 2007) and have been used to assess and train perspective taking. Studies have shown that people diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder and schizophrenia make more perspective taking errors than typically developing peers (e.g., Rehfeldt, Dillen, Ziomek, & Kowalchuk, 2007; Villatte, Monestès, McHugh, Freixa i Baqué, & Loas, 2010). There has also been some success in training perspective taking in individuals diagnosed with high-functioning autism (Rehfeldt, Dillen, Ziomek, & Kowalchuk, 2007). Aside from these findings, little is known about increasing perspective taking skills and the benefits of doing so in typically developing adult populations. It is hypothesized that this type of relational responding may be important in reading comprehension because comprehension requires an ability to take different perspectives. The aim of this study is to see if training this type of responding increases reading comprehension scores in college students. A multiple baseline design across participants was used to examine the impact of the perspective taking training on reading comprehension tests (including GRE practice tests and the Nelson Denny reading comprehension test).
 

Verbal, Quantitative, and Writing! Oh My!: Skill vs. Flexibility-Focused Preparation for Graduate Record Examination Performance

EMILY SQUYRES (University of Louisiana at Lafayette), Alexandria Maynard (Student), Emily Kennison Sandoz (University of Louisiana at Lafayette)
Abstract:

The Graduate Record Examination presents a significant challenge for many students wishing to attend graduate school in psychology or behavior analysis. Most students report anxiety associated with the Graduate Record Examination, the avoidance of which can make adequate preparation impossible. Thus, Graduate Record Examination scores are likely impacted by not only a students skill on the tasks assessed, but also his or her psychological flexibility with the exam experience. However, preparation tools available focus primarily on skill-building, with no direct attention to improving flexibility with exam-related anxiety. This multiple baseline study examined the impact of four conditions (verbal skills practice, math skills practice, exam focused flexibility practice, and a no practice control) on repeated exam performance. Participants are undergraduate and masters level Psychology student volunteers. Baseline data suggest improvement goals from 250 to 600 points. Exam-focused flexibility practice is expected to result in improvements in Graduate Record Examination scores comparable to skill-focused practice.

 
 
Symposium #464
Delay Discounting of Sexual Outcomes
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
10:30 AM–11:50 AM
609 (Convention Center)
Area: EAB/CBM; Domain: Basic Research
Chair: Steven R. Lawyer (Idaho State University)
Discussant: Derek D. Reed (University of Kansas)
Abstract:

Discounting, a behavioral measure of impulsive choice, is associated with a variety of social health phenomena (e.g., substance abuse), but relatively little empirical attention has been focused on the examination of discounting in relation to sexual decisions and outcomes. In spite of the clear relevance of discounting to sexual decisions that lead to long-term poor health outcomes (e.g., sexually transmitted infections), only2 studies to date have been published specifically examining discounting of sexual outcomes (Lawyer, et al., 2008, 2010). This symposium comprises3 research studies that significantly extend the nascent focus on discounting for sexual outcomes. David Jarmalowicz, et al. will present data examining the cross-commodity discounting of sexual and monetary outcomes in cocaine addicts that speak to the commodity-specific discounting rates in this sample. Frederick Schoepflin and Steven R. Lawyer will examine the impact of exposure to sexual cues in the laboratory on discounting for sexual versus monetary outcomes. Matthew Johnson will examine how discounting for sexual and monetary outcomes is related to real-world sexual risk behavior in cocaine addicts. This symposium highlights the importance of translational research for bridging basic laboratory-behavioral research and real-world social health phenomena. Dr. Derek Reed, a respected discounting researcher, will serve as discussant.

 

Single and Cross Commodity Discounting of Money and Sex in Cocaine Addicts

DAVID P. JARMOLOWICZ (Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute), Warren K. Bickel (Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute), Darren R. Christensen (University of Melbourne, Australia), Reid D. Landes (University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences), Lisa Jackson (University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences), Brian Jones (Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute)
Abstract:

Choice procedures examining the discounting of delayed reinforcers provide insight into individuals' valuation of various commodities. For example, cocaine users discount cocaine more rapidly than money (e.g., Bickel et al., 2011). Because cocaine users also engage in risky sexual behaviors, they may also disproportionately discount delayed sexual encounters. Although such between-commodity comparisons highlight the relative rates of discounting for each commodity, little is known about the mechanisms driving these differing discounting rates. For instance, are drug reinforcers rapidly discounted because they quickly loose their value, or are immediate drugs disproportionately valuable? This study of 25 treatment-seeking cocaine addicts analyzed delay discounting of2 commodities (equated amounts of sex and money); specifically between sex now vs. sex later (S-S), money now vs. money later (M-M), sex now vs. money later (S-M), and money now vs. sex later (M-S). Changes in the delayed commodity resulted in large and significant changes in discounting rates, whereas changes in the immediate commodity resulted in small nonsignificant changes. These findings suggest that cocaine addicts not only discount sexual encounters more rapidly than money, but also that this differential discounting may occur because sexual encounters are rapidly devalued.

 

Sexual Discounting: Relationship to Real World Sexual Risk Behavior

MATTHEW W. JOHNSON (Johns Hopkins University)
Abstract:

Cocaine dependence is associated with high rates of sexual risk behavior and HIV infection; however, little is known regarding responsible behavioral mechanisms. Cocaine-dependent individuals (N = 62) completed the Sexual Discounting Task assessing decisions between immediate unprotected sex and delayed sex with a condom across4 hypothetical partners: most (and least) likely to have a sexually transmitted infection (STI), and most (and least) sexually desirable. Participants also completed a real rewards money delay-discounting task, and the HIV Risk-Taking Behavior Scale (HRBS), which included a subscale of self-reported sexual risk behavior. Sexual discounting (preference for immediate unprotected sex) was significantly greater when making responses for partners judged least (compared to most) likely to have an STI, and for partners judged most (compared to least) desirable. Greater self-reported sexual risk behavior on the HRBS was significantly associated with greater sexual discounting in3 of the4 sexual discounting partner conditions (with the exception being the most desirable partner condition). However, sexual risk was not significantly correlated with money discounting, suggesting domain specificity. Results suggest that delay discounting may be a behavioral mechanism accounting for the high rates of sexual risk and HIV acquisition in cocaine dependence.

 
Effects of Priming on Delay Discounting for Sexual and Monetary Outcomes
FREDERICK SCHOEPFLIN (Idaho State University), Steven R. Lawyer (Idaho State University)
Abstract: Delay discounting is the preference smaller immediate outcomes over larger delayed ones and is associated with impulsive choice. Discounting is typically measured by posing a series of choices between different amounts of immediate vs. delayed monetary outcomes, but can include other types of outcomes. Few studies have examined transient environmental factors that influence discounting decisions, but previous research (e.g., Wilson & Daly, 2004) has suggested that mens’ delay discounting for money is affected by viewing pictures of attractive women. The current study aims to replicate and extend these findings by measuring discounting behavior for hypothetical monetary and sexual outcomes before and after being primed with sexual, exciting (non-sexual), or neutral pictures from the International Affective Pictures System. Study hypotheses were that participants who viewed sexual pictures would show increased rates of discounting for both sexual and monetary outcomes, but that the effect would be significantly more pronounced in the sexual outcomes discounting task. Data collection is ongoing, but preliminary data (N = 56) suggest a possible effect for condition, in which men exposed to sexual pictures are actually make less impulsive decisions for both money and sexual activity by comparison to the other conditions. Relevance to research concerning discounting and sexual decision-making will be discussed.
 
 
Paper Session #465
Improving Behavior and Academic Performance in Elementary School
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
10:30 AM–11:50 AM
611 (Convention Center)
Area: EDC
Chair: Melissa Becquet (Université Lille3)
 

Effects of Three Strategies of Instructions With an Errorless Learning to Increase Student Participation and Improve Academic Performance

Domain: Applied Research
MELISSA BECQUET (Université Lille3), Vinca Riviere (Universite Lille 3), Justine Jouault (Université Lille3), Sophie Verhaege (Université Lille3)
 
Abstract:

Active participation and academic performance were studied in a classroom with typical children aged from 4 to 6 years-old. Three strategies were used to learn an academic activity with an errorless learning. These strategies were: hand rising, response cards, and automatic response system (moby system). Group contingencies were added during each strategy to increase student participation in an academic activity. In classroom, it is important to encourage active responses from students, in order to increase the efficiency of teaching and improve academic performances. Response cards and response system allow to respond in the same time for all of students for a common instruction. Each student can be evaluated several times a day. Teachers can evaluate quickly and can have a direct feedback on student's performance. For this study, results for 30 children were observed but we identified 5 children with difficulties for academic activity. We observed an increasing of academic performances after teaching in post-test. During teaching, these 3 strategies showed an increasing of academic performances and active response. Student's participation is higher for both strategies.

 

Broadening the Scope of Functional Behavioral Assessment in Regular Classrooms

Domain: Applied Research
CHIHARU BABA (Kwansei Gakuin University), Junko Tanaka-Matsumi (Kwansei Gakuin University)
 
Abstract:

The use of functional behavioral assessment (FBA) and the implementation of assessment-based interventions have been spreading to natural settings such as regular classrooms with consistently positive outcomes (Ervin et al., 2001). In this presentation, we identify emerging themes for the practical and broadening application of FBAs in regular classrooms. In our systematic literature review of 33 FBA studies conducted in regular classrooms (Baba, Noguchi, & Tanaka-Matsumi, 2011), "out-of seat," "talking without permission," and "aggression" were frequently reported as target behaviors. In comparison, an analysis of ABC behavioral observation reports infirst andsecond grade regular classrooms of2 Japanese public elementary schools for two school years (Baba, & Tanaka-Matsumi, 2011a) revealed "failure to follow instructions/tasks" and "playing with hands/materials" as frequent problem behaviors. Although these behaviors do not typically interfere with the conduct of class, Japanese teachers are increasingly concerned with assisting children exhibiting "silent" problem behaviors. We (Baba & Tanaka-Matsumi, 2011b) have implemented an antecedent assessment-based intervention of gaining attention of the student prior to delivering whole-class teacher instructions and effectively decreased "inattentive behaviors" of a first grader. We find further assessments helpful for modifying a wide range of behaviors in the naturalistic school environment.

 

A Personalized System of Instruction in a K-8 School

Domain: Theory
FRANCIS MECHNER (The Mechner Foundation)
 
Abstract:

For the past 3 years, the Queens Paideia School (QPS) has been demonstrating a personalized system of instruction, a successor of the system introduced at the Paideia School, which operated in Armonk, NY, from 1969 to 1974. Seventeen students ranging in age from 5 to 14 advance at their own best pace through personalized learning plans that consist of behaviorally defined learning objectives. Some of the objectives are drawn from a comprehensive computerized "knowledge base" adapted from various existing curricula, and others were generated by the QPS staff. They cover the standard academic subjects, as well as social skills, self-management skills, learning skills, and thinking skills. The science objectives include inquiry and experimentation skills. The social studies objectives relate to multiple strands of world history and culture. The mixed age grouping generates interactions similar to those that occur in families and the outside world, and creates ample opportunities for QPS's 3 teachers to shape social and interpersonal skills by means of immediate pinpointed feedback. Since many of the social and self-management objectives require self-observation, students become skilled at observing and registering their own behavior. Within one year, most students begin to function as independent learners motivated by curiosity and a desire to understand the world.

 
Positive Behavior Support at the Tertiary Level: Red Zone Strategies
Domain: Service Delivery
LAURA A. RIFFEL (Behavior Doctor Seminars)
 
Abstract: This presentation will focus on individual interventions for students with ADHD, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Learning Disabilities, and Autism. Positive Interventions and Effective Strategies for the students who tend to disrupt the learning of others. This presentation will share a new tool available for free that will graph antecedent, behavior, and consequence data. The tool is very user friendly and will graph day of the week, time of day, antecedents, contexts, consequences, and data related to the behavior. This presentation will also share ideas for children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) frequently have behaviors that impede their learning or that of others. Many educators struggle with having enough tools in their repertoire to provide physical and emotionEal outlets for these children in ways that promote learning and keep them engaged in their academic tasks. This presentation will focus on teacher tested techniques for impulsivity and sensory integration. Many parents are hesitant to pursue medication for ADHD, which leaves teachers with the need for interventions they can use in the classroom. Children with ADHD need proprioceptive input which is why they have difficulty sitting in their chairs for long periods of time. This presentation will focus on proactive environmental strategies for rearranging the environment, providing sensory integration, and helping students self-regulate their own behavior. This workshop will incorporate strategies from the field of learning disabilities instruction. Accommodations are modifications in the technique of how tasks are presented which permit children with learning disabilities to carry out the same assignments as the other students in the class. Accommodations do not alter the substance of the assignments, give students an unfair advantage, or in the case of assessments, change what a test will measure. They do enable students with learning disabilities to demonstrate what they know without being impeded by their disability. This training will also focus on strategies for learners who are non-compliant or oppositional. Participants will learn relationship building techniques that have been proven effective. Successful strategies implemented at an alternative school will be shared. Finally, participants will learn visual strategies that have proven effective with learns with autism.
 
 
 
Panel #466
CE Offered: BACB
Making the Transistion: Tips for Recent Graduates on Entering the Professional World of Behavior Analysis
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
10:30 AM–11:50 AM
204 (TCC)
Area: PRA/TPC; Domain: Theory
CE Instructor: H. Allen Murphy, M.S.
Chair: H. Allen Murphy (Florida State University at Panama City)
LAUREN GIANINO (Marcus Autism Center)
CLAIRE ELLIS (Behavior Analysis, Inc.)
CHARLES BRENT MARTIN (Commonwealth Autism Service)
KASSI J. VANDERPLOEG (Brilliant Minds Medical and Behavioral Solutions Unlimited)
Abstract:

Graduate school prepares future behavior analysts with the foundations and principles of the science of behavior. Although many steps to becoming a professional behavior analyst are discussed during formal education in the classroom, other issues arise when seeking employment. This panel event will provide for discussion on topics such as: job searching, factors to consider when seeking employment, and obstacles recent graduates may face when starting a new career as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. The panelists will outline several common ethical and professional challenges new graduates may encounter and provide practical solutions to each of these obstacles. The panel will consist of recent graduates from an Applied Behavior Analysis Master's program, all of whom practice in a different discipline including college teaching, school consultation, administration, and behavioral clinical work. Each member of the panel will discuss unique experiences related to his or her respective scope of practice.

 
 
Panel #467
CE Offered: BACB
Professional Development Series: Behavior Analysis Around the World
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
10:30 AM–11:50 AM
202 (TCC)
Area: PRA; Domain: Applied Research
CE Instructor: David M. Richman, Ph.D.
Chair: Layla Abby (Texas Tech University)
DAVID M. RICHMAN (Texas Tech University)
MARTHA HÜBNER (Universidade de São Paulo)
WILLIAM J. MCILVANE (University of Massachusetts Medical School)
ERIK ARNTZEN (Oslo and Akershus University College)
Abstract:

As behavior analysis continues to grow and develop around the world, it is important for behavior analysts to be aware of how our science is developing in other countries and how international collaboration might be possible. Panelists from countries outside of the USA will discuss current dissemination efforts, trends and barriers in the application of behavior analysis in their home countries, as well as future opportunities in the field. American panelists, who are involved in collaborative work internationally, will discuss the same issues based on their perspectives.

Keyword(s): Behavior analysis, Collaborative Research, Dissemination, International
 
 
Symposium #468
CE Offered: BACB
Procedures for Evaluating and Facilitating Generalization During Verbal Behavior Training
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
10:30 AM–11:50 AM
LL03 (TCC)
Area: VRB/AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Caitlin H. Delfs (Marcus Autism Center)
Discussant: Einar T. Ingvarsson (University of North Texas)
CE Instructor: Caitlin H. Delfs, Ph.D.
Abstract: In Stokes and Baer’s seminal 1977 article An Implicit Technology of Generalization, the authors highlight the importance of programming for generalization. In teaching verbal behavior, the identification and implementation of strategies to promote generalization both within and across verbal operants may result in more efficient teaching. Therefore, the investigation of procedures that promote generalized behavior change and result in more efficient teaching methods is needed. This symposium presents data from three studies which investigated such procedures. Valentino, Conine, Holcombe, & Rogers evaluated the degree to which a backwards chaining procedure to teach children with autism to recall short stories resulted in generalized improvements in story recall and reading comprehension. Delfs, Conine, Shillingsburg, & Adams utilized a parallel treatments design to evaluate the occurrence of generalization between receptive and tact modalities. Finally, Delfs & Conine examined whether targets could be acquired during small group instruction through explicit teaching, incidental information, observational learning, and observation of incidental information. Results are presented in terms of implications for clinicians and educators who are involved in teaching verbal behavior to students with language delays.
Keyword(s): Efficiency, Generalization, Verbal Operants
 

Teaching Intraverbal Storytelling Behavior Using Textual Prompts and Backward Chaining

DANIEL CONINE (Marcus Autism Center), Amber L. Valentino (Marcus Autism Center), Jade Holcombe (Marcus Autism Center), Amanda Rogers (Marcus Autism Center)
Abstract:

Recalling a story is an advanced intraverbal skill that many typically developing children may be called upon to do (e.g., tell me the story about the three little pigs or paraphrase the book you read last week). Children with autism may struggle with the acquisition of intraverbal behavior of this complexity and thus may require specific teaching techniques. Studies have shown textual prompts (Finkel & Williams, 2001) and tact prompts (Goldsmith, LeBlanc, & Sautter, 2007) to be effective in teaching intraverbal behavior to individuals with autism. However, complex intraverbal skills such as recalling stories may prove difficult to teach using basic tact and textual prompts. The current study aimed to determine the effectiveness of text prompts and backward chaining on intraverbal story telling behavior, and to assess generalization of behavior change to the recall of novel stories. Participants included two children, ages seven and four, both diagnosed with autism. Results demonstrated an increase in storytelling behavior under treatment conditions and a generalized increase in recall of stories read but not specifically targeted in treatment. Responses to basic reading comprehension questions were assessed with one participant, and results indicated an increase in correct responses following implementation of treatment.\

 
Evaluating Generalization and Efficient Teaching Sequences for Receptive Identification and Tacting
MEIGHAN ADAMS (Marcus Autism Center), Caitlin H. Delfs (Marcus Autism Center), M. Alice Shillingsburg (Marcus Autism Center), Daniel Conine (Marcus Autism Center)
Abstract: In a review of the existing literature, Goldstein (1993) noted the need to better understand the relationships that exist between language modalities in order to better facilitate learning across these modalities, which is important for efficient teaching. Most previous research on generalization across verbal operants has focused on the tact-mand relationship (e.g., Lamarre et al., 1985, Wallace et al., 2006) and to a lesser extent, tact-intraverbal (e.g., Goldsmith et al., 2006). The current study is an assessment of cross-modal generalization from receptive to expressive and the reverse, similar to that of Wynn and Smith (2003). The acquisition of receptive identification and tact targets, through either direct instruction or generalization, was evaluated in a modified parallel treatments design across language modalities. Participants included two children, ages fifteen and eight, diagnosed with autism. Current results indicate greater cross-modal generalization during tact treatment conditions, resulting in fewer trials to acquisition of both modalities when targets are taught in the tact modality first. Concurrently, data was collected on all response topographies to determine if additional responding moderates generalization. Implications for clinicians and educators, as well as areas of future research, are also included.
 
Efficient Strategies for Teaching Students with Autism: Observational Learning and Incidental
CAITLIN H. DELFS (Marcus Autism Center), Daniel Conine (Marcus Autism Center)
Abstract: Observational learning within the autism population has been a focus of research for over 30 years (Varni, Lovaas, Koegel, & Everett, 1979; Egel, Richman, & Koegel, 1981; Tryon & Kean, 1986). Previous research has shown that students diagnosed with developmental disabilities can acquire new skills through observation of peer learning (Schuster, Gast, & Wolery, 1988). One-on-one instruction is commonly recommended for children with autism; however, this instructional format does not provide opportunities for observational learning of peers. Another potentially efficient teaching strategy is the incorporation of incidental information into structured, empirically-supported teaching strategies, such as time delay prompting procedures. Incidental learning is the acquisition of nontarget information present in the instructional context, but for which there are no programmed contingencies to aid in acquisition (Stevenson, 1972). The current study examined whether tact language skills were acquired via four methods of instruction within a small group format: explicit teaching, observational learning, incidental teaching, and observation of incidental teaching. Participants include two children, ages five and nine, diagnosed with autism. Current results indicate varied rates of acquisition across participants and across the four teaching methods evaluated. Implications for clinicians and educators, as well as areas of future research, are also included.
 
 
Symposium #469
CE Offered: BACB
Efficacy of Visually- and Technology-Based Communication Interventions
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
12:00 PM–1:20 PM
LL02 (TCC)
Area: AUT/DDA; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Jennifer Ganz (Texas A&M University)
Discussant: Margaret M. Flores (Auburn University)
CE Instructor: Jennifer Ganz, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have core deficits in social communication skills. These deficits impact their functioning in all contexts, including school, home, community, and employment settings. It is imperative that these skills are remediated or supports are provided to fulfill these individuals' needs to communicate effectively. This symposium includes three papers reporting the efficacy of visually- and technology-based communication interventions implemented with individuals with ASD across the lifespan. The first paper reports the results of a recent meta-analysis involving an aided augmentative and alternative communication system. The second paper reports the results of a single-case study involving the implementation of an iPad-based visual support with three children with autism. The third paper reports the results of a single-case study involving the implementation of scripts with preschoolers with autism and their peers. As a whole, these papers provide an overview of several evidence-based practices that may be implemented by teachers, therapists, and parents of individuals with ASD.

Keyword(s): AAC, communication interventions, technology, visually-based interventions
 

Meta-Analytic Investigation of the Impact of PECS on Targeted and Nontargeted Behaviors

EMILY M. LUND (Texas A&M University), Jennifer Ganz (Texas A&M University), John Davis (Texas A&M University), Fara D. Goodwyn (Texas A&M University), Richard L. Simpson (University of Kansas)
Abstract:

Knowing the impact of learner and intervention characteristics on the effects of augmentative and alternative communication systems, such as the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS), can help guide intervention decisions, maximizing efficient use of time and resources. This meta-analysis examined the effects of learner age, the presence of co-occurring intellectual or sensory disabilities in addition to autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and phases of PECS completed on target (i.e., functional communication) and nontarget (e.g., challenging behavior, speech) behaviors. Unlike other recent PECS meta-analyses, this meta-analysis used improvement rate difference (IRD) as opposed to percent non-overlapping data (PND); IRD may better detect subtle intervention effects. Effect sizes and 95% confidence intervals were computed for by category for 104 IRD values from 13 peer-reviewed journal articles. Results suggest that PECS is more effective with preschool age learners than older learners and for students with no or fewer co-occurring disabilities and those who completed a greater number of PECS phases. Target outcomes tend to have larger effect sizes than nontarget outcomes. Although limited by the small amount of data in some categories, these results contribute to our understanding of the potential benefits of PECS and can help guide appropriate intervention selection and implementation.

 

Efficacy of Electronic Visual Supports to Enhance Vocabulary in Children With ASD

Fara D. Goodwyn (Texas A&M University), Jennifer Ganz (Texas A&M University), Margot Boles (Texas A&M University), EE REA HONG (Texas A&M University)
Abstract:

Although electronic tools such as handheld computers have become increasingly common throughout society, implementation of such tools to improve skills in individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities has lagged in the professional literature. However, the use of visual supports for individuals with disabilities, particularly those with autism spectrum disorders, has been demonstrated to be effective, though frequently in static formats. Thus, this study investigated the use of iPads with three children with autism. An alternating-treatment design rotated between treatment and nontreatment conditions. In the treatment condition, children were asked a question immediately following a brief activity or video segment. Visual supports, via iPadï with a least-to-most prompting intervention were provided to compare vocabulary usage (i.e., nouns or verbs, target vocabulary varied by child) with and without iPad-based visual supports. Results indicate that treatment led to an increase in vocabulary use for the treatment targets for all children. By the end of intervention, all3 children required few to no prompts. Additionally, vocabulary usage during generalization probes with nontreatment materials and spontaneous speech with nontreatment and treatment materials increased for one of the3 children.

 

Impact of a Peer-Modeling Intervention on Interactions Between Preschoolers With Autism and Typically-Developing Peers

MEREDITH JONES (Texas A&M University), Jennifer Ganz (Texas A&M University), Margot Boles (Texas A&M University), Leslie Neely (Texas A&M University)
Abstract:

Research has demonstrated that typically-developing peers can provide support in promoting social interaction behaviors among children with autism. This is critically important, as children with autism who are less engaged with peers have less positive outcomes than those who have greater interest in social interaction. This study examined the utility of a peer-mediated intervention to enhance social interactions among preschool children with autism. In preschool classroom, typically-developing peers (n = 4) were trained to engage their peers with autism (n = 4). During training and intervention, a visual script was used as a prompt for the peers to gain the attention of the children with autism, by saying, "Watch me." Data were collected3 times per week during unstructured play sessions using a frequency count of social interaction behaviors that occurred during 3-minute intervals. The primary target behavior was seeking the attention of peers, and collateral effects included offering a toy and giving instructions. The results showed that the intervention significantly increased peer attention-seeking behavior with variable gains in the other behaviors. The presentation will provide an overview of the study and discuss the implications of peer-mediated interventions for enhancing the social interaction skills of children with autism.

 
 
Symposium #470
CE Offered: BACB
An Evaluation of a Community ABA Based Program and Procedures Implemented Within that Program
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
12:00 PM–1:20 PM
302 (TCC)
Area: AUT/DDA; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Sandra L. Harris (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey)
Discussant: Shahla S. Ala'i-Rosales (University of North Texas)
CE Instructor: John James McEachin, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Researchers have shown that interventions based on the principles of applied behavior analysis can significantly improve their overall quality of life for children and adolescents with autism. A majority of this research has been conducted in university based settings and future researchers should evaluate the efficacy of programs and behavioral procedures implemented in a community based setting. The first presenter will discuss the effectiveness of a community based agency on improving the overall quality of life for children and adolescents diagnosed with autism. The first presenter will discuss aspects of the program, the children and adolescents who participated in the program and the number of children who were able to be deemed best outcome. The second presenter will discuss the results, limitations, areas for future research, and clinical implications of a study which evaluated the implementation of a rainbow token system for decreasing stereotypic behaviors for children diagnosed with autism. The third presenter will discuss the results, limitations, areas for future research, and clinical implications of a study which compared different classes of reinforcement on improving expressive and receptive language for children with autism. Finally the discussant will discuss ways to better improve research to practice in community based settings.

Keyword(s): best outcome, program evaluation, reinforcement
 
A program description of a community-based intensive behavioral intervention program for individuals with autism
RONALD B. LEAF (Autism Partnership), Mitchell T. Taubman (Autism Partnership), John James McEachin (Autism Partnership), Justin B. Leaf (Autism Partnership), Kathleen H. Tsuji (Autism Partnership)
Abstract: Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) impact all areas of a persons life resulting in deficits in language, social behavior, and intellectual abilities as well as the development of repetitive behaviors that can greatly restrict community involvement. Intensive behavioral intervention (IBI) has repeatedly been shown to be effective in improving functional skills and intellectual scores and minimizing problem behaviors in individuals diagnosed with ASD. In previous studies, some children who received behavioral intervention became indistinguishable from their peers and were served in typical educational environments with no supplemental supports. However, the majority of the published studies on this intervention describe university-affiliated grant funded programs. This program description provides details about a private community-based agency that provides IBI for children and adolescents with ASD. Information about staff training, the therapies implemented, the population served, and instructional and programmatic content is offered and a preliminary analysis is provided of the outcomes achieved for a small sub-sample of the clients served (i.e., 64 of 296). These findings suggest that increases in functional skills and intellectual scores were achieved for all clients and that many clients met similar criteria to those established in prior landmark studies.
 
An Evaluation of a Rainbow Token System to Decrease Stereotypic Behaviors in Children with Autism
STEPHANIE BLOOMFIELD (Autism Partnership), Justin B. Leaf (Autism Partnership), Courtney Muehlebach (Autism Partnership), Mitchell T. Taubman (Autism Partnership), John James McEachin (Autism Partnership), Ronald B. Leaf (Autism Partnership)
Abstract: Children and adolescents diagnosed with autism typically display stereotypic forms of behavior ranging from hand flapping to inappropriate vocalizations.. Currently there are several procedures based on the principles of applied behavior analysis which have been found effective in reducing stereotypy. These procedures include differential reinforcement, blocking, and punishment. One procedure which has been clinically implemented to children with autism with no research is the implementation of a rainbow token system. A rainbow token system includes delivering tokens in a systematic manner. As long as the learner does not display any stereotypy the teacher provides token in an arc fashion. If the learner does display stereotypy then the teacher does not deliver the tokens. We evaluated the rainbow token procedure for several children diagnosed with an autism spectrum. Results of the study and future implications will be discussed during the presentation.
 
A comparison of different classes of reinforcement to increase receptive and expressive language
JOHN JAMES MCEACHIN (Autism Partnership), Justin B. Leaf (Autism Partnership), Stephanie Bloomfield (Autism Partnership), Mitchell T. Taubman (Autism Partnership), Ronald B. Leaf (Autism Partnership)
Abstract: One of the basic principles of applied behavior analysis is that behavior change is largely due to that behavior being positively reinforced. Positive reinforcement is defined as a stimulus given contingent on a certain behavior changes the likelihood of that particular behavior. Reinforcement has been used as part of discrete trial teaching to help children learn a variety of skills. Reinforcers have taken may forms which have included food, toys, social praise, tokens, and even having the learner engaging in self-stimulatory behaviors. Limited research has been conducted comparing the various classes of reinforcement on the rate of skill acquisition. In this study we compared four classes of reinforcement (i.e., food, praise, toys, and feedback) for teaching receptive and expressive skills to five children diagnosed with autism. Results of the study will be discussed. In addition to clinical implications, limitations, future areas of research, and how researchers can effect clinical practice.
 
 
Symposium #471
CE Offered: BACB
The Use of a Demand Fading Protocol to Establish Opportunities for Instruction and Decrease Aberrant Behavior in Three Students With Autism- Three Case Studies
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
12:00 PM–1:20 PM
305 (TCC)
Area: AUT/DDA; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Adam S. Warman (The Faison School for Autism)
Discussant: Aurore M. Hutter (The Virginia Institute of Autism)
CE Instructor: Elizabeth Braddock, M.Ed.
Abstract:

The use of demand fading has been demonstrated to be effective in the establishment of a successful instructional environment and the decrease of aberrant behavior in a number of previous studies. Presenters will discuss three case studies in which a demand fading procedure was utilized with students diagnosed with autism in a private day school in a metropolitan area serving approximately 100 students from a geographic area including both rural and urban students. Participants ranged in age from 9 to 18 years old and demonstrated a range of verbal behavior from pre-speaker to full speaker. Functional assessment results, both analogue and descriptive, were used to determine the function of the aberrant behavior and criterion referenced assessments were used to identify skill deficits. Data will be presented regarding learned unit presentation totals, occurrence of behavior targeted for decrease, functional assessment, and learned instructional skills. An analysis of each case will include educational histories, previous treatment approaches, operational definitions of behavior targeted for decrease and results and follow-up to the demand fading protocol.

Keyword(s): demand fading, private day
 

Demand Fading With an 18-Year-Old Student With Autism in a Life Skills Setting

JAMIE L. BLACKBURN (The Faison School for Autism), Adam S. Warman (The Faison School for Autism)
Abstract:

The case study involved an 18-year-old male diagnosed with autism and who received special education services under autism and a speech/language impairment. He was a speaker and emerging reader/writer and attended a private day school, where he was enrolled in a program focusing on vocational, community and daily living skills. A history of intense self-injurious and aggressive behavior had been the focus of a long-term intervention at the day school. Antecedent-behavior-consequence data collection, as well as teacher observation, both indicated multiple functions of the emitted challenging behaviors that were accordingly targeted for decrease. It had been determined that self-injury and aggression served the primary function of escape and a secondary function of attention. Based on this hypothesis, a demand fading protocol was implemented to decrease the occurrence of self-injurious and aggressive behaviors. A reversal was used to establish a functional relationship, and demands were then systematically removed and reintroduced. Following the reversal, a demand assessment was administered to determine the subject’s work preferences. The results from this assessment helped identify high probability programs to be utilized upon demand reintroduction.

 

Demand Fading With a 9-Year-Old With Autism Displaying Severe Self-Injurious Behavior

ELIZABETH BRADDOCK (The Faison School for Autism)
Abstract:

A 9-year-old girl diagnosed with autism and tuberous sclerosis presented with high levels of self-injurious behavior at a private day school for students with developmental disabilities. The behavior included head-banging on walls and floors, hand-to-head strikes, and head-to-knee strikes and resulted in significant tissue damage on a daily basis, both at home and in the school environment. A series of functional analyses were conducted and results indicated that self-injurious behavior was maintained by escape from instructional situations (negative reinforcement). Based on this hypothesis, a treatment consisting of differential reinforcement of alternative behavior (DRA), escape extinction, and demand fading was introduced. Results showed decreases in self-injurious behavior to low levels and an increase in compliance with instruction. These results were maintained as demands increased across sessions, resulting in increased instructional opportunities as compared to pre-intervention levels. Procedures and parent training were designed to address the generalization of the behavior to the home environment.

 

Demand Fading With a 16-Year-Old Student With Autism and Down's Syndrome in a Life Skills Setting

AMANDA GARNER (The Faison School for Autism)
Abstract:

The participant is a 16-year-old male student who attends a private day school and has a diagnosis if Autism and Downs syndrome. Descriptive assessment data were collected and led to a hypothesis of negative reinforcement, in that the participant most often engages in problem behavior to avoid certain tasks and demands. It is also hypothesized that, secondarily, he engages in problem behavior to gain attention from others. Data were collected in this study on 2 types of problem behavior: noncompliance and aggression using operational definitions for both. Due to an increase in problem behavior and the participants medical condition, a procedure was put into place that faded demands placed on the student in the educational setting. After implementing the demand fading protocol, both aggression and noncompliance decreased and remained at low levels as instructional demands were faded back into the students schedule. The demand fading protocol additionally utilized a specified schedule of high and low probability demands as instructional opportunities were increased.

 
 
Symposium #472
Supplemental Programs and Outcomes for Early Intervention for Children With Autism; Teaching and Generalizing Tolerance for Haircuts, Transitioning to Classrooms, and Social Games
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
12:00 PM–1:20 PM
301 (TCC)
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Kellee Chi (California State University, Fresno)
Abstract:

The symposium is intended for those who work with young children with autism. Much work focuses on improving implementation and teaching techniques for behavioral intervention in programs that serve children with autism. Children that do well in early intervention are usually transitioned into school programs and participate more in the community and peer social settings. These new environments often present challenges that sometimes have not been targeted in early intervention programs. The transition into a public school classroom, getting a haircut and playing common games with others are issues that may occasion difficulty. In this presentation we will share four papers, three of which examine supplemental programs that expand on the fundamental teaching and intervention that an ABA early intervention program typically employ. The first paper will share data from a model classroom developed in a center setting designed to advance skills and generalization of skills for children who are transitioning back into regular education classrooms in public schools. The second paper will describe the use of contingent reinforcement to reduce problematic behavior during haircut routines. The third paper evaluates visual prompting for teaching play skills, specifically hide-and-seek for children with autism. The final paper in this symposium will present data for a university based center for five years of tracking trends and eventual placement outcomes in light of a number of variables including level of intensity and final placement upon graduation from the program.

Keyword(s): autism intervention
 

A Classroom Model for Children With ASD in a Center-based ABA Program: Aspects of Treatment and Outcome

ANGELICA A. AGUIRRE (California State University, Fresno), Eduardo Avalos (California State University, Fresno), Amanda N. Adams (California State University, Fresno), Marianne L. Jackson (California State University, Fresno)
Abstract:

One of the primary goals for children with ASD receiving early intensive ABA intervention is to acquire the skills necessary to learn and function within typical classroom settings. Designing a model classroom in a more restrictive environment may be beneficial to increasing generalization skills when transitioning children with ASD into a more typical setting. The purpose of this study was to design a model classroom for 14 children with ASD in a center-based program at a university setting. The staff was trained on prompting techniques and how to collect data during all classroom sessions. The dependent variables were group & individual responding. Frequency of disruptive behaviors was also measured. In general, preliminary data shows an upward trend in participants individual responding and a downward trend in participants disruptive behaviors, as the number of classroom sessions increased. Other aspects of classroom treatment and outcomes will be examined. Limitations and future research will also be discussed.

 

The Use of Contingent Reinforcement to Reduce Problematic Behavior During Haircut Routines in Children with Autism: A Center-based Model

HUGO CURIEL (California State University, Fresno), Amanda N. Adams (California State University, Fresno)
Abstract:

Autistic Disorder is an early-childhood developmental disorder defined by significant impairments in the domains of social interactions, communication, and restricted or repetitive behaviors (DSM-IV-TR, 2000). The current prevalence of the disorder is estimated at an average of 1 in 110 children in the United States (Rice, 2009). A problematic behavior not exclusive to autism, but highly reported are temper tantrums. Temper tantrums are problematic, in that they can become harmful and often disrupt activities. Parents and service providers report problematic temper tantrums occurring during haircut routines. The parents of participants reported their inability of cutting their childs hair. While other parents were able to cut their childs hair, they often used restraining methods, resulting in aversive side effects. The purpose of this study was to reduce problematic behaviors during haircut routines, in children with a diagnosis of autism. The study used a non-concurrent changing criterion design. Preliminary findings suggest that contingent video viewing reduces problematic behavior.

 

The Use of Activity Schedules to Promote Social and On-task Behavior in Children With Autism During a Game of Hide and Seek

MATTHEW T. BRODHEAD (Utah State University), Thomas S. Higbee (Utah State University), Joy S. Pollard (Utah State University)
Abstract:

This study examines whether or not activity schedules can promote social interactions and maintain on-task during a game of hide and seek in children with autism. An activity schedule contains a series of visual and textual cues that signal responses for the participant to engage in. Using a non-concurrent multiple baseline design across dyads (groups of two students) design, social interactions and on-task behavior did not occur during baseline conditions. A schedule probe followed, which included the introduction of each participants activity schedule to test and see if the schedule itself, prior to teaching, would improve social behavior. After a schedule probe, teaching sessions were introduced and performance improved and all teaching prompts were faded. Once stable responding was reached for both participants, a series of re-sequencing and generalization phases were introduced to demonstrate experimental control of the activity schedule and to test the effects of the schedule on social interactions in novel environments. This study extends the research on activity schedules by expanding the utility of activity schedules to include peer-peer social interactions in play settings that utilize the immediate, natural environment.

 

Outcomes Data for Children With ASD or at High-Risk for Autism in a Center Based Program: Trends and Predictability

EDUARDO AVALOS (California State University, Fresno), Amanda N. Adams (California State University, Fresno), Mary Vongsackda (California State University, Fresno)
Abstract:

Predicting outcomes in children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) or at high risk for autism at different stages of programming and receiving different intensity levels of ABA therapy has much clinical relevance. A university center-based ABA early intervention program for children diagnosed with ASD or at high risk for autism has been running for five years. Different parameters and trends of outcomes data will be presented. Outcomes data and a number of therapeutic variables including level of intensity and final graduation program placement were compared and analyzed in order to learn more about how to better predict graduation outcomes. Data for 49 participants were compiled, analyzed, and summarized. Preliminary analysis shows a general negative correlation between learning acquisition rate and frequency of inappropriate behavior. Another significant finding is that children at a high risk for autism have a faster graduation rate compared to those diagnosed with ASD. Limitations and overall trends will also be discussed.

 
 
Symposium #473
CE Offered: BACB
Defining and Expanding ABA Services at the State-Level
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
12:00 PM–1:20 PM
202 (TCC)
Area: PRA/CSE; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: William J. Murray (Wisconsin Department of Health Services)
Discussant: Kevin P. Klatt (University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire)
CE Instructor: William J. Murray, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Defining who behavior analysts are and the services we offer may seem both obvious as well as unnecessary to most behavior analysts, but within the structure of a statewide system of behavioral supports, doing so is often critical to overcome both the political structure within the state and built in systemic biases. Efforts to differentiate our training and experience from those of self-labeled "behavior specialists" and others who would claim expertise in behavior analysis not only helps protect the integrity of our field and our practices, but allows for greater confidence on the part of our customers, and helps ensure a greater level of consumer protection. This symposium discusses the growth of the behavior analytic community in Wisconsin and collaborative efforts to ensure practitioners have appropriate credentials, and serves as a model for how similar growth might look in other states as behavior analytic services continue to expand, both within autism services as well as beyond.

Keyword(s): consumer protection, service expansion, state licensure
 

Defining Behavior Analysis in the State of Wisconsin

WILLIAM J. MURRAY (Wisconsin Department of Health Services)
Abstract:

Defining who behavior analysts are and the services we offer may seem unnecessary to most behavior analysts, but within the structure of an entrenched political system that supports consumer choice without specifics as to quality, it is absolutely critical in order to ensure the provision of effective services. Notions related to such things as cost-effectiveness, data-based decision making, treatment fidelity and treatment efficacy are not lost to behavior analysts, and are also issues that policy makers typically care about. However, many of these same policy makers may be either elected officials or closely tied to elected officials, and consequently their motives may not be similar to those of dedicated treatment providers. Developing an understanding of how to walk this political line while remaining committed to quality treatment services is critical and will be the focus of this presentation, with an emphasis on remaining employed in a contentious political climate while also working to ensure consumers receive effective behavior analytic services.

 

Growing Behavior Analysis Across the State of Wisconsin

KAREN R. HARPER (Association for Behavior Analysis of Illinois, LLC)
Abstract:

As Wisconsin enacted legislation requiring insurance companies to provide funding for autism treatment services, legislation also passed allowing for behavior analysts to apply for licensure through the Wisconsin Department of Regulation and Licensing. As a consequence of this licensure, there grew an increased need for legitimate behavior analytic services around the state, not only related to autism services, but also across other populations and areas of need. This presentation addresses efforts by one provider to expand the services offered by her company across Wisconsin, working with the state Department of Health Services and county-level agencies, in order to provide quality services to multiple client populations. Her experience with finding qualified behavior analysts, working with counties to fund her services, and overcoming other procedural "roadblocks" will be described in order to present a model for how other companies might work collaboratively with state-level policy makers to influence funding opportunities for behavior analysts.

 

Ensuring Consumer Protection for the Recipients of ABA Services in Wisconsin

Tamara S. Kasper (The Center for Autism Treatment, Inc.)
Abstract:

As Wisconsin created a state level license for behavior analysts in 2010, one of the discussions held with the Wisconsin Department of Regulation and Licensing involved the development of assurances that the Behavior Analyst Certification Board and the state DRL would work collaboratively to not only create language regarding the violation of ethical practices by licensed behavior analysts, but work in the future to monitor and enforce actions against unethical persons. Clearly one of the most critical pieces of licensure language involves an understanding that licensure involves a process for discipline if ethical violations occur, and it was with this in mind that both the Wisconsin DRL and the BACB drafted language placing at least some of the responsibility for ensuring consumer protection on other behavior analysts as "self reporters." This creates an interesting dilemma for behavior analysts in monitoring the ethical behavior of their colleagues. As the licensure law has been in place for nearly two years, situations are arising that cause licensed behavior analysts to consider how these responsibilities might be enacted in meaningful ways. This presentation will discuss some of these issues and potential methods of addressing them.

 

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