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.

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35th Annual Convention; Phoenix, AZ; 2009

CE by Type: PSY


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Workshop #W2
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Supporting Parents of Children Diagnosed with Autism with Acceptance and Commitment Training
Friday, May 22, 2009
10:00 AM–1:00 PM
North 224 B
Area: CBM/AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
CE Instructor: Rayni Anderson, M.Ed.
JOHN TANNER BLACKLEDGE (Morehead State University)
Description: The parents of developmentally disabled children experience high levels of chronic stress (DeMyer, 1979; Holroyd, Brown, Wikler, & Simmon, 1975), and have high rates of depressive and anxiety disorders (Breslau & Davis, 1986). While most researchers understand that such concerns are largely “secondary or reactive to the stress and special non-normative adaptations” these children require (Konstantareas, 1990, p. 60), the fact remains that high levels of distress in these contexts both decrease quality of life and impose significant barriers to the parents’ successful & consistent implementation of behavioral treatment programs. It thus appears prudent for ABA consultants to also be prepared to help the parents of the referred client. This workshop will help ABA consultants be aware of signs of significant parental psychological distress, and help them make appropriate referrals. In addition, this workshop will also discuss an Acceptance and Commitment Training approach to helping these parents with their distress and challenges.
Learning Objectives: 1) Attendees will become more aware of how parental distress interferes with the successful implementation of behavioral programs. 2) Attendees will learn to recognize and functionally analyze problematic behavior on the part of the caregiver. 3) Attendees will be introduced to the ACT approach to addressing problematic experiential avoidance exhibited by distressed caregivers. 4) Attendees will understand the reasons for and usefulness of values assessment in helping parents improve their functioning when helping their children, and also to improve their own quality of life. 5) Attendees will be introduced to acceptance and defusion exercises (e.g., mindfulness exercises) applicable to the distress they and parents of their child clients experience in the process of working with developmentally disabled children and adults.
Activities: The workshop will focus on the ACT consistent assessment and the pertinent ACTraining exercises and interventions that can be helpful to distressed parents. The workshop will cover values assessment, barriers to values-based behavior and relevant mindfulness exercises. A significant portion of the workshop will focus on applying ACT interventions. A significant portion of this workshop will focus on the application of ACT exercises and interventions. We will discuss the major areas in the ACT model for behavioral flexibility and how it relates to being a parent with a child with disabilities. The participants can choose to engage in exercises in developing their own value system, and then learn what barriers impede value-guided behaviors. The workshop will also be guided by a slide show.
Audience: This workshop is for behavior analysts who work with children with developmental disabilities or autism-spectrum disorders. This will also be worthwhile for parents of children with disabilities. The presenters plan a comfortable pace to introducing ACTraining and this workshop will be useful to anyone interested in the Acceptance and Commitment Therapy approach.
Content Area: Practice
Instruction Level: Basic
 
Workshop #W3
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Using the Developmental Play Assessment to Guide in the Identification and Teaching of Developmentally Appropriate Play Skills
Friday, May 22, 2009
10:00 AM–5:00 PM
North 121 BC
Area: AUT/DDA; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
CE Instructor: Amos Rolider, Ph.D.
JAMES T. ELLIS (Melmark New England), Barbara O'Malley Cannon (Melmark New England), Kristi Lombardo (Melmark New England), Christine D. Almeida (Newton Public Schools)
Description: Children with autism spectrum disorders typically present with impairments in their play skills, both in terms of the presence of repetitive or stereotyped play and the absence of symbolic play. To be most effective in improving the play skills of children with autism spectrum disorders, it is important to target and teach play skills that are developmentally appropriate. An overview of the typical developmental progression of play skills in young children will be presented, along with the Developmental Play Assessment (DPA), a curriculum-based assessment tool designed to guide the intervention of play skills for children with developmental delays. Results of research supporting the use of the DPA to target developmentally appropriate play objectives and outcome data will be shared. This overview will walk participants through the process of using the information gained from this assessment to develop individualized goals and objectives. Next, various procedures for intervening with children’s play will be presented, including errorless teaching procedures, visual scripts, and video modeling. Participants will have the opportunity to practice developing individualized curricula to teach play skills, as well as procedures for collecting and analyzing data will be reviewed. Finally, procedures for embedding play instruction within typical preschool environments will be discussed.
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the workshop, the participant will be able to: 1) Use the Developmental Play Assessment to identify strengths and needs in children’s play skills 2) Develop goals and behavioral objectives for children’s play skills 3)Identify instructional strategies and prompting methods to teach play skills 4)Develop individualized curricula to teach play skills 5)Determine data collection systems for measuring play skills
Activities: Workshop activities include didactic instruction, discussion, and video clips depicting different levels of play as well as different play intervention procedures. Participants will have the opportunity to practice data collection and engage in small group activities that focus on the development of goals and individualized curricula given case study examples.
Audience: Individuals working with young children with autism or other developmental delays, such as special education teachers, psychologists, or speech and language pathologists.
Content Area: Practice
Instruction Level: Basic
 
Workshop #W5
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
CANCELLED: Functional Behavioral Assessment in Early Childhood
Friday, May 22, 2009
10:00 AM–5:00 PM
North 122 BC
Area: AUT/EDC; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
CE Instructor: Mark J. Palmieri, Psy.D., BCBA
ERIN E BARTON (University of Oregon), Renee K. Van Norman (University of Oregon), Cynthia M. Anderson (University of Oregon), Scott A . Spaulding (University of Oregon)
Description: This workshop will describe a framework and various evidence based strategies for addressing the needs of young children with challenging behaviors and their families within early childhood settings. The workshop will describe methods for working as part of an early childhood IFSP / IEP team to conduct both direct and indirect functional behavioral assessments, develop behavior support plans based on the results of the assessments, implement behavior support plans in natural environments with the IFSP or IEP team, and monitor progress. Additionally, this workshop will identify possible barriers to developing and implementing assessment based behavior support plans within early childhood contexts. Finally, the workshop will describe strategies and provide tools for use within various early childhood contexts (e.g., home-based services, community preschools, Head Start classrooms).
Learning Objectives: 1. Participants will develop strategies for supporting young children with behavioral challenges and their families within an early childhood context and as member Individualized Family Support Plan (IFSP) or Individual Education Program (IEP) team. 2. Participants will describe methods for determining the function of a young child’s challenging behaviors through indirect and direct functional behavioral assessments with the child’s family, IFSP or IEP team within early childhood settings. 3. Participants will identify strategies and describe various methods for developing a behavior support plan for a young child with challenging behaviors within early childhood settings. 4. Participants will identify potential barriers to implementing assessment based behavioral support plans as part of an IFSP or IEP team. 5. Participants will identify evidence based strategies for implementing and monitoring behavior support plans within early childhood settings.
Activities: Small group discussion, videos, response card activities, guided notes, role plays.
Audience: Professionals working in early childhood environments, including behavior analysts, administrators, early childhood special educators, and early interventionists.
Content Area: Practice
Instruction Level: Basic
 
Workshop #W6
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Asperger’s Syndrome: Behavioral Characteristics and Treatment in Schools and the Community
Friday, May 22, 2009
10:00 AM–5:00 PM
North 132 A
Area: AUT/EDC; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
CE Instructor: Guy Bruce, Ed.D.
C. BAKER WRIGHT (Behavior Management Consultants, Inc.)
Description: This workshop will be presented in four sections: 1) description and discussion of the diagnostic criteria for Asperger’s Syndrome, 2) specific behavioral considerations and treatment options for individuals in schools, home and community settings, 3) reviews of individual cases from assessment to treatment and 4) video analysis of teaching social skills in community settings. This will be an interactive workshop where participants will work individually and in small groups on specific case studies in each of the core areas presented.
Learning Objectives: 1. Recognize key diagnostic behaviors symptomatic of Asperger’s Syndrome. 2. Recognize certain environmental components that are common triggers or setting events for difficult behaviors exhibited by children with Asperger’s Syndrome. 3. Better assess and treat difficult behaviors exhibited by children with Asperger’s in the community and in school settings. 4. Proceed with “prevention” strategies, “management” strategies and “treatment” strategies for maladaptive and replacement behaviors common to children with Asperger’s. 5. Discuss common academic challenges and strategies for children with Asperger’s. 6. Discuss common school accommodations made for students with Asperger’s Disorder. 7. Provide in vivo training for social interaction skills specific to children with Asperger’s Syndrome. 8. Discuss problems with prompt dependency as it relates to individuals with Asperger’s and identify sources and interventions for improving these behaviors.
Activities: Participants will engage in a small group activity at the end of each session of the workshop to expand upon and demonstrate knowledge from the previous session. This includes case studies for diagnosis, development and implementation of programming to reduce maladaptive behaviors and increase appropriate responding, and implementation of a systematic and structured social skills training session.
Audience: Behavior analysts, behavior specialists, speech therapists, teachers and other professionals faced with the challenges of Asperger's Syndrome.
Content Area: Practice
Instruction Level: Basic
 
Workshop #W8
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Facilitating Generative Verbal Behavior in EIBI Programs Using Relational Frame Theory
Friday, May 22, 2009
10:00 AM–5:00 PM
North 122 A
Area: AUT/VRB; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
CE Instructor: John McElwee, M.S.
JOHN D. MCELWEE (Pennsylvania Verbal Behavior Project), Ian T. Stewart (National University of Ireland, Galway), Siri Morris Ming (Humboldt County Office of Education)
Description: Generative Verbal Behavior (GVB) is the ability to be able toto understand and produce novel verbal behavior in the absence ofwithout direct instruction. This abilityGVB isprovides the key to the flexibility and complexity of language and should therefore be a core goal a core goal ofof any language training program. that aims to train language skills. However, achieving GVB has been extremely difficult for a large number ofmany ASD youngsters with ASD. Relational Frame Theory (RFT) may constitute an important resource for the training of GVB for individuals designingin EIBI instructional programs. RFT is a behavior analytic approach to human language and cognition that conceptualizes generalized or derived relational responding as the core process underlyingkey to these phenomena. This theoretical approach also incorporates an important expansion of Skinner's influential analysis of verbal behavior. The purpose of the workshop is to This workshop will demonstrate how RFT concepts can be brought to bear in theincorporated into EIBI programs. design of instructional program sequences for early to advanced learners. The first part of thePart 1 workshop will involve a brief demonstration of the core concept of GVB,. This will be followed by a précis ofpresentation on Relational Frame TheoryRFT. as a behavior analytic account of this phenomenon. Part 2 will provide (i) analysis of the VB-MAPP, including suggestions on how RFT might complement this protocol; (ii) discussion of specific instructional programs, their sequencing to facilitate GVB plus means of assessing relevant learning outcomes; (iii) an analysis of intermediate to advanced relational framing; and (iv) an introduction to the TARPA (Training and Assessment of Relational Precursors and Abilities), a computer-based protocol for systematic assessment and training of relational framing skills.
Learning Objectives: (1) Be able to understand the core concepts of Relational Frame Theory's approach to language (2) Be able to understand the key theoretical concepts of Mutual Entailment, Combinatorial Entailment and Transformation of Stimulus Function (3) Be familiar with several areas of basic RFT research and the implications for EIBI instructional design (4) Be able to assess and train students using the TARPA (5) Be able to design instructional programs to teach derived verbal operants (e.g., derived naming) (6) Be able to design instructional programs to teach intermediate to advanced derived verbal operants (e.g., spatial, comparative and hierarchical relations)
Activities: (i) Didactic instruction (ii) Audience participation exercises (iii) Practice activities designing EIBI programs (iv) Practice using the TARPA
Audience: The audience will be behavior analysts with expertise in the understanding of verbal behavior and designing instructional sequences for clients enrolled in EIBI. Prospective audience members are encouraged to bring their notebook computer as a download of the presentation and additional resources will be made available. Also, it is suggested for enrollees to consult the tutorial on RFT at the following URL: www.ContextualPsychology.org
Content Area: Theory
Instruction Level: Basic
 
Workshop #W10
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Analyzing Autism Interventions: Critiques of Popular Autism Intervention and Combination that Work
Friday, May 22, 2009
10:00 AM–5:00 PM
North 124 A
Area: AUT/DDA; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
CE Instructor: Mary L. Barbera, MSN
TERESA A. GRIMES (Whole Child Consulting, LLC), Steven J. Ward (Whole Child Consulting), Cindy Cooper (private practice)
Description: Whole Child Consulting, LLC is a private company with clients across the United States. The presenters have expereince with adults and children with autism. The presenters will describe both critical and variable attributes of various instructional paradigms,including VB, PT, Association Method, Rapid Prompt and RDI. Components of each paradigm are matched with appropriate learner profiles. Components of various programs will be compared for compatibility or incompatibility. Practicial recommendations will be provided for deciding when to favor one component over another.
Learning Objectives: 1. Clearly define at least 3 components of 6 different instructional paradigms. 2. Assisst learner repertiores in a manner that facilitates selection of appropriate paradigm components. 3. Emplay ot least 3 different data collection methods. 4. Make programmatic recommendations matcing learner strengths and weaknesses with appropriate paradigm components. 5. Provide a conceptually systematic rationale for assigning program components.
Activities: Flash card activities to associate intervention names with the critical variables of each program. Participants will have opportunities to practice a variety of data collection methods throughout the workshop. Helpful websites will be provided. Guided notes will be provided for developing programming based upon individual needs. (case study)
Audience: Professionals and parents with advanced experience in the instruction of individuals with autism, who want clear, unbiased information regarding the treatment benefits and pitfalls of various autism interventions. The presenters have direct experience in the area of Precision Teaching, Verbal Behavior, Greenspan, Association Method, Rapid Prompt, and various NET applications.
Content Area: Practice
Instruction Level: Basic
 
Workshop #W13
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
We can test that! Determining the Function of Problem and Replacement Behaviors in Applied Settings.
Friday, May 22, 2009
10:00 AM–5:00 PM
North 224 A
Area: CBM/DDA; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
CE Instructor: Keven M. Schock, M.A.
KEVEN M. SCHOCK (Pennhurst)
Description: This workshop will cover assessment methods that involve a manipulation of variables to demonstrate the function of a behavior. The workshop will focus on variations that will allow the behavior analyst to empirically determine the function of a behavior in typical applied settings. Following a brief presentation of a behavioral diagnostic system the workshop will review the traditional analogue functional analysis and present variations. including, hypothesis testing involving 2 test conditions, in-situ hypothesis testing and trigger analysis. Behavioral diagnostic systems and Analog assessment methodologies for replacement behaviors will also be presented.
Learning Objectives: 1. Identify and discuss the four test conditions of the Iwata et al. FAB protocol 2. Generate an analogue assessment testing a specific hypothesis regarding function, consisting of two test conditions 3. Identify test requirements for and generate an in-situ hypothesis test 4. Generate a written assessment plan using at least one of the methodologies presented 5. Identify two diagnostic categories for replacement behavior 6. Generate an assessment that tests which hypothesis (i.e., mis-directed contingencies or inept repertoire) is reason for low rate of replacement behavior. 7. Demonstrate the use of at least one of the assessment methodologies.
Activities: 1. Didactic instruction 2. Large group question and answer 3. Individual development of written assessment plans 4. Small group role play practice of assessment methodologies of target behaviors 5. Small group role play practice of assessment methodologies of replacement behaviors
Audience: Behavior analysts working in applied settings with any population.
Content Area: Practice
Instruction Level: Basic
 
Workshop #W15
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Adult-Focused Components of Family Behavior Therapy for Substance Abuse within Child Welfare
Friday, May 22, 2009
10:00 AM–5:00 PM
North 229 B
Area: CBM; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
CE Instructor: C. Baker Wright, Ph.D.
BRAD DONOHUE (University of Nevada Las Vegas), Holly B. LaPota (University of Nevada Las Vegas), Kendra Tracy (University of Nevada of Las Vegas), Ruwida Abdel-Al (University of Nevada Las Vegas), Diana Caldas (University of Nevada Las Vegas)
Description: Family Behavior Therapy (FBT) has demonstrated effectiveness in treating a wide array of problem behaviors associated with substance abuse across several controlled trials for both adults and adolescents. It is listed among the top treatments for substance abuse in SAMHSA’s National Registry of Evidence-Based Practices and Programs, is among a prestigious group of treatments for substance abuse listed in the National Institute of Drug Abuse’s Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment, and regarded as an “emerging developmentally sensitive approach” for drug use problems by the National Institutes of Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse. FBT includes more than a dozen intervention components. The extent each component is reviewed in therapy is determined by its consumers with therapist input. This workshop will focus on adult-focused FBT components. The workshop will include distribution of treatment manuals, therapist prompting checklists for use during sessions, and extensive use of modeling and behavioral rehearsal. Quality assurance systems will be underscored to assure maintenance of treatment integrity and efficient management of clinical record keeping consistent with the reviewed intervention components. Case examples will exemplify standardized behavioral methods relevant to achieving sufficient motivation of clients in diverse contexts.
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the workshop, the participant will be able to implement adult-focused treatments that are utilized within Family Behavior Therapy for Substance Abuse, including (1) intervention components designed to establish goals and contingencies utilizing standardized methods relevant to abstaining from drug use, (2) stimulus control methods of establishing an environment supportive of abstaining from drug use, (3) standardized methods of assessing and problem solving emergency situations relevant to the family, (4) utilize therapist prompting checklists during sessions to measure treatment fidelity.
Activities: 1. Very briefly reviewing power point demonstration of theoretical underpinnings of FBT, and description of its intervention components while emphasizing adult-focused treatments. 2. Extensive utilization of behavioral rehearsal to teach participants to implement the selected treatment components.
Audience: Undergraduates are welcome, although the target audience is mental health professionals who provide service delivery within the umbrella of substance abuse and child welfare.
Content Area: Practice
Instruction Level: Basic
 
Workshop #W17
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Running Effective Behavior Analytic Social Skills Groups
Friday, May 22, 2009
10:00 AM–5:00 PM
North 131 A
Area: CSE; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
CE Instructor: Kelly Ferris, M.Ed.
KATHERINE A. JOHNSON (Advances Learning Center), Elizabeth Paige Adams (Advances Learning Center), Jennifer Blankenship (Advances Learning Center)
Description: Teaching social skills in a group setting requires a multitude of skills: grouping students in effective clusters, using group contingencies, taking data on multiple students at once, and individualizing prompt levels and reinforcement schedules while running effective activities that provide students with frequent opportunities to respond to social stimuli. This workshop will teach specific learning activities that target skills in the domains of body language, conversation, independent, pretend, and cooperative play, social conventions, and perspective-taking. It will also provide training on how, when, and why to use group contingencies and give strategies for individualizing social instruction in a group setting.
Learning Objectives: Participants will be able to: 1. Use a variety of activities designed to provide students with frequent opportunities to respond to social cues. 2. Facilitate activities that teach body language, conversation, independent, pretend, and cooperative play, social conventions, and perspective-taking. 3. Group students into effective learning clusters. 4. Use several different group contingencies and identify the reasons behind using each type of contingency. 5. Collect data on multiple students. 6. Individualize prompt levels and reinforcement schedules while running an instructional activity with several students. 7. Take procedural integrity and reliability measures on social skills group leaders.
Activities: Alternating between lecture and hands-on activities, participants will work in groups to complete guided notes and case studies and participate in video-modeled activities and role-plays.
Audience: The intended audience includes Board Certified Behavior Analysts who train staff to run social skills groups; teachers, SLP's, behavioral instructors, or therapists who run social skills groups; school staff intending to implement social skills instruction as a part of their curriculum; and anyone currently running social skills groups or wishing to run them in the future.
Content Area: Practice
Instruction Level: Basic
 
Workshop #W19
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Designing and Implementing Effective and Comprehensive Behavior Intervention Plans: A Guide for Practitioners
Friday, May 22, 2009
10:00 AM–5:00 PM
North 129 A
Area: DDA/EDC; Domain: Service Delivery
CE Instructor: Jose D. Rios, M.S.
JOSE D. RIOS (BehaviorLogix, Inc.), Isaac L. Bermudez (ACES, Inc.), F. Elizabeth Davidson (IECP), Howard Hazard-Tsernov (IECP), Natalie Stafford (IECP), Ruth A. Tello-Di Leva (Familias First), Arturo Zepeda de Miranda, Jr. (Miranda United Children's Home, LLC.)
Description: Functional assessments and behavior intervention plans are increasingly being used, developed and implemented across a variety of settings such as schools, homes, early intervention services, residential programs, adult workshop/day programs, geriatric agencies and rehabilitation centers. Despite this, until recently, there have not been any standard methods or protocols for the design and development of assessment and treatment plans. This workshop will address a variety of steps necessary to conduct effective and comprehensive assessments and intervention plans including • Common problems encountered in assessment and treatment plans • A protocol for designing comprehensive plans • The importance and types of commonly used functional assessment methods • The logical relationship between functional assessment results and the intervention methods chosen (i.e., those based on the function of the problem behavior) • Ethical issues related to plan development and implementation • Staff and systemic issues related to plan implementation At the end of this workshop, participants will be able to critique behavior plans, design effective and comprehensive plans, use data to determine intervention techniques and understand various systemic and ethical issues related to plan implementation.
Learning Objectives: 1. Participants will be able to discriminate between correctly and incorrectly designed behavior plans 2. Participants will demonstrate the ability to understand the purpose and importance of different types of Functional Assessment 3. Participants will understand how to include the assessment information into a written plan 4. Participants learn how to use the results of the functional assessment data to create an effective behavior plan 5. Participants will be taught to select various interventions based on the assessed function of the problem behavior 6. Participants will learn how to write behavioral goals & objectives to evaluate the effectiveness of the behavior plan 7. Participants will understand how practitioners can approach ethical concerns towards assessment and interventions in behavior plans while using evidence-based best practices 8. Participants will understand how to apply the behavior intervention plan 9. Identify and address staff issues that affect plan implementation and secure systemic support 10. Participants will understand the importance of conducting treatment integrity of the intervention plan
Activities: This workshop will include several exercises and handouts. This will include reviewing samples of correct and incorrect plans, small group exercises on possible ethical dilemmas facing those who develop plans and vignettes of sample problems behaviors with hypothesized functions with the aim of identifying logical interventions (based on the hypothesized functions).
Audience: This workshop addresses the needs of practitioners who design, review, evaluate, supervise, fund and implement behavior intervention plans. This may include new practitioners, educators, other professionals who supervise and develop plans and agency staff involved in plan design and implementation.
Content Area: Practice
Instruction Level: Basic
 
Workshop #W22
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
CANCELLED: Using Physical Activity to Enhance Learning, Social Skills and Self-Control with Autistic and Regular Populations
Friday, May 22, 2009
10:00 AM–5:00 PM
North 120 BC
Area: EDC/AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
CE Instructor: Eitan Eldar, Ph.D.
EITAN ELDAR (Zinman College, Israel)
Description: The presented model emphasizes the uniqueness of movement as an ideal context enabling teachers and clinicians to design a challenging learning atmosphere for their students. The model is based on a series of scripts offering a simulation of real life situations. It can support a specific clinical goal such as developing self-control; support a yearly curriculum at kindergartens and schools; serve as an extended behavioral program for individuals / groups. The model has recently been implemented with Autistic children on an individual level and as a preparation for inclusion. The rationale behind developing the model will be discussed and specific behavioral procedures and principles supporting the model will be cited. In addition, the structure of the model will be described, followed by different examples of its optional implementation. Components of the model, modified during the past 18 years, will then be portrayed. The workshop will conclude with recommendations and examples for utilizing the model in a variety of educational and clinical settings applicable to various populations. A special attention will be devoted to the potential of using these procedures as a part of an individual program for ASD populations and for supporting their inclusion in the regular education system.
Learning Objectives: 1. Explain the unique characteristics of physical activity and games as learning contexts. 2. Cite behavioral principles and procedures that enhance learning in these contexts. 3. Present the general structure of the model and describe its components 4. Design various physical activities as clinical scripts, serving specific behavioral goals. 5. Use and modify observation forms to evaluate students’ progress. 6. Adapt the components of the model to different populations and programs. 7. Explain the rationale of the model to parents and practitioners.
Activities: 1. A presentation of the theoretical background of the model, defining the rationale behind it. 2. An open discussion: How physical activity can serve as a learning context. 3. A video presentation illustrating the implementation of the model in various settings and in different cultures. 4. Active demonstration of games involving the workshop's participants. 5. Planning trials - participants will practice activity and program design based on the model.
Audience: Behavior analysts, teachers, consultants, lead therapists, line therapists and students.
Content Area: Practice
Instruction Level: Basic
 
Workshop #W23
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Using Performance Improvement Methods to Start and Manage an ABA Service Provider Organization
Friday, May 22, 2009
10:00 AM–5:00 PM
North 221 C
Area: OBM; Domain: Service Delivery
CE Instructor: Joseph Cautilli, Ph.D., LP, BCBA, Ph.D.
JOSEPH D. CAUTILLI (Behavior Analysis and Therapy Partners), MICHAEL WEINBERG (Orlando Behavior Health Services, LLC)
Description: In this workshop, participants will receive information and instruction on how to start an ABA based service provider organization and manage professional and/or care staff behavior using Performance Improvement methods based upon the OBM literature (e.g. Aubrey Daniels' Performance Improvement book, pinpointing, and other methods). Hiring methods, employee selection, setting targets, reinforcing staff performance, addressing problem performance, quality improvement, six sigma, pareto charting, statistical process control, behavior anchors, and other methods will be presented. With several decades of research data and implementation outcomes to support its use, Performance Improvement has become a key OBM methodology in many companies. In this workshop, participants will receive up-to-date information and instruction in use of this methodology to start and manage an ABA human services organization. Examples of areas that will be covered include employee selection methods, pinpointing, setting targets, functional assessment to address problem performance, reinforcement of employee performance, using behavioral anchors, assessment centers, and others.
Learning Objectives: By the end of this workshop, participants will learn to: 1) State three key approaches for selecting staff 2) State and describe three methods to evaluate staff performance 3) State examples of staff improvement goals and improvement approaches 4) Identify and discuss the research base for performance improvement methods (at least 3 studies or references that are empirically derived) 5) state key expected performance outcomes and ABA service delivery standards 6) State methods of assessing bases of problem performance and approaches to rectify these problems 7) state and demonstrate key data collection and display methods for staff performance 8) State three key behavioral coaching methods for performance improvement purposes
Activities: 1) Identify the type and nature of service organization participants may wish to establish, or learn to manage using PI methods 2) Identify systems to establish the organization and how it will carry out its mission. Participants will write sample mission and vision statements 3) create a basic business plan for carrying out the mission and type of staff needed to carry it out, and create basic systems for staff selection using methods presented 4) participants will draft standards of performance and behavior analytic service delivery expected of their staff and organization 5) create systems of staff performance measurement and goal setting, along with means of reinforcing desired and improved performance (and how it will be measured) 6) small group activity to conduct functional assessment and devise a plan or approach in a work setting for addressing problem performance 7) Practice devising and conducting behavioral interview method for selecting new staff
Audience: Applied Behavior Analysts, Organizational Behavior Management specialists (entry or intermediate level), Human Services managers, current and would-be founders or directors of a program, entreprenuers in establishing ABA based service organizations.
Content Area: Practice
Instruction Level: Basic
 
Workshop #W33
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
It’s Just Good Teaching: The application of the learn unit, verbal behavior, and verbal developmental milestones
Friday, May 22, 2009
10:00 AM–5:00 PM
North 226 AB
Area: VRB/TBA; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
CE Instructor:
SHIRA A. ACKERMAN (Columbia University Teachers College), Dawn M Sidell (Northwest Autism Center), Joshua Fouts (Northwest Autism Center)
Description: The verbal behavior approach has been successfully implemented within an inclusive preschool for children with autism and their typically developing peers in Eastern Washington. Domino Project Preschool services six children on the autism spectrum and six children who have been considered typically developing by their pediatricians. Verbal Behavior is a research-based approach used to provide intensive and appropriate instruction for all students based on their current level of verbal development. The verbal developmental milestones and verbal behavior analysis theory created by Greer & Ross, 2008, is the methodology implemented in the preschool. The full day workshop will provide in-depth instruction on how to implement key components of verbal behavior with children with autism. Attendees will also receive opportunities for hands-on practice with the guidance of the instructors. Data will also be used to demonstrate the effectiveness of the verbal behavior approach at Domino Project Preschool.
Learning Objectives: Learn the background of Northwest Autism Center and how Domino Project Preschool began. Learn the key components of verbal behavior and the verbal developmental milestones. Learn how to implement the key components of verbal behavior. Data will be provided to support the usage of the verbal behavior approach at Domino Project Preschool.
Activities: Attendees will participate in lecture, discussion, and question and answer sessions. Attendees will also have the opportunity to work in small groups to practice strategies presented. Videos will be used throughout.
Audience: Educators, Administrators, Related Service Providers, Behavior Analysts, and other professionals from a variety of disciplines wokring in public or private educational settings with and without students diagnosed with autism or other developmental disabilities.
Content Area: Practice
Instruction Level: Basic
 
Workshop #W35
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
What are the Top Ten Ethical Problems for Behavior Analysts?
Friday, May 22, 2009
2:00 PM–5:00 PM
North 224 B
Area: CSE/TPC; Domain: Service Delivery
CE Instructor: R.M. "Duke" Schell, Ph.D.
R. M. (DUKE) SCHELL (J. Iverson Riddle Developmental Center)
Description: This workshop will focus on the relationship between the Behavior Analyst Certification Board's (BACB) "Guidelines for Responsible Conduct for Behavior Analysts" and the BACB's "Professional Disciplinary Standards". Data from the BACB and other sources will be reviewed and discussed by the participants to apply in their everyday use of applied behavior analysis. The "Guidelines" and "Standards" will also be discussed in view of their impact on the ethical use of behavior analytic practices. In addition the participants will review case examples that raise questions of ethical responsibility specifically in the context of non-behavior analytic procedures and therapies that may be provided to people with intellectual and related developmental disabilities.
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the workshop, the participant will be able to: 1. describe and discuss the relationship between the BACB's "Guidelines" and "Standards". 2. apply knowledge of the "Guidelines" and "Standards" to their everyday practice. 3. use professional colleagues to discuss and resolve issues raised by the "Guidelines" and "Standards". 4. use the "Guidelines" and "Standards" to solve ethical dilemmas in their practice.
Activities: Activities for the workshop participants will include the direct presentation of information, solicited and directed questions to participants about their own experiences, and small group discussions and presentations of case examples of ethical problems.
Audience: This workshop is intended for professional clinicians including BCBAs, BCABAs, psychologists, special educators and administrators concerned with the ethical use of applied behavior analysis.
Content Area: Practice
Instruction Level: Basic
 
Workshop #W39
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Transition for Students with an Autism Spectrum Disorder: Adolescence to Adulthood
Friday, May 22, 2009
6:00 PM–9:00 PM
North 126
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
CE Instructor: Erin E. Barton, Ph.D.
RAYNI L. ANDERSON (NHS Human Services)
Description: This intermediate workshop focuses on all areas of transition for students with an ASD. Participants will learn about the importance of transition planning, the process of transition planning, and the necessary skills to be taught in relation to transition planning from the school setting to postsecondary education, to independent or supported community living arrangements, to work placements, and community integration. Team members roles will be outlined, and resources will be discussed.
Learning Objectives: Participants will be able to discuss the importance of transition planning, list and discuss skill areas to be addressed to facilitate successful transition to various settings, and understand the roles of parents, teachers, and other behavioral providers in the process.
Activities: This workshop will include didactic instruction and small group activities.
Audience: BCBAs, BCABAs, behavior specialists, teachers, parents, direct care professional supervisors
Content Area: Practice
Instruction Level: Basic
 
Workshop #W40
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Developing Social Skills In Learners with ASD: From Assessment to Intervention
Friday, May 22, 2009
6:00 PM–9:00 PM
North 131 BC
Area: AUT/DDA; Domain: Service Delivery
CE Instructor:
ERIN SPARACIO (Eden II Programs/ The Genesis School)
Description: Children with autism exhibit many deficits in the area of socialization. It is difficult for children with autism to respond to peers in social situations as well as to initiate to others. There are many other areas of socialization that children with autism have great difficulty with, such as reading non verbal social cues, engaging in quality conversation and exhibiting social awareness. This workshop will discuss a variety of innovative strategies that have been successful for improving social skills in children with autism. Specific strategies to be discussed will include topics such as the use of behavioral rehearsal, role playing, using video modeling and video rehearsal, along with other technology based interventions, and conducting ABC analyses of social situations. Carol Gray’s social stories will also be reviewed.
Learning Objectives: Objectives: At the completion of the workshop, participants will have learned: A minimum of 3 new methods for increasing social skills in children with autism. • How to operationalize advanced concepts such as friendship when teaching a child with autism. • How to use behavioral rehearsal with children with autism to improve social skills. • How to use self-monitoring for children with autism to help them to monitor their social skills.
Activities: Participants will watch video clips of a variety of strategies that can be used to increase social skills in individuals with autism. Specific activities will include writing a story about a social situation or a student, conducting an ABC analysis on a social situation and operationalizing a variety of advanced social concepts
Audience: Psychologists, Special Educators, Social Workers, Speech Pathologists, Parents
Content Area: Practice
Instruction Level: Basic
 
Workshop #W43
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
CANCELLED: Small Group and Individual Activities Targeting Social and Communication Deficits in Children with Autism and Language Delays
Friday, May 22, 2009
6:00 PM–9:00 PM
North 120 BC
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
CE Instructor: Diane Bannerman Juracek, Ph.D.
Melanie Allison Rose (Southern Illinois University, Carbondale), JENNY C. MARTIN (Southern Illinois University), Leigh Karole Grannan (Southern Illinois University, Carbondale)
Description: Discrete trial training (DTT) and naturalistic teaching are evidenced-based procedures often used to teach children with autism spectrum disorders and language delays. This workshop will discuss the continuum of teaching approaches conceptualized from applied behavior analysis. Discrete trial presentation in both individual and small group activities will be shown. The use of scripted task presentations to facilitate goal implementation within activities will also be discussed. Goals for activities will be identified and tied to the Assessment of Basic Language and Learning Skills-Revised (ABLLS-R), an assessment and curriculum guide developed by James W. Partington, Ph.D., BCBA.
Learning Objectives: Apply discrete trial teaching in a small group format Target a skill area in a variety of settings using different teaching approaches Understand how to increase performance in ABLLS-R goal areas using creative activities Incorporate individual goals based on different learner skill levels within the same group activity
Activities: Participants will view film footage of creative activities to target ABLLS-R goals areas. Explanation and conceptual framework will be shown via PowerPoint. Sample lesson plans and scripted task presentations will be given.
Audience: Parents, teachers, and service providers currently using or interested in increasing language with the ABLLS-R. BCBA’s and BCABA’s new to or wishing to expand their knowledge in the area of autism and/or children with language delays would also benefit from this workshop.
Content Area: Practice
Instruction Level: Basic
 
Workshop #W44
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
ABA in public schools: How behavior analysts can make district-wide changes
Friday, May 22, 2009
6:00 PM–9:00 PM
North 124 B
Area: AUT/EDC; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
CE Instructor: Shannon Cernich, Ph.D.
Laura Kenneally (Advance Inc.), KATHLEEN MCCABE-ODRI (Advance, Inc./ Partners in Learning Inc.)
Description: Applied behavior analysis has been shown to be effective in changing students’ disruptive behavior. Thus, behavior analysts are frequently hired by public school districts to solve behavior problems of an individual with developmental disabilities. But what then? How can behavior analysts go beyond individual students and help schools embrace and implement the technology to improve the education of others? The presenters will discuss two public school districts that have adopted the principles of ABA into other programs in their school districts. Using a framework derived from Organizational Behavior Management, the presenters will also discuss successes, and failures of the current and future projects in both districts. This workshop will be informative to those who consult in public schools with the goal of creating lasting and effective change.
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the workshop, the participant will be able to: 1. use data to further individual programs and create data-based programs in the district. 2. use data to change the district’s policies on training for staff and parents. 3. use data to change the BOE’s programs/policies/values/long-term goals.
Activities: Using lecture, hands-on activities, and video demonstrations, participants will learn numerous examples on how to make large-scale socially significant changes in the school districts they work in.
Audience: Behavior consultants, child study team members, administrators
Content Area: Practice
Instruction Level: Basic
 
Workshop #W46
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
HI-STEP: A Summer Program for Children with Social Skills Impairments
Friday, May 22, 2009
6:00 PM–9:00 PM
North 124 A
Area: AUT/DDA; Domain: Service Delivery
CE Instructor: Dennis H. Reid, Ph.D.
MICHAEL C. SELBST (Behavior Therapy Associates, P.A.), Steven Gordon (Behavior Therapy Associates)
Description: Description: Youth with social skills impairments include those with a range of DSM-IV diagnoses such as Autism, Asperger’s Disorder, and Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. Social skill deficits have been associated with negative outcomes in future adjustment (i.e., educational achievement, interpersonal relationships, psychological well-being, etc.). The scientific research on Social Skills Training has generally found a weak effect with limitations as to the manner in which it has been implemented. HI-STEPTM (Helping Improve Social-skills Through Evidence-based Practices) is a six week summer day program for children with social skills impairments, that has been in existence for nine summers with over 400 children in attendance. Over 80% of the attendees’ tuition has been paid by the local educational agency as part of an Extended School Year (ESY). Principles associated with Applied Behavior Analysis such as pinpointing target behaviors, functional behavior assessments, positive behavior supports, antecedent/consequence interventions and data collection are the “backbone” of the program. This workshop is at an Intermediate Level and assumes participants have prior knowledge of ABA principles.
Learning Objectives: Objectives: At the conclusion of the workshop the participant will be able to 1. Identify the characteristics of social skills 2. Identify the outcomes associated with social skills impairments 3. Identify evidence-based strategies that contribute to success in social skills and problem-solving 4.Describe the elements associated with the Terrific Ten Problem-Solving approach
Activities: Activities: Workshop activities include didactic presentation using lecture, power point presentation, discussion and video clips demonstrating components of the summer program. Participants will have the opportunity to discuss ways to apply evidence-based strategies to social skills programs within their own setting.
Audience: Audience: Individuals working in public school environments, in private schools and agencies, and within a private practice such as behavior analysts, psychologists, social workers, speech and language pathologists, and special education teachers.
Content Area: Practice
Instruction Level: Basic
 
Workshop #W51
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Determining the Function of Aggressive Behavior: Experimental Demonstrations
Friday, May 22, 2009
6:00 PM–9:00 PM
North 227 A
Area: CBM/AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
CE Instructor:
ENNIO C. CIPANI (National University)
Description: This 3-hour workshop will cover assessment methods that involve a manipulation of variables to determine the function of aggression in school and home instructional settings. These methods include FAB or analogue assessment tests, trigger analysis and in-situ hypothesis tests. The author’s function-based, diagnostic classification system (Cipani & Schock, 2007) provides the framework for setting up experimental test conditions for these various methods. This function-based diagnostic system involves four major categories: (1) direct access, DA 1.0; (2) direct escape, DE 3.0; (3) socially mediated access, SMA 2.0 and; (4) socially mediated escape, SME 4.0. There are sub-categories for each of these major categories that delineate specific reinforcers, which form the basis of the selected tests. The last part of the workshop will examine the operant properties of the replacement behavior. A diagnostic system will be used to classify the strength of replacement behaviors (Cipani & Schock, 2007). Analogue tests for determining why non-aggressive behavior is not occurring under relevant motivational conditions will be presented.
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the workshop, the participant will be: Able to generate an analogue assessment testing a specific hypothesis regarding function of aggressive behavior (or its precursor), consisting of two or more test conditions Able to identify trigger analysis test conditions, including the manipulation of the relevant M.O. Able to identify test requirements for an in-situ hypothesis test Able to identify what is not an FTBA Able to identify two diagnostic categories for replacement behavior Able to generate an analogue assessment testing which hypothesis (i.e., mis-directed contingencies or inept repertoire) is probably correct, i.e., reason why the replacement behavior is not occurring under relevant motivational conditions
Activities: Participants will work in small groups on designing analogue tests on specific hypotheses. They will also have class assignments that entail delineating how a trigger analysis would be deployed as well as in-situ hypothesis tests in education and residential settings.
Audience: Licensed professionals needing CE units, BCBAs and graduate students
Content Area: Practice
Instruction Level: Basic
 
Workshop #W52
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Applying behavior analysis to achieve optimal physical fitness and health, peak personal athletic performances, healthy weight maintenance and diet.
Friday, May 22, 2009
6:00 PM–9:00 PM
North 224 A
Area: CBM/CSE; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
CE Instructor: Tom Sharpe, Ed.D.
STEPHEN RAY FLORA (Youngstown State University)
Description: As obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, and other health problems are at epidemic proportions for many populations, including populations served by Behavior Analysts, it is vital that Behavior Analysts learn to apply behavior analysis to ameliorate these problems and to promote healthy lifestyles as effectively as possible. Medical, behavioral, and psychological benefits of exercise, athletic participation, physical fitness and healthy living are covered. The workshop will teach participants to use applied behavior analysis principles to objectively access, and optimally improve their own, or their clients’ physical fitness, health related lifestyles, and, if desired, athletic performances. Emphasis will be placed on Behavior Analytic ‘gradual change techniques;’ optimal goal setting parameters; objective, data based analysis and decision making; and on how the use of Behavioral Analytic Experimental Designs, such as Multiple Baselines Across Situations and Bounded Changing Criterion Designs, may not just be used to measure change, but actually facilitate effective behavioral change. Finally, participants will learn how improved health and physical fitness allow individuals to live a valued life and aid in the pursuit of chosen life directions.
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the workshop, participants will be able to: • State many of the behavioral, psychological, and medical benefits of physical fitness, athletic participation, and living a healthy lifestyle. • Perform functional assessment of current health and fitness related behaviors. • Perform task analyses of healthy eating behaviors; safe, effective exercise; and skilled athletic performances. • Identify personalized reinforcers, motivations, incentives, and values for healthy lifestyles, physical fitness and athleticism. • Understand the importance of, and how to effectively use goal setting, task analysis, pinpointing; how to identify skill gaps; how to set realistically achievable goals; and how to effectively use publicly posted goals to achieve fitness and optimal athletic performance. • Use Behavior Analytic Experimental Designs to not only measure and access behavioral change but to facilitate health, fitness and athletic behavioral changes. • Use the concepts of optimal physiological arousal, periodization, and super compensation in designing a personalized training program. • Use data collection, charting, and graphing to optimize fitness and improve eating related behaviors.
Activities: Participants will be guided though presented information with PowerPoint slides, worksheets and lecture handouts that will provide participants with the information necessary to develop effective programs for improving health, physical fitness, diet behaviors, healthy lifestyles; develop effective programs to optimize athletic performance; and to use Behavior Analytic Experimental Designs to access and facilitate desired behavioral change.
Audience: The target audience is board certified behavior analysts, BCABAs, psychologists, personal trainers, and others interested in learning to use behavior analytic procedures to promote healthy lifestyles, fitness, or to optimize elite performance. Professionals with a strong interest in behavioral medicine, or health and fitness will also benefit.
Content Area: Practice
Instruction Level: Basic
 
Workshop #W53
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
CANCELLED: “Doing” On-Site BCBA Assessments: Packaging Informant, Setting, and Behavioral Information For Client and Caregiver
Friday, May 22, 2009
6:00 PM–9:00 PM
North 222 AB
Area: CBM/CSE; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
CE Instructor: Rebecca MacDonald, Ph.D.
THOMAS L. SHARPE (Educational Consulting, Inc.), Wayne S. Robb (ARC of Indian River County), John Koperwas (Educational Consulting, Inc.)
Description: The primary challenge for BCBAs and a variety of professional caregivers lies in the ethical and practical observation, data collection, and evaluation of therapeutic settings with a view toward effective treatment. To ensure the continual improvement in service provision, the appropriate diagnosis of client treatment for therapeutic gain, and the ongoing effectiveness of primary caregiver practice; a variety of important professional decision making activities must be undertaken. To facilitate these undertakings, this workshop will first present information in the practical “unpacking” behavior analysis technologies useful to client treatment, and founded in ethical practices. Next, hands-on application of a variety of time, cost, and resource efficient ways of collecting, analyzing, and packaging informant, setting, and descriptive data will be provided. Focus will be grounded in foundational biological, historical, and social validation variables important to ensuring the success of client treatment. Participants will leave this workshop with the information, materials, and tool recommendations necessary for ethically and practically collecting, packaging, and utilizing information in ways that most effectively and efficiently facilitate activities that lead to effective behavioral programming. Participants will be provided with a complimentary copy of workshop presentation, example materials, and software-based data collection and analysis tools, on CD ROM.
Learning Objectives: Workshop participants will exit with a conversant and applied knowledge of a range of behavior analysis applications relevant to their particular client and caregiver situations. Competencies will be grounded in the ethical and practical concerns general to doing applied assessments in structured BCBA and BCABA professional environments. Describe and discuss important ethical considerations when evaluating client and caregiver situations and recommending treatment. Identify a variety of biological, historical, and social validation variables that impact on treatment success. Deconstruct and “unpack” behavior technologies useful to client treatment in setting specific situations. Collect, analyze, and package informant, setting, and descriptive data for the purpose of making client treatment and caregiver activity recommendations. Generate a variety of behavioral records that include sensitivity to contextual, environmental, and sequential contingencies that impact undesirable and desirable behaviors.
Activities: Activities for participants include the following: Discussion and review of the ethical and social validation considerations of implementing behavioral treatments. Discussion and identification practice of biological and historical variables in specific settings. Conversation over the deconstruction of behavioral technologies in lay and professional practice terms. Hands-on data collection, analysis, and packaging methods to ensure practical familiarity. Discussion of data-based treatment recommendation activities.
Audience: Advanced graduate students, new professionals, and behavior analysts working in a broad spectrum of hands on client and caregiver services from a BCBA, BCABA, or aspiring BACB certificant role – all interested in gathering additional information and becoming more conversant from an applied perspective in their ongoing assessment, behavior planning, and service provision activities.
Content Area: Practice
Instruction Level: Basic
 
Workshop #W54
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Changing Thoughts, Feelings, & Urges
Friday, May 22, 2009
6:00 PM–9:00 PM
North 120 A
Area: CBM/VRB; Domain: Service Delivery
CE Instructor: Cherish Twigg, M.S.
ABIGAIL B. CALKIN (Calkin Consulting Center), Emma F. Douglas (The Treehouse Trust)
Description: Inner behaviors—thoughts, feelings, and urges—are observable, countable, and changeable. The main emphasis in this workshop is to develop a plan to change the inner behavior of the participant and/or one’s clients. Participants will develop this plan based on research using Behavior Analysis and Precision Teaching principles and practices to observe, count, and change the targeted inner behavior. The workshop also gives a brief review of the history of private events, inner behavior, and some of the research.
Learning Objectives: • Develop a realistic and concise plan to change an inner behavior of self or clients. • Review the background and research for counting inner behaviors. • Define and identify thoughts, feelings, and urges. • Practice inner behavior written timings. • Count and record some identified, specific inner behaviors.
Activities: The primary emphasis is to develop a written plan to help clients identify, list, count, record, and change inner behaviors under the supervision of the person attending. Some minimal lecture about the technique, its successes, and the literature will also be presented.
Audience: This workshop is designed for psychologists, clinical behavior analysts, and teachers of regular, learning disabled, and behavior problem students. Parents with skills in behavior analysis may also benefit from the workshop.
Content Area: Practice
Instruction Level: Basic
 
Workshop #W55
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
A Review of Ethical Challenges Facing Applied Behavior Analysts: How Ethical Guidelines Can Be Used to Navigate and Resolve Dilemmas.
Friday, May 22, 2009
6:00 PM–9:00 PM
North 128
Area: CSE/CBM; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
CE Instructor: Michael Miklos, M.S.
David A. Celiberti (Association for Science in Autism Treatment), Mary Jane Weiss (Rutgers University), Thomas L. Zane (The Center for Applied Behavior Analysis at The Sa), SUZANNE LETSO (Connecticut Center for Child Development)
Description: Applied Behavior Analysts are faced with ethical dilemmas on a continual basis. Fortunately, ethical guidelines exist to assist us in navigating these dilemmas. Although the responsible clinician strives to understand these dilemmas, operates in his or her professional role in congruence with these guidelines, and monitors his or her own behavior and circumstances in an ongoing manner, it is common for even the most experienced clinicians to encounter ethical challenges. In this workshop, we will discuss the ethical guidelines as they apply to real life clinical circumstances, and we will provide everyday ethical challenges from the clinical world. Topics to be addressed include the definitions and implications of minimal vs. appropriate training and supervision; working with other professionals; protecting confidentiality; identifying conflicts of interest; understanding, avoiding, and terminating dual relationships; assuring informed consent, advocating for appropriate and effective treatment; and ensuring socially valid outcomes of intervention. The workshop presenters will present ethical dilemmas that are commonly encountered, and will use the ethical guidelines to identify the salient ethical concerns at hand and develop the best course of action for each scenario.
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the workshop, the participant will be able to: 1. describe the ramifications associated with adhering to only the minimal requirements for training and supervision and highlight the benefits associated with providing higher quality supervision and training. 2. define confidentiality, describe an array of situations in which it can be breached, and identify proactive strategies to ensure that confidentiality is maintained. 3. delineate the dimensions of informed consent as it pertains to both research and clinical practice. 4. describe the behavior analyst's commitment to science-based treatment and highlight strategies for articulating this commitment to consumers and professionals from other disciplines. 5. describe the steps warranted when faced with unethical behaviors by others in the field.
Activities: The workshop presenters will: 1. describe the relevant ethical guidelines via a lecture format; 2. engage discussion with the audience about questions concerning the ethical standards; 3. pose a number of situations that may or may not pose ethical dilemmas, and have the audience participate in discerning the core issues and ethical standards that may be applicable in each situation; 4. have the audience make judgments on each ethical dilemma, citing support of their decisions from ethical standards;
Audience: Our audience would consist of any practicing behavior analyst, certified or not, who has opportunities to be exposed to potential ethical situations.
Content Area: Practice
Instruction Level: Basic
 
Workshop #W61
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
The Electronic Daily Behavior Report Card (e-DBRC) System
Friday, May 22, 2009
6:00 PM–9:00 PM
North 122 A
Area: EDC/AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
CE Instructor:
MACK D. BURKE (Texas A&M University), Kimberly Vannest (Texas A&M University)
Description: Daily behavior report cards (DBRCs) have long been used in Applied Behavior Analysis as illustrated in the seminal study by Bailey, Wolf, and Phillips (1970) on the use of daily behavior report cards, home-based reinforcement, and problem behavior. DBRCs continue to be a user friendly approach to (a) communicating with parents, (b) documenting intervention effects, (c) anchoring contingencies, and (d) progress monitoring IEP goals and objectives. We have developed a web-based system for monitoring problem behaviors referred to as e-DBRC (see http://d2k.coe.tamu.edu/products/e-dbrc.php). The e-DBRC system was designed for the progress monitoring of individual goals and objectives for students with disabilities. The e-DBRC system can be embedded into check in/out programs, reinforcement programs, and behavior intervention plans. In this workshop, we will introduce participants to the system, model for them the scaling of IEP goals and objectives, describe the logistics of implementation, and discuss ways to use e-DBRC with behavioral interventions. If possible, participants should bring a laptop with wireless access to the internet.
Learning Objectives: 1. Introduce the e-DBRC system conceptual logic. 2. Introduce how to log in, create, and generate DBRC reports. 3. Introduce how to scale IEP goals and objectives for DBRCs. 4. Introduce how to embed DBRCs into existing behavioral interventions.
Activities: Participants will be asked to bring laptops with wireless access. We will go on-line and practice setting up accounts, entering data, and generating reports.
Audience: This workshop is focused on practice and is for behavioral intervention personnel, special education teachers, and others who work with people with problem behavior where progress monitoring is a requirement.
Content Area: Practice
Instruction Level: Basic
 
Workshop #W64
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Generalizing Across Species: I am a BCBA/Behaviorist! How Do I Apply My Skills to Animals?
Friday, May 22, 2009
6:00 PM–9:00 PM
North 122 BC
Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
CE Instructor: Thomas Zane, Ph.D.
TERRI M. BRIGHT (Simmons College/MSPCA)
Description: Behavioral professionals are not exempt from the general population when it comes to having animals with unwanted behaviors in their homes and in their communities, yet research shows the same techniques can be used across species. In this workshop, BCBA’s and/or behavior professionals and students will learn to apply the skills they already possess to assess and analyze problem animal behavior. Preference Assessments? Motivation Assessment Scale? Motivating Operations? Ethics? We will review familiar assessment tools you use every day, and generalize their appropriate use to animal behavior. We will also identify when a functional analysis is appropriate and when antecedent manipulation might be preferred. We will guide you to useful ethological (the study of animals in groups in their natural environments)literature and reading material, will help you to identify animal-training language that is rife with mentalistic lingo, and will examine identifying M.O.’s and touch upon ethics as applied from the BACB task list. Whether you are considering adding animals to your behavioral shingle, want to generalize your knowledge as a student, behaviorist, or behavior analyst, or you merely want to be able to change the behavior of animals you know, using techniques you know, this workshop is for you.
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of this workshop, attendees will be able to: - translate assessments they commonly use with people into use with animals - Identify common mistakes made with animal training and how to avoid them - Identify three-term contingencies in applied animal behavior, construct differential reinforcement plans and schedules, and identify when antecedent manipulations may be most appropriate - Identify and refer to empirically-based literature to support their intervention plans for animals - Demonstrate knowledge of the risks and benefits of working with animals
Activities: Activities Using real applied animal case histories, attendees will: - identify A-B-C data - identify MO’s - create assessments and analyses - create appropriate interventions - separate mentalistic language and text from needed ethological facts
Audience: Audience This workshop is designed for students, behavior professionals, BCABA’s and BCBA’s who work primarily with humans and who want to be able to generalize their knowledge of ABA to animals, whether for personal or professional reasons,
Content Area: Methodology
Instruction Level: Basic
 
Workshop #W74
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Addressing Challenging Behaviors: Practical Application for Working with Individuals with Autism
Saturday, May 23, 2009
8:00 AM–11:00 AM
North 126
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
CE Instructor: Holly Almon-Morris, M.S.
RAYNI L. ANDERSON (NHS Human Services)
Description: This introductory workshop will review methods to determine the functions of behavior, common triggers for behaviors in individuals with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), practical means for collecting data and measuring outcomes across various settings/programs, and proactive interventions to address targeted behaviors.
Learning Objectives: Participants will be able to list the five functions of human behavior, discuss ways to determine the functions of behavior, identify common triggers for individuals with an ASD, create appropriate and practical data collection formats, and implement proactive interventions to address behaviors of individuals with an ASD.
Activities: 1) Group discussion of functions of behaviors 2) Individual practice in identifying functions 3) Group discussion of behavioral triggers 4) Review and individual practice of data collection procedures 5) Group discussion of proactive interventions
Audience: BCBAs, BCABAs, behavior specialists, teachers, parents, undergraduate and/or graduate students in ABA programs, direct care professional supervisors
Content Area: Practice
Instruction Level: Basic
 
Workshop #W75
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
CANCELLED: Encouraging Happy Learner Participation in ABA Programming: Teaching Assent Withdrawal and Self-Advocacy Skills
Saturday, May 23, 2009
8:00 AM–11:00 AM
North 225
Area: AUT/EDC; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
CE Instructor: Helena Maguire, Master's
HOLLY ALMON-MORRIS (Organization for Research and Learning), Kristin N. Schirmer-Foley (Organization for Research and Learning), Kristin N Wilkinson (Organization for Research and Learning), Rebecca E. Phillips (Organization for Research and Learning)
Description: In order to assure a “goodness of fit” standard in autism intervention programs, it is of utmost importance that students be active and willing participants in their learning environments. Therefore, students must be able to advocate for themselves in a manner appropriate to their language level. If students can appropriately advocate for themselves, misbehavior during instruction should be either non-existent or present at very low levels. This workshop will address several topographies of assent withdrawal and self-advocacy skills, questions to consider when determining the function of assent withdrawal behaviors, strategies for teaching appropriate assent withdrawal/self-advocacy behaviors, and modifying instruction according to various student assent withdrawal/self-advocacy behaviors. The content of this workshop will be related to ethical guidelines from the BACB Guidelines for Responsible Conduct For Behavior Analysts©.
Learning Objectives: At the end of this workshop, participants should be able to: • Name at least five behaviors that learners can be taught to appropriately “opt out” of an instructional arrangement. • List at least three critical steps to take when a student displays “inappropriate” assent withdrawal behaviors. • Describe at least three common functions of assent withdrawal related to instructional delivery. • Describe one way to modify instruction based on learner’s assent withdrawals both within a session and across multiple sessions. • List at least 3 self-advocacy behaviors that learners can be taught to assist in modifying their instructional arrangements.
Activities: Activities will involve didactic instruction, group discussion, and small group activities where participants will be able to practice data analysis techniques and practice generating teaching examples related to various assent withdrawal/self-advocacy behaviors.
Audience: Clinical behavior analysts, parents, teachers, or other professionals working with students with special needs.
Content Area: Practice
Instruction Level: Basic
 
Workshop #W80
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Behavioral Marriage and Family Therapy: Nuts and Bolts Content You Can Use
Saturday, May 23, 2009
8:00 AM–11:00 AM
North 226 AB
Area: CBM; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
CE Instructor: Bryan Crisp, M.A.
BRYAN CRISP (East Carolina University)
Description: Abstract Accountability has become the focus of therapy. Parents and spouses in therapy want positive change for their money. This workshop delivers the goods by emphasizing hands-on, here’s-how-it’s-done, family behavior therapy based on the new book, Behavioral Family Therapy (Crisp and Knox, 2009) http://www.cap-press.com/books/1870 Rather than clients guessing about whether therapy is working, data verifying the increased frequency of positive behavior and the decreased frequency of negative behavior (along with the desired emotions/feelings) are required by the therapist and provide the answer. The focus of the workshop is on how to complete behavioral contracts covering an array of family problems that are used to treat problems presented to therapists working with families. These are preceded by a review of basic learning principles showing how children learn negative/undesirable behavior and how new positive behavior can be learned through structuring positive and negative consequences via. Issues of rapport with clients, compliance in following through with delivering the consequences specified in the contracts and resistancies parents have to using behavioral contracts are also dealt with. Case histories from the book covering over 25 specific problems areas illustrate the various ways contracts are used.
Learning Objectives: Learning Objectives: Participants will be able to: 1. Identify common objections to behavior analytical assessment and intervention in the home. 2. Describe the rationale for careful data gathering in a natural setting. 3. Utilize various methods of in-home assessment. 4. Design concurrent interventions to replace and teach behaviors. 5. Describe effective ways of engaging parents to accomplish therapeutic goals. 6. Identify and deal with challenges the Behavior Analyst has as the analyst utilizes behavioral interventions in the home setting.
Activities: Discussion of course content. Role play methods of teaching parental responses.
Audience: All professionals engaged in behavioral therapies with children and families.
Content Area: Practice
Instruction Level: Basic
 
Workshop #W82
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Case Conceptualization in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
Saturday, May 23, 2009
8:00 AM–11:00 AM
North 224 A
Area: CBM/TPC; Domain: Service Delivery
CE Instructor: Teresa A Grimes, Master's
Patricia Bach (Illinois Institute of Technology), DANIEL J. MORAN (Trinity Services)
Description: Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (also said “ACT”) is a “third wave” behavior therapy approach that has been receiving a lot of interest and has also been generating important data. ACT is rooted in the basic natural science of behavior analysis, and is an evidence-based treatment which includes mindfulness & acceptance processes and behavior therapy interventions to help individuals live more value-directed lives. This workshop will introduce the ACT framework for functionally conceptualizing client behavior problems, and will discuss selection and application of specific ACT interventions. The workshop will use a case-based approach beginning with instructor supplied cases and later using participants’ cases for practice in ACT case formulation, selecting interventions, and assessing the effectiveness of interventions. There will be a didactic slide presentation, plus participant demonstrations, large group exercises and case-based practice. Participants will be provided with handouts to use with their clients for assessment and homework assignments to augment in session interventions. Worksheets will also be distributed for the participants to use to facilitate ACT case formulation. This workshop will be based on content from the publication ACT in Practice: Case Conceptualization in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, (Bach & Moran, 2008, New Harbinger).
Learning Objectives: Workshop participants will become familiar with the six core ACT principles of defusion, self-as-context, acceptance, values, committed action, and contacting the present moment, which will be described from a strict behavior analytic perspective Workshop participants will be able to conceptualize clinically relevant behaviors as functional response classes, and discriminate when they are amenable to an ACT approach. Workshop participants will be able to select ACT interventions appropriate for addressing specific core principles. Workshop participants will learn how to apply specific ACT interventions based on the case formulation Workshop participants will learn to use ACT case conceptualization to facilitate creating one’s own ACT consistent metaphors, exercises, and interventions for application in the context of a client’s unique history and presenting complaints.
Activities: The workshop will use a case-based approach beginning with instructor supplied cases and later using participants’ clinical cases for practice in ACT case formulation, selecting interventions, and assessing the effectiveness of interventions, and outcomes. There will be a 75 minute slide presentation, demonstrations, large group exercises and case-based practice. Participants will be provided with handouts to use with their clients for assessment and homework assignments to augment in session interventions.
Audience: This workshop is suitable to clinicians with little exposure to ACT who would like to learn how to apply ACT broadly. It is also suitable for participants who have attended ACT experiential workshops and would like to improve their skill in functional contextual case formulation and deciding when to apply specific ACT interventions.
Content Area: Practice
Instruction Level: Basic
 
Workshop #W86
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Application of Behavior Analysis Procedures in De-Escalation Situations
Saturday, May 23, 2009
8:00 AM–11:00 AM
North 226 C
Area: EDC/DDA; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
CE Instructor: Michael M. Mueller, Ph.D.
DAVID B. LENNOX (QBS Inc.), KRISTOFER VAN HERP (QBS, Inc.), David Rourke (QBS, Inc.)
Description: In many settings in which behavior analysis procedures are used (schools, residential programs, group homes, nursing facilities, etc.), some individuals served frequently exhibit episodes of behavioral escalation. These episodes commonly take the form of gradually increasing severity and intensity of disruptive behavior (e.g., yelling, property destruction, non-compliance), and violent behavior (i.e., self-injury, aggression. or both). This workshop will discuss the application of behavioral principles in such situations. Specifically, will present a training model used by the Safety-Care™ behavioral safety course to teach direct care staff to make and apply clinically appropriate choices in the midst of behavioral crises. In such situations, it is important for staff to be able to choose an appropriate intervention from a limited set of choices designed to reduce the severity of the current episode without reinforcing problem behavior. The choices presented in this model include simplified versions of functional communication training, differential reinforcement of incompatible behavior, behavioral momentum, and time out from positive reinforcement. The training model avoids technical terminology for ease of presentation to direct care staff who may not be well-versed in ABA theory and procedures.
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the workshop, the participant will be able to: Make and apply clinically appropriate choices in the midst of behavioral crises. Choose appropriate interventions during behavioral crisis without reinforcing challenging behaviors.
Activities: Workshop activities will include: Literature review of clinically appropriate de-escalation strategies. Discussion of the application of such behavioral interventions. Participant roleplays of identified behavioral interventions.
Audience: Providers of behavioral services, families, and educators.
Content Area: Practice
Instruction Level: Basic
 
Workshop #W87
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Why we’re heading for trouble: Evidence-based Practice and the Behavior Analyst
Saturday, May 23, 2009
8:00 AM–11:00 AM
North 122 A
Area: EDC/AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
CE Instructor: Susan Wilczynski, Ph.D.
SUSAN WILCZYNSKI (National Autism Center), Timothy A. Slocum (Utah State University), Ronnie Detrich (Wing Institute)
Description: Evidence-Based Practice (EBP) is a powerful movement that is reshaping treatment in mental health and education settings. EBP is often confused with data-based clinical decision-making by behavior analysts which undermines our ability to serve our target populations because we appear out of touch or ignorant about a movement that is often legally mandated. This workshop will clarify what is meant by EBP so behavior analysts can speak meaningfully about this movement. Behavior analysts will become familiar with a range of EBP reviews that are based in accepted procedures of scientific methodology making them better equipped to be EBP consultants. The role of single-subject research design in EBP practice will be underscored through the example of the National Standards Project. Challenges to the role of single-subject research design in the EBP movement will be discussed throughout the workshop. Finally, complex issues that influence the likelihood treatments will be identified as EBP will be considered. Although attendees can expect to gain an understanding of the EBP movement and to appreciate the complex decisions contributing to EBP guidelines that can strengthen or undermine our ability to promote behavior analysis, this workshop will only provide a foundation upon which practitioners and scholars must build.
Learning Objectives: • At the conclusion of the workshop, the participant will be able to describe the contextual influences that have resulted in the evidence-based practice movement. • At the conclusion of the workshop, the participant will be able to define threshold and hierarchy of evidence approaches to validating interventions as evidence-based. • At the conclusion of the workshop, the participant will be able to describe several sources of evidence-based intervention reviews including target populations and key review standards. • At the conclusion of the workshop, the participant will be able to identify features of reviews that influence which interventions are found to be ‘evidence based.’ • At the conclusion of the workshop, the participant will be able to describe reasons single subject research should be included in EBP. • At the conclusion of the workshop, the participant will be able to specify areas in which behavior analytic literature may fall short of the strongest criteria for EBP.
Activities: Participants will participate in a discussion about the evidence-based practice movement. Particular emphasis will be given to misunderstandings they may hold about evidence-based practice and to the barriers they may experience when trying to implement evidence-based interventions in educational or health settings. Participants will also review information contained in leading websites that provide information about evidence-based practices. By reviewing these websites, they can become more independent in their ability to stay abreast of advances in the evidence-based practice movement. Participants will examine single-subject research design methodologies in relation to the evidence-based practice movement. Particular attention will be given to the strengths and limitations behavior analytic perspectives can bring to the evidence-based practice movement. Finally, participants will develop a list of concerns they hold about the evidence-based practice movement which will lead to a discussion of these critical issues.
Audience: This workshop is intended for two target audiences. First, practitioners that are uncomfortable with their knowledge of evidence-based practices should find this workshop illuminating. For better or worse, this workshop should allow them to better understand how the evidence-based practice movement is currently and has the potential to shape their professional activities. Second, evidence-based practice guidelines can influence the curriculum taught at universities or the likelihood that extramural funding to support our research interests will be secured. Therefore, scholars who do not fully understand the complex decisions that influence the evidence-based practice documents should consider attending this workshop.
Content Area: Practice
Instruction Level: Basic
 
Symposium #20
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Effect of Child and Treatment Variables on Communication Skills Acquired Through PECS
Saturday, May 23, 2009
1:00 PM–2:20 PM
North 126
Area: AUT/CSE; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Adrienne M. Perry (York University)
Discussant: Andrew S. Bondy (Pyramid Educational Consultants)
CE Instructor: Anne Holmes, M.S.
Abstract: As disordered communication is one of the core deficits of autism spectrum disorders (ASD), interventions logically focus on the development of functional communication systems. One of the most frequently recommended, and successfully used, approaches is the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS). Based on the principles of Applied Behaviour Analysis, whereby behavioural teaching strategies such as prompting and reinforcement are used to facilitate independent communication, PECS users communicate by exchanging pictures of items with a communicative partner in exchange for preferred items or a social interaction. This symposium explores the impact of teaching PECS to 22 children and adolescents diagnosed with an ASD in a therapeutic summer camp program. Data were collected according to a pre-post longitudinal research design. Results shared will include a detailed description of child outcomes, along with an analysis of the specific child and treatment factors associated with varying outcomes. Implications for theory and practice will be discussed.
 
The Effect of PECS Training on the Communicative Behaviour of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders
JULIE L. KOUDYS (York University), Kristen McFee (York University), Adrienne M. Perry (York University)
Abstract: The acquisition of functional communication skills largely dictates the extent to which individuals with ASDs participate in daily activities at home and school and develop social relationships. In addition, the attainment of a communication system has been directly linked to the prevention and reduction of problem behaviours. Numerous studies link PECS to enhanced communication and speech development, as well as decreases in contextually inappropriate behaviours. However, few explore the quality of children’s communication skills following PECS training in detail. As such, there exists little information about vocabulary diversity (i.e., breadth/type of word use), sophistication of communication (i.e., mean length of utterance, use of attributes/proper syntax) or the range of functions the system serves (i.e., requests or social interactions). Further, little is known about the types of environments and activities in which PECS is used. Most significantly, little is known about specific areas of difficulty (i.e., spontaneity, distance, discrimination). This session provides a detailed description of the outcome of PECS training, including its impact on speech development, in a real-world setting. Data sources include pre- and post-assessment of communicative behaviour and PECS use, daily data logs, video review and parent communication questionnaires.
 
What matters? Child and Treatment Variables Associated with Varying PECS Outcomes
KRISTEN MCFEE (York University), Julie L. Koudys (York University), Adrienne M. Perry (York University), James M. Bebko (York University)
Abstract: Research supports the use of PECS as a means of developing functional communication skills for individuals with ASD’s. However, little is know about the specific child and treatment variables associated with varying outcomes. Studies examining the impact of behaviourally-based educational programs with children with ASDs provide evidence that child factors, familial factors and intervention factors likely play a role in outcome. However, it remains unknown as to whether or not these same factors play an equally important role in the acquisition of augmentative communication or speech via PECS. Given the prevalent use of PECS within the ASD population, outcome expectancies and evidence-based practice guidelines must be identified. This study explores specific child and treatment variables as they relate to PECS outcomes. Child variables explored include developmental level (i.e., mental age or IQ), cognitive variables (i.e., verbal/nonverbal skills), adaptive skills (i.e., self-help, social, communication skills) and severity of autism symptoms. Treatment variables include fidelity (i.e., adherence to PECS protocol), intensity, (i.e., number of requests per day) and generalization factors (i.e., variety of reinforcers, activities, environments and people). Implications for outcome expectancies and teaching will be shared.
 
Prerequisite Skills: Are they really a prerequisite to PECS Training?
KRISTEN MCFEE (York University), Julie L. Koudys (York University), James M. Bebko (York University)
Abstract: There has long been debate as to whether prerequisite skills, such as imitation or discrimination, are required prior to teaching a behaviourally-based communication system like PECS. A large body of developmental research suggests that individuals with ASDs demonstrate impairments in symbolic cognitive development, including difficulties with speech, gesture, imitation and pretend play. These skills, along with an understanding of other symbols like pictures, typically emerge within the first few years of life. This study explores whether individuals with ASDs may also have difficulties understanding pictures as symbols and more importantly, whether such impairment impacts the ability to use PECS. Other cognitive skills explored include the ability to discriminate amongst pictures, match pictures and objects, and learn associations between words and pictures. From a behavioural perspective, it is hypothesized that many of these cognitive skills are irrelevant to a child’s ability to use PECS. Children were evaluated on the aforementioned cognitive skills and entry level of PECS at the beginning of camp, as well as on PECS outcomes at the end of camp. Implications for teaching PECS will be discussed.
 
 
Symposium #27
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Recent Advances on Preference Assessment and Determinants of Choice
Saturday, May 23, 2009
1:00 PM–2:20 PM
North 120 A
Area: DDA/EAB; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: April S. Worsdell (May Institute)
CE Instructor: kelly Ferris, M.Ed.
Abstract: A wide variety of methods have been developed for identifying individual preferences for children and clinical populations that otherwise have difficulty in expressing meaningful preferences. These methods have correspondingly spawned an increasing applied literature on the factors that contribute to relative preferences and relative response allocation. The present series of studies extends both of these literatures in individuals with developmental disabilities and pre-school aged children. Two presentations offer refinements and adaptations of existing preference assessment methodologies towards: 1) balancing expediency and efficacy in the process of identifying effective reinforcers and, 2) comparing procedures for identifying negative reinforcers. A third presentation employs behavioral economic analysis to gauge the ability of several preference assessment formats to predict reinforcer value in the face of increasing response requirements. The final presentation adopts established reinforcer assessment methods to raise interesting questions about the relative contributions of response effort and reinforcer delay in contributing to children’s preferences for varying reinforcement arrangements. Collectively, the studies are discussed in terms of their implications for arranging optimal therapeutic and educational environments.
 
Evaluation of a Progressive Model for Identifying Preferred Stimuli with Children Diagnosed with Developmental Disabilities
AMANDA KARSTEN (Western New England College), James E. Carr (Auburn University), Tracy L. Lepper (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: Preference assessments for individuals with disabilities differ along many dimensions, including time requirements for implementation and probability of identifying a hierarchy of preferred stimuli. Some methods of assessment are also more conducive to use with individuals who exhibit problem behavior or certain prerequisite skills. Inaccurate results and loss of valuable treatment time are among the risks associated with selecting ineffective or unnecessarily lengthy procedures. The purpose of the current investigation was to evaluate a progressive model for conducting preference assessments which incorporates many of the aforementioned considerations. Concurrent-operant reinforcer evaluations were used to verify assessment findings. Based on 17 participants completed to date, the majority (i.e., 76% of all participants) progressed to reinforcer evaluation following the initial multiple-stimulus without replacement (MSWO) assessment. The free-operant method was the second most commonly implemented approach (i.e., 18% of all participants). Subsequent reinforcer evaluations confirmed assessment findings in all but two cases. Interobserver agreement and procedural integrity data were collected for a minimum of 33% of assessment trials per participant and averaged at least 90%, respectively. Results from the investigation will be discussed in terms of the utility of this particular model and possibilities for the application of alternative algorithms to behavior analytic technologies.
 
A Comparison of Methods for Assessing Preference for Negative Reinforcers
ROBERT R. PABICO (Marcus Autism Center and Children’s Healthcare of), Nathan A. Call (Marcus Autism Center and Emory University School of Medicine)
Abstract: In a recent study, (Call, Pabico, & Lomas, in press) potential negative reinforcers were identified for inclusion in functional analyses using average latency to the first instance of problem behavior. While this methodology shows promise for use in the assessment of problem behavior, it may be worthwhile to identify alternative methods for assessing preference for negative reinforcers. The purpose of the current study was to evaluate a paired stimulus methodology for evaluating preferences for potential negative reinforcers adapted from the preference assessment method described by Fisher et al. (1992). This methodology was compared and contrasted with that described by Call et al. in terms of results, as well as the relative advantages and disadvantages of the two methods. Interobserver agreement data were collected for at least 20% of sessions and always exceeded 80% agreement.
 
Demand Curve Validation of Preference Assessment Predictions
DEREK D. REED (The May Institute), Jennifer Dawn Magnuson (The May Institute), Stefanie Fillers (May Institute), Shawn Vieira (May Institute), Hanna C. Rue (The May Institute), James K. Luiselli (The May Institute)
Abstract: This study examined the degree to which three formal preference assessments (i.e., paired-stimulus, multiple-stimulus without replacement, and a free-operant procedure) successfully identified reinforcers from six edibles in a subsequent reinforcement assessment. Across all three preference assessment types, accuracy in the identification of the top three reinforcers was 67%. A subsequent demand curve analysis was conducted using the entire hierarchy of low-, moderate-, and high-preferred edibles. Results are discussed with regards to the efficiency of preference assessments and the utility of progressive-ratio schedules in quickly identifying efficacious rewards.
 
A Systematic Evaluation of Response Effort and Reinforcer Delay on Choice Responding
AMY POLICK (Auburn University), James M. Johnston (Auburn University)
Abstract: A number of studies have investigated the effects of manipulating the physical effort required for an individual to emit a response. This research overwhelmingly shows that as force requirements increase, response rates decrease (Friman & Poling, 1995). However, the literature does not clarify the variables underlying the changes in responding after effort is applied. It is not clear whether increasing effort serves as a form of punishment or whether it merely delays access to reinforcement (i.e. effortful responses take longer to complete). We investigated the relations between physical effort and reinforcer delay and their effects on choice responding using a concurrent matching to sample task with three preschool-aged children. Results of the study showed that participants exhibited a stronger preference for low effort tasks when paired with high effort ones (M=96% response allocation) than they did for tasks resulting in immediate reinforcement versus a delay of 30 s (M=71%). The results extend the current research on response effort and reinforcer delay and provide a novel procedure for evaluating preference in a choice context.
 
 
Symposium #29
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Assessment and treatment behavior maintained by automatic reinforcement
Saturday, May 23, 2009
1:00 PM–2:20 PM
North 128
Area: DDA/AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Louis P. Hagopian (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
CE Instructor: Tiffaney Esposito, M.S.
Abstract: Although the assessment and treatment of problem behavior maintained by automatic reinforcement poses many challenges, interventions such as competing stimuli and response interruption continue to show promise. Presenters in the current symposium will review findings on the assessment and treatment of pica, motor stereotypy, and vocal stereotypy maintained by automatic reinforcement. Melissa Gonzalez from the Kennedy Krieger Institute will present data on the assessment of pica and a treatment demonstrating the use of competing stimuli and differential reinforcement of incompatible behavior (i.e., discarding of pica materials). Keira Moore from the New England Center for Children will present findings from a study examining the effectiveness of sensory integration (SI) therapy for the treatment of motor stereotypy which failed to demonstrate that SI was effective. Courtney Keegan from the May Institute will present a comparative analysis of treatments for vocal stereotypy using response interruption and redirection (RIRD) to engage in appropriate vocalizations versus RIRD to engage in physical demands. Jessica Barron from the New England Center for Children will present a comparative analysis of DRA with and without RIRD as a treatment for stereotypy while measuring collateral effects on performance and appropriate alternative behavior. Findings suggest that direct reductive procedures, such as RIRD, may be indicated for reducing automatically-reinforced stereotypy.
 
The treatment of pica with competing stimuli and differential reinforcement of an incompatible response
MELISSA LUKE GONZALEZ (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Louis P. Hagopian (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Abstract: Behavior maintained by automatic reinforcement can be difficult to treat given that the specific source of reinforcement (i.e., source of stimulation or sensory attenuation) maintaining the response is difficult to precisely identify or directly control. Pica is a behavior that poses a high risk for injury. When maintained by automatic reinforcement this behavior may present unique challenges in terms accurate, yet safe behavioral assessment and effective treatment. The current study describes the assessment and treatment of pica in a female diagnosed with autism and severe intellectual disability. Functional analyses determined that pica was maintained by automatic reinforcement. Initial treatment evaluations indicated that competing stimuli were not effective in reducing pica to clinically significant levels. The addition of response blocking reduced incidents of pica, but did not decrease the rate at which she picked up items from the floor. A treatment incorporating differential reinforcement of an incompatible behavior (discarding pica materials) was effective in reducing pica. This treatment was generalized across staff, settings, and pica items varying in degrees of preference.
 
Sensory Integration as a Treatment for Automatically Reinforced Behavior
KEIRA M MOORE (New England Center for Children), Catia Cividini-Motta (New England Center for Children), Jennifer Dashner (New England Center for Children), Dana Justice (New England Center for Children), Kathy Clark (New England Center for Children), William H. Ahearn (New England Center for Children)
Abstract: According to sensory integration (SI) theory, autism is caused by an individual’s inability to integrate and adaptively respond to sensory input (Ayres, 2005). It can be presumed that SI would be most effective for behavior maintained by sensory consequences and if it is effective then it is likely due to SI serving as an abolishing operation. Two students with automatically reinforced motor stereotypy and autism participated in this study. Following functional analysis, an Occupational Therapist selected sensory activities to present to the participants for SI. These items were also assessed to determine whether they competed with motor stereotypy by providing access to the items and recording stereotypy and engagement. The effect of SI on stereotypy was evaluated in an ABAB-type design. Stereotypy was measured twice daily, 2-3 times per week during baseline and treatment. SI was implemented by providing access to the items on a daily basis 6 to 7 times a day for 10-15 minutes every hour of the school day. Results showed that the sensory diet was not successful in decreasing target behavior for either participant. The results of this study do not support SI as an effective treatment approach.
 
Further evaluation of response interruption as a treatment for vocal stereotypy
COURTNEY L KEEGAN (May Institute), April S. Worsdell (May Institute), Philip Cook (May Institute), Meghan M. Holligan Whitney (May Institute), Sandra G. Rivers (May Institute), Ryan Schweck (May Institute)
Abstract: The occurrence of vocal stereotypy often interferes with learning and socialization in children with autism; as a result, it is important to identify interventions that are effective in reducing this behavior. In a recent study, Ahearn et al. (2007) successfully decreased the vocal stereotypy of four children with autism with a response interruption and redirection (RIRD) procedure involving the contingent delivery of vocal demands. The purpose of this study will be to extend the findings of Ahearn et al. by comparing two treatments for automatically-maintained vocal stereotypy. In the first intervention, vocal stereotypy will be interrupted by an immediate redirection to engage in appropriate vocalizations (i.e., Vocal RIRD); the second intervention will involve the interruption of vocal stereotypy with a redirection to engage in physical demands (i.e., Physical RIRD). Currently, two children with autism are in various stages of data collection, and we expect 1-2 additional children to participate. Researchers anticipate one of two possible results: (a) one RIRD intervention will be more effective than the other in suppressing vocal stereotypy; or (b) both Vocal RIRD and Physical RIRD will be equally effective at reducing vocal stereotypy.
 
Comparison of differential reinforcement of alternative behavior alone and in combination with response interruption and redirection for treating automatically-reinforced stereotypy
Eileen M. Roscoe (New England Center for Children), Jason C. Bourret (New England Center for Children), Gesell Gavidia (New England Center for Children), JESSICA L SEAVER (New England Center for Children)
Abstract: Response interruption and redirection (RIRD) alone and in combination with reinforcement-based interventions have been effective in reducing automatically-reinforced stereotypy. However, it is unclear whether differential reinforcement of an alternative behavior (DRA) alone would be effective in decreasing stereotypy. In addition, it is unclear whether the combination of DRA and redirection may affect appropriate alternative responding. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the relative effectiveness of DRA alone and in combination with RIRD as treatment for stereotypy while measuring collateral effects on accuracy and rate of completion of appropriate alternative behavior. Three individuals, with an autism spectrum disorder, who exhibited motor stereotypy maintained by automatic reinforcement, participated. The effects of DRA alone and DRA with RIRD were evaluated using a combination of reversal and multielement designs. During DRA, a high preference edible was delivered contingent on an appropriate academic response, and no programmed consequences were provided for motor stereotypy. During DRA with RIRD, a redirection procedure was added, which involved interruption and presentation of instructions to engage in motor compliances contingent on stereotypy. Results suggest that direct reductive procedures, such as RIRD, may be necessary for reducing automatically-reinforced stereotypy. However, RIRD did not negatively impact academic performance.
 
 
Symposium #38
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
The Application of Precision Teaching Methodologies into an Inclusive Elementary School Program
Saturday, May 23, 2009
1:00 PM–2:20 PM
North 121 BC
Area: EDC/AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Alison L. Moors (Academy for Precision Learning)
Discussant: Alison L. Moors (Academy for Precision Learning)
CE Instructor: Guy Bruce, Ed.D.
Abstract: Throughout the years, Precision Teaching methodologies have been linked to successful implementations within programs which serve general education students, those with learning disabilities/Attention problems and in one on one teaching situations with students on the autism spectrum. This symposium will highlight the use of Precision Teaching methodologies within a private elementary school with a special focus on including all types of learners (from gifted, to general education to those with learning disabilities to those diagnosed on the autism spectrum). Data will be presented which highlights the effectiveness of the staff training protocol in place, the successful strategies for classroom management for multiple students working on timed practice simultaneously and how to program for skill sets that successfully generalize into general education classrooms. This symposium will help professionals identify the critical features necessary for implementation of an effective inclusion program whereas all students are learning to their maximum potential using Precision Teaching.
 
"Usability" checks: manipulating one to one teaching protocols for maximum usefulness in inclusive environments.
LOVELLE T SUAREZ (Academy for Precision Learning), Alison L. Moors (Academy for Precision Learning)
Abstract: This study investigates the systematic manipulation of structured one on one Fluency Based Instruction teaching methods and the effects of those manipulations on the application of those skill sets within and across learning environments. All participants in the study are between the ages of 6 and 12, have a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder, and attend a private inclusive elementary program. All data was collected in situ by a variety of school staff members throughout the school day (6 ½ hours). Findings of the study provide information regarding successful manipulations of structured teaching time in order to increase the “usability” and accuracy of those skill sets in a more naturalistic environment.
 
Help...I'm outnumbered!
NICOLE GEORGIS (Academy for Precision Learning), Alison L. Moors (Academy for Precision Learning)
Abstract: A common complaint of teachers attempting to implement Precision Teaching methodologies into their general education classrooms is the perceived amount of teacher effort required to follow the protocol. How does one person deliver individualized precision teaching to a group of students? This paper will present one classroom teachers’ methods for incorporating Precision Teaching into her classroom. Participants were students in an inclusive private elementary 5th grade classroom. Student abilities range from general education to Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and those on the Autism Spectrum. Data will be presented to show student progress on academic skills as a result of peer coaching, student’s charting their own practice data and student’s learning effective study strategies.
 
Staff Training and its Impact on Student Success
VALORI N. BERENDS (Academy for Precision Learning), Alison L. Moors (Academy for Precision Learning)
Abstract: This study evaluated the effect of implementing a staff training tool/feedback and its effect on child progress in an inclusive elementary education program which utilizes Precision Teaching methodologies with its students. This program is a private school for students ages 6-12 years of age. The students‘s abilities range across the autism spectrum. Five male and female staff members participated in the study. Staff ages ranged from 20 to 30 years and these staff had a variety of entering experience levels with implementing Precision Teaching methodologies in previous work settings. The study used a comparison design, and the program’s clinical director implemented the staff training tool and provided feedback to staff. Participants collected data on child goal-attainment and the number of tasks completed during instructional time. Findings of the study indicate the validity of the staff training tool and feedback for effecting child progress.
 
 
Invited Symposium #42
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
The Bigger Picture from Infancy to Evolution: Genes, Development, and Behavior Analysis
Saturday, May 23, 2009
2:00 PM–3:20 PM
West 301 AB
Area: DEV/TPC; Domain: Experimental Analysis
Chair: Martha Pelaez (Florida International University)
Discussant: Susan M. Schneider (Florida International University)
CE Instructor: Jeannie Golden, Ph.D.
Abstract: In evolution's indelicate dance, behavior leads as well as follows genetic change--and infancy is an individual and theoretical proving ground tougher than Dancing with the Stars. What with rapid physical, behavioral, emotional, sexual, and social development, hormonal and neurophysiological changes, genetic differences, immediate early genes being turned on and off, and learning's accelerating trajectory, the scientific challenges can present a blooming, buzzing confusion. Further, it's easy to show that both behavior and biology stem from the pas de deux of 100% genes and 100% environment; we can "can" the simplistic square dance in favor of the higher exponentials. So where do operant learning and classical conditioning fit in? Pioneering behavior analysts showed how operant contingencies help shape infant babbling and language acquisition, songbird song learning, and filial imprinting, to name a few examples. That was just the beginning. As for evolutionary beginnings, even Darwin and Lamarck recognized the driving power of behavior change, one of the ultimate engines of diversity. The symposium participants will spell out the choreography, with a focus on illuminating the starring role behavior analysis can play in the next frontier of nature & nurture.
 
"The Trilling Wire in the Blood…”: What Can We Mean by Nature and Nurture in the First Place?
PAUL THOMAS ANDRONIS (Northern Michigan University)
Abstract: Nature/nurture debates typically focus on the extent to which the behavior of organisms is best accounted for by the phylogenetically determined innate physiology and anatomy of the organisms themselves, or by proximal formative processes of nurture. Disputes arise because some behavior seems to be a rather direct result of physical architecture (behavior called “instinct”), and not the result of historical processes during the individual organisms’ lifetimes (behavior described as “learned”). Aristotle argued for the priority of final (teleological) causes, presaging Darwin’s selection by consequences. My paper argues that this may in fact be an adequate resolution for the nature/nurture question, particularly when we extend the selection metaphor from evolutionary theory to operants and proximal behavioral histories. The rich variety of behavior in nature suggests that we abandon overarching statements about causes of behavior and examine the particulars. The behavior analytic approach should integrate what we have learned from biology with our hard-fought knowledge of how the environment contributes to behavior under complex historical conditions. Examples from nonhuman animals in their natural ecologies, as well as humans enthralled in cultural contingencies, reveal the usefulness of this approach.
 
On Heritability and Inheritability: How Behavior Contributes to Genetic Expression
DAVID S. MOORE (Pitzer College and Claremont Graduate University)
Abstract: Behavior geneticists have traditionally sought evidence that genes contribute to behavior, whereas behavior analysts have traditionally sought to understand behavior's more proximal causes. Now, decades after advocates of a systems view of development began arguing that insight into the origins of behavioral characteristics would require an understanding of how genes and non-genetic factors interact during development, studies have demonstrated that epigenetic mechanisms allow some behaviors to influence genetic expression. Indeed, genes and behavior influence each other bidirectionally. In contrast to traits that behavior geneticists have found to be heritable, epigenetic characteristics are genuinely inheritable (i.e., passed from generation to generation); thus, behaviors produced in one generation can influence genetic activity in subsequent generations, influencing descendants' behaviors, as well. Remarkably, studies combining the methods of behavior analysis and molecular biology have produced results consistent with the predictions of developmental systems theorists. This talk will critically analyze behavior geneticists' heritability statistic (which doesn't really mean what it sounds like it means), present data on how parental behaviors can influence genetic expression in offspring, and consider the implications of these findings for our understanding of evolution.
 
Sex Differences in Development: Contributions from Inherited Experiential Resources
CELIA L. MOORE (University of Massachusetts Boston)
Abstract: Development is a constructive process that requires enduring, multi-leveled connections among the heterogeneous elements that constitute nature and nurture. Developmental systems theorists have the data to show that explanations of species-typical outcomes can be found without invoking endpoints (e.g., genetic plans) that preexist in the initial state. An expanded view of inheritance that includes heterogeneous resources--including learning and other forms of experience--is a key part of such explanations. Sex differences in behavior provide opportunities to examine the processes that lead to divergent endpoints in organisms with few or no genetic differences at conception. (Sex is not always determined genetically.) Over the past three decades, researchers have identified quite a diverse array of contributors to reliably divergent developmental pathways. Some contributors arise from endogenous processes in the developing organism (e.g., nerve-muscle interactions and biased sensory innervation in the pudendal system) and some are generated by the mother as a ubiquitous part of the early environment of her offspring. For example, tactile stimulation from licking and grooming in rats is reliably present and reliably different for the two sexes--and turns out to entail operant involvement. Small differences in the availability of resources may be magnified in development to produce large differences in developmental outcome.
 
 
Symposium #57
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Current Research in Verbal Behavior
Saturday, May 23, 2009
2:30 PM–3:50 PM
North 129 A
Area: DDA/AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Paul D. Neuman (Bryn Mawr College)
Discussant: Philip N. Hineline (Temple University)
CE Instructor: Frank Bird, M.Ed.
Abstract: Applied behavior analysts have a rich history of teaching socially important behavior to individuals with developmental disabilities, autism and language delay. Less often, the learning of more complex social behavior is studied with typically developing children. Response prompting, reinforcement, generalization, and maintenance have all been extensively studied to identify best teaching practices. This symposium will examine prompting to establish tacts, several methods for teaching intraverbals to individuals with verbal deficits and several methods for teaching autoclitics to improve “social skills.” . Each study focuses on a different unit of verbal with individuals with distint deficits. The first study, presented by Catia Cividini-Motta, explores the teaching of tacts using social stimuli as reinforcers. The second examination, presented by Nicole M. Trosclair-Lasserre, compares three methods for teaching intraverbals. In the third study, presented by Jennifer Wade, simple mands, component autoclitics comprised of more basic verbal operants, and parsimonious autoclitics are taught to typically developing children. The distinguished verbal behavior scholar, Philip N. Hineline, will serve as the discussant.
 
Establishing Joint Attention Responses Using Social Stimuli as Reinforcers While Providing Opportunities to Tact
CATIA CIVIDINI-MOTTA (New England Center for Children), Tala Williford (New England Center for Children), Kathy Clark (New England Center for Children), William H. Ahearn (The New England Center for Children)
Abstract: The current research project assessed the effectiveness of using social stimuli and prompting to establish tact responses in 2 individuals diagnosed with Autism. Because tacts are maintained by either generalized or social reinforcers, it may be best to teach them using social stimuli as reinforcers. A reinforcer assessment of social stimuli was conducted and the results suggested two social reinforcers for use during the training phase. A multiple baseline across responses design was used to demonstrate experimental control. Baseline consisted of two sets of five trials in which no consequences were delivered for responding. During training, one of the two social consequences was delivered contingent on the target response, for both prompted and independent responses. The training phase continued until each one of the responses met the mastery criteria of 90% independent across two consecutive sessions. Interobserver (IOA) agreement data was collected over 33% of the sessions across both the reinforcer and the training phases and it averaged over 90% agreement. The results of this project suggested that social stimuli combined with prompting are effective for establishing joint attention responses during tact training with students diagnosed with autism.
 
Evaluation of Three Methods for Teaching Intraverbals to Children with Language Delays
NICOLE M. TROSCLAIR-LASSERRE (LSUHSC – Human Development Center), Dorothea C. Lerman (University of Houston-Clear Lake), Crystal N. Bowen (Marcus Autism Center), Joslyn N. Cynkus (Louisiana State University), Nathan A. Call (Marcus Autism Center and Emory University School of Medicine)
Abstract: Direct instruction is often necessary to develop language or expand language use in individuals with language delays. Previous research has begun to identify certain training conditions that result in more efficient use of instructional time devoted to language development. Specifically, incorporating mands into the instructional arrangement, increasing the quality of reinforcement delivered for interspersed tasks, and including instructive feedback stimuli into the consequences of learning trials have all demonstrated more efficient learning of targeted language skills. The purpose of the current investigation was to compare three methods for teaching intraverbals to individuals with deficits in this area. Interobserver agreement was collected for at least 48% of sessions and agreement coefficients exceeded 97% for all participants. Training conditions incorporating mands into instruction did not result in faster acquisition of intraverbals relative to the instructive feedback condition. Two out of three participants acquired new intraverbals related to the instructive feedback stimuli; however, the third participant did not acquire intraverbals presented as instructive feedback even when direct instruction was initiated. Generalization was not explicitly programmed but was observed for two participants. Finally, no single training condition was associated with improved maintenance relative to the other conditions.
 
Establishing manipulative autoclitics in young children’s repertoires as a method for improving social skills
JENIFER A. WADE (Temple University), Philip N. Hineline (Temple University)
Abstract: The study of verbal operants has received considerable attention; however, autoclitics have generally been overlooked in experimental and applied domains. Autoclitics can be defined as verbal operants modifying other verbal operants or the effect of these operants upon the listener. Autoclitics emitted by the speaker require discrimination of the listener’s reaction in order to be effective. Placing autoclitics in a larger framework, verbal behavior relevant to what we speak of as social skills, persuasion, and conversation can be analyzed in part by in depth consideration of autoclitics. The current study implements several methods aimed at establishing autoclitics likely to improve what we speak of as “social skills.” Simple mands, component autoclitics comprised of more basic verbal operants, and parsimonious autoclitics were taught to typically developing children. Preliminary data suggest that differences in use and variation of autoclitics exist both in speaker and listener repertoires based upon method of establishing such autoclitics, and that automatic transfer often occurs between speaker and listener roles (eg. pliance) after participation in speaker roles alone. The wide scope implications not only for educational domains, but for more varied social domains are discussed.
 
 
Symposium #74
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Improving Social Interactions in Children with Autism: Clinical Applications of the “Conversation Box”
Saturday, May 23, 2009
3:30 PM–4:50 PM
North 124 B
Area: AUT/EDC; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: David M. Corcoran (Beacon Services)
Discussant: Matthew Howarth (BEACON Services)
CE Instructor: Katherine A. Johnson, M.A..
Abstract: Challenges in initiating, responding, and maintaining social language are one of the defining characteristics of PDD/autism. Visual supports such as the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS), Frost & Bondy, (1994), have resulted in the acquisition of functional communication skills. In addition, these procedures have been shown to have positive collateral effects on the production of speech in many children. However, when speech emerges, for some children the speech may be limited to the use of mands and tacts. There is a critical need to expand the use of procedures used in language development for children with autism and other disabilities to teach and maintain intraverbal language. This symposium examines the use of a “conversation box” (Hahn, Filer, & Ross 2008) to support social interactions between children with PDD/ASD in a range of education settings. The interventions in this symposium took place in early childhood education settings, elementary schools and in middle school classrooms. Strategies for incorporating typically developing peers in to the conversation box routines, as well as procedure for fading materials to minimize intrusiveness in public school settings are also reviewed.
 
Social/Verbal Interaction between Children with PDD and Typical Peers
DAVID M. CORCORAN (Beacon Services), Stephanie Beard (BEACON Services), Robert K. Ross (BEACON Services)
Abstract: Many children with ASD demonstrate significant difficulty in production and fluent use of social language (Ricks & Wing, 1975). However, the use of a “conversation box” has been shown to support the acquisition and spontaneous production of social language (Hahn, Filer and Ross, 2008). The current study assessed the effects of visually cued conversation starters (asking a question and making a statement) as well as topic maintainers (answering a question and returning a comment), through the use of a conversation box, to support production of social language responses, in 5 elementary age children and 1 middle school child, with PDD, with their typical peers. The material used within this study was unique in that it incorporated a physical exchange, which assisted topic maintenance and shifting. When criterion for learning was met, generalization of social and verbal interaction was assessed with untrained topics of conversation, novel peers, and other settings. Fluency of responding was also directly trained and measured. Subsequent fading procedures included; reducing adult support (presence) and use of text scripts rather than the conversation box. Data demonstrate that performances were maintained in the assessed natural contexts.
 
Using a Communication Box to Increase Social Conversation Skills: A Replication
KAREN NAULT (BEACON Services), Robert K. Ross (BEACON Services)
Abstract: One of the core deficits in children with autism is social communication. A number of authors have found that prior to specific instruction social interactions are often quite limited (e.g., Hendrickson, et al. 1982, Krantz & McClannahan 1993) among others. In a previous study conducted with two preschoolers with Pervasive Developmental Disorder, a communication box was used successfully to increase independent social conversation skills, including asking and answering questions and making statements (Hahn, Filer and Ross, 2008) in two preschoolers with Pervasive Developmental Disorder. The present study replicates the previous study, examining the use of a conversation box to teach initiation and maintenance of a topical conversation in three 5-year-olds with ASD. All three participants were in an inclusion program and participated in an after school social group. Each had programs targeting social conversation, but were dependent on verbal cues and modeling to initiate and maintain social conversations with peers. The use of the conversation box successfully decreased their dependence on teacher prompts, and increased the participants’ independence in beginning conversations, responding to questions, asking questions and waiting for the response. Collateral increases in appropriate eye contact, staying on topic, maintaining conversation and switching topics were also seen.
 
Use of a Conversation Box to Increase Social and Verbal Interactions in Children with Autism
LAURA D'ANTONA (BEACON Services), Joseph M. Vedora (BEACON Services), Robert K. Ross (BEACON Services)
Abstract: The spontaneous production of social language is a challenge for many children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) (Ricks & Wing, 1975). Visual supports have been shown to facilitate language production in children with ASD (Sarokoff, Taylor & Poulson, 2001). The purpose of the current study was to assess the effects of visually cued social interactions for several children with autism. Specifically, a conversation box comprised of visual scripts was used to support production of social language during snack and centers in a reversed integrated preschool. The scripts facilitated initiation of an interaction and topic maintenance of the conversation. Once criterion for learning was met, generalization of social and verbal interaction was assessed with untrained topics of conversation, novel peers, and other settings. The results indicated successful acquisition of targeted social interaction skills and generalization to untrained conditions.
 
 
Special Event #87
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
SQAB Tutorial: Cognitive Aging: A Behavior Theoretic Approach
Saturday, May 23, 2009
4:00 PM–4:50 PM
North 120 D
Area: EAB/DEV; Domain: Experimental Analysis
PSY/BACB CE Offered. CE Instructor: Eric Larsson, Ph.D.
Chair: Celia Wolk Gershenson (University of Minnesota)
Presenting Authors: : JOEL MYERSON (Washington University)
Abstract: As people get older, their behavior on many different kinds of tasks tends to become slower, less accurate, and more variable. I will describe a theoretical framework that focuses purely on the behavior emitted by younger and older adults performing response-time and memory span tasks. Our findings support some distinctions in the cognitive psychology literature but not others, and our approach provides empirical bases for deciding which distinctions need to be made and which do not. For example, data on age-related behavioral slowing support the distinction between verbal and visuospatial processing, with the latter being much more sensitive to the effects of age. Within the verbal and visuospatial domains, however, there is little support for distinguishing between different kinds of information-processing operations, at least from an aging perspective. Similarly, data on age-related declines in working memory are also consistent with greater effects of age on memory for visuospatial information, but within each domain performance on simple span tasks declines as rapidly as performance on complex span tasks. Finally, the increased variability in older adults’ performance turns out to be an indirect consequence of the fact that they are slower, and not a direct effect of aging at all. Joel Myerson’s convoluted career path began at the University of Michigan. An ardent science fiction fan, he switched from art to psychology after deciding the most important thing he could do with his life was contribute to the development of space travel. The way to do that, he reasoned, was by becoming a scientist, and the only science he was interested in was psychology. As a graduate student at Arizona State University, he trained monkeys for NASA, and was well on the way to fulfilling his dream. Unfortunately, the effort to turn A. S. U. into Fort Skinner in the desert failed shortly after he arrived, and most of the behavioral faculty left, ending the NASA contract. Fortunately, Peter Killeen decided to stay, and Joel became his student. After a series of post-docs and teaching positions, he and his wife Sandy Hale ended up at Washington University. Since 1992, Joel has been a Research Professor, collaborating with Sandy on cognitive aging research and doing behavioral economics research with Len Green. As Seneca the Younger wrote, “non est ad astra mollis e terris via” (especially if you are afraid to fly), but you can still accomplish a lot in St. Louis.
 
JOEL MYERSON (Washington University)
 
 
Symposium #153
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Distance Learning for Parents and Personnel: Instructional Design, Evaluation and Future Directions for Research
Sunday, May 24, 2009
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
North 124 B
Area: AUT/EDC; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Leslie A. Morrison (UMass Medical School- Shriver Center)
CE Instructor: Mark L. Sundberg, Ph.D.
Abstract: Four papers are presented on the application of online learning to educate parents, paraprofessionals and professionals in behavioral intervention applied to autism and to diverse topics if interest to early intervention professionals. The focus of the first three presentations is to: 1) describe instructional design methods used to meet the specific needs of each of the target audiences; 2) illustrate selected course features, including text presentation, Flash programming, and applications of three types of video – brief parent-documentaries, demonstrations of behavioral procedures and automated interactive exercises; 3) present formative evaluation information, including how it was applied to course development; and 4) present summative field evaluation data. The fourth paper summarizes the instructional methodology presented in the first three papers in the context of future development strategies. Opportunities to build upon the methods by employing multi-media technology as a means of moving from primarily educational to increasingly training-oriented course objectives will be examined.
 
Educating Parents of Children with ASD in Behavioral Intervention: An Online Program
ELISE A. STOKES (Shriver/UMass Medical School), Richard K. Fleming (Shriver/UMass Medical School), Elaine Gabovitch (Shriver/UMass Medical School), Melissa C. T. Maslin (Shriver/UMass Medical School), Richard W. Serna (University of Massachusetts Medical School - Shriv), Maura Buckley (Praxis, Inc.), Cheryl Gray (Praxis, Inc.), Paul Roselli (Corporate Film & Video Productions, LLC)
Abstract: When a child receives an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) diagnosis, the parents are faced with a whirlwind of anecdotal accounts from other parents, promises of a ‘cure,’ and dramatic stories told by the media. To address the need for accurate information for parents of children newly diagnosed with ASD, the authors have created an online course in Behavioral Intervention (BI) that is especially geared to parents. The course teaches BI by presenting each topic in three layers: 1) basic information written in a parent-friendly style; 2) more in-depth and technical information, replete with examples and interactive exercises; and 3) links to supporting literature and Internet resources. Interwoven with this instructional content, throughout the course, are short parent-interview video clips that document the experiences and stories of 5 families as they adopted and used BI. This paper describes and illustrates the course by presenting its instructional methodology, BI topics covered, parent and professional focus group data, video footage of parents and an interactive video exercise.
 
Behavioral Intervention Skills for Entry-Level Paraprofessionals
LESLIE A. MORRISON (UMass Medical School- Shriver Center), Richard K. Fleming (Shriver/UMass Medical School), Charles Hamad (UMASS Medical School), Cheryl Gray (Praxis, Inc.), Richard W. Serna (University of Massachusetts Medical School - Shriver Center)
Abstract: Behavioral Intervention in Autism-Practitioner Skills is an Internet-based distance learning program designed to introduce entry-level paraprofessionals and teacher aides, as well as parents and family members, to core behavioral intervention (BI) procedures in the treatment of young children with ASD. In an “instructorless” format, learners are guided through a series of sequential lessons that include reading online text (“lectures”) and viewing video footage that depicts providers, including parents and children with ASD, demonstrating critical BI procedures in both home- and school-based settings. In addition, self-assessments and practice exercises are utilized as a way for learners to assess knowledge acquired within the modules. The first phase in the development of this multi-module course consists of three modules: (1) Positive Reinforcement: Selection and Use of Reinforcement; (2) Relationship Building: Pairing and Teaching Cooperation; and (3) Prompting and Prompt Fading. Data from a field evaluation will be presented. A second phase of course development has been proposed, which would include up to 10 additional modules on BI procedures.
 
Educating Early Intervention Professionals in Current Topics through Distance Learning
RICHARD K. FLEMING (Shriver/UMass Medical School), Leslie A. Morrison (UMass Medical School- Shriver Center), Cindy K. Fleming (Praxis, Inc.), Cheryl Gray (Praxis, Inc.), Charles Hamad (UMASS Medical School)
Abstract: Early intervention professionals work in a highly multi-disciplinary environment. As such they stand to benefit from opportunities to supplement their expertise, by taking online courses on topics such as infant and toddler development, transition planning, team collaboration, assistive technology, naturalistic teaching methods and more. This paper presents formative evaluation methods and results, the development of audience-relevant learning objectives, the selection and implementation of instructional design features and summative evaluation procedures and data. Examples of design features, and summative evaluation data, are provided for several distinctively different courses. Our current use and continued development of an instructional design protocol is also presented.
 
Summary and Future Directions for Online Course Development
RICHARD W. SERNA (University of Massachusetts Medical School - Shriver Center), Richard K. Fleming (Shriver/UMass Medical School), Charles Hamad (UMASS Medical School)
Abstract: This paper will focus on future development strategies and methods that could move distance learning from primarily educational online courses to full training experiences. The previous three papers in this symposium described instructional methods designed to educate and, via some simulation, to train parents and personnel online. Advances in multi-media technology available to both developers and users present opportunities to greatly enhance those methods. Interactive video, live video for observation and feedback, and Flash-based learning environments are among the options that will be discussed for moving in this direction.
 
 
Symposium #161
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Behavior Analysis and the Legal System: Three Perspectives on a Wrongful Death Case and the Aftermath
Sunday, May 24, 2009
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
North 131 A
Area: CSE/DDA; Domain: Theory
Chair: Jon S. Bailey (FSU, BMC, FABA)
Discussant: Gina Green (San Diego State University)
CE Instructor: Rayni Anderson, M.Ed.
Abstract: This symposium will present three perspectives on a wrongful death case that was recently settled in Florida: The mother of the client who died, the attorney who represented the family, and the behavior analyst who was the expert witness for the plaintiffs. The issues concern the selection and training of the staff that were responsible for carrying out the behavior program and the supervision required to properly implement a behavioral program in the community. Our attorney will explain the legal and ethical implications and responsibilities for our field.
 
“My Favorite Person”
JENNIFER JENNINGS GLOVER (Mother)
Abstract: Ms. Glover will present the background on her son who was diagnosed with Prader-Willi Syndrome (PWS) as a child, the difficult decision for placement in a group home specializing in PWS as a teen and subsequently died several years later as a young adult in this facility which presented itself as a specialized behavioral treatment program for individuals diagnosed with PWS. Ms. Glover will conclude with the aftermath due to this tragic event.
 
The Behavior Analyst as an Expert Witness in a Wrongful Death Case: What we have to offer the legal system
JON S. BAILEY (FSU, BMC, FABA)
Abstract: Dr. Bailey will describe his role as an expert witness and some of the behavioral issues that were central to the case including issues of training of staff, design of the behavioral program, and the proper implementation and monitoring of the behavioral program, the failure of which resulted in the death of the client.
 
A new world of rights for vulnerable clients today
DEAN LEBOEUF (Brooks, LeBoeuf, Bennett, Foster & Gwartney, PA)
Abstract: Mr. LeBoeuf will address issues relevant to behavior analysts who are concerned with clients right to treatment under state statutes in Florida and other states. This Prader-Willi wrongful death case appears to open the door to litigation which holds treatment facilities responsible for providing proper care, treatment, and supervision. Advice for behavior analysts who wish to protect clients in their facilities will be provided.
 
 
Symposium #162a
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Examining Prompting Procedures During Skill Acquisition
Sunday, May 24, 2009
9:00 AM–10:20 PM
North 120 A
Area: DDA/AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: William H. Ahearn (The New England Center for Children)
Discussant: Wayne Fisher (Munroe-Meyer Institute, UNMC)
CE Instructor: Daniel J. Moran, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Applied behavior analysts have a rich history of teaching socially important behavior to individuals with developmental disabilities and autism. Response prompting, reinforcement, generalization, and maintenance have all been extensively studied to identify best teaching practices. This symposium will examine a number of issues related to prompting responses during skill acquisition. Each paper focuses on a different aspect of learning during skill acquisition. The first paper, presented by Laura Grow, explores the system of least prompts for teaching behavior chains and describes how such procedures are at risk for treatment integrity failures in naturalistic settings such as a classroom. The second paper, presented by Genevieve Fentress, compares the “no-no” prompting procedure to most-to-least prompting for teaching skills to children with autism. In the third paper, presented by Tiffany Kodak, four aspects of learning conditional discriminations (reinforcement, response prompting, attending, and exposure to sample stimuli) are examined. The distinguished former editor of JABA, Wayne Fisher, will serve as the discussant.

 
An Evaluation of the Effects of Treatment Integrity Failures on Acquisition during Instruction using the System of Least Prompts
LAURA L. GROW (Western Michigan University), James E. Carr (Auburn University), Kristin V Gunby (Kinark child and family services), Shaireen M. Charania (Kinark child and family services), Christina Gonsalves (Kinark Child and Family Services), Inas A Ktaech (Kinark Child and Family Services), April Kisamore (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: Teaching procedures such as the system of least prompts may be at risk for treatment integrity failures in naturalistic settings such as a classroom. Two studies have systematically assessed the impact of treatment integrity failures on the acquisition of new skills (Holcombe, Wolery, & Snyder, 1994; Noell, Gresham & Gansle, 2002). In the present study, we compared the acquisition and maintenance of response chains taught using a perfectly implemented system of least prompts and a flawed system of least prompts (i.e., addition of multiple verbal prompts and failure to follow through with more intrusive prompts). Four children, aged 6 to 9, participated in the study. An adapted alternating treatments design was used to compare the efficiency of learning during the system of least prompts and the flawed system of least prompts. Results were consistent with those obtained in previous studies in that the perfectly implemented and flawed prompting procedures were effective in teaching new skills for all participants. However, the perfectly implemented treatment required fewer trials to mastery for 3 of the 4 children.
 
A Comparison of the “No-No Prompt” and Most-To-Least Prompting Methods for Teaching Basic Skills to Children with Autism
GENEVIEVE M FENTRESS (University of Houston-Clear Lake), Dorothea C. Lerman (University of Houston-Clear Lake), Laura Harper-Dittlinger (University of Houston – Clear Lake)
Abstract: We investigated two prompting techniques commonly used to teach individuals with developmental disabilities. With most-to-least (MTL) prompting, skills are introduced and simultaneously paired with the most intrusive prompt necessary to achieve a correct response. Prompts are gradually faded over time. With the “no-no prompt” technique (NNP), the initial instruction is presented up to two times before a prompt is delivered. Although MTL prompting reduces the frequency of errors, this method may delay skill mastery by restricting opportunities for independent responding. Three children with autism participated. Combined multielement and multiple baseline designs were used to compare the teaching outcomes for each prompting method. Rate of skill mastery, frequency of errors, levels of problem behavior, and session length were examined for each method, along with the generalization and maintenance of skills. Although the NNP method resulted in faster skill acquisition, MTL prompting was associated with fewer errors, lower levels of problem behavior, and shorter session durations. In addition, skills taught via MTL prompting showed better maintenance and generalization effects than skills taught via the NNP technique.
 
Functional Assessment of Language Deficits: Linking Assessment and Treatment
TIFFANY KODAK (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Wayne Fisher (Munroe-Meyer Institute, UNMC), Andrea Clements Stearns (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Kelly J. Bouxsein (UNMC)
Abstract: Conditional discriminations are building blocks for the development of working vocabulary and language. Four function-based procedures for teaching conditional discriminations to individuals with ASD that have empirical support in the extant literature include:(a) using an empirically-identified reinforcer to increase motivation, (b) adding an extra-stimulus prompt to guide correct responding (i.e., errorless learning), (c) insuring that the individual is attending to the relevant characteristics of the sample or comparison stimuli through reinforcement of a differential observing response, and (d) repeatedly presenting each sample stimulus in isolation (i.e., in blocks of trials) until criterion-level performance is achieved. Each of these procedures has been shown to be effective with some individuals with autism, however, it is not clear which procedure should be selected for an individual who fails to acquire discriminations during typical instruction. Therefore, it is important to determine when these four specialized treatments should be used. The purpose of the evaluation was to refine and validate a rapid assessment for (a) identifying the function of a child’s poor performance on conditional discrimination tasks and (b) selecting the intervention from the four approaches described above that is functionally related to the child’s performance.
 
 
Symposium #163
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Evaluation of Antecedent-based Interventions for Problem behavior Maintained by Social Reinforcement
Sunday, May 24, 2009
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
North 128
Area: DDA/AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Eileen M. Roscoe (New England Center for Children)
Discussant: Richard G. Smith (University of North Texas)
CE Instructor: Dawn Bailey, Ph.D.
Abstract: Because consequent-based interventions (e.g., extinction) may not always be practical, it is important to evaluate antecedent-based interventions either alone or as additional enhancements to consequent-based manipulations. This symposium will include three papers describing various refinements or extensions of antecedent-based interventions for treating problem behavior maintained by social positive or social negative reinforcement. The first paper, delivered by Stephen Walker, will present data evaluating the immediate and subsequent effects of NCR (attention), while the schedule is systematically faded, for a participant with attention-maintained problem behavior. The second paper, delivered by Jill Harper, will discuss data evaluating a series of antecedent-based interventions, including vicarious reinforcement, conditioning of social interaction as a reinforcer, and stimulus fading, for treating problem behavior maintained by social avoidance. The third paper, delivered by Lynlea Longworth, will review data comparing the relative effects of NCR without extinction, using maintaining reinforcers versus arbitrary reinforcers, for reducing problem behavior maintained by social reinforcement. Rick Smith will serve as discussant and will highlight potential contributions, concerns, and future directions, associated with each of the papers presented.
 
Immediate and Subsequent Effects of Fixed-Time Delivery of Reinforcement on Problem Behavior Maintained by Attention
STEPHEN F WALKER (University of North Texas), Joseph D. Dracobly (University of North Texas), Richard G. Smith (University of North Texas), Lauren A Cherryholmes (AdvoServ), Bailey Devine (University of North Texas), Nicole G Suchomel (University of North Texas), Claire Anderson (University of North Texas), Jessica Hobbs (University of North Texas)
Abstract: A functional analysis indicated that access to attention was the probable maintaining variable for problem behavior exhibited by a woman with developmental disabilities. The effects of fixed-time (FT) attention were evaluated using a three component, mixed schedule of reinforcement. In components 1 and 3, FR1 (attention) was in effect for problem behavior; in component 2 attention was delivered according to FT schedules. Initial FT values began with continuous attention, and were faded to FT 7 min. Results showed suppression of problem behavior during the second component across FT values, as well as lower response measures in the 3rd (FR1) component relative to the 1st (FR1) component. Implementation of the FT schedule across components resulted in increases in problem behavior relative to previous implementations of the FT treatment. Therefore, an analysis of potential effects of the FR1 components on responding during the FT component was conducted.
 
Assessment and Treatment of Problem Behavior Maintained by Social Avoidance
JILL M. HARPER (University of Florida), Brian A. Iwata (University of Florida), Erin Camp (University of Florida)
Abstract: Problem behavior maintained by social-negative reinforcement typically involves escape from a specific type of social interaction—the presentation of task demands. Some individuals, however, may exhibit a more general form of social avoidance in which problem behavior occurs in the presence of a wider range of social interactions. Although social avoidance might be inferred from unusual response patterns during a functional analysis, it can be confirmed directly. This study involved the assessment and treatment of problem behavior maintained by social avoidance. Three participants exhibited high rates of problem behavior during the play or demand conditions of an initial functional analysis. A subsequent analysis was then conducted in which problem behavior produced escape from social interaction that did not include the presentation of any demands. A series of interventions was then implemented, which included vicarious reinforcement (via peer modeling), conditioning of social interaction as a reinforcer, and stimulus fading
 
Noncontingent Reinforcement: A Comparison of Arbitrary and Maintaining Reinforcers
LYNLEA J. LONGWORTH (New England Center for Children), Eileen M. Roscoe (New England Center for Children), Nancy A. Perhot (New England Center for Children), Gesell Gavidia (New England Center for Children)
Abstract: Although noncontingent reinforcement (NCR) has been found effective for treating socially-maintained problem behavior, it is unclear whether NCR is effective in the absence of extinction and when reinforcers, other than those maintaining problem behavior, are delivered. The purpose of this study was to compare the relative effects of NCR without extinction, using maintaining reinforcers versus arbitrary reinforcers, for reducing problem behavior maintained by social reinforcement. Four individuals, diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, whose problem behavior was maintained by either attention (n = 2) or by escape from demands (n = 2) participated. Pre-assessments were conducted to ensure that the arbitrary reinforcer used functioned as a reinforcer for an arbitrary response, but did not maintain problem behavior. NCR using the maintaining reinforcer involved response independent delivery of either attention or escape, whereas NCR using the arbitrary reinforcer involved response independent delivery of the arbitrary reinforcer (an edible). During both types of NCR, extinction was not in effect. Results suggest that, for most participants, NCR using the maintaining reinforcer may be more effective than NCR using an arbitrary reinforcer.
 
 
Symposium #165
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Science Board Translational Series: History and current status of translational research in behavioral economics
Sunday, May 24, 2009
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
North 226 AB
Area: EAB/TPC; Domain: Experimental Analysis
Chair: Gregory P. Hanley (Western New England College)
Discussant: Gregory P. Hanley (Western New England College)
CE Instructor: Laura Kenneally, Ed.D.
Abstract: Basic and applied research interdependence has always been a hallmark of the field of behavior analysis. The continuance of this interdependence is important because it increases the odds that basic research will be relevant and applied research will be effective. Translational researchers may be considered the mediators of this relationship, with one foot firmly planted on the ground in basic area and the other firmly planted in the applied area. This symposium will provide an opportunity for three leading translational researchers to highlight some important conceptual and empirical developments in the rich translational area of behavioral economics, which is a subfield of behavior analysis in which the principles of microeconomics are used to understand responding in both experimentally-controlled and ecologically-valid conditions.
 
Behavioral economics in the clinic: Translational research on substitutability, demand, and unit price in the treatment of behavior disorders
ISER GUILLERMO DELEON (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Michelle A. Frank (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Mandy M. Triggs (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Abbey Carreau (Kennedy Krieger Institutue), Meagan Gregory (University of Florida), Melissa J. Allman (Kennedy Krieger Institute/Hopkins)
Abstract: Behavior analysts have increasingly applied economic concepts towards understanding issues of social significance in areas such as consumer choice, gambling, and substance abuse. We present a translational progression of studies that apply economic concepts in work with individuals with developmental disabilities, culminating in demonstrations of their implications for the treatment of behavior disorders. Initial laboratory investigations revealed greater elasticity of demand given unit price increases when available alternatives were functionally similar (i.e., functionally similar alternatives were more substitutable). In subsequent clinical studies, this general theme was extended towards: (a) examining the benefits of considering relative substitutability when arranging interventions for behavior disorders, and (b) examining how the analyses required to identify these relations can be made practical and practicable in applied settings.
 
Preliminary analyses of price manipulations: Commodity type and cost-benefit constituents
JOHN C. BORRERO (University of Maryland, Baltimore County), Christopher E. Bullock (University of Nebraska Medical Center), Michelle A. Frank (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Nicole Lynn Hausman (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Abstract: Basic behavior analysts, and more recently applied behavior analysts, have recognized that constructs from traditional economic research may inform, and in some cases, improve upon characterizations of “stimulus value.” This has been accomplished by an elegant synthesis between economic principles and behavior analytic methods. In this presentation, preliminary data from a human operant laboratory will be reported. One goal of this research was to determine the extent to which college students would respond in accord with prevailing price manipulations in a three choice (concurrent) schedule arrangement (i.e., selecting the alternative with the lowest price). A second goal of this research was to determine whether differential responding could be detected as a function of commodity type (video segments vs. points). A final goal of this research was to determine whether differential responding could be detected based on how cost and benefit constituents were progressively altered (in one case cost increased, while the benefit component remained fixed, in the other case, cost was fixed, while the benefit component decreased). Results will be discussed in terms of the implications of unit price and related to relevant applied literature.
 
Behavioral economics in the lab: Delay discounting, drug taking, and pathological gambling
GREGORY J. MADDEN (University of Kansas), Adam T. Brewer (University of Kansas), Patrick S. Johnson (University of Kansas), Jonathan W. Pinkston (University of Kansas), James H. Woods (University of Michigan)
Abstract: Economists have long studied how behavioral consequences lose their value as they are delivered after longer and longer delays; a process referred to as “delay discounting.” While economists took a top-down, rational-choice approach to discounting, behavioral scientists took a bottom-up, inductive approach to the topic. The result of the latter is the discovery of regularities in delay discounting which may be observed across a number of species (including humans). The quantitative particulars of this seemingly universal discounting process will be explained in an easy-to-follow fashion. Next, we will outline empirical findings (some of them from our lab) suggesting nature, nurture, and pharmacological factors affect delay discounting. Finally, we will summarize how these factors may pre-dispose (or simply dispose) individuals toward drug-taking and gambling.
 
 
Symposium #167
CE Offered: PSY
Response-reinforcer dependency: Research and application
Sunday, May 24, 2009
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
North 225
Area: EAB/CBM; Domain: Experimental Analysis
Chair: Carlos Cançado (West Virginia University)
Abstract: The effects of altering the response-reinforcer dependency in different research contexts and with different species are analyzed, with a focus on the relations between basic and applied findings. Cancado, Kuroda, Dickson, Elcoro and Lattal, manipulated in both ascending and descending orders, the proportion of response-dependent reinforcement over pigeon’s key-pecking maintained by multiple fixed-time–variable-time schedules of reinforcement. Defulio, Donlin, Wong and Silverman, compared the effects of long term clinical interventions arranging abstinence-dependent employment or employment only on the relapse of cocaine use in methadone patients and comparatively assessed its effects on drug relapse prevention. St. Peter-Pipkin, Alo and Brosh analyzed the effects of different response-reinforcer dependencies on treatment integrity, using human operant and applied procedures that employed concomitant schedules of reinforcement. The authors will discuss their results in light of basic schedule research as it can inform application. Finally, Samaha and Vollmer present results of several studies with rats in which response acquisition and maintenance were assessed by manipulating the probability of reinforcement dependent on the occurrence and non-occurrence of behavior. The four presentations stress the importance of understanding the behavioral effects of altering the response-reinforcer dependency and the implications of integrating basic and applied findings on this research topic.
 
Effects of response-reinforcer dependency on variable- and fixed-interval responding
CARLOS CANÇADO (West Virginia University), Toshikazu Kuroda (West Virginia University), Chata A. Dickson (West Virginia University), Mirari Elcoro (Armstrong Atlantic State University), Kennon A. Lattal (West Virginia University)
Abstract: Manipulating the proportions of response-dependent reinforcement can differentially influence operant behavior previously maintained under conditions of complete response-reinforcer dependency. Previous studies have shown that response rates are directly related to the arranged proportion of response-dependent reinforcement. The effects of different response-reinforcer dependencies on responding maintained by different schedules of reinforcement have been less well investigated. In the present experiment, two pigeons each were exposed either to multiple fixed-interval – fixed-interval (FI FI) or to variable-interval–variable interval (VI VI) schedules of reinforcement before exposure to multiple fixed-time – variable-time (FTVT) schedules. In this phase, the proportion of response-dependent reinforcement was systematically varied across conditions, but was kept constant across schedule components within the same condition. Specifically, the proportion of response-dependent reinforcement was varied first in an ascending (0% to 100%) and then in a descending order (100% to 0%). Response rates were directly related to the proportion of response-dependent reinforcement in both schedule components and were generally higher under the VT component. In some cases, FT response rates were higher and did not vary systematically with different proportions of response-reinforcer dependency. The results are discussed in the light of characteristics of FI and VI schedules performance.
 
Extending the principle of response dependency to the problem of cocaine addiction: A randomized controlled trial.
ANTHONY L. DEFULIO (Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine), Wendy Donlin (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Conrad J. Wong (Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine), Kenneth Silverman (Johns Hopkins University)
Abstract: Cocaine addiction is a difficult to treat, long-term chronic condition. Contingency management has been effective in promoting cocaine abstinence, but has usually been applied in short-term interventions. A practical vehicle for long-term application of contingency management to cocaine addiction is required. In this study, we evaluated the therapeutic workplace, in which access to employment was contingent upon drug-free urines, as a long-term treatment for cocaine addiction. After a six month pre-randomization phase, participants who initiated abstinence, acquired basic skills, and consistently attended the workplace were invited to one year of employment. These participants were randomly assigned to abstinence-contingent employment (AE) or employment only (EO). Both groups provided frequent urine samples. Accessing the workplace depended on urinalysis results for the AE group, but was independent of urinalysis results for the EO group. AE participants provided more cocaine-negative samples than EO participants (87% vs. 53%; p < 0.001). This presentation features data showing patterns of drug abstinence, HIV risk behaviors, attendance, and retention over time. The study shows that employment-based abstinence reinforcement can be an effective long-term intervention to prevent relapse in refractory, cocaine-addicted methadone patients.
 
Effects of Treatment Integrity Failures on Time-Based Treatment Schedules: A Translational Approach
CLAIRE ST. PETER PIPKIN (West Virginia University), Raquel Alo (The Continuous Learning Group), Ellen Nicole Brosh (West Virginia University)
Abstract: Time-based reinforcement schedules are commonly used as a treatment for problem behavior. Although procedures for time-based schedules are typically straightforward, they may not be consistently implemented as designed. This inconsistent implementation may include response-dependent reinforcer deliveries. In basic research studies, concominant time-based and interval schedules sometimes result in response maintenance, but the effects are dependent on the particular schedule values. This suggests that any type of response-dependent reinforcer delivery might result in compromised treatment effects. We examined this possibility using human operant and applied research procedures. Nonclinical participants engaged in responding that was analogous to problem behavior during reinforcement conditions that varied from completely response dependent to completely response independent. Results showed that concominant schedules typically produced maintained responding, suggesting that certain types of treatment integrity failures, including intermittent response-dependent reinforcer delivery, are detrimental to treatment outcome. Additionally, these outcomes underscore how the results of basic research can inform application.
 
Acquisition and Maintenance when Reinforcers are Presented Following both the Occurrence and Omission of Behavior
ANDREW L. SAMAHA (Utah State University), Timothy R. Vollmer (University of Florida)
Abstract: Five experiments were conducted examining the acquisition and maintenance of lever pressing in rats using a preparation where reinforcers were arranged following both the occurrence and nonoccurrence of behavior within an interval. The first experiment showed that contingency values that did not promote acquisition in experimentally naïve rats did maintain lever pressing after the animals had been exposed to powerful positive contingencies. Experiment two replicated this finding but suggested that early exposure to a negative contingency (where responding results in a decrease in the probability of a reinforcer delivery) potentially disrupted the sensitivity to weak positive contingencies. A third experiment attempted to isolate the effects of negative contingency exposure within individual subjects, but the results were equivocal. The fourth experiment assessed contrast and interaction effects when contingencies were alternated using a multiple schedule. The fifth experiment examined changes in behavior as the consequence for responding shifted from increasing to decreasing the probability of a reinforcer delivery. Results showed that rates of responding varied as a function of contingency strength. Results of the experiments will be discussed in terms of implications for the acquisition and maintenance of both desired and undesired human behavior.
 
 
Symposium #171
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Morningside Academy: What's New?
Sunday, May 24, 2009
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
North 122 A
Area: EDC; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Joanne K. Robbins (Morningside Academy)
CE Instructor: Mary E. McDonald, Ph.D..
Abstract: This symposium is one in an ongoing, annual series that provides updated information and data on the Morningside Model of Generative Instruction, and its application in our Morningside Academy laboratory school. In our lab school, we investigate promising curricula or instructional procedures, measure their effectiveness, and revise our curriculum and instruction protocols as the data suggests. All presentations describe teacher designed and implemented procedures. Presentation #1 by Reilly and Stretz investigates interventions designed to strengthen student learning skills to increase performance outcomes. Presentation #2 by Isbell, Ganzeveld, Vu, Wolfson & Johnson describes a blending of two decoding programs to maximize their effectiveness and generativity. Presentation #3 by Landau, Lybarger, Wolfson & Robbins describes improvements to our thinking and problem solving program, TAPS. Presentation #4 by Delgado describes improvements in our reading comprehension program.
 
Providing Explicit Feedback on Daily Report Cards and Classroom Wall Charts to Promote Self-Recording of Active Learning Behaviors
JENNIFER REILLY (Morningside Academy), Adam G. Stretz (Morningside Academy)
Abstract: Typical methods at Morningside for motivating students to improve their academic performance include the teacher giving immediate specific feedback for target behaviors on a daily report card and publicly displaying academic performance of each student in the classroom. This proves to be a successful system for many of our learners, but for some, explicit teaching of target skills on the report card seem necessary. A self-recording tracking sheet that identifies specific active learning behaviors has been developed for at-risk students to recognize specific behaviors necessary for learning to occur. These behaviors have been grouped by levels on a continuum that increases the level of responsibility for the student to interact with instruction. Data have been collected over the past two years suggesting a correlation of numbers of years gained on national Reading Comprehension measures and the Level of Active Behavior demonstrated by students. Using performance data from wall charts, students are identified as at-risk for not making academic gains. For these students specific active learning behaviors are targeted, explicitly taught and monitored by both students on their tracking sheet and teachers on the daily report card. This inquiry attempts to examine the effectiveness of the self-recording tracking sheet of active behaviors in improving academic performance for at-risk learners.
 
How to Blend Instructional Programs: Integrating Two Multisyllabic Decoding Programs to Maximize Application and Generativity
SHILOH ISBELL (Morningside Academy), Sarah E Ganzeveld (Morningside Academy), Michael P. Wolfson (Morningside Academy), Kent Johnson (Morningside Academy)
Abstract: The program, “Reading Excellence: Word Attack & Rate Development Strategies (REWARDS),” by Anita Archer, is a widely used decoding program at Morningside Academy. It has been very efficacious in teaching struggling readers the basics of sounding out words by knowing word parts and vowel combinations. However, it does not include explicit instruction on how to blend sounds and word parts together and accent particular word parts to form conventional-sounding words. “Word Workout,” a program developed by Nancy K. Lewkowicz, does instruct learners on how to pronounce multisyllabic words with the correctly stressed syllables, but it assumes students have already acquired knowledge of word parts and vowel combinations. This presentation will (a) describe the two strategies, (b) how they are blended at Morningside to make bigger gains than either program alone would accomplish, (c) data on the effectiveness of incorporating Lewkowicz’ procedures with Archer’s, and (d) data showing generativity of the mastered skills in new reading contexts.
 
Talk Aloud Problem Solving (TAPS): Defining Problems and Aims
HALEY LANDAU (Morningside Academy), Erica Lybarger (Morningside Academy), Michael P. Wolfson (Morningside Academy), Joanne K. Robbins (Morningside Academy)
Abstract: Previously the focus of instruction in our Talk Aloud Problem Solving classes centered on the reasoning or problem solving component of the talk aloud process. This year, we provided a sequence of instruction that began by requiring students to identify the problem-to-solve. By looking at both abstract logic problems and everyday situations in life, we required students to examine situations, ask questions, and define the problem prior to practicing the repertoires required of the successful talk aloud reasoning process. The same language used by teachers to analyze conceptual learning, such as "attribute," "example", and "nonexample" were taught to the students during logic games such as those using attribute blocks; Mastermind; Bagels, Pico, Fermi; followed by the 20 Questions game and then Suchman Inquiry scenarios to build the yes/no question-generating repertoires. We grouped and regrouped students based upon their rates of acquiring these skills. This year, we introduced problem types in a track sequence rather than by unit. We will share data on rates of problem solving for problem types (analogy, Venn diagram, deductive reasoning) as a first step in identifying mastery rates or Aims for TAPS. A live demonstration of TAPS will be provided.
 
Combining the Power of Fluency, The Standard Celeration Chart, Reading Comprehension Strategies, Delayed Prompting, and Essay Writing
MARIANNE DELGADO (Morningside Academy)
Abstract: This paper explores the combination of frequency measures and delayed prompting notation in the scoring of essay questions on reading comprehension tests. Problems occur when trying to gather data and measure growth on rubric scored essays alone, most important of which is distinguishing between students fluent in a skill and those needing much time, prompts and practice to reach a criterion answer. Acquiring sub-skills for discussing reading comprehension and practicing to fluency will be charted and explained. I will outline a new system of using the celeration chart to measure fluency, words per minute with a variable floor; independent learning skills, with a documentation of how often a teacher needs to prompt for criterion answer; and tracking growth on specific reading strategies, with essay questions geared towards target strategies taught in class. Several case studies and celeration charts of individual students’ progress throughout a school year will document the effectiveness of the system.
 
 
Symposium #175
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Stimulus control and the development of complex behavior in domestic canines.
Sunday, May 24, 2009
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
North 120 D
Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Russell W. Maguire (Simmons College)
Discussant: Michael J. Cameron (Simmons College)
CE Instructor: Kimberly Crosland, Ph.D.
Abstract: The purpose of this symposium is to demonstrate the generalization of stimulus control procedures to domestic canines within applied settings. In all three studies the subjects were domestic canines (e.g., pet dogs) and the studies were conducted in applied settings (e.g., homes and a shelter for abandoned animals). The Burke, Maguire and Cameron study replicated and extended the work of Bright, Maguire and Cameron (2008). This study taught a canine conditional discriminations (identity and arbitrary matching-to-sample performances) that then set the occasion for the emergence of symmetrical and possibly transitive relations that documented the formation of stimulus classes, and possibly classes of equivalent stimuli, in animals. The Bright, Maguire and Cameron study employed respondent conditioning techniques to decrease barking in a shelter to increase adoptability of animals. The third study (Lovejoy, Maguire and Cameron) used errorless instructional procedures (e.g., delayed prompt procedure) to teach a canine to run an obstacle course. The results documented rapid and durable acquisition of a sequence of skills. The combined results of these studies demonstrated the systematic nature of applied behavior analysis and generalization of stimulus control procedures across species.
 
Canine responding during and after matching-to-sample training
SALLY BURKE (Simmons College)
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to assess for the emergence of symmetrical matching-to-sample relations, and the formation of stimulus classes with a female German Shepherd, The subject was initially taught to identity match-to-sample using colors (e.g., black and white) and objects. The subject was then taught conditional discriminations (matching objects-to-color). Following this training the symmetrical stimulus-stimulus relations (sample-comparison reversibility) were assessed in the absence of reinforcement. The results indicated that the subject was able to demonstrate symmetry but not transitivity (although additional data regarding this aspect of the study are currently being collected). There is limited documentation of non-human subjects demonstrating the emergence of symmetrical and transitive performances, indicative of the formation of equivalence classes, and there are no known findings for the canine species. The present results add to this body of knowledge and are discussed in terms of how to train and assess for the equivalence phenomenon..
 
Acquisition of an obstacle course sequence by a domestic canine via errorless instruction
JENNIFER A. LOVEJOY (Simmons College)
Abstract: A good deal of animal training relies exclusively upon differential reinforcement of correct responses (i.e., correct response are reinforced and incorrect response go unreinforced). Although this approach has successfully established a myriad of skills across many species it can, at times, result in lengthy training, frequent errors and even failure to acquire the targeted skill. The purpose of the present study was to combine an errorless procedure (delayed prompt) with forward chaining to teach a naïve domestic canine a three-step obstacle course sequence. Once the initial step was acquired the next step in the sequence was introduced, again taught via delayed prompt. Finally, the third step was added and it too was acquired with few or no errors. The results indicated rapid acquisition of the individual steps as well as the combined sequence with few or no errors. Further, control generalized to novel trainers without additional training. The results are discussed in terms of the effect errors have on the development of inappropriate and competing forms of stimulus control.
 
Pavlov’s Shelter Dogs: Transferring Control of a Conditioned Stimulus to Elicit More Adoptable Behavior
TERRI M. BRIGHT (Simmons College)
Abstract: Often, the decision of whether or not to adopt a dog from a shelter is influenced by the immediate environment. The level of barking in a shelter can be intimidating to visitors and have a negative impact on the adoptability of individual animals. This experiment took place in a large, urban, “open-admission” Shelter, where dogs’ adoptions are largely dependent upon their appeal to visitors who walk onto the adoption floor. In an attempt to decrease noise and increase adoptable behavior, the sound of a “bear” bell was repeatedly paired with a food reward, until an anticipatory response (i.e., the absence of barking) was observed in the dog upon hearing the bell. This behavior was maintained across thinned schedules of reinforcement. The control was then transferred to a bell hung on the door to the Adoption Room. Data documented the control of the bell over the dogs’ behaviors as well as an increased rate of adoptability. The results are discussed in terms of the applied significance of the study.
 
 
Symposium #187
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Measurement Issues in the Behavioral Treatment of Autism
Sunday, May 24, 2009
10:30 AM–11:50 AM
North 125
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Gerald E. Harris (Texas Young Autism Project)
Discussant: Gerald E. Harris (Texas Young Autism Project)
CE Instructor: Robert Putnam, Ph.D.
Abstract: Applied Behavior Analysis relies on data, but the confidence one has in data depends on how that data is obtained. This symposium presents data-based information about the application of measures often used in ABA research and intervention in the area of autism. The first presentation examines the correspondence and components of several of the most commonly used measures of language in children with autism. How these measures compare to each other and the implications for reporting and interpreting scores from these measures is presented. The second presentation offers findings from a relatively large sample group comparison study concerning the utility of a low-cost, widely used behavior report measure (CBCL) as a predictor of outcome in children receiving an ABA intervention. The third presentation provides data from a large sample of children with autism who were administered the Weschler Intelligence Scale prior to beginning ABA treatment and after one year of treatment. Normative data by age group are presented and a case is made for using population specific norms when reporting and interpreting intelligence change scores for children with autism. Together, these presentations give significant new information relevant to research and treatment in the area of ABA for children with autism.
 
Content Analysis of Tests Commonly Used to Assess Language in Children Diagnosed with Autistic Disorder
Catriona Cullum (Texas Young Autism Project), TREA DRAKE (Texas Young Autism Project), Gerald E. Harris (Texas Young Autism Project)
Abstract: Results from 107 children with autism, each assessed with four commonly used language and communication tests, indicate that, although results across assessments were highly correlated, age equivalent scores on the various tests differed by as much as two years for some children. These results suggest that although the tests are all language and/or communication assessment instruments, they may not be measuring the same underlying construct. Variables thought to affect the scores of children diagnosed with AD taking these four major language and communication instruments were then examined with respect to test format and content. Specifically, a content analysis was conducted to examine the receptive and expressive language content areas, as well as other areas of language structure (language precursors, semantics, structure, integrative/complex language). It was found that two of the assessments sampled a wide variety of language content areas while the other two focused on a much narrower sample of language components. Implications for clinical service to children with autism are discussed, including not using these tests interchangeably and interpreting results based on the specific components of language actually measured.
 
ABA Outcome Utility of the CBCL for Children with Autism
GERI MARIA HARRIS (Texas Young Autism Project), Gerald E. Harris (Texas Young Autism Project)
Abstract: The Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) is one of the most widely used measures of child behavior and is relatively quick and inexpensive to administer. Previously presented research on a sample of children with autism has shown the CBCL to have very good inter-parental reliability, a strong correlation of specific CBCL scales with the diagnostic criteria for autism, and potential usefulness as a treatment outcome measure. The present study examined the predictive utility of diagnostically relevant subscales (Pervasive Developmental Problems and Withdrawn) of the CBCL. Participants were 209 young children with autism who received ABA intervention for one year and their mothers. Data included CBCL scores and I.Q., obtained before the onset of treatment and after one year of ABA treatment. A Cross-Lagged Panel Correlation analysis of the data was then conducted. Results show that pretreatment CBCL subscale scores are significantly predictive of post-treatment I.Q. scores. Implications for research and clinical use are discussed.
 
Revised Normalizations for the WPPSI-III For Use with Children with Autism: Reliability across Samples
WENDY J. NEELY (Texas Young Autism Project), Gerald E. Harris (Texas Young Autism Project)
Abstract: Accurately assessing cognitive abilities of children with autism is integral to designing and evaluating behavioral interventions. The Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence (3rd Ed.) is generally considered to be the “gold standard” of intelligence tests for preschool age children, however, the published normalization tables were developed based on a sample of children from the general population. Children with Autism who receive ABA early intervention frequently achieve developmental and cognitive gains at a slower rate than the general population, resulting in standard scores often appearing to decrease, rather than reflect progress actually made. The use of norms specifically developed for the autism population would allow a more accurate presentation and interpretation of changes in cognitive functioning. Previous research presented WPPSI-3 norm tables, developed from pre-treatment administrations of the WPPSI-3 to nearly 500 children with Autism, to provide a basis for interpretations of a child’s test scores relative to other children with Autism. In the present study a sample of 216 WPPSI-3 test scores from children with Autism, who had received ABA treatment for one year, were examined for consistency with the norms developed from the original sample. Implications for use of these special population norms are also discussed.
 
 
Tutorial #213
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Bringing Behavior Analysis into the Mainstream through the Private Sector
Sunday, May 24, 2009
11:00 AM–11:50 AM
West 301 CD
Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: William L. Palya (Jacksonville State University)
Presenting Authors: : KIMBERLY NIX BERENS (Center for Advanced Learning, Inc.)
Abstract: B.F. Skinner’s theoretical writings emphasize the relevance of behavior analysis for solving complex human problems. Unfortunately, of late, applied behavior analysis has become synonymous with services for those with autism and other developmental disabilities. However, behavior analytic training allows individuals to work effectively in a wide range of areas. Moreover, being flexible in service provision is the key to a successful business model. The current paper will offer strategies and guidelines for use in starting a business in behavior analysis. Specifically, information on conducting demographic analyses, identifying community needs, and designing marketing strategies will be offered. In addition, specific practice guidelines that can be used to enhance programmatic outcomes will be discussed. Kimberly Berens, Ph.D., BCBA is the President and Founding Director of Center for Advanced Learning, Inc. Her work centers on using behavior analysis to produce academic transformation with a wide-range of learners. Dr. Berens currently owns and operates three private learning centers located in Reno, Carson City, and Medford, Oregon. Through these centers, Dr. Berens and her team have developed a variety of learning programs that consistently produce an average of one year’s growth in 40 hours of instruction. Dr. Berens is also an experienced educational researcher who has published and presented extensively on science-based approaches to education and learning. She currently serves as an affiliated professor in the Behavior Analysis program at the University of Nevada- Reno.
 
KIMBERLY NIX BERENS (Center for Advanced Learning, Inc.)
 
 
Symposium #227
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Ongoing Empirical Investigations of Precision Teaching with Students and Adults with Autism
Sunday, May 24, 2009
1:30 PM–2:50 PM
North 124 B
Area: AUT/EDC; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Donna L. Sloan (Rutgers University, Douglas Developmental Disabili)
Discussant: Charles T. Merbitz (Chicago School of Professional Psychology)
CE Instructor: Leigh Grannan, M.S.
Abstract: Precision Teaching with rate building procedures is one method that holds promise as an efficient and effective means of instruction for younger and older learners with autism. These papers represent pilot research that examines the effects of frequency building. This research also compares the effects of various procedural aspects of frequency-building procedures as well as begins to investigate the comparative effectiveness to other ABA techniques.
 
A Comparison of Discrete Trial Instruction Plus Maintenance to Discrete Trial Instruction Plus Rate Building: A Pilot Study
MARLENE COHEN (Rutgers University - DDDC), Meredith Bamond (Rutgers University), Christopher Manente (Rutgers University, DDDC), Mary Jane Weiss (Rutgers University)
Abstract: The outcomes of precision teaching with rate building (stability, endurance, application and retention or SEAR) have been empirically validated. The question then becomes whether these outcomes are specific to rate building or if the outcomes can be empirically validated through typical maintenance procedures. This pilot study, will examine SEAR outcomes for two sets of spelling words taught to accuracy using discrete trial instruction. One set is kept on weekly maintenance while the other is taught to fluent rates. SEAR outcomes are compared and will be demonstrated. Direction for future research will also be discussed.
 
The Effects of Precision teaching Frequency building of Language Component skills on the Performance of Language composite Skills in Adolescents and Adults with Autism
MARY SENS AZARA (Rutgers University, DDDC), Marlene Cohen (Rutgers University - DDDC), Donna L. Sloan (Rutgers University, Douglas Developmental Disabili)
Abstract: Each year more and more learners are aging out of school programs and moving into adult programs. More needs to be done to provide least restrictive and quality services for these adults. Precision teaching with frequency building procedures is one method that holds promise as an efficient and effective means of instruction for older learners. This research is proposed as an attempt to extend previous clinical demonstrations of the profound impact of Precision Teaching with frequency building procedures on the functional use of fine motor skills, into the realm of language skill acquisition. Previously, pilot research in this area has indicated results similar to those of fine motor skill studies, when implementing frequency building of verbal language components. Preliminary results indicate the application to new, untaught skills has a cumulative effect of more rapid acquisition of related language skills. Using a multiple baseline design, this research continues to explore whether instruction of component language skills would end when minimum frequency aims are initially achieved, or if continuing instruction of component skills to higher frequencies enhances performance of language composite skills. The proposed research will examine the cumulative effect of frequency building of three component skills on performance of a single composite skill.
 
The Academy for Precision Learning: Using Applied Behavior Analysis to enhance a private Elementary Inclusion Program.
ALISON L. MOORS (Academy for Precision Learning)
Abstract: This paper will present the results of the inaugural year for a private elementary program specializing in applying the teaching methodologies from the field of Applied Behavior Analysis to an inclusive education program. The Academy for Precision Learning is for students ages Kindergarten-5th grade whose cognitive abilities range from general education to learning disabled to moderately autistic. The presentation will focus on the educational model implemented as well as the necessary components for its success. Data will be presented to illustrate student progress on nationally normed achievement tests, curriculum based measurement probes and daily practice on individualized education plans.
 
 
Symposium #245
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Intervention in the Natural Environment for Children with Developmental Disabilities and Autism Spectrum Disorders
Sunday, May 24, 2009
1:30 PM–2:50 PM
North 131 BC
Area: EDC/AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Mary D. Salmon (Columbus City Schools)
CE Instructor: Robert K.Ross, Ed.D.
Abstract: The search for effective intervention strategies for use in natural settings is at the core of much of our research in applied behavior analysis. This symposium offers four papers. Ben Zvi and colleagues will make recommendations for the design and implementation of behavioral interventions in natural settings for very young children with ASD. In the second paper, Jung and Sainato review the literature on instructional methods used to teach play skills to young children with autism spectrum disorders and provide implications for practice. Salmon will review the literature on "skills teacher value most" and provide implications for students as it relates to transitioning across the grade levels and promoting successful inclusion experiences for students receiving special education services. Sainato will present the results of their student on the development and evaluation of a comprehensive program for kindergarten age children with ASD. Each presenter will address future areas for research.
 
Interventions for Very Young Children with Autism and Their Families
SENNY BEN-ZVI (Ohio State University), Diane M. Sainato (The Ohio State University), Howard Goldstein (Florida State University), Sunhwa Jung (Otterbein College)
Abstract: Researchers suggest that early intensive intervention is necessary to change the trajectory of development for a child diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. Recent advances have led investigators to develop early diagnostic criteria and screening protocols validated for child at two years of age. Children in this age group often exhibit behaviors such as deficits in joint attention, failing to orient, poor visual orientation, prompted/delayed response to name, aversion to social touch, visual staring and fixation on objects (Matson, Wilkins & Gonzalez, 2008). However, in spite of the activity in the area of early identification of very young children with autism Rodgers and Vismara (2008) note that there have been no empirically supported treatments (other than case studies) for these children ages 2 and under. The purpose of this presentation is to review the existing literature that may hold promise for the development of interventions in the areas of language/communication, social behavior and intervention in the natural environment. Recommendations for the design and implementation of comprehensive interventions for the youngest children diagnosed with ASD will be presented.
 
Teaching Play Skills to Young Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders
SUNHWA JUNG (Otterbein College), Diane M. Sainato (The Ohio State University)
Abstract: Most young children develop critical play, language and social skills by engaging with age appropriate materials and peers. However, children with autism spectrum disorders often engage in stereotypic behavior rather than typical play. As a result these children have limited experience developing a variety of skills during naturally occurring learning opportunities and when interacting with their peers during play. Research has shown that play skills should be explicitly taught to these children using a variety of behavioral methods (DTT, pivotal response training, self-management training, reciprocal imitation training, etc.) have been implemented (Ingersoll & Schreibman, 2002; Koegel et al., 1992; Newman et al., 2000; Nuzzolog-Gomez et al., 2002). The purpose of this paper is to review the literature on instructional methods used to teach play skills to young children with autism spectrum disorders, provide implications for practice, and suggestions for future research.
 
The "Hidden Curriculum" and Its Implications for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders
MARY D. SALMON (Columbus City Schools)
Abstract: Given the trend toward inclusive educational programming (Fuchs & Fuchs, 1994) students receiving special education services are required to meet the behavioral expectations of both special and general educators. Lane, Givner, & Pierson (2004) identified specific skills essential for success (follows directions, works independently, gets along with others, etc.) while Walker and colleagues (1992) identified specific behaviors (disturbs others, ignores teachers, and disrupts group instruction) likely to lead to social rejection, low social engagement and referral for more specialized placements. Knowledge of teacher expectations has important implications for students as it relates to transitioning across the grade levels and promoting successful inclusion experiences for students with ASD receiving special education services (Lane, Pierson, & Givner, 2003). The purpose of this paper is to review literature on teacher expectations of student behavior, provide implications for practice as it relates to children with ASD and suggestions for future research.
 
Project TASK: A Comprehensive Intervention Model for Kindergarten Age Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders
DIANE M. SAINATO (The Ohio State University), Sunhwa Jung (Otterbein College), Judah Axe (Simmons College), Rebecca S. Morrison (Oakstone Academy)
Abstract: The purpose of Project TASK was to develop and evaluate a comprehensive program for kindergarten children with autism. Across the four years of the study a total of 42 children with autism from the model program and 21 students with autism recruited from four local school districts participated. Measures included standardized assessments for receptive and expressive language, cognitive functioning, social behavior, adaptive behavior and academic achievement. Direct observations of child and teacher behavior (i.e. engagement, social interaction, prompt level, etc.) were conducted once per month for six months for all children. Outcomes from Project TASK include an increase in scores on standardized assessments across all areas and improved levels of appropriate engagement in observed classroom activities as compared to the comparison subjects. This project may contribute to the establishment of more effective educational programs for children with autism spectrum disorders with reduction in the cost of services.
 
 
Symposium #246
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Applied behavior analysis in education: What do we have to offer?
Sunday, May 24, 2009
1:30 PM–2:50 PM
North 121 A
Area: EDC/DDA; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Youjia Hua (The University of Iowa)
Discussant: David L. Lee (Penn State University)
CE Instructor: Michelle Duda, Ph.D.
Abstract: The use of behavior principles to change school-based behaviors has received a great deal of support in the professional literature. Unfortunately, the link between this body of research and teachers is often weak. Two possible reasons for this disconnect are that teachers (a) often fail to buy into the idea of behavior analysis and continue with ineffective interventions that are more congruent with their educational philosophy; and (b) a lack of understanding on the part of behavior analysts on how classrooms operate. This lack of understanding has a profound impact on implementation of evidence-based strategies. What is needed is a mutual understanding of what should be done and what can be done in classroom contexts. The purpose of this symposium is to present data on three topics that are in the forefront of education today -- the use of functional assessments by classroom teachers, promoting independent assignment completion, and strategies to increase reading fluency. The presentations promote this mutual understanding by examining each strategy within the applied context of classrooms (often with teachers implementing the interventions).
 
Review of Functional Assessment and Intervention Studies: Is there a Demonstration of Contextual Fit?
BROOKS R. VOSTAL (Penn State University)
Abstract: The author reviews the research literature on the use of functional behavioral assessment (FBA) and function-based interventions in which teachers, rather than behavior analysts or researchers alone actively participate in the process. Specifically, studies were examined to determine: (a) the types of students, problem behaviors, and settings in which FBA was used; (b) FBA procedures conducted and by whom; (c) interventions implemented and by whom; and (d) the degree to which teachers found the assessment process acceptable. Results found a prevalence of studies in which FBA was used with students at-risk for high-incidence disabilities and who displayed disruptive behaviors in general education settings. Researcher assistance was needed to complete the various assessment procedures in most studies, though teachers were often able to implement the interventions stemming from FBA. Social validity measures found acceptable ratings. Results are discussed in terms of the contextual fit for functional behavior assessment in school settings.
 
Effects of Choosing Academic Assignments on Task Completion
YOUJIA HUA (The University of Iowa), Samuel Stansbery (Penn State University), David L. Lee (Penn State University)
Abstract: Several authors have suggested that providing choice making opportunities for people with disabilities is beneficial. However, the underlying mechanism of choice-making is still relatively unknown. The researchers investigated the effects of choice-making on academic task completion when identical tasks presented on worksheets and paper slips were used as choice options. Three students with learning problems were asked to complete math problems under student choice and teacher assigned conditions. An alternating treatment design was used to evaluate the effects of choice making on academic performance. Students' math task performances were compared between teacher-assigned and student choice conditions. Results indicated little or no effect of choice-making on academic productivity.
 
Science Reading Fluency and Repeated Readings
DOUGLAS E. KOSTEWICZ (University of Pittsburgh), Richard M. Kubina Jr. (The Pennsylvania State University)
Abstract: The current study investigated the effects of repeated readings to a fluency criterion (RRFC) for seven students with disabilities using science text. The study employed a single subject design, specifically, two multiple probe multiple baselines across subjects, to evaluate the effects of the RRFC intervention. Results indicated that students met criterion (200 or more correct words per minute with 2 or fewer errors) on four consecutive passages. A majority of students displayed accelerations to correct words per minute and decelerations to incorrect words per minute on successive initial, intervention readings suggesting reading transfer. Students’ reading scores during post-test and maintenance out performed pre-test and baseline readings provided additional measures of reading transfer. For a relationship to comprehension, students scored higher on oral retell measures after meeting criterion as compared to initial readings. Overall, the research findings suggested that the RRFC intervention improves science reading fluency for students with disabilities, and may also indirectly benefit comprehension.
 
 
Symposium #249
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Applications of Organizational Behavior Management Techniques with Staff in Human Service Settings
Sunday, May 24, 2009
1:30 PM–2:50 PM
North 221 C
Area: OBM/DDA; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Timothy M. Weil (University of South Florida)
CE Instructor: Kristofer van Herp, M.S.Ed.
Abstract: This symposium will consist of four papers discussing recent research on the use of OBM procedures to manage staff behavior in human service settings. Judy Mowrey will discuss procedures for increasing staff positive interactions while also assessing reactivity of observation. Jennifer Kondask will talk about research on increasing safe performance of therapists who work with children with autism. Nicole Gravina will discuss her research on the effectiveness of a Consultant Workshop Model in human services. Finally, Martin Ivancic will discuss procedures for promoting generalization and maintenance of performance by staff working with individuals with developmental disabilities.
 
Effects of Supervisor Presence on Staff Response to Tactile Prompts and Self-Monitoring in a Group Home Setting
JUDITH M. MOWREY (University of South Florida), Raymond G. Miltenberger (University of South Florida), Timothy M. Weil (University of South Florida)
Abstract: This study evaluated the use of a tactile prompt and self-monitoring to increase positive interaction in a group home setting. Four direct support staff participated in a training session to increase positive interaction. In addition they each received a MotivAider, which provides tactile prompts to remind them to engage in positive client interaction. Reactivity was assessed by observing staff positive interaction when the supervisor was present and when the supervisor was absent using an alternating treatments design within a multiple probe across participants’ research design. If positive interaction did not increase, supervisor feedback was provided. Results showed that positive interaction increased for 2 staff members following training and use of the MotivAider, but only when a supervisor was present. For 2 staff members, positive interactions only increased once feedback was provided
 
The Use of Task Clarification and Equipment Modification to Increase Safe Performance of Therapists at an Autism Treatment Facility
JENNIFER KONDASH (Florida Institute of Technology), Sarah E. Casella (Florida Institute of Technology), David A. Wilder (Florida Institute of Technology)
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the use of antecedent manipulations to increase safe behaviors of five therapists at an autism treatment facility. The dependent variables were key wearing, glove wearing, hand washing and cleaning. The intervention included a package consisting of task clarification and equipment modification. A multiple baseline design across behaviors with a constant series control was used to evaluate intervention effects. The results showed an overall increase across all targeted behaviors; greater effects were seen for key wearing and glove wearing. Suggestions for future research include changing the order in which target behaviors are manipulated and reducing the effort required to perform safely.
 
An Evaluation of the Consultant Workshop Model in a Human Service Setting
NICOLE E. GRAVINA (Roosevelt University), John Austin (Western Michigan University), Anne Cummings (Kinark Child and Family Services), Sarah Kupferschmidt (Kinark Child and Family Services)
Abstract: The purpose of the present study was to document and evaluate the consultant-workshop model commonly employed by OBM consultants. The consultation took place in a non-profit human service setting that delivers behavioral services to children diagnosed with autism and their families. Workshop attendees were 13 senior therapists each of whom oversaw 6 to 8 instructor therapists who provided behavioral services to clients. The training took place in 2005 (i.e., three years prior to this evaluation) across five months and four workshop sessions. Participants learned to pinpoint, measure, diagnose, and intervene and then they presented their project at the last workshop and these projects were documented. Pinpoint types and impact as well as effect size were evaluated. When possible, follow-up information was gathered to determine the extent to which this approach facilitated maintenance and generalization. Results indicated that projects were, in general, very effective. At follow up, some components of the projects remained in place and limited evidence indicated that the performance improvements maintained but there was little evidence of generalization. Based on the findings, recommendations for improving the workshop model are suggested.
 
Repeated Within-Class Exemplar Review of Trained Staff Responding In an Attempt to Demonstrate Between-Class Generalization: A Methodology for Managing Maintenance
MARTIN IVANCIC (J. Iverson Riddle Developmental Center), Kimberly D. Willis (J. Iverson Riddle Developmental Center)
Abstract: Staff management procedures are utilized to maintain previously learned skill. Specifically, behavior that is trained must be maintained. Thirty-seven staff at a state residential facility were observed for previously trained habilitative behavior in six categories (infection control, social interaction, social appearance, following diet instructions, clean mealtime preparation area, and intake scoring) during lunch (first shift) and dinner (second shift) mealtime activities in two adjacent living areas in three homes each (six homes) providing service to 52 residents. Efforts to reduce reactivity to the observations were implemented. Observations were counter balanced across staff and residents and reliability obtained. After baseline, a particular topic was reviewed with each staff person to generate contact with at least 3 examples of that topic (e.g., infection control). Similar treatments were provided for six different topics of responding in hopes on increasing appropriate staff in general. No exemplars were directly related to target behaviors, but three topics were indirectly related to target behaviors of infection control, social interaction, social appearance and three other topics represented appropriate staff behaviors that were not targeted (i.e., following written instructions, clean environment and taking data). Increases in target behaviors following related exemplar reviews were thought to indicate within-class generalization. Increases in target behaviors unrelated to any exemplar review were thought to indicate between-class generalization.
 
 
Invited Panel #257
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Responding to Global Warming...or Not: The Green Behavior Deficit
Sunday, May 24, 2009
2:30 PM–3:50 PM
West 301 CD
Domain: Theory
Chair: Anthony Biglan (Oregon Research Institute)
CE Instructor: Kimberly P. Ray, Ph.D., Psychology
Panelists: ANTHONY BIGLAN (Oregon Research Institute), RICHARD F. RAKOS (Cleveland State University), MARK P. ALAVOSIUS (University of Nevada, Reno), ROBIN RUMPH (Stephen F. Austin University)
Abstract: Compelling evidence indicates that climate changes are accelerating and will, at some point in the next 30 to 50 years, be likely to impact behavior, culture, and natural ecologies in a myriad of negative ways. Nevertheless, warnings of change like those presented by Frederic Wagner in the preceding B. F. Skinner Lecture are frequently met with indifference—or even outright resistance. Such reactions impede efforts to alter the human behaviors that contribute directly to climate change and to prepare for coming cultural changes necessitated by altered environments and depleted resources. A “green behavior deficit” results, the controlling variables of which can be illuminated through behavioral analyses. Yet, relatively little conceptual work in behavior analysis has been done in regards to this complex challenge, and scarcely any empirical work examines behavior change at this scale. Panelists will discuss a variety of possibilities for fruitfully examining the “green behavior deficit” through such concepts as managing externalities, delay discounting, preparedness, habituation, rule-governed behavior, cultural practice analysis, and systems analysis.
ANTHONY BIGLAN (Oregon Research Institute)
RICHARD F. RAKOS (Cleveland State University)
MARK P. ALAVOSIUS (University of Nevada, Reno)
ROBIN RUMPH (Stephen F. Austin University)
 
 
Symposium #267
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Mindfulness for Two (Part II): Manipulating the Therapist
Sunday, May 24, 2009
3:00 PM–4:20 PM
North 222 AB
Area: CBM/VRB; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Jonathan Weinstein (University of Mississippi)
Discussant: Daniel J. Moran (Trinity Services)
CE Instructor: James T. Ellis, Ph.D.
Abstract: Researchers have long been interested in different factors relevant to the process and outcome of therapy (Smith & Glass, 1977). This symposium will present findings from a series of studies involving an analogue of a first therapy session. In each of these studies, particular therapist variables that are theoretically important to the practice of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy were manipulated (See Wilson, in press). Some of the variables on the part of therapist include: personal disclosure, asking for permission to discuss something difficult, and performing a brief mindfulness exercise prior to beginning the session. Data were collected and scored from a video-tape recording of the session. Self-report data were collected post-interview from both interviewers and interviewees using measures of therapeutic alliance and personal experiences, such as positive/negative mood and physical sensations.
 
The Effects of a Pre-Session Mindfulness Exercise for the Therapist.
JONATHAN WEINSTEIN (University of Mississippi), Kelly G. Wilson (University of Mississippi), Kate Kellum (The University of Mississippi), Emily Kennison Sandoz (University of Mississippi)
Abstract: This study examined how manipulating the interviewer’s behavior prior to the interview effects a number of different process variables believed to be relevant to the practice of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (Wilson, in press). Specifically, this study manipulated the instructions the interviewer received before conducting the interview. The interviewer was randomly selected to receive either mindfulness instructions or control instructions for ten minutes prior to the interview. Next, the interviewer was instructed to ask the interviewee about a disagreement they had with someone who is important to them. Self-report data were collected post-interview from both interviewers and interviewees using measures of therapeutic alliance and personal experiences, such as positive/negative mood and physical sensations.
 
The Effects of Therapist Disclosure
STEPHANIE L. NASSAR (University of Mississippi), Kelly G. Wilson (University of Mississippi), Kate Kellum (The University of Mississippi), Emily Kennison Sandoz (University of Mississippi)
Abstract: This study examined how manipulating the interviewer’s behavior during the interview effects a number of different process variables believed to be relevant to the practice of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (Wilson, in press). Specifically, this study manipulated the pre-interview instructions given to the interviewers. Interviewers were randomly assigned to one of two conditions: interviewer disclosure or no disclosure. Interviewers in both conditions were instructed to ask the interviewee to discuss a disagreement they had with someone who is important to them. Additionally, the interviewers in the disclosure condition were instructed to disclose a personal experience of a disagreement with someone important to them before they asked the interviewee to disclose. Interviewers in the no disclosure condition did not receive these additional instructions to disclose. Data were collected and scored from a video-tape recording of the session. Self-report data were collected post-interview from both interviewers and interviewees using measures of therapeutic alliance and personal experiences, such as positive/negative mood and physical sensations.
 
The Effects of Asking for Permission
REGAN M. SLATER (University of Mississippi), Kelly G. Wilson (University of Mississippi), Kate Kellum (The University of Mississippi), Emily Kennison Sandoz (University of Mississippi)
Abstract: This study examined how manipulating the interviewer’s behavior during the interview effects a number of different process variables believed to be relevant to the practice of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (Wilson, in press). In this study the interviewer was instructed to ask permission to ask the interviewee about something difficult before the beginning of the session. Next, the interviewer was instructed to ask the interviewee about a disagreement they had with someone who is important to them. Data were collected and scored from a video-tape recording of the session. Self-report data were collected post-interview from both interviewers and interviewees using measures of therapeutic alliance and personal experiences, such as positive/negative mood and physical sensations.
 
 
Symposium #279
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Stimulus and Response Substitution in Interbehavioral Perspective
Sunday, May 24, 2009
3:00 PM–4:20 PM
North 132 A
Area: TPC/EAB; Domain: Theory
Chair: Linda J. Parrott Hayes (University of Nevada, Reno)
CE Instructor: Daniel J. Moran, Ph.D.
Abstract: The principles of stimulus and response substitution, as articulated by J. R. Kantor, are identified and exemplified in the context of investigations of perceptual behavior and remembering. It is argued that these principles are foundational for the science of behavior.
 
Stimulus and Response Substitution
LINDA J. PARROTT HAYES (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: Kantor distinguishes the functional properties of stimuli and responses from their object and organizational properties, respectively. These disctinctions permit more coherent descriptions of complex human interactions such as perceiving, imagining, dreaming, and remembering than have been proposed under the auspices of Radical Behaviorism. The value of these distinctions for the investigation of complex human behavior is addressed.
 
Substitution of Perceptual Functions
MARIA ISABEL MUNOZ BLANCO (University of Nevada), Erick M. Dubuque (University of Nevada, Reno), Michael C. Clayton (Youngstown State University), Linda J. Parrott Hayes (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: The present study examines the process of stimulus substitution directly. Previous research has demonstrated substitution, but only indirectly in the context of other processes. This study proposes that the relationship among homophone words may be transferred to other stimuli. In order to demonstrate this, 100 participants were exposed to a series of observational learning trials. By using a respondent-type training procedure, a letter was paired with a word. After this training the participants were exposed to a series of simple math problems in which they were required to replace the unknown symbol in the equation with a number from 1 to 9. The results were analyzed in terms of the concordance between the number substituted for the uknown and the corresponding homophone word that had previously been trained.
 
An Investigation of Factors Influencing Remembering Interactions
MITCH FRYLING (University of Nevada, Reno), Linda J. Parrott Hayes (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: Memory research in behavior science has almost exclusively focused on memorizing interactions. This paper builds upon the memory literature by investigating factors that influence remembering conceptualized as completing an act in the future. Experimental data evaluating factors that influence the development and operation of substitute stimuli within the context of an interbehavioral field perspective are reviewed. Implications for understanding complex remembering interactions are provided.
 
An Interpretation of Operant Processes in Terms of Substitution of Functions
DIANA M. DELGADO (University of Nevada, Reno), Linda J. Parrott Hayes (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: Traditionally, respondent and operant conditioning have been understood as different types of learning processes that account for different types of behaviors. While substitutive operations have been considered characteristic of S-S associations, reinforcement has been considered to be the main principle in operant conditioning. Current research on the study of complex human behavior using respondent procedures indicates that behaviors which have been categorized as operant may be acquired without the use of reinforcers. We challenge the operant-respondent dichotomy and propose that substitution of functions is the fundamental process that accounts for psychological events. In this context, reinforcement is best understood as a procedure and not as a distinct type of conditioning.
 
 
Panel #298
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Constructing a Caring, Just, and Sustainable Society
Sunday, May 24, 2009
4:30 PM–5:20 PM
North 131 A
Area: CSE/DEV; Domain: Theory
Chair: Mark A. Mattaini (Jane Addams College of Social Work-UIC)
ANTHONY BIGLAN (Oregon Research Institute)
MARK A. MATTAINI (Jane Addams College of Social Work-UIC)
DENNIS D. EMBRY (Peace Builders)
Abstract: The presenters will present and discuss their work related to emerging science-based strategies for influencing the beneficial evolution of cultural practices. The first strategy we will explore involves increasing the prevalence of nurturing environments in society as a means of preventing the entire range of psychological and behavioral problems of youth, and promoting successful development. Such environments are characterized by (a) high rates of reinforcement for prosocial behavior, (b) low levels of aversive stimulation accompanied by gentle limits on behavior, and (c) fostering psychological flexibility. Second, we will explore a functional taxonomy scaffolding an emerging science of nonviolent power, which may have potential for reducing collective coercion and violence while furthering justice. Third, we will describe a strategy for the creation of a consumer-driven approach to the diffusion of proven mechanisms of behavioral influence which have been dubbed “kernels”. Evidence-based kernels are simple, experimentally validated methods of influencing diverse behaviors. A recent paper (Embry & Biglan, 2008) provides a taxonomy of 52 such kernels, which can be used to increase or decrease behavior, or even to create “programs” of change. By promoting these strategies, behavior analysts may contribute to the evolution of societies that are more caring, less punitive, and more sustainable.
 
 
Symposium #350
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Assessment and treatment of problem behavior individuals with autism and developmental disability
Monday, May 25, 2009
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
North 124 A
Area: AUT/DDA; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Mark F. O'Reilly (University of Texas at Austin)
CE Instructor: Stephen Ray Flora, Ph.D.
Abstract: A substantial proportion of individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities exhibit problem behaviors such as self-injury, aggression, and property destruction. Services such as schools and clinics are required to allocate a substantial amount of resources to support such individuals. Research to develop effective assessment and intervention strategies with this population continues to be a priority for behavior analysts. In this symposium we present recent findings on functional and preference assessments and the use of antecedent interventions to reduce challenging behavior with individuals with autism and developmental disabilities.
 
Predicting the Need for Mand Availability During Stimulus Fading
JESSICA FRIEDER (Utah State University), Stephanie M. Peterson (Idaho State University), Carrie M. Brower-Breitwieser (Idaho State University), Elizabeth Dayton (Idaho State University), Stuart M Mullins (Idaho State University), Shilo Smith-Ruiz (College of Southern Idaho)
Abstract: Applied researchers have examined the use of a concurrent-schedules arrangement, most typically involving two concurrently available response options, on the choice-making behavior for individuals with problem behavior (e.g., Harding et al., 1999; Horner & Day, 1991, Peck et al., 1996; Piazza et al., 1997; Richman et al., 2001). An Institute for Education Sciences grant project is currently evaluating the effects of a concurrent schedules of reinforcement arrangement in which three response options are available: compliance, mands, and problem behavior. The hypothesis is that the addition of a third response option (i.e., mands) may result in fewer bursts of problem behavior during a stimulus fading intervention. Results of this ongoing investigation have suggested that a three choice concurrent schedule may not be necessary for all participants during stimulus fading. During this presentation, data will be presented on a subset of participants that address the question of whether we can predict for whom the addition of a mand responses during stimulus fading is necessary for intervention success. Discussion will focus on whether an initial differential reinforcement of alternate behavior phase can serve as an effective assessment to determine later and ongoing treatment needs for individuals who exhibit escape-maintained problem behavior.
 
Evaluating Long-Term Preference for Leisure Items in Individuals with Problem Behaviors Maintained by Automatic Reinforcement
ANURADHA SALIL KUMAR DUTT (University of Iowa), Wendy K. Berg (University of Iowa), Jason M. Stricker (The University of Iowa), Kelly M. Vinquist (University of Iowa), David P. Wacker (University of Iowa), Joel Eric Ringdahl (University of Iowa), Jeffrey R. Luke (University of Iowa)
Abstract: Identifying preferred stimuli is an important component of behavioral programs for persons with developmental disabilities. Previous studies have evaluated the stability of participants’ selections during preference assessments over time and found that the stability of preferences varied across individuals (Hanley et al., 2006; Zhou et al., 2001). We conducted periodic preference assessments with five individuals diagnosed with developmental disabilities who engaged in problem behavior that was maintained by automatic reinforcement. Free-operant preference assessments with five to six leisure items were conducted on a monthly schedule over a 7 to 12 month period (M = 10.8 months). Items to include within the preference assessment were initially selected based on care-provider’s suggestions and/or the observations of therapists. Results support previous findings and show that participants varied in the stability of their preferences over time. A summary of the results for the 5 participants will be presented and variations in selection over time will be discussed. Interobserver agreement data were collected for 30% of the sessions and averaged above 90% for problem behavior.
 
The Effects of Prior Exposure to Antecedent Events as Motivating Operations on Automatically Reinforced Challenging Behavior and Appropriate Task Responding
YI-CHIEH CHUNG (The Ohio State University), Helen I. Cannella-Malone (The Ohio State University)
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of prior exposure to three antecedent events—attention, response blocking, and/or automatically maintained behavior—on later engagement in the automatically maintained challenging behavior and correct task responding in four individuals with significant intellectual disabilities. A modified multi-element design (Phase 1) and a combined alternating treatment design with multiple-baseline design across participants (Phase 2) were used. A functional analysis was conducted with all participants and their behavior was found to be maintained (at least in part) by automatic reinforcement. Results from Phase 1 indicated that pre-session attention (for two participants) and pre-session response blocking (for one participant) acted as an establishing operation for challenging behavior. Pre-session response blocking (for three participants) and pre-session access to the challenging behavior (for one participant) acted as an abolishing operation for challenging behavior. Using the results from Phase 1, we then examined the effect of providing pre-session access to the condition that acted as an abolishing operation on correct responding on a work task. The results indicated that access to the pre-session condition that acted as an abolishing
 
Effects of Motivating Operations on Aberrant Behavior and Academic Engagement during Classroom Instruction for Students with Autism
MANDY J. RISPOLI (University of Texas at Austin), Mark F. O'Reilly (University of Texas at Austin), Wendy A. Machalicek (Portland State University), Austin Molloy (University of Texas at Austin)
Abstract: The manipulation of motivating operations represents a promising intervention for the treatment of aberrant behavior in applied settings. In this study, we examined the effects of motivating operations on aberrant behavior and academic engagement during typical classroom instruction with six students with autism. Functional analyses revealed that aberrant behavior was maintained, at least in part, by access to specific tangible items for all participants. During classroom sessions two to four peers were seated near the participant during routine classroom instruction. The participant’s preferred tangible was in sight but out of reach during these sessions. Each participant had access to instructional materials as well as teacher attention and aberrant behavior was placed on extinction. Classroom sessions were preceded by access or no access to the tangible functionally related to aberrant behavior. The influence of these presession conditions was evaluated in an alternating treatments design. Results suggest that presession access may result in lower levels of aberrant behavior and higher levels of academic engagement during classroom instruction. Suggestions for future research and implications for
 
 
Tutorial #378
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
The Quantitative Analysis of Behavior
Monday, May 25, 2009
10:00 AM–10:50 AM
West 301 CD
Area: TPC/EAB; Domain: Theory
PSY/BACB CE Offered. CE Instructor: Tom Sharpe, Ed.D.
Chair: Sam Leigland (Gonzaga University)
Presenting Authors: : MICHAEL C. DAVISON (University of Auckland)
Abstract: What is the quantitative analysis of behavior? How do we parse a piece of verbal or nonverbal behavior to determine whether it was, or was not, a member of this operant class? Which should come first, the behaviors or the class definition—or should these co-develop dynamically? This talk is a personal and idiosyncratic view of what I think are, or should be, the topographies that satisfy this class and be reinforced by the scientific community. In particular, I will go to some pains to make clear that “quantitative” is not an alternative to “experimental” (thus, the better term for what I want to do is the “Quantitative Experimental Analysis of Behavior”)—because there does exist a non-experimental quantitative analysis of behavior, about which I shall wonder. What are the benefits of a quantitative approach relative to other approaches—is it better, or just harder? How might we convince audiences that are quantitatively unsophisticated that there are reinforcers to be gained from such behavior? Can this be done by giving invited talks at ABAI on the quantitative analysis of behavior? Michael Davison is Professor of Psychology, Honorary Professor in The Liggins Institute, and Director of the Experimental Analysis of Behaviour Research Unit, at Auckland University, New Zealand. He has been at Auckland for too many years. He got a Ph.D. from Otago University, NZ, and a D.Sc. from Auckland. He is a Fellow of ABAI and current Chair of the Fellows’ Committee; he is a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand and was awarded their Silver Medal for Research. He served a term as International Director on the ABAI Council, and on the SABA Board. He was given a SABA Award for the International Dissemination of Behavior Analysis in 2004, and the lab he directs will receive the SABA Award for Enduring Programmatic Contributions in Behavior Analysis in 2009. He has been on the Board of Editors of JEAB too many times to count, and has also been an Action Editor for JEAB. His interests are in the quantitative experimental analysis of choice and behavior allocation, and in the application of quantitative technologies to questions in Neuroscience. He has had a number of other interests: Potting, self-sufficiency, poetry, recorder music, and he intends, soon, to give up behavior analysis completely and to learn wood turning.
 
MICHAEL C. DAVISON (University of Auckland)
 
 
Symposium #424
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
The Use of Priming in Supported Inclusion of Children With Autism in General Education Classrooms
Monday, May 25, 2009
1:30 PM–2:50 PM
North 125
Area: AUT/CBM; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Joel P. Hundert (Behaviour Institute)
CE Instructor: Helena Maguire, Master's
Abstract: There is little reason to expect that placement of children with autism in general education classrooms will automatically result in their improved academic performance or social behaviors. Without specific interventions, children with autism in general education classrooms have difficulty learning the class curriculum, attending to teacher instruction, following classroom routines independently, or interacting positively with peers. Unfortunately, there is much more known about how to design and deliver interventions for children with autism in special than general education settings. Interventions to support children with autism in general education classrooms need to be both effective in bringing about improvement of children with autism, but also practical to conduct in a general education setting. One intervention that holds promise is priming, which consists of pre-exposing a child with autism to a problem situation (e.g., following classroom routines, completing seat work assignments) in one setting (e.g., resource room at school, home) that improves the child’s performance in a target setting (e.g., general education classroom). This symposium will explore the use of priming as an intervention to support children with autism in general education classrooms.
 
The Effect of Priming Conducted At Home on Classroom Routine-Following of Children With Autism
JOEL P. HUNDERT (Behaviour Institute), Miranda Sim (Behaviour Institute)
Abstract: Priming consists of exposing an individual to a problem situation before the situation occurs that improves how the individual performs in a target setting without addition interventions being introduced in that setting. Priming holds promises as an effective intervention to support children with autism in general education classrooms because the intervention is implemented in a setting other than the general education classroom. This paper will present the results of a study in which priming was introduced at home to improve the routine-following behavior of two five-year old boys with autism attending a general education classroom. Two types of priming sessions were conducted. One priming session consisted of each boy being taught to raise his hand and answering questions to a video of the classroom teacher teaching a “calendar time” lesson. The second priming session consisted of each boy practicing giving a social greeting (e.g., “hi”) to a video of a peer initiating a greeting. Effects on participants’ behaviors in the classroom was assessed by a multiple-baseline design across participants. Priming produced a increase in the target behaviors of participants in the classroom without addition interventions being introduced at school.
 
Limitations In The Use of Embedded Instruction for Supported Inclusion of Children With Autism
DONNA C. CHANEY (Behaviour Institute), Joel P. Hundert (Behaviour Institute)
Abstract: Embedded instruction consists of embedding teaching trials into the regular routine of a general education classroom and has been shown to be effective in teaching IEP objectives to children with autism in general education classrooms. However, in the studies that have been conducted, children with autism typically have received only between 15 and 30 embedded instruction trials in a school day. It has not been demonstrated that it is possible to embed a sufficiently high number of trials into the routines of a general education classroom to address the significant deficits of a child with autism, nor that increasing the number of embedded instruction trials delivered in a school day will increase the performance of children with autism. This paper will present the results of a study comparing the number of embedded instruction trials delivered to a 12-year old boy with autism by: a) a paraprofessional in a resource room; b) a special education teacher in a resource room; and, c) a general education teacher in a general education classroom.
 
The Use of Video Priming With Social Script Training To Increase the Peer Interaction of Children With Autism
JANE LEE (Behaviour Institute), Joel P. Hundert (Behaviour Institute), Erin Harrison (McMaster University)
Abstract: Social script training has been used to increase the peer interaction of children with autism with their peers in general education settings. Social skills training consists of introducing a structured play interaction sequence that is of interest and within the abilities of a child with autism and his or her peers. Typically, two adults are needed to teach script-following, one for the child with autism and the other for the play partner. Video priming (a video of a social script taken from the perspective of the child with autism) may be a more efficient strategy than adult prompting and praising to teach script-following and increase the interactive play of children with autism. This paper will present the results of a study in which video priming was used to introduce social script training for two children with autism attending general education classrooms. Using a multiple-baseline design effects were evaluated on the interactive play of children with autism both during target play sessions in which the video priming and social skill training were introduced, and during generalization play sessions in which these interventions were not introduced.
 
The Effect Of Selected Parameters On The Effect Of Priming For Children With Autism In a Classroom Setting
NICOLE WALTON-ALLEN (Behaviour Institute), Joel P. Hundert (Behaviour Institute), Brooke MacKinnon (McMaster University), Faria Sana (McMaster University), Naomi Wheeler (Behaviour Institute)
Abstract: Priming is typically conducted in one settings such as a child’s home or in a resource room at school and its effects are measured at a later time when the child uses the primed performance to handle a problem situation (e.g., following classroom routines) in another setting (e.g., in a general education classroom). It is unclear whether the length of the interval between the delivery of priming and its application by a child will influence the effect of priming. Similarly, it is unknown if the effects of priming would be enhanced by conducting priming in a setting similar to that in which the priming would be used. This paper will present the results of two studies in which a parameter of priming was varied and the resultant effects on the performance of a child with autism in a general education classroom evaluated. One study compared the effects of a 30-minute to a 3-hour delay between priming and its implementation in a classroom for two children with autism. A second study compared the effects of priming conducted in a 1:1 setting to priming conducted in the same classroom setting on the routine-following performance of two children with autism.
 
 
Symposium #434
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Further Analyses of the Sensitivity of Partial Interval Recording and Momentary Time Sampling for Detecting Behavior Changes
Monday, May 25, 2009
1:30 PM–2:50 PM
North 129 A
Area: DDA/AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: John T. Rapp (St. Cloud State University)
Abstract: This symposium includes four presentations on the sensitivity of partial interval recording (PIR) and momentary time sampling (MTS) for detecting changes in actual or simulated behavioral events. In the first study, Devine and Rapp generated simulated data to target sessions with various percentages (e.g., 25%, 50%, 75%) of an event and subsequently evaluated the extent to which each interval size of PIR and MTS detected small, moderate, or large behavior changes. In addition, Devine and Rapp evaluated whether 10-min, 30-min, or 60-min sessions increased the sensitivity of each interval size of PIR or MTS for detecting small or moderate behavior changes. Finally, Devine and Rapp also evaluated the extent to which PIR and MTS produced false positives when evaluating changes in duration events and whether interval methods generated trends that did not exist in the respective CDR data paths. Testa and Rapp conducted a study that was similar the Devine and Rapp study; however, they focused on evaluating changes in frequency (discrete) events with PIR and MTS. In the third study, Carrol and Rapp evaluated whether the sensitivity of MTS for detecting small or moderate behavior changes could be enhanced using (a) combinations of MTS and PIR, (b) combinations of MTS and whole interval recording, and (c) variable intervals sizes of MTS. In the final presentation, Delmolino et al. evaluated the extent to which various interval sizes of PIR and MTS detected the same behavior function as continuous measures based on the results from functional assessments for several individuals.
 
Evaluating the Accuracy of Interval Recording Methods in Estimating Duration Events: Assessing the Effect of Session Length
SHERISE L. DEVINE (St. Cloud State University and St. Amant), John T. Rapp (St. Cloud State University)
Abstract: This study extends upon the body of research that exists in assessing the accuracy of partial-interval recording (PIR) and momentary time sampling (MTS) in estimating duration events. Simulated data were generated to produce various absolute durations of behavior (25%, 33%, 50%, 66% and 75%) for various session lengths (10 min, 30 min, and 60 min). Inter-response times (IRT) were simulated for low, medium, or high ratios for each percentage of behavior. The generated data were scored using continuous duration recording (CDR) and graphed into ABAB reversal designs. Subsequently, the generated data were re-scored using PIR and MTS with interval sizes set at 10 s, 20 s, 30 s, 1 min, and 2 min. Results were graphed accordingly into ABAB reversal designs and visually inspected for functional control otherwise depicted in the CDR measures. Overall, increased session length yielded increased sensitivity for most interval recording methods examined, with exception to PIR interval sizes set at 30-s or higher. Increased session length allowed MTS with interval sizes up to 30-s to detect a slightly higher proportion of small behavior changes than 10-s MTS when using shorter sessions.
 
Evaluating the Sensitivity of Interval Recording Methods for Detecting Changes in Frequency Events: The Effect of Session Length
JENNIFER TESTA (St Cloud State University), John T. Rapp (St. Cloud State University)
Abstract: This study extends the findings on the accuracy of using partial interval recording (PIR) and momentary time sampling (MTS) to estimate frequency events by investigating the effects of session length. Using simulated data, continuous frequency records (CFR) were generated for events at different rates (approximately 0.75, 2.0, 3.0, 4.0, 5.0, 6.0, 8.0, 13.0, and 20.0 rpm) and session lengths (10, 30, and 60 min). Thereafter, CFR were converted into PIR and MTS records with 10-s, 20-s, 30-s, 1-min, and 2-min intervals. Data were depicted on line graphs and analyzed within ABAB reversal design. The results indicated that the sensitivity of various interval sizes of MTS increased as the session length increase and that some interval methods generate trends that do not appear in the CFR data paths.
 
Detecting Changes in Simulated Events: Using Variations of Momentary Time-Sampling to Measure Changes in Duration Events
REGINA A CARROLL (Saint Cloud State University), John T. Rapp (St. Cloud State University)
Abstract: The extent to which a greater proportion of small behavior changes could be detected with momentary time-sampling (MTS) was evaluated by (a) combining various interval sizes of partial-interval recording (PIR) with specific interval sizes of MTS and (b) using variable interval sizes of MTS that were based on means of 20 s and 1 min. For each targeted percentage, low, moderate, and high interresponse times to event-run ratios were compared with reversal designs to determine whether sensitivity increased with either variation of MTS. The results showed that (a) combinations of MTS and PIR and MTS and WIR yielded increased sensitivity over MTS alone; however, the increased sensitivity was offset by an increased probability of generating false positives and (b) variable-interval MTS produced comparable sensitivity to fixed-interval MTS. Thus, none of the three variations of MTS yielded increased detection of small behavior changes.
 
Comparison of data obtained via continuous and interval recording methods during functional behavior assessment and treatment evaluation for stereotyped behavior.
SUZANNAH J. FERRAIOLI (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, Rutger), Lara M. Delmolino (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, Rutger), Robert LaRue (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, Rutger), Kate E. Fiske (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Meredith Bamond (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, Rutger), Kimberly Sloman (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, Rutger)
Abstract: A number of studies have demonstrated that the use of partial interval recording (PIR) overestimates the occurrence of stereotyped behavior in clinical settings, whereas momentary time-sampling (MTS) more closely matches the relative duration of the behavior as measured by continuous observation and recording. (Delmolino, Fiske & Dackis, 2008; Gardenier, MacDonald, & Green, 2004). Further, it has been demonstrated that the selection of interval length and rate of the behavior impact the accuracy of both PIR and MTS (Fiske, Delmolino & Ferraioli, 2008; Gardenier et al., 2004 . Despite these findings, PIR data is often utilized for measurement of stereotyped behavior. In related research, Meany-Daboul, Roscoe, Bourret and Ahearn (2007) compared continuous frequency and duration data with PIR and MTS data within a treatment analysis and found that methods generated similar conclusions regarding data trends and response to treatment, although frequency data more closely matched PIR and duration data more closely matched MTS. The current study extends this line of research by comparing the data produced by continuous duration recording with PIR and MTS at various interval lengths for stereotypy exhibited by children with autism across functional behavior assessment sessions. Visual analysis will examine whether the same behavioral function is identified using each data method during functional assessment within a multi-element design. Subsequent data produced in treatment evaluation sessions with each observation method will also be compared to evaluate whether interpretations regarding response to treatment are influenced by data type. This line of research helps to highlight the need for calibration of data collection methods to ensure the most accurate data to guide data-based clinical decisions, particularly in relation to stereotyped behavior.
 
 
Symposium #439
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Goodbye Trainer: The Role of Rule Governed Behavior in Faculty Training
Monday, May 25, 2009
1:30 PM–2:50 PM
North 121 BC
Area: EDC/AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Kelly A. Hobbins (Hawthorne Country Day School)
CE Instructor: Lisa Britton, Ph.D.
Abstract: The higher-order class of behaviors that characterize rule governed behavior play a role in traditional and novel forms of faculty training in schools. Because of the economical nature, and practicality generated by instruction-following, many complex behaviors of school staff are shaped by the verbal community. While many traditional approaches to faculty training involve instruction following, these instructed performances are often insensitive to the consequences experienced in a classroom. The four papers presented in this symposium will provide instructional tactics for ensuring such skilled performance with faculty that allow a combination of both rule governed and contingency shaped experiences through the use of PSI, module systems of training, as well as a teacher performance rate accuracy tool. Further, the papers will examine the contingencies that maintain instruction following, as well as the relationship between verbal formulations and nonverbal contingencies. Results discussed from each of the aforementioned studies will also examine the contingencies that maintain instruction-following with respect to faculty training.
 
The Economics and Outcomes of PSI in Faculty Training
AMY J. DAVIES LACKEY (Hawthorne Country Day School), Virginia S. Wong (Hawthorne Country Day School), Jean Korchma (Hawthorne Country Day School)
Abstract: The personalized system of instruction (PSI) developed by Keller and his colleagues has been demonstrated to be effective in collegiate settings. Whether this system can be effective in the workplace (specifically a school setting) may depend on the economics of time and student outcomes as a result of this type of training. Procedures described by Keller (1968) were employed with the training of school staff in a behavior analytic school setting, and compared with a traditional lecture method used in workshops and staff training. A within-subjects design was used in which half of the faculty participants experienced the PSI condition and half experienced the traditional lecture method. Following the training sequence, employees were to demonstrate the skills they acquired by running instructional programs in a discrete trial format. Accuracy and rate, as well as teacher and student performance were measured through the use of a Teacher Performance Rate Accuracy Form, or TPRA (Greer), and functioned as the dependent variable of the study.
 
Using a Self-Management Script with an Embedded Task Analysis to Prompt Teacher Completion of Performance Goals and Collateral Effects on Student Behavior
TINA MARIE COVINGTON (Hawthorne Foundation), Daren Cerrone (Hawthorne Country Day School), Jason Cory Rosenfeld (Hawthorne Country Day School), Amanda W Doll (Manhattanville College), Jean Korchma (Hawthorne Country Day School)
Abstract: In three studies we investigated the effects of a self-management script on the cumulative number of performance goals completed by teachers. Teachers were given a set of 5 performance goals related to increasing verbal behavior; contingency shaped behavior, and verbally mediated skills in ABA. Supervisors through quizzes, spot checks and classroom meetings monitored progress. During intervention, teachers were given a self-management script, which listed the behaviors necessary to identify, organize, set up a timeline, and monitor the completion of performance goals. Results showed that the textual script correlated with an increase in the number of performance goals completed weekly by the participants. Positive effects on student behavior were evident and suggested further investigation on the collateral effects of the completion of the performance goals.
 
The Effects of Supervisor-Delivered Feedback and Video Self-Observation with the Teacher Performance Rate/Accuracy (TPRA) Measurement
AMANDA W DOLL (Manhattanville College), Daren Cerrone (Hawthorne Country Day School), Jason Cory Rosenfeld (Hawthorne Country Day School)
Abstract: Previous research has demonstrated that teachers in special education settings make superior improvements in their instruction when they are provided with repeated observations and specific, rather than general feedback (Ingham & Greer, 1992) that addresses both their own behavior and their students’ behavior simultaneously, such as with the TPRA (Selinske, Greer, & Lodhi (1991). The present multiple baseline across teachers study used the TPRA measure within a special school environment to provide written and graphic feedback to teachers and teaching assistants during a baseline condition. Those staff identified as requiring support on the basis of their pre-intervention performance were invited to participate. These staff were taught to code videotaped instructional segments until they were calibrated observers to the training tape. Finally, teachers recorded their own teaching and were then taught to perform TPRA observations on themselves and to apply decision rules and goal-setting to their own graphed performances. A functional relationship between video self-observation was demonstrated for several of the teachers.
 
Teaching machines for teachers - The Legacy of BF Skinner
JEREMY H. GREENBERG (Applied Behavioral Consulting Services, LLC)
Abstract: There has been an increase in the use of computers and technology over the recent years in the instruction of students. Video modeling has demonstrated positive results for many students. Teachers and supervisors can benefit as well from technological enhanced instruction. Schools for students that use applied behavior analysis have a need for consistent training procedures. Some examples of computer-based training will be discussed as well as potential benefits.
 
 
Panel #462
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Professional Development Series: Understanding the Publication Process
Monday, May 25, 2009
3:00 PM–4:20 PM
North 121 BC
Area: EDC; Domain: Theory
CE Instructor: Tom Sharpe, Ed.D.
Chair: Kelly M. Vinquist (University of Iowa)
GREGORY J. MADDEN (University of Kansas)
DOROTHEA C. LERMAN (University of Houston-Clear Lake)
GREGORY P. HANLEY (Western New England College)
JENNIFER R. ZARCONE (University of Rochester Medical Center)
Abstract: The publication process is essential in the development, expansion, and dissemination of research in behavior analysis. During this event, panelists will describe the publication process and provide the audience with useful tips to help authors publish their work.
 
 
Symposium #465
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Managing your Organization: Taking a Systemic Approach for Optimal Success
Monday, May 25, 2009
3:00 PM–4:20 PM
North 221 AB
Area: OBM/AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: H. Keith Massel (Vista Center for Behavior Analysis)
Discussant: Manuel A. Rodriguez (CLG)
CE Instructor: Allen Karsina, M.S.
Abstract: Managing an organization requires the understanding and appreciation of many internal and external variables, which interact in complex ways. For an organization to reach its full potential, these variables must be accounted for and managed. External variables, such as third party payment systems, industry best practices, and governmental regulations, to name a few, regularly effect the ways that agencies take on new clients and provide services. Internal variables such as goals and strategies, staff training, hiring & recruiting, consequences & feedback, and management practices can affect the quality, timeliness and cost of services. In order to effectively manage an agency that meets the demands of its cliental while achieving it’s mission, the interactions and influences of these external and internal variables must be measured and managed. This symposium will begin with a brief overview of a systems perspective of an organization and an introduction to the tools required to establish an Optimal Performance System. This paper will be followed by an example of the application of these tools within an ABA service provider agency, and finally the presentation will conclude with first hand accounts and testimonials from employees working within the agency. After seeing Optimal’s approach to system management and seeing the results of its application, audience members should leave with a rudimentary understanding of a systems perspective to organizational management and an understanding of the potential for such an approach, in a clinical ABA program.
 
Optimal’s Approach to System Management
SHANE D. ISLEY (Optimal), Donnie M. Staff (Optimal)
Abstract: Optimal encourages the application of evidence-based approaches, which enlists tools from human performance technology (HPT). These tools drive the analysis and design of systems that can be maintained by employees within the organization. The goal of a system design should be to provide agencies with a strong infrastructure that will support highly proficient, sustainable services, prevent inefficient processes, and as a result, minimize costs. Optimal emphasizes a value-adding, results-driven, systemic, partnership approach to system design, and specializes in establishing a comprehensive performance improvement culture for organizations, which encourages ongoing performance enhancing efforts long after Optimal has completed its intervention efforts. Organizations who adopt comprehensive performance-centered systems effectively generate services and link adaptively to their environment. Organizational and performance deficiencies occur when essential workplace variables (mission-goals, process quality, feedback systems, and alignment among organizational levels) interfere with performance. Understanding and appreciating an organization’s systemic nature is the key to a successful design of a successful organization. Brethower, D. M. (1995.) Specifying a Human Performance Technology Knowledgebase. Performance Improvement Quarterly, 8(2), 17-39.
 
Vista Center for Behavior Analysis: Implementing an Optimal Performance System to Individuals with Autism and their Families
H. KEITH MASSEL (Vista Center for Behavior Analysis), Shane D. Isley (Optimal)
Abstract: Providing highly effective, consistent, and sustainable services to individuals with autism and their families requires more than skilled clinicians and willing clients. While it is an often-overlooked feature of effective services delivery, providing such services requires comprehensive performance analysis and improvement efforts at all levels of an agency. Recognizing this, Vista initiated an agency-wide reorganization, based on a comprehensive performance analysis of their organization. In a desire to expand, Vista began to deconstruct and rebuild their organization’s foundation, in accordance with the methods and practices of human performance technology (HPT) and systems theory. These efforts began with a functional mission statement collaboratively created between Vista employees and Optimal. Disseminated throughout the agency, the mission statement was the beginning of an entire agency re-alignment that allowed the managerial staff of Vista to direct their performance improvement efforts towards a resolute outcome. Employees’ performance goals and decisions can be steered and evaluated by this organization-wide objective. This was followed by objective and quantifiable work outputs developed for all job levels, designed to align with and support the elements of Vista’s new mission statement. Phase I of the reorganization also involved the development of a restructured client scheduling process that is efficient, streamlined, tested and was systematically rolled out in order to insure its sustainability. Continuing efforts include the streamlining and systemizing of other key internal processes, as well as an advanced measurement and employee reimbursement process.
 
The Effects of a Reorganized System on Vista Center for Behavior Analysis’ Clinical Staff and Services
MARIA G. JIMENEZ (Vista Center for Behavior Analysis), Mario Vega (Vista Center for Behavior Analysis), H. Keith Massel (Vista Center for Behavior Analysis)
Abstract: True systemic interventions create noticeable changes throughout an organization. When internal and external variables are being measured and manipulated throughout the organization, employees and clients at all levels should be able detect these changes. The emphasis on organizational alignment during performance improvement efforts exists for several reasons, one of them being so that employees and clients are directly tied into the inner workings of the agency at all times. When this occurs, it provides employees and clients with a direct and immediate feedback loop concerning the effectiveness of services. During this section of the symposium, Vista’s Program Managers will report on the effectiveness of Vista’s performance improvement efforts, allowing audience members the opportunity to see the systemic effects of such efforts, as well as an example of an efficient and well-managed human service organization.
 
 
Symposium #471
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Practice-based evidence in public education: systematic on-site consultation and special education for students with autism.
Monday, May 25, 2009
3:30 PM–4:50 PM
North 124 A
Area: AUT/VRB; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Michael Miklos (Pennsylvania Training and Technical Assistance Net)
CE Instructor: Keith D. Allen, Ph.D.
Abstract: Technical support to special education teachers often consists of verbal “stand and deliver” trainings removed from classroom environments. Teachers often attend didactic trainings in order to receive continuing education credit without a systematic process for transferring verbal training to actual repertoires in the classroom setting. The brief reports included in this symposium will highlight efforts to provide direct on-site training to special education staff. Each report will review components of a system of technical support driven by procedural integrity and supporting data based systems of instruction. Data summarizing a variety of consultative efforts will be presented. Primary emphasis of discussion will be on explicit procedural processes for instructional staff that generate evidence of individual student performance. The range of processes to be discussed include training in single subject design to enhance instructional skills of teachers, use of procedural descriptions of consultation to improve instructional fidelity, third party review of instructional implementation as a system of classroom organizational management, and explicit feedback as a means to training instructional fidelity for discrete trial instruction.
 
Getting the analysis in public special education through single-subject case study requirements
MICHAEL MIKLOS (Pennsylvania Training and Technical Assistance Net)
Abstract: This presentation will review data collected for formal case studies completed over the past two years within Pennsylvania public education autism support classes participating in the Pennsylvania Verbal Behavior Project. Approximately 40 case studies per year have been developed in participating classrooms. Summary data for case studies from the past two years will be discussed. The case studies have required public education classrooms to develop, implement and review case studies with increasingly empirical designs. The process to be reviewed involves submission of a case study proposal including consideration of study design to demonstrate functional relations, verification of both dependent and independent variable definitions, and steps to ensure treatment fidelity. The proposal is then implemented in the classroom. Case studies are summarized and an informal review with public presentation of findings is completed. The case study format allows teachers and other special education staff to come in contact with the process of scientific verification of instructional interventions.
 
Systematic feedback and procedural descriptions of consultation outcomes: the value of written consultation reports in relation to student outcomes.
AMIRIS DIPUGLIA (PaTTAN/ PA Verbal Behavior Project)
Abstract: Multiple written procedural descriptions derived from data based observations will be described in relation to student performance in autism support classes within the Pennsylvania Verbal Behavior Project. Procedures for classroom organization, teaching mands, tacts, and intraverbals as well as problem behavior reduction plans will be highlighted. The session will include description of the integration of assessment systems used in consultation with formal observation, data review, and intervention development. Included will be a description of a format for consultative reports that specifies the consultative issues in objective terms while requiring relevant behavioral data review, an interpretation of the data, and specific recommendations based on the data. The report format serves to reduce ambiguity in the consultative process while increasing the probability of consultation functioning to alter student repertoires. Several examples of the written reports from actual classroom consultations will be presented. The value of written notes as means of increasing procedural compliance will be discussed.
 
Formal site review of classroom implementation and its relation to planning instructional delivery: does telling them what they do lead to changes in what they do?
DEBRA NAMEY (Pa Verbal Behavior Project)
Abstract: Through the process of delineating performance criteria for classroom teachers serving students with autism, targeted priorities for behavioral consultation can be developed. Outcomes suggesting the relation between site review data, specific instructional design, consultation and changes in classroom practice will be summarized. The PA Verbal Behavior Project site review form includes ratings of: 1. classroom organization 2. data systems 3. consultation and training processes 4. instruction including mand training, intensive teaching, group instruction, and social skills 5. problem behavior interventions. Ratings in each domain specify instructional behaviors that, if not in place for participating classrooms, are targeted for development through systematic consultation. Data on the reliability of the site review process and change in levels of implementation will be presented. The session will describe how the information from site reviews is used to guide the behavior of consultants in the PA Verbal Behavior Project. Implications for planning individual student programming will be considered.
 
Integration of manualization and direct feedback processes for training intensive teaching of the verbal operants.
MARY L. BARBERA (PA Verbal Behavior Project)
Abstract: Through transcription of instructional behavior, direct feedback can be provided to instructors in relation to established discrete trial procedures. Examples of this process will be provided. This report will describe implementation of a system for feedback based on direct observation of teacher behavior as a training system and its relation to student skill acquisition. The model of discrete trial instruction used includes interspersed trials, with balanced high probability and low probability tasks, errorless procedures for instructional acquisition targets, and focuses primarily on acquisition of the verbal operants as identified in Skinner, 1957. The transcription process involves coding instructional behavior of discrete trial instructors in relation to student behavior with formalized codes. The staff training procedure to be described here will include four components: 1. Viewing and documenting a training DVD which specifies the components of the discrete trial teaching process. 2. Practicing presenting discrete trials with guided practice 3. Receiving direct feedback on actual teaching practice with data derived from the transcription process 4. Continuous process of student acquisition of skills taught through the discrete trial teaching.
 
 
Symposium #476
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
ACT and RFT: New Directions in Clinical and Educational Work
Monday, May 25, 2009
3:30 PM–4:50 PM
North 222 C
Area: CBM/EDC; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Chad Drake (Portland Psychotherapy Clinic, Research, and Train)
Discussant: Chad Drake (Portland Psychotherapy Clinic, Research, and Train)
CE Instructor: Janet Ellis, Ph.D.
Abstract: Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and Relational Frame Theory have made significant strides in applied science endeavors of significant social concern and interest. The technology involved in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and Relational Frame Theory assists in understanding complex issues such as the influences on high risk behaviors and fantasizing responses. In addition, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and Relational Frame Theory concepts and applications can demonstrate how value directed behavior can improve academic achievement. Each of the presenters will show how experiential avoidance can influence individuals to engage in various clinically relevant behaviors. The presenters from each team will also describe the relational conditioning processes that set the occasion for complex human repertories. The discussion among all of the presenting teams will have focus on how normal verbal processes lead to psychological struggle and seemingly unconventional and high risk behavior. Where relevant, treatment implications will be discussed as well as avenues for further research.
 
A Relational Frame Theory Account of the Emergence and Maintenance of Rape Fantasies
FAWNA STOCKWELL (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology), Daniel J. Moran (Trinity Services)
Abstract: A sexual fantasy is a series of private events which either evoke or increase sexual arousal. Current research indicates that as many as 33% of women report experiencing at least one sexually arousing rape fantasy in their lifetime, and 10% engage in this fantasy as often as once a month (Shulman & Horne, 2006). This paper will provide a primer on Relational Frame Theory and how the normal processes involved in classical, operant, and relational conditioning can build more complex repertoires that eventually influence the emergence of private stimuli, which may appear taboo or unconventional, to take on reinforcing properties. The influence of metaphorical relating will be discussed. This presentation will develop an account of how sexual fantasy is a type of covert verbal responding which can lead to more complex repertoires, and how rape fantasies can be a selected feature of a person’s repertoire as a result of normal verbal processes.
 
Experiential avoidance and at-risk behavior patterns
SUSAN E. CLARKE (Dorset Healthcare NHS Trust), Jessica Kingston (University of Southampton), Bob Remington (University of Southampton)
Abstract: Many maladaptive behavior patterns (e.g., deliberate self-harm, drug use, risky sexual practices, excessive exercise, binge eating) are of social concern. Well documented risk factors for such problem behaviors include childhood trauma (an environmental risk factor) and negative affect intensity (a temperamental risk factor). According to Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), however, the relationship between such risk factors and maladaptive behavior is mediated by Experiential Avoidance (EA), the tendency to avoid unwanted private events (e.g., thoughts, feelings, memories). This study used a cross-sectional design to test these hypothesized relations using Structural Equation Modeling (SEM). An opportunity sample of 690 volunteers completed the Acceptance and Action Questionnaire (AAQ), the Maladaptive Behavior Questionnaire (MBQ), a reliable and validated composite measure of problem behaviors developed by the authors, and two self-report measures of key risk factors (the Affect Intensity Measure-Negative Intensity Scale and the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire). SEM analysis revealed that EA fully mediated the relationship between negative affect intensity and the MBQ scores, and partially mediated the relationship between childhood trauma and the MBQ measure. These findings implicate EA as a key process through which childhood adversity and negative affect intensity impacts on maladaptive behavior.
 
Psychological Flexibility, Academic Success, and Valued Living
A. NICKI JEANE (University of Mississippi), Emily Kennison Sandoz (University of Mississippi), Kelly G. Wilson (University of Mississippi), Kate Kellum (The University of Mississippi)
Abstract: College is a difficult venture. Increased academic, social, and practical demands associated with the adjustment to college make academic success a challenge for most. The significant implications of successfully navigating those demands likely make it worse. Behavior analysis has had a hand in improving educational environments for all ages and academic levels. Through operant and relational conditioning processes, school can come to exert aversive control, which can make avoidance increasingly likely, and success increasingly elusive. The authors will discuss how experiential and emotional avoidance can have a significant impact, not only on vaule directed behavior, but also on important academic achievement scores. Emerging behavior therapies (e.g., Acceptance and Commitment Therapy) suggest that interventions on school success might be improved by focusing on increasing flexibility with school-related stimuli, and contact with chosen values. The current study examines the relationship between psychological flexibility, academic success, and valued living. Further directions will be discussed.
 
 
Symposium #509
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
In Proximity and Engaged, Now What? Taking the PLA-Check to the Next Level
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
North 124 B
Area: AUT/DDA; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Edward Hargroves III (DFW Center for Autism)
Discussant: Einar Ingvarsson (University of North Texas)
CE Instructor: Daniel J. Moran, Ph.D.
Abstract: As environmental arrangement becomes increasingly pivotal in evaluating treatment efficacy, systematic methods of assessing environments and client participation are needed. . Todd R. Risley and his students recognized this in the early 1970s and developed the Planned Activity Check, (PLA-Check, Doke and Risley, 1972). The measure requires little observer effort, evaluating and comparing entire activity periods or settings using group recording time-sampling procedures. Proportions of time a client is observed to be appropriately engaged or participating in the target activity are then evaluated. After developing a manual and testing the protocol in a variety of settings from infant day-care settings to geriatric homes, (Risley and Cataldo, 1973), Risley and colleagues encouraged others to utilize the system in behavior therapy practices. The PLA-Check has since been applied to numerous treatment settings and has been used as a staff performance feedback system. This symposium will evaluate proposed uses and modifications of the PLA-Check in treatment settings for children with autism. The modifications range from changes in the original group measure to alterations that make it feasible to evaluate individual client differences. Pros and cons of these formats as well as the benefits of further evaluating and disseminated the usage of the PLA-check are discussed.
 
Adapting the PLA-Check: From Group to Individual Analyses
LAUREN BOEHM (DFW Center for Autism), Kecia Adams-Wright (DFW Center for Autism), Julie Griffith (DFW Center for Autism), Jessie Whitesides (DFW Center for Autism), Edward Hargroves III (DFW Center for Autism), Rebecca Morgan (DFW Center for Autism), Carrie Greer (DFW Center for Autism), Rebecka Honardar (DFW Center for Autism)
Abstract: PLA-Check (Risley & Cataldo, 1973) data were collected at the Texas Star Academy, an inclusive preschool serving students with autism alongside typically developing peers, which is a replication of the renowned Walden Early Childhood Center at Emory University (McGee, Daly, & Jacobs, 1994). The PLA-Check has been used to provide an understanding of the propriety of learning environments and activities offered, and to show the differences in the engagement of the children with autism and their typical peers. The PLA-Check has been adapted to make it an effective tool for collecting similar information in private preschool settings. However, rather than evaluating an entire group of students together with their peers, individual engagement data were collected for a target student during selected community preschool activities. A normative sample was also gathered in order to set attainable objectives for each target child in the community preschool settings to arrange for optimal success in each activity. Data from both the group Walden replication setting and the individual community preschool settings are exhibited, compared, and discussed. Original PLA-Check designs and rationales for using and adapting the measure in similar settings also are examined.
 
A Circle of Friends: Comparing Individual Differences to a Small Normative Group
SHANA WIGGINS (DFW Center for Autism), Kristen Casteel (DFW Center for Autism), Thomas O’Mara (DFW Center for Autism), Kecia Adams-Wright (DFW Center for Autism), Rebecca Morgan (DFW Center for Autism)
Abstract: Risley and Cataldo’s (1973) PLA-Check was used to observe a 4 year old child with High Functioning Autism within his preschool setting in order to gauge proximity and engagement in various activities compared to his typically developing peers. Overtime, the participant achieved levels on the PLA-Check that were comparable to his typically developing peers, but it was evident that other social and communication skills within group settings were not as complex as those that were demonstrated by his peers. More specifically, the participant did not initiate with or respond to peers at similar rates. As a result, treatment programs were designed to target these specific deficits in 1:1, 1:2, and group settings. In order to capture the rate at which he engaged in language initiations and responses with his peers, the initial PLA-Check was modified to allow these behaviors to be measured. This modification still allowed for data to be collected on his peers who were present within the same activity, which served as a normative reference. The modified PLA-Check proved to be a valuable tool, providing guidance on when and where program updates were needed. Due to the successful adaptations to the original PLA-Check measure, the modified PLA-Check has since been beneficial in other children’s programming.
 
Coming Full Circle: Individuals’ Data and Group Data Revisited
JULIE GRIFFITH (DFW Center for Autism), Kecia Adams-Wright (DFW Center for Autism), Rebecca Morgan (DFW Center for Autism), Rachael Shrontz (DFW Center for Autism)
Abstract: Originally, the PLA-Check was used to measure target behaviors within a group across time or activities. Since the introduction of the PLA-Check adaptations have been made to make the measurement system more individualized to meet the needs of the observer. The current discussion reviews the use of an adapted version of the PLA-Check to observe behaviors of two children with autism, including proximity to peers, interaction with typically developing peers, and language emitted by those being observed, in addition to activity engagement. These additional measures were used to observe two children with autism in separate inclusive settings. Data for each individual were collected on two levels. On the first level, the individual’s behavior was measured with no additional comparison to other individuals. The second level of measurement compared group behavior of those engaged in the target behaviors to the total number of children within the group. Both levels of measurement provide a useful comparison.
 
 
Panel #510
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Facilitating Generalization of Treatment Effects in Individuals with Autism
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
North 120 BC
Area: AUT/EDC; Domain: Service Delivery
CE Instructor: Rita Honan, Ph.D.
Chair: Mary Jane Weiss (Rutgers University)
ANDREW S. BONDY (Pyramid Educational Consultants)
ILENE S. SCHWARTZ (University of Washington)
SABRINA D. DANESHVAR (Autism Spectrum Therapies)
CHRISTINA WHALEN (Jigsaw Learning)
Abstract: Generality of treatment gains for individuals with autism spectrum disorders is a primary concern for clinicians. This panel will address strategies for increasing generalization. Panel members will address generalization strategies in home and in school settings, and will focus on parent and staff training approaches that increase success. In addition, panelists will address applications with the Picture Exchange Communication System and with computer-based instructional technologies.
 
 
Symposium #513
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Classroom-Based Behavior Management Strategies to Address Attending and Disruptive Behavior in Children with Developmental Disabilities
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
North 125
Area: AUT/EDC; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Stacey Buchanan Williams (Melmark New England)
Discussant: Frank L. Bird (Melmark New England)
CE Instructor: Frank Cicero, Ph.D.
Abstract: There is a rich literature base on behavioral interventions designed to address behavioral excesses and deficits in children with developmental disabilities. This symposium adds to this knowledge and highlights three behavioral interventions used to reduce challenging behavior and increase appropriate behavior in private school and inclusion settings. The first talk shares results from a multi-component treatment package designed to address aggression in two children with autism. In the second talk, a differential reinforcement procedure combined with time out was effective in reducing both verbal and physical stereotypy as well as increasing appropriate behavior in a young boy with autism educated in a private school setting. The symposium will conclude with a presentation on the results of an intervention used to promote self-monitoring and thereby increase attending of a learner in an inclusion setting. Presenters will summarize existing research, describe intervention methodologies, offer empirical examples, and discuss implications within educational settings.
 
Use of a Multi-Component Treatment to Decrease Inappropriate Behaviors and Promote Self-Regulation
STACEY BUCHANAN WILLIAMS (Melmark New England), Keri M. Butters (Melmark New England), Lisa Freedman (Melmark New England)
Abstract: The effects of a differential reinforcement of alternate behavior (DRA) intervention combined with a time out procedure for increasing appropriate behaviors for two students within a private school setting were evaluated. During baseline, both students demonstrated high frequencies of aggression and one student also demonstrated high frequencies of screaming (Student A: aggression M = 31; Student B: aggression M = 34 and screaming M = 99). During treatment, a visual board that depicted a specific rule for accessing tokens and a subsequent reinforcer was introduced. The reverse side of the visual board contained an icon that represented the reinforcer was no longer available. During the DRA procedure, students received tokens for demonstrating appropriate behavior during a predetermined time interval. If the students demonstrated aggression or screaming, the visual board was turned over signaling the time out procedure was in effect. After achieving a calm criterion, the DRA procedure was immediately reinstated. The interval duration per token was systematically increased over time. Frequencies of challenging behavior decreased for Student A (aggression M = 20) and Student B (aggression M = 18 and screaming M = 78) during treatment.
 
Effects of Differential Reinforcement and Time Out to Reduce Vocal and Physical Stereotypy in a Child with Autism
Florence D. DiGennaro Reed (Melmark New England), STACEY BUCHANAN WILLIAMS (Melmark New England)
Abstract: Stereotypic behavior is frequently observed in individuals with autism and is often an area of focus for intervention. Stereotypy has the potential to impede skill development when it occurs at high levels and to stigmatize individuals who engage in this topography of behavior. The purpose of this presentation is to share findings from an investigation in which a multi-component treatment was introduced to reduce the vocal and physical stereotypy of a student with autism served within a private school setting. The percentage of intervals during which the student engaged in verbal (M = 40%) and physical (M = 34%) stereotypy was at moderate levels during baseline. Following treatment consisting of an interval-based DRA and time out procedure, significant reductions in verbal (M =4%) and physical (M = 3%) stereotypy were found during 5-min sessions. Over time, the procedure was introduced across the school day and the interval for receipt of the reinforcer was increased from 50 seconds to 10 minutes. Intervals during which appropriate behavior was exhibited as the time was increased averaged 95%. Implications of these findings as they relate to the development of behavioral interventions to address stereotypic behavior in educational settings will be discussed.
 
Use of a Self-Recording Form to Teach Self-Monitoring of Attending Behaviors in an Inclusion Setting
JESSICA R. EVERETT (Melmark New England), Pat Dennis (Melmark New England)
Abstract: The ability to attend to instruction within a classroom environment is a primary goal of school inclusion. Learning opportunities are increased when students are able to attend to instruction independently and are able to re-direct themselves back to task when needed. For students with deficits in their ability to attend to instruction, specific intervention must be targeted towards teaching these skills. This presentation will highlight a systematic instructional approach to teach students with autism spectrum disorders attending skills using a self-monitoring tool where the student first learns to accurately record his behavior and then learns to generalize the skill in a group instruction format. The approach to be presented includes both fading of instructor support, instruction in self-reinforcement, and systematic increasing of time intervals in which the student self-monitors attending behaviors. Data from clinical case examples will be shared. Procedures for generalization of skill development across environments and instruction will also be discussed.
 
 
Symposium #514
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Pivotal Response Treatment: Applications for Training and Intervention
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
North 128
Area: AUT/DDA; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Daniel Adam Openden (Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center (SARRC)
CE Instructor: Monika Suchowierska, Ph.D.
Abstract: In the last several years Pivotal Response Treatment (PRT) has gained momentum in its use as an evidence based treatment method.This symposium will present four studies using Pivotal Response Treatment. Each study will focus on a different aspect of PRT. Two studies focus on dissemination and teaching of PRT principles, while the other two studies consist of single subject design studies that investigate specific aspects of direct intervention using PRT.
 
Specialized Training Programs in Autism for Teachers and Related Professionals
JENNIFER B. SYMON (California State University)
Abstract: Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) present with specific challenges in their social communication skills and behaviors. Yet, many educational team members, including teachers, lack specialized training in autism. This presentation will describe a federally funded, multi-disciplinary training program for a variety of professionals working with and supporting children with ASD. Early childhood special education teachers, school counselors, school psychologists, agency ABA therapists, speech pathologists and other professionals have received training through this program. Outcome data from the project along with several graduate students’ research projects will be presented demonstrating improved skills for children with ASD.
 
Pivotal Response Training Group Therapy Model: Analysis of Parent and Child Outcomes
MENDY BOETTCHER MINJAREZ (Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry)
Abstract: Rates of autism have increased in the last ten years in the United States and some data suggest California is being hit particularly hard. With children being diagnosed as young as 18 months of age, the need for services is increasing. Research has demonstrated that interventions based on operant conditioning procedures, such as Pivotal Response Training (PRT), lead to improvements in the core symptoms of autism. This research supports that parents can become effective intervention agents. Historically, such interventions have been delivered individually; however, the increase in service demand makes this model relatively inefficient. As a result, researchers are beginning investigate group treatment models, which have little empirical support to date. The purpose of the present study was to demonstrate that parents can learn PRT procedures in a ten-week group therapy format and meet fidelity of implementation criteria for treatment termination typically used in individual therapy. An additional purpose was to demonstrate that when parents learn the PRT procedures their children make subsequent treatment gains. A multiple baseline design across subjects demonstrated that: 1) targeted skills not used by parents during baseline parent-child interactions are used by post-treatment; 2) children’s language skills improved during parent-child interactions from baseline to post-treatment. These findings are analyzed in light of the clinical need for more data driven, cost-effective, and efficient treatment models and the research need for more robust analysis of naturalistic behavioral treatment models.
 
When Behaviors Interfere: A Comprehensive Treatment Package To Increase Skill Acquisition In Pivotal Response Treatment
LAURA R. BUTLER (Behavioral Support Partnership)
Abstract: Pivotal response training (PRT) aims to provide opportunities for learning in the context of natural environments and consists of a comprehensive delivery model that uses both a developmental approach and applied behavior analysis. When working with children with Autism we sometimes see an increase in inappropriate behaviors at the start of treatment. This burst in inappropriate behaviors can lead to a major portion of therapy being focused on the reduction of such behaviors making effective treatment difficult. The following study incorporates a comprehensive treatment package to reduce the occurrence of inappropriate behaviors which in turn will show an increase in skill acquisition using Pivotal Response Treatment. Intervention consisted of two schedules of differential reinforcement (DRO and DRA), combined with video modeling and teaching calming techniques. It is expected that the treatment package will reduce inappropriate behaviors and increase skill acquisition in PRT. It is also hypothesized that with the reduction of behaviors, scores on developmental assessments will increase substantially over a 3 month period. Results will be discussed in terms of the need for comprehensive intervention across settings for children whose progress is limited as a result or their challenging behaviors.
 
Teaching Language to Very Young Children At Risk For ASD Using PRT: Comparing Responsivity To Verbal Prompting With Responsivity To Environmental Obstructions.
YVONNE BRUINSMA (Behavioral Support Partnership)
Abstract: Now that ASD symptoms are detected at earlier ages, early intervention services have begun to adjust teaching strategies to very young children. Relatively little specific research has been conducted that specifically takes into account the very young age of the children receiving early intervention services. The present study investigated a specific prompting method for three children at risk for ASD younger than 24 months of age. A treatment reversal design was utilized to investigate whether children were more responsive to environmental obstructions in comparison to direct verbal prompting where the object was withheld. Therapists used motivational PRT strategies and alternated between the two conditions during the experiment. During the environmental obstruction condition the therapist put the object out of reach, handed the child something they were unable to operate or open, and/or the therapist pretended to ignore the child. Data suggested that younger children were more likely to attempt verbal utterances if an environmental obstruction was used. These results will be discussed and further directions will be explored.
 
 
Symposium #525
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Using "The Inventory of Good Learner Repertoires"
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
North 122 A
Area: EDC/AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Steven J. Ward (Whole Child Consulting)
Discussant: Judah Axe (Simmons College)
CE Instructor: Melanie Rose, M.S.
Abstract: This symposium will include 2 papers that present case studies reviewing the use of "The Inventory of Good Learner Repertoires". These presenters work with a young girl with autism, and an adolescent male with multiple disabilities. The presenters reviewing case studies will discuss learner characterstics, such as rate of acquisition, settings available to their learners, and anecdotal reports of their learners' functioning. "The Inventory of Good Learner Repertoires" measures a learner's: behavioral excesses, quality of performance in regard to tasks, supports required to maintain safe behaviors, and accomodations required to maintain relatively high quality task-related responding. The results have implications for the advancement of learners into educational settings of a less-restrictive nature, and access to the community. It is argued that access to a wide variety of environments facilitates acquisition and generalization of a variety of functional repertoires. The third presenter will discuss the use of "The Inventory of Good Learner Repertoires" with several learners, as well as the rationale behind the use of this inventory.
 
Using "The Inventory of Good Learner Repertoires" with a Young Girl with Autism.
JOHNNA R. CONLEY (The Chicago School)
Abstract: The presenter will share information regarding the characteristics and progress of a young girl with autism over several years of intervention. Both quantitative and anecdotal reports will be presented. Specifically, this presenter will compare this learner's performance prior to assessment using "The Inventory of Good Learner Repertoires" with performance after programming was influenced by the outcomes of this inventory. Completion of this inventory led to several modifications in programming, such as an increased emphasis on "respecting 'no'" and "'Yes' functioning as a reinforcer". "The Inventory of Good Learner Repertoires" has implications for the ease with which a learner can be taught and the environments in which those learners can participate. This young girl with autism has become easier to teach since programming has been influenced by "The Inventory of Good Learner Repertoires".
 
Re-focusing behavior support plans to teach "Good Learner Repertoires".
JILL MCLAURY (Circle of Friends/Bright Futures)
Abstract: The presenter will share information about the characteristics and history of an adolescent male with multiple disabilities. This learner temporarily attended school in a public setting, and was removed after behavior excesses led to intrusive interventions. He currently participates in a private school setting, and his programming has been influenced by "The Inventory of Good Learner Repertoires". This inventory guides practitioners to consider not only the quality of their learner's performance, but also the environmental accomodations necessary to maintain that performance. Both quantitative and anecdotal data will be shared regarding this learner's rate of acquisition and level of functioning prior to assessment with "The Inventory of Good Learner Repertoires". These data will be contrasted with this learner's responding after programming was influenced by his scores on the inventory. The presenter will discuss specific learner repertoires that were addressed as a function of using "The Inventory of Good Learner Repertoires".
 
"The Inventory of Good Learner Repertoires": Rationale and Effectiveness.
STEVEN J. WARD (Whole Child Consulting)
Abstract: This presenter will discuss the rationale behind the creation of "The Inventory of Good Learner Repertoires". This inventory measures a learner's behavioral excesses and the quality of task-related responding while considering the accomodations required to maintain this level of functioning. An emphasis is placed on the quality of learner responding, and on the development of learning contexts that are both effective and natural. This inventory measures the ease with which a given learner can be taught, and has implications for the environments in which they can learn. This presenter will share data regarding instructional efficiency for several learners prior to and following assessment with "The Inventory of Good Learner Repertoires". Progress will be discussed in terms of rate of acquisition and successive approximations to typical learning in natural environments. This presenter will review specific interventions that resulted from assessment with this inventory for several learners. The relationship between these targets and levels of learner functioning will be discussed.
 
 
Symposium #540
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
ABA Specialty Social Skills Training for Children with Autism
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
10:30 AM–11:50 AM
North 122 BC
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Gerald E. Harris (Texas Young Autism Project)
Discussant: Gerald E. Harris (Texas Young Autism Project)
CE Instructor: NANCY CHAMPLIN, M.S.
Abstract: Addressing deficits in the social functioning of children with autism is a wide-ranging and complex area. The complexities and subtleties of social interactions often require more exactness and forethought in the application of ABA procedures. While much success in using ABA techniques to improve social skills has been reported, there are many social skill areas not yet fully addressed or even considered. This symposium presents data and new information on procedures used within an ABA Treatment Center for young children with autism to extend and improve their social functioning. The first presentation focuses on teaching assistance seeking behaviors and generalizing them to natural safety situations (separation form caretakers) in the community. The second presentation, again a safety consideration, looks at teaching children with autism to respond appropriately to police officers in the community. The third presentation offers data on the use of an emotional coding system, using specific facial cues, which can help in teaching children with autism to understand and express emotional subtleties more effectively. Data on differences in facial expression by typically developing and children with autism are presented. Together, these three studies extend our knowledge of, and ability to modify, the social skills of children with autism.
 
Teaching Young Children with Autism to Seek Assistance When Lost
KRISTEN SALINAS (Texas Young Autism Project), Maureen Childs (Texas Young Autism Project), Gerald E. Harris (Texas Young Autism Project)
Abstract: Ninety percent of families will experience the loss of a child within a public place at some time(Sedlak, et. al. 2002). Children with autism are more likely to become lost or wander away from caregivers (Debault, 2001). Establishing an effective strategy to teach children with autism how to seek assistance when lost is a critical area of community safety. Taylor, et. al. (2004) using the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis, successfully taught three teenagers with Autism to seek assistance when lost. The current study extends this research to young children with autism. Participants were 3 children, age 7 to 9 years, receiving ABA treatment at the Texas Young Autism Project. All participants demonstrated a lack of assistance seeking behaviors at baseline. Participants were cued by a remote device to follow a task analysis of assistance seeking behaviors. Students were first taught the behavioral sequence in a classroom simulation, and then skills were generalized to the natural environment. Resulting data from the current study demonstrate that using the principles of ABA, young children with autism can be taught to seek assistance when lost. This study has practical applications in the treatment of Autism, as well as other developmental disorders.
 
Teaching Children with Autism to Respond to Police
JOHN SALINAS (Texas Young Autism Project), Maureen Childs (Texas Young Autism Project), Gerald E. Harris (Texas Young Autism Project)
Abstract: According to the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) people with autism are seven times more likely to come into contact with police in the United States (Debbauldt, 2001). Responding to novel people can be challenging for many children with autism, making it difficult for an authority figure to obtain identifying information from such a child should they become lost. These children may have a decrease in responding without assistance (Dunlap et al 1987). A multiple baseline across subjects design was utilized to evaluate if children with autism could answer basic questions in novel situations absent a trained treatment provider. Three children with autism participated who were receiving ABA services at the Texas Young Autism Project. At baseline participants did not respond to police questioning of previously mastered targets such as name and address. The children were then systematically trained to respond to nonvocal stimuli associated with a police officer. For one subject, additional training was needed for generalization to occur. The results of the study demonstrated that using ABA training procedures, a novel authority figure was able to gain responses to simple conversation questions from a child with autism.
 
A Comparison of Affective Expression Coding between Autistic and Typically Developing Children
ALEXIS WASHMON (Texas Young Autism Project), Trea Drake (Texas Young Autism Project), Gerald E. Harris (Texas Young Autism Project)
Abstract: Understanding and expressing emotion through facial cues is a prominent characteristic of effective social communication, and is often deficit in children with autism. Using ABA procedures to teach such social communication depends on adequately operationally defining emotional constructs. This study expanded on a previous study targeting the identification of overt facial characteristics (e.g., brow and nose movement) indicative of seven emotional states displayed by typically developing children. Treatment staff was trained to adequately code overt facial characteristics utilizing the techniques of written description, practice with visual media, and performance feedback. The current study focused on comparing the reliability obtained when coding for autistic versus typically developing children. Overall, agreement between observers was above 80% for both populations, indicating a good ability to use those specific cues to code intensity of affect. These findings indicate that the affective expression coding system can be effectively implemented in a treatment center for children with autism. Using this coding system to operationalize nonverbal communication target behaviors and develop intervention procedures to promote affective communication in children with autism has the potential to greatly improve their social outcome.
 
 
Symposium #543
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Treat ‘Em Human: ACT in the Community
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
10:30 AM–11:50 AM
North 222 AB
Area: CBM/VRB; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Nikki Christine Hernandez (University of North Texas)
Discussant: Daniel J. Moran (Trinity Services)
CE Instructor: Victoria Stout Kubal, M.S.
Abstract: Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a treatment designed to increase flexibility in responding in the service of valued living. Outcome studies comparing ACT to more traditional Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) suggests that ACT is as effective as traditional treatment modalities. However, ACT appears to produce longer term therapeutic gains. Furthermore, this data also indicate a different mechanism of change in ACT than in traditional therapy. Experiential avoidance (EA), defusion, and valuing are examples of mechanisms that ACT theorists have posited and tested. These mechanisms are utilized to acknowledge and address EA, create psychological flexibility, and identify values and obstacles that may be preventing clients from living in accordance with their values. Three studies were conducted to assess ACT processes in individuals who have received treatment in varying populations including community clinic, college undergraduates, and parents of children with problem behavior. Results of these studies will be evaluated and discussed.
 
ACT for Parents: Pilot Study of a Group Intervention with Parents
JONATHAN SCHMALZ (University of North Texas), Amy Murrell (University of North Texas), Cicely Taravella LaBorde (University of North Texas), Andrew Scherbarth (University of North Texas), P. Ryan Mitchell (University of North Texas)
Abstract: Ineffective parenting behaviors, including the use of harsh discipline and inconsistent monitoring, rule setting, and/or follow-through, are associated with adolescent engagement in problem behavior. Highly distressed parents are more likely to use these ineffective techniques and often fail to persist in skills learned through parent training. High levels of experiential avoidance are both common in distressed parents and related to increased behavioral inflexibility. Such inflexibility is reflected in rule-governed behavior that persists despite changes in environmental contingencies and may explain why distressed parents continue to utilize ineffective parenting techniques. Acceptance-based therapies like Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) specifically target experiential avoidance to increase psychological flexibility: the ability to contact current contingencies and change behaviors when doing so is effective. Increased flexibility may assist parents in implementing and persisting in successful parenting behaviors. The efficacy of ACT interventions has been shown across many domains of problem behavior, but not specifically with parents of adolescents with behavior problems. Data from this pilot study, conducted over ten weekly sessions with three parents, including changes in parenting behaviors, parental distress, and experiential avoidance, acceptance, and mindfulness, as well as changes in adolescent problem behavior, will be presented.
 
Oh Function!: Functional Application of ACT Processes
AMANDA C. ADCOCK (University of North Texas), Amy Murrell (University of North Texas)
Abstract: Though ACT has been posited as a treatment model based on ongoing functional analysis, many ACT researchers have continued clinical trials directed at specific diagnoses with the standard exclusion criteria (Hayes et al., 2006). ACT needs to be further evaluated in conditions that test its functional approach. One large-scale effectiveness study showed promising results for ACT within the anxiety and depression spectrum (Foreman et al., 2007). Though this study addressed comorbidity, the idiographic and functional nature was not specifically studied. Thus, this study utilized session-by-session data analytic strategy in a community clinic setting with clients without exclusion criteria other than that they are English speaking adults. The Acceptance and Action Questionnaire-2 (AAQ2), Valued Living Questionnaire (VLQ), and Symptom Checklist (SCL-90) were given to each participant pretreatment, as well as at various time points throughout treatment. The functional analyses within and across sessions will be described along with graphs of self-report scores. This study has been reviewed by the UNT IRB.
 
Works How?: ACT Processes and Mental Health Care
TIFFANI ALLISON (University of North Texas), Amanda C. Adcock (University of North Texas), Nikki Christine Hernandez (University of North Texas), Cicely Taravella LaBorde (University of North Texas), Amy Murrell (University of North Texas)
Abstract: Data suggests little or no difference in treatment effectiveness based on type of treatment or treatment provider, with the exception of more change occurring when clients chose their own therapist (Seligman, 1995). More recently, studies on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), a therapy that targets experiential avoidance (EA) and encourages the process of valuing, has been shown to produce therapeutic outcomes that occur via different mechanisms of change than previously studied therapies (Hayes et al., 2006). Data will be presented from two studies that suggest individuals who have been seen by a mental health professional differed from those who have not on EA and valuing. The Personal Values Questionnaire (PVQ) and Acceptance and Action Questionnaire (AAQ) were administered to a large sample of undergraduate students. Results indicated that individuals with treatment experience reported greater EA and less valuing than those without such experience. Data from a larger sample indicated differing results. There was a trend towards more valuing and less EA in participants with treatment histories than those without. The discrepancy between the samples will be discussed. In addition, the second sample suggests that length of treatment is significantly negatively correlated with EA.
 
 
Symposium #557
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Evidence-based Computer-Assisted Instructional Programs for Autism Spectrum Disorders
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
12:00 PM–1:20 PM
North 120 BC
Area: AUT/EDC; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Shannon Cernich (Jigsaw Learning)
Discussant: Christina Whalen (Jigsaw Learning)
Abstract: Despite the large number of interventions for Autism Spectrum Disorders, there are few treatment approaches that focus on increasing the accessibility of intervention and that focus on increasing the quality of implementation. Without accessibility and proper implementation, even the best behavioral intervention will not be successful. Computer-assisted interventions may be able to address some of these issues, but most of these programs are not evidence-based and may not offer enough to result in outcomes that one might expect from another type of intervention. In this symposium, several interventions which take advantage of the accessibility and implementation benefits of computers, will be discussed along with research findings, future directions for computer-assisted interventions, making treatment more available to children, and making implementation more realistic for families and for over-burdened schools. Research studies include descriptive data collected automatically through computers, single-subject designs, case studies, and larger group designs. Studies were conducted remotely via the internet, in homes, and in schools across the U.S.
 
Enhancing Narrative Language Skills Using Timo Stories Computer Animated Tutor
MOLLY ROBSON (Jigsaw Learning), Christina Whalen (Jigsaw Learning), Shannon Cernich (Jigsaw Learning), Manya C. R. Vaupel (Jigsaw Learning)
Abstract: Narrative language skills are critical for communication and social skills. By the time a child is in kindergarten, it is expected that they will be able to use these skills to re-tell or even make up a story to tell to others. Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders often have a great deal of difficulty acquiring and using these skills. Timo Stories is a software program which utilizes ABA, scaffolded learning, and Narrative Based Language Intervention (NBLI) to teach narrative, language, reading, and listening skills to children. In this study, a multiple-baseline design was implemented to teach 3 children to use narrative and other language skills. All 3 children demonstrated progress and showed enjoyment using the software. Results from this study will be reported including generalization data. Teaching narrative skills is difficult for many parents and teachers. This study shows that having a computer program to help guide the child and adult teacher through this process may result in positive outcome.
 
Building Research and Intervention Programs Through A Computerized Lesson Creator
SHANNON CERNICH (Jigsaw Learning), Christina Whalen (Jigsaw Learning), Manya C. R. Vaupel (Jigsaw Learning)
Abstract: Many excellent programs are available for educating and treating children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. One of the types of programs that is gaining in popularity in home programs and schools is the use of computer-assisted instructional programs. Some of these programs are “edutainment” and are more for fun than for intervention, others are good intervention programs but may not allow for enough customization to meet the individual needs of each student. Timo’s Lesson Creator is a computer program that allows for complete customization including the ability to upload images that are personal to the child or that are very motivating for the child. This program also allows for building research studies quickly to test a variety of language or social skills to children or adults through an animated tutor (which can also be customized to say what you want it to say). In this presentation, this program will be demonstrated along with several examples of how single-subject or group designs can be built and tested quickly and effectively.
 
Efficacy of TeachTown Basics Intervention: A Research Overview
MANYA C. R. VAUPEL (Jigsaw Learning), Christina Whalen (Jigsaw Learning), Shannon Cernich (Jigsaw Learning)
Abstract: TeachTown Basics is an intervention program designed for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders, but with proven benefits for other language and cognitive disorders. The program includes content for developmental ages 2-7 years but is used with all ages depending on developmental appropriateness. Significant content areas such as language, cognitive, academic, and life skills are covered on the computer, along with the inclusion of other critical skills such as social interaction, play, imitation, joint attention, self-help skills, and motor skills in the off-computer activities. The program includes computer-assisted instruction, automatic data collection and reporting, session note storage and sharing, and naturalistic activities for enhancing generalization in the home, community, clinics, and schools. Several studies have been conducted including a published single-subject study with 4 children with ASD and 4 children with cognitive delays, a large-scale descriptive study with over 1,000 students using the program all over the U.S. and in other countries, and a clinical trial with over 50 children in a public school setting. Data from all of these studies will be reported as well as a discussion of the future directions of research with this intervention.
 

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