Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.

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40th Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2014

Program by Continuing Education Events: Monday, May 26, 2014


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Symposium #319
CE Offered: BACB
Improving the Health and Well-Being of Individuals with Autism through Behavior Analysis
Monday, May 26, 2014
9:00 AM–9:50 AM
W183c (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: AUT/DDA; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Catherine K. Martinez (Florida Institute of Technology)
CE Instructor: Catherine K. Martinez, M.S.
Abstract:

Individuals with autism and other intellectual disabilities often engage in dangerous behaviors or behaviors that put them in potentially dangerous situations. The research presented in this symposium focuses on evaluating assessment and treatment procedures that target improving the health and well-being of individuals with autism and other intellectual disabilities. The first two papers in this symposium will focus on treating dangerous behaviors; rumination and pica. The third paper will focus on increasing tolerance to medical and dental procedures. All presenters will discuss the applied implications of their studies and areas for future research.

Keyword(s): medical treatments, pica, problem behavior, rumination
 
Evaluating a Gum Chewing Procedure for Decreasing Post-Meal Rumination in a Young Boy with Autism
LOGAN MCDOWELL (Florida International University), Anibal Gutierrez Jr. (Florida International University)
Abstract: Rumination, or the regurgitation and consumption of previously eaten food, is a common problem behavior seen in children and adults with autism and other developmental disabilities. Rumination can lead to serious medical complications including gum erosion, digestive difficulties, and malnutrition. Typically, rumination has been treated with either antecedent interventions such as thickening liquids and starch satiation, or punishment procedures including contingent delivery of hot sauce or other aversive stimuli. In this study, we evaluated a gum chewing procedure designed to treat post meal and intermittent rumination in a young boy diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Following a functional behavior screening, we determined that the child’s rumination was maintained by automatic reinforcement. We then attempted to decrease the rumination using gum chewing as a functionally similar behavior. The study was conducted in two phases: an acquisition phase, in which the subject was taught how to chew gum, and an intervention phase, in which gum was provided following meals and made available per request throughout the day. Results indicated that the gum chewing was an effective replacement behavior for rumination, as rumination decreased to near zero rates when gum was available and reliably increased upon return to baseline.
 

Further Analysis of Response Effort Assessment Manipulations for the Assessment and Treatment of Pica

REBECKA CAMPBELL (Florida Institute of Technology), Alison M. Betz (Florida Institute of Technology), Meagan Gregory (Florida Institute of Technology), Alexandrea Hope Wiegand (The Scott Center for Autism Treatment, Florida Institute of Technology)
Abstract:

Pica, the consumption of inedible items, is a behavior that can result in dangerous and potentially fatal outcomes. Given the severity of the behavior, identifying efficacious assessment and treatment procedures is critical. The purpose of the current study was to evaluate the efficacy of a response effort analysis as an assessment procedure for the treatment of pica for three individuals diagnosed with Autism. The response effort analysis, was conducted to evaluate the relation of response effort and consumption of pica and alternative items. Results showed that items ranked higher during the preference assessment competed more effectively with pica. Further, when response effort to obtain the alternative item was lower than the effort to obtain the pica item, two of the three participants allocated their responding towards the alternative item. However, results for one participant showed that when response effort was higher for the alternative item responding was allocated toward the pica item. Following the response effort assessment, a treatment procedure was implemented to determine whether the response effort analysis identified items that effectively competed with pica. The results suggest that the intrusiveness of the intervention required to decrease rates of pica may depend on the results of the response-effort analysis. Findings are discussed in terms of efficacy of treatment and response allocation.

 
Increasing Compliance to Medical/Dental Procedures Using Stimulus Fading/Differential Reinforcement
CATHERINE K. MARTINEZ (Florida Institute of Technology), Alison M. Betz (Florida Institute of Technology)
Abstract: During routine checkups or when ill, disruptive behavior (i.e., aggression, physically withdrawing) often prevent medical/dental personnel from employing standard procedures. The purpose of this study was to increase compliance to these procedures for children with autism. A treatment package including differential reinforcement of compliance and stimulus fading (fading in instruments by proximity, duration, and intensity) was implemented in a multiple-probe design across procedures. The package was effective in decreasing disruptive behavior and increasing compliance to all targeted medical and dental procedures. Additionally, trials to mastery often decreased over the course of treatment, and generalization was demonstrated across staff members.
 
 
Invited Tutorial #322
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Trigger Analysis with Behavioral Description: Combining Experimental and Descriptive Methods
Monday, May 26, 2014
9:00 AM–9:50 AM
W180 (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: CBM; Domain: Service Delivery
PSY/BACB CE Offered. CE Instructor: Scott T. Gaynor, Ph.D.
Chair: Scott T. Gaynor (Western Michigan University)
Presenting Author: ENNIO C. CIPANI (National University)
Abstract:

Experimentally manipulating antecedent and/or consequent variables has generally been conducted in analogue assessment conditions. In some individual clinical cases, the discriminative stimuli for problem behavior in the natural setting(s) may have unique stimulus control over such behavior. If this is the case, then a false negative may occur during an analogue assessment with one or more functions. Hence, in those particular cases, a method that would allow for an experimental manipulation in the natural setting(s) would be preferable. A technique termed trigger analysis (Rolider, 2003) requires a clinician to induce a hypothesized establishing operation (EO), with personnel in the natural target setting(s). The data collected can then provide the relative probability of the problem behavior (as well as latency data) across a number of inducements (trials) over time. In this tutorial, Dr. Cipani will illustrate such a procedure for use in natural context assessments. This assessment methodology can be enhanced by the observer providing a descriptive analysis of functional and nonfunctional behaviors under such EO inducements. By combining both the experimental (trigger analysis) and descriptive (behavioral description) methodologies, a clinician can obtain valuable information on the response class that produces the abolishing operation (AO), as well as an anecdotal analysis of behaviors which are currently ineffectual in abolishing the EO. This can then lead to a better understanding of the strength of alternate more desirable forms in the client’s repertoire (see Appendix A; Cipani & Schock, 2011 for an operant analysis of replacement behaviors). This information has implications for treatment design. A function-based classification system comprising 13 categories (Cipani & Schock, 2011) will be used to exemplify the procedures in this assessment method. In particular, Dr. Cipani will demonstrate how trigger analysis with behavioral description would apply to such functions as (A) access to attention or tangible reinforcers, and (B) escape and/or avoidance of unpleasant social situations, difficult tasks/assignments, or lengthy tasks assignments.

Instruction Level: Basic
Target Audience:

Psychologists, behavior analysts, graduate students, and anyone interested in trigger analysis.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants should be able to (1) Delineate the assessment procedures of the assessment method: trigger analysis with behavioral description; (2) Develop hypothetical data for a putative function involving the descriptive component of this method; and (3) Explain how this hypothetical data would suggest function-based intervention.
 
ENNIO C. CIPANI (National University)
Ennio Cipani, Ph.D., is a licensed psychologist (since 1983) in California and a full professor in the school psychology program at National University. He has published numerous articles, chapters, books, and software in the areas of child behavior management and behavioral consultation. His books include Punishment on Trial (2004--free online for students, practitioners and faculty at http://www.pennaba1.org/links.html#books) and a textbook he co-authored with Keven Schock entitled Functional Behavioral Assessment, Diagnosis and Treatment: A Complete System for Education and Mental Health Settings (2nd edition, 2011; see book review at http://www.nepsy.com/articles/book-reviews/functional-behavioral-assessment-diagnosis-and-treatment/. Dr. Cipani has been doing in-home and in-school behavioral consultation for families with children with severe problem behaviors since 1981. He has had clinical experience with a wide range of children who have developmental disabilities as well as assessing and treating children in the mental health and social service system (with a broad range of mental-disorder diagnoses). He has dealt with a variety of behavior problems, conducting assessment and intervention activities in natural environments (i.e., homes and classrooms) and then training direct-line people to engage in a parenting or teaching management repertoire that produces changes in child behavior. This breadth of clinical experience is reflected in the above two books, which present many case examples from his clinical practice. In addition to having his own caseload responsibility since 1981, he also was clinical director of Cipani & Associates. In this role, he enhanced his problem-solving acumen from supervising the clinical work of some of the finest master’s level employees a behavior analyst could want; most notably Steve Taylor, Ron Pekarek, Jennifer Young, Steve Witherspoon, Dr. Dan Martin, and Yolanda Bell.
Keyword(s): Trigger analysis
 
 
Invited Paper Session #323
CE Offered: PSY/BACB

What Counts as Behavior?

Monday, May 26, 2014
9:00 AM–9:50 AM
W178a (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: EAB; Domain: Theory
Instruction Level: Intermediate
CE Instructor: William M. Baum, Ph.D.
Chair: Federico Sanabria (Arizona State University)
WILLIAM M. BAUM (University of California, Davis)
Dr. William Baum received his BA in psychology from Harvard College in 1961. Originally a biology major, he switched to psychology after taking courses from B. F. Skinner and R. J. Herrnstein in his freshman and sophomore years. He attended Harvard University for graduate study in 1962, where he was supervised by Herrnstein and received his Ph.D. in 1966. He spent the year 1965-66 at Cambridge University, studying ethology at the Sub-Department of Animal Behavior. From 1966 to 1975, he held appointments as post-doctoral fellow, research associate, and assistant professor at Harvard University. He spent two years at the National Institutes of Health Laboratory for Brain, Evolution, and Behavior and then accepted an appointment in psychology at the University of New Hampshire in 1977. He retired from there in 1999. He currently has an appointment as associate researcher at the University of California, Davis, and lives in San Francisco. His research concerns choice, molar behavior/environment relations, foraging, and behaviorism. He is the author of a book, Understanding Behaviorism: Behavior, Culture, and Evolution.
Abstract:

A final definition is impossible, but we can rule out some possibilities and propose others based on what we currently know. Behavior is not simply movement, but must be defined by its function. Also, our understanding of behavior must agree with evolutionary theory.Dr. Baum willsuggest four basic principles: (1) Only whole organisms behave; (2) Behavior is purposive; (3) Behavior takes time; and (4) Behavior is choice. Saying that parts of an organism behave is nonsense, and, moreover, evolutionary theory explains the existence of organisms mainly through their adaptive behavior. Behavior is purposive because it is shaped by its consequences, through an organism’s lifetime or through interactions with the environment across many generations of natural selection. Behavior takes time in that behavior is interaction with the environment which cannot take place at a moment. Moreover, identifying an activity requires a span of time. Behavior is choice in the sense that a suitable span of time always includes time spent in more than one activity. Activities include parts that are themselves activities on a smaller time scale and compete for time. Thus, behavior constitutes time allocation. An accounting problem arises whenever behavior is attributed to multiple consequences. It remains to be solved.

Target Audience:

Experimental and applied behavior analysts interested in how to measure and define behavior.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the event, participants should be able to: -Explain why behavior must be extended in time. -Explain why time allocation is the measure of behavior. -Explain why only whole living organisms behave.
Keyword(s): choice, evolutionary theory, time allocation
 
 
Symposium #325
CE Offered: BACB
The Use of Trial-Based Functional Analysis in Applied Settings
Monday, May 26, 2014
9:00 AM–9:50 AM
W194b (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: EDC/DDA; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Mack D. Burke (Texas A&M University)
CE Instructor: Mack D. Burke, Ph.D.
Abstract:

The purpose of this symposium is to provide an overview of three studies focused on aspects of Trial-Based Functional Analysis (TBFA). Traditional functional analyses of challenging behavior can be difficult to implement in applied settings such as classrooms. The use of trial-based functional analyses of challenging behavior may provide a viable alternative to identifying behavioral functions in applied settings. Study 1 provides an overview of the state of the literature on TBFA. Study 2 provides results of a multiple probe design for training Head Start teachers in TBFA in early childhood settings. Study 3 provides results of examining function vs. non-function interventions identified based on the results of a TBFA conducted with young children engaged in challenging behavior in early childhood settings.

Keyword(s): Challenging behavior, Function-based interventions, Functional analysis, Functional assessment
 

A Systematic Review of the Literature on Trial-Based Functional Analysis of Challenging Behavior

SAMAR ZAINI (Texas A&M University), Mandy J. Rispoli (Texas A&M University), Jennifer Michelle Ninci (Texas A&M University), Leslie Neely (Texas A&M University)
Abstract:

Traditional functional analyses of challenging behavior can be difficult to conduct in applied settings such as classrooms and in the community. Recently, the use of trial-based functional analyses of challenging behavior has gained attention in the literature as a potential means of maintaining tight experimental control of environmental variables while also capturing relevant establishing operations for challenging behavior in applied settings. The purpose of this paper is to systematically review the literature to date on the use of trial-based functional analysis published in peer-reviewed journals. Studies were identified using electronic database searches, hand searches, and ancestral searches. After applying specific inclusion criteria, a total of 14 studies evaluating the use of trial-based functional analysis were synthesized. Results of this synthesis show that trial-based functional analyses have been conducted in a variety of applied settings, with natural change agents serving as implementers and have been successful in identifying functions of challenging behavior. Implications for practice and for research will be discussed.

 

Training Early Childhood Teachers to Implement Trial-Based Functional Analyses (TBFAs)

HEATHER HATTON (Texas A&M University), Mack D. Burke (Texas A&M University), Jennifer Michelle Ninci (Texas A&M University), Samar Zaini (Texas A&M University), Lisa Sanchez (Texas A&M University)
Abstract:

The purpose of this presentation is to provide results from an study focused on training Headstart teachers to implement Trial-Based Functional Analyses (TBFAs). TBFAs provide an alternative to analog functional analysis, can be completed in less time, and occur in the same environment as the challenging behavior is exhibited. This study employed a multiple-baseline design across 4 participants. Two assistant teachers worked in the same classroom at Head Start location, while two lead teachers worked in independent classrooms at a separate center. In baseline teachers read an article on TBFAs and attempted to implement the procedures in role-play scenarios representing each trial condition (demand, attention, and tangible). During intervention, teachers received training that consisted of direct instruction, viewing videos of in-vivo demonstrations, and role-play activities with performance feedback. In the post-intervention condition, the teachers implemented the procedures in same role-play scenarios as baseline. Teachers received performance feedback and repeated the role-plays until they reached 100% implementation fidelity. Finally, during generalization, teachers implemented TBFAs in each condition with a student in their classroom. Again, teachers received performance feedback and repeated the trial until they reached criterion. This study demonstrated that classroom teachers in early childhood settings can feasibly conduct TBFAs after a short training process. The data demonstrate a strong functional relationship between the training and the ability of early childhood teachers to implement TBFAs with fidelity.

 

Validation of Trial-Based Functional Analysis in Early Childhood Settings

JENNIFER NINCI (Texas A&M University), Mandy J. Rispoli (Texas A&M University), Mack D. Burke (Texas A&M University), Heather Hatton (Texas A&M University), Samar Zaini (Texas A&M University), Lisa Sanchez (Texas A&M University)
Abstract:

The technology of the functional analysis (FA) has come to be considered the gold standard in the functional assessment and treatment of challenging behavior. The traditional FA permits controlled experimental analysis of behavioral functions via comparison of analog test and control conditions in a multi-element design. The trial-based functional analysis (TBFA) is adapted from the traditional FA and similarly utilizes analog conditions to simulate contingencies potentially maintaining a challenging behavior. The TBFA differs from the traditional FA in that the procedures and measures are designed to capture the natural maintaining contingencies through analog discrete trials embedded into ongoing activities. Previous studies demonstrate that the TBFA can be linked to successful treatments. The purpose of this study is to validate the putative reinforcers identified in TBFAs by matching the assessment results to function-based and non-function based treatments in an alternating treatments design. Results will be provided baaed on TBFAs conducted in Head Start programs using early childhood teachers who have been trained to implement the TBFA in their classrooms. Social validity measures will be included and implications for practitioners will be discussed.

 
 
Symposium #326
CE Offered: BACB
Large-Scale Analyses of Single-Case Design Research: Effects of NCR on Challenging Behavior and Function-Based Treatment of Elopement
Monday, May 26, 2014
9:00 AM–9:50 AM
W187c (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: PRA; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: David M. Richman (Texas Tech University)
Discussant: James E. Carr (Behavior Analyst Certification Board)
CE Instructor: Layla Abby, M.S.
Abstract:

One primary advantage of single-case design research is that it allows for demonstration of experimental control of the dependent variable via manipulation of the independent variable for individual participants. That is, single-case designs result in high degrees of confidence with regards to internal validity of the experimental findings, but generalization of these findings beyond the single participant are unknown pending replication of findings across additional participants and investigators. Behavior analysts often struggle to document the external validity of our findings by showing how well our treatments work for a relatively large number of people with similar characteristics. If behavior analysts are going to continue to contribute to the development of interventions that are labeled as evidence-based or empirically-supported best practices, we need to advance and refine our ability to assess the effect size of the interventions we already know work well for individual participants. The focus of this symposium will be on two examples analyzing (1) the effect size of noncontingent reinforcement on challenging behavior, and (2) large scale outcomes for function-based treatment of elopement.

Keyword(s): Elopment, Meta-analysis, Noncontingent reinforcement, Problem behavior
 
Meta-Analysis of Noncontingent Reinforcement Effects on Challenging Behavior
LAYLA ABBY (Texas Tech University), David M. Richman (Texas Tech University), Lucy Barnard-Brak (Texas Tech University), Laura Melton Grubb (Texas Tech University), Amanda Bosch (Sam Houston State University)
Abstract: Noncontingent reinforcement (NCR) occurs when reinforcers are delivered independent of the target responses, and numerous single-case design studies have shown that it is an effective treatment for problem behavior. A meta-analysis of single-subject design data will permit researchers to quantitatively synthesize the results of published studies to enhance the evaluation of NCR as an empirically supported intervention. The current study utilized hierarchical linear modeling techniques to quantitatively analyze NCR via (1) documenting the effect size of NCR for decreasing challenging behavior, (2) assessing NCR effect size when functional reinforcers were used vs. highly preferred arbitrary reinforcers, and (3) documenting how schedule thinning affected the effect size of NCR. Of the 326 studies initially identified, 57 studies (with 91 participants) met inclusion criteria. Results suggest that (1) NCR resulted in a strong effect size (d = -1.58) for problem behavior, (2) treatments using functional reinforcers were slightly more effective than arbitrary reinforcers, and (3) thinning the schedule of reinforcement following stable treatment only slightly decreased the overall effect size of treatment (d = -1.34).
 

Clinical Outcomes for the Treatment of Elopement in Children with Developmental Disabilities

JESSICA ALVAREZ (Marcus Autism Center), Nathan Call (Marcus Autism Center)
Abstract:

Elopement is typically defined as any instance in which an individual leaves a caregiver or designated area without permission (Bodfish, 1992). This behavior is extremely concerning because of the potentially lethal consequences, such as drowning or being struck by an automobile. The treatment literature is limited to a small number of studies and participants. In addition, the potential for publication bias makes it difficult to ascertain whether positive outcomes reported in that literature are representative of what can be expected in clinical settings. The present study attempted to address this gap in the literature by reviewing the records from a clinical program that specialized in the assessment and treatment of problem behavior, including elopement. All clients who were referred for the treatment of elopement that received a functional analysis of elopement (Piazza, Hanley, Bowman, Ruyter, Lindauer, & Saiontz, 1997) were included. Data from a total of 13 participants were analyzed for treatment outcomes. Across all clients a calculated Cohen's D effect size from the non-overlap of all pairs index (Parker & Vannest, 2009) equaled 2.01. Such results suggest that function-based interventions for elopement can be highly effective.

 
 
Symposium #326a
CE Offered: BACB
Recent Research on Reactivity in Staff Management
Monday, May 26, 2014
9:00 AM–9:50 AM
W192c (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: OBM/DDA; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Raymond G. Miltenberger (University of South Florida)
CE Instructor: Raymond G. Miltenberger, Ph.D.
Abstract:

This symposium includes three papers investigating the influence of reactivity on staff and teacher behavior during the implementation of staff management procedures. Reactivity occurs when behavior changes as a result of observation. In staff management, the concern is that staff will only engage in correct procedure implementation when they are being observed and not in the absence of supervision. In the first study Fuesy and Miltenberger demonstrate the effects of reactivity during to observation during the implementation of behavior plans by staff in a group home setting. In the second study by Minard and Miltenberger, teachers in a preschool setting were observed to increase their positive interactions only when being observed. However, the use of video monitoring lead to increased performance in the absence of the supervisor. In the third paper, Rickerson and Weil evaluate staff management procedures to increase proper hand washing by staff in a group home setting. The results show that the frequency and accuracy of hand washing increased but only when the supervisor was present, again demonstrating the effects of reactivity.

Keyword(s): reactivity, staff management
 

An Evaluation of Staff Reactivity Following Performance Feedback and Self-Monitoring Procedures in a Group Home Setting

SAMANTHA LYNN FUESY (University of South Florida; ABA Solutions), Raymond G. Miltenberger (University of South Florida)
Abstract:

Research has investigated staff management procedures that produce treatment adherence and maintenance overtime. Treatment integrity is one of the most important aspects of staff management; without adequate treatment adherence, behavior analysts are unable to determine whether treatment is effective, function has been identified, or intervention revisions are needed. The literature on staff management procedures has demonstrated that performance feedback and self-monitoring are effective procedures for increasing treatment integrity of behavior plans in the presence of the observer, however, few studies have evaluated the effectiveness of these procedures when the observer is absent. This study evaluated the effectiveness of performance feedback and self-monitoring procedures and the level of reactivity to the presence of an observer exhibited by staff trained to implement individualized behavior plans. The results showed that staff performance increased with the intervention almost exclusively in the conspicuous observation condition.

 

Evaluating and Controlling Reactivity Following Supervisor Training and Feedback

NICOLE MINARD (University of South Florida), Raymond G. Miltenberger (University of South Florida)
Abstract:

This study was designed to evaluate self-monitoring and feedback procedures with preschool teachers and reactivity that occurred in a preschool classroom due to a supervisors presence. Preschool teachers positive interactions following the implementation of a self-monitoring and feedback procedure only slightly increased without the presence of a supervisor. Reactivity was identified with the presence of the supervisor as accurate reporting increased most in the supervisors presence. Following the identification of reactivity, positive interactions remained at high levels during the reactivity control and maintenance conditions.

 

Impacting Correct Hand Washing Among Human Service Employees: Findings from Obtrusive and Unobstrusive Observations

Tamika Rickerson (University of South Florida), TIMOTHY M. WEIL (University of South Florida)
Abstract:

Hand washing has been proven to be effective in preventing many serious diseases; however, both the general public and many healthcare professionals fail to wash their hands. Very little research has been conducted outside of healthcare settings to evaluate the adherence of hand-washing procedures. This study investigated if hand washing adherence in a residential setting can be improved with the use of verbal and graphical feedback a probabilistic bonus. Results suggested that the probabilistic bonus had a substantial impact on hand washing performance: more so than signs, educational in-service, and verbal-graphical feedback alone. Reactivity data were collected and showed performance was weak to non-existent throughout all phases until the probabilistic bonus; but that performance was still variable and occurred at low levels in this contingency phase. That is, the probabilistic bonus appeared to improve performance even when staff did not know they were being watched, however, performance was only moderate and variable

 
 
Symposium #327
CE Offered: BACB
Designing Systems to Support Inclusion
Monday, May 26, 2014
9:00 AM–9:50 AM
W185d (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: PRA/DDA; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Jamie Pagliaro (Rethink Autism)
Discussant: Patricia I. Wright (Easter Seals)
CE Instructor: Pamela J. White, M.Ed.
Abstract:

While the concept of "including" students with disabilities has only recently entered the collective consciousness of educational reformers nationwide, it is far from being a new fad or trend. The Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) component of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) has been a cornerstone of special education policy for nearly 40 years now. Mandating that, "to the maximum extent appropriate," children with disabilities be educated alongside children who are not disabled, while still receiving the supports and services they need to be successful, LRE has not, since it became law in 1975, been amended and is one of the few pieces of education policy that has remained relatively uncontroversial over the years, at least in theory. Despite this consistency, meeting the requirements of LRE, creating a culture of inclusion, and ensuring staff and student success in this model of education continues to be a struggle for many schools and service providers. This presentation will review some of the quantifiable benefits of including students with disabilities in general education, and highlight both specific practices for implementing behaviorally-based teaching in group settings and an online curriculum model for supporting implementation fidelity. Promising avenues for
"scaling" inclusive practices through technology will also be discussed.

Keyword(s): classroom, curriculum, inclusion, school-based
 

From Chaos to Cohesion... Social Skills Groups that Promote Inclusion

PAMELA J. WHITE (Inspire Behavior Therapy & Consulting), Tarsah Dale (Inspire Behavior Therapy & Consulting)
Abstract:

Social skills deficits often preclude a child from reaping the benefits of, or even participating in, inclusive settings. Social skills groups can be effective in teaching children with autism social competence skills (e.g., Cotunga, 2009; Barry et al., 2003; Solomon, Goodlin-Jones, & Anders, 2004). However, working with children to develop social skills in a group setting can present significant challenges to clinicians and educators trained in highly individualized teaching strategies, such as discrete trial teaching, shaping and chaining procedures, and incidental teaching. This presentation will describe the process of developing social skills groups for children with a wide range of abilities, in a structure that works across age groups. The essential features of the social skills group model - structure, curricula, data collection, and communication- will be reviewed. Common obstacles and strategies for generalizing individualized teaching strategies to a group format will also be discussed. Finally, several case studies will be used to illustrate how participation in these types of group instructional settings can lead to more meaningful and successful outcomes in a variety of inclusive settings.

 

An Online Curriculum Model to Support Inclusive Practices

LIN CHONG (Rethink Autism), Bridget A. Taylor (Alpine Learning Group)
Abstract:

This presentation looks at the research basis and process behind creating an online training curriculum for teachers, therapists and paraprofessional staff working with students in an inclusive environment, utilizing the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis. The main considerations are how to present research-based teaching strategies in video modeling format, providing practical strategies for educators of students at various levels of inclusion and creating written and technical support to ensure fidelity and facilitate data tracking. Response to Intervention (RTI) and Positive Behavior Support (PBS) frameworks will also be discussed, providing a contextual basis for introducing the curriculum model in public school districts and large systems that provide support to both general and special education students. Literature and research around best practice teaching strategies for the classroom, such as choral responding (Heward et al, 1996), giving clear directions (Gettinger & Seibert, 2002; Gettinger, 1988) and class participation (Heward, 1994) will also be reviewed.

 
 
B. F. Skinner Lecture Series Paper Session #328
CE Offered: PSY/BACB

From Action to Interaction to Learning: How Parental Responsiveness Promotes Children's Language Development

Monday, May 26, 2014
9:00 AM–9:50 AM
W375e (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: VRB; Domain: Basic Research
Instruction Level: Intermediate
CE Instructor: Anna I. Petursdottir, Ph.D.
Chair: Anna I. Petursdottir (Texas Christian University)
CATHERINE TAMIS-LEMONDA (New York University)
Catherine S. Tamis-LeMonda is a professor of developmental psychology at New York University’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, and director of the Center for Research on Culture, Development, and Education. Her research examines infants’ developing language, play, cognition, motor skills, and social understanding across the first four years of life, with a focus on reciprocal associations among emerging skills. Of special interest are the social and cultural contexts of early skill development, especially the ways in which mothers’ and fathers’ interactions with children shape children’s developmental trajectories in different populations within the United States and internationally. She uses multiple methods in her research (naturalistic, observational, experimental, surveys, qualitative interviews, and direct child assessments), and is an expert on the microanalysis of real-time behavioral interactions between infants and parents. This research highlights how infants’ engagements with the world function to elicit “contingently responsive” input from parents, which in turn facilitates language learning and development. Her research has been funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Development, National Institute of Mental Health, the National Science Foundation, Administration for Children and Families, the Ford Foundation, and the Robinhood Foundation. Dr. Tamis-LeMonda has more than 100 publications in peer-reviewed journals and books, and has co-edited the volumes Child Psychology: A Handbook of Contemporary Issues, Handbook of Father Involvement: Multidisciplinary Perspectives, and The Development of Social Cognition and Communication.
Abstract:

Parent-infant interaction is the primary context in which infants learn culturally valued skills. In the domain of language development, parental verbal responsiveness has consistently been found to promote infants' learning of new words. Why might this be? Here, the speaker will highlight several features of responsiveness that explain these parent-child associations: (1) Responsive behaviors are temporally connected (contiguous) and dependent upon (contingent) infant actions (i.e., exploratory or communicative behaviors), and thereby facilitate infants' mapping of words to their referents; (2) Parents are more likely to use lexically rich language in response to infant actions than in the presence of infant off-task behaviors; (3) Responsive behaviors are multi-modal in their structures, thereby provide infants with physical cues (e.g., gestures) to the words that are spoken. These principles have been demonstrated in several longitudinal studies of infant-parent interactions in families from diverse socio-cultural backgrounds (e.g. European-American, African-American, and Dominican and Mexican immigrants). Frame-by-frame coding is applied to video-recorded interactions to examine how mothers respond ("response type") to specific infant behaviors ("infant-given behavior"), and relate "infant-to-mother behavioral sequences" to children's current and later language skills. The developmental significance of parental responsiveness is observed across cultural communities and reflects universal processes of early language learning.

Target Audience:

Behavior analysis researchers, graduate students, and practitioners.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of this event, participants should be able to (1) Understand why the first years of life (infancy) are foundational to later learning and school readiness, and how parents can promote early language development; (2) Understand the value of "microgenetic" coding systems for documenting the real-time process of learning seen in infant-parent interactions; and (3) Discuss how and why early learning processes generalize across cultural communities that otherwise might differ along several meaningful dimensions (e.g., parental education, income, beliefs, and practices).
Keyword(s): infants, language development, parental responsiveness
 
 
Symposium #330
CE Offered: BACB
Evaluating Integrity of Behavioral Services Delivered to Children with Autism
Monday, May 26, 2014
9:00 AM–10:50 AM
W183b (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: AUT/TBA; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Todd G. Kopelman (The University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics)
Discussant: Florence D. DiGennaro Reed (The University of Kansas)
CE Instructor: Todd G. Kopelman, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Interventions for children with autism are often implemented by parents, trained staff, or students. The integrity with which components of the intervention are followed can be closely linked to overall outcome effectiveness. This symposium focuses on describing novel procedures used in four different treatment programs for children with autism to evaluate treatment integrity. Suess will discuss the integrity of parents who were trained through telehealth consultation to conduct in-home Functional Communication Training with their child. Higbee will describe two studies in which on-line training was used to teach students and teachers to conduct discrete trial training (DTT) with young children with autism. Brunson will present on a study examining the maintenance and generalization of DTT procedures that are taught to parents via telehealth consultation. Higbee will detail a study focused on evaluating and increasing the integrity with which therapists conduct DTT with children with autism through the use of video recordings.

 

Evaluating the Integrity of Parents Who Conduct In-Home FCT With Coaching via Telehealth

ALYSSA N. SUESS (The University of Iowa), Patrick Romani (The University of Iowa), David P. Wacker (The University of Iowa), Shannon Dyson (The University of Iowa), Jennifer Kuhle (The University of Iowa), John F. Lee (The University of Iowa), Scott D. Lindgren (The University of Iowa), Todd G. Kopelman (The University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics)
Abstract:

Evaluating parent integrity with treatment procedures is relevant to telehealth since parents do not have physical contact with a behavior consultant. We conducted a retrospective, descriptive evaluation of the integrity with which parents of three children with autism conducted functional communication training (FCT) in their homes. All training was provided to the parents via telehealth by a behavior consultant in a hospital setting. FCT trials coached by the behavior consultant were conducted during weekly 1-hr visits. Parents made video recordings of treatment trials in which they conducted the procedures independent of coaching. We evaluated the levels of integrity during coached and independent trials within a multielement design and recorded parents omission and commission errors during different components of the treatment over time. The results showed no consistent differentiation between the coached and the independent trials. Some errors (e.g., omission errors associated with reinforcing manding) occurred more frequently overall, but none of the errors appeared to have a strong relationship with treatment outcomes. All children showed reductions in problem behavior during the final treatment trials. These results suggest that behavior analysts can use telehealth to implement FCT with acceptable integrity and to achieve substantial reductions in childrens problem behavior.

 

Using Teleconsultation to Maintain Parent Implementation of Discrete-Trial Training Procedures

LASHANNA BRUNSON (West Virginia University Center for Excellence in Disabilities  ), Claire C. St. Peter (West Virginia University), James E. Cook (West Virginia University), Nicholas Larson (West Viginia University), Shrinidhi Subramaniam (West Virginia University), Susannah Poe (West Virginia University)
Abstract:

Learning behavior-analytic skills, specifically discrete-trial training (DTT), may be of particular importance for parents of young children with autism living in rural areas who may have difficulty accessing providers. The current study used a multiple baseline design to examine the extent to which DTT skills trained in-vivo maintain across time and generalize to new teaching programs. Participants were rural parents of children with autism spectrum disorders under the age of 12. Parents conducted a baseline session with their child at an area clinic and were provided a written manual on DTT to read prior to their next appointment. During the second appointment, parents worked with a clinician to complete a behavioral skills training package aimed at developing the skills necessary to conduct DTT sessions and demonstrated mastery of the skills. Clinicians met with the parents via webcam bi-weekly and weekly following training and provided praise for components implemented correctly and corrective feedback for components implemented incorrectly. During the teleconsultation phase, parents maintained skills at mastery level and generalized the skills to new programs. This suggests that teleconsultation can be an alternative method for service delivery when traditional methods are not available.

 

Discrete Trial Training: Assessment of Treatment Integrity by Sequential Analysis

DENYS BRAND (The University of Auckland), Oliver C. Mudford (University of Auckland), Douglas Elliffe (University of Auckland)
Abstract:

Discrete trial teaching (DTT) is often used to teach academic and other skills. Previous research has shown that therapists fidelity to DTT protocol must be high (>90%) to promote optimal learning. Our aim was to identify, and then correct, therapists within-trial treatment integrity errors in DTT for 8 children with a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder and intellectual disability. All components of discrete trials were coded and time-stamped from video recordings of therapist-learner dyads in their typical setting (home or school). Between 110 and 1531 discrete trials per dyad were included. Markov transition matrices identified treatment integrity errors for all dyads. Errors that were consistent across all dyads included learner self-corrections, response prompt errors, and incorrect application of error correction procedures. With 4 dyads, program consultants were advised of the errors so that therapist re-training could be targeted. At follow-up, increases in treatment integrity were observed for 3 of the 4 dyads. We conclude that Markov transition matrices may be a useful tool in evaluating treatment integrity in DTT and can have clinical utility.

 

Evaluation of an Interactive Online Program for Training Teachers to Implement DTT with Individuals with Autism

THOMAS S. HIGBEE (Utah State University), A. Celso Goyos (Universidade Federal de Sao Carlos  ), Joy S. Pollard (Utah State University)
Abstract:

As behavior analytic teaching techniques have become more widespread in applied practice with young children with autism, the need for improved training procedures to facilitate the rapid dissemination of these techniques has become apparent. Interactive online training is one approach that has emerged to fill this need. Interactive online training incorporates behavior analytic teaching procedures, such as programmed instruction and video modeling, to help the learner acquire the targeted skills. Researchers have recently begun to systematically evaluate the effectiveness of this approach to train practitioners to implement behavior analytic techniques with young children with autism. This presentation will describe two studies that were completed in Brazil investigating the effectiveness of interactive online training to teach university students and special education teachers to implement discrete trial teaching (DTT) with young children with autism. Participants performance of DTT with children with autism was measured both before and after the training modules, within a multiple baseline across participants design, to evaluate the effectiveness of the training package. All participants acquired the targeted skills and their behavior generalized to new teaching programs and maintained over time.

 
 
Symposium #332
CE Offered: BACB
Behavior Can Be "All Fun and Games": Gamification Research and Applications
Monday, May 26, 2014
9:00 AM–10:50 AM
W190b (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: CSE/EAB; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Jillian Rung (Utah State University)
Discussant: Janet S. Twyman (University of Massachusetts Medical School/Center on Innovations in Learning)
CE Instructor: Bethany R. Raiff, Ph.D.
Abstract:

While games have been a part of human culture for many years, gamification, or the application of game elements to another activity, is an under-utilized tool within the experimental analysis of behavior and within applied methodologies for promoting behavior change. A brief history of games and features of games are discussed, along with a behavior-analytic perspective of game elements; the future implications of gamification for basic and applied research are described. Current research adopting gamification in a behavioral intervention to increase fruit and vegetable consumption in school-aged children, as well as within a contingency management program for smoking cessation are reviewed. Novel developments in the experimental analysis of behavior using gaming environments are described, which allow us to explore behavior within complex environments where contingencies are constantly changing. These methods thus far support the utility of gamification as an engaging, sustainable approach to behavioral interventions, and as an effective, time-efficient mode of assessing dynamic reinforcement contingencies in humans.

Keyword(s): contingency management, decision making, gamification
 
Playing to Learn: Formulating a Behavior Analytic Account of Games
ZACHARY H. MORFORD (University of Nevada, Reno), Linda J. Parrott Hayes (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: Games have been a ubiquitous part of human culture for thousands of years. While games began simply in human culture, today games come in a wide variety of forms, including board games, dice games, card games, athletic games, and video games. The conditions surrounding games result in people spending millions of dollars and billions of hours on games each year. As such, these conditions warrant a closer examination regarding how games are designed behavior analytically. In this talk, a brief history of games is provided and a few important definitions of games are reviewed. Many of these definitions fail to adequately identify the common elements of all games. Thus a conceptual analysis of games is discussed from a behavior analytic perspective, with an emphasis placed on the critical and non-critical features of games. Lastly, a brief discussion will be provided regarding the implications for this analysis, and how it relates to both applied and basic research in behavior analysis.
 

Playing Games with Food: Using Gamification to Increase Fruit and Vegetable Consumption in Elementary-School Cafeterias

BROOKE ASHLEY JONES (Utah State University), Gregory J. Madden (Utah State University), Heidi Wengreen (Utah State University), Sheryl Aguilar (Utah State University)
Abstract:

School-based interventions designed to increase fruit and vegetable (FV) consumption can be effective, but the most effective ones require that schools allocate time, effort, and financial resources to program implementation. The present project used a behaviorally based gamification approach to develop an intervention designed to increase FV consumption while minimizing the school's labor/material costs. During the intervention, the school (N=180 students in grades K-8) played a cooperative game in which school-level goals were met by consuming either fruit or vegetables. School-level consumption was quantified using a weight-based waste measure in the cafeteria. Results of Study 1 showed that over a period of 18 school days, fruit consumption increased by 67% and vegetable consumption by 43% above baseline levels. Use of an alternating-treatment time-series design with differentiated levels of FV consumption on days when fruit or vegetable was targeted for improvement supported the role of the intervention in these overall consumption increases. These findings suggest that gamification principles may prove practically useful in addressing concerns about poor dietary decision making by children in schools. In Study 2, we further explore the gamification approach by examining the effects of (a) a longer-term intervention and (b) individual-level (in addition to group-level) consumption.

 

Internet and Videogame-based Contingency Management for Promoting Healthy Behavior

BETHANY R. RAIFF (Rowan University), Jesse Dallery (University of Florida), Darion Rapoza (Entertainment Sciences, Inc.)
Abstract:

We developed an Internet-based Contingency Management (CM) intervention, where participants earn monetary incentives contingent on web-camera verified evidence of healthy behavior, such as smoking abstinence and diabetes management. Not only has our Internet-based CM intervention been effective at initiating smoking abstinence and diabetes regimen adherence (e.g., in a current clinical trial, 43% of videos submitted indicate smoking abstinence, compared with only 14% of videos submitted by a control group), participants have also rated the intervention favorably on a number of dimensions. To overcome barriers to Internet-based CM, such as the cost of incentives and long-term sustainability, we are currently developing a videogame-based CM intervention for smoking abstinence. Smokers will be able to earn game-based resources, or access to special features in the game, in place of monetary incentives. Videogame-based CM will promote widespread access to an innovative, fun, sustainable intervention at a relatively low cost (the game will be available to play for free), thereby offering the potential to have a substantial public health impact.

 
Impulsivity and Risk Taking in a Gaming Environment
MICHAEL YOUNG (Kansas State University), Tara Webb (Southern Illinois University Carbondale), Jillian Rung (Utah State University), Anthony McCoy (Kansas State University)
Abstract: Individuals frequently face decisions where the nature of outcomes change as a function of time; for example, the longer one waits to reserve a flight, the more likely it is that the price has increased as the departure date nears, while the likelihood of having available seats declines. Dynamically changing situations in which magnitude and probability are in flux have typically been measured in isolation, or only in one direction (increasing magnitude while decreasing probability). Using a video game engine, choice was assessed under conditions in which waiting produced a continuously increasing probability of an outcome with a continuously decreasing magnitude (Experiment 1) or a continuously increasing magnitude of an outcome with a continuously decreasing probability (Experiment 2). Performance in both experiments reflected a greater desire for a higher probability even though the corresponding wait times produced substantive decreases in overall performance. The differential weighting of these two aspects allows us to understand how individuals make decisions in complex contingencies where magnitude and probability are constantly changing.
 
 
Symposium #334
CE Offered: BACB
Applications of Technology for Prompting, Reinforcement, and Data Collection: Teaching Individuals with Varying Skill Levels
Monday, May 26, 2014
9:00 AM–10:50 AM
W187ab (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: DDA/EDC; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Sharon A. Reeve (Caldwell College)
Discussant: Paul Argott (EPIC School)
CE Instructor: Sharon A. Reeve, Ph.D.
Abstract:

As behavior analysts, it is important to stay current in technological advancements to ensure their effective use. The four studies in this symposium applied various aspects of technology for prompting, reinforcement, and data collection. In the first study, classroom clickers were used to increase quiz scores in college students. The second study used self-directed video prompting on iPads to increase vocational skills in young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. In the third study, an electronic token economy application was compared to a tangible, traditional token economy in pre-adolescents with autism. The purpose of the final study was to compare direct observation methods such as momentary time sampling and partial interval recording of interfering behavior such as stereotypy, self-injury, aggression, and disruptions with the use of a tablet-based application. Collectively, all studies demonstrated effective and innovative use of technology with individuals with varying skill levels that may be useful in clinical applications.

 

The Effects of Clickers on College Students' Quiz Scores Accuracy in a Teacher Preparation Course

CHRISTINA A. ROUSE (The Ohio State University), Jennifer Marie Cullen (The Ohio State University), Sheila R. Alber-Morgan (The Ohio State University)
Abstract:

An alternating treatments design was used to examine the effects of using classroom clickers in a teacher preparation class. On alternating class sessions, the students participated in one of two conditions, no clickers and clickers. During the no-clickers condition, the instructor delivered lectures using PPT presentations with accompanying guided notes, called on individual students to answer questions throughout the lecture, and required students to work on their group projects for about 20 to 25 minutes at the end of the lecture. After working on their group projects, the students took a 12-item quiz that covered the material from the lecture. The quizzes contained 10 multiple choice questions and 2 short answer questions. During the clicker condition, all classroom procedures were the same, except that the students used clickers to answer questions as a whole class throughout the lecture. When presented with a PPT slide with a multiple choice question, the students each used an individual electronic clicker to select the correct response. Then the students and instructor were able to immediately see the poll of responses on the LCD screen and receive immediate feedback. Results demonstrated a clear functional relation of clickers on higher mean quiz scores.

 

Effects of Self-Directed Video Prompting Using iPads on the Vocational Task Completion of Young Adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

JENNIFER MARIE CULLEN (The Ohio State University), Sheila R. Alber-Morgan (The Ohio State University), Evette A. Simmons-Reed (The Ohio State University), Mike Hanes (The Ohio State University Nisonger Center)
Abstract:

Individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities struggle to find integrated employment because of their challenges with vocational task acquisition and completion. In this study, self-directed video prompting on iPads was used with three adult male participants with intellectual and developmental disabilities completing vocational tasks. A multiple probe across tasks design was used to examine the effects of the intervention on the accuracy of vocational task acquisition in integrated employment settings. Prior to intervention with self-directed video prompting in the integrated employment setting, a multiple probe across participants design was used to determine the effects of a training package for teaching iPad usage consisting of modeling and least-to-most prompting on a training task. All three participants acquired device usage in two to five trials. A functional relation was demonstrated for all three participants. The participants acquired three new vocational tasks in the course of the study and demonstrated generalization to new materials, settings, or people in two of their three tasks.

 

Comparing Electronic and Tangible Token Systems to Teach Tacting to Pre-adolescents with Autism

BRIDGET SPANARKEL (Caldwell College), Sharon A. Reeve (Caldwell College), Kenneth F. Reeve (Caldwell College), Tina Sidener (Caldwell College), David W. Sidener (Garden Academy)
Abstract:

The present study compared two different token systems to teach tacting to three pre-adolescents with autism. The token systems used were the iReward application for the iPad, in which star tokens are graphically displayed on the screen, and a more typical token board in which star stickers are placed with Velcro on to a clipboard. An adapted alternating treatments design was embedded in a multiple-probe across participants design. Results indicated that both electronic and tangible token boards increased the percentage of correct tacts by participants. However, the electronic token system resulted in more rapid acquisition of tacts for two of three participants. Additionally, there was 100% agreement for both interobserver agreement and procedural integrity measures. Social validity measures demonstrated that typically developing peers, parents, instructors, and staff members found the electronic token system to be as practical, fair, acceptable, and reasonable as tangible token boards. In addition, participants themselves reported that they preferred using the electronic token boards over tangible token boards. These results indicate that electronic token systems may provide parents, teachers, and caregivers a means of reinforcing the behavior of individuals with autism that is more portable, practical, and socially acceptable than tangible token systems.

 
A Comparison of Direct Observational Methods Using an App for Data Collection
RUTH M. DEBAR (Caldwell College), Carolina Lenis (Caldwell College), Kenneth F. Reeve (Caldwell College), Sharon A. Reeve (Caldwell College)
Abstract: The purpose of this investigation was to replicate and extend previous research comparing direct observational methods to measure behaviors in children with autism through the use of an Apple® application called ABC Data Pro. Approximately twenty children between the ages of three and sixteen years old diagnosed with ASD who have interfering behaviors such as stereotypy, self-injurious, aggressive, and disruptive behaviors were invited to participate. Interfering behaviors were observed during both teacher directed and student directed activities. To analyze the reliability and validity of the measurement systems, behaviors were evaluated through discontinuous measurement systems such as whole interval recording, partial interval recording, and momentary time sampling and compared to continuous measurement system of frequency or duration. Forty video samples were scored across the measurement systems and compared. It was found that momentary time sampling of 30 seconds and one minute mostly estimated duration of stereotypy with much smaller errors than whole interval, partial interval, and momentary time sampling of 5 minutes. These findings are consistent with previous research and may assist clinicians in the selection of measurement systems to estimate the frequency and duration of behaviors.
 
 
Symposium #337
CE Offered: BACB
Going Beyond the Gold Standard: Alternatives and Adaptations of Functional Analysis Methodology
Monday, May 26, 2014
9:00 AM–10:50 AM
W185a (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: PRA/AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Joanna Lomas Mevers (Marcus Autism Center)
Discussant: Pamela L. Neidert (The University of Kansas)
CE Instructor: Joanna Lomas Mevers, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Functional analysis (FA) is the gold standard for identifying the function of problem behavior, but it is sometimes impractical or not feasible to implement. Therefore, it is important to develop alternative and adapted methods that can be implemented in settings where FAs are not possible. The current symposium will present recent research evaluating alternative methods such as indirect assessments, use of mand and preference assessments, and trial-based FAs. Data presented will compare alternative methods to FAs to determine the correspondence and validity of these alternative methods. Finding show improved correspondence when indirect assessments were completed by experts when compared to those completed by caregivers, good correspondence between concurrent operant preference assessment using the same reinforcers provided during the FA and positive treatment outcomes for interventions developed based on trial-based FAs. Taken together these results provide preliminary support for these alternative methods. Data will also be presented on the use of mand assessments as an alternative method for identifying the function of problem behavior. Results of the mand assessment were compared to those of FAs, showing low correspondence between mand assessments and FAs. Results from this study indicate mands may not be a viable alternative to FAs.

Keyword(s): Functional Analysis, Problem Behavior
 
An Evaluation of Trial-Based Functional Analyses in Classroom Settings
BLAIR LLOYD (Vanderbilt University), Joseph H. Wehby (Vanderbilt University), Emily Weaver (Vanderbilt University), Michelle Harvey (Vanderbilt University), Daniel Sherlock (Vanderbilt University)
Abstract: Although the functional analysis (FA) remains the gold standard for identifying the function of problem behavior for students with disabilities, traditional FA procedures are typically costly in terms of time, resources, and perceived risks. The purpose of the present study was to replicate and extend a trial-based FA methodology that shows promise in classroom settings. Participants were 4 paraprofessionals and 4 students with developmental disabilities and histories of high-frequency problem behavior who attended public elementary schools. Descriptive data on student problem behavior (i.e., direct observation and paraprofessional report) were collected to identify hypotheses and design experimental trials. Paraprofessionals conducted trial-based FAs in students’ usual instructional settings. To validate the outcomes of the trial-based FAs, paraprofessionals conducted subsequent intervention trials in the same setting. Results of the present study add to the growing evidence validating the trial-based FA as a practical alternative to traditional methodologies that are difficult to implement in classroom settings.
 

Experts Versus Caregivers: A Comparison of Indirect Assessments and Functional Analysis Outcomes

ERICA JOWETT (The University of Kansas), Joseph D. Dracobly (The University of Kansas), Claudia L. Dozier (The University of Kansas), Adam M. Briggs (The University of Kansas), Jessica Foster (The University of Kansas)
Abstract:

Functional analysis (e.g., Iwata, Dorsey, Slifer, Bauman, & Richman, 1982/1994) is the most effective methodology for identifying the function of problem behavior. However, skills and resources needed to conduct functional analyses are often not available in many settings, which has resulted in the use of indirect assessments to predict the function of problem behavior. To date, researchers have found that caregiver-completed indirect assessments are not valid (i.e., they do not correspond with functional analysis outcomes; Smith et al., 2012), but it is possible that "experts" may be better at accurately completing indirect assessments. The purpose of the current study was to compare the outcomes of an indirect assessment (Functional Analysis Screening Tool; Iwata, DeLeon, & Roscoe, 2012) completed by two caregivers and two experts in functional behavioral assessment and the outcome of a functional analysis. Five children with autism who engaged in problem behavior, their caregivers, and several experts participated. Comparison of the outcomes of the indirect assessments and functional analysis outcomes suggested that experts were more likely than caregivers to identify all functions of problem behavior via indirect assessments, but sometimes identified additional functions. The use of experts for completing indirect assessments could have significant impact on their utility.

 
Use of a Brief Concurrent Operant Preference Assessment as a Predictor of Function of Problem Behavior
JOANNA LOMAS MEVERS (Marcus Autism Center), Nathan Call (Marcus Autism Center), Ally Coleman (Marcus Autism Center)
Abstract: Functional analysis (FA) technology, as developed by Iwata and colleagues, (1982/1994) is considered the gold standard for identifying the function of problem behavior. Information gained via a FA can be used to develop function based interventions leading to better treatment outcomes than non-function based interventions (Campbell, 2003). Despite the utility of FAs, there are times in which they are not practical to implement in the natural environment. Common concerns include the inability to properly control extraneous variables, the need to have highly trained personnel oversee and conduct the assessment (Tarbox et al., 2009), as well as the necessity to observe problem behavior during the assessment. Thus, exploring alternative methods of functional assessment for those situations in which an FA is not feasible seems warranted. The current study replicates and extends the use of a concurrent operants preference assessment (St. Peter-Pipkin et al., 2010) to determine preferences for escape, attention and tangible items. For each participant the results of the preference assessment were compared to the results of an FA. Preliminary findings indicate good correspondence between the preference assessment and identified function found via FA providing some evidence for the use of this preference assessment to predict function of problem behavior.
 

Correspondence Between Functional Analyses of Mands (With and Without Prompting) and Functional Analyses of Problem Behavior: A New Perspective

Joseph Michael Lambert (Vanderbilt University), Sarah E. Bloom (University of South Florida), S. SHANUN KUNNAVATANA (Utah State University), Megan A. Boyle (Utah State University), Andrew Samaha (University of South Florida)
Abstract:

Although functional analyses (FAs) are the gold standard in identifying the function of problem behavior, they may not always be feasible. One alternative may be to assess the function of appropriate requesting (i.e., mands) under the same circumstances that problem behavior is assessed during traditional FAs. The assumption behind this type of assessment is that the motivating variables that evoke target problem behavior would also evoke functionally equivalent mands. Two recent studies have evaluated correspondence between FAs of problem behavior and mand assessments, however, results conflicted: Scheiltz et al. (2010) found correspondence for 20% of participants, whereas LaRue et al. (2011) found correspondence for 75%. The studies differed in whether or not they incorporated mand prompting. This study sought to determine whether procedural variations accounted for the difference in correspondence. Thus, we conducted three assessments with four children: a mand assessment with prompts, a mand assessment without prompts, and an FA of problem behavior. The results indicate poor correspondence between FAs of problem behavior and mand assessments with prompts (0%), as well as mand assessments without prompts (25%), suggesting mand assessments should not be used as a basis for identifying function of problem behavior.

 
 
Symposium #338
CE Offered: BACB
Research on the Prevention, Assessment, and Treatment of Challenging Behavior
Monday, May 26, 2014
9:00 AM–10:50 AM
W184d (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: PRA/DDA; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Javier Virues Ortega (University of Manitoba, St. Amant Research Centre, University of Auckland)
Discussant: Brian A. Iwata (University of Florida)
CE Instructor: Javier Virues Ortega, Ph.D.
Abstract:

This symposium presents a series of studies each featuring a novel methodological approach to the prevention, assessment, and treatment of challenging behavior. Tara Fahmie will present the effects of differential reinforcement and delay training on behavior maintained by access to tangibles in the prevention of severe problem behavior. Prevention in this study is demonstrated by a post-intervention decrease in moderate behaviors in the intervention setting and by a continued increase in the severity of behaviors in untreated settings. Flavia Julio will present a high-resolution post-effect analysis to evaluate changes in problem behavior maintained by automatic reinforcement following the discontinuation of noncontingent matched stimuli. This strategy may help to identify short-term post-effects consistent with either establishing or abolishing effects of matched stimuli over the putative sensory reinforcer. Jade Wightman will present an evaluation of the usability and reliability of electromyography-aided approach to the identification of bruxism episodes in individuals with profound intellectual disability. The study features a minimally invasive system for the direct recording on muscle activity that could provide more accurate measures during the functional analysis and treatment of bruxism. Finally, Javier Virues-Ortega will present an intervention protocol for tracking and reducing excessive head movement in children with autism undergoing neuroimaging examinations. Our discussant, Dr. Brian A. Iwata, will provide his informed perspective on these contributions to the prevention, assessment, and treatment of challenging behavior.

Keyword(s): assessment, challenging behavior, prevention, treatment
 
Prevention of Problem Behavior Maintained by Access to Tangible Items
TARA A. FAHMIE (California State University, Northridge), Brian A. Iwata (University of Florida), Sarah C. Mead (University of Florida)
Abstract: Very little research has been conducted on the efficacy of function-based procedures in preventing the development of problem behavior among individuals with developmental disabilities. We evaluated the effects of differential reinforcement and delay tolerance training on behavior maintained by access to tangibles. Participants first were exposed to varied establishing operations (e.g., blocked access to a preferred tangible, removal of a preferred tangible, requests to share a preferred tangible) to screen for the occurrence of mild, moderate, and severe topographies of problem behavior. The severity of behavior subsequently was tracked during conditions of intermittent reinforcement. Treatment was introduced in a multiple baseline across settings (establishing operations) design. Prevention was demonstrated by a post-intervention decrease in moderate behaviors in the intervention setting and by a continued increase in the severity of behaviors in untreated settings. Results of this research provide preliminary support for the extension of function-based approaches to the prevention of severe behavior.
 

CANCELED: A High-Resolution Post-Effect Analysis to Identify Establishing and Abolishing Effects of Noncontingent Matched Stimulation

FLAVIA JULIO (University of Manitoba), May S. Lee (University of Manitoba), Bethany Craig (University of Manitoba), Alison Cox (University of Manitoba), Javier Virues Ortega (University of Manitoba, St. Amant Research Centre, University of Auckland)
Abstract:

Noncontingent matched stimulation is intended to reduce behavior maintained by automatic reinforcement by emulating the sensory products of problem behavior, thereby inducing satiation (reinforcer replacement hypothesis). By contrast, matched stimuli may simply interfere with the sensory products of the behavior, thereby establishing the value of the sensory reinforcer over the duration of the matched stimuli (interference hypothesis). Post-effect analyses could help to reveal which behavioral process may be operating during noncontingent matched stimulation. Specifically, increments of problem behavior following the discontinuation of matched stimuli would be consistent with the interference hypothesis. By contrast, gradual recovery of problem behavior following the termination of matched stimuli would be consistent with the sensory reinforcer replacement hypothesis. Published post-effect analyses (e.g., Rapp, 2007) do not provide definitive evidence in favor or against either hypothesis, chiefly because changes in motivating operations induced by noncontingent matched stimuli may be short lived and could be masked by the overall variability of the behavior. In order to evaluate subtle post-effects induced by matched stimuli we conducted a high-resolution post-effect analysis in a series of cases of problem behavior maintained by automatic reinforcement. Our results indicated that both the interference and the reinforcer replacement hypotheses were consistent with the post-effects of matched stimuli in different subjects. Clinical recommendations based on our findings will be discussed.

 

Accuracy of an Electromyography-Aided Approach to the Identification of Bruxism Episodes during Assessment and Treatment

JADE WIGHTMAN (University of Manitoba), Javier Virues Ortega (University of Manitoba, St. Amant Research Centre, University of Auckland), Ashley L. Boris (University of Manitoba)
Abstract:

There are few studies on bruxism in the behavioral literature. Functional analyses of bruxism in individuals with developmental disabilities have relied on audible responding to assess the occurrence of bruxism. However, bruxism can also be inaudible. An electromyography (EMG) measures the frequency, duration, and amplitude of bruxism and allows for the assessment of both audible and inaudible bruxism events. We used a minimally invasive EMG wireless device to record bruxism episodes. Bruxism is typically defined as episodes of masseter muscle activity over 30% of muscle voluntary contraction (MVC). We present a proxy of the 30% MVC index for individuals with profound intellectual disability that are not able to follow verbal instructions skill necessary to estimate MVC. Over a series of free operant sessions we recorded a minimum of 100 EMG activity events and obtained the 30th percentile of the distribution of events as a proxy of the 30% MVC value. Subsequently, we used this threshold to train observers to identify bruxism events based on real-time EMG recordings. Our study indicates that it is possible (and time-efficient) to estimate a proxy to the 30% MVC value for individuals with profound intellectual disability. Our results also show that it is possible to train observers to use the proxy threshold to reliably identify bruxism events based on EMG recordings. A functional analysis and treatment study using this methodology is currently under way.

 

Promoting Steadiness in Children with Autism Undergoing MRI Scans: Training and Generalization

Alison Cox (University of Manitoba), Bethany Craig (University of Manitoba), Flavia Julio (University of Manitoba), Kylee Hurl (University of Manitoba), Deborah L. Hatton (University of Manitoba), Toby L. Martin (St. Amant Research Centre), JAVIER VIRUES ORTEGA (University of Manitoba, St. Amant Research Centre, University of Auckland)
Abstract:

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a non-invasive medical procedure that is an essential diagnostic tool for a myriad of neurological conditions. During the scanning session the individual is required to remain still throughout the procedure, which can last from a few seconds to several minutes. This task is particularly difficult for children with autism as they often present with diminished capacity to comprehend instructions and may also present with sensory sensitivities. Traditionally, individuals with disabilities have been sedated in order to undergo an MRI scan, which has been correlated with numerous medical side effects including death. Moreover, sedation has a success rate below 70%. There is some evidence suggesting that it is possible to promote steadiness in children using exposure-based methods. However, none of these studies have included participants with autism. Also, the studies available frequently fail to include a generalization test in a real scanner. We used an exposure-based intervention to promote tolerance to a mock scanner, followed by a 5-min DRO adjusting schedule to establish steadiness. Training was followed by a real scanner session. The results of this study are promising in that we were able to establish steadiness in all participants. Moreover, the real scanner quality indices resulting from the real scanner sessions were all within the acceptable range.

 
 
Symposium #341
CE Offered: BACB
The Use of Explicit Instruction Curricula to Teach Academics to Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders
Monday, May 26, 2014
10:00 AM–10:50 AM
W184bc (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: AUT/EDC; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Josh Plavnick (Michigan State University)
Discussant: Debra M. Kamps (Juniper Gardens Children's Project, The University of Kansas)
CE Instructor: Josh Plavnick, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Kasari and Smith (2013) emphasize the need for research to align to the goals of teachers (e.g., teaching academics aligned to common core state standards) to increase buy-in and durability of implementation. Due to budget, time, and personnel constraints, researchers must identify academic interventions for students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) that are feasible, effective, and efficient. Historically, there has been an emphasis on discrete trial instruction for students with ASD. However, it is important to identify curricula as opposed to isolated skills instruction. Curricula are more likely to be adopted by teachers, which may increase feasibility and durability of research-based instruction (Kasari & Smith, 2013). Scripted, explicit, and systematic instructional programs such as Direct Instruction appear to be well matched to the characteristics of students with ASD (Watkins, Slocum, & Spencer, 2011). This session will include: (a) a review of the literature on the effects of scripted, explicit, and systematic programs on academic performance of students with ASD, and (b) an overview of a recent study investigating the effects of antecedent strategies on responding during small group Direct Instruction mathematics lessons with elementary students with ASD.

Keyword(s): Autism, Direct instruction, Explicit instruction, Systematic instruction
 
Explicit Academic Instructional Programs and Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Review of the Literature
JOSH PLAVNICK (Michigan State University), Nancy Marchand-Martella (Eastern Washington University), Ronald C. Martella (Eastern Washington University), Julie L. Thompson (University of North Carolina at Charlotte), Leah Wood (University of North Carolina at Charlotte)
Abstract: Compared to individuals with other disabilities, school-aged individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) spend little time in general education classrooms for academic instruction. There are very few empirically validated interventions for teaching academic skills to students with ASD. Academic interventions that better prepare students with ASD to participate in general education settings are needed to mitigate this deficit. Curricula that include scripted, explicit, and systematic instruction match the needs associated with characteristics of autism spectrum disorder. In this paper, the authors proposed a clear definition of scripted, explicit, and systematic curricula. This definition was then used to identify and describe the research literature on the use of these curricula with individuals with ASD. A review of the literature identified 8 articles published between 2006 and 2013. Results indicated positive effects of scripted, explicit, and systematic curricula on academic skill acquisition of students with ASD. Implications and directions for future research will be discussed.
 
Increasing Responding During Direct Instruction Mathematics Using Antecedent Strategies with Students with Autism
JULIE L. THOMPSON (University of North Carolina at Charlotte)
Abstract: Students with ASD need specialized interventions that are feasible and durable for school settings. Direct Instruction (DI) curricula may be effective for teaching students with ASD due to the explicit features of the DI programs that match the learner characteristics of individuals with ASD. DI is designed to be taught during group instruction and relies heavily on unison responding; yet, individuals with ASD are primarily taught one-on-one or sequentially within groups. Students with ASD who demonstrate problem behaviors and/or limited participation during instruction may have limited access to group instruction. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of proximity fading and task breaks on responding during small group DI in mathematics with students with ASD. Four students with ASD participated in this study; one student served as a peer model and three received the intervention. Three students were culturally and or linguistically diverse. Results indicated a functional relation between the intervention and participant responding. An English Language Learner required a Spanish cognate directive to increase responding to an acceptable level. Implications for research include considerations for teaching diverse learners with ASD and multi-tiered instructional supports to increase inclusive opportunities.
 
 
Symposium #342
CE Offered: BACB
Implications of Teaching Multiple Communication Responses on the Generalization and Maintenance of FCT Treatment Effectiveness
Monday, May 26, 2014
10:00 AM–10:50 AM
W183c (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: AUT/DDA; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Henry S. Roane (State University of New York Upstate Medical University  )
CE Instructor: Henry S. Roane, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Functional communication training (FCT) has proven to be one of the most effective differential reinforcement-based procedures for treating challenging behavior. While the basic procedures of FCT are well understood, questions remain about programming for generalization of FCT-based treatments. The current symposium examines factors that might enhance the generalization and maintenance of FCT interventions. The study by Isenhower et al. describes a process by which two individuals were taught multiple FCT responses to access preferred tangibles in an attempt to broaden their communication repertoires while maintaining low levels of problem behavior. In a related investigation, Gainey et al. also examined programming for communication variability following treatment with FCT; however, these researchers used Lag 1 schedules of reinforcement to promote response variability. The final study in this symposium also addresses the generalization and maintenance of multiple FCT responses. Specifically, Ringdahl et al. employed a concurrent-schedule arrangement to identify a preference between two communication responses. Next, the authors exposed these responses to different disruptor events (i.e., extinction, noncontingent reinforcement) to examine response maintenance. Each of these papers will include a discussion of the clinical implications of promoting response maintenance within the context of FCT-based treatments.

Keyword(s): challenging behavior, Differential Reinforcement, Functional communication, generalization/maintenance
 

Broadening the Functional Communication Repertoires of Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder

ROBERT W. ISENHOWER (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, Rutgers University), Robert LaRue (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, Rutgers University), Rachel Davis (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, Rutgers University), Kyung Mo Nam (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, Rutgers University), Jaime Decker Mulcahy (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, Rutgers University), Meghan Reilly (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, Rutgers University), Chariana Guzik (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, Rutgers University), Lauren Alison Pepa (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, Rutgers University)
Abstract:

Functional Communication Training (FCT) is a differential reinforcement procedure that involves providing reinforcement for a communicative response to replace maladaptive behavior. FCT procedures generally include providing reinforcement for the communication response while maladaptive behavior contacts extinction (or, in some cases, punishment). Oftentimes, the last phases of FCT training involve generalization across therapists and settings and thinning the schedule of reinforcement to allow the response to contact reinforcement on a schedule that more closely matches the contingencies of the natural social environment. However, another important terminal goal for FCT is broadening the communication repertoire itself. Therefore, we examined a communication repertoire broadening procedure in two adolescent males with autism spectrum disorder. Functional analyses revealed that both individuals emitted problem behavior maintained by restricted access to tangible items. To address challenging behavior, FCT with extinction was implemented. Both individuals successfully acquired a Please response in order to gain access to preferred tangible items while low rates of problem behavior were achieved. Subsequently, Participant 1s FCT response was split into Food and Toys and Participant 2s FCT response was split into Food, Toys, and Music. Both individuals acquired the new, broadened communication repertoire while low rates of problem behavior were maintained.

 

An Evaluation of Lag Schedules of Reinforcement Embedded in Functional Communication Training to Increase Variant Responding

SUMMER GAINEY (The University of Texas at Austin), Terry S. Falcomata (The University of Texas at Austin), Colin S. Muething (The University of Texas at Austin), Katherine Hoffman (The University of Texas)
Abstract:

Functional Communication Training (FCT) is one of the most commonly cited reinforcement-based approaches to the treatment of challenging behavior (Tiger et al., 2008). Previous studies have demonstrated that lag schedules of reinforcement can be effective in increasing variant responding pertaining to clinically relevant behavior (e.g., Lee, McComas, & Jawor, 2002); however previous studies have not evaluated their use during FCT to increase variant mand responding during the treatment of challenging behavior. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of lag schedules of reinforcement on communicative variability in three individuals with autism during FCT. Following functional analyses of challenging behaviors, mands were reinforced on Lag 0 or Lag 1 schedules of reinforcement respectively and variant responding and challenging behavior were evaluated. Results showed that a Lag 1 schedule of reinforcement increased variant mand responding considerably relative to the Lag 0 schedule for all participants. Results further showed that the FCT treatment package produced considerable reductions in challenging behavior. These results may have implications for improving the robustness of FCT in terms of the prevention of clinical relapse.

 

An Evaluation of the Interaction Between Communication Modality Preference, Disruptor, and Response Maintenance

JOEL ERIC RINGDAHL (Southern Illinois University), Wendy K. Berg (The University of Iowa), Kristina Vargo (Sam Houston State University), Jodi Elizabeth Nuernberger (Southern Illinois University Carbondale), Patrick Romani (The University of Iowa), David P. Wacker (The University of Iowa)
Abstract:

Functional communication training (FCT) is the most widely used approach to the treatment of severe behavior problems exhibited by individuals with developmental disabilities (Tiger, Hanley, & Bruzek, 2008). Typically, this approach to treatment includes two components: (a) discontinuing the response-reinforcer relation between problem behavior and its maintaining variable(s), and (b) programming those functional reinforcers to be delivered contingent on appropriate communication. A number of research studies have been conducted demonstrating the robust effectiveness of this intervention across various types of severe problem behavior (e.g., self-injurious behavior, aggression, tantrums) and incorporating a wide variety of alternative, appropriate communicative responses (e.g., vocal requests, manual signs, use of alternative/augmentative communication devices). However, little research has been conducted regarding the maintenance of treatment effects when FCT is disrupted (see, Wacker et al., 2010 for an exception). The current study investigated: (a) the maintenance of FCT effects relative to the continued exhibition of appropriate communication as a function of response preference when FCT was disrupted, and (b) the interaction between disruptor type (i.e., extinction and noncontingent reinforcement) and response preference. Results suggest that high-preference responses have higher response strength than low-preference responses when challenged with extinction. This relationship is not observed across disruptors, as low-preference responses demonstrate higher response strength than high-preference responses when challenged with noncontingent reinforcement. Clinical implications and future directions for research will be discussed.

 
 
Symposium #343
CE Offered: BACB
Using Technology to Improve the Access to, Effectiveness and Efficiency of Services for Individuals with Autism
Monday, May 26, 2014
10:00 AM–10:50 AM
W183a (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: AUT/EDC; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Robert F. Putnam (May Institute)
Discussant: Susan Wilczynski (Ball State University)
CE Instructor: Robert F. Putnam, Ph.D.
Abstract:

The growing number of children with autism has placed demands on the service delivery system. There is increased demand for competent behavior analysts and direct therapist in the delivery of services using applied behavior analysis methodologies with this population. These services are often delivered in a variety of environments including school, homes and community settings. The use of technology to improve access and quality of services will be highlighted in this data based symposium. The first data based symposium shows how the use of school-wide data in schools for autism and developmental disabilities have assisted staff in developing system-wide interventions to improve the quality of behavior support interventions. The second data presentation demonstrates the use of an on line video training package that can used to evaluate and train staff in the delivery of effective services based on applied behavior analysis. This will focus on the comparison of standard classroom based training as compared to the online video series. The third presentation will focus on The fourth symposium will

 

Developing and Implementation of a System-Wide Data Information System to Reduce Problem Behavior

MELANIE DUBARD (May Institute), Robert F. Putnam (May Institute), Bonnie Souza (May Institute)
Abstract:

Using data based decision making concerning the effectiveness of behavior support interventions and the use of crisis intervention procedures in a large school serving students with autism spectrum disorder and/or developmental disabilities is often made on a student by student basis. This presentation will review the ongoing development of a system to collect system-wide data that could be used to determine the effectiveness of school-wide behavior support as well as individual behavior support. The use of functional assessment information to ascertain system interventions particularly in these schools is often lacking. Often schools do not review data at the systems level to make programmatic decisions and if so only examine the frequency and duration of procedures. Staff at this center assisted in designing the system to examine the frequency, duration and type of crisis intervention procedure. In addition the system allowed the review of location, time, activity and staff involved in these procedures to help the program as a whole improve its behavior support practices. Presentation of data as well as the effective use of this to make system level changes in interventions will be presented.

 

Effectively Training Direct Therapists Serving Students with Autism

Melanie DuBard (May Institute), Robert F. Putnam (May Institute), MEGAN R. JOY (May Institute)
Abstract:

The growing number of children with autism has placed demands on the service delivery system. The provision of school and in home services with a school based and mobile workforce presents a challenge in effectively training this workforce in a cost effective way. A comparison of on site standardized training with senior BCBA as compared to online video competency based training will be compared. Data will be compared on the effectiveness of both models included the amount of time needed to complete the training, the extent of knowledge of applied behavior analysis concepts and the application of these competencies. Data will be presented on the rate of learning with staff with differing academic achievement levels. A comparison of direct instruction competencies will be analysed between both groups. Finally a cost comparison of both methods will be completed.

 
 
Symposium #344
CE Offered: BACB
Health Sports & Fitness SIG Symposium 1: Behavior Analytic Interventions for Healthy Lifestyles
Monday, May 26, 2014
10:00 AM–10:50 AM
W179b (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: CBM/PRA; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Bobby Newman (Room to Grow)
Discussant: Stephen Ray Flora (Youngstown State University)
CE Instructor: Jennifer Klapatch, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Poor exercise and eating habits have resulted in a national health crisis in the United States. Obesity is currently considered an epidemic in the United States, with two-thirds of Americans being categorized as overweight and almost a third of the population meeting criteria for being obese. In response to this prevalence, interventions focusing on increasing healthy behaviors, such as exercise and making healthy food choices, have received increasing attention in the literature. However, the difficulty of implementing these interventions is often cited the reason for little generalization of these itnerventions to mainstream society. Two easy, cost-effective interventions will be presented, one utilizing Internet-based contingency management to increase walking behavior and one utilizing antecedent interventions to increase healthy food choice making. To evaluate these results in a broader context, we will discuss the historical effectiveness of behavior-analytic programs to increase exercise and other healthy lifestyle behaviors as well as discuss the reasons why behavior analytic interventions are currently not a standard choice of treatment for obesity.

Keyword(s): eating, exercise, healthy lifestyles, obesity
 
Improving College Student Health: Simple Interventions to Increase Healthy Food Selection Behavior
SHARLET D. RAFACZ (Savannah State University), Sandra Nerestant (Clark Atlanta University), Marquella Johnson (Savannah State University)
Abstract: Rates of obesity are continuing to increase and the field of behavior analysis is uniquely qualified to assist in addressing this issue. While a great deal of effort has been focused on improving dietary behaviors and exercise, little research has been done at exploring interventions with college students in particular. This demographic is of primary concern due to their limited finances to purchase healthy food and a lack of knowledge regarding selecting and preparing healthy meals. The current study evaluated using cost effective interventions to increase healthy food choices with college age students on a university campus. The first study compared a simple antecedent based prompt to the same prompt combined with a raffle in an ABACA design. The second study further evaluated the antecedent based prompt. The target behaviors for the first study included food selection behaviors while the second targeted drink selection behavior. Data indicated that healthy choice behavior may increase as a result of the antecedent based intervention, but that the nature and saliency of the prompts are particularly important. This presentation will further discuss the implications of these findings for college and university campuses, but also for other educational and non-educational food establishments.
 

The Effects of Internet-based Deposit Contracts on Increasing Physical Activity of Typically Developing Sedentary Adults

STEPHANIE GORBOLD (ABA of Illinois, LLC), Jennifer Klapatch (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology), Diana J. Walker (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology)
Abstract:

The present study examined the effects of Internet-based deposit contracts on increasing physical activity of typically developing sedentary adults. Three participants who were currently living sedentary lifestyles (i.e., walking less than 5,000 steps per day on average) entered into an Internet-based deposit contract and wore a Fitbit Zip device blinded for the duration of the study (i.e., they could not view the number of steps being recorded by the device). The experimental design of the study was an ABAB reversal design with a changing criterion design during the two-week intervention phases. Baseline conditions varied between one and two weeks and all participants received two weeks of intervention during each intervention phase. During each intervention phase, participants received incremental amounts of their deposit back for meeting or exceeding their walking criterion for reinforcement (which were calculated based on previous walking data). The results showed that an Internet-based deposit contract could effectively increase walking in sedentary adults even without the feedback that would typically be provided by a pedometer.

 
 
Panel #345
CE Offered: BACB
Breaking Borders: Bringing Behavior Analysis to the Forefront
Monday, May 26, 2014
10:00 AM–10:50 AM
W192a (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: CSE/TBA; Domain: Service Delivery
CE Instructor: Amanda N. Kelly, Ph.D.
Chair: Amanda N. Kelly (Malama Pono Autism Center)
MOLLY OLA PINNEY (Global Autism Project)
AMANDA N. KELLY (Malama Pono Autism Center)
Abstract:

This panel discussion will highlight how to bring behavior analysis to the forefront of discussions, with an emphasis on looking forward toward the future. It is imperative that we, as practitioners, scientists, dreamers and game changers become effective at marketing ourselves and disseminating behavior analytic principles and technologies to others, throughout communities, across cultures and beyond borders. The presenters of this panel will share their personal experiences with consulting; providing insight into their inspiration for dissemination, sharing the moments that compelled them to become involved in dissemination, highlighting those who have mentored them and sharing insight into others they have inspired in turn. This presentation will showcase the challenges one may encounter when attempting to go beyond our backyard. The presenters will describe common (and some unique) obstacles they have had to overcome and will share insight into the lessons they have learned. From these experiences, the panelists hope to shed light on how behavior analysts can raise awareness, increase accessibility of services and effectively market ourselves and our science.

Keyword(s): Culture, Dissemination
 
 
B. F. Skinner Lecture Series Paper Session #346
CE Offered: PSY

Reward, Reinforcement, and the Neural Bases of Decision-Making

Monday, May 26, 2014
10:00 AM–10:50 AM
W375e (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
Instruction Level: Intermediate
CE Instructor: Bernard Balleine, Ph.D.
Chair: Federico Sanabria (Arizona State University)
BERNARD BALLEINE (The University of Sidney)
Dr. Bernard Balleine received his B.A. with first-class honors and with the University Medal from the University of Sydney in 1987 and his Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom in 1992. He was made a fellow of Jesus College Cambridge in 1992 and conducted post-doctoral research in neuroscience in the Department of Experimental Psychology at Cambridge University until 1995. He was then appointed assistant professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, in 1996, given tenure in 2000, and made a full professor at UCLA in 2004. He was elected a fellow of the American Psychological Association in 2004 and appointed director of research in the Brain Research Institute at UCLA in 2005. In 2009, Dr. Balleine received an inaugural Australian Research Council Laureate Fellowship and was appointed to a professorial position at the University of Sydney establishing the Behavioral Neuroscience Laboratory in the Brain & Mind Research Institute there in early 2010. Dr. Balleine's research is focused on the psychological and neural bases of decision-making and has been instrumental in establishing the processes determining the acquisition of and choice between goal-directed actions, the development of habits and the reward and reinforcement processes that suport these fundamental classes of behavior.
Abstract:

Recent studies point to a number of learning and modulatory processes that contribute to food-seeking. Distinct learning processes mediate the acquisition of goal-directed and habitual actions and are subserved by parallel circuits involving the dorsomedial and dorsolateral striatum, respectively. In addition, food can function as an incentive, to reward actions, and as a reinforcer, to strengthen habits. Evidence suggests that two forms of incentive process affect food seeking: (i) the experienced value of a particular food based on consummatory experience, and (ii) the predicted value of a particular action based on cues that predict food delivery. Although incentive theories generally assume that these processes are mediated by a common associative mechanism, a number of recent findings suggest that they are dissociable behaviorally, anatomically, and neurochemically. The latter predictive learning process also may play a role in habitual food-seeking, particularly in the function of the reinforcement signal, long ascribed to the dopaminergic input to dorsolateral striatum which we have found is heavily regulated by the central amygdala. As the basolateral amygdala is heavily involved in reward processing, it appears the amygdala plays the generally role of parsing food events into the reward and reinforcement signals that support goal-directed and habitual action control, respectively.

Target Audience:

Behavior analysts interested in the neurobiological underpinnings of learning and motivation, and their implications for theories of reinforcement.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants should be able to (1) Articulate the difference between habitual and goal-directed action in behavioral terms; (2) Identify the neural mechanisms underlying reward and reinforcement processing; (3) Explain why theories of reward and reinforcement based on single associative mechanisms are insufficient.
Keyword(s): basolateral amygdala, dorsolateral striatum, goal-directed behavior, habit formation
 
 
Symposium #347
CE Offered: BACB
Improving Reading and Writing Repertoires in Students With and Without Disabilities
Monday, May 26, 2014
10:00 AM–10:50 AM
W194b (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: EDC/VRB; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: JoAnn Pereira Delgado (Teachers College, Columbia University)
Discussant: Caitlin Rasplica (University of Oregon)
CE Instructor: JoAnn Pereira Delgado, Ph.D.
Abstract:

It is critical for students to develop fluent reader and writer repertories. Students with disabilities, English language learners, as well as students from impoverished communities are particularly at risk. Direct Instruction is one evidence-based procedure that has resulted in academic gains for students. In the first paper, the implementation of an Accelerated Independent Learner model coupled with the Direct Instruction Corrective Reading program resulted in educationally and statistically significant outcomes in students in grades 3-5 that were identified as performing below grade level in reading. In the second paper, the participants were students diagnosed with emotional disturbances and autism respectively. The experimenters found that the use of general case instruction resulted the emergence of metaphorical production responses for all participants.

Keyword(s): Direct Instruction, Metaphors, Reading, Writing
 

Effects of the Corrective Reading Program on Reading Skills in an Accelerated Independent Learner Classroom

JoAnn Pereira Delgado (Teachers College, Columbia University), JENNIFER WEBER (Morris School District and Teachers College, Columbia University), R. Douglas Greer (Teachers College, Columbia University and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences  )
Abstract:

We tested the effects of the Corrective Reading (CR) program on reading outcomes of students with and without disabilities in grades 3 though 5 who were identified as reading below proficient. Students were selected based on reading scores derived from the New Jersey Assessment of Skills and Knowledge (NJ ASK) & Developmental Reading Assessment (DRA). The students in the CR condition (n=25) were selected from Accelerated Independent Learner (AIL) model classrooms that apply a scientific approach to teaching in a general education setting. Students were provided with 1 or 2 sessions of CR daily for 45 minutes each over the course of 4 months. A comparison group of students (n=25) were selected from other classrooms in the school that did not implement the AIL model. Teachers of students in the comparison group implemented a variety of reading approaches consistent with the school districts curricula. Statistically and educationally significant improvements were found between those students that received the CR program and those in the comparison condition on reading skills. Students that received the CR intervention showed increases in independent reading levels between 1 and 4 levels according to the DRA. Results, limitation and implications are discussed.

 
Unblocking Metaphorical Production Responses Using General Case Instruction
KATHERINE M. MATTHEWS (The Faison School for Autism), Dolleen-Day Keohane (Nicholls State University)
Abstract: We tested the effects of using general case instruction (GCI) on the emergence of untaught metaphors and extended tacts in a multiple probe design across students diagnosed with emotional disabilities. In the baseline phase, participants emitted low levels of extended tacts using an experimental word set, which primarily consisted of cliché phrases and other commonly used metaphors. During the GCI condition however, students were taught to identify and write metaphors and non-metaphors (literal sentences) using an instructional set of word sets. Following GCI, the students emitted significantly more metaphors using the experimental word sets compared to baseline. In a further extension, students diagnosed with ASD were taught to write using technical and esthetic functions, which included metaphorical components. All components were examined in relation to verbal behavior and relational frame theory.
 
 
Symposium #351
CE Offered: BACB
Reinforcing the Verbal Conditional Discriminations of Individuals with Autism
Monday, May 26, 2014
10:00 AM–10:50 AM
W185d (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: VRB/AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Lee L. Mason (The University of Texas at San Antonio)
CE Instructor: Lee L. Mason, Ph.D.
Abstract:

This symposium presents the findings from a series of research questions related to conditional discrimination in the intraverbal relation. The symposium centers on one large study on the effects of a token economy system on the auditory conditional discriminations of children with autism spectrum disorders. Three children with mild to moderate autism participated in this research, and were systematically introduced to individuals with whom they were previously unfamiliar. These strangers introduced themselves to each participant, and in doing so, conveyed a series of personal information. Immediately following each introduction, the participants were asked to recall specific information about the person they had just met. Employing a multiple-baseline across participants design, researchers reinforced conditional discriminations in the intraverbal relation for each participant. Follow-up statistical analyses were performed to identify some of the relations controlling the responding of each participant. Results were analyzed in terms of the number of statements about the individual recalled, the effects of systematic pausing as a negative reinforcer, the number of information seeking questions asked, and the mutual interests between the stranger and the child with autism.

Keyword(s): conditional discrimination, intraverbal responding
 

The Effects of a Token Economy on Increasing Verbal Conditional Discriminations

LEE L. MASON (The University of Texas at San Antonio), Don Davis (The University of Texas at San Antonio)
Abstract:

To what extent can a token economy system increase the number of auditory conditioned discriminations of children with autism spectrum disorders? To answer this question, three children with autism who were receiving behavior analytic intervention in a university-based center were systematically introduced to visitors to the center. Each participant and visitor engaged in a brief, structured conversation, in which the visitor mentioned 20 facts about him- or her-self. After the visitor left the participant was asked to recall these facts about the visitor. Employing a multiple-baseline across participants design, a token economy system was implemented with each participant to reinforce the number of conditional discriminations in the intraverbal relation made by each participant. Results show that the number of correct discriminations increased for each participant only after the token economy system was introduced. Additionally, the data remained at treatment levels following a two week maintenance period. Results will be discussed within the greater context of teaching intraverbal relations.

 

An Examination of the Reinforcing Contingencies of Social Interactions

ALONZO ANDREWS (South Texas Behavioral Institute), Lee L. Mason (The University of Texas at San Antonio), Don Davis (The University of Texas at San Antonio)
Abstract:

To what extent does a lag in conversation negatively reinforce the social interactions of students with autism? And to what extent does the reinforcement of verbal statements about other people increase the rate of information seeking behavior? To answer these questions, researchers programmed in multiple 10 second pauses throughout the conversation between the participant and stranger. The verbal behavior of participants during these pauses was then analyzed to identify the contingencies of reinforcement associated with maintaining social interactions. Previous research has found that for many children with autism the establishing operations may simply not be sufficient to evoke verbal behavior, such as manding for information. However, other researchers have found that children who progress to advanced stages of language acquisition will eventually become capable of developing new language skills in the absence of explicit training. In this paper, we present our findings and discuss the results along with implications for reinforcing social interactions.

 

The Effects of Mutual Interests on Verbal Conditional Discriminations

DON DAVIS (The University of Texas at San Antonio  ), Lee L. Mason (The University of Texas at San Antonio  ), Alonzo Andrews (South Texas Behavioral Institute)
Abstract:

To what extent are shared interests/activities more likely to be recalled? During their interactions, strangers provided each participant with answers to twenty "personal interest" questions (i.e., facts about themselves). We sought to determine whether students were more likely to recall mutual interests, or were more susceptible to reinforcement towards recalling such matched answers. To determine this, we evaluated the interests identified by each stranger against the self-reported interests of the participants. Researchers found no statistically meaningful relationship between participants' characteristics (e.g. "favorite music"), their ability to recall such information, nor their susceptibility to reinforcement to recall such information. This lack of significance is potentially meaningful for multiple reasons. Not only does this finding reinforce previous discussions of the lack of "empathy" exhibited by students with autism spectrum disorders, it, more importantly, raises significant questions regarding the role of interactional histories and their affect on students with autism spectrum disorders, verbal behaviors and susceptibility to (or lack thereof) contingencies of reinforcement related to their interactional histories. Namely, these findings extend discussions of limitations of students' self-other correspondence to broader questions of potentially diminished significance of "self" for children with autism spectrum disorders.

 
 
Symposium #352
CE Offered: BACB
Addressing Interpersonal Functioning in Clinical Behavior Analysis
Monday, May 26, 2014
10:00 AM–11:50 AM
W179a (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: CBM/VRB; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Jordan T. Bonow (Veterans Affairs Puget Sound: Seattle Division  )
Discussant: Thomas J. Waltz (Eastern Michigan University)
CE Instructor: Thomas J. Waltz, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Clinical behavior analysts frequently assess and treat problems related to interpersonal functioning. The first presentation will introduce the audience to how clinically relevant interpersonal behavior is conceptualized within Functional Analytic Psychotherapy (FAP). The second presentation reviews the challenges and opportunities in developing contemporary measures aimed at facilitating descriptive functional analyses in outpatient clinical settings. The third presentation presents data from new measures under development aimed to capture clinically relevant variables in terms of discounting and positive and negative reinforcement. The final presentation will present data from a small randomized clinical trial of FAP for individuals screening positive for social intimacy deficits and meeting criteria for one of the following DSM-5 disorders: Social Anxiety Disorder, General Anxiety Disorder, a Major Depressive Disorder, Avoidant Personality Disorder, or Dependent Personality Disorder. The discussion will elaborate on the opportunities interpersonally focused behavior therapies have for expanding the reach of behavior analysis.

Keyword(s): Assessment, FAP, functional analysis, Interpersonal Functioning
 

A Clinical Behavior Analytic Approach to Interpersonal Behavior: Functional Analytic Psychotherapy

JORDAN T. BONOW (Veterans Affairs Puget Sound: Seattle Division  ), William C. Follette (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract:

Clinical Behavior Analysis (CBA) represents a behavior analytic approach to complex human behaviors traditionally falling within the purview of the field of clinical psychology. One domain of complex human behavior of interest to clinical behavior analysts is interpersonal interaction. Functional Analytic Psychotherapy (FAP), one of the few distinct therapies belonging to the CBA tradition, provides one comprehensive approach to interpersonal interaction. This presentation provides an overview of FAP and its theoretical account of interpersonal repertoires, interactions, and influence. Particular focus is placed on clinically relevant interpersonal behaviors (CRBs) and the mechanisms by which FAP is thought to lead to changes in client interpersonal repertoires.

 

The Challenges of Developing Functional Assessments in CBA

SABRINA DARROW (University of California, San Francisco), Jordan T. Bonow (Veterans Affairs Puget Sound: Seattle Division  ), Glenn M. Callaghan (San Jose State University)
Abstract:

Functional analysis of target behavior in clinical behavior analysis is complicated and time consuming. Developing descriptive functional assessments is one method to increase the efficiency of this process and ease implementation of CBA interventions. This presentation will provide an overview of some functional assessments related to clinical behavior analytic targets (e.g., the Functional Ideographic Assessment Template, the Functional Assessment of Depression, and the Acceptance and Action Questionnaire). Different methods of developing this type of assessment will also be presented. Finally, the challenges inherent in this process will be discussed.

 

Using Clinically Relevant Discounting Tasks to Assess Distress Tolerance Related to Social Functioning

THOMAS J. WALTZ (Eastern Michigan University), William C. Follette (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract:

Discounting characterizes how rapid the value of an outcome is degraded when that outcome is accompanied by increasing levels of inconvenience. In interpersonally focused behavior therapies the degree to which a client's social goals and aspirations are discounted when then they are accompanied by experiences inconvenient or distressing circumstances is of interest. Participants in this study (n = 219) completed a battery of measures including a) discounting of social goals and related distress, b) positive and negative reinforcement related to social functioning and managing distress, and c) social anxiety. While pervious analyses have found differences in discounting in this data set by those scoring low and high on social anxiety (t(70)= 3.00 , p =0.003, d =0.71, 95% CI [1.31-3.07]), additional analyses will be presented looking at differences in discounting based on self-report of positive and negative reinforcement related to social functioning and managing distress. The results from this analysis will be related to interpersonal functioning treatment targets in clinical behavioral psychotherapy.

 

Evaluating the Efficacy of FAP for Enhancing Social Connectedness in a Distressed College Student Population

DANIEL W. MAITLAND (Western Michigan University), Rachel Petts (Western Michigan University), Christopher Briggs (Western Michigan University), Julissa Duenas (Western Michigan University), Justin A. Moore (Western Michigan University), Scott T. Gaynor (Western Michigan University)
Abstract:

Functional Analytic Psychotherapy (FAP) is a radical behavioral approach to therapy. This therapy focuses on contingently responding to clinically relevant behavior as it occurs in the room. To date, little research has been conducted exploring the differential impact of FAP compared to other therapeutic conditions. The current study investigates the differences between FAP and a watchful waiting condition in a distressed population recruited from a large Midwestern university. Participants in this study scored one standard deviation below the mean on a measure of social intimacy and met diagnostic criteria for Social Anxiety Disorder, General Anxiety Disorder, a Major Depressive Disorder, Avoidant Personality Disorder, or Dependent Personality Disorder. Participants were then given 6 sessions of FAP or 6 sessions of a watchful waiting condition. Data presented will highlight the impact of FAP on measures of social intimacy and the differential impact compared to the watchful waiting condition.

 
 
Symposium #355
CE Offered: BACB
Effective Training Strategies and Performance Feedback
Monday, May 26, 2014
10:00 AM–11:50 AM
W194a (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Ellie Kazemi (California State University, Northridge)
Discussant: Stephanie M. Peterson (Western Michigan University)
CE Instructor: Ellie Kazemi, Ph.D.
Abstract:

For decades, researchers have highlighted the importance of establishing effective training strategies and provided evidence that incorrect or unsystematic implementation of behavioral procedures result in variable and poor treatment outcomes. In this symposium, we will present four research studies in which we focus on cost-effective, efficient, and effective training strategies. The first and second presenter will discuss the results of replications of Graff and Karsten (2012), who provided evidence that a self-instructional package could be used to teach special education teachers to implement, score, and interpret the outcomes from both the paired-stimulus and multiple-stimulus without replacement assessments. The third presenter will discuss the results of a component analysis of performance feedback. Lastly, the fourth presenter will discuss the methodological challenges that restrict the current training and supervision literature and will offer possible solutions. We will end the symposium by discussing the implications of these presentations for clinical supervisors who conduct trainings and for researchers invested in effective use of performance feedback.

 

How Can we Maximize a Supervisor's Efficiency?

MARNIE NICOLE SHAPIRO (The Ohio State University), Melissa L. Mendoza (California State University, Northridge), Meline Pogosjana (California State University, Northridge), Ellie Kazemi (California State University, Northridge)
Abstract:

Researchers have developed supervisor-facilitated training to teach staff to implement preference assessments with fidelity. However, it is not time-efficient for supervisors to model appropriate skills, role-play, or provide feedback if the use of a self-instructional package is sufficient to bring staff to mastery. Graff & Karsten (2012) were the first researchers to provide evidence that a self-instructional package could be used to teach staff to implement, score, and interpret the outcomes from both the paired-stimulus and multiple-stimulus without replacement preference assessments. Thus, our objective was to replicate the results obtained by Graff and Karsten. We employed a multiple baseline design across participants and taught 7 undergraduate students to implement, score, and interpret the outcomes from a paired-stimulus preference assessment. We found that 5 out of 7 participants met mastery after we introduced a modified version of the self-instructional package; the remaining 2 participants needed brief sessions of feedback to achieve mastery. We conclude that the use of a self-instructional package may be sufficient for many individuals to acquire the skills for conducting a stimulus-preference assessment. For some individuals, however, a few sessions of brief performance-specific feedback in conjunction with modeling may be necessary for meeting mastery.

 

Can Behavioral Staff be Trained to Implement Paired-Stimulus Preference Assessments Using Only a Self-instructional Package?

MELISSA L. MENDOZA (California State University, Northridge), Marnie Nicole Shapiro (The Ohio State University), Meline Pogosjana (California State University, Northridge), Ellie Kazemi (California State University, Northridge)
Abstract:

Researchers have focused on designing effective and time-efficient strategies to maximize supervisors' time spent on training behavioral staff. Graff and Karsten (2012) found that a written instructional package was sufficient to train 11 special education teachers to conduct, score, and interpret the results from both the paired-stimulus and multiple-stimulus without replacement preference assessments and that the skills generalized to clients. Thus, our main objective was to replicate the study conducted by Graff and Karsten with 5 behavioral staff who provide services to children with developmental disabilities in their homes. We used a multiple baseline across subjects and conducted generalization probes in-field with actual clients. We found that 3 of the 5 participants met mastery after reading the self-instructional package. Of the 2 remaining participants, 1 met mastery after we introduced a slightly modified version of the self-instructional package and the other required brief sessions of feedback and modeling to meet mastery. Results of this study suggest that self-instructional packages can be used to teach staff to conduct paired-stimulus preference assessments; however, some staff may need the addition of feedback and modeling to acquire the skill.

 

A Component Analysis of Feedback

DENICE RIOS (California State University, Northridge), Meline Pogosjana (California State University, Northridge), Candice Hansard (California State University Northridge), Ellie Kazemi (California State University, Northridge)
Abstract:

Feedback interventions have included some or all of the following components: information regarding performance criteria or accuracy of previous performance, strategies for correct responding, delivery of praise or tangibles contingent on correct responding, and opportunities to ask questions. Given the variability in the use of feedback across studies, it is unclear which specific components are necessary for feedback to be effective. This variability may be why researchers have reported inconsistencies in the overall effectiveness of feedback. In this study, using a multiple baseline design, we conducted a component analysis of feedback by exposing 5 undergraduate students to 3 different levels of feedback in an additive sequence. The feedback intervention consisted of the following components: (1) stating the performance criteria, (2) specifying the accuracy of previous performance and (3) modeling plus strategies for future correct responding. We found that the first two feedback components in the sequence were sufficient in bringing the performance of 4 of the 5 individuals to mastery criterion. The implications of these findings for clinical supervisors who provide performance feedback will be discussed.

 

Can a Robot Serve as a Simulated Client?

LISA STEDMAN-FALLS (California State University, Northridge), Denice Rios (California State University, Northridge), Melissa L. Mendoza (California State University, Northridge), Ellie Kazemi (California State University, Northridge)
Abstract:

There are methodological challenges when applied researchers try to isolate effective training variables because in many instances the trainee's performance depends on client responses. Variance in client responding could affect the trainee's opportunities for correct responding and possibly threaten the study's internal validity. To circumvent this problem, some researchers use standardized scripts to train simulated clients (e.g., research assistants) and monitor procedural fidelity as the simulated client interacts with the trainee. We propose the use of a humanoid robot as another potential solution because a robot can be programmed to produce consistent responses eternally. To test if a robot is an effective simulated client in training research, we taught 6 undergraduate students to implement a paired-stimulus preference assessment with either the robot (3 participants) or human simulated client (3 participants). We used a multiple baseline across subjects design and found that all participants implemented a PS preference assessment at the mastery criteria following training and skills generalized across both simulated clients. We conclude that a humanoid robot can serve as a viable simulated client to test training intervention effectiveness. In the future, researchers could evaluate methodological advantages to using a humanoid robot in lieu of a human simulated client.

 
 
Invited Symposium #356
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Contributions of Behavior Analysis to the Study of Obesity
Monday, May 26, 2014
10:00 AM–11:50 AM
W178a (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: SCI/CBM; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Erin B. Rasmussen (Idaho State University)
Discussant: Kelly M. Banna (Millersville University)
CE Instructor: Erin B. Rasmussen, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Researchers in the field of behavior analysis have contributed both applied and basic science internationally to the study of obesity. By focusing on the most critical behaviors--eating and physical activity--and the conditions under which they occur, treatment of this health risk becomes possible. Dr. Richard Fleming will begin by reviewing the role of behavior analysis in the obesity literature. Dr. Fergus Lowe and Dr. Pauline Horne will discuss the Food Dudes program, which has enhanced healthy food choices and physical activity with children in the United Kingdom and beyond. Dr. Matthew Normand will describe his programmatic work with measurement and change of physical activity in children. Finally, Dr. Erin Rasmussen will discuss the role of impulsive food choice in obesity in humans and using animal models.

Instruction Level: Basic
Keyword(s): obesity, eating
Target Audience:

Basic and applied behavior analysts, parents, teachers, and anyone interested in behavior analysis, health, or obesity.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the workshop, participants should be able to (1) Describe some examples of behavior analytic contributions to the study of obesity; (2) Describe behavior analytic techniques that enhance healthy food choices with children and adults; and (3) Describe how to increase physical activity with obese populations.
 

Contributions of Behavior Analysis to Childhood Obesity Research: A Review and Example

RICHARD K. FLEMING (University of Massachusetts Boston)
Abstract:

Behavior analysis has influenced how researchers conceptualize, analyze, prevent, treat, and drive policy around childhood obesity. These contributions have appeared not only in traditional behavior analysis outlets, but also in (1) mainstream pediatrics and obesity journals, often in the form of randomized controlled trial (RCT) between-groups research; (2) the work of centers devoted to affecting food policy, notably the Rudd Center for Food Policy& Obesity); and (3) mass media publications, such as Scientific American. This paper reviews some of these contributions as a means of discussing a promising context for increasing the influence of behavior analysis. It also presents an example of the author's behavioral research on family-based weight loss and weight maintenance intervention with adolescents and young adults with intellectual disabilities (see Figure). Recommendations are made for future contributions of behavior analysis in the area of childhood obesity.

Richard Fleming received his Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 1990. He then joined the Department of Psychology at Auburn University, where he was promoted to associate professor and received tenure. In 2000, Dr. Fleming returned to his native New England, where he was an associate professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. In 2012, he accepted his current position as associate professor and graduate program director in the Department of Exercise and Health Sciences at the University of Massachusetts Boston. Dr. Fleming's research addresses the translation and application of psychological principles to problems of social importance. Specializing in behavioral psychology, he has conducted numerous National Institutes of Health-funded studies that address the prevention and treatment of child and adolescent obesity, the promotion of physical activity and exercise, and media-driven online education, with particular emphasis on people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families.
 

Get Up and Go: How ABA Can Help Increase Exercise

RAYMOND G. MILTENBERGER (University of South Florida)
Abstract:

This presentation will discuss Dr. Miltenberger's recent research on promoting exercise and physical activity in children and adults. The talk will start with a discussion of accurate measurement of physical activity and then review studies evaluating behavioral procedures to increase physical activity. The research with children evaluated goal setting, contracting, daily rewards, and exergaming to increase physical activity. Research with adults evaluated an Internet-based program with and without behavioral coaching, goal setting and feedback, and daily action planning. Discussion will center on issues of measurement, treatment effectiveness, and treatment fidelity.

Dr. Raymond G. Miltenberger received his Ph.D. from Western Michigan University and currently is professor of psychology and director of the Applied Behavior Analysis Master's Program at the University of South Florida. He is the author of a highly regarded textbook on behavior modification, which is used at many universities across the country in both undergraduate and graduate courses. Dr. Miltenberger is most well known for having conducted a longstanding and systematic series of studies on clinical (habit) disorders, prevention of abduction, and firearms safety. In particular, his research in the latter two areas has been characterized by the highly creative use of simulations and generalization testing, and by the careful development of task-analysis-based instruction described as "behavioral skills training." In recognition of this work, he has received the Award for Distinguished Contributions to Applied Research from the American Psychological Association (Division 25), and he has served as president of ABAI.  
 

Toward a Functional Analysis of Moderate-to-Vigorous Physical Activity in Children

MATTHEW P. NORMAND (University of the Pacific)
Abstract:

Physical activity, particularly moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA), is an important class of health-related behavior for children and adults. Insufficient physical activity is risk factor associated with a host of medical problems, including hypertension, Type 2 diabetes and, more generally, obesity. To mitigate these risks, current guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and World Health Organization state that children should engage in at least 60 minutes of MVPA per day. Unfortunately, recent estimates suggest that few children are this active. Various behavioral interventions have been developed to increase physical activity in children, but with mixed results. Many such studies involve indirect measures of behavior change and, even when change seems evident, suffer from relatively poor long-term intervention effects. More systematic research involving direct measures of behavior is warranted. Moreover, the kinds of pre-intervention functional analyses common in the behavior analysis literature are notably absent from the physical activity literature, perhaps explaining, at least in part, the less than robust intervention effects sometimes reported. This talk will describe a programmatic line of research that begins with the validation of direct measurement strategies for MVPA, progresses to pre-intervention experimental analyses of the environmental variables functionally related to MVPA, and currently involves intervention evaluations based on the outcomes of the pre-intervention analyses. The results of these studies suggest that physical activity can be accurately measured, pre-intervention experimental analyses can be used to identify specific variables that promote MVPA, and that this information can be used to develop interventions to increase MVPA.

Dr. Matthew Normand is an associate professor in the department of psychology at the University of the Pacific and a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA). His primary scientific interests, broadly defined, are the application of basic behavioral principles to problems of social significance (including obesity and community health issues), verbal behavior, and the philosophy of science. He has authored about three dozen scientific papers and book chapters and more than 100 conference presentations. He is the current editor of The Behavior Analyst, an associate editor for the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, and serves on the editorial board of Behavioral Interventions. He is a former associate editor for the journals The Behavior Analyst, Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, The Analysis of Verbal Behavior, and Behavior Analysis in Practice. Dr. Normand is the 2011 recipient of the B. F. Skinner New Researcher Award from the American Psychological Association (Division 25).
 

Obesity, Impulsive Choice for Food, and the Role of Dopamine

ERIN B. RASMUSSEN (Idaho State University)
Abstract:

A pattern of choosing smaller, sooner rewards over larger, later rewards is known as impulsive choice and is an established behavioral mechanism in a variety of putative "addictive" behaviors, including substance abuse and gambling. This model has been applied to understanding food-choice patterns involved in obesity with humans and with rodent models. The talk will present some human and animal data that suggest that dopaminergic processes, particularly those at the D2 receptor subtype, may underlie impulsive food choices. These data suggest, one, that impulsive choice patterns as a behavioral mechanism of addictive behaviors can be extended to obesity, and two, that dopamine may be involved in these processes.

Erin Rasmussen received her Ph.D. from Auburn University in experimental analysis of behavior with an emphasis in behavioral toxicology and pharmacology. She is currently a professor of psychology at Idaho State University, where, in her 9.5 years there helped build a new Ph.D. program in experimental psychology. She conducts research on the behavioral economics and behavioral pharmacology of food and exercise reinforcement using animal models of obesity and humans, with special emphasis on the endocannabinoid, opioid, and dopaminergic neurotransmitter systems. Her recent work has been published in journals including the Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, Physiology and Behavior, Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology, Behavioral Brain Research, Behavioral Pharmacology, Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior, Behavioural Processes, and Behaviour Research & Therapy. She currently serves on the editorial board for the Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior and the ABAI Science Board. She also served as president of Four Corners Association for Behavior Analysis and as the program chair for the Southeastern Association for Behavior Analysis.
 
 
Symposium #357
CE Offered: BACB
Recent Research on Stimulus Equivalence
Monday, May 26, 2014
10:00 AM–11:50 AM
W185bc (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: VRB/EAB; Domain: Basic Research
Chair: Megan D. Aclan (The Chicago School, Los Angeles)
Discussant: Linda A. LeBlanc (Trumpet Behavioral Health)
CE Instructor: Megan D. Aclan, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Stimulus equivalence is a critical area of human learning, with broad implications for the analysis of language, cognition, and other areas of complex human behavior. Although much is known about stimulus equivalence classes and how they are formed, much research is still needed on the breadth of repertoires to which stimulus equivalence applies, how equivalence can be more effectively established, and on the application of stimulus equivalence technology to topics conventionally relegated to the cognitive and educational domains, such as analogical reasoning. The papers contained in the current symposium address these challenges. The first paper investigates the effects of differential tact training on the emergence of untrained analogical reasoning relations. The second paper uses tact training of class consistent compounds to investigate the emergence of analogical relations. The third paper uses a stimulus equivalence paradigm to conduct a behavioral investigation into learning styles. The fourth paper evaluates the effectiveness of a novel training procedure by comparing it to the standard match-to-sample equivalence training procedure. The symposium concludes with a discussion by Dr. Linda LeBlanc.

Keyword(s): analogy, derived relations, learning styles, stimulus equivalence
 

The Effects of Differential Tact Training of Stimulus Components on the Emergence of Analogical Reasoning

KELLY QUAH (California State University, Sacramento), Charisse Ann Lantaya (California State University, Sacramento), Careen Suzanne Meyer (California State University, Sacramento), Caio F. Miguel (California State University, Sacramento)
Abstract:

The purpose of the current study was to examine the effects of differential tact training of stimulus components in the emergence of analogical reasoning. Six undergraduate students were initially trained to tact the images individually as "vek" and "zog" and then were taught to tact compound stimuli as "same" for compound stimuli consisting of images from the same class membership and "different" for compound stimuli consisting of images from different class membership. Participants were then presented with tact and matching-to-sample analogy test consistent with symmetry (BA and CB) and transitivity (AC and CA). Lastly, participants were tested on equivalence class formation across the individual stimuli. All six participants successfully completed the tact and analogy tests without requiring any remedial training. Results show that teaching the participants to name the stimuli individually established discriminative control of the individual components into two separate classes. Verbal reports suggested that when presented with a new compound stimuli, the participants engaged in the intraverbal mediation (e.g., when shown A1C2 the participants will say vek-zog is different) to determine the relations between the stimuli.

 

Developing Analogical Reasoning via Common Tact Training of Class-consistent Compounds

CHARISSE ANN LANTAYA (California State University, Sacramento), Danielle Lise LaFrance (California State University, Sacramento), Sarah Dickman (Marcus Autism Center), Jonathan Fernand (University of Florida), Caio F. Miguel (California State University, Sacramento)
Abstract:

Attempts to teach analogical reasoning via speaker training alone have produced mixed results, possibly due to the merger of stimulus classes. The purpose of the current study was to control for the possibility that a common reinforcer for tact training of class consistent and class inconsistent compounds would produce non-differential responding on matching-to-sample analogy tests. Six college students were trained to tact AB and BC compounds as "same" if stimuli were of the same class membership and trained to not respond to figures from a different class membership, (e.g., A1B1 as "same" and A1B2 as "different"). Tests of tacts and then analogies (matching compounds) followed. These tact and analogy tests were presented across the compounds consistent with symmetry (BA and CB) and transitivity (AC and CA). Lastly, the participants were exposed to a matching-to-sample task to assess the emergence of equivalence class formation across individual components. Three out of six participants successfully demonstrated all emergent relations. Three participants required remedial training and following the training successfully demonstrated responding to tact and analogy tests of transitivity compounds. Findings thus far suggest the possibility that the common reinforcer in previous studies may have served as a confound.

 

A Comparison of Visual Versus Auditory Match-to-sample in Establishing Stimulus Equivalence: A Behavioral Evaluation of Learning Styles

TAMMY FRINCU (Chicago School for Professional Psychology), Jonathan J. Tarbox (Autism Research Group, Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD)), Rachel Findel (Intercare Therapy, Inc.)
Abstract:

There is currently a high social interest in the area of "learning styles," particularly in the field of education. Although much attention is paid to identifying and tailoring instruction to individual's specific learning styles, there is very little empirical support regarding learning styles. Although the concept of learning styles is popular in education, little behavior analytic research has attempted to directly address it. The purpose of the current investigation was to bridge the gap between the lack of research in the area of learning styles with the wide body of behavior analytic research on skill acquisition. Specifically, the current investigation empirically evaluated the effects of stimulus presentation and response requirement on the emergence of derived equivalence relations in typically developing adults. The outcomes will be discussed with respect to the established learning theories and styles, potential impact on traditional educational settings, and directions for future research and practice.

 

Comparison of Two Stimulus Equivalence Training Procedures

MEGAN D. ACLAN (The Chicago School, Los Angeles), Jonathan J. Tarbox (Autism Research Group, Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD)), Rachel Findel (Intercare Therapy, Inc.)
Abstract:

Derived relational responding in general, and derived stimulus equivalence in particular, are critical ways in which verbally competent humans demonstrate the application of learning to new and important contexts. The most common approach to teaching equivalence relations is through match-to-sample discrimination training, wherein correct responses to discriminative stimuli are positively reinforced. However, there is limited research on other discrimination training methods for establishing derived equivalence relations. One particular approach that has not been previously investigated is to teach learners to identify "non-examples" of the discrimination being taught, that is, reinforcing selection of incorrect choices when presented with an instruction such as "choose an option that is not an example of X." Therefore, the purpose of this investigation was to compare this modified discrimination training procedure to traditional match-to-sample training, in terms of their relative effectiveness in establishing derived equivalence relations. In addition, a stimulus generalization test was included to compare the relative effectiveness of the two procedures in establishing stimulus generalization of derived relations.

 
 
Invited Tutorial #359
CE Offered: BACB
The Poisoned Cue and its Implications for the Treatment of Children With Autism
Monday, May 26, 2014
11:00 AM–11:50 AM
W180 (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: AAB/DDA; Domain: Applied Research
BACB CE Offered. CE Instructor: Jesus Rosales-Ruiz, Ph.D.
Chair: Erica N. Feuerbacher (University of Florida)
Presenting Author: JESUS ROSALES-RUIZ (University of North Texas)
Abstract:

Much is known about discriminative stimuli established using either reinforcing or aversive stimuli and about how these stimuli work as conditioned reinforcers or conditioned aversive stimuli. However, little is known about discriminative stimuli established using both reinforcing as well as aversive events. For this type of stimulus, it has been reported that the interaction between reinforcing and aversive events makes the discriminative function somewhat different from other discriminative stimuli (Hearst & Sidman, 1961). Karen Pryor (2002) called this phenomenon the Poisoned Cue. She suggested that a cue, or SD, that is established using both reinforcing and aversive events leads to the breakdown of the behavior preceding and following the cue. This may be because of an increase in avoidance behaviors and the uncertainty that exists regarding the consequence that will follow. The Poisoned Cue phenomenon is important because it reflects the majority of teaching situations in the real world. SDs in the real world are rarely taught with purely positive reinforcement or purely aversive consequences. This tutorial will present an experimental analysis of the Poisoned Cue, teach participants how to identify situations that involve Poisoned Cues, and discuss solutions for overcoming the effects of Poisoned Cues.

 
JESUS ROSALES-RUIZ (University of North Texas)
Jesus Rosales-Ruiz is an associate professor at the University of North Texas in the Department of Behavior Analysis. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Kansas in 1995, under the mentorship of two pioneers in the field of behavior analysis, Donald M. Baer and Ogden R. Lindsley. Dr. Rosales-Ruiz is one of the few scientists in the world studying animal training from both the theoretical and applied perspectives. He, along with his students, has greatly contributed to the understanding of the science and practice of animal training. He also studies the antecedent control of behavior, generalization, behavioral cusps, fluency-based teaching, treatment of autism, teaching of academic behavior, rule-governed behavior, and contingency-shaped behavior. He has served on several editorial boards, including the Journal of Precision Teaching and Celeration, the European Journal of Behavior Analysis, and the International Journal of Psychology and Psychological Therapy. He also has served as a reviewer for the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, the Journal of Neuroscience Methods, Behavioral Processes, and the Experimental Analysis of Human Behavior Bulletin. Dr. Rosales-Ruiz is a fellow of the Eastern Psychological Association, a trustee of the Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies and a member of the Association for Behavior Analysis International.
Keyword(s): conditioned stimuli, discriminative stimuli, poisoned cue
 
 
Symposium #360
CE Offered: BACB
The Use of Handheld Technology in Educational Settings: Staff Training, Deictic Frames, and Sentence Discrimination
Monday, May 26, 2014
11:00 AM–11:50 AM
W184a (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: AUT/EDC; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Jason Travers (University of Massachusetts Amherst)
CE Instructor: Elizabeth R. Lorah, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Technological advances continue to abound, while the use of evidence based best practice in terms of technology in educational settings remains relatively stagnant. This can partially be attributed to the lack of research on the use of technology in educational settings. This symposium will present three evidence based research projects that investigate the use of powerful, portable, and readily available technologies are used in instructional settings for students with autism or related disabilities. The first presentation will describe ways in which the use of technology can enhance staff training for individuals working in early intensive behavior intervention. The second presentation will describe an application for handheld devices that can be used to teach deictic frames to students with a diagnosis of autistic spectrum disorder. Finally, the effects of handheld computing devices as a speech-generating device for teaching tacting in a complete sentence for learners with autism or a developmental disability will be described.

 

A Comparison of Data Collection Methods for Conducting Multiple-Stimulus Without Replacement (MSWO) Preference Assessments

JULIE CROUSER (Temple University), Donald A. Hantula (Temple University)
Abstract:

Applied behavior analysis (ABA) therapists working with children with autism in early intensive behavioral intervention programs have higher than average turnover rates. Thus, there is a need for use of job aids to alleviate organizations expenses in training new ABA therapists. At the outset of any intervention program, therapists should conduct a preference assessment with their clients. Undergraduate students, interested in a career working with people with disabilities, participated in a study comparing 2 data collection methods for conducting MSWO preference assessments: electronic and paper-and-pencil. An instructor trained, then evaluated with a checklist, participants in conducting preference assessments using both data collection methods. Paired t-tests were used to compare the 2 types of data collection methods across all mastery criteria. Of 6 checklist components, 2 showed significant differences, indicating the electronic method aided in accuracy in terms of data collection and appropriate placement of items. There was also a significant difference in the total number of checklist components completed correctly, indicating higher accuracy when using the electronic data collection methods. When asked to indicate preference of data collection methods, 31 of 33 participants indicated their preference was the electronic method. These findings should be interpreted with caution as the study had 33 participants and further research should be conducted to determine more conclusive results.

 

Teaching Perspective Taking with Mobile Technology: Expansions on Deictic Framing Protocols

SHAWN PATRICK GILROY (Rowan University, Temple University), Elizabeth R. Lorah (University of Arkansas), Jessica Dodge (Temple University)
Abstract:

Deficits in age-appropriate social interaction in a variety of social situations are often a hallmark feature of autistic spectrum disorder, developmental disability, and intellectual disabilities. Early, intensive intervention using applied behavior analysis is the only intervention that has met criteria for being a ?well-established? treatment many types of these deficits. However, more complex forms of social behavior (e.g. perspective-taking) are not as readily remediated using traditional early, intensive behavioral intervention packages. Deictic framing protocols, instances of relational frames, have been implicated in various forms of complex social behavior. These frames, instances of operant behavior, have been successfully taught to young children with and without autism. Despite the presence of a teaching protocol, typically implemented by adults, such types of behavior are unlikely to generalize to same-age peers. The current study investigated the effectiveness of mobile technology, implemented by matched same-age peers, specifically designed to deliver and guide an intervention protocol.

 

Teaching Tacting Sentence Discrimination with the Use of Handheld Technology

ELIZABETH R. LORAH (University of Arkansas), Ashley Parnell (University of Arkansas ), Peggy Schaefer Whitby (University of Arkansas)
Abstract:

The use of the iPad as a speech-generating device for mand training with individuals with autism or related developmental disabilities has received much attention in the literature, as of late. However, little research exists that investigates the use of the iPad as a speech-generating device beyond initial mand training. The purpose of the research was to determine what effect training sentence frame discrimination has on the emerging tact repertoire of children with autism or a developmental disability. To investigate this, participants were taught to answer questions regarding environmental stimuli using the iPad as a speech generating device (SGD), across two-to-three different sentence frames. Baseline data indicated that prior to training, none of the participants accurately labeled environmental stimuli, using a complete sentence, at 80% accuracy. During training, participants were instructed to label environmental stimuli using the electronic device until they reached mastery criteria of 80% accuracy across two-to-three-sentence frames. Following acquisition, discrimination training was introduced. Lastly, generalization was assessed through the removing the SGD and contriving an opportunity for participants to label the environmental stimuli vocally.

 
 
Symposium #361
CE Offered: BACB
Innovations in Assessment and Treatment of Challenging Behavior in Children with Autism
Monday, May 26, 2014
11:00 AM–11:50 AM
W184bc (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: AUT/DDA; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Mandy J. Rispoli (Texas A&M University)
CE Instructor: Mandy J. Rispoli, Ph.D.
Abstract:

In this symposium we present three recent single case studies regarding functional analysis and antecedent interventions for challenging behavior with children with autism spectrum disorders. The first paper provides a systematic literature review of 20 peer reviewed studies examining how educators have been trained to conduct functional analyses of challenging behavior. The second paper presents a comparison of the latency to behavior change in a differential reinforcement of other behaviors (DRO) procedure with and without a contingency statement for 3 children with autism. The third paper evaluates the effects of embedding preferred stimuli into instructional materials to facilitate the transfer of mands to receptive identification with 3 children with autism who engage in escape-maintained challenging behavior. All papers will present implications for future research and clinical practice.

Keyword(s): differential reinforcement, functional analysis,, preference
 

Training Educators to Implement Functional Analyses of Challenging Behavior: A Systematic Review

KRISTI MORIN (Texas A&M University), Leslie Neely (Texas A&M University), Mandy J. Rispoli (Texas A&M University), Stephanie Gerow (Texas A&M University)
Abstract:

Functional analyses have been established as an effective assessment methodology used to identify the maintaining function of a variety of behaviors. In recent literature, educators have been successfully trained in transferring this methodology to the classroom by conducting a functional analysis of challenging behavior and implementing a function-based intervention. This study reviews the literature and the evidence base for training educators to conduct a functional analysis. A systematic search was conducted with a total of 20 studies meeting criteria for inclusion in this study. These studies were evaluated in terms of (a) educator characteristics, (b) description of the functional analysis procedures, (c) training procedures, (d) setting where the training occurred, (e) duration of the training, (f) the educator outcomes, and (g) the certainty of evidence. Twenty studies trained 63 participants to implement a combination of five possible functional analyses conditions. Results of training indicated that educators were able to implement the functional analyses with high treatment integrity following training. Implications for practice and recommendations for future research will be included.

 

An Analysis of Contingency Statements in a Differential Reinforcement of Other Behaviors Procedure

STEPHANIE GEROW (Texas A&M University), Mandy J. Rispoli (Texas A&M University), Leslie Neely (Texas A&M University), Jennifer Ninci (Texas A&M University)
Abstract:

The purpose of this study was to compare the latency to behavior change in a differential reinforcement of other behaviors (DRO) procedure with and without a contingency statement. Three children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) between the ages of 4 and 8 years participated in the study. The study utilized an ABAC design counterbalanced across the three participants, consisting of (A) baseline, (B) DRO with a contingency statement, and (C) DRO without a contingency statement phases. Results indicated that both DRO with and DRO without a contingency statement decreased challenging behavior for all three participants. In addition, the latency to behavior change criteria was shorter in the DRO with contingency statement condition as compared to the DRO without contingency statement condition for two participants. The latency to behavior change was equivalent in both conditions for the third participant. Results indicate that a contingency statement may increase the efficiency of a DRO procedure.

 

The Utility of Preferences in Transferring Mands to Receptive Identification in Children with Autism

JENNIFER NINCI (Texas A&M University), Mandy J. Rispoli (Texas A&M University), Samantha Guz (Texas A&M University), Leslie Neely (Texas A&M University), Kristi Morin (Texas A&M University)
Abstract:

Motivation plays is a pivotal role in the development of language, particularly for individuals with significant language delays. This study aims to assess the role of motivation in facilitating the transfer of mands to receptive identification. Specifically, the purpose of this study is to compare preferred to non-preferred but functional targets on the speed of receptive identification acquisition using an alternating treatments with repeated acquisitions design. Participants include 3 children with autism who communicate through picture exchange and exhibit no prior receptive identification abilities. Mand training through picture exchange will take place with high and low preferred targeted items available and the picture icons exchanged will be paired with the corresponding verbal word. Pictures exchanged to request will be identical to the pictures targeted in receptive identification probes, but reduced in size. Mand training will take place prior to receptive identification probes to determine if the items that the child is more likely to mand for would more readily generalize to receptive identification. Receptive identification of targets will be trained using a research-based teaching package. Generalization to multiple exemplars will also be assessed. Implications for teaching the skill of receptive identification to individuals with autism will be discussed.

 
 
Symposium #362
CE Offered: BACB
Challenges to Establishing Joint Attention and Social Referencing Repertoires in Children with Autism
Monday, May 26, 2014
11:00 AM–11:50 AM
W183b (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: AUT/DDA; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Rebecca P. F. MacDonald (New England Center for Children)
CE Instructor: Rebecca P. F. MacDonald, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Deficits in both joint attention and social referencing are core to a diagnosis of autism and remain the most challenging skills to teach in this population. In this symposium we will present data from 3 studies illustrating procedural variations in establishing these skills. The common element across studies is the use of multiple exemplars in training and generalization. This appears to be a critical variable in the demonstration and maintenance of these skills. In the first study Sng assessed and taught children to orient to distressful social stimuli using a variety of scenarios and using social interactions as reinforcers. Her results showed that all children acquired the social orienting response and 2 of the participants generalized to untrained distress scenarios. The second study examined a procedure for establishing the affective behavior of an adult as a discriminative stimulus. Children acquired the discrimination and demonstrated the new skill across untrained stimuli and environments. The third study showed the effectiveness of teaching joint attention using multiple exemplars and script fading. The target population was adolescents who could read. Their findings showed that the training package resulted in acquisition and generalization of initiating joint attention.

Keyword(s): joint attention, social referencing
 

Teaching Children with Autism to Orient to Social Stimuli

SYLVIA SNG (The New England Center for Children), Rebecca P. F. MacDonald (The New England Center for Children)
Abstract:

One of the hallmarks of autism is a failure to orient to social stimuli that are present in the natural environment, and an important implication of this is the failure to attend to distress. The purpose of this study was to teach three 2-year-old children with autism to orient to distress using a multiple baseline across participants design. Orienting to distress in "Hurt," "Spill," and "Choke" scenarios was taught using social reinforcers in a multiple exemplar training format. Mastery of one distress scenario was followed by generalization probes across settings, untrained distress scenarios, and experimenters. Interobserver agreement was collected in 33% of sessions. Results showed that all participants acquired orienting to the Hurt scenario, and that 2 of the 3 participants showed generalization of skills to a different setting, untrained distress scenarios, and to a different experimenter. Results have implications for the use of the multiple exemplar training procedure and identified social reinforcers to teach social orienting and other social behaviors.

 
Teaching Children with Autism to Respond to Facial Expressions within a Social Referencing Paradigm
JAIME DEQUINZIO (Alpine Learning Group), Bridget A. Taylor (Alpine Learning Group)
Abstract: Responding to the affective behavior of others (i.e., facial expressions), is an important component of the development of social behavior. One type of social interaction that relies heavily on the ability to respond to the facial cues of others is known as social referencing. During social referencing, infants as young as 6 months of age look to others when confronted with unfamiliar or unexpected events in the environment as a means of determining how to respond to such events. Typically, approach or avoidance responses are learned by responding to positive and negative affective cues of the parent or caregiver (e.g., smiling and frowning). Unfortunately, social referencing repertoires are limited or completely lacking in children with autism. Despite these documented social deficits, little research has focused on ameliorating social referencing deficits. The current study evaluated procedures for establish the affective behavior of others as discriminative stimuli within the social referencing paradigm. One of the three participants learned to discriminate between two facial expressions using manual guidance implemented using a constant time-delay procedure (i.e., 0s delay for the first three sessions of intervention, followed by 3s delay for the remaining sessions). Two of the participants required modifications to the manual guidance procedure (i.e., blocking trial types and pairing verbal instructions) in order to learn the discrimination between facial expressions. Generalization across stimuli and environments was demonstrated by all three participants once acquisition was made during training sessions. This study demonstrate the challenges of teaching social referencing responses to young children with autism.
 

Teaching Joint Attention Skills to Adolescents and Young Adults with Autism Using Multiple Exemplar Training and Script-Fading Procedures

ERIC ROZENBLAT (Caldwell College), Kenneth F. Reeve (Caldwell College), Dawn B. Townsend (Institute for Educational Achievement), Sharon A. Reeve (Caldwell College), Ruth M. DeBar (Caldwell College)
Abstract:

Joint attention is defined as coordinating attention between an object and person in a social context and may include such responses as shifts in eye gaze and the use of gestures. Researchers who have taught initiating bids for joint attention have primarily taught it to children with autism between 3 and 8 years of age. The purpose of the current study was to teach four adolescents and young adults with autism to initiate bids for joint attention using multiple-exemplar training, written prompts, and script-fading procedures. Three training categories of stimuli and one probe category were assigned to each participant. A multiple-baseline across participants design was used to examine the effectiveness of the treatment procedure. The results demonstrated that all four participants learned to initiate bids for joint attention under training conditions using both scripted and novel language. Bids for joint attention also generalized to stimuli not used during training.

 
 
Symposium #363
CE Offered: BACB
Extensions of Functional Communication Training to Treat Challenging Behavior Exhibited by Individuals with Autism and other Developmental Disabilities
Monday, May 26, 2014
11:00 AM–11:50 AM
W183c (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: AUT/DDA; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Terry S. Falcomata (The University of Texas at Austin and the Meadows Center for Preventing Educational Risk)
CE Instructor: Terry S. Falcomata, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Although Functional Communication Training (FCT) is one of the most commonly utilized behavioral treatments of challenging behavior, research continues to be conducted for the purpose of extending literature pertaining to FCT. This research has sought to evaluate variables that influence the treatments effectiveness, apply the treatment in novel ways, and evaluate innovative procedures for improving its utility. In this symposium, three papers will be presented describing innovative research in the area of FCT for the treatment of challenging behavior exhibited by individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and other developmental disabilities. First, Nicole DeRosa and colleagues present data on the relative effects of differing levels of exposure to establishing operations on the effectiveness of FCT. In the second paper, Christina Fragale and Mark OReilly present data on the use of antecedent-based FCT procedure to alter motivating operations and treat challenging behavior displayed by individuals with autism. In the third study, Colin Muething and colleagues present data on the relative effects of various increasing lag schedules of reinforcement on variant mand responding and challenging behavior when embedded in FCT.

Keyword(s): Autism, Challenging Behavior, Developmental Disabilities, FCT
 

The Effect of Varying Duration of Exposure to Establishing Operation On Functional Communication Training Outcomes

NICOLE DEROSA (The Kelberman Center and State University of New York Upstate Medical University), Henry S. Roane (State University of New York Upstate Medical University), William Sullivan (Syracuse University), Janet Diaz (The Kelberman Center and State University of New York Upstate Medical University)
Abstract:

Several studies have identified variables that influence functional communication training (FCT) outcomes. Findings from DeRosa, Fisher, and Steege (in press) suggested that the duration of exposure to the relevant establishing operation (EO) during the initial stages of FCT may be another variable that influences the effectiveness of the intervention. The current study extends previous findings by systematically altering the duration of exposure to the EO based on pre-determined variable interval (VI) schedules of reinforcement across two FCT interventions that include the same response modality. One condition (EO limited) was associated with a dense VI schedule of reinforcement, thus producing relatively brief durations of exposure to the relevant EO. The second condition (EO prolonged) was associated with a lean VI reinforcement schedule, thereby producing longer exposure to the relevant EO. Results of the effects of duration of exposure to the relevant EO on reduction of problem behavior and acquisition of an alternative response varied across participants. Clinical and conceptual implications are discussed.

 

Examination of an Antecedent Communication Intervention within the Classroom Routine to Reduce Tangibly Maintained Challenging Behavior of Students with Autism.

CHRISTINA FRAGALE (The University of Texas, The Meadows Center for the Prevention of Educational Risk), Mark O'Reilly (The University of Texas at Austin)
Abstract:

We examined the use of antecedent communication training as a motivating operation and embedded as part of a school routine, on challenging behavior for two school-aged students with developmental disabilities. The students were taught to request items that were identified as reinforcers for problem behaviors through functional analyses. We hypothesized this condition would serve as an abolishing operation (AO) for challenging behavior. For both students, a multielement design was used to compare the effects of antecedent communication intervention to no communication intervention conditions. Immediately following either condition, the students returned to routine school activities with the reinforcer from the requesting trials present. Results indicate that the students engaged in less challenging behaviors during the school routine activity with the prior condition with the antecedent communication intervention. Teachers may consider how scheduling specific activities in a functional order may help manage challenging behaviors maintained by preferred items in the classroom. Further discussion and implications will also be discussed.

 

Further Evaluation of Lag Schedules of Reinforcement and Functional Communication Training to Increase Variant Mand Responding

COLIN S. MUETHING (The University of Texas at Austin), Terry S. Falcomata (The University of Texas at Austin and the Meadows Center for Preventing Educational Risk), Summer Gainey (The University of Texas at Austin), Cayenne Shpall (The University of Texas at Austin), Katherine Hoffman (The University of Texas), Jennifer Hamrick (The University of Texas at Austin), Bryant C. Silbaugh (The University of Texas at Austin)
Abstract:

Lag schedules of reinforcement have been demonstrated to be effective for increasing response variability in both the basic (e.g. Page & Neuringer, 1985) and applied literature pertaining to individuals with autism (e.g., Lee & Sturmey, 2006). Few studies have evaluated the applied utility of lag schedules on increasing variant responding (e.g., Lee & Sturmey, 2006; Lee et al., 2002); and none have evaluated their effects during functional communication training (FCT) to increase variant mand responding. Previous work of ours has suggested the utility of lag schedules during FCT at relatively dense schedule requirements. In the current study, we evaluated the effects of several distinct and increasing lag schedules of reinforcement and FCT on mand variability in individuals with autism. Functional analyses were first conducted to determine the variables maintaining challenging behavior. Next, we systematically evaluated responding at several increasing lag schedule requirements. Results showed increases in variant mand responding concurrent with increasing requirements of lag schedules of reinforcement. The results also showed that relatively lean lag schedules of reinforcement were achieved while challenging behavior continued at low levels relative to baseline. These results will be discussed in terms of the prevention of clinical relapse during challenges to treatment.

 
 
Symposium #366
CE Offered: BACB
Ethical Issues Related to the Use of Social Media by Behavior Analysts
Monday, May 26, 2014
11:00 AM–11:50 AM
W190b (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: CSE; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Neal Miller (University of Memphis)
Discussant: Amanda N. Kelly (Malama Pono Autism Center)
CE Instructor: Neal Miller, Ph.D.
Abstract:

This symposium will explore the unique ethical issues raised for practitioners when using modern online tools such as social media sites. One presentation will cover issues related to dissemination of behavior analysis, and how this can be done responsibly and honestly through these new forms of media. The other presentation will cover privacy issues and dual relationships as they relate to professionals in our field. Each presentation will tie these concerns to the BACB guidelines for ethical conduct, and standards that have been established in other fields of practice. After these presentations, the discussant will share her perspective as someone who has used social media sites extensively to promote behavior analysis, and we will take questions from attendees in order to further explore and discuss the topic of how social media might impact our ethical responsibilities to the public.

 
Privacy and Dual Relationships: Challenges of Practicing Behavior Analysis Ethically in the Digital Age
Laura Baylot Casey (University of Memphis), NEAL MILLER (University of Memphis), Elisabeth Claire Langford (University of Memphis)
Abstract: Practicing behavior analysts are increasingly involved in online marketing and networking through social media. Electronic communication is the means by which we set appointments, send documents, and discuss ideas with colleagues. It is also the way we store personal pictures, joke with our friends, and talk about our formerly private lives. Due to the inevitable overlap of personal and professional lives in the world of social networking, there is a need for special caution when posting information online. Furthermore, issues like “friending” clients or co-workers, and setting up personal blogs can raise issues of confidentiality and dual relationships that relate to our professional ethics. The connection between these issues and the BACB guidelines for responsible conduct will be discussed, with an emphasis on steps we can take to protect our clients and professional reputation in the digital age.
 

Ethical Considerations in the Dissemination of Behavior Analysis Through Social Media

JONATHAN W. IVY (Mercyhurst University)
Abstract:

As behavior analysts, we believe that we possess a science that could improve the world. However, society has been slow or even reluctant to adopt a science of behavior. The advent of social media and continued improvements in information technology provide new methods by which dissemination could occur. For the first time, behavior analysts have the tools to present our science on the grandest scale. The very potential of this technology is exciting for our field; however, this must be tempered by an ethical duty to be truthful and maintain objectivity. In this presentation, the ethical issues related to dissemination via social media and other information technologies will be explored. Additionally, guidelines and suggestions as to how to make the most of this technology will be provided.

 
 
Symposium #368
CE Offered: BACB
Current Issues in Negative Reinforcement and Applied Behavior Analysis
Monday, May 26, 2014
11:00 AM–11:50 AM
W187ab (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: DDA/AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Joseph Michael Lambert (Vanderbilt University)
CE Instructor: Joseph Michael Lambert, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Negative reinforcement is an important area for applied researchers but it poses certain challenges to understanding and examining its effects on behavior. These three studies examine different aspects of negative reinforcement that are relevant to applied behavior analysis. The first presentation asks whether allowing children with disabilities and escape-maintained problem behavior to delay demands using a functional communication response will reduce problem behavior once those demands are re-presented. The second presentation examines whether individuals are equally sensitive to reinforcement parameters within positive and negative reinforcement contexts, or whether sensitivity can vary according to the type of reinforcement contingency. The implication of this question determines the degree to which parameter sensitivity assessments can be considered valid across functions. The third presentation reveals the degree to which conducting a systematic demand assessment prior to a functional analysis avoids false-negative findings for escape functions. Together, these presentations provide a practical and theoretically interesting approach to current issues in negative reinforcement and applied behavior analysis.

Keyword(s): delayed demands, demand assessment, Negative reinforcement, parameter sensitivity
 

Effects of Delaying Demands on Escape-maintained Problem Behavior

DANIEL CLARK (Kennedy Krieger Institute, University of Maryland Baltimore County), Sarah E. Bloom (University of South Florida), Megan A. Boyle (Utah State University)
Abstract:

A common suggestion for caregivers of individuals who engage in escape-maintained problem behavior is to provide the option to delay having to complete non-preferred tasks. However, it is unknown whether this eliminates problem behavior or merely delays problem behavior until the time at which the task is unavoidable. The purpose of this study was to determine the extent to which allowing participants to delay non-preferred tasks decreases problem behavior when those tasks are re-presented. Two children participated in this study: one six-year-old male with a diagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and one eight-year-old male with a diagnosis of Aspergers syndrome. We compared levels of problem behavior that occurred during unavoidable tasks to those that occurred during tasks that participants postponed using a functional communication response. Results showed that the percentage of unavoidable demands resulting in problem behavior was higher when participants were allowed to postpone the task. Thus, the suggestion to allow individuals to delay having to complete non-preferred tasks may only postpone problem behavior and may in fact increase the percentage of unavoidable tasks that results in problem behavior.

 

Sensitivity of Human Choice to Manipulations of Parameters of Positive and Negative Sound Reinforcement

JOSEPH MICHAEL LAMBERT (Vanderbilt University), Sarah E. Bloom (University of South Florida), Cicely M. Nickerson (Utah State University), Casey Clay (Utah State University), Andrew L. Samaha (University of South Florida)
Abstract:

Evidence of the utility of parameter sensitivity assessments in the assessment and treatment of problem behavior is beginning to emerge. Although these assessments have been conducted to evaluate participant sensitivity to parameter manipulations in both positive and negative reinforcement paradigms, no convincing evidence currently exists demonstrating that separate assessments of positive and negative reinforcement are required. The purpose of the current investigation was to determine whether positive and negative reinforcement processes have differential effects on human response allocation when parameters of responding and reinforcement are manipulated. Three undergraduate students participated in a series of assessments designed to identify preferred and aversive sounds with similar reinforcing values. Following sound identification, therapists conducted parameter sensitivity assessments for both positive and negative reinforcers. Parameter manipulations influenced behavior in the same way across reinforcement processes for two participants. However, for one participant, the way in which parameter manipulations influenced behavior differed according to the reinforcement process. Thus, for at least some individuals, positive and negative reinforcement processes may not always influence behavior in identical ways. Clinical and theoretical implications will be discussed.

 
Utility of a Latency-Based Assessment of Demands Prior to Functional Analyses
JOSLYN CYNKUS MINTZ (Little Leaves Behavioral Services), Nathan Call (Marcus Autism Center), Andrea R. Reavis (Marcus Autism Center)
Abstract: Functional assessments (FA) are frequently a key element in developing treatments to decrease problem behaviors. It is common practice to systematically assess an individual’s preference for potential positive reinforcers prior to beginning the FA. In contrast, negative reinforcers are commonly conducted at random or by asking caregivers. Call, Pabico, & Lomas, (2009) described a systematic demand assessment to identify the demands most (i.e., high-aversive task) and least (low-aversive task) likely to evoke problem behavior. Following the assessment, a FA was conducted with two demand conditions. For one of the participants, problem behavior was observed in the high-aversive condition and not the low-aversive condition. These results raise the question of the importance of a demand assessment to avoid a false-negative finding for an escape function. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to identify the likelihood of a false-negative finding. From a review of archival data, the FA of individual’s problem behavior used to identify an escape function that included two demand conditions was examined for a false-negative finding. Results showed that a false-negative finding for an escape function would have occurred for two-thirds of participants if only the low-aversive condition had been conducted.
 
 
Symposium #372
CE Offered: BACB
Academic Skills Instruction for Postsecondary Learners with Intellectual Disability
Monday, May 26, 2014
11:00 AM–11:50 AM
W194b (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: EDC/DDA; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: David L. Lee (Penn State)
Discussant: William Therrien (The University of Iowa)
CE Instructor: David L. Lee, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Results from the National Longitudinal Transition Study 1 and 2 indicate that more and more young adults with disabilities are pursuing a postsecondary education after high school. However, young adults with intellectual disabilities continued to be the group that was the least likely to participate in any postsecondary education. As a result, these individuals are not likely to benefit from occupations that offer opportunities for advancement and financial security in this economy (Wagner et al., 2005). One of the factors that lead to the low enrollment of young adults with intellectual disabilities in postsecondary education is their limited academic skills, particularly in the areas of reading and writing. Therefore, educators should prepare learners with intellectual disabilities with the academic skills necessary to succeed in the postsecondary education settings. The symposium will include two experimental studies that focus on teaching academic skills to young adults with intellectual disabilities at the postsecondary level. We will also discuss the implication of our findings.

Keyword(s): Academic skills, Assistive technology, Reading comprehension, Writing instruction
 

Reading Comprehension Instruction Using iPad for Learners with Intellectual Disability

YOUJIA HUA (The University of Iowa), Saeed Alqahtani (University of Iowa), Wei Lin Chen (The University of Iowa)
Abstract:

Reading is one of the most important academic skills because it enhances individuals learning opportunities as well as general well-being. One research-based reading intervention that targets both oral reading fluency and reading comprehension is the Reread-Adapt and Answer-Comprehend (RAAC) intervention. Although effective, we found this intervention required extensive amount of time and resources. As an alternative to the RAAC intervention, we utilized the text-to-speech feature of the iPad as a component of a reading intervention for learners with ID. Three students diagnosed with ID participated in the study. RAAC and iPad + Comprehension monitoring are the two interventions. We scored student oral story retell as a dependent variable. During the RAAC condition, the student first read the story grammar questions. Then the student read passage three times. During the iPad + Comprehension monitoring condition, each student read the story grammar questions. The student then listened to the passage using iPads text-to-speech feature. We used a multiple-baseline across the participants design to first investigate the two interventions on reading comprehension of the participants. Then we compared the effects of the two interventions in the context of an alternating treatment design. We will complete data collection by the end of November, 2013.

 
An Investigation of an Editing Strategy with Postsecondary Students with Developmental Disabilities
SUZANNE WOODS-GROVES (The University of Iowa), Doreen J. Ferko (California Baptist University)
Abstract: This investigated the efficacy of an editing strategy designed to improve the editing skills of young adults (ages 19-to-22 years), who were enrolled in a post-secondary education program for individuals with developmental disabilities study (Woods-Groves, Hua, Therrien, Kaldenberg, Kihura, & Hendrickson, in press). Sixteen students were randomly assigned to treatment or control groups and a pre- and posttest design was employed. The students were taught a multi-component editing strategy. The EDIT Strategy (Hughes, et al., 2010) is an example of a learning strategy that was designed to target students’ ability to correct editing errors (i.e., spelling, punctuation, capitalization, substance, and overall appearance) commonly found within their electronically written documents. The treatment group significantly outperformed the control group with regard to the total number of editing errors corrected and in the correction of punctuation and overall appearance errors. In addition, the treatment group significantly outperformed the control group on a maintenance test given 11 weeks following intervention. The results supported the utility of the EDIT Strategy in improving the editing skills of the young adults with developmental disabilities who were taught the strategy.
 
 
Invited Paper Session #375
CE Offered: PSY/BACB

Clinical and Statistical Applications of Contingency Space Analysis

Monday, May 26, 2014
11:00 AM–11:50 AM
W183a (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: PRA; Domain: Applied Research
Instruction Level: Intermediate
CE Instructor: Brian K. Martens, Ph.D.
Chair: Jennifer R. Zarcone (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
BRIAN K. MARTENS (Syracuse University)
Brian K. Martens, Ph.D., is a professor of psychology at Syracuse University. He received an M.S. degree in combined school/experimental psychology from Colorado State University (behavior analysis focus) and a Ph.D. in school psychology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Dr. Martens served as director of training for the Syracuse University Psychology Program from 1998-2007 and as associate chair and chair of the Psychology Department from 2007-2009. He was editor-in-chief of the Journal of Behavioral Education from 2009-2012 and is a past associate editor for the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis. Dr. Martens is a fellow in Division 16 of American Psychological Association, a member of the Society for the Study of School Psychology, and previously served on the board of directors of the Society for the Experimental Analysis of Behavior. He has published more than 110 articles, books, and chapters concerned with translating findings from basic operant research into effective school-based interventions, functional assessment and treatment of children's classroom behavior problems, and the instructional hierarchy as a sequenced approach to skill training.
Abstract:

Sequential recording of behavior and its consequences is a common strategy for identifying potential maintaining variables in the natural environment. Disagreement remains over a standard approach to detecting contingent relations in the resulting data as well as a suitable association metric. One approach reported in the literature involves comparing the conditional probability of a consequence given the occurrence of problem behavior to its conditional probability given the absence of problem behavior. This approach, known as contingency space analysis (CSA) can be used to identify the direction and magnitude of potential reinforcement effects from descriptive assessment data. Moreover, joint occurrences of behavior and its consequences can be summarized in a 2 by 2 contingency table for which an operant contingency value (OCV) can be computed. In this presentation, procedures for conducting and interpreting a CSA are described, and data are presented showing various applications of CSA to clinical decision making. The presentation concludes by comparing the OCV to other measures of association using simulated and empirical data. These analyses suggest that CSA as a general analytical approach and the OCV as an index of contingency are useful tools for helping behavior analysts identify contingent relations during a functional behavior assessment.

Target Audience:

ABA practitioners and applied researchers.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of this event, participants will be able to; (a) conduct observations of problem behavior and its consequences using modified partial-interval recording, (b) graph and interpret behavior-consequence data in a contingency space analysis (CSA), (c) describe the relationship between CSA, functional analysis, and treatment outcome data, and (d) describe why the operant contingency value (OCV) is a more robust measure than either the phi coefficient or Yule's Q as a measure of association for 2 by 2 contingency tables.
 
 
Symposium #376
CE Offered: BACB
Examples of Behavioral Analysts Meeting the Needs of School-based Personnel in Behavior Assessment and Intervention
Monday, May 26, 2014
11:00 AM–11:50 AM
W193a (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: TBA/PRA; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Brenda J. Bassingthwaite (The University of Iowa Children's Hospital)
CE Instructor: Sean D. Casey, Ph.D.
Abstract:

When mandates to conduct function-based assessments of challenging behavior were included in the reauthorization of IDEA in 1997, school-based personnel turned to the field of applied behavior analysis to assist them in understanding how to conduct these assessments (Barnhill, 2005). Behavior analysts have an important role in evaluating the skills of school-based personnel and training personnel to conduct function-based assessment and implement interventions. This symposium discusses findings regarding the needs of school-based personnel to be trained. While Dutt et al. present a tool for assessing the needs and expertise of special educators and associates, Strickland-Cohen and Horner, and Casey et al. present on function-based assessment training projects. All three talks focus on professionals most often responsible for the mandated assessments and most frequently working with students with challenging behaviors (e.g., special educators, associates, school psychologists, social workers, and counselors). As a profession we can help to ensure that they are able to conduct the necessary assessments and implement successful interventions for students engaging in challenging behaviors. Who better than behavior analysts to provide the training that is needed?

Keyword(s): FBA Training, school-based practice
 

A Needs Analysis in Behavioral Assessments and Interventions within Special Education Schools in Singapore

ANURADHA DUTT (Nanyang Technological University), Iris Chen (Nanyang Technological University), Rahul Nair (Nanyang Technological University)
Abstract:

The primary intent of this study was to evaluate the level of skill and training needs/supports required among school personnel (i.e., special educators and teacher associates) in the area of classroom based behavioral assessments and intervention within special education schools in Singapore. Secondary aims included evaluating the psychometric properties of the needs assessment survey form in terms of its reliability (i.e., internal consistency and test retest) for future use within the Singaporean context. A needs assessment survey was administered to 416 respondents across 7 special education schools in Singapore. Results were analyzed using non-parametric statistics (i.e., Mann Whitney U tests) and multiple regression analyses. Results indicated that skills in the areas of behavior assessment and interventions seemed higher in special educators than teaching associates. Conversely, training needs seemed lower in special educators than teaching associates, suggesting that the teaching associates should be the primary target population for training. Additionally, results revealed specific areas of training that need to be targeted in future training workshops. Finally, results suggest that the needs assessment survey is a highly reliable tool to assess competencies/skills in the area of behavior assessments and interventions and moderately reliable to assess training needs within the local context.

 

Training Typical School Personnel to Develop and Implement Basic Behavior Support Plans

M. KATHLEEN STRICKLAND-COHEN (Texas Tech University), Robert H. Horner (University of Oregon)
Abstract:

It has been over 15 years since the 1997 amendments to IDEA explicitly recommended that schools use FBA in their behavior management and disciplinary practices. Yet, in current practice FBA continues to be under-utilized and schools still struggle in their efforts to design and implement effective behavior supports for students who engage in problem behavior (Blood & Neel, 2007; Cook et al. 2012). We evaluated the ability of typical school personnel (i.e., counselors, SPED teachers, school psychologists) with basic behavioral training to develop and implement function-based supports for students with low-level problem behaviors (e.g., talk-outs, out of seat behavior). Descriptive results indicated that following 4 one-hour training sessions 13 participants increased their knowledge related to identifying interventions that were and were not functionally related to problem behavior, and lead school-based teams in developing support plans that were rated as technically sound by external behavior analysts. Data resulting from a multiple baseline analysis across 5 of the trained professionals, each working with a team to address the problem behavior of one elementary school student, demonstrate that plan implementation occurred with high fidelity and was functionally related to decreases in problem behavior and increases in academic engagement.

 

The Challenging Behavior Specialist Project: What Have We Learned After 4.5 Years?

SEAN D. CASEY (The Iowa Department of Education), Brenda J. Bassingthwaite (The University of Iowa Children's Hospital), David P. Wacker (The University of Iowa), John F. Lee (The University of Iowa), Kelly M. Schieltz (The University of Iowa), Tory J. Christensen (Association of University Centers on Disabilities), Todd G. Kopelman (The University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics)
Abstract:

The Iowa Challenging Behavior Specialist Project has completed its fourth year. The purpose of the project was to help develop the skills of Area Education Agency personnel in the area of Function Based Assessment. Through 4 years the CBS project has been successful in achieving its goal of training personnel in the state who address the challenging behavior needs to conduct the advanced level FBAs. The personnel who have trained through the project come from 3 main training backgrounds: school psychologists, special education consultants, and social workers. We evaluated our data on the FBA skills across the 3 types of challenging behavior specialists across 3 main dependent measures (i.e., self-assessments, performance exam, and direct observation) and had found only one statistical difference across groups (i.e., school psychologists > special education consultants and social workers on the performance exam). Despite this lone finding most of our data indicate that training background was of little relevance in the acquisition of FBA skills and the speed upon which skills were learned. Results are further discussed relative to decisions of who should perform high level FBAs in Iowa schools and beyond.

 
 
B. F. Skinner Lecture Series Paper Session #377
CE Offered: PSY/BACB

Thinking Scientifically about Clinical Psychology: A Prescription for Narrowing the Science-Practice Gap

Monday, May 26, 2014
11:00 AM–11:50 AM
W375e (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: TPC; Domain: Applied Research
Instruction Level: Intermediate
CE Instructor: Edward K. Morris, Ph.D.
Chair: Edward K. Morris (The University of Kansas)
SCOTT O. LILIENFELD (Emory University)
Dr. Scott O. Lilienfeld is a professor of psychology at Emory University in Atlanta, GA. He received his bachelor’s degree from Cornell University in 1982 and his Ph.D. in psychology (clinical) from the University of Minnesota in 1990. Dr. Lilienfeld is associate editor of the Journal of Abnormal Psychology, past president of the Society for a Science of Clinical Psychology, and current president of the Society for the Scientific Study of Psychopathy. Dr. Lilienfeld has published more than 300 manuscripts on personality disorders, dissociative disorders, psychiatric classification, pseudoscience in psychology, and evidence-based practices in clinical psychology. His 2010 book, 50 Great Myths of Popular Psychology, examines a host of widespread misunderstandings regarding human behavior. His most recent book, Brainwashed: The Seductive Appeal of Mindless Neuroscience, was published in 2013, and is co-authored with psychiatrist Sally Satel. Dr. Lilienfeld is a fellow of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry and (along with Dr. Hal Arkowitz) a regular columnist for Scientific American Mind magazine. In 1998, Dr. Lilienfeld received the David Shakow Award for Outstanding Early Career Contributions to Clinical Psychology from APA Division 12, and in 2007, he was elected as a fellow of the Association for Psychological Science.
Abstract:

Dr. Lilienfeld will begin by laying out the magnitude and scope of the science-practice gap in clinical psychology and allied fields, which refers to striking disjunction between the research evidence for intervention and assessment techniques, on the one hand, and their use in everyday clinical practice, on the other. He will then examine both the distal and proximal sources of this gap, including the resistance to systematic research evidence, with a particular eye on commonplace errors in reasoning to which all of us are prone (e.g., naive realism, confirmation bias, and illusory correlation). In addition, he will discuss the perils of neurocentrism--the assumption that the brain-based level of analysis is inherently more important than other levels of analysis in understanding human behavior--and its implications for research and practice in clinical psychology. He will close with a plea for curricular reform designed to inculcate “fallible humility”--an awareness of our own strengths and limitations as information processors--in the next generation of students.

Target Audience:

Researchers, practitioners, instructors, graduate students, and advanced undergraduates interested in clinical psychology.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the event, participants should be able to (1) Describe the nature and magnitude of the science-practice gap in mental health, including survey statistics on practitioners' use of evidence-based interventions; (2) Identify important sources of this gap, including impediments in reasoning (e.g., naive realism, confirmation bias) and reasons for resistance to scientific evidence; and (3) Understand the dangers or potential dangers of neurocentrism as an approach to understanding human behavior.
 
 
Panel #387
CE Offered: BACB
Managed Care, Autism, and Applied Behavior Analysis: Challenges and Opportunities
Monday, May 26, 2014
2:00 PM–2:50 PM
W184a (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: AUT/PRA; Domain: Service Delivery
CE Instructor: Terence G. Blackwell, Licensed School Administrator
Chair: Terence G. Blackwell (Services for the UnderServed)
RISHI CHELMINSKI (Services for the Underserved)
JODI BOUER (Bouer Law)
Abstract:

Mandated insurance coverage for autism services is either in law or in the process of becoming law in 37 of the 50 states. This transition has resulted in a many states embracing Applied Behavior Analysis as an evidence-based standard in the treatment of autism and other intellectual disabilities. However, substantial divides remain throughout much of the country between the medical models of care embraced by most insurance companies, and the approaches inherent to the practice of ABA. Practitioners? experiences from the states where these laws are already in place may provide the field with critical information on what is working and is not. A panel that includes behavior analysts, an insurance attorney, and a managed care executive will discuss these topics toward providing practical guidance to practitioners, and informing relevant policy at the national level.

 
 
Invited Tutorial #390
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Oops! Learning From the Mistakes of Others: Implications for Observational Learning and Children with Autism
Monday, May 26, 2014
2:00 PM–2:50 PM
W180 (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: CBM; Domain: Applied Research
PSY/BACB CE Offered. CE Instructor: Jennifer Lynn Hammond, Ph.D.
Chair: Jennifer Lynn Hammond (Trumpet Behavioral Health)
Presenting Author: BRIDGET A. TAYLOR (Alpine Learning Group)
Abstract:

Some children with autism can learn to imitate a wide variety of functional responses. For example, many can be taught to imitate actions with objects, the play behavior of peers, and the social responses of others. Less well documented are strategies that teach children with autism under which conditions imitation is advantageous, and under which conditions it is not. In order for a child with autism to learn through observation, he must learn how to discriminate the contingencies applied to modeled responses. This presentation will outline an assessment protocol to identify prerequisites for observational learning and research directives to teach children with autism to selectively imitate by discriminating the consequences applied to another's responses. Video-taped examples will illustrate components of the assessment, and preliminary outcome data on several children with autism will be presented.

Instruction Level: Basic
Target Audience:

Psychologists, behavior analysts, graduate students, and anyone interested in the autism field.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants should be able to (1) Define observational learning; (2) Define selective imitation and discuss why it is an important component response of observational learning; and (3) Identify components of a proposed assessment for observational learning.
 
BRIDGET A. TAYLOR (Alpine Learning Group)
Dr. Bridget A. Taylor is co-founder and executive director of Alpine Learning Group and is senior clinical adviser for Rethink. Dr. Taylor has specialized in the education and treatment of children with autism for the past 25 years. She holds a doctorate of psychology from Rutgers University and received her master's degree in early childhood special education from Columbia University. She is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and a licensed psychologist. She is an associate editor for the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis and serves on the editorial board of Behavioral Interventions. She is a member of the Behavior Analyst Certification Board and a board member of the Association for Science in Autism Treatment. She serves on the Autism Advisory Group for the Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies and the Professional Advisory Board for the Association of Professional Behavior Analysts. Dr. Taylor is active in the autism research community and has published numerous articles and book chapters on effective interventions for autism. Her recent research interest is in identifying effective strategies to promote observational learning in children with autism.
 
 
Invited Tutorial #391
CE Offered: BACB
Behavioral Momentum Theory: A Review and Implications for Practice
Monday, May 26, 2014
2:00 PM–2:50 PM
W183a (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
BACB CE Offered. CE Instructor: Joel Eric Ringdahl, Ph.D.
Chair: Andrew W. Gardner (Northern Arizona University)
Presenting Author: JOEL ERIC RINGDAHL (Southern Illinois University)
Abstract:

The field of Applied Behavior Analysis has seen a recent increase in the amount research conducted related to the maintenance of treatment effects, relapse of problem behavior, and what basic behavior analysis has to say regarding these events. Dr. Ringdahl and his students and colleagues at Southern Illinois University and the University of Iowa have been investigating how behavioral momentum theory can be explored and used to inform the development of interventions for severe problem behavior exhibited by individuals with developmental disabilities, and used to evaluate the strength of these treatments. This tutorial will review basic behavioral findings related to the aforementioned areas. In addition, implications for practice will be discussed as they relate to the assessment and treatment of severe problem behavior. Data from recently published or presented applied research projects will be used to illustrate the direct link between basic findings and applied outcomes.

 
JOEL ERIC RINGDAHL (Southern Illinois University)
Dr. Joel E. Ringdahl is an assistant professor in the Behavior Analysis and Therapy Program in the Rehabilitation Institute. He received his Ph.D. (1999) and M.A. (1995) in psychology from Louisiana State University and a B.S. (1992) also in psychology from the University of Florida. Dr. Ringdahl is a licensed psychologist in the state of Iowa and a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. He has served as an associate editor for the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis and is currently an editorial board member for Research in Developmental Disabilities, Journal of Behavioral Education, Education and Treatment of Children, Research Reviews Journal of Autism and Developmental Disabilities, and Behavior Analysis in Practice. Dr. Ringdahl's research interests include functional analysis and treatment of severe behavior problems exhibited by individuals with developmental disabilities, stimulus preference assessments, functional communication training, and translational research in the area of behavioral momentum theory and behavioral economics. Dr. Ringdahl has published several peer-reviewed articles and has been a researcher on National Institutes of Health-funded projects.
 
 
Panel #396
CE Offered: BACB
PDS EVENT: Tired of Autism? A Beginners Guide to Working Within Brain Injury Rehabiliation
Monday, May 26, 2014
2:00 PM–2:50 PM
W194a (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Domain: Service Delivery
CE Instructor: Chris M. Schaub, M.Ed.
Chair: Chris M. Schaub (ReMed)
CLAUDIA DROSSEL (University of Michigan)
CHRIS PERSEL (Centre for Neuro Skills)
MICHAEL P. MOZZONI (Lakeview NeuroRehabilitation Center)
Abstract:

Are you tired of working in Autism? Are you looking to challenge your clinical skills? Want to try your hand at working on an interdisciplinary team? Have you ever been curious about work within brain injury rehabilitation? For years acute and post acute brain injury rehabilitation teams have worked to integrate programming efforts across disciplines, overcome issues associated with problem behaviors and demonstrate the efficacy of programming efforts. However, until recently, integration of behavior analytic concepts and principles uniquely suited towards these same goals has been misunderstood, underutilized or simply excluded. This panel of experts will discuss the growing role of the behavior analyst within brain injury rehabilitation. They will address the past, present and future of opportunities for behavior analysts to integrate themselves into this dynamic and growing field.

Keyword(s): Brain Injury, interdisciplinary, rehabilitation, TBI
 
 
Symposium #398
CE Offered: BACB
Teaching Self-Management and Social Problem Solving Strategies to Improve Academic and Daily Living Skills
Monday, May 26, 2014
2:00 PM–2:50 PM
W187c (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: PRA/EDC; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Kimberly Crosland (University of South Florida)
CE Instructor: Kimberly Crosland, Ph.D.
Abstract:

This symposium will present three studies that used self-management and social problem solving strategies to improve daily living activities including academics and life skills. The first presentation will describe a study that used a self-management intervention to improve on-task behavior of children diagnosed with ADHD during home routines involving academic and non-academic tasks. The second study implemented a self-monitoring procedure with college-aged students diagnosed with ADHD to improve academic behaviors. This study also found a reduction in ADHD symptoms as a result of the self-monitoring intervention. The third study used a social problem solving technique to teach adult men with histories of homelessness how to make better decisions to problems or situations that they encounter in everyday life. In addition, social validity measures were collected to determine if the social problem solving intervention was found to be useful for the participants. All three of the studies in this symposium showed positive results for participants and are key additions to the literature on self-management and social problem solving.

Keyword(s): Problem Solving, Self-Management
 
An Evaluation of Self-Management to Increase On-Task Behavior with Individuals Diagnosed with ADHD
LINDSEY SLATTERY (University of South Florida), Kimberly Crosland (University of South Florida), Rose Iovannone (University of South Florida/Florida Mental Health)
Abstract: Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the leading diagnoses for children. Children diagnosed with ADHD often have difficulty in many settings including at school as well as in the home. Medication is often a common treatment for these children, however, it has been often shown ineffective when used alone. A review of behavioral interventions, including various self-regulation interventions has been studied. Self-regulation interventions have been shown to be effective for children diagnosed with ADHD primarily in school or academic settings. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of a self-management intervention on the on-task behavior of children diagnosed with ADHD. Specifically, this study aimed to examine the impact a self-management intervention would have on the on-task behavior of children during various routines, both academic and non-academic, in the child’s home setting. Participants were trained to use a self-management intervention. As a result of the accurate use of the self-management intervention all three participant’s on-task behavior increased. For one participant, the duration of the targeted routine also substantially decreased.
 

Self-Monitoring in Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

MINDY CHRISTINE SCHEITHAUER (Kennedy Krieger Institute  ), Mary Lou Kelley (Louisiana State University)
Abstract:

Self-Monitoring (SM) has improved academic behaviors in children with ADHD and non-academic behaviors in adults. The current student implemented a SM intervention with college students diagnosed with ADHD, a population with which SM has not been previously evaluated. We recruited 41 participants who were randomly assigned to either a control or treatment group. Both groups received brief study-skills training and completed academic goal-setting. In addition, the treatment group was introduced to SM and setup an individualized electronic SM form. The form listed personalized academic behaviors, stated in objective and observable terms. The participant was instructed to monitor each behavior on a daily basis and check a progress report which displayed a graph of the percent of behaviors successfully completed. Both groups also attended 2 check-in sessions and a follow-up session (intervention duration of approximately 6-9 weeks). Compared to the control group, participants in the SM group reported significant improvement on measures of ADHD symptoms, academic behaviors, goal attainment, and GPA. This study extends the literature on SM interventions to a novel population and creates a platform for future research in this area.

 
The Acquisition and Usage of the SODAS Problem Solving Method Among Adults At-Risk for Homelessness
COLLIN STREETMAN (University of South Florida), Kimberly Crosland (University of South Florida), Hewitt B. Clark (University of South Florida)
Abstract: Individuals experiencing extended homelessness face multifaceted risks in physical health, nutrition, substance use, mental health, continuing unemployment, and incarceration. Some of these adults may benefit from learning a problem-solving decision-making method to assist them in dealing with everyday problems they encounter. This study taught three men with extensive histories of homelessness, but who were currently housed, the SODAS problem-solving decision-making method, and assessed their ability to learn it and guide another adult in the use of the method in simulated role-play problem situations. The acquisition of SODAS from behavioral rehearsal training was evaluated using a concurrent multiple-baseline design across participants’ role plays during the baseline, and post-training SODAS conditions. After demonstrating their ability to successfully guide another adult through the SODAS process when role-playing problem situations relevant to this population, the participants were instructed and provided SODAS forms for applying this method to their own every day lives’ social and non-social problem situations. Social validity follow-up meetings were conducted weekly with each participant, and assessed the extent to which he/she was reporting the use and helpfulness of the SODAS method in addressing everyday life issues. Results indicated that the men were able to implement the process and found it useful in their everyday lives.
 
 
Panel #398a
CE Offered: BACB
Ethics in Behavioral Research and Practice: Translating "Cultures" or Creating a New World Order?
Monday, May 26, 2014
2:00 PM–2:50 PM
W190a (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: CSE/PRA; Domain: Service Delivery
CE Instructor: Robyn M Catagnus, M.Ed.
Chair: Robyn M. Catagnus (Ball State University)
DANA GARNER (Penn State)
ELIZABETH HUGHES FONG (The Progressions Companies)
REBECCA KATE DOGAN (Self-employed)
Abstract:

In celebration of ABA International's 40th anniversary, the Multicultural Alliance of Behavior Analysts (MultiABA) is hosting a panel discussion on the ethical application of behavior analysis to increasingly diverse populations. The panel will reflect on the surge in international immigration over the past four decades and discuss the implication for effective service delivery to individuals from varied cultural and linguistic backgrounds. What steps have been taken to develop cultural competence in practitioners of applied behavior analysis, and are they sufficient? Panelists will discuss ABAI's own diversity policy and consider whether the BACB?s Guidelines for Responsible Conduct adequately address the ethical challenges associated with cross-cultural collaboration. Participants will learn of efforts made by members of the MultiABA Special Interest Group to develop the Standards for Cultural Competence in Behavioral Analysis (Hughes Fong & Tanaka, 2013), and of the organization?s affiliation with the United Nations and intent to attend the Disabilities Panel of the UN general assembly in September, 2014.

Keyword(s): cross-cultural competence, diversity, ethics, multicultural
 
 
Symposium #399
CE Offered: BACB
ABA on the Front Lines: Case Studies and Lessons Learned in Treating Challenging Behavior in NYC Public Schools
Monday, May 26, 2014
2:00 PM–2:50 PM
W187ab (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: PRA/AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: J. Helen Yoo (New York State Institute for Basic Research)
CE Instructor: Jenny La Barbera, Psy.D.
Abstract:

Students with autism who displayed aggression or self-injurious behaviors received assessment and treatment in their district schools by a team of behavior analysts. These services were funded by a grant from the New York State Education Department. Challenges in specific cases are addressed as they pertain to conducting functional analyses in the schools and developing treatments that are accepted and implemented by school staff.

 

Evaluating Long-Term Outcomes of an Intensive Behavioral Assessment and Intervention Program for Students with Autism in New York City Public School Classrooms

J. HELEN YOO (New York State Institute for Basic Research), Jenny La Barbera (Institute for Basic Research), Niall James Toner (Institute for Basic Research), Nicole Pearson (Institute for Basic Research)
Abstract:

When treating severe challenging behavior, a critical aspect (and challenge) of treatment success is maintaining behavior improvements over time. Follow-up services were a key component of an intensive behavioral assessment and intervention program serving students with autism in New York City public schools. Students referred to the program exhibited chronic and severe challenging behavior which, if not remediated, may have led to a more restrictive placement. Assessment and treatment were conducted by a team of behavior analysts with school staff assistance. Staff were trained in the interventions and the follow-up services were provided for up to one year following discharge from the program to ensure treatment gains were maintained. Overcoming challenges related to changes in staff and the students' placements will be discussed, as well as the long-term outcomes of the program participants.

 

The Effectiveness of Differential Reinforcement in Treating Automatically Maintained Self-Injury in Three Students Diagnosed with Autism in Public Schools

JENNY LA BARBERA (Institute for Basic Research), Nicole Pearson (Institute for Basic Research), Niall James Toner (Institute for Basic Research), J. Helen Yoo (New York State Institute for Basic Research)
Abstract:

Behavior analysts report that self-injury maintained by automatic reinforcement can be one of the most difficult types of self-injury to treat (Toussaint & Tiger, 2012). An automatic function of self-injury may even mask other functions (McKerchar, et al., 2001). The current study examined the effectiveness of differential reinforcement of other behaviors (DRO) and differential reinforcement of alternative behaviors (DRA) for three students diagnosed with autism who displayed self-injury that was maintained primarily by automatic reinforcement. The students were in 6:1:1, autistic support classrooms in New York City public schools. Functional analyses were conducted for each student, individualized treatments were developed, and staff were trained on implementation in the classroom. Limitations and recommendations will be discussed.

 

When Traditional Methods Fail: Overcoming Obstacles when Conducting Functional Analyses and Implementing Differential Reinforcement in Public Schools

NIALL JAMES TONER (Institute for Basic Research), Jenny La Barbera (Institute for Basic Research), Nicole Pearson (Institute for Basic Research), J. Helen Yoo (New York State Institute for Basic Research)
Abstract:

Best practices in applied behavior analysis include conducting a functional behavior assessment, usually involving a functional analysis, and formulating a treatment plan based on the identified function of the target behavior. Unfortunately, traditional functional analyses do not always yield differentiated results and only a paucity of research available that suggests alternative methods of identifying the functions of behavior. In the current study, nontraditional functional analyses were conducted after traditional functional analyses were shown to be inconclusive. In addition to the obstacles in functional analyses there are many obstacles to overcome during treatment. Traditionally a treatment plan of differential reinforcement of other behaviors (DRO) based on the function of behavior will yield a decrease in behavior. Unfortunately, for a specific set of students, the authors observed no decrease in behavior and in some instances an increase in behavior following implementation. Obstacles and solutions will be discussed.

 
 
B. F. Skinner Lecture Series Paper Session #400
CE Offered: BACB

Why Brains Are Not Computers; Why Behaviorism Isn't Satanism; and Why Dolphins Are Not Aquatic Apes

Monday, May 26, 2014
2:00 PM–2:50 PM
W375e (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: SCI; Domain: Basic Research
CE Instructor: Timothy D. Hackenberg, Ph.D.
Chair: Timothy D. Hackenberg (Reed College)
LOUISE BARRETT (University of Lethbridge)
Louise Barrett was educated at University College London and earned a BSc in ecology and a Ph.D. in anthropology. She has conducted long-term studies of baboons and vervet monkeys in South Africa and also is interested in the behavioral ecology and psychology of human primates. She has held positions at the University of Liverpool in the United Kingdom and University of Natal in South Africa. Dr. Barrett is currently a Canada research chair in cognition, evolution, and behavior at the University of Lethbridge, Alberta. Her most recent book is Beyond the Brain: How Body and Environment Shape Animal and Human Minds.
Abstract:

Modern psychology has, to all intents and purposes, become synonymous with cognitive psychology, with its emphasis on the idea that the brain is some kind of computer, whose job it is to take sensory input, process information, and produce motor output. In particular, evolutionary approaches to psychology, as applied to both human and nonhuman animals, are strongly committed to this computational theory of mind, placing the brain at a remove from both the body and environment, and denying the intimate connections that exist between them. As a result, a great injustice is done to both humans and nonhuman animals: on the one hand, we fail to recognize the distinctive nature of nonhuman cognition, and on the other, we continue to promote a somewhat misleading view of human psychological capacities. Here, Dr. Barrett will suggest a more mutualistic, embodied, enactive view might allow us to ask more interesting questions about how animals of all kinds come to know their worlds, in ways that avoid both the (inevitable) anthropocentric baggage and “Cartesian disease” of the cognitivist viewpoint.

Keyword(s): nonhuman cognition
 
 
Invited Paper Session #401
CE Offered: BACB

A Behavior Analyst Goes to the Dogs

Monday, May 26, 2014
2:00 PM–2:50 PM
W178a (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: SCI; Domain: Basic Research
CE Instructor: Carol Pilgrim, Ph.D.
Chair: Carol Pilgrim (University of North Carolina Wilmington)
CLIVE WYNNE (Arizona State University)
Dr. Clive Wynne is currently a professor of psychology at the Arizona State University, where he directs the Canine Science Collaboratory, and is director of research at Wolf Park in Indiana. He was educated at University College London and Edinburgh University in Scotland and has studied animal behavior in Britain, Germany, the U.S., and Australia in species ranging from pigeons to dunnarts (a mouse-sized marsupial). Several years ago, he founded the Canine Cognition and Behavior Lab at the University of Florida, dedicated to the study of dogs and their wild relatives. As well as numerous scientific papers, he also has written for American Scientist, The New York Times, and other outlets. He is often quoted in print media and radio, and his science has been featured on several TV shows such as National Geographic and Nova ScienceNow. He is the author of a textbook Animal Cognition (now in its second edition, with co-author Monique Udell) and Do Animals Think? (Princeton University Press, 2004). He is editor in chief of the journal Behavioural Processes.
Abstract:

Although the scientific analysis of behavior started with dogs in Pavlov's laboratory more than a century ago, the use of behavior analytic tools to understand dog behavior, and the relationship between dogs and people, has lagged behind other approaches to canine behavior. In the past two decades, wide currency has been given to the view that dogs co-evolved human-like social cognition alongside people in human domiciles more than 10,000 years ago. The evolution of novel cognitive instincts, it is claimed, has given dogs unique abilities to understand human actions and intentions. Dr. Wynne will review findings from his laboratory indicating that the person-reading skills people perceive in their dogs are real but they are not unique to dogs: Hand-reared wolves are just as successful in responding to human actions. Furthermore, these skills are the outcome of familiar processes of operant and Pavlovian conditioning and social imprinting. This is shown in the poor performance of dog pups, in the consistent improvement in pet dogs subject to repeated testing, and in the initially poor but easily redeemed performance of dogs at a county shelter. He also will present novel approaches to dog behavioral problems such as thunder phobia and stereotypic behaviors derived from applied behavior analysis.

Keyword(s): animal cognition, canine behavior, canine stereotypy, wolves
 
 
Symposium #404
CE Offered: BACB
Verbal Behavior: Considerations of Translation, Morphology, and Syntax
Monday, May 26, 2014
2:00 PM–2:50 PM
W185d (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: VRB/TPC; Domain: Theory
Chair: Robert Dlouhy (Western Michigan University)
CE Instructor: Koji Takeshima, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Three papers discussing theoretical considerations of practical issues will be presented. The first paper will discuss the translation of the VB-MAPP assessment instrument into Japanese. Based on Skinners taxonomy of verbal operants, translation of the VB-MAPP centers around developing prompts in Japanese that are functionally equivalent the English prompts in the original test. The translation task demonstrates the value Skinners functional approach. The second paper considers Skinners autoclitic of order as one of the sources of regularity in languages. This type of relational autoclitic can account for certain syntactic patterns and, surprisingly, for morphological regularities. It will be proposed that functionally distinct response sequences in a language can be accounted for as products of specific operants of order in a language. The symposiums final paper will contrast traditional accounts of language as systems of rules and units such as words, phrases, and sentences with Skinners account of verbal behavior that proposes a flexible array of intraverbal, formal and thematic influences. The latter interact in the history of the listener/speaker to produce grammatical behavior. Some traditional relational devices of language can be interpreted as discriminative functions which control grammatical responses.

Keyword(s): Autoclitics, Grammar, Translation, Verbal Behavior
 
Japanese Translation of an Assessment of Verbal Behavior
KOJI TAKESHIMA (Autism Consultation Room)
Abstract: Skinner proposed an alternative approach to the traditional views of language. His proposal is the functional account of language: what conditions are relevant to the occurrences of the behavior as a step after the topographical descriptions of language, such as grammars and syntaxes. The true value of his functional approach would be revealed when it is utilized to control verbal behaviors of individuals beyond the topographical boundaries of one language. VB-MAPP, Verbal Behavior Milestones Assessment and Placement Program, is an assessment tool as well as a program development tool for children with Autism and other developmental disabilities. This tool was developed based on Skinner’s analysis of verbal behavior and utilizes the verbal operants as the units of analysis. It has been in process of being translated to multiple languages. There are various challenges in translating any assessment tools. However, because of the emphasis of the functional account as opposed to topographical descriptions, the translation may be a rather simple task, despite the fact that the large topographical discrepancies between English and Japanese. The larger task might be the education and training of Japanese users in the functional approach of verbal behavior.
 
Linguistic Regularity and Autoclitics of Order
ROBERT DLOUHY (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: Any researcher trying to account for linguistic phenomena in behavior analytic terms must face the question of how it is that the verbal behavior within any speech community is highly regular. The regularity of verbal behavior – at least that subset called language – is due to a number of factors, one of which is the sequencing of responses. Skinner accounted in part for the sequencing of words by briefly mentioning autoclitics of order in chapter 13 of Verbal Behavior. This paper will discuss these autoclitics from both syntactic and morphological perspectives, and stress two points. First, autoclitics of order are ubiquitous, and second, they form specific response classes in a verbal community (i.e., a language). Skinner discussed autoclitics of order as a syntactic phenomenon, but in many languages, words themselves are complex responses whose constituent responses are strictly ordered. The regularity of response ordering in both syntax and morphology, then, can be accounted for by autoclitics of order. Further, regularity entails repeatability, and for this reason, autoclitics of order can be considered response classes within a language. The paper will conclude with the remark that syntactic and morphological “structure” is an epiphenomenon stemming from autoclitics of order.
 

Grammar and Syntax as Behavior

JOHN H. MABRY (Retired)
Abstract:

Regardless of the nature of modern theoretical grammars (syntax is a part of grammar) or the old fashion school room grammars, most basically concern themselves with the formal properties of written or spoken material, with the focus on sentence, phrase and word as structural entities. The way humans talk is often said to consist of words which follow rules.' Skinners treatment of verbal behavior challenged both assertions. He proposed that there were no standard units, such as words, sentences, etc. but that the size and composition of our speech and writing were in reality, more flexible. His unit of behavior lacks the physical bounds of any of the subdivisions of traditional grammatical or linguistic divisions. In their place he proposes a flexible array of intraverbal, formal and thematic influences which interact in the history of the listener/speaker to produce grammatical behavior, but may encompass those traditional units; morphemes, words, phrases, idioms, clauses, and so on ...which may have functional unity... in speech or writing. Some of the traditional relational devices of a language such as position and inflectional changes in terms (words) may be viewed as discriminative functions which guide the course of grammatical behavior.

 
 
Symposium #405
CE Offered: BACB
Innovations in the Assessment and Treatment of People with Autism
Monday, May 26, 2014
2:00 PM–3:50 PM
W184bc (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: AUT/EDC; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Mark O'Reilly (The University of Texas at Austin)
Discussant: Henry S. Roane (State University of New York Upstate Medical University)
CE Instructor: Russell Lang, Ph.D.
Abstract:

People with autism are often the recipients of behavioral interventions. This symposium presents 4 research studies demonstrating recent advances and discoveries involving the behavioral treatment of autism. Study 1 will address challenging behavior resurgence following functional communication training using a schedule thinning procedure. In addition to addressing resurgence, study 1 targets challenging behavior maintained by access to specific rituals, an understudied problem. In study 2, in-service special education teachers were taught to implement trial-based functional analyses in their classroom and the ease of skill acquisition (as measured by trials to criterion) as well as the social validity of the functional analysis, and clarity of functional analysis outcomes were measured. Ipads have become a popular form of Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) but the parameters mitigating their utility and effectiveness have received little attention. In study 3, Cindy Gevarter compares the efficiency of mand acquisition using the different display formats (e.g., traditional grids, visual scenes) available on Apple iPad. Finally, study 4 demonstrates that children with autism may prefer one form of attention over another and that this preference is an important consideration for designing attention-based interventions. The larger implications of these studies will then discussed by Dr. Henry Roane.

Keyword(s): Communication, Functional Analysis, Preference Assessment, Resurgence
 

Functional Communication Training and Schedule Thinning to Treat Challenging Behavior Maintained by Access to Rituals

MANDY J. RISPOLI (Texas A&M University)
Abstract:

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the use of FCT and extinction in conjunction with schedule thinning on the resurgence of challenging behavior associated with access to rituals in young children with autism. Participants included two males and one female diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder between the ages of 5 and 6 years. Each child was referred to the study for challenging behavior associated with a particular ritual. The rituals were: (a) closing all doors, (b) insisting bed remained unmade, and (c) rapidly turning book pages. We utilized a modified reversal design to examine the effects of FCT plus extinction and demand fading on challenging behavior and appropriate communication. The initial treatment package of FCT and extinction reduced challenging behavior for all participants when their ritual was interrupted. However, when participants returned to baseline and reinforcement for appropriate communication was not available, challenging behavior resurged. Following the addition of the demand fading component to the treatment package, challenging behavior did not resurge for any participant when they were again exposed to baseline conditions. Appropriate communication persisted in baseline conditions for two of the three participants.

 

Teaching Special Educators to Conduct Functional Analyses in the Classroom

LESLIE NEELY (Texas A&M University), Mandy J. Rispoli (Texas A&M University)
Abstract:

Previous studies have investigated the efficacy of training educators to implement functional analyses including traditional, brief and more recently trial-based functional analyses. The literature base has demonstrated promising results in the training and implementation of functional analysis by educators. This purpose of this study was to extend the literature base by systematically training special educators in public school classrooms to conduct a trial-based functional analysis of challenging behavior with students with autism. A multiple baseline design across teachers with an embedded ABC design in which A is baseline, B is simulated probes, and C is in situ classroom probes, along with a trials-to-criterion measure was utilized. After training, the effectiveness of the training procedures is being evaluated based on the ease of acquisition of the procedures (as measured by trials to criterion) as well as the social validity of the functional analysis, and clarity of functional analysis outcomes. Implications for practice as well as future research will be discussed.

 

Comparing Acquisition of Mands in Children with Autism Using iPads with Scene-based, Grid-based, or Hybrid Displays

CINDY GEVARTER (The University of Texas), Laura Rojeski (The University of Texas at Austin), Nicolette Sammarco (The University of Texas at Austin), Jeffrey S. Sigafoos (Victoria University of Wellington), Giulio Lancioni (University of Bari), Russell Lang (Texas State University)
Abstract:

Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) applications on the Apple iPad can include different display formats such as traditional grids, visual scenes with embedded hotspots, and hybrid models that combine elements of grids and scenes. Using a multielement design, this study compared acquisition of mands in three preschool-aged males with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) across the aforementioned three different display formats. Two participants showed more rapid and consistent acquisition with scene-based formats than with grid-based formats, and did not master mands under the hybrid condition. The third participant achieved mastery under all three conditions at comparable rates. The results suggest that certain display and design elements of AAC applications may influence mand acquisition.

 

Assessing Preferences for Varying Forms of Attention and the Impact on Response to Attention-based Interventions

RUSSELL LANG (Texas State University), Marije van der Werff (Radboud University Nijmegen), Katja Verbeek (Radboud University Nijmegen), Katy Davenport (Texas State University), Melissa Moore (Texas State University), Allyson Lee (Texas State University), Robert Didden (Radboud University Nijmegen)
Abstract:

Existing preference assessment procedures are designed to determine preferences for specific tangibles. However, tangibles may not always be practical or effective and, attention may be a more desirable reinforcer in some children's behavioral interventions. Attention can be delivered in various forms, such as physical (e.g., a hug, high five), verbal (e.g., "great job"), and gestural (e.g., wink and smile). In the first phase of this study, 2 children with autism underwent a novel preference assessment procedure designed to identify each child's most preferred and least preferred form of attention. Results from this phase indicate that children may prefer one topography of attention over another or one form of attention. In the second phase, the occurrence of target behaviors (e.g., sight word reading) were reinforced by either the highest rated form of attention (high preferred condition) or the lowest rated form of attention (low preferred condition). The rates of challenging behavior and percentage of correct responses were compared across conditions in an alternating treatment design. Results demonstrate that some children with autism may develop preferences for specific forms of attention and that higher preferred forms of attention may function as more effective reinforcers than low preferred forms.

 
 
Symposium #406
CE Offered: BACB
An In-Depth and Large Scale Analysis of the Treatment of Feeding Disorders Among Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders
Monday, May 26, 2014
2:00 PM–3:50 PM
W183b (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: AUT/CBM; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Valerie M. Volkert (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center)
Discussant: Dorothea C. Lerman (University of Houston-Clear Lake)
CE Instructor: Valerie M. Volkert, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Feeding problems are frequently exhibited by children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). The current symposium will focus on the evaluation of commonly used and new treatments and provide two large-scale analyses of treatment outcomes for children with feeding problems and ASD. The first presentation compares the effects of sensory integration, specifically the Sequential-Oral-Sensory approach, to an applied behavior analytic approach in the treatment of food selectivity. The second presentation describes outcomes for 43 children with ASD treated in an intensive day-treatment program between 2009 and 2013. The third presentation provides an overview of how intensive treatment can be initiated for children with feeding disorders in the home environment using an interdisciplinary model. Data will be presented for at least 185 patients in the last 10 years. The fourth presentation describes treatment outcomes for a group of six children with ASD treated for food selectivity and obesity. A proposed treatment model for addressing food selectivity and concurrent weight management concerns in ASD will also be presented. Finally, Dr. Dorothea Lerman will serve as the discussant and will provide a synthesis of these studies within the context of current research in the area of feeding problems exhibited by children with ASD.

Keyword(s): autism, feeding disorders, food selectivity, treatment outcomes
 

A Comparison of the Sequential-Oral-Sensory Approach to an Applied Behavior Analytic Approach in the Treatment of Food Selectivity in Children with Autism

KATHRYN M. PETERSON (University of Nebraska Medical Center), Valerie M. Volkert (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Cathleen C. Piazza (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center)
Abstract:

The prevalence of feeding disorders in children with autism is estimated to be as high as 85% (Ahearn et al., 2001; Laud et al., 2012), with food selectivity (i.e., consumption of a limited variety of foods) reported as the most common problem. Although applied behavior analytic (ABA) treatments have the most empirical support as treatment for feeding problems (Volkert & Piazza, 2012), professionals often recommend and caregivers often use sensory-integration-based treatments. In the current investigation, we compared the effects of sensory integration (the Sequential-Oral-Sensory approach [SOS]; Toomey, 2009) to ABA in the treatment of food selectivity in children with autism. Thus far, we have enrolled six participants, in pairs, who were diagnosed with autism and displayed food selectivity. We assigned two participants to ABA and two to SOS and then evaluated the effects of each treatment in a multiple baseline design. Results thus far, have demonstrated that the SOS intervention did not lead to improvement across any dependent measures (acceptance, mouth clean [swallowing]), while ABA led to marked increases in responding across all measures.

 
A Retrospective Chart Review of Dietary Diversity and Feeding Behavior of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder Before and After Admission to a Day-Treatment Program: An Update of Research Findings
ROSEANNE S LESACK (Marcus Autism Center), William G. Sharp (The Marcus Autism Center), David L. Jaquess (Marcus Autism Center)
Abstract: Children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) have a fivefold increase in the odds of developing a feeding problem compared with peers, placing this population at risk for vitamin and mineral deficiencies (Sharp et al., 2013). At this time, behavioral intervention is the only treatment for severe feeding disorders with well-documented empirical support (Sharp et al., 2011), and there is growing evidence that this technology can be applied to address feeding problems in ASD. Evidence supporting behavioral intervention targeting feeding disorders in ASD involves a small number of single-case design studies (Ledford & Gast, 2006), as well as retrospective chart reviews (Laud et al., 2009; Sharp et al., 2010) treating samples of 46 and 13 children (respectively) treated at intensive feeding programs. The current study updates the work of Sharp et al. by presenting outcomes for 43 children with ASD treated between 2009 and 2013. Upon admission, participants exhibited severely restricted diets and high rates of disruptive mealtime behavior. Treatment involved escape extinction, reinforcement, and stimulus fading procedures. Outcomes focused on dietary diversity and key mealtime behaviors, including acceptance, swallowing, and disruptive mealtime behaviors. Following treatment, significant improvements (p < .01) regarding food variety, consumption, and appropriate mealtime behavior were demonstrated.
 
Evaluating the Outcomes of an Interdisciplinary Home-Based Pediatric Feeding Disorders Program for Children with Autism and other Developmental Disabilities
STEPHANIE MILLER (Clinic 4 Kidz), Meeta R. Patel (Clinic 4 Kidz), Allyne Marcon-Dawson (Clinic 4 Kidz), Christa F. Curtaz (Clinic 4 Kidz), Sherrene B. Fu (Clinic 4 Kidz), Ashlee Matrigali (Clinic 4 Kidz), Aida Miles (Clinic 4 Kidz), Danielle Shahan (Clinic 4 Kidz)
Abstract: Feeding disorders are common in children with autism and other disabilities. Some children may be at risk for weight loss and may eventually be placed on gastrostomy feedings while others may not have advanced with regards to variety and textures of food. Nutritional deficiencies may also be noted especially with children with autism who display severe food selectivity. It is ideal that treatment be provided by a team of professionals. Typically these services are provided in a clinic/hospital environment; however, a similar model is also used in the home environment. The purpose of this presentation is to provide an overview of how intensive treatment can be initiated for children with feeding disorders in the home environment using an interdisciplinary model. Data will be presented for at least 185 patients who were admitted to the Clinic 4 Kidz Pediatric Feeding Disorders Program in the last 10 years. Preliminary data suggests that this type of intensive home-based program is effective at decreasing tube dependency, increasing oral intake and variety of foods consumed, and decreasing refusal behaviors in a short period of time. Outcome data and the treatment approach used to treat feeding problems in children with autism will also be presented.
 
Outcomes for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder Treated for Food Selectivity and Obesity in an Outpatient Setting: Establishing Foundations for a Treatment Model
KATHRYN HOLMAN (Marcus Institute), Kristen K Criado (Marcus Autism Center & Emory University), William G. Sharp (The Marcus Autism Center)
Abstract: Children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) often present with food selectivity involving strong preferences for starches, fats, and snack foods coinciding with a bias against fruits and vegetables. Emerging evidence also indicates children with ASD are at increased risk for obesity compared with peers. In our outpatient feeding clinic, we are increasingly faced with addressing both food selectivity and obesity among children with ASD, yet no treatment models exist to support clinical care. A significant obstacle to weight management in ASD involves restricting high fat/calorie foods and increasing consumption of fruits and vegetables due the intense behavioral responses that accompany the restriction of preferred foods and introduction of healthy foods. Additional barriers to healthy lifestyles in ASD include cognitive deficits (impairing healthy food choices and promoting impulsive eating) and decreased opportunities for physical activity. The current study describes treatment outcomes for a group of six children with ASD treated for food selectivity and obesity in an outpatient setting. Outcomes include dietary variety, BMI percentile, and engagement in physical activity. A proposed treatment model for addressing food selectivity and concurrent weight management concerns in ASD is presented with consideration of the unique behavioral and developmental presentations in this population.
 
 
Symposium #407
CE Offered: BACB
Applied Behavioral Economics: Using Demand Curves and Discounting Rates to Guide Public Policy
Monday, May 26, 2014
2:00 PM–3:50 PM
W190b (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: CSE/EAB; Domain: Basic Research
Chair: Brent Kaplan (The University of Kansas)
Discussant: Steven R. Hursh (Institutes for Behavior Resources, Inc.)
CE Instructor: Derek D. Reed, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Behavioral economics is a booming subfield of both psychology and behavior analysis. To date, behavioral economics within psychology has taken a cognitive approach to understanding human irrationalities. This psychological approach to behavioral economics has been recognized by the federal government as an effective means of nudging socially relevant behaviors. Within behavior analysis, behavioral economics has largely been relegated as an approach to understanding substance abuse and addiction; these findings, too, have been applied to public policy considerations. This symposium aims to demonstrate that applied behavioral economics within behavior analysis can be applied to a host of societal issues, in addition to novel understandings of addiction. An additional aim of this symposium is to demonstrate that the various facets of behavioral economic analyses can contribute to public policy considerations in unique ways. Finally, this symposium will highlight the potential of behavioral economics within behavior analysis to drastically improve empirical public policy efforts, beyond the contributions of solely cognitive approaches.

Keyword(s): behavioral economics, demand, discounting, public policy
 

Demand Elasticity for Potentially Real Cigarettes is Negatively Associated with Income

MIKHAIL KOFFARNUS (Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute), A. George Wilson (Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute), Warren K. Bickel (Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute and Virginia Tech)
Abstract:

Cigarette demand is a measure of reinforcement that is associated with level of tobacco dependence and other clinically relevant measures. In the present study, income available for cigarette purchases was manipulated to assess the effect on cigarette demand. Tobacco-dependent cigarette smokers (n=15) who smoked 10-40 cigarettes per day completed a series of cigarette purchasing tasks under a variety of income conditions meant to mimic different weekly cigarette budgets: $280, approximately $127, $70, or approximately $32 per week. Prices of $0.12, $0.25, $0.50, and $1.00 per cigarette were assessed in each income condition. Participants were instructed to purchase as many cigarettes as theyd like for the next week, and that only cigarettes purchased in the context of the study should be consumed. One price in one income condition was randomly chosen to be real and the cigarettes and excess money in the budget were given to the participant. Results indicate that demand elasticity was negatively correlated with income. Demand intensity was unrelated to income condition, with low-price cigarette consumption remaining high across incomes. These results indicate that the amount of income that is available for cigarette purchases has a large effect on cigarette consumption, but only at high prices.

 

A Behavioral Economic Analysis of Obamacare's Tanning Tax: Suggestions for Maximizing Revenue while Reducing Demand

DEREK D. REED (The University of Kansas), Brent Kaplan (The University of Kansas), Amel Becirevic (The University of Kansas), Jonathan R. Miller (Kennedy Krieger Institute/Johns Hopkins University)
Abstract:

The evidence is clear--indoor tanning use increases the risk of skin cancer by nearly 75%. Unfortunately, the use of indoor tanning devices continues to climb amongst adolescent and college-aged populations. This rampant addiction--which some have colloquially termed "tanorexia"--has resulted in an immensely lucrative indoor tanning industry with revenue estimated at $5 billion a year. This growing trend has prompted many public health watchdog agencies to call for novel but effective means of reducing demand for indoor tanning in young women. Concurrently, passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (i.e., Obamacare) included a provision mandating a 10% tanning tax to help offset costs associated with implementation of this statute. Preliminary research suggests that the 10% tax is ineffective at curbing consumer demand for indoor tanning. We propose the use of behavioral economic demand analyses to guide such public policy decision regarding demand for indoor tanning. Our analyses with at-risk populations suggest that a much higher tax is necessary to yield elastic demand. Thus, results from our study suggest that empirically based regulation would (a) generate more elastic demand (potentially curbing rates of skin cancer) while (b) simultaneously increasing government revenue to fund other Obamacare provisions.

 

Why Smart People Make Seemingly Stupid Decisions: Bayesian Analysis of Escalation in Policy Decisions

DONALD A. HANTULA (Temple University), Shawn Patrick Gilroy (Rowan University, Temple University)
Abstract:

Computer simulations of human decision-making were conducted to determine the effects of individual reinforcement learning histories on policy decisions, modeled around a variable interval reinforcement contingency, akin to a series of winning or losing ventures. Earlier theories of policy decision-making have posited that the commitment of resources to failing ventures (persistence) and the increases in comment during failing ventures (escalation) are forms of pathology themselves- instances of irrational behavior. Under these assumptions, very little attention was paid to temporal or sequential factors that may have led to these phenomena. Bayesian reasoning is often promoted as a perfectly rational account of decision making. Computer algorithms generated sequences to simulate individual learning histories and also to engage in a Bayseian updating process of expected success or failure of the venture. After these series, ten loss events followed. Temporal dynamics resembling reinforcement schedules caused warranted probabilities to change. The results of 1000 computer simulations revealed that escalation and persistence emerged for most learning histories. Interestingly, instances of escalation emerged in most instances. It is concluded that, based on this simulation, the perfectly rational Bayesian escalates policy decisions under most cases of failure.

 

On the Relation between BMI and Delay Discounting Rates

DAVID P. JARMOLOWICZ (The University of Kansas), J. Bradley Cherry (University of Missouri-Kansas City), Derek D. Reed (The University of Kansas), Jared M. Bruce (University of Missouri-Kansas City), John M. Crespi (Kansas State University), Jayson L. Lusk (Oklahoma State University), Amanda S. Bruce (University of Missouri-Kansas City)
Abstract:

Individuals suffering from addiction to various drugs are less able to value future reinforcers (i.e., they rapidly discount delayed reinforcers) than are their non-addicted peers. This skill deficit may represent a trans-disease process that is implicated in various patterns of aberrant behavior such as drug addiction, pathological gambling, and potentially obesity/over-eating. Published studies on the relation between delay discounting and body mass, however, are currently inconclusive. The current study examined this relation in a relatively large sample of overweight and obese individuals (n=50) compared to healthy and/or underweight individuals. Overweight/obese individuals (n=50) were less able to value delayed reinforcers (i.e., they discounted at a higher rate) than did the healthy/underweight individuals. This relation persisted when other variables know to impact rates of delay discounting (i.e., age, income, education) were controlled. This findings suggests that the deficits in valuing future reinforcers in obese individuals may be as robust as those in addicted individuals, supporting the notion that excessive discounting of delayed reinforcers is a trans-disease process underlying various patterns of unhealthy behavior.

 
 
Symposium #414
CE Offered: BACB
Using Testimonials in Marketing ABA: A Godsend or a Curse?
Monday, May 26, 2014
2:00 PM–3:50 PM
W185bc (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: PRA/CSE; Domain: Theory
Chair: Jon S. Bailey (Florida State University)
Discussant: Thomas L. Zane (Institute for Behavioral Studies, Endicott College)
CE Instructor: Thomas L. Zane, Ph.D.
Abstract:

The Guidelines for Responsible Conduct for Behavior Analysts provides a code of conduct for our field. One issue addressed is the use of testimonials to support a particular behavior analyst or treatment program. The Guidelines state, "Behavior analysts do not solicit testimonials from current clients or patients or other persons who because of their particular circumstances are vulnerable to undue influence." Although solicitation is disallowed, to what extent can and should behavior analysts use unsolicited testimonials? What are the arguments for and against doing so? Is it ethical to use comments made spontaneously and independently by consumers in order to market our services? This symposium will discuss the issue of the use of testimonials in behavior analytic practice. Presenter 1 will argue against the use of testimonials in any form, solicited or not, with the assertion that such use is demeaning to our field. Presenter 2 suggests that under certain conditions, testimonials could be used ethically, and those conditions will be discussed. Presenter 3 will discuss the ethics of marketing behavior analytic services, and the ethically sound strategies to promote the science of behavior analysis. Presenter 4 will discuss advantages and disadvantages of testimonials and what providers can and should do in this particular area.

Keyword(s): behavior analysis, ethics, organizations, testimonials
 

Effective Strategies for Marketing ABA Services to Consumers and Referral Sources

ROBERT F. LITTLETON JR. (Evergreen Center)
Abstract:

Since the science of behavior analysis was first used to treat individuals with emotional and developmental needs the field has had difficulty communicating the distinctive principles that make it effective. In the general public this is often due to an excessive reliance on jargon. Amongst professionals acceptance is difficult due to both conflicting beliefs and threats to self-interest. In most cases, a confluence of these factors limits individuals' access to ABA professionals holding the key to a better life. This paper will discuss barriers experienced by ABA professionals and suggest strategies to broaden public awareness and utilization of ABA Services

 

Ethical Marketing Alternatives

ANN BEIRNE (Global Autism Project)
Abstract:

Many behavior analysts are faced with particular challenges in the dissemination of the science in a world that is increasingly resistant. As pseudoscientific or antiscientific 'theories' and 'treatments' gain public recognition and popularity, there is a growing need to present behavior analysis (and behavior analysts) in the best possible light. If we are to maintain high ethical standards and a commitment to evidence based practice, how can we effectively bring the knowledge of behavior analysis methodologies to the general public? What are our alternatives to using highly subjective (and possibly misleading) testimonials? This talk will explore the ethics of marketing in general, as well as ethically sound strategies to promote the science of behavior analysis.

 

It's About the Science, Not the Person: On the Use of Testimonials/Personal Information in Presentations and Media

BOBBY NEWMAN (Room to Grow)
Abstract:

Many professionals struggle with ethically presenting information about their practice as behavior analysts. These ethical questions will be addressed in this talk. A stance of popularizing an accurate picture of the science of Applied Behavior Analysis, and one's own practice simply as an application of that science, will be described. The proper use of testimonials/case studies and how these should be presented will be described. Effective and ethical description of one's own practice and person in social media and public presentations will be discussed.

 

Ethical, Evidence-Based Practitioners Should Avoid Using Testimonials: Here's Why.

JON S. BAILEY (Florida State University)
Abstract:

A surprising number of behavior analysts are using testimonials to promote their practice. These glowing reviews by supposed consumers are designed to give credibility to the practice but in fact giveanalysts a black eye. While they may be allowed under some circumstances,othersbelieve, and this presentation portrays,that it is demeaning tothe field and reflects badly on self-proclaimed values as an evidence-based profession. When these colorful, questionable anecdotes begin to resemble the competitions',analysts need toreflect ontheir roots in the science of behavior and ask, Would Skinner be proud of us now?

 
 
Symposium #415
CE Offered: BACB
Applying Relational Frame Theory to Autism Treatment: Theory and Data
Monday, May 26, 2014
2:00 PM–3:50 PM
W185a (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: VRB/AUT; Domain: Theory
Chair: Caleb Stanley (The University of Mississippi)
Discussant: Marianne L. Jackson (California State University, Fresno)
CE Instructor: Thomas G. Szabo, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Relational frame theory (RFT) offers a promising conceptual framework for the study of human language, cognition and emotion. Recent empirical work has supported the utility of applying RFT to the treatment of individuals with diagnoses on the autism spectrum. This symposium highlights recent innovations in this area by presenting both conceptual and data based work. The first paper explores the current relational responding literature, especially as it pertains to applications of RFT for training in clinical settings. The second paper presents a conceptual analysis of empathy based in RFT, with a particular emphasis on training procedures to promote emotional responding. The third paper presents data from an RFT based emotion recognition training procedure for children on the autism spectrum. The final paper explores an RFT account of interdisciplinary case coordination. These topics will be discussed with an overarching emphasis of how RFT can enhance treatment approaches to autism spectrum disorders.

Keyword(s): autism, empathy, relational responding, RFT
 

An RFT Account of Interdisciplinary Case Coordination: Building the Value of ABA Currency

THOMAS G. SZABO (Easter Seals Southern California)
Abstract:

Behavior analysts work in interdisciplinary teams within school and clinic settings. Sometimes, team members from different disciplines attempt to use our technical terms and make unwitting mistakes that we rapidly step in to correct. At other times, we use technical terms and fail to explain them adequately. As a further complication, we are sometimes quick to offer counterintuitive behavioral interpretations. For example, a conversation about the causes of a child’s elopement may evoke our explaining that feelings are behaviors and that it is circular to explain behavior by appealing to other behaviors (e.g., John elopes because he feels bored in class). Responses such as these, though well meaning, leave behavior analysts holding devalued currency in teams where our input is needed. Relational Frame Theory predicts these outcomes. Further, the analysis of brief, immediate relational responses in contrast to those that are extended and elaborated over time suggests the way in which a small number of missteps can lead to long term negative consequences, such as being ignored during interdisciplinary meetings. In this paper, we present a conceptual analysis of team meeting dynamics that can be turned in a different direction, using predictions and prescriptions emerging from the applied RFT literature.

 

How to Get From Here to There: Best Practices for Teaching Relational Concepts to Individuals with Autism

ALYSSA N. WILSON (Saint Louis University), Stacey White (Saint Louis University)
Abstract:

Relational Frame Theory holds that arbitrarily applicable responding should emerge following discrimination training. However, research on how to arrange training environments to evoke relational responding is limited. Most relational responding research with individuals with Autism has focused on sameness, opposition, and comparative frames, with new identification on perspective taking and temporal relations. While initial research supports the utility of RFT for this population, there has yet to be a clear and well-defined approach to using these procedures in clinical practice. For example, current research trends suggest that teaching relational responding to individuals with limited verbal repertories should include multiple exemplars only if they fail to demonstrate derived relations following discrimination training. Unfortunately, clinicians and their clients do not have the time or economic budgets to retrain unlearned or non-derived responses. Therefore, the current presentation will outline the relational responding literature, highlighting the limitations and lack of clarity on how to adequately train relational responding in clinical settings. Furthermore, best practices as identified from the field will be presented in a way to inform clinicians on how to use RFT in any practical setting. Implications for bridging the gap between basic science and clinical practice will also be discussed.

 

A Relational Frame Theory Conceptual Analysis of Empathy and how it Might be Trainable in Children with Autism

JONATHAN J. TARBOX (Autism Research Group, Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD)), Angela M. Persicke (Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD)), Adel C. Najdowski (Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD)), Evelyn R. Gould (Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD))
Abstract:

When one person witnesses a second person experience an emotion, the first person is said to have empathy for the second person to the extent to which he/she responds by experiencing the same emotion. Empathy is generally acknowledged as critical to healthy and peaceful human communities and yet there appears to be a shortage of empathy in human society generally. Children with autism may be one population for whom empathy may be challenging, possibly due to deficits in perspective taking skills. However, even when one person can take the perspective of another verbally, they may not respond emotionally. In lay terms, one can understand another's emotions and not care. Existing research suggests the verbal part of this interaction can be successfully trained but little to no research has attempted to establish the caring part. This paper presents a Relational Frame Theory (RFT) conceptual analysis of the functional relations involved in empathy, consisting of derived relational responding, and transformation of stimulus function with respect to emotional responding in particular. The potential utility of an RFT account is that it points directly to procedures that can be practically implemented and tested.

 

Training Emotion Recognition in Children on the Autism Spectrum Using Derived Relational Responding

KERRY C. WHITEMAN (University of Mississippi), Kate Kellum (University of Mississippi), Kelly G. Wilson (University of Mississippi), Michael Bordieri (University of Mississippi Medical Center)
Abstract:

This study explored a new behavioral intervention based on relational frame theory for training emotion recognition skills in children on the autism spectrum. Previous research on emotion recognition interventions for this population has demonstrated limited generalization of trained skills to novel emotion stimuli. The application of relational frame theory to interventions has been shown to be an efficient and effective way of producing generalized behaviors in both typically developing and developmentally delayed populations. Using a concurrent multiple probe design across participants, this study investigated whether the incorporation of derived relational responding into emotion recognition training for children on the autism spectrum can address some of the limitations of other approaches. Semi-structured interviews were used with parents to identify specific emotions that high-functioning children on the autism spectrum had difficulty labeling. Obtained findings identified the following emotions as areas of difficulty: bored, confused, frustrated & worried. Results of the training will be presented, and implications for future development in this area will be explored.

 
 
Symposium #416
CE Offered: BACB
Outcome of Community Based Behavioral Intervention for Young Children with Autism in Europe
Monday, May 26, 2014
3:00 PM–3:50 PM
W183a (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: AUT/EDC; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Sigmund Eldevik (Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences  )
Discussant: Scott C. Cross (Lovaas Institute)
CE Instructor: Sigmund Eldevik, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Outcome on adaptive behavior, intellectual functioning and severity of autistic behavior were measured using standardized assessments at intake and after 1-2 years of behavioral intervention. The intervention was provided through three different centers in Norway and Germany. The centers were publicly funded and provided training and supervision to parents, local educators and pre-school staff. Similarities and differences in the models of service delivery are discussed, and related to outcome.

 

Outcome of Behavioral Intervention Provided Through a Community Service Model in Germany

Claire Molnar (PEFA), SIGMUND ELDEVIK (Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences  )
Abstract:

We evaluated outcome of a community-based model of service delivery in Berlin, Germany. Thirteen pre-school children were offered behavioral intervention for one year. The intervention model relied heavily on parental training and involvement and included a weekly team meeting with a supervisor for each child. After one year we saw significant improvements in PEP3 scores (standard scores, communication, motor and maladaptive) and a significant decrease in CARS2 scores. Seven oft the children were enrolled in a waiting list control group for six months prior to receiving intervention, but no significant improvements were seen in this period. Parental stress was measured using the PSI and was stable throughout the intervention period.

 

Reduction of Autistic Behavior Following Behavioral Intervention in Mainstream Pre-school Settings

Roy Tonnesen (Pedagogisk Psykologisk Tjeneste), Sigmund Eldevik (Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences  ), Astri Valmo (Centre for Early Intervention (STI)), Kristine Titlestad (Norway ABA), Elisabeth Ulvestad (Center for Early Intervention (STI)), HEGE AARLIE (Norway ABA), Kim Henrik Liland (Norway ABA), Marianne Mjos (Norway)
Abstract:

Adaptive behavior and severity of autistic behavior were measured using the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales and the CARS at intake and after about 2 years of behavioral intervention. The intervention was provided through two different centers in Norway. The centers are publicly funded and provide training and supervision to local educators and pre-school staff. A total of 22 children with autism aged between two and five years of age at intake received behavioral intervention and a total of 12 children were in a comparison group that received treatment as usual. After two years we observed a significant increase in adaptive behavior and a significant reduction in autistic behaviors in the behavioral intervention group when compared to the treatment as usual group. Strengths and weaknesses of the mainstream pre-school delivery model are discussed.

 
 
Symposium #417
CE Offered: BACB
Innovative Teaching Strategies to Promote Healthier Lifestyle Choices in Students with Autism.
Monday, May 26, 2014
3:00 PM–3:50 PM
W184a (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: AUT/EDC; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Jill E. McGrale Maher (Crossroads School)
CE Instructor: Jill E. McGrale Maher, M.S.
Abstract: According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) over the last 30 years childhood obesity has more than tripled. In the United States, 16% of children aged 2-19 years are obese, while the prevalence among children with autism spectrum disorders increases to 19%, with 54% at risk for being overweight. While these numbers may be alarming, the lack of evidence-based research on interventions to increase healthy choices is limited. Teaching students with autism to make healthier lifestyle choices, including increasing exercise and decreasing body mass index (BMI), is an area in need of research. Three papers will be discussed in this symposium. Specific data will be presented on a weight-management program for children and parents using a readily available health program (myplate.gov); the utilization of a teaching procedure and individualized conditioned reinforcement systems to increase independence and decrease stigmatizing behavior during exercise routines; and the effects of self-monitoring and exergames on children’s physical activity.
 

Weight Management for Children with Autism: Nursing and Applied Behavior Analysis Making Measurable Differences

DEBRA A. BROTHERS (Somerset Hills Learning Institute), Kevin Joseph Brothers (Somerset Hills Learning Institute)
Abstract:

Currently two-thirds of American adults and nearly one-third of children are overweight or obese (Benjamin, 2010). According to data collected from the United Health Foundations and Emory University (2010) if current trends continue, the US will spend as much as $344 billion on obesity health-care costs by 2018. Children with disabilities may be at additional risk due to predisposing factors such as lack of exercise, restricted food preferences, or overprotective care providers. Children with disabilities may be helped to maintain a healthy weight and Body Mass Index throughout their lifetimes if they and their caregivers are taught effective weight-management skills. This presentation reviews the data from a weight-management program designed to teach three children with autism (1 underweight and 2 overweight) and their parents skills to establish and maintain a healthy BMI. The weight management program consisted of teaching portion control, informed meal consumption choices, informed non-mealtime consumption choices, and appropriate activity level. Parents were taught to use myplate.gov as a reference to identify the portions of each of the 5 food groups and were given food-preparation tools and hands-on training. All participants have made progress towards their goal of a healthy BMI.

 

The Effects of Self-Monitoring and Exergames on Children's Physical Activity

NICHOLAS VANSELOW (Salve Regina University), Gregory P. Hanley (Western New England University)
Abstract:

Approximately 12.5 million children in the United States are considered obese (CDC, 2009). A proposed solution for the obesity problem is to use technology to improve physical activity, such as video games that require physical movement (i.e., exergames). The current project examined activity levels and heart rate when a self-monitoring program was and was not available at an after-school exercise area for children that contained both exergames and traditional exercise equipment. Activity levels and heart rates were lower when participants were playing exergames than when they engaged in more traditional forms of exercise. Activity levels and heart rates were highest when a self-monitoring program was available. The use of self-monitoring for improving childrens levels of physical activity via traditional exercise is discussed.

 
Increasing Independence and Decreasing Stigmatizing Behavior in Exercise Routines with Students with Autism
IAN T. MELTON (Crossroads School), Britany Melton (Crossroads School), Jill E. McGrale Maher (Crossroads School)
Abstract: Previous research has demonstrated that with the use of conditioned reinforcement systems and a systematically increasing time requirement increased exercise time in students with autism. (Melton & McGrale, 2013) The primary goal of the current project is to examine the efficacy of reinforcement strategies paired with well-documented teaching strategies for long response chains to increase independence in cardiovascular routines in students with autism. Additional protocol to decrease stigmatizing behaviors as well as measures of social validity will be included. The project takes place at a private day school for students with autism and specifically includes fifteen students, in eight classrooms, ages 10 to 18. The independent variables are the individualized teaching strategy, and student specific reinforcement strategy. The dependent measures are percent of steps completed independently on a long response chain, the number of minutes on a treadmill, the number of prompts to stay on a treadmill, percent of intervals that stigmatizing behavior occur and a social validity measure. A multiple baseline design across students within classrooms is used. Preliminary results indicate that a valid teaching procedure and individualized reinforcement systems students increased the amount of independent daily cardiovascular exercise, and decreased stigmatizing behaviors.
 
 
Symposium #419
CE Offered: BACB
ABA Alleviates Problems Experienced by Military Service Members and Veterans
Monday, May 26, 2014
3:00 PM–3:50 PM
W179b (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: CBM/PRA; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Kent Corso (NCR Behavioral Health, LLC)
CE Instructor: Kent Corso, Psy.D.
Abstract: Since the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan began, over 2 million Americans have deployed overseas to defend Americans. Over 253,000 have returned with a traumatic brain injury (TBI), over 103,000 have returned with PTSD and between 18 and 20 veterans die by suicide every day. Applied behavior analysis (ABA)offers incredible treatment potential for alleviating the problems currently experienced by our service members and veterans. Yet, no formal opportunities exist to practice within the Department of Defense or the Department of Veteran Affairs. Only one official opportunity exists to practice outside of these federal agencies, but with the military children, through the Tricare Autism ECHO program. The field of applied behavior analysis can do more! Three research and practice initiatives will be discussed during this symposium including self-monitoring of problematic private events, using verbal behavior assessment and intervention strategies for those suffering from TBI, and using standard celeration charting to improve suicide monitoring. These three projects illustrate unique applications of ABA and exemplify how the technology of ABA may benefit the military and veteran population.
Keyword(s): military, private events, standard celeration, verbal behavior
 
Records and Impact of War
ABIGAIL B. CALKIN (Calkin Consulting Center)
Abstract: The U.S. has an extensive record of war. Data include military personnel in battle and those killed, wounded, and MIA since 1776. Veterans and active military personnel of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries deal with complex issues involving their time at war. Basic training does a masterful job applying behavioral principles during training, but this training deals with readiness for following orders, being in a combat experience, and other similar behaviors. Not covered is the myriad of behaviors and emotions that a service member may experience after leaving active duty. Also missing is estimated or actual data on PTSD by whatever name has been used during each respective war. In all the service branches there are punishing consequences for not holding one’s self and responsibilities together. Today there are some established practices on assisting military personnel to deal with severe problem situations in their continued military life or in their personal lives after discharge. Behavior analysis offers methods of decreasing unhelpful behaviors among those who need extensive and continued assistance.
 
Development and Preliminary Examination of a Verbal Behavior Assessment for Adults
THEODORE A. HOCH (George Mason University), Alexander Britt (George Mason University), Johannes Rojahn (George Mason University)
Abstract: The Behavioral Language Assessment and the Assessment of Basic Language and Learning Skills (Sundberg & Partington, 1998) offer precise assessment of verbal repertoires and yield precise instruction in verbal repertoires for children and adults with autism and other disabilities, opening the world of conventional verbal behavior and social interactions for these people, and revolutionizing how verbal behavior is assessed and taught for these populations. Other populations can benefit from such assessments. Between 2000 and 2012, U.S. military service members suffered 253,330 traumatic brain injuries (TBI). Of these there were 194,561 mild, 42,063 moderate, 6,476 severe or penetrating, and 10,210 unclassifiable (Congressional Research Service, 2013). Presently, assessment and remediation of verbal repertoires for these adults is typically managed through speech and language pathology services. Non-military adults surviving strokes and acquired brain injuries also receive these services as first-line treatment. We describe development and utility of an assessment of verbal repertoires of military and non-military adult survivors of acquired brain injury, stroke, TBI, or other neurological assault. We describe how these repertoires may be assessed and the therapeutic implications for making such an assessment available to these populations.
 
Using Standard Celeration Charts to Improve Monitoring of Suicide in the Military
KENT CORSO (NCR Behavioral Health, LLC)
Abstract: The standard celeration chart (SCC) helps behavior analysts measure changes in the rate of a response overtime, known as the acceleration/deceleration of a behavior (Cooper, Heron, & Heward, 2007; Pennypacker, Gutierrez, & Lindsley, 2003). The SCC holds promise for evaluating changes in lethal behaviors such as suicide as it enables earlier intervention. Since suicide is a low base rate phenomenon, it is difficult to predict and monitor. Standard practice is to convert this raw data to a crude rate (i.e., base rate per 100,000) to account for statistical challenges of predicting this behavior (National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, 2012). In 2010 U.S. civilian suicides equaled 38,364—the total U.S. population was 308,745,538, which equals a crude rate of 12.4. Since 2001 military suicides have increased, and in 2010 equaled 17.4, which is considerably higher than the civilian rate (National Center for Telehealth and Technology, 2011). Despite tireless efforts of suicidologists and military suicide prevention programs, suicide persists within the military. The author discusses weaknesses of current methods for displaying military suicide data, program evaluation, and decision-making. Single-case research design and charting on the SCC offers a more helpful method for monitoring and preventing suicide in the military.
 
 
Invited Paper Session #423
CE Offered: BACB

Determinants of Drug Preference in Humans

Monday, May 26, 2014
3:00 PM–3:50 PM
W178a (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: SCI; Domain: Basic Research
CE Instructor: Harriet de Wit, Ph.D.
Chair: Suzanne H. Mitchell (Oregon Health & Science University)
HARRIET DE WIT (University of Chicago)
Dr. Harriet de Wit is a professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience at the University of Chicago. She has conducted research in human psychopharmacology of drug abuse for more than 30 years. Dr. de Wit serves as field editor for the journal Psychopharmacology and deputy editor for Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research. She is a consultant to the Food and Drug Administration, serves on several scientific advisory boards and is a member of an National Institutes of Health study section. In 2009, she received the Marian W. Fischman Memorial Lectureship Award from the College on Problems of Drug Dependence. Dr. de Wit's research focuses on the physiological, subjective (i.e., mood-altering) and behavioral effects of drugs in healthy human volunteers. She investigates individual differences in responses to drugs, including differences related to genetics. She also studies relations among stress, impulsivity, and drugs of abuse. The overarching goal of the research is to understand how drugs alter behavior and to identify both the determinants and consequences of drug use.
Abstract:

Drugs of abuse produce an array of subjective, behavioral, and physiological effects, some of which contribute to their attractiveness to users. However, individuals also vary widely in their responses to drugs, and certain responses may increase their likelihood for using the drugs repeatedly. We have studied variables that predict greater rewarding effects from drugs, including both trait-like variables, such as personality or genetic makeup, and contextual variables, such as the social setting in which the drugs are used. This presentation will review studies from Dr. de Wit's laboratory in which healthy adults received single doses of drugs, under placebo-controlled, double-blind conditions. The studies are designed to identify factors associated with greater rewarding effects of acute doses of drugs, with the ultimate goal of developing strategies for minimizing risk in at-risk populations.

Keyword(s): Drug discrimination, drug reinforcement, subjective effects
 
 
Symposium #426
CE Offered: BACB
Bridging Gaps Through Successful Collaboration: Developing and Maintaining Evidenced Based Education in Public School Classrooms.
Monday, May 26, 2014
3:00 PM–4:50 PM
W183c (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: AUT/EDC; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Valerie Rogers (The ABRITE Organization)
Discussant: Michele D. Wallace (California State University, Los Angeles)
CE Instructor: Valerie Rogers, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Intensive behavioral intervention based on the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is repeatedly shown to be effective for children with autism and other developmental delays. An increasing literature outlines empirically supported criteria related to treatment components shown to produce the most robust outcomes for children participating in ABA programs. Many times, ABA intervention programs that meet the outlined recommendations involve provision of services within the childs home or in private school settings. There are few descriptions related to ABA intervention programs delivered within public schools. The typical educational placement offered within the state of California is a Special Day Class wherein children with autism are usually exposed to an eclectic blend of educational practices, clearly differing from that suggested within the behavior analytic community. The current symposium seeks to amend this dilemma by describing how evidence-based behavior analytic classrooms can be developed through systematic collaboration between ABA providers and public school districts. Specifically, a programmatic description of public ABA classrooms resulting from such collaboration will be presented, including further detail regarding training packages and student outcomes. In addition, lessons learned from these various undertakings will be discussed.

Keyword(s): ABA, Program Description, Special Education, Staff Training
 

Components of Successful Collaboration: A Programmatic Description of Intensive Behavioral Intervention Programs within Public School Settings

JANICE DONEY FREDERICK (The ABRITE Organization), Ginger R. Wilson (The ABRITE Organization), Valerie Rogers (The ABRITE Organization), Rebecca S. Raas (The ABRITE Organization)
Abstract:

Intensive behavioral intervention is known to be an empirically validated treatment for children with autism spectrum disorder and other developmental disabilities. Still, this critical treatment is rarely employed within the public school settings. This program description provides details related to a collaborative model developed by a non-public agency (NPA) providing behavior analytic services and a public school district in order to create programs grounded solely in applied behavior analytic evidence-based practices for children with a range of developmental delays, including but not limited to, autism spectrum disorder. An overview of the components of the model will be provided as well as review of the process used to develop and expand its application across two classrooms. A focus of discussion will be the form and frequency of collaboration between the NPA and school district staff. In addition, information related to student characteristics as well as program components such as teacher, staff, and parent training, assessment and intervention strategies utilized, and methods for evaluating outcomes within and across students will be presented.

 

Training Public School Staff in a Behavior Analytic Classroom: A Staff Training and Feedback System for Educators in a Special Day Class

REBECCA S. RAAS (The ABRITE Organization), Janice Doney Frederick (The ABRITE Organization), Ginger R. Wilson (The ABRITE Organization), Valerie Rogers (The ABRITE Organization)
Abstract:

Staff and teacher training play an integral role in the education provided to students in Special Day Classes. The need for effective training is readily observed when considering the training of educators in an applied behavior analysis (ABA) public classroom. The current paper, therefore, describes and evaluates the effectiveness of a training package utilized to teach ABA procedures to school facilitators and teachers. A Board Certified Behavior Analyst trained facilitators and teachers to provide intensive behavioral intervention in a school district ABA program serving children ages 3-10 with global delays and those on the autism spectrum. The training package employed consisted of initial and ongoing training covering various procedures including rapport building, establishing verbal operants, and decreasing undesirable behavior, among many other techniques commonly used in intensive behavioral intervention. The content, training procedures, and outcomes (e.g., maintenance) of the training package will be discussed in further detail along with implications for further trainings.

 
The Effects of Collaboration on the Repertoires of Students with Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities in Behavior Analytic Public Classrooms
VALERIE ROGERS (The ABRITE Organization), Janice Doney Frederick (The ABRITE Organization), Ginger R. Wilson (The ABRITE Organization), Rebecca S. Raas (The ABRITE Organization)
Abstract: The effectiveness of intensive behavioral intervention on skill acquisition and reduction of aberrant behavior with learners with autism spectrum disorder and other developmental disabilities is frequently demonstrated within the behavior analytic community. Still, this form of education rarely transpires within the public school system. The current paper presents various outcomes for students enrolled in applied behavior analysis (ABA) classrooms within a public elementary school. The classrooms involved are a result of collaboration between a public school district and an ABA organization. In particular, outcomes related to IEP goals achieved, rates of skill acquisition, maintenance and generalization of acquired skills, and undesirable behavior will be presented for multiple children on the autism spectrum and children with other developmental disabilities, including downs syndrome, enrolled in two different behavior analytic classrooms. The implications of these data as well as future directions related to student progress and methods for measuring and evaluating outcomes will be discussed.
 
Lessons Learned: Hurdles to Address Before Initiating Schoo