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.


35th Annual Convention; Phoenix, AZ; 2009

Program by Continuing Education Events: Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Manage My Personal Schedule


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 #511
CE Offered: BACB
Behavioral Consultation and Inclusion of Students with Asperger's Syndrome
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
North 124 A
Area: AUT/EDC; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Joseph M. Vedora (BEACON Services)
Discussant: Robert K. Ross (BEACON Services)
CE Instructor: Ralph L. Olson, Ph.D., BCBA, Ph.D.
Abstract: Many high functioning children with Aspergers Syndrome are in regular education settings with typically developing peers. However, children with Aspergers may demonstrate a variety of problematic behavior that interferes with both their learning and their classmates’ learning. Additionally, they may demonstrate difficulty with social situations or interactions with peers. This symposium presents three case studies that illustrate the effective implementation of behavioral interventions that decreased aberrant behavior and increase adaptive behaviors within the context of public school classrooms. The presentations will also discuss the role of behavior analysts in the development of effective services within this setting as well as the critical importance of careful and supportive collaboration with public school staff.
Asperger's Syndrome and Inclusion: Interventions That Succeed In Public Schools
Abstract: Recent years have seen a dramatic increase in the inclusive practices for children on the Autism Spectrum in public schools. The U.S. Department of Education statistics show the number of children diagnosed with autism being served under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act growing more than fivefold since the 1990s (Dybvik 2004). Within these statistics exists children with Aspergers Syndrome whose deficits in social, behavioral and non-verbal areas, among others, make their inclusion into regular education classrooms complicated. Though students with Aspergers Syndrome are often capable cognitively of grasping classroom material, they frequently require high levels of support or even 1:1 attention from paraprofessionals. The present study highlights the use of behavioral interventions, within an inclusive classroom, to decrease aberrant behavior and increase pro-social and independent behavior for student with Aspergers Syndrome.
Decreasing Disruptive Behavior and Increasing On Task Behavior of a Student with Asperger's Syndrome in an Inclusion Setting
Abstract: Students with Aspergers Syndrome may engage in disruptive behaviors that limit their access to inclusive settings. The present research reviews a case study for a 3rd grader with Aspergers in a regular education classroom. Prior to treatment the student engaged in high rates of tantrum and screaming behavior that impacted the learning of his classmates and often necessitated removal from the classroom. A functional assessment indicated that problem behaviors were maintained by escape or avoidance of non-preferred academic tasks. A multiple component treatment package comprised of functional communication training, escape extinction, and positive reinforcement was implemented. Results indicated a substantial decrease in disruptive behavior and an increase in on task behavior and task completion. The role of behavior analysts in the program development for students with Aspergers is discussed.
Public School Consulting: Using the Behavior Analytic Tool Box to Design Interventions in Separate Classrooms in Public Schools
DAVID M. CORCORAN (Beacon Services), Stephanie Beard (BEACON Services)
Abstract: This paper looks at the use of the tools derived out of behavior analytic technologies to design and implement instruction for students with a variety of disabilities in two public school “learning center” settings. These tools include teaching special educators, para-professionals and specialists (e.g. speech OT, PT) to employ errorless teaching procedures and prompt-level data recording and analysis, Discrete Trial Teaching procedures, a Direct Instruction curriculum, Incidental Teaching and, Photographic Activity Schedules to provide instruction to students with substantial “pull out” time as part of their Individual Education Plans. Data will be presented on the use of prompt level data recording to measure progress and make instructional decisions for students who previously had been found to “not make progress”. Data will be presented on the use of Direct Instruction curricula (e.g. Reading Mastery, Language for Thinking, Connecting Math Concepts etc). Data will be presented on the application of Activity Schedules (MacDuff, Krantz & McClanahan) as part of the regular academic schedule in the substantial separate classroom. Training, consulting and supervision issues will also be presented.
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 #519
CE Offered: BACB
The Influence of Motivating Operations on Assessment and Treatment Outcomes for Individuals with Developmental Disabilities
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
North 129 A
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Mandy J. Rispoli (University of Texas at Austin)
CE Instructor: Simon Dymond, Ph.D.
Abstract: In this symposium we present recent research regarding use of motivating operations when working with persons with developmental disabilities. The first paper examines the influence of language of instruction on functional analysis results for students with severe disabilities. Results are interpreted with respect to language of instruction as a motivating operation. The second paper investigates the influence of presession satiation on challenging behavior and on the value of reinforcing stimuli. Implications for future research and clinical practice are presented. The third paper evaluates the manipulation of motivating operations on the acquisition and generalization of functional communication training. Results highlight the importance of considering motivating operations when implementing functional communication training. Finally, the fourth paper examines the speed of acquisition for academic and functional tasks under the influence of different putative motivating operations for young children with developmental disabilities. Results suggest that motivating operations may influence the acquisition of novel behaviors and should be considered when designing and implementing instructional programs.
Investigating Language of Instruction as a Motivating Operation with Individuals with Severe Intellectual Disabilities
MANDY J. RISPOLI (Meadows Center for Preventing Educational Risk, University of Texas at Austin), Mark F. O'Reilly (Meadows Center for Preventing Educational Risk, University of Texas at Austin), Russell Lang (Meadows Center for Preventing Educational Risk, University of Texas at Austin), Jeannie M. Aguilar (Meadows Center for Preventing Educational Risk, University of Texas at Austin), Austin Mulloy (Meadows Center for Preventing Educational Risk, University of Texas at Austin)
Abstract: The number of individuals with severe disabilities in the United States who come from Spanish speaking homes has increased dramatically in recent decades. However, behavioral assessments for this population are most frequently conducted in English. This discrepancy between the individual’s home language and the language used in behavioral assessments can have serious implications for the validity of assessment results and for subsequent treatment recommendations. The purpose of this study was to evaluate functional analysis results with respect to the language in which the assessment was conducted for individuals with severe intellectual disabilities. Participants were exposed to five analogue functional analysis sessions consisting of four conditions (attention, escape, tangible, and play). Functional analyses were conducted in English and in Spanish using a reversal design. The sequence of instructional language was counterbalanced across participants. Results are discussed with respect to language of instruction as a motivating operation for challenging behavior. Suggestions for future research and implications for clinical practice are presented.
An Examination of Effects of Manipulating Motivating Operation on Reinforcers for Children with Developmental Disabilities and Challenging Behavior
Mark F. O'Reilly (Meadows Center for Preventing Educational Risk, University of Texas at Austin), SOYEON KANG (Meadows Center for Preventing Educational Risk, University of Texas at Austin), Russell Lang (Meadows Center for Preventing Educational Risk, University of Texas at Austin), Mandy J. Rispoli (Meadows Center for Preventing Educational Risk, University of Texas at Austin), Jeannie M. Aguilar (Meadows Center for Preventing Educational Risk, University of Texas at Austin), Christina L. Fragale (Meadows Center for Preventing Educational Risk, University of Texas at Austin), Sonia Denise Baker (Meadows Center for Preventing Educational Risk, University of Texas at Austin)
Abstract: Allowing a child to satiate on a preferred tangible prior to instruction has been shown to reduce challenging behavior maintained by access to that tangible during instruction. Previous research has suggested that the mechanism of action for this decrease is the abolishing effect of motivating operations. This study examined the abolishing effect on reinforcers used during instructional sessions. The participants were four children with developmental disabilities whose challenging behaviors were maintained by a specific tangible. In pre-session satiation conditions the participants were given access to this specific tangible until they rejected it three times. In the following instructional session, both the newly rejected item and an item identified as less reinforcing in a previous preference assessment were offered to participants. Data demonstrates that challenging behavior was reduced during instruction and that the child was more likely to select the novel non-rejected item over the previously high preferred item as a reinforcer following satiation conditions. Implications are discussed in relation to the potential for incorporating motivating operations in the instruction of individuals with developmental disabilities and regarding a methodology for identifying behavioral indicators of satiation.
A Systematic Analysis of the Influence of Motivating Operations on Functional Communication Training and Generalization
TONYA NICHOLE DAVIS (Baylor University), Mark F. O'Reilly (Meadows Center for Preventing Educational Risk, University of Texas at Austin), Wendy A. Machalicek (Portland State University), Mandy J. Rispoli (Meadows Center for Preventing Educational Risk, University of Texas at Austin), Russell Lang (Meadows Center for Preventing Educational Risk, University of Texas at Austin), Jeffrey Michael Chan (Meadows Center for Preventing Educational Risk, University of Texas at Austin)
Abstract: In this study we examined the influence of presession access to a reinforcer on communication intervention and generalization for three children with developmental disabilities whose challenging behaviors were maintained by access to tangibles. In the first phase of the study the consequences maintaining challenging behavior and their associated motivating operations were isolated. In phase two we assessed the duration in which the child interacted the preferred tangible before he/she demonstrated satiation. In the third phase of the study, we taught replacement mands and systematically examined the influence of motivating operations by presenting various durations of access to the reinforcer prior to intervention sessions. Four durations of presession access were administered, based upon the mean latency to satiation: (a) no presession access to the reinforcer, (b) presession access equaled 25% of mean latency to satiation observed in phase two, (c) 50% of mean latency to satiation, and (d) 75% of mean latency to satiation. Finally, we probed for stimulus generalization of these new mands while systematically examining the influence of presession access to reinforcers utilized in phase three. The results are discussed in terms of the importance of including motivating operations during functional communication training.
The Influence of Motivating Operations on the Efficiency of Discrete Trial Training
JEANNIE M. AGUILAR (Meadows Center for Preventing Educational Risk, University of Texas at Austin), Christina L. Fragale (Meadows Center for Preventing Educational Risk, University of Texas at Austin), Russell Lang (Meadows Center for Preventing Educational Risk, University of Texas at Austin), Mandy J. Rispoli (Meadows Center for Preventing Educational Risk, University of Texas at Austin), Mark F. O'Reilly (Meadows Center for Preventing Educational Risk, University of Texas at Austin)
Abstract: There has been a steady interest by behavioral researchers in examining both the functional properties and clinical applications of establishing (motivating) operations with individuals with developmental disabilities. Motivating operations have been shown to be critical variables when developing and interpreting behavioral assessments (e.g. preference assessments), intervening on challenging behavior, and examining the interaction between various biological conditions (e.g., health variables, genetic syndromes) and operant behavior. This study adds to the motivating operation literature by evaluating the influence of motivating operations on the acquisition of skills. Four students with developmental disabilities who received discrete trial training during their regular school routine participated in this study. The speed of acquisition for academic and functional tasks was evaluated while under the influence of different putative motivating operations in an alternating treatment design. Results suggest that motivating operations may influence the acquisition of novel behaviors and should be considered when designing and implementing instructional programs.
Panel #523
CE Offered: BACB
Professional Development Series: Aspects of Being a BCBA
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
North 122 BC
Area: EDC; Domain: Service Delivery
CE Instructor: Daniel J. Moran, Ph.D.
Chair: Erick M. Dubuque (University of Nevada, Reno)
JOSE A. MARTINEZ-DIAZ (Florida Institute of Technology & ABA Tech)
ALICIA N. MACALEESE (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: As our field continues to grow and expand into many more applied areas, it is becoming increasingly important for practitioners to be held to professional standards. Panelists will discuss some of the important aspects of becoming a Board Certified Behavior Analyst.
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.
Invited Panel #532
CE Offered: BACB
Behavior Analysis of Rule-Governed Behavior: Contrasting Views
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
10:00 AM–11:20 AM
West 301 CD
Area: VRB/TPC; Domain: Theory
Chair: Matthew P. Normand (University of the Pacific)
CE Instructor: Daniel Openden, Ph.D.
Panelists: WILLIAM M. BAUM (University of California, Davis), HANK SCHLINGER (California State University, Los Angeles), CARMEN LUCIANO SORIANO (University Almer&íacute;a, Spain)
Abstract: The proper analysis of verbal stimuli commonly called "rules" or "instructions" continues to be a subject of debate among behavior analysts. In this panel, three prominent behavior analysts will each briefly present their analysis of rules and rule-governed behavior. A moderated discussion among the panel members will follow, along with an open question and answer period with the audience.
WILLIAM M. BAUM (University of California, Davis)
HANK SCHLINGER (California State University, Los Angeles)
CARMEN LUCIANO SORIANO (University Almer&íacute;a, Spain)
Panel #533
CE Offered: BACB
Association of Professional Behavior Analysts Update
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
10:30 AM–11:20 AM
North 129 A
Area: DDA; Domain: Service Delivery
CE Instructor: William H. Ahearn, Ph.D.
Chair: James M. Johnston (Auburn University)
GERALD L. SHOOK (Behavior Analyst Certification Board)
RAYMOND G. ROMANCZYK (Institute for Child Development)
JOSE D. RIOS (BehaviorLogix, Inc.)
Abstract: The Association of Professional Behavior Analysts is an organization with a primary mission of supporting the interests and needs of ABA practitioners. This poster will highlight activities and accomplishments to represent the interests of BACB-credentialed and other professional behavior analysts to provide support and resources to BACB-credentialed professional behavior analysts; to work with federal, state, governmental, and third party entities to enhance recognition of BACB-credentialed professional behavior analysts; to work with federal, state, governmental, and third party entities to support the needs of BACB-credentialed professional behavior analysts; to provide education opportunities to BACB-credentialed professional behavior analysts to provide resources to professionals in other fields and to consumers of behavior analytic services concerning the practice of applied behavior analysis; to bring professionals, consumers, and vendors together at national and regional meetings; to support improvements in and access to services provided by BACB credentialed professional behavior analysts; and to promote public understanding of the professional practice of behavior analysis.
Panel #536
CE Offered: BACB
Residential Program Models for Adolescents and Adults with Aggressive and Other Challenging Behaviors
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
10:30 AM–11:50 AM
North 128
Area: AUT/DDA; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
CE Instructor: David Lee, Ph.D.
Chair: Richard M. Foxx (Pennsylvania State University)
SHARON E. BAXTER (The Children's Foundation)
CARLOS V. GONZALEZ (Behavioral Services of Tennessee)
CLAYTON R. CEA (Behavioral Services of Tennessee)
Abstract: Some adolescents with severe aggressive and other challenging behaviors cannot live with their families because of the multitude of problems that they present. Adults displaying these behaviors often fail in residential settings because of low quality behavioral programming. This panel will present two related models for providing high quality residential programming for adolescents and adults. The Canadian model was developed for adolescents with autism and the US model for adults with autism and developmental disabilities. In both models, behavioral principles were utilized to develop comprehensive staff management, treatment, and data collection systems. The discussion will include the factors that led to the creation of the models, the development of the models, the sources of the funding, and an evaluation of each model’s success. Special emphasis will be given to difficulties encountered in establishing the models and to the strategy for ensuring their survival. Factors that contributed to success will be identified and discussed.
Symposium #537
CE Offered: BACB
Training for Parents of Young Children with Autism
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
10:30 AM–11:50 AM
North 124 A
Area: AUT/CBM; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Debra M. Kamps (Juniper Gardens Children's Project)
Abstract: Early, intensive intervention for young children with autism is essential for improving child outcomes and development. Parents are critical intervention agents and require systematic training. This collection of studies presents four programs of parent training. Training structures consist of (a) distance learning, web-based instruction and experiential training in clinical settings and at job sites, (b) traditional clinical models, and (3) training using in home delivery of intervention. Content and experiences across programs were designed to teach autism characteristics including basic screening information, applied behavior analysis, and parent child interaction strategies including intervention designed to increase eye contact and play behavior and those to decrease inappropriate behaviors. Outcomes vary across programs and include (1) pre to posttest mastery of skills, (2) data on fluency of trainees and parents, and (3) child improvement in skills such as eye contact and compliance, and (4) decreases in inappropriate behaviors. Implications for parent training and increasing the numbers of quality service providers for young children with autism will be discussed.
Disseminating Effective ABA Training to Parents of Children with Autism in Geographically Remote Areas
JAY FURMAN BUZHARDT (University of Kansas), Linda S. Heitzman-Powell (University of Kansas), Todd Miller (University of Kansas), Rachel L. White (University of Kansas), Brian Cohn (Unversity of Kansas)
Abstract: The prevalence of autism in America is reaching epidemic proportions. Training parents to implement ABA interventions can result in positive and sustainable child outcomes. However, limitations imposed by geographical location prohibit many families from accessing effective training. Our 16-week distance training program attempts to remove geographical location as a barrier to effective ABA training. The program combines interactive web-based training modules and assessments with live supervised sessions in which trainees practice ABA techniques with their children while receiving feedback from a trained clinician at a distant site via video-conferencing technology. Training effectiveness was evaluated using a multiple-baseline design across six families with a young child (2-5 years old) diagnosed with an ASD within 12 months of participation. Outcome data include parent outcomes on pre- to posttest skill mastery and knowledge assessments, and intra-training skill mastery and knowledge assessments; child outcomes on the Autism Treatment Evaluation Checklist, Early Communication Indicator, Vineland, and parent-reported challenging behaviors. The implications of disseminating effective distance ABA training for families of newly diagnosed children in remote areas will be discussed.
Web-based and Experiential ABA Training for Service Providers for Young Children with Autism
LINDA S. HEITZMAN-POWELL (University of Kansas), Debra M. Kamps (Juniper Gardens Children's Project)
Abstract: Early, intensive intervention for young children with autism is essential for improving child outcomes and development. The Autism Training Program at the University of Kansas, Life Span Institute provides a four week training program for service providers for children with autism whose families receive Autism Medicaid Waiver funding from the Kansas Social and Rehabilitation Services. The training structure consists of web-based instruction and independent assignments, classroom lecture, and experiential training in a clinical setting and at job sites with children with autism. Content and experiences are designed to teach autism characteristics including basic screening information; applied behavior analysis (i.e., measuring and recording data, principles of behavior, teaching strategies, conducting teaching sessions, variables that affect behavior, behavior reduction strategies, determining the function of behavior, peer networks and social skills; and content regarding team meetings and wrap around services. Outcomes include (1) pre to posttest mastery of skills, (2) data on fluency of trainees during training sessions, and (3) fluency data from video recordings of teaching sessions with clients in their home settings. Implications for training and increasing the numbers of quality service providers for young children with autism will be discussed.
The Effects of Parent-Child Interaction Therapy on Problem Behaviors in Three Children with Autistic Disorder
RENE JAMISON (University of Kansas Medical Center), Ronald Matthew Reese (University of Kansas Medical Center), Maura Wendland (University of Kansas), Steven Lee (University of Kansas)
Abstract: Children with autism are most severely impacted in socialization, communication, and repetitive behaviors and restricted interests. These impairments increase the risk for problem behaviors, making children with autism likely to display problem behaviors that warrant treatment. The empirical support for Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) in treating disruptive behaviors in young children and the similarities between PCIT and strategies used to manage problem behaviors in children with autism, suggest it is reasonable to evaluate PCIT as a treatment to manage problem behaviors for this population, which was the purpose of the present study. A single-subject, multiple baseline design was utilized to examine the effects of Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) on problem behaviors in three children with Autistic Disorder. Multiple measures, including direct observations of behavior and behavior rating scales, were used to evaluate the effects of the treatment. Results revealed significant decreases in noncompliance for all three participants in the study, with medium to large effect sizes. Ratings of problem behavior severity on a behavior rating scale also decreased following treatment. Parents reported high levels of satisfaction with the treatment process and outcome and showed some decrease in parental stress related to parenting.
Replication of a Short Term Training Program for Parents of Toddlers with Autism
Shahla S. Ala'i-Rosales (University of North Texas), Jesus Rosales-Ruiz (University of North Texas), Lashanna Brunson (University of North Texas), Samantha Nelson (University of North Texas), Kellyn Joi Johnson (University of North Texas), ANDREA NEWCOMER (University of North Texas)
Abstract: This presentation describes the results of a replication and extension of recent research on a parent training program, The Family Connections Project, for three parents of toddlers with Autism. Families received 12-17 hours of training in their home, using toys and materials in that setting. Parents were taught a core set of teaching strategies that included arranging the environment, setting up learning opportunities, and using positive reinforcement. Use of positive reinforcement emphasized shaping and response specific reinforcement. Parents were taught these strategies through a sequence of trainer modeling, role playing, and in vivo feedback and coaching. Parents learned to apply these strategies to increase their childs rate of eye contact. Measures were recorded for both parent and child behaviors and IOA is in the process of being calculated. Parent behaviors included learn units and affect. Child behaviors included facial orientation, vocals, affect, joint attention, social responsiveness, play and social engagement. The results indicate that parents learned to arrange teaching opportunities and children increased eye contact. Furthermore, increases in several additional, non-targeted responses were noted. The results are discussed in the context of similarities and difference to the original research, parent comfort with training procedures, and issues regarding selection of child skills in parent training.
Symposium #538
CE Offered: BACB
Evidence-based Strategies to Address Deficient Repertoires in Young Children with Autism
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
10:30 AM–11:50 AM
North 120 BC
Area: AUT/DDA; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Len Levin (Coyne & Associates, Inc.)
CE Instructor: Michael Weinberg, Ph.D.
Abstract: ABA-based, early intervention services for children with autism, sometimes referred to as Early Intensive Behavior Intervention (EIBI), typically adhere to a scope and sequence of curriculum objectives to promote repertoires in the domains of attention/social pragmatics, functional communication, imitation, language comprehension, and play. These repertoires become the basis for the performance of progressively more sophisticated responses. Most young learners with autism require systematic implementation of teaching techniques that utilize prompting, prompt-fading, and differential reinforcement strategies to promote skill acquisition in these key areas. A percentage of learners, however, do not acquire skills in critical areas such as attending, imitation, and language comprehension even when systematic instruction as described above is used. This symposium will present data on the implementation of innovative techniques with young learners with autism, learners who were not acquiring initial target objectives in some of these critical behavioral domains prior to the implementation of these strategies.
Acquisition of Spontaneous Eye Contact During Teaching Interactions: The Implementation of Shaping Techniques without Prompts
Len Levin (Coyne & Associates, Inc.), KARA LEE (Coyne and Associates), Tiffany Bauer (Coyne and Associates), Jessica Ann Korneder (Coyne and Associates), Melissa L. Evans (Coyne and Associates)
Abstract: Attention to relevant stimuli, especially socially-mediated stimuli, is a common deficit associated Autism Spectrum Disorder. While discrete-trial teaching is designed to facilitate attention to relevant discriminative stimuli, the development of that attending repertoire in children with autism may not always occur. Systematically teaching the learner to establish eye contact with the instructor at critical intervals of the teaching interaction should facilitate optimal attention to discriminative stimuli and promote more efficient skill acquisition in the long-term. Prompting and prompt-fading techniques are often not implemented in a way that facilitates the development of spontaneous eye contact, the learner establishing eye contact with the instructor in the absence of vocal or gestural cues (e.g., Look at me). Consequently, the authors have utilized a shaping procedure without using prompts to promote an attending repertoire during discrete-trial teaching interactions. Data will be presented that demonstrates the efficacy of this technique across a variety of young learners with autism.
Establishing a Beginner Listener Repertoire via Non-Traditional Discrimination Techniques
MELISSA L. EVANS (Coyne and Associates), Shireen Kalantar (Coyne and Associates), Megan Lewis (Coyne and Associates), Len Levin (Coyne & Associates), Paul D. Coyne (Coyne & Associates)
Abstract: Deficits in the development of speech and language are ubiquitous in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention typically addresses prerequisites to language, such as imitation and visual discrimination (e.g., match-to-sample) before working directly on expressive language (e.g., echoics, mands, tacts) and language comprehension (e.g., conditional auditory-to-visual discriminations). For non-vocal learners (e.g., learners without a strong echoic repertoire), language comprehension objectives (e.g., identifying objects when presented with a vocal discriminative stimulus, performing a motor movement when presented with a vocal discriminative stimulus) are typically addressed before expressive language objectives. For some learners, however, acquisition of those initial language comprehension objectives is challenging. Some researchers and practitioners have suggested that the development of an auditory discrimination or auditory matching repertoire may require direct attention for such learners. The current authors will present data to support the efficacy of a technique that utilizes auditory sound discrimination tasks in combination with initial auditory-visual discrimination targets to induce language comprehension.
Facilitation of an Echoic Repertoire via Oral Motor Imitation
Christine Essex (Coyne and Associates), SALLY D MOORE (Coyne & Associates), Nicola Bogie (Coyne and Associates), Celia Newkirk (Coyne and Associates)
Abstract: Newly diagnosed children with autism enter treatment and education programs with a range of skill deficits. One of the most challenging deficits to address is the absence of an echoic repertoire. The procedure described in this presentation was developed by behavior analysts working in collaboration with a speech-language pathologist to instruct learners with limited oral-motor imitation and vocal imitation skills. Various oral-tactile stimulation techniques combined with instructional techniques based on the principles of behavior analysis were utilized to facilitate the imitation of oral-motor movements. Specific oral-motor targets were chosen based on their applicability to the production of early-developing phonemes. Once the specific oral-motor targets were mastered, phonemic targets were required in combination with the mastered oral-motor targets. Eventually, phoneme production was required in imitation independent of oral-motor targets, and without oral-tactile stimulation. In behavior analytic terms, this was the initial development of an echoic repertoire. The benefits of a strong collaboration between two disciplines, speech pathology and applied behavior analysis, will also be discussed.
Establishing a Beginner Listener Repertoire via Visual Match-to-Sample Discrimination Training
Len Levin (Coyne & Associates), Sally D Moore (Coyne & Associates), TIFFANY BAUER (Coyne and Associates)
Abstract: There is some evidence that it is easier for young children with autism to learn tasks that incorporate a visual discriminative stimulus (e.g., a match-to-sample task with identical items or pictures) than it is for them to learn language comprehension tasks that do not incorporate visual cues (e.g., pointing to a specific object in response to a vocal discriminative stimulus). Motivational issues, deficits in auditory discrimination skills, and the relative salience of the discriminative stimuli may all contribute to this phenomenon. Greer and Ross (2008) describe a procedure to induce language comprehension or specifically, a listener component of naming repertoire. The procedure incorporates the simultaneous presentation of a vocal sample (i.e., a tact) and visual sample as part of the discriminative stimulus in a visual, match-to-sample task. The current authors have adapted that procedure to promote acquisition of initial language comprehension targets (e.g., pointing to pictures of familiar people, colors, shapes). Data will be presented to support the efficacy of this approach with learners who were having difficulty acquiring initial language comprehension targets via traditional discrimination training.
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)
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 #544
CE Offered: BACB
Contemporary Behavioral and Neuroscience Perspectives on Transitive Inference, Relational Reasoning and Instructional Control
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
10:30 AM–11:50 AM
North 228
Area: EAB; Domain: Experimental Analysis
Chair: Simon Dymond (Swansea University)
CE Instructor: Mandy J. Rispoli, Ph.D.
Abstract: This symposium brings together leading researchers from behavior analysis, neuroscience and cognitive science to present their work on relational reasoning, transitive inference and neurocomputational investigations of instructional control. The four papers each address a specific topic from these dynamic, multi-disciplinary research areas. The first presentation provides a critical review of nonhuman research on transitive inference, which, it is argued, is best explained in terms of reinforcement history. The second presentation describes the findings of a brain imaging study conducted with a novel paradigm drawn from research on derived relational responding and relational frame theory that was designed to examine human transitive inference-like performance. The third presentation describes a series of studies aimed at establishing patterns of relational responding in accordance with derived comparative and opposition relations through multiple exemplar training. The final presentation describes the findings of a neurocomputational study on the effects of instructional control on human probabilistic reinforcement learning.
Transitive Inference Without the “Inference” in Non-Human Animals
MARCO VASCONCELOS (University of Oxford)
Abstract: Research with non-human animals shows that learning a relatively small number of partially overlapping simultaneous discriminations can immediately lead to other novel and apparently transitive discriminations. These findings have prompted a flourishing empirical and theoretical search for the mechanism(s) mediating this ability. I will critically analyze the most prominent models proposed to explain transitive-like behavior in non-human animals. Some models are cognitive, proposing for instance that animals use the rules of formal logic or form mental representations of the premises to solve the task; others models appeal to reinforcement mechanisms to explain such behavior. I will argue that transitive inference in non-human animals is best considered as a property of reinforcement history rather than of inferential processes.
fMRI Study of Relational Reasoning with Derived Comparative Relations
SIMON DYMOND (Swansea University), Elanor Hinton (Cardiff University), Ulrich von Hecker (Cardiff University), Anita Munnelly (Swansea University)
Abstract: Considered a hallmark of human reasoning, “transitive inference” is typically studied either with procedures that train overlapping simultaneous discriminations or that present premise pairs based on pre-existing stimulus relations. Contextually controlled derived comparative relations (more than/less than) may provide a model of the behavioral processes involved in this complex behavior. The present study describes the findings of two experiments designed to test this relational reasoning model by synthesising procedures from research on relational frame theory with behavioral neuroscience research on “transitive inference”. First, a behavioral study compared the effects of two training schedules on subsequent novel performance. Next, the neural correlates of this behavior were examined with fMRI. Results demonstrated no differences between training schedules on subsequent novel probe performance, but an overall improvement in accuracy and decrease in response latencies from trained to tested relations in both groups. Imaging findings broadly supported those of previous studies. Hippocampal activation was correlated with accuracy on some test trial-types, and activity in PFC and parietal cortex showed the same trend as the behavioral data (i.e., ‘distance effect’). Implications of the relational reasoning model for behavior-analytic accounts of complex human behavior are discussed.
Acquisition and fluency of arbitrarily applicable derived relational responding in accordance with opposition and comparison contexts
ROSA MARÁA VIZCAÁNO (University of Almeria), Carmen Luciano Soriano (University Almer&íacute;a, Spain), Vanessa SÁnchez (University of Almeria), Francisco José Ruiz Jiménez (University of Almer&íacute;a)
Abstract: The aims of the present study were twofold. On the one hand, to implement a brief multiple-exemplar-training (MET) to establish derived responding according to opposition and comparison. On the other hand, to show the process to establish fluency and flexibility across several relational responding. The study was conducted with a single four-year-old child whose language and cognitive abilities were evaluated before and after the implementation of MET. The process began with the evaluation of derived relational responding according to coordination. Secondly, brief MET involving different dimensions was implemented to establish derived relational responding according to the opposition contextual cue which was followed by a similar multi-dimension but brief MET to establish derived relational responding according to comparison. In addition across these phases, fluency and flexibility was promoted using new examples for arbitrary application contextual responding. Results showed the emergence of complex relational specific patterns that involved the transformation of functions across many examples and different contextual cues. Results are discussed in terms of the novelty and effective of this procedure to establish not only the contextual relational responding of opposition and comparison but, most importantly, to promote fluency and flexibility.
Instructional control over reinforcement learning: Behavioral and neurocomputational investigations
BRADLEY DOLL (University of Arizona), Michael J Frank (University of Arizona)
Abstract: Humans learn how to behave directly through environmental experience and indirectly through rules and instructions. Research has shown that instructions can control behavior, even when such behavior leads to sub-optimal outcomes (Hayes, 1989). We examine the control of behavior through instructions in a reinforcement-learning task known to depend on striatal dopaminergic function. Participants selected between probabilistically reinforced stimuli, and were (incorrectly) told that a specific stimulus had the highest reinforcement probability. Despite experience to the contrary, instructions drove choice behavior. We present neural network simulations that capture the interactions between instruction-driven and reinforcement-driven behavior via two potential neural circuits: one in which the striatum is inaccurately trained by instruction representations coming from prefrontal cortex/ hippocampus (PFC/HC), and another in which the striatum learns the environmentally based reinforcement contingencies, but is "overridden" at decision output. We attempt to distinguish between the proposed computational mechanisms governing instructed behavior by fitting a series of abstract "Q-learning" and Bayesian models to subject data. The best-fitting models support the network model in which the PFC/HC system trains the striatal reinforcement system.
Panel #548
CE Offered: BACB
Professional Development Series: How to Start and Run Your Own Behavior Analysis Business
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
10:30 AM–11:50 AM
North 121 BC
Area: EDC; Domain: Service Delivery
CE Instructor: Keneth MacAleese, M.A.
Chair: Rachel Robertson (Vanderbilt University)
KENNETH MACALEESE (University of Nevada, Reno)
MEETA R. PATEL (Clinic 4 Kidz)
KIMBERLY NIX BERENS (Center for Advanced Learning, Inc.)
GINGER R. WILSON (The ABRITE Organization)
Abstract: During this event, panelists will discuss their experiences and will answer questions about starting and running a behavior analytic business.
Panel #551
CE Offered: BACB
Application of OBM Strategies in Service Settings for Individuals with Autism: Promoting Quality Outcomes
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
10:30 AM–11:50 AM
North 221 AB
Area: OBM/AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Joanne Gerenser (Eden II Programs)
DAPHNA EL-ROY (Eden II Programs)
Abstract: The incidence of autism has increased considerably during the past decade. A corresponding development of programs serving individuals with autism has occurred. While these programs are essential to meet the needs of the autism community, attracting, training, and retaining a qualified workforce becomes very difficult. In addition to the competition among programs serving individuals with autism, these agencies must also compete with employment opportunities that are less stressful and less demanding than working with individuals with autism. Despite the widespread use of empirically-based teaching techniques in the field of special education, few providers apply these same principles to address staff behavior change. Organizational behavior management (OBM), also referred to as Performance Management (PM), is the application of applied behavior analysis to organizational improvement. The purpose of this panel is to address common issues within the field of human services and more specifically, to programs serving individuals with autism. Topics to be addressed include issues of staff retention and turnover, staff development as well as issues of quality assurance and improvement.
Symposium #552
CE Offered: BACB
Increasing the Mand Repertoire of Children With Autism
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
10:30 AM–11:50 AM
North 127
Area: VRB/AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Gail Wayman (Wayman Learning Center)
Discussant: Vincent Joseph Carbone (Carbone Clinic)
CE Instructor: Jonathan J. Tarbox, Ph.D.
Abstract: The mand is crucial to the development of appropriate verbal behavior, yet is often deficient in children with autism. Therefore, teaching mands should be a priority in a behavioral intervention program for children with autism, as mands often serve as appropriate replacement behaviors for many maladaptive behaviors. Additionally, the mand is the only verbal operant that produces reinforcers specific to the motivation of the speaker. This can be beneficial when teaching children with autism, who are often less likely to respond to social contingencies alone. Deficits in the mand repertoire will vary, depending upon the level of the learner. While early learners may be able to mand to an adult for food and items, they may not demonstrate the ability to do so with peers. However, an advanced learner may be able to mand for many toys, items, food and activities, and yet may not be able mand for information. These three studies address a variety of issues in teaching mands to children with autism and should provide practitioners with information that will help them when attempting to increase the mand repertoire of these children.
Evaluating Generalization of a Procedure for Teaching Children With Autism to Mand to Peers
CALLIE AMANDA SIMMS (Wayman Learning Center), Lauren Schermerhorn (Wayman Learning Center), Michelle Dillon (Wayman Learning Center), Angela Marshall (Wayman Learning Center)
Abstract: Teaching children with autism to mand to their typically-developing peers is a critical step in moving them into a less restrictive environment. Many children with autism demonstrate deficits in manding to peers, even following successful mand training with adults. Effective instructional programming should include procedures for teaching children with autism to mand to neurotypical peers. However, it is sometimes difficult for educators to find neurotypical peers for the purpose of mand training, and, as such, peer-to-peer mand training is often conducted using other children with autism. The current study focuses on teaching three children with autism to mand for three reinforcers from two different peers with autism. The participants have previously demonstrated fluency manding to adults for each selected reinforcer. After each participant has demonstrated mastery in manding for all three items to two peers with autism, a test for generalization in manding to typically-developing peers in a novel environment will be conducted. Data will be collected and discussed.
Teaching Children With Autism to Mand for Information Regarding the Private Events of Others
HOLLY RAMSEY (Wayman Learning Center), Gail Wayman (Wayman Learning Center), Kelly McLendon (Wayman Learning Center), Michelle Dillon (Wayman Learning Center)
Abstract: When analyzing and teaching social skills to children with autism, parents and professionals often overlook the key role of the mand. While it is important to teach early learners to mand for items and activities, as verbal behavior becomes increasingly complex, mands for information become more frequent and essential to social interactions. One of the most complex of social interactions is conversation. Most conversations involve the use of mands, tacts and intraverbals, and children with deficits in manding for information may not be able to fluently engage in appropriate conversation. Manding for information regarding the private events of others, such as “What do you want to do?” or “Are you hungry?” may provide information to the speaker indicating which mands the listener is most likely to reinforce. The purpose of this study is to evaluate a procedure for teaching children with autism to mand to an adult for information regarding the private events of that adult, especially motivation. Data will be collected and discussed.
Evaluating the Implementation of a Picture Selection Communication System When Teaching Mands to a Child With Autism
ASHLEY PETTY GOMEZ (Wayman Learning Center), Brandy L. Petrusky (Wayman Learning Center), Angela Marshall (Wayman Learning Center)
Abstract: Many children with autism exhibit no vocal verbal behavior. Therefore, professionals designing behavioral interventions are often faced with teaching more appropriate communication by implementing an augmentative communication system. When deciding upon a communication system, professionals may decide on a topography-based communication system, such as manual sign, or they may decide upon a selection-based communication system, usually involving some type of picture selection or exchange. There is very little information in the behavioral literature to guide professionals when deciding which system would be most appropriate for an individual learner. The purpose of this study is to demonstrate that some children with autism who demonstrate a limited mand repertoire when taught manual sign by well-trained, experienced instructors may, in fact, benefit from a picture-selection system. The study included a 10-year-old boy with autism who had been taught signs as mands for years, yet had only acquired 10 signs. The participant was then taught to mand using a picture selection system. After 3 months of picture selection, the participant acquired 21 mands. The results of this study suggest that individuals who acquire a limited mand repertoire when taught sign, may develop a more extensive mand repertoire using picture selection.
Symposium #556
CE Offered: BACB
Using Natural Sources of Stimulus Control To Evoke Social Communication with Children with Autism
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
12:00 PM–1:20 PM
North 126
Area: AUT/VRB; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Thomas S. Higbee (Utah State University)
CE Instructor: Thomas Higbee, Ph.D.
Abstract: Children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) often demonstrate lower levels of social communication skills than typical peers. This symposium will review four studies that examined the effects of different ways of using natural sources of stimulus control to increase proper social communication skills with preschool aged children with autism. Two presentations will review the use of script fading procedures to increase language during play. One study examined the effects of script fading procedures on increasing variability in language. Finally, one study will review the generalization effects from teaching mands for information in discrete trial training. The results show successful stimulus control of social communication skills using natural sources in all three studies.
Application of Script-Fading Procedures to Teach Naturally Cued Social Comments During Play Activities
MARK P. GROSKREUTZ (Utah State University), Nicole C. Groskreutz (Utah State University), Thomas S. Higbee (Utah State University)
Abstract: Children with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) generally demonstrate lower levels of social communication than their typical peers. This study examined the use of scripts and script fading procedures to teach preschoolers with ASDs to make comments to others during play activities. Three different script frames, (e.g., “Look, I have a ____ ”) were taught in isolation, and if necessary, participants were taught to tact at least 20 different aspects of a toy, (e.g., names of items, locations, and figures using a jungle toy set with animals). Following pretraining, five copies of each of the three script frames were attached to known aspects of the toy. Across training sessions, the location of the scripts was varied, so script frames were not consistently associated with any one aspect of the toy. Training consisted of prompting to read one script every 30 s. Each training session continued until all 15 script frames were read. Reinforcement consisted of reciprocal play-related comments from the trainer. Results indicate that when scripts were completely faded, participants made more comments than in baseline and generalization occurred to novel play situations, toys, and social partners. Participants also showed use of untrained comments and combinations of script frames.
Using Script Training Procedures to Promote the Generalized Use of Complex Language Targets of Children with Autism
TRINA D. SPENCER (Utah State University), Thomas S. Higbee (Utah State University)
Abstract: Children with autism often use newly acquired language targets in restricted contexts and with limited variability. Instructional tactics that embed generalization technology have shown promise for increasing spontaneity, response variation, and the generalized use of language across settings, people, and materials. This study investigates the strategic use of textual scripts to facilitate functional conversation skills of children with autism. Specifically, the generalized use of complex language skills such as prepositions and conjunctions were targeted within the context of natural conversation with teachers, parents, and peers. The generalized and variable use of complex targets occurred without script fading conventions. Results are discussed in terms of specific instructional tactics that may facilitate spontaneity, response variation, and generalization.
The Application of Script Fading and Extinction Procedures to Increase The Variability of Mand Frames in Children with Autism
ALISON M. BETZ (Utah State University), Thomas S. Higbee (Utah State University)
Abstract: A primary deficit often seen with children with autism is repetitive and rote verbal behavior. This study examined the effects of script-fading an extinction procedure on the variability of verbal behavior with young children with autism. More specifically, we examined the effect of these procedures on the variability of mand frames (i.e. “I want ____”) used by young children with autism during snack time.
An Evaluation of the Generalization of Mands for Information Taught During Discrete Trial Training with Preschoolers with Autism
ALISON M. BETZ (Utah State University), Thomas S. Higbee (Utah State University)
Abstract: Children with autism often lack the ability to mand for information about a preferred item. This is especially seen when the preferred item is absent. This study examined the generalization of mands for information using "where" when taught during discrete trial training. We tested the generalization of using "where" to mand for information with novel toys, in novels settings, and in the natural environment using an interrupted chain procedure. Results indicate that when taught during discrete trial training, manding for information using "where" generalized to novel toys and environments. However the skill did not generalize to the natural environment without explicit training.
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.
Symposium #558
CE Offered: BACB
Video Modeling: Novel Applications
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
12:00 PM–1:20 PM
North 124 A
Area: AUT/EDC; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Russell W. Maguire (Simmons College)
Discussant: Russell W. Maguire (Simmons College)
CE Instructor: Richard Foxx, Ph.D.
Abstract: Video modeling has been used in combination with other procedures to effectively teach a variety of skills, including social pragmatic and language skills, to individuals with learning challenges. The use of video modeling is particularly prominent in the specialty area of autism and has been documented as effective in teaching social interaction, conversation, and play skills. This symposia documents the use of video modeling in a number of novel contexts. First, video modeling is applied to the instruction of physical education skills, specifically, the teaching of a component of a cardi-exercise routine (jumping jacks) to young children with autism. Second, video modeling is used as part of a treatment package to increase the food selection choices and amount of consumption of a young male with autism. Lastly, video modeling is used to teach undergraduate special education students to implement a variety of assessment techniques in a classroom setting. These papers demonstrate the range of contexts applicable to the use of video modeling and address the challenges of generalization often discussed in the behavior analytic literature.
Video Modeling and Reinforcement: A Treatment Package for Increasing Food Selection and Consumption
VICKI NETT (HMEA), Russell W. Maguire (Simmons College), Michael J. Cameron (Simmons College)
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a video modeling and reinforcement treatment package to treat food selectivity. The subject was a four-year-old male diagnosed with autism and a history of refusing to consume a variety of foods. The goal was to increase acceptance of three different foods: a preferred food, a semi-preferred food, and a non-preferred food. A video of a peer eating the same food the subject was targeted to eat was shown prior to each meal. The video also showed the peer receiving praise and access to a toy item, preferred by the subject, for consuming the targeted food. The results of this study not only demonstrated reliable acceptance of increased amounts of preferred, semi-preferred, and non-preferred foods, but also noted an increase in the duration of time the subject sat at the dining table. The results are discussed in terms of the benefits and limitations of video modeling in applied settings.
Teaching Cardio-exercise Skills Using Video Modeling
CLAUDIA M. ROMERO (Simmons College), Susan Ainsleigh (Dar Al-Hekma College)
Abstract: In this study, three young children with autism were taught to perform a common exercise skill, jumping jacks, using a treatment package consisting of video modeling and reinforcement. Previous live modeling and physical prompting had not been successful in teaching this skill. Using a multiple baseline design, the children were shown a video of a peer demonstrating the required skill, for a 5-minute duration. Following this, the individual was requested to perform the skill and given feedback regarding their performance. Results show that each of the individuals acquired the skill, and each demonstrated the skill in the presence of multiple instructors and in multiple settings. The implications of teaching physical education skills to children with autism and the practicalities of the use of video modeling are discussed.
Video Modeling in Higher Education
SUSAN AINSLEIGH (Dar Al-Hekma College)
Abstract: In this study, undergraduate students in a special education program in Saudi Arabia were taught to utilize formal assessment tools via a treatment package consisting of video modeling and performance feedback. Using an alternating treatment design across similar assessment tools, the use of video modeling and feedback was compared to the use of live modeling and feedback, and the use of written review of directions and feedback without modeling. The results demonstrated a decrease in errors in implementation in both modeling phases, with a slightly superior effect with the video modeling treatment package. The use of video modeling in higher education settings is discussed, with a focus on challenges for implementation and promoting of generalization.
Symposium #560
CE Offered: BACB
Preference Assessment: Where have we been? Where are we going?
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
12:00 PM–1:20 PM
North 124 B
Area: AUT/EAB; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Mary Rosswurm (Crossroads School for Children)
Discussant: Thomas L. Zane (The Center for Applied Behavior Analysis at The Sa)
CE Instructor: Kelle M. Wood Rich, M.Ed.
Abstract: Preference Assessment has been a widely researched topic in the practical application of applied behavior analysis. This symposium will review the current literature on preference assessment, and two current research projects regarding assessing preferences. The first research presentation will be on assessing both the efficiency and accuracy of preference assessments. Can we assess students’ preferences in a more timely manner and still find potential reinforcers. The second research presentation will present a study that compares multiple stimulus and forced-choice formats along two dimensions-duration to complete assessment, and the identification of stimuli verified to function as reinforcers.
A Review of Preference Assessment Literature
KEVIN HARDY (Crossroads School for Children), Ben Bruneau (Crossroads School for Children), Cheryl J. Davis (Consultant), Mary Rosswurm (Crossroads School for Children), Michele D. Brock (Crossroads School for Children), Thomas L. Zane (The Center for Applied Behavior Analysis at The Sa), Kristen Walston (Crossroads School for Children)
Abstract: Determining individual preferences has been researched throughout the years. From Pace to Fisher et al, we have studied how to best assess individuals preferences to determine likely reinforcers. This presentation will review all preference assessment literature to date to discuss the history and progress of assessing individuals’ preference and what areas researchers still need to study. This presentation is designed to give an overview for the two latter presentations of actual preference assessment research to look at both the efficiency and accuracy of preference assessments with individuals with disabilities.
Efficiency with Forced Choice Preference Assessment: Comparing Multiple Presentation Techniques
CHERYL J. DAVIS (Consultant), Michele D. Brock (Crossroads School for Children), Mary Rosswurm (Crossroads School for Children), Kristen Walston (Crossroads School for Children), Bonnie Abbey-Waren (Crossroads School for Children), Thomas L. Zane (The Center for Applied Behavior Analysis at The Sa)
Abstract: Many advances have been made through the years on how to accurately assess preferences in individuals with disabilities thus increasing performance in both academic and behaviorally programming. Yet the techniques currently used are time and resource intensive. This symposium will review all literature published thus far on preference assessment, as well as two current research projects with children with autism and related disabilities. The research present is a comparison of different preference assessment techniques, comparing time to complete, accuracy of the preferences to function as reinforcement and the different presentation techniques. Additional data will be collected prior to the presentation to determine the most efficient and accurate method for forced choice preference assessments. Since time is of the essence with our clients, utilizing the most efficient means of assessing preferences will enhance best practices for all individuals.
The clinical utility of two reinforcement preference assessment techniques: A comparison of duration of assessment and identification of functional reinforcers
SEAN FIELD (School at Springbrook), Jen Hanson (School at Springbrook), Brandon Nichols (School at Springbrook), Traci Lanner (Springbrook), Thomas L. Zane (The Center for Applied Behavior Analysis at The Sa)
Abstract: In order to maximize the learning of skills, it is crucial that the most powerful reinforcers be used. The research literature has described several different methods of reinforcement preference assessment, including forced choice, free-operant, and multiple stimulus array, to name but a few. Researchers have also tested many variables to determine their potential impact on identification of reinforcers, including setting events, duration of exposure to tested stimuli, and differing schedules of delivery. From a clinical perspective, an important question is what is the most efficient preference assessment that will produce the most valid identification of potential reinforcers? The purpose of this study was to compare multiple stimulus and forced-choice formats along two dimensions-duration to complete assessment, and the identification of stimuli verified to function as reinforcers. Several children diagnosed with developmental disabilities/autism served as subjects. Upon selection of several stimuli that could potentially have been reinforcing, experimenters conducted two types of preference assessments per subject – multiple stimulus array without replacement, and forced-choice, using the same items. When the five most preferred stimuli were identified in each format, experimenters then verified the reinforcing power by making each contingent upon a task that the subjects had not yet learned. Results will be presented in terms of duration of each procedure and to what extent each preferred stimulus functioned as a positive reinforcer.



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