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.

40th Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2014

Program by Day for Tuesday, May 27, 2014


Manage My Personal Schedule

 

Business Meeting #473
Education and Treatment of Children Editorial Board
Tuesday, May 27, 2014
8:00 AM–8:50 AM
W190a (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Chair: Stephanie M. Peterson (Western Michigan University)
Presenting Authors:

This meeting is to review submission data from the past year for the journal and to discuss issues surrounding the journal. This is an open meeting, and members of the editorial board, as well as any other interested parties, are welcome to attend.

Keyword(s): Editorial Board, ETC
 
 
Business Meeting #474a
ABAI Education Board
Tuesday, May 27, 2014
8:00 AM–8:50 AM
W181a (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Chair: Jennifer L. Austin (University of South Wales), Claudia L. Dozier (The University of Kansas)
Presenting Authors:

This meeting is open to anyone interested in work of the ABAI Education Board. The ABAI Executive Council has charged the Education Board with two primary tasks. The first charge is to support the recognition of the ABAI accreditation system by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. The second is to encourage undergraduate and graduate programs in behavior analysis to pursue ABAI accreditation and to provide assistance to these programs as needed to achieve this goal. The meeting will address these issues, including a discussion of the upcoming changes to the standards required for accreditation of programs. Anyone interested the activities of the Education Board, including those seeking accreditation or renewal of existing accreditation, is encouraged to attend.

 
 
Paper Session #473a
A Meta-Analytic Study on Interventions Focusing on Daily Living Skills for Individuals With Autism Spectrum Disorder
Tuesday, May 27, 2014
9:00 AM–9:20 AM
W184d (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: AUT
Chair: Ee Rea Hong (Texas A&M University)
 

A Meta-Analytic Study on Interventions Focusing on Daily Living Skills for Individuals With Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

Domain: Theory
EE REA HONG (Texas A&M University), Jennifer Ganz (Texas A&M University), Jennifer Ninci (Texas A&M University), Leslie Neely (Texas A&M University), Margot Boles (Texas A&M University), Whitney Gilliland (Texas A&M University)
 
Abstract:

With skill deficits in communication, social and behaviors, many individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) often have difficulties developing autonomy throughout their life. A lack of autonomy among individuals with ASD has been a primary concern of their parents or families. Therefore, researchers and practitioners have focused on promoting daily living skills of the individuals with ASD to lessen the concerns of their parents or families. This study reports an examination of multiple types of intervention for improving daily living skills of individuals with ASD. A total of 57 single-subject research studies (N=575 participants) were included in this study. Included studies were evaluated to determine the overall quality of the evidence for each design within each article, adopted from Maggin, Briesch, and Chafouleas criteria (2012). The impact was analyzed across participant age, participant diagnosis, description of the independent variable, description of the dependent variable, setting, intervention context, and the implementer characteristics using TauU nonparametric effect size. Limitations and implications for future researchers are discussed.

 
 
 
Panel #474
CE Offered: BACB
Developing Successful Social Vocational Programs for Individuals with ASD and Related Disorders on a University Campus
Tuesday, May 27, 2014
9:00 AM–9:50 AM
W183c (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: AUT/CSE; Domain: Service Delivery
CE Instructor: Mary Ellen McDonald, Ph.D.
Chair: Mary Ellen McDonald (Hofstra University)
NANCY PHILLIPS (Eden II; Genesis Programs)
JAMIE O'BRIEN (Eden II; Genesis Programs)
MELISA KEANE (Connecticut Center for Child Development)
Abstract:

This panel presentation will provide information on the development of a successful social/vocational program for students and young adults with autism. Speakers will discuss various programs that have been developed to meet a growing need. Programs discussed will include a summer and after-school program housed on a local university campus, as well as a brand new full-day adult program. Both of these programs focus on affording participants vocational and social opportunities in community-based environments. Specific skills, worksites and instructional methods will be discussed as they pertain to each program and client. The purpose of the panel is to provide information regarding the development of pilot programs and ideally motivate others to follow suit and create, out-of-the-box pilot programs addressing critical needs in clinical populations.

Keyword(s): social, vocational
 
 
Symposium #475
CE Offered: BACB
Social Skills Instruction for Individuals with Autism Across the Lifespan: Leveraging Existing Skills to Build New Ones
Tuesday, May 27, 2014
9:00 AM–9:50 AM
W184bc (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: AUT/EDC; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Amy Kenzer (Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center)
CE Instructor: Amy Kenzer, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Social skill instruction is a critical component of intervention for individuals with autism, regardless of age. Early social skills instruction may be focused on responsivity to communicative partners, coordination of eye contact, and basic verbal behavior. As individuals gain complex skills, the instructional methods and targets also increase in complexity; shifting from establishing foundational skills to building meaningful relationships. While individuals with autism may show deficits within the social domain, it may be possible to utilize existing skills to facilitate learning in these critical areas. The first presentation will demonstrate how a young child's orienting to non-social stimuli can be used to increase responding to their name. The second presentation will discuss how embedded social reinforcement can improve coordinated eye contact while manding for non-social stimuli with preschoolers with autism. The third presentation addresses teaching assertiveness, verbal communication, sportsmanship, and displaying positive affect to young adults with autism and their peers during game play.

 

Using Non-Social Auditory Stimuli to Teach Responding to Name to Children with Autism

AMANDA M. SUMNEY (Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center), Rachel McIntosh (Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center)
Abstract:

The rate at which infants respond to their name is considered a specific predictor of whether they are later diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Responding to one's name is not only an important social skill, but may pose a safety concern. While children with autism may be unresponsive to their name, they may still respond to auditory stimuli in their environment. In the current study, we examined responding to name with three children with ASD. Non-social auditory stimuli were used to initially gain the child's attention; as the child began to respond to those stimuli, the experimenter called the child's name. Non-social auditory stimuli were systematically faded across successive trials until no stimuli were required. Results suggest that this intervention produced an increase in responding to name in the absence of additional stimuli for all three children.

 

Using Embedded Social Reinforcement to Increase Vocal Responses with Coordinated Eye Contact in Children with Autism

Brent Seymour (Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center), KATELIN HOBSON (Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center), Amy Kenzer (Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center)
Abstract:

Amongst the many diagnostic indicators and social and communication deficits associated with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs), a lack of eye contact may be the most notable (APA, 2000). A lack of coordinated eye contact may be particularly noticeable when manding for objects as the individual's attention is focused on the desired item rather than the communicative partner mediating access to it. In the current study, we used a multiple baseline across participants with multiple probe design to examine the effects of embedded social reinforcement on manding with coordinated eye contact in three children with autism. Participants were exposed to four social interaction conditions in which the child was manding for desired items the experimenter withheld, desired items in addition to those the child already had, preferred social stimuli, or desired items with embedded social stimuli. During intervention, the participants engaged in preferred activities with objects, while the experimenter provided embedded social reinforcement. Generalization probes were conducted to examine coordinated eye contact when manding for desired items in the absence of social reinforcement or preferred social stimuli in the absence of objects. Results suggest embedded reinforcement increases coordinated eye contact and generalizes to non-social conditions.

 

Peer-Facilitated Social Skill Training for Young Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders in a College Setting

Christina Whalen (Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center, Sanford University), Brad Herron (Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center), BRENT SEYMOUR (Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center), Leasha Barry (University of West Florida)
Abstract:

Eight young adults with ASDs participated in a week-long college experience including dorm move-in, college life skills classes, social activities, tech cohorts with curriculum, homework, projects, presentations, and graduation. The program was co-facilitated by the Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center and the University of Advancing Technology. Participants were given pre and post surveys that assessed college readiness. A modified multiple-baseline design was used where peer-facilitated social probes were conducted in ten-minute sessions across baseline, mid, post (return to baseline) and for half the participants, a 2nd baseline session. Probes were conducted with two participants with ASDs and two neuro-typical college peers. Intervention A included two 30-minute feedback sessions between SARRC staff and participants. Intervention B included one 30-minute feedback session between SARRC staff and all neuro-typical peers. Behavioral outcome measures assessed four social skills: affect, sportsmanship, verbal communication, and assertion. All participants improved in at least one of the target areas following Intervention A, and even more progress was seen following Intervention B. Participants also showed increases in their post scores on the college readiness surveys. The importance of priming college experiences for young adults with ASDs and the potential impact on employment and independent living will be discussed.

 
 
Symposium #476
Metacontingencies as a Tool to Analyze Cultural Practices on Brazil: Divorce, Public Policy to Starving Control and Handmade Fishing.
Tuesday, May 27, 2014
9:00 AM–9:50 AM
W190b (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: CSE; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Sigrid S. Glenn (University of North Texas)
Discussant: Sigrid S. Glenn (University of North Texas)
Abstract:

Metacontingencies is a very useful concept to analyse cultural practices from a behavior analytic standpoint. Some culture practices has been analyzed with the aid of this concept: sustainable practices, OBM, trash collect. This Symposium will present three braziliam cultural practices analyzed as metacontingencies: family practices, public policy of starving control and handmade fishing. Analyzing two communication vehicles and the official database of Brazilian government, family practices were described since the Divorce Law of 1977, 1988 and 2009. This law was the cultural consequence to divorces practices that already happened before the law. The divorces practices changed the family in Brazil, that has been presented to people by media and has been accepted. The public policy called Fome Zero (No Starving) is a conditional cash transfer program implemented since 2003, which provide money to poor families, contingent upon behaviors such as sending children to school or bringing them to healthcare centers on a regular basis. The policy is a consequence for individual practices and cultural practices. Its expected that these practices should be selected by Brazilian Government by another actions. The handmade fishing in Brazil is one of more frequent culture practices at coastal region and also often at regions with lakes and rivers especially by poor people. The fishing was described in metacontingencys terms and analyzed some variables that modify responses and IBC. The fine for fish at some periods is not enough to avoid the fishing. One consequence, individual and cultural, is very effective, the suspension of a public policy that gives from R$ 700-1000, only if the fisher is not caught fishing. All fisher can lose their licenses, fish and fishing material. It was possible to describe the IBC and the patterns changes on IBCS depending of vacations seasons.

Keyword(s): Applied metacontingencies, Applied research, Metacontingencies
 

CANCELLED: Analysis of the Behavioral Contingencies of the Programa Bolsa Familia's Conditionalities

VIRGINIA FAVA (Universidade de Brasília), Laercia Abreu Vasconcelos (University of Brasilia)
Abstract:

This study analyzes the behavioral contingencies in the regulation of Programa Bolsa Famlia (PBF). The PBF is a conditional cash transfer program implemented by the Brazilian National Government since 2003, which provide money to the 13 million poorest families, contingent upon certain behaviors such as sending children to school or bringing them to healthcare centers on a regular basis. The PBFs regulation was analyzed to identify the behavioral contingencies involved in educational and health conditionalities. This study found seven behavioral contingencies: one focused on beneficiary families behaviors, and the others on governmental institutions behaviors for monitoring the conditionalities. The analysis of these behavioral contingencies shows they are interlocked, and a new cultural practice is expected to emerge, resulting in two aggregated products: (1) the monitoring of the conditionalities compliance and (2) the increase of families demand for education and healthcare services. The cultural consequences that might select this cultural practice should be mediated by the Brazilian National Government, that decides to maintain the PBF, and by the society through social participation. Therefore, there is a functional relation between this cultural practice and its cultural consequences, indicating the emergence of a metacontingency.

 

The Divorce in Brazil: A Functional Analysis.

ANA RITA C. X. NAVES (Universidade de Brasília), Laercia Abreu Vasconcelos (University of Brasilia)
Abstract:

Several changes have occurred in the cultural practices of Brazilian families. Behavior Analysis, through the tools of macrocontingency and metacontingency, seeks to identify the controlling variables responsible for these changes. This study aimed to develop a historical description of divorce in Brazil between 1960 and 2010. The data was collected from historical and statistical sources and from the Brazilian law. 72 news from two communication vehicles were selected for analysis. Brazilian Family Law and data from Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics IBGE, an agency responsible for information about Brazilian population, were also analyzed. The results indicated that the Brazilian law of divorce, sanctioned in 1977, regulated a cultural practice that already existed. Changes in that law, made in 1988 and in 2009, resulted in modifications of behavioral patterns of Brazilian population. Other variables were also considered, as the intervention of the Catholic Church in this process and the role of the media in reporting these changes. A functional analysis involving contingencies, macrocontingencies and metacontingencies was developed indicating that these tools of analysis is useful to understand the evolution of cultural practices.

 

Fishing Practices and Their Products as Metacontingencies.

Ana Rita C. X. Naves (Universidade de Brasília), Laercia Abreu Vasconcelos (Universidade de Brasilia  ), DYEGO DE CARVALHO COSTA (Universida de Brasilia; Universidade Estadual do Piaui)
Abstract:

The surviving handmade fishing is an often practice on Brazil, specially by poor persons who live at coastal region, or close to rivers and lakes. In Brazil about 833,000 persons are licensed fishers. Brazil has a huge number of different kinds of fish and with this a lot of different fishing practices. Some period of time is forbidden to fish at rivers and lakes, cause is reproductive time, but even so, the fishing is maintained. After 2009 with the Fishing Law, these practices were transformed into an environmental crime and has as consequence the seizure of fish, licences and fishing material. But, over all this, the fisher caught could lose the money given by government to fishers that don't fish at these time. After that, the number of apprehension decreased. It was made interviews with fishers of Piaui's coastal about the IBCs of fishing practice. It was possible to describe that the pattern changes in function of season and vacation times, and demand. One specific fish needs not one, but two of three fishers of a handmade boat to drop and pull the net cause the fish is strong. For each class of fish different culture practices emerge. Only three fishers can fit into a boat, but there are at least six tasks, what make fisher to do more than one function. The persons in each function changes, but is common that one fisher to do initially the same function. One of the cultural consequences is beyond the public policy the social control exert by other fishers and the cooperatives of fishers that facilitate the selling of the fish. Of course, the selling is an important cultural consequence, that make some species run away from the coast, consequentially being every time harder to find. Because of this, the handmade fishers go to open sea to caught those fish and risk themselves into this practice.

 
 
Symposium #477
CE Offered: BACB
Implementing Effective Behavior Analytic Education Practices at Distance and at Scale in the United States and South Africa
Tuesday, May 27, 2014
9:00 AM–9:50 AM
W194b (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: EDC/AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Shiloh Isbell (Morningside Academy)
Discussant: Geoffrey H. Martin (Morningside Academy)
CE Instructor: Geoffrey H. Martin, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Once effective behavior analytic practices are developed they must be implemented. To do this at scale requires the use of modern data collection and dissemination technologies and targeted, efficient support. This symposium will describe two approaches to solving this problem. One approach uses the Internet to monitor program usage and learner responding to highly interactive online instruction and combines this with other data to provide proactive program and teacher support. This approach relies heavily on the automated collection of data and software-based reports. The other approach uses email, video conferencing, and telephone support to teachers using low cost paper and pencil materials designed for use with at risk children. This approach relies on manually collected and teacher reported data. Both approaches seek to provide high implementation fidelity and support for teachers, and demonstrate the range of technologies and data that can be used to ensure proper program use in the United States and South Africa.

Keyword(s): achievement, analytics, implementation, mastery
 

Wide-scale Implementation of Mastery-based, Adaptive Instructional Programs (Headsprout) in U.S. Elementary Schools

ZACH LAYNG (Headsprout)
Abstract:

There is an increasing interest in the use of correlational data to make predictions about what people are likely to do. These correlational approaches often make quite reliable predictions. When used in an educational context, these analytics can be used to intervene earlier rather than later in order to ensure successful program outcomes. Headsprout Implementation Specialists have conducted thousands of consultations, coaching sessions, and workshops with elementary schools in the U.S. and worldwide. Recently, the company has begun to combine new data collection tools and frameworks for understanding data related to the implementation of curriculum. Combining these analytics with data from student use of the software, Implementation Specialists are able to monitor, intervene, and provide proactive feedback to teachers and administrators at scale. A first look at the process for using data to investigate the relationships between workshop mastery, staff affect, metrics of implementation fidelity, student activity, and student achievement is presented.

 
Low-cost International Dissemination of Behavioral Education for Children with Learning Differences
JOANNE K. ROBBINS (Morningside Academy), Juliet Ann Newberry (Child Behaviour Consultants), Amy Weisenburgh Snyder (PEER International)
Abstract: This presentation will demonstrate how substantial educational effects can be produced at relatively low costs. Partnerships for Educational Excellence and Research (PEER) International provides web-based training and support to faculty at a Newberry Park - an Applied Behavior Analysis center in Johannesburg, South Africa. Children at the center carry diagnoses that include severe learning and language disabilities, motor planning problems, autism, and global developmental delays. Faculty and PEER consultants worked together by videoconferencing and telephone calls focusing on: the conceptual basis of frequency building to fluent; assessment and data collection methods; layout of classroom to optimize learning; the importance of establishing individual and group contingencies; as well as how to design supplements to published curriculum to support reading, math, writing, and motor skill development. Data and videos were shared via file sharing and reviewed during web-based meetings. Training consisted of sharing papers, weekly videoconferences, analyzing scanned data as well as videos that were uploaded into file shares.
 
 
Paper Session #478
Improving Education in Ireland through Behavior Analysis
Tuesday, May 27, 2014
9:00 AM–9:50 AM
W195 (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: EDC
Chair: Michelle P. Kelly (Dar Al-Hekma College)
 

Bringing ABA to Schools in Dublin's Marginalized Communities: Outcomes and Implications of a Pilot Project

Domain: Applied Research
MICHELLE P. KELLY (Dar Al-Hekma College)
 
Abstract:

This paper will present outcomes from a pilot project undertaken in a secondary school (aged 13-14) in Dublins inner city in the 2012/2013 academic year. As part of this project, an ABA-specific classroom was established whereby students at high risk of academic failure and early school leaving attended in small groups as an alternative to their regular class for a total of 4 hours per week each. This was, and continues to be, the only project of its kind in Ireland. In this classroom, problem behaviors were targeted using a variety of evidence-based interventions. Precision teaching (using Morningside curricula and SAFMEDS) was used to target reading and math; school attendance was targeted using a points system, while in-session and across-school behavior was targeted using an inter-dependent group contingency. Data from each of the interventions will be presented along with video footage to illustrate the positive outcomes. Results of pre and post tests will also be discussed. Barriers to the implementation of projects like this one will be discussed along with recommendations for expanding the current project to other schools in marginalised communities in Irelands cities. Outcomes from the current academic year will also be presented as a follow-up to the main presentation.

 
Precision Teaching in Ireland 2013: The Decade in Review
Domain: Theory
CLAIRE GRIFFIN (Mary Immaculate College, Limerick, Ireland)
 
Abstract: This paper describes the findings of an intensive literature review of Irish-based research in the field of Precision Teaching. Stemming from a special Irish issue of the ‘Journal of Precision Teaching and Celeration’ in 2002, this paper explores the development of the field of Precision Teaching in an Irish context over the past decade. Using keyword, database searches, this paper reviews Precision Teaching studies pertaining to autism, mathematics and literacy, alongside papers that criticise the use of Precision Teaching in the educational domain. Findings from this review highlight a dearth of published Irish research in the field, despite growing educational dissemination and applied use of this technique nationally. Future research is required to address this gap in the literature, and expand the evidence-base for this practice.
 
 
 
Panel #479
CE Offered: BACB
Ethical Issues in Every Day Practice
Tuesday, May 27, 2014
9:00 AM–9:50 AM
W185a (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: PRA/EDC; Domain: Service Delivery
CE Instructor: Melissa L. Olive, Ph.D.
Chair: Melissa L. Olive (Applied Behavioral Strategies LLC)
HARRY VOULGARAKIS (Applied Behavioral Strategies LLC)
MELISSA FISHETTI (Applied Behavioral Strategies LLC)
MELISSA L. OLIVE (Applied Behavioral Strategies LLC)
Abstract: This session will cover ethical issues related to daily practice. The first paper will present the ethical issues that arise when working with non-behavioral providers. The second paper will present the ethical issues that arise when working in home programs with parents. The third paper will present the ethical issues that arise when working in public school settings.
Keyword(s): Collaboration, Ethical Issues, Home Services, School Services
 
 
Symposium #480
CE Offered: BACB
Functional Analysis of Problem Behavior
Tuesday, May 27, 2014
9:00 AM–9:50 AM
W185d (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: PRA; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Alison Cox (University of Manitoba)
CE Instructor: Alison Cox, M.A.
Abstract:

This symposium features a series of studies aimed at extending the scope of functional analysis methodology by (a) evaluating the interaction between behavior function and psychotropic medication, (b) validating a set of patterns of responding characteristic of functional analyses of behavior maintained by automatic reinforcement, and (c) evaluating the criterion validity of two indirect approaches to functional assessment. The first presentation compiles a series of studies on the interaction between behavior function and psychotropic medication based on the analysis of 40 published datasets of side-by-side functional analysis conducted in the absence and the presence of specific medication manipulations. The second study presents a set of patterns of functional analysis data often found during the assessment of problem behavior maintained by automatic reinforcement. These patterns will be validated by way of a thorough re-analysis of the literature and a replication under consistent assessment conditions. The patterns identified suggest that specific treatments may be highly effective for specific individuals. We will present several treatment studies to illustrate the extent to which these patterns predict the effects of specific treatment components. Finally, the last study will present a set of concurrent indirect and functional analyses. Specifically, we will evaluate the validity of the Motivation Assessment Scale and the Questions About Behavior Function against experimental functional analyses. Each study will end with a set of clinical recommendations supported by our findings.

Keyword(s): automatic reinforcement, functional analysis, psychotropic drugs, validity
 

Validity of Indirect Measures of Functional Assessment using Experimental Functional Analysis as Criterion for Comparison

GABRIEL SCHNERCH (University of Manitoba), Lisa Hunter (St. Amant Research Centre), Alison Cox (University of Manitoba), Chen Vu (University of Manitoba), Javier Virues Ortega (University of Manitoba, St. Amant Research Centre, University of Auckland)
Abstract:

This study will examine the criterion validity of the Questions About Behavior Function (QABF) and the Motivation Assessment Scale (MAS) using experimental functional analysis as a reference for comparison. A total of 15 cases of problem behavior presented in individuals with developmental or intellectual disabilities have participated in the study while and a smaller number are currently being assessed. Caregivers of all participants completed the QABF and the MAS. Whenever possible, two caregivers of an individual participant were requested to independently complete both indirect assessments. All participants underwent a full functional analysis according to the methods by Iwata et al. (1982/1994). Level of correspondence between the indirect and the experimental assessments (criterion validity) was computed as the number of cases that showed the same outcome in the indirect assessment and the functional analysis divided by the total number of cases and converting this ratio into a percentage. Potential outcomes included behavior maintained by social positive reinforcement, social negative reinforcement, tangible reinforcement, automatic reinforcement, multiply controlled behavior, and undifferentiated assessment. We also evaluated the level of agreement across caregivers, the concurrent validity of the two indirect assessments, and the incremental validity resulting from the implementation of two, as opposed to one, indirect assessments. We will discuss a set of clinical recommendations supported by our findings.

 

Treatment Selection Supported by Functional Analysis Patterns of Automatic Reinforcement: Review, Replication, and Component Analysis

KYLEE HURL (University of Manitoba), Jade Wightman (University of Manitoba), Tara A. Fahmie (California State University, Northridge), Javier Virues Ortega (University of Manitoba, St. Amant Research Centre, University of Auckland)
Abstract:

Several patterns of responding during a functional analysis (FA) are consistent with an automatic reinforcement outcome: (a) low rates during only the attention condition, (b) low rates during only the demand condition, (c) low rates during only the play condition, (d) distinctively higher rates during the alone condition, and (e) similar levels of behavior across all conditions. These patterns are consistent with the action of specific behavioural processes. Namely, the patterns presented above could be explained by way of positive punishment (contingent statements, response blocking), social negative punishment (timeout from activities/attention), extinction (response blocking), noncontingent reinforcement (attention and/or leisure/task items), and differential reinforcement of alternative behavior (via response competition). Therefore, patterns of responding in a full FA of behaviour maintained by automatic reinforcement could be useful in selecting an optimal treatment strategy. The purposes of the present study were to: (a) validate the proposed patterns on the basis of a re-analysis of the literature, (b) replicate the proposed patterns under consistent assessment conditions, and (c) determine, by way of a component analysis, if these patterns help to establish the likely effects of a range of treatments probed during the FA. Our results show that the proposed patterns are present in the literature and can be replicated under consistent assessment conditions. Moreover, the component analysis revealed that discrete behavioural processes drive the reductive effect of specific FA conditions that is characteristic of some of the proposed patterns.

 

Interactions between Behavior Function and Exposure to Psychotropic Drugs: A Re-Analysis

ALISON COX (University of Manitoba), Javier Virues Ortega (University of Manitoba, St. Amant Research Centre, University of Auckland)
Abstract:

Treatment for problem behaviors typically includes behavioral, pharmacological, and combined interventions. Given that combined interventions are relatively common, analyzing the interactions between behavior function and psychotropic drugs may have some clinical value for practitioners. We reanalyzed all published cases of side-by-side functional analyses conducted in the absence and presence of a target medication manipulation. We identified 40 cases. Medication used included antipsychotics, antidepressants, stimulants, anxiolytics, and opioid antagonists. We conducted three studies in order to determine if: (a) medication had an overall effect on behavior, (b) medication changed the function of the behavior, and (c) medication changed the level of differentiation of the functional analysis. Study 1 assessed the overall effects of psychotropic drugs on problem behavior. Medication had reductive effects in 34 of the 40 datasets reviewed. The magnitude of the medication effect was associated with the baseline level of responding across conditions of the functional analysis (rate-dependency). Study 2 examined drug-induced changes in behavior function. For 34 out of the 40 datasets reviewed medication did not change behavior function. Only two cases showed a potential addition of a new behavior function. Finally, Study 3 evaluated drug-induced changes in the level of differentiation of the condition of the functional analysis showing behavioral maintenance. The analyses showed that the differentiation of the target condition were primarily rate-dependent. No clear effects of medication on function differentiation were established. We will discuss clinical recommendations based on our findings.

 
 
Symposium #481
Behavior Analysis, Ecological Psychology, and Dynamical Systems: Promoting an Interdisciplinary Approach to Understanding the Complexities of Behavior
Tuesday, May 27, 2014
9:00 AM–9:50 AM
W175b (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: TPC; Domain: Theory
Chair: Kenneth W. Jacobs (University of Nevada, Reno)
Discussant: Robert W. Isenhower (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, Rutgers University)
Abstract:

Adherence to the study of unmediated (i.e., non-mentalistic) functional relations is one of the many commonalities between ecological psychology and behavior analysis (Costall, 1984; Morris, 2009). As such, the theoretical, philosophical, and historical underpinnings of each field have much in common. In this symposium we expand upon the common features of behavior analysis and ecological psychology in order to foster greater collaboration between these conceptually allied disciplines. In particular, ecological psychologists have developed unique experimental designs guided by the theory of affordances and by new models of organism-environment interaction, namely, dynamical systems models, in order to account for the complexities of the behavior of organisms. How such non-mentalistic theories have led to these developments and how they might influence the field of behavior analysis will be explicated. This symposium will entail an exposition of such theories with respect to the experimental analysis of behavior. In addition, a discussion of dynamical systems models and how such models may be implemented will follow. The implications of this discussion may increase the comprehensiveness of the science of behavior as well as establish new guiding principles for future inquiry.

Keyword(s): Affordances, Dynamical Systems, Ecological Psychology, Interdisciplinary
 
Theories of Perception and their Methodological Implications
KENNETH W. JACOBS (University of Nevada, Reno), Linda J. Parrott Hayes (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: Parallels have been and continue to be drawn between ecological psychology and behavior analysis (Costall, 1984; Morris, 2003; Morris 2009). Obvious overlap inheres in the study of unmediated functional relations, but further details about such overlap and its implications for areas such as the experimental analysis of behavior have received little attention. How ecological psychologists talk about perception and behavior in general has led to the development of unique experimental arrangements that account for the complexities of human behavior, which some behavior analysts refer to as private and accessible only through interpretation. This presentation will entail an exposition of concepts within the framework of ecological psychology (e.g., the theory of affordances) that have led to such experimental developments. Of particular concern is the use of affordances as experimental manipulanda, and how such manipulanda may better incorporate the relationship between the organism and the environment into the experimental analysis of behavior. Attendees should leave with an understanding of the theory of affordances, how it relates to the theoretical and philosophical underpinnings of the science of behavior, and how such a theory may be a guide for future inquiry with respect to experimentation.
 
Understanding Dynamical Models
MAURICE LAMB (University of Cincinnati), Anthony Chemero (University of Cincinnati)
Abstract: Neo-mechanists argue that in order for a claim to be an explanation in cognitive science it must reveal something about the mechanisms of a cognitive system. Recently, they claimed that JAS Kelso and colleagues have begun to favor mechanistic explanations of neuroscientific phenomena. We argue that this view results from a failure to understand dynamic systems explanations and the general structure of dynamic systems research. Further, we argue that the explanations by Kelso and colleagues cited are not mechanistic explanations and that neo-mechanists have misunderstood Kelso and colleagues’ work. As a part of our arguments we outline the basic features of dynamic systems explanations in terms of Kelso’s Tripartite Scheme. We then show that, contrary to recent claims made by neo-mechanists, research applying the neural field model to rhythmic tapping behaviors involves providing a dynamic systems explanation in line with the Tripartite Scheme. Understanding the basic structure of dynamic systems theory, as exemplified in the Tripartite Scheme, is important for the development of dynamic systems models in the context of behavior analysis.
 
 
Symposium #482
CE Offered: BACB
Two Alternative Procedures to Teach Verbal Behavior to Individuals with Developmental Disabilities
Tuesday, May 27, 2014
9:00 AM–9:50 AM
W185bc (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: VRB/DDA; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Nicholas Hammond (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology)
Discussant: Diana J. Walker (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology)
CE Instructor: Nicholas Hammond, M.A.
Abstract:

One of the crucially important core deficits of many people with severe developmental disabilities is their lack of effective communication. An effective communication repertoire can provide greater independence for the individual. Numerous interventions have focused on increasing the functional communication of those with developmental disabilities. These methods include those outlined in Teaching Language to Children with Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities (Sundberg & Partington, 1998), derived intraverbals (e.g Perez-Gonzalez, Garcia-Asenjo, Williams, & Carnerero, 2007; Sundberg & Sundberg, 2011), American Sign Language, and The Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) (Bondy & Frost, 1985). As practicing behavior analysts we often teach language to individuals with developmental disabilities using one of these well researched and empirically validated methods. This symposium will give an overview of two studies that will extend research on these methodologies of teaching. The discussion will also suggest some other methodologies that can be used alternatively or in conjunction with others in practice.

Keyword(s): Augmentative Communication, Core Vocabulary, Derived Relations, Intraverbal
 

Generalization of Core Vocabulary by Children with Autism Using an Augmentative Communication Device

NICHOLAS HAMMOND (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology), Diana J. Walker (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology), John W. Eshleman (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology), Scott A. Herbst (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology)
Abstract:

Children with autism often have limited functional communication repertoires. One way to teach functional communication is through the use of an Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) device. Individuals who use an AAC device can be taught utterances (i.e., single words or phrases) through prompting and providing a consequence specific to the utterance (mand) or a generalized conditioned reinforcer (tact). In the present study five children diagnosed with autism were taught to emit utterances consisting of 26 'core' words that comprised 96% of words uttered by toddlers in a study by Banajee, Dicarlo, and Stricklin (2003). The children emitted the utterances by touching symbol sequences on the screen of the AAC device. Various utterances, that included the 26 core words were taught using discrete trial teaching methods and the item specified in the utterance was presented following it (i.e., mand). A Language Activity Monitor (LAM) continuously recorded utterances emitted before, during, and after teaching. This talk will describe the change in frequency of utterances throughout the study, what those changes mean for Functional Communication Training, and possibilities for future research. A major contribution of this study is the tracking of the verbal behavior generalization automatically and continuously across all phases.

 

Emergence of Derived Intraverbals in Three Individuals with Intellectual Disabiities

MARCELA PORRAS (Horizontes ABA Terapia Integral), Yors A. Garcia (Fundacion Universitaria Konrad Lorenz)
Abstract:

Research in derived intraverbals is a new area of study in recent years and has promising outcomes to teach verbal behavior to individuals with intellectual disabilities. The objective of this study was to establish intraverbal derived relations in three individuals with intellectual disabilities. A multiple baseline design across subjects was implemented to evaluate the trained and tested relations. All subjects were administered with the ABLLS-R (i.e., receptive language, mands, naming and intraverbals) to evaluate the current level of the different verbal operants and listener skills. In the first phase of the study participants were trained to name six different emotions organized into three dyads (disgust/neutral, fear/anger, happiness/sadness). Immediately after, listener skills were probed with the same emotions. Once listener skills emerged, participants were exposed to conditional discrimination training to establish sameness relations between all the dyads. In the final phase, intraverbal relations were probed to evaluate the emergence of opposite intraverbal relations. Results show that two participants readily acquired derived intraverbal relations; however, one participant required remedial tact training before to demonstrate intraverbal derived relations. In summary, this study showed the emergence of derived intraverbal relations in individuals with intellectual disabilities.

 
 
Symposium #483
CE Offered: BACB
Evaluating Programs for Dissemination of Behavioral Services and Training
Tuesday, May 27, 2014
9:00 AM–10:50 AM
W186 (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Adel C. Najdowski (Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD))
Discussant: Michael F. Dorsey (Endicott College)
CE Instructor: Adel C. Najdowski, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Decades of research have validated the effectiveness of behavioral intervention for treating children with autism. However, many regions still suffer from unavailability of good quality behavioral intervention services, largely due to a lack of well-trained and equipped providers. This symposium contains four papers that describe evaluations of various programs that have been created to help disseminate information on best practices in behavioral intervention. The first presentation consists of a randomized controlled trial of a web-based tool for aiding in the creation of function-based behavioral intervention plans. The second presentation consists of an evaluation of a program for providing supervision and training to BCBAs-in-training, as well as established BCBAs. The third presentation consists of a comparison of a web-based indirect curriculum assessment to direct probes of child skills. The fourth presentation consists of a comparison of a web-based indirect functional assessment to experimental functional analyses. The symposium concludes with a discussion by Dr. Michael Dorsey.

 

Randomized Evaluation of a Web-Based Tool for Designing Function-Based Behavioral Intervention Plans

ADEL C. NAJDOWSKI (Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD)), Jonathan J. Tarbox (Autism Research Group, Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD)), Ryan Bergstrom (Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD)), Arthur E. Wilke (Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD)), Michele R. Bishop (Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD)), Amy Kenzer (Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center), Dennis Dixon (Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD))
Abstract:

Challenging behaviors are prevalent in children with autism and can have a negative impact on a variety of child outcomes. The creation of good-quality behavior intervention plans is critical to decreasing challenging behaviors but little previous research has developed or evaluated practical tools for designing intervention plans. This study consisted of a randomized evaluation of a web-based tool designed to aid clinicians in choosing treatment procedures for inclusion in behavior intervention plans. The effects of the tool were assessed on the inclusion of three types of intervention components that likely contribute to the quality of intervention plans: 1) function-based intervention components, 2) evidence-based intervention components, and 3) non-punishment-based intervention components. Use of the web-based behavior intervention plan builder produced a statistically significant increase in the inclusion of function-based intervention components but no statistically significant effect was observed on the other two measures. Results are discussed in terms of the implications for improving the quality of behavior intervention plans, as well as the dissemination of knowledge of best practices in behavioral intervention.

 

Field Evaluation of Supervision and Mentorship Services for Board Certified Behavior Analysts

JENNIFER YAKOS (Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD)), Cecilia Knight (Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD)), Catherine Peters (Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD)), Jonathan J. Tarbox (Autism Research Group, Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD))
Abstract:

The development of the Board Certification for Behavior Analysts (BCBA) was among the most pivotal developments in the evolution of professional standards and quality for the discipline of behavior analysis. As the certification process evolves, the standards are continually made more stringent, in hopes of further raising the bar for training, professionalism, and quality in the provision of behavioral services. Accordingly, scores of training and mentorship programs have proliferated, across vast geographical expanses and presumably representing a wide range of quality and rigor. Very few of the existing programs have been subjected to evaluation. This presentation describes the roll-out of two such programs and presents initial data on user satisfaction and learning outcomes.

 

Evaluation of the Criterion Validity of a Web-Based Curriculum Assessment for Autism Treatment

Angela M. Persicke (Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD)), Michele R. Bishop (Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD)), Christy Coffman (Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD)), Adel C. Najdowski (Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD)), Dennis Dixon (Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD)), Doreen Granpeesheh (Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD)), Amanda N. Adams (Central California Autism Center), SARA SAHAR SHARAF (Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD))
Abstract:

Accurate assessment is a critical prerequisite to meaningful curriculum programming for skill acquisition with children with autism. The purpose of this study was to determine the validity of a web-based indirect curriculum assessment. Criterion validity of the assessment was evaluated by correlating parent responses to each item on the assessment with participants' actual abilities, as indicated by direct probes of those skills. Results of statistical analyses showed good levels of agreement between parent report and direct observation of the behaviors. Results are discussed in terms of implications for efficiency of assessment and treatment.

 

Comparison of Indirect to Experimental Functional Analysis of Challenging Behavior in Children with Autism

Megan St. Clair (Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD)), Jonathan J. Tarbox (Autism Research Group, Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD)), Adel C. Najdowski (Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD)), Michele R. Bishop (Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD)), TASIA WELLS (Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD))
Abstract:

Experimental functional analyses (EFAs) are generally considered the gold standard for assessing the function of challenging behavior in individuals with developmental disabilities. However, the current day reality is that the vast majority of educational and therapeutic settings do not have the financial or clinical staff resources required to conduct EFAs to any significant degree. Accordingly, indirect functional assessments are conducted in a majority of cases. A major relative advantage of indirect assessments is that they can be relatively fast and affordable to administer and web-based assessments have the potential to spread access to functional assessment technology to a greater proportion of the globe than currently has access. However, given the well-established inconsistency of indirect assessments, research is needed to confirm the ability of individual assessments to identify behavioral function. This presentation consists of a study that compared the results of a web-based indirect functional assessment to results from EFAs, in order to evaluate the extent to which the indirect assessment produced useful results. The results suggest that the indirect assessment can produce useful results in many cases but it isless dependable than an EFA in doing so.

 
 
Paper Session #484
Advances in the Treatment of Problem Behavior Maintained by Automatic Reinforcement in Individuals with Autism
Tuesday, May 27, 2014
9:00 AM–10:50 AM
W184a (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: AUT
Chair: Steven Rodriguez (May Institute)
 

Implementing a DRO With Stimulus Control to Decrease Echolalic Speech in a Child With Autism

Domain: Applied Research
STEVEN RODRIGUEZ (May Institute ), Heather Birch (May Institute ), Erica Kearney (May Institute)
 
Abstract:

The purpose of this study was to decrease inappropriate delayed echolalia in a child with autism by using differential reinforcement of other behavior (DRO) and stimulus control signaled by different colored rubber bracelets. The participant was a 10 year-old student that attended a school specialized in autism and developmental disabilities. The student exhibited high rate of delayed echolalia. The student received a red bracelet during nice talking time, when the DRO was implemented, and a green bracelet during free talking time, when there was no penalty for echolalic speech. If the student engaged in any echolalic speech while wearing the red bracelet, the student would receive corrective feedback (thats not having nice talking) and the DRO timer was restarted. Staff working with the student wore a purple bracelet as a neutral stimulus. The intervention was introduced as a multiple baseline across settings with gradual fading of the DRO. Following the intervention, the students engagement in inappropriate echolalic speech dropped to near zero. Additional data was collected on appropriate commenting throughout the study. Appropriate commenting continued at a stable level throughout the study.

 

Using Stimulus Control and Response Interruption and Redirection to Decrease Motor and Vocal Stereotypy

Domain: Applied Research
AMY E. TANNER (Florida Institute of Technology), Tyla M. Frewing (University of British Columbia), Andrew Bonner (University of British Columbia), Sharon E. Baxter (Semiahmoo Behaviour Analysts, Inc.)
 
Abstract:

An alternating treatments design was used to compare the immediate effects of a stimulus control and response interruption and redirection (RIRD) procedure with baseline conditions on levels of vocal and motor stereotypy of a 19-year old boy with autism. All sessions were five minutes in duration; video taped and scored using five-second partial interval recording. Prior to the treatment evaluation, a black wristband was established as a discriminative stimulus for implementation of an RIRD procedure contingent on engagement in motor or vocal stereotypy. During treatment evaluation, there were no planned consequences for stereotypy during baseline sessions. During treatment sessions, RIRD was implemented contingent on each event of motor or vocal stereotypy. The student's heart rate was monitored to examine if the stimulus control and RIRD procedure had an impact on resting heart rate. Data to date indicate stereotypy occurred an average of 74 % in baseline sessions, 3% in treatment sessions, and a consistent resting heart rate of approximately 90 BPM was observed across all conditions. Following the above analysis, the three-component method will be used to evaluate subsequent effects of stimulus control and RIRD on stereotypy and generalization data will be presented.

 

Reducing Physical Stereotypy: An Antedcedent Modification

Domain: Applied Research
CAILIN MCCOLLOUGH (The BISTA Center), Eric Rudrud (St. Cloud State University), Donald M. Stenhoff (The BISTA Center)
 
Abstract:

Physical stereotypy often interferes with learning and performing daily tasks for children diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Stereotypy is often difficult to reduce due to automatic reinforcement. The current study examined the comparative effects of antecedent exercise and leisure activities on the rate of physical stereotypy, academic performance, and physiological measures for three children with ASD. Physical stereotypy was defined as any physical movement that served no functional purpose to the individual; examples include body rocking, toe walking, flapping hands in front of face, and jumping. The target physical behavior, academic performance, and physiological measures were recorded for 10 minutes immediately following each of the experimental conditions. The results showed a reduction in physical stereotypy for all participants following antecedent exercise when compared to baseline and leisure conditions. Academic performance increased slightly for two of the participants and remained stable for one participant following antecedent exercise when compared to baseline and leisure conditions. Interestingly, all participants were less accurate following the leisure condition when compared to baseline. The use of antecedent exercise for the treatment of stereotypic behaviors is supported by this research, and further antecedent exercise research should be conducted.

 

A Function-Based Intervention to Treat Pica in a Child with Autism in an Outpatient Setting

Domain: Applied Research
KIMBERLY ANN KROEGER (Kelly O'Leary Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders), Molly Carter (Xavier University)
 
Abstract:

Pica is a potentially life threatening comorbid disorder for individuals with autism. Studies demonstrating treatment efficacy are predominantly conducted in inpatient or highly supervised settings. Community treatments most frequently involve restricting access to the ingested items, leading to reduced likelihood of independent functioning. The current study employed a single-subject multiple baseline design across conditions with a girl diagnosed with autism receiving outpatient treatment services. Functional analyses determined the behavior to be automatically reinforced. The intervention involved multiple conditions where the child was taught to select a replacement item over pica-preferred items, to use the replacement item and suppress pica behaviors, to use the replacement item and suppress pica behaviors in generalized probe setting with others present and finally to use the replacement item and suppress pica behaviors in unsupervised probe settings. Visual analyses of the data show a pattern of treatment efficacy in that the child is learning to suppress pica behaviors while developing preference for a replacement item through paired association with primary reinforcement. This study is significant in that it provides a successful outpatient model to treat a dangerous behavior, leading to improved quality of life and potentially reduces the need for more restrictive settings and treatment.

 
 
 
Symposium #485
CE Offered: BACB
Quality Teaching in Intensive Behavioural Intervention for Students with Autism: Effects on Staff and Children
Tuesday, May 27, 2014
9:00 AM–10:50 AM
W183b (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Adrienne M. Perry (York University)
Discussant: Richard P. Hastings (University of Warwick)
CE Instructor: Adrienne M. Perry, Ph.D.
Abstract:

This symposium presents international research focused on the importance of quality in behavioural teaching for children with autism receiving Intensive Behavioural Intervention (IBI). Researchers in Canada (Blacklock et al.), Sweden (Langh & Bolte), England (Denne et al.), and Wales (Foran & Hoerger) will present four studies bearing on the issue of quality behavioural teaching and all making reference to the York Measure of Quality of IBI (YMQI; Perry, Flanagan, & Prichard, 2008) to assess the quality of teaching. Dr. Adrienne Perry (Canada) will chair and Dr. Richard Hastings (England) will serve as Discussant. Themes to be addressed in the symposium include: how characteristics of quality teaching can be grouped into factors or scores; how consistent quality teaching is over time; how training and supervision of teachers impact upon their attitudes towards IBI, their YMQI scores and on childrens progress; and the issue of quantity versus quality of behavioural teaching in relation to children's outcomes.

Keyword(s): autism intervention, quality intervention
 
Specific Dimensions of Treatment Quality: Change Over Time and Relation to Child Outcome
KSUSHA BLACKLOCK (York University), Azin Taheri (York University), Adrienne M. Perry (York University)
Abstract: This study is important because the quality of IBI is very rarely examined, and has never been looked at across time in a treatment program. The York Measure of Quality of IBI (YMQI; Perry, Flanagan, & Prichard, 2008) has good inter-rater reliability and validity but may not measure a unitary construct (Blacklock, Shine, & Perry, 2013). As part of a larger study (Perry, Dunn Geier, & Freeman, in preparation), monthly videos of children were coded using the YMQI. Three rationally-derived dimensions were examined: technical skill, generalization, and managing problem behaviour. We examined the level and trend of these three dimensions (n=15) over 3 time points during a year in treatment. All three aspects of quality had mean ratings in the "good" range at all three times, with a slight pattern showing improvement in the first 4 months and then a small decline toward the end. Generalization scores were significantly lower than the other scores throughout treatment. We will extend these findings by performing a factor analysis of the YMQI and exploring factor scores across time. We will also examine the relationship of these factors to child characteristics and progress in IBI, thus linking treatment quality to children’s outcomes.
 

IBI Quality:The Level of Knowledge and Allegiance among Preschool Trainers

ULRIKA LANGH (Stockholm Autism Center and Karolinska Institutet), Sven Bolte (Karolinska Institutet)
Abstract:

It appears trivial that expertise and belief in an intervention method is crucial for treatment success. However, these basic issues have been largely neglected in several IBI efficacy studies. In Sweden, IBI skill levels of preschool staff administering IBI is pretty unknown. In the scope of a larger project on IBI quality control and development using the YMQI, the objective of this study was to examine the level of basic ABA knowledge and the allegiance to the method in five groups: IBI experts, IBI supervised preschool teachers, preschool teachers without IBI, parents, and student controls (total N = 302) using a 27-item questionnaire including 15 multiple choice knowledge items on basic ABA principles as well as 12 allegiance items. MANOVA (F>8.2, p<.0001, eta2 =.10) and post-hoc Tukey tests (p<.03) showed that IBI experts showed higher IBI allegiance than both preschool teachers with and without supervision. IBI experts and IBI supervised preschool teachers showed comparable IBI knowledge, and higher knowledge than unsupervised preschool teachers. Findings indicate that IBI supervision of preschool teachers increases knowledge on the method, although not necessarily the trust in it.

 

Assessing Tutor Competencies in Applied Behaviour Analysis in a School-based Setting for Children with Autism

LOUISE D DENNE (Bangor University), Esther Thomas (TreeHouse School), Richard P. Hastings (University of Warwick), J. Carl Hughes (Bangor University)
Abstract:

With an increase in large scale Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) services for children with autism, the need to define and measure quality is essential. Staff competence is key and identifying and measuring this accurately is a critical aspect of service provision. ABA service providers use various ways of measuring competence including direct observation, video analysis, and written examination. However, apart from the York Measure of Quality of Intensive Behavioural Intervention (YMQI), there is an interesting lack of direct links between defining competencies and developing ways to assess them. In this study we used three measures of competencies developed from the UK ABA Autism Education Competence Framework Level 1. Along with the YMQI we assess their construct validity by comparing the performance of two groups of tutors working in a school for children with autism (experienced vs. inexperienced) and performance of the inexperienced group at baseline (T1) and following one year of competence based training (T2). Results revealed that the more experienced group in both the between-group and longitudinal comparisons achieved higher scores on 3 out of 4 measures suggesting that these work well as a means of measuring competence.

 
An Evaluation of a Low-intensity, High-quality Behavioural Intervention for Children with ASD
Denise Foran (Bangor University), MARGUERITE L. HOERGER (Bangor University)
Abstract: There is substantial evidence that intensive behaviour interventions improve outcomes for children with ASD, but not all families can access such expensive, intensive interventions. We evaluated a low intensity, school-based behavioural intervention for children with ASD. Seven children received 7 hours a week of 1:1 teaching using discrete trial instruction. The remainder of their day was spent in group activities and generalised instruction. The classroom assistants were trained to deliver the curriculum, and their skills were evaluated using the York Measure of Quality of Intensive Behavioural Intervention (YMQI). The therapists achieved a rating of “good” on the YMQI. The children made significant improvements on measures of IQ and educational targets. We will discuss the on-going comparisons of a larger sample to a matched control group. These preliminary findings suggest that a behavioural model that is high quality but low intensity may be an effective and practical intervention for children with ASD.
 
 
Symposium #486
CE Offered: BACB
Prompting While Teaching Children With Autism: Some Important Questions About What and When
Tuesday, May 27, 2014
9:00 AM–10:50 AM
W187ab (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: AUT/DDA; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Kevin Joseph Brothers (Somerset Hills Learning Institute)
Discussant: Gregory S. MacDuff (Princeton Child Development Institute)
CE Instructor: Gregory S. MacDuff, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Although much has been written about prompts and their role in teaching learners with autism, the literature on prompting procedures is mixed and limited. Important questions such as, when response prompts may be more effective than stimulus prompts; or does the timing of prompts matter; or whether prompts following errors function as reinforcers, to name but a few, await more empirical answers. This symposium will present four applied research examinations of questions about prompting procedures conducted at two different day-school programs for children with autism each using an applied behavior analytic approach to instruction. The studies compared stimulus and response prompts, two different prompts used in error correction, an errorless prompting procedure with prompts following errors, and the effects of reducing prompts after errors and increasing token delivery on a variety of skill acquisition programs. The results add to behavior analytic literature on prompting procedures and provoke further analysis of prompting variables in the role of teaching people with autism.

Keyword(s): Prompting procedures,
 

Prompting and On-Task: When Error-Correction Prompts Function as Reinforcers What is the Effect on On-Task?

KEVIN JOSEPH BROTHERS (Somerset Hills Learning Institutte), Paul C. Shreiber (Somerset Hills Learning Institute)
Abstract:

Throughout the applied behavior analytic literature, response prompts such as verbal instructions, modeling, and physical guidance have been critical components of intervention packages that have effectively established a breadth of skills with individuals with autism. Although the use of response prompts is well documented, the descriptions of the procedures for implementing such prompts varies significantly and the timing of those prompts (i.e., before or after an error) is often unclear. The purpose of the present study was to examine the effects of a training protocol on: (a) the rate of tokens and prompts delivered by the instructor, (b) the percentage of prompts delivered before and following errors, and evaluate their effects on the participants on-task behavior. The training protocol was examined using a multiple probe across instructors design that was replicated across two students. The results showed that the implementation of the training protocol produced systematic increases to the participants' on-tasks behavior. Interobserver agreement was collected on all dependent variables across 50% of sessions, data ranged from 60% to 100% with a means ranging from 84% to 89%.

 

Comparing Manual Guidance with a Most-to-Least Fading Procedure to Manual Guidance Delivered Contingent on an Incorrect Response to Teach Individuals with Autism Home-Living Skills

PAUL C. SHREIBER (Somerset Hills Learning Institute), Sharon A. Reeve (Caldwell College), Kevin Joseph Brothers (Somerset Hills Learning Institute), Kenneth F. Reeve (Caldwell College)
Abstract:

Literature has shown effectiveness of treatment packages that included activity schedules and manual prompts with graduated guidance to teach individuals with autism to independently complete a variety of skills. Throughout the literature, however, there is variability in the descriptions of how to implement and fade manual prompts using graduated guidance. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the effects of implementing graduated guidance as: 1) a systematic fading procedure and 2) a consequence that was only delivered if the participants made an error. The effects of the prompting procedures were examined using an alternating-treatments design embedded within a multiple-probe across-participants design to increase participants' use of an activity schedule. The results showed that the use of graduated guidance with a systematic fading procedure produced more criterion performances across the acquisition, generalization and maintenance conditions when compared to graduated guidance delivered only if the participants made an error. Stimulus generalization was programmed for and demonstrated across materials and in the absence of direct adult supervision. Overall, the results contribute to the literature by suggesting superiority of systematic prompt fading strategies when compared to prompting in response to errors. Additional implications of this finding are also discussed.

 

Comparison of Stimulus and Response Prompts for Teaching New Auditory-Visual Discriminations to Children with Autism

LARA M. DELMOLINO GATLEY (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, Rutgers University), Robert W. Isenhower (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, Rutgers University), Kate E. Fiske Massey (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, Rutgers University), Meredith Bamond (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, Rutgers University), Robert LaRue (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, Rutgers University), Justin Leaf (Autism Partnership Foundation)
Abstract:

Evaluating the relative efficacy and efficiency of established teaching methods across skills and learners is critical. While the use of both response prompting and stimulus prompting are common and effective methods of developing new skills in Discrete Trial Teaching for children with autism, there may be advantages, disadvantages and indications for each method. The current study compares the use of stimulus prompts (pointing) and response prompts (manual guidance) for teaching young children with autism to make new auditory-visual discriminations. Both methods utilized most-to-least prompt fading. Three out of four participants acquired items with both methods. The fourth participant only acquired the skill with stimulus prompting. Results suggest that learners' responses to both types of prompting should be empirically evaluated, and given comparable effectiveness, stimulus prompting should be considered less intrusive. Results are discussed in terms of other factors related to practitioners' choice of prompt type, prompt effectiveness, probability of errors and complexity of implementation.

 

A Comparison of Error Correction Procedures for Teaching Receptive Identification Items in Discrete Trial Training

SHAWNA UEYAMA (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, Rutgers University), Robert W. Isenhower (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, Rutgers University), Lara M. Delmolino Gatley (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, Rutgers University), Meredith Bamond (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, Rutgers University), Kate E. Fiske Massey (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, Rutgers University  ), Justin Leaf (Autism Partnership Foundation)
Abstract:

Discrete Trial Training (DTT) is an important component of intervention and instruction in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) and is extensively used to teach individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities new behaviors and new discriminations among stimuli. Errorless teaching is an instructional strategy that is often used in DTT in order to reduce errors from occurring. However, because errors will inevitably occur during teaching, empirically testing and validation of error correction techniques used in DTT is important for the development of best clinical practices for DTT and ABA instruction. Therefore, in the current paper, we empirically compare two error correction procedures for teaching receptive identification in four learners with autism spectrum disorder: a follow-up trial using stimulus prompting and the use of corrective information (without the requirement of a follow-up response). We found that the more effective error correction strategy differed across learners. Implications for reducing prompt dependency and for individualizing therapies across learners with autism spectrum disorder and developmental disabilities will be discussed.

 
 
Symposium #487
CE Offered: BACB
Functional Behavioral Assessment:The Key to Understanding and Treating Individuals with Psychiatric Disorders
Tuesday, May 27, 2014
9:00 AM–10:50 AM
W179b (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: CBM/PRA; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Jeannie A. Golden (East Carolina University)
Discussant: Ennio C. Cipani (National University)
CE Instructor: Jeannie A. Golden, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Typically, functional behavioral assessment (FBA) has been used with individuals with developmental disabilities, including autism spectrum disorders. The goal of FBA is to identify the function of aberrant behavior and to teach the individual to exhibit an acceptable replacement behavior that can serve the same function. Traditional counselors view aberrant behaviors in individuals with psychiatric disorders as symptoms of underlying constructs and use the diagnosis as a reason for these behaviors, proposing more global treatments such as evidence-based therapies or medications. On the other hand, behaviorists view those behaviors as serving an environmental function. Once the environmental function of a psychiatric symptom is identified, it can be treated effectively by replacing it with a more acceptable behavior serving the same function. Presenters in this symposium will discuss the process of conducting FBAs and function-based treatments in various settings, including school systems, clinics, and homes, with several different symptoms of psychiatric diagnoses. Symptoms include anxiety, callous-unemotionality, disturbed attachment and non-suicidal self-injury.

Keyword(s): psychiatric diagnoses
 

Assessing Anxiety-Related Behaviors and Teaching Proactive Strategies for Coping with Anxiety

JESSICA MINAHAN (Neuropsychology & Education Services for Children & Adolescents)
Abstract:

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) reports that one in four 13-to-18-year-olds has had an anxiety disorder during their lifetime. Without intervention, these children are at risk for poor performance, diminished learning and social or behavior problems in school. The keys to successful intervention are to assess the function of anxiety in the students' behavior and to teach the students appropriate replacement behaviors for their anxiety responses. By understanding the role anxiety plays in a student's behavior, proper preventive strategies can be identified that avoid the reward/punishment-based consequences of traditional behavior plans. The focus then becomes the use of preventive strategies and the teaching of coping skills, self-monitoring and alternative responses. Consultation with teachers is essential to explain how to implement a successful behavior plan for a student with anxiety. This includes demonstrations of how to identify and accommodate common anxiety-provoking school activities, as well as explicitly teaching those underdeveloped skills that lead to anxiety-related behavior. Symposium participants will take away easy-to-implement preventive tools, in addition to strategies and interventions for reducing anxiety and increasing self-regulation, executive functioning and self-monitoring in students with anxiety disorders.

 

Including Bio-Behavioral States in Functional Behavioral Assessment: Treating Individuals with Conduct Problems and Anti-Social Behaviors

EMMI SCOTT (East Carolina University)
Abstract:

Behavior analysts emphasize the function of behavior specifically associated with the resulting contingencies. However, functional behavioral assessment can be extended by examining the effect that bio-behavioral states may have on individuals' responsiveness to reinforcing or punishing contingencies. Individuals with what researchers refer to as "callous-unemotional" traits demonstrate reduced neurophysiological responsiveness to aversive and emotional stimuli, and appear to have a generally limited repertoire of emotional behaviors (e.g., excluding fear, guilt, and empathy). Thus, they may not respond in the same way as neuro-typical individuals to aversive events and appear to lack many emotional behaviors. These bio-behavioral states may serve as abolishing operations and this lack of responsiveness may serve as a setting event for conduct problems. This presentation will provide a review of relevant research on "callous-unemotionality" and how this may lead to anti-social behaviors. Additionally, attendees will learn how this assessment information can be used to inform more comprehensive behavioral interventions.

 

Using Functional Behavioral Assessment to Select Coping and Self-Management Skills for Youth with Internalizing Disorders

JESSE W. JOHNSON (Northern Illinois University)
Abstract:

Coping and self-management strategies have been demonstrated as effective interventions for children and youth with anxiety and other internalizing disorders (Oswald, 2008). For example, a child with an anxiety disorder may learn to engage in specific alternative behaviors (e.g., problem solving, self-instruction, deep breathing, and progressive muscle relaxation) in the presence of stressful situations (Kendall, 2010). An emerging body of research is demonstrating that the effectiveness of coping and self-management skills can be further enhanced by the use of functional behavior assessment. This process provides the means for understanding the motivating operations and stimulus events that set the occasion for anxiety and for identifying the functions of anxiety responses. The purpose of this presentation is to a) summarize recent research on developing function-based self-management skills, b) outline a series of steps for practitioners to use when developing function-based self-management programs, and c) demonstrate the process through the a case study example.

 

Functional Behavioral Assessment and Function-Based Treatment of Non-Suicidal Self-Injury in Adolescents

ASHLEY LAUREN BOUKNIGHT WINGARD (East Carolina University), Jeannie A. Golden (East Carolina University)
Abstract:

Functional behavioral assessment can add significantly to the treatment of adolescents with non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI). NSSI includes cutting, burning, marking and other forms of bodily mutilation without suicidal thought or intention. Researchers have found that up to 45% of young adolescents have exhibited at least one incident of NSSI (Lloyd-Richardson, 2007; Nock & Prinstein, 2004). Setting events such as bullying, relationship problems, and other failures and disappointments are common in the daily lives of adolescents and may serve as establishing operations for cutting and other forms of NSSI. These behaviors may serve functions of immediate and effective access to attention and preferred activities and escape from painful emotions and sensations for these adolescents. By identifying the maintaining functions, treatment protocols can be developed that provide more appropriate replacement behaviors. This presentation will provide relevant research related to functional behavioral assessment of NSSI and provide a case example of how it was used in treatment.

 
 
Symposium #488
CE Offered: BACB
Strengthening College Survival: Contextual Behavioral Science and College Student Well-Being
Tuesday, May 27, 2014
9:00 AM–10:50 AM
W179a (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: CBM; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Kristian LaGrange (University of Louisiana at Lafayette)
Discussant: Michael Bordieri (University of Mississippi Medical Center)
CE Instructor: Michael Bordieri, Ph.D.
Abstract:

College has been described as one of the most challenging periods of adjustment in many individuals' lives. Many factors can influence students' well-being, such as adjusting to university culture, newfound independence and responsibilities, and exposure to sociocultural diversity. Improved college well-being could have substantial effects, not only for students and their families, but also for communities at large. Emerging research focuses on training students in psychological flexibility to improve psychological well-being. Psychological flexibility is the capacity to respond effectively and meaningfully across a number of situations, regardless of difficult experiences that may be present. It may be that learning psychological flexibility provides students with a buffer against the challenges inherent in college and the stress that results. The papers in this symposium seek to contribute to this body of work by exploring the impact of flexibility on college well-being. The first paper will explore coping strategies and the implications of stress. The second paper will explore the long term effects of bullying. The third paper will explore the impact of a flexibility-based intervention on procrastination. The fourth paper will explore the impact of a flexibility-based intervention on GRE preparation. Implications for further work in this area will be discussed.

Keyword(s): college well-being
 

When College Gets Hard: Exploring the Relationship between Coping Strategy Engagement and Severity of Stress

CHARLES KATE DINGUS (University of Mississippi), Nadia Bethley (University of Mississippi), Maureen Kathleen Flynn (University of Mississippi), Lindsay W. Schnetzer (University of Mississippi), Solomon Kurz (University of Mississippi), Kelly G. Wilson (University of Mississippi), Kate Kellum (University of Mississippi)
Abstract:

According to the most recent data released by the American College Health Association, 51.5% of college students sampled reported feeling more than average or tremendous stress within the past 12 months (42% and 9.5%, respectively) (ACHA, 2012). When stressed, people engage in coping strategies that differentially affect psychological distress. Strategies associated with psychological flexibility are associated with more positive outcomes (e.g., Ruiz, 2010; Sturmey, 2009), while psychologically inflexible strategies have been linked to greater psychological distress (e.g., Marcks & Woods, 2005; Hayes et al, 2006). Within the psychological flexibility model, few studies have looked at the interaction between severity of naturally occurring stressors and coping strategy and their influence on psychological distress. The purpose of the current study (ongoing) was to investigate the relationship between coping strategy and severity of stressor in a college population. Participants (n = 538) were prompted to write a brief description of a recent stressful event then indicate whether or not they used certain coping strategies to deal with this stressor. Preliminary results indicate there may be significant effects of coping strategy engagement on psychological distress in the predicted direction (e.g., alcohol use: = 0.18, t(535) = 4.34, p < .001, pr2 = .034).

 

It's Not About Lunch Money: Effects of Past Bullying on Present Functioning in College Students

EMMIE HEBERT (University of Louisiana at Lafayette), Kate Kellum (University of Mississippi), Kelly G. Wilson (University of Mississippi)
Abstract:

By the time they reach college age, most students have been through at least 12 years of schooling. Though we hope that most of it has been a positive experience, we know that this is not always the case. One thing many students struggle with in their primary and secondary school years is bullying. While it certainly has an effect on the student while it is happening (e.g. Espelage & Swearer, 2003), this paper focuses on the long-term effects of bullying. College students who have reported being victims of bullying in the past report higher rates of distress than those who do not report being bullied (e.g. Schafer et al, 2004). In addition to exploring effects of bullying on distress, this study examined how psychological flexibility may play a role in these effects. Preliminary data suggests that there is a relationship between students' past experiences with bullying and their current psychological flexibility. In addition to findings, implications for future research will be discussed.

 

It Can't Wait: Psychological Flexibility for Procrastination of College Students

ASHLYNE MULLEN (University of Louisiana at Lafayette), Emily Kennison Sandoz (University of Louisiana at Lafayette)
Abstract:

Ninety-five percent of college students procrastinate (O'Brien, 2002). Not only does procrastination lead to poor grades (van Eerde, 2003), students who engage in procrastinatory behaviors are generally more anxious (Rothblum, Solomon, & Murakami, 1986). People seek to avoid aversive stimuli, therefore the more aversive a situation, the more one will avoid (Steel, 2007). Procrastination does not simply involve avoidance of a task or situation, but the avoidance of experiences associated with that task. Rather than changing ineffective behavior, many suppress or avoid negative experiences, often resulting in ineffective functioning (Hayes, Luoma, Bond, Masuda, & Lillis, 2006; Hayes, Strosahl, & Wilson, 1999). This process, known as experiential avoidance, is at the core of the psychological flexibility model and is linked to psychopathology (Hayes & Gifford, 1997). Given that procrastination is an avoidant behavior, the psychological flexibility model can be a useful treatment method. The current study examines the impact of a flexibility-based intervention on procrastination with incoming 'at-risk' college students, meaning students at risk for failing out of school. Preliminary data suggests that using psychological flexibility techniques decreased procrastination while increasing well-being. Implications for effective education interventions will be discussed.

 

Knockin' on Grad School's Door: The Impact of Acceptance and Commitment Training on Graduate Record Examination Preparation Behavior

MADISON GAMBLE (University of Louisiana at Lafayette), Shiloh Eastin (University of Louisiana at Lafayette), Emily Squyres (University of Louisiana at Lafayette), Emily Kennison Sandoz (University of Louisiana at Lafayette)
Abstract:

The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) presents a significant challenge for most students who plan to attend graduate school. Juggling regular coursework with GRE preparation can result in significant anxiety, which many respond to by avoiding preparation altogether. Flexibility-based interventions, such as Acceptance and Commitment Training (ACT), increase purposive action by facilitating increased acceptance of and flexibility with uncomfortable experiences. This study evaluated a flexibility-based workshop targeting GRE-related anxiety and how it might impact engagement in GRE preparation above and beyond the typical workshop, focusing on 'tips and tricks' to improve GRE performance. Undergraduate students who were interested in graduate school and GRE preparation volunteered to participate in the study in return for access to computer-based GRE study materials for one month. Participants were randomly assigned to either a traditional GRE workshop or the ACT-based workshop. We then tracked the time they spent preparing for the GRE over the following month. Preliminary data suggest that ACT may, in fact, increase engagement in GRE preparation over and above traditional educational workshops. The more complex contributions of pre-intervention anxiety and flexibility will be discussed.

 
 
Paper Session #489
Reinforcer Efficacy
Tuesday, May 27, 2014
9:00 AM–10:50 AM
W175c (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: EAB
Chair: James S. MacDonall (Fordham University)
 
Conditioning Taste Aversion: Is It Possible Extinguish Sugar Intake by LiCl Administration?
Domain: Basic Research
ALMA GABRIELA MARTÍNEZ MORENO (University of Guadalajara), Antonio López Espinoza (University of Guadalajara), Laura Vanesa Santos Solano (University of Guadalajara), Imelda De León López (University of Guadalajara)
 
Abstract: Lithium chloride (LiCl) is effective unconditioned stimuli in the establishment of conditioned taste aversions (CTA) in the rat. It will be effective to extinguish sugar intake? The present study examined effects of Sugar-LiCl conditioning on subsequent sugar intake. Twenty-four albino rats (three-month-old at the beginning of the experiment) were exposed to free access to food and two bottles (water / 8% sugar solution) for 20 days. Then rats drank a 8% sugar solution for 10 min and were then injected intraperitoneally with LiCl (0.2% body weigth, 0.15 Molar) to produce a learned taste aversion to the sugar for three days. Control rats were injected without LiCl. Food and bottle with water did not available during LiCl administration. Later all rats were exposed to same conditions of initial phase during 20 days. Results showed only a sugar intake decreases in final phase respect to initial phase (p=0.00294). Control rats did not show significance differences in both phases (p=0.99489). The role of procedure, sugar solution and LiCL doses on feeding behavior and sugar-LiCl taste aversion conditioning are discussed. Supported by CONACYT 101314.
 

The Effect of Body Weight on Concurrent Schedule Performance and the Pecking Response With Hens

Domain: Basic Research
SURREY JACKSON (The University of Waikato), Lewis A. Bizo (The University of Waikato), Therese Mary Foster (The University of Waikato), James McEwan (The University of Waikato)
 
Abstract:

Motivating Operations (MOs) are frequently manipulated (by changing access to commodities and manipulating other variables such as body weight) in order to change responding. Manipulations of body weight have been found to alter behaviour, for example obese and lean rats display differential sensitivity to reinforcers on concurrent schedules of reinforcement. What is not known is the effect that altering MOs may have on the topography of the response related to obtaining the reinforcer. This study has two aims, to investigate the effect of altering body weight on concurrent schedule performance and to investigate the effect that altering body weight may have on the time durations of each component of the hens peck response. Three hens held at 85%--5% were shaped via the method of successive approximations and three via autoshaping to respond for food reinforcers on a touch screen. Analysis of video footage of pecks into individual components (head fixation to beak contact to no movement) showed that the time duration of each component remained stable across both groups. Hens then worked for the same reinforcer under concurrent VI VI schedules with a range of reinforcer ratios with body weight held at 85%--5%, then 95--5%.

 

Understanding Preference Shifts: A Review and Alternate Explanation of Within-Trial Contrast and State-Dependent Valuation

Domain: Theory
JAMES NICHOLSON MEINDL (The University of Memphis)
 
Abstract:

When a stimulus precedes a less preferred event, preference for that stimulus decreases relative to a stimulus that precedes a more preferred event. Recently, however, it has been demonstrated that when a stimulus follows a less preferred event, that stimulus may become favored over a stimulus that follows a more preferred event. This effect has been investigated under different names -- within-trial contrast and state-dependent valuation--and different models have been proposed to explain the effect. This presentation will provide an overview of the phenomenon and describe the two current models. A third model will then be proposed. This new model explains the phenomenon through an analysis of motivating operations. All three models will then be compared in terms of parsimony and predictive capacity.

 
The Stay-Switch Model Applies to Qualitatively Different Reinforcers
Domain: Basic Research
JAMES S. MACDONALL (Fordham University)
 
Abstract: These experiments show the stay-switch model describes choice responding when using qualitatively different reinforcers, the opportunity to eat, or to run. Because food deprivation is a common establishing operation for both reinforcers, Experiments 1 and 2 determined these two reinforcers would not interact when delivered during the same session. Six rats were trained on progressive ratio schedules for running reinforcement. Following stable the break points they were given 0, 5, 11, 22, 45, and 90 pellets before progressive ratio sessions. Experiment 2 trained them on progressive ratio schedule for food reinforcement. Following stable responding gave 0, 75, 165, 330 675 or 1350 sec of running before progressive ratio sessions. The results of both experiments showed that break points did not change systematically with differing amounts of pre-food or pre-running, indicating the reinforcers did not interact. Experiment 3 trained five different rats on concurrent random-interval random-interval schedules using independent schedule for staying left, switching right, staying right and switching left. The results of the first four conditions are described by the stay switch model with a large bias towards food reinforcement. Consistent with the bias, breakpoints for food reinforcers were 2 to 3 times larger than breakpoints for running reinforcers.
 
 
 
Symposium #490
Recent Developments in the Search for Emergent Symmetry with Nonhumans
Tuesday, May 27, 2014
9:00 AM–10:50 AM
W176b (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: EAB/TPC; Domain: Basic Research
Chair: Manish Vaidya (University of North Texas)
Discussant: Peter Urcuioli (Purdue University)
Abstract:

Recent empirical and conceptual developments (e.g., Wasserman & Frank, 2005; Urcuioli, 2008) have suggested that the failure to observe derived relational responding in nonhuman subjects is the result of irrelevant stimulus properties such as the spatial location of the stimuli gaining control over the response. Procedures that preclude the development of control by irrelevant features have begun to produce reliable evidence of associative symmetry in pigeons. This symposium brings together presentations from four different laboratories investigating derived relational responding with nonhuman subjects using this procedure. Campos & Debert present data on pigeons working with compound visual stimuli and ask whether the resulting performances are conditional discriminations. Vaidya & Stancato present some data on stimulus-parameter manipulations and their effects on pigeons' acquisition of baseline relations and performance on tests for associative symmetry. Bruce, Prichard, & Galizio report presents data on rats' acquisition of baseline relations and emergent symmetry using olfactory stimuli. Finally, Swisher & Urcuioli present some data on stimulus locations and their role in the emergence of associative symmetry in pigeons' go/no-go performances.

Keyword(s): Emergent Symmetry, Go/No Go, Pigeons, Rats
 

Stimulus Class Formation Investigated in Transfer of Function Tests after a Go/no-go Procedure with Compound Stimuli

HELOISA CURSI CAMPOS (University of Sao Paulo), Paula Debert (University of Sao Paulo)
Abstract:

A go/no-go procedure with compound stimuli investigates stimulus class formation in tests that resemble the typical tests conducted with the matching-to-sample procedure. This experiment investigated stimulus class formation using a transfer of function test after training in a go/no-go procedure with compound stimuli. Six pigeons were trained to respond to A1B1, A2B2, B1C1, and B2C2 and refrain from responding to A1B2, A2B1, B1C2, and B2C1. Subsequently, subjects were trained to respond in DRL 3 s, a lower response rate, to A1 and in FR20, a higher response rate, to A2. Tests presented B1, C1, B2, and C2 to verify if subjects would show a lower response rate to B1 and C1 and a higher response rate to B2 and C2. Results showed a different response pattern for each stimulus and subject. Neither pattern was consistent with stimulus class formation. Stimulus class formation was not verified using transfer of function tests.

 

Evidence of Associative Symmetry Following the Development of Conditional Relations in a Go/no-go Procedure

MANISH VAIDYA (University of North Texas), Stefanie S. Stancato (University of North Texas)
Abstract:

The Go, No-Go procedure has recently attracted attention for its use in establishing symmetrical relations/responding in pigeons (Frank and Wasserman, 2005, Urcuiolli, 2008). In our attempts to utilize the Go, No-Go procedure to systematically replicate Urcuioli (2008), we found evidence of selective attending to stimuli that possibly precluded contact with the relevant feature of the stimuli. As a result, components of the stimuli were systematically manipulated to bring pigeons responding in line with the experimenter defined baseline conditional relations. In particular, we began presenting the stimuli over the entire display as opposed to on small "keys". Our results suggest rapid acquisition of the conditional relations with both forms and colors. It remains to be seen if the performance on probe trials will meet the definition of emergent symmetry. The results will be discussed in terms of cross modal sample and comparison stimuli and the role that the procedural features in the establishment of baseline conditional discriminations and derived symmetrical relations.

 

Successive Conditional Discrimination in Rats: A Search for Symmetry and Generalized Identity

KATHERINE ELY BRUCE (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Ashley Prichard (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Mark Galizio (University of North Carolina Wilmington)
Abstract:

Most studies of emergent symmetry in nonhumans have yielded negative results. However, symmetry has been demonstrated in pigeons using visual stimuli in a successive discrimination procedure (Frank & Wasserman, 2005; Urcuioli, 2008 and subsequent studies). We attempted to replicate Urcuioli's (2008) study in rats using scents as stimuli and comparisons in an automated olfactometer. Rats were trained on identity and arbitrary conditional discriminations and after meeting criterion, were tested for symmetry. Results failed to show evidence of emergent symmetry. A second group of rats was trained exclusively on identity relations using the same successive discrimination procedures and showed evidence of generalized identity matching.

 

Stimulus Location and Symmetry: A Systematic Replication

MELISSA J. SWISHER (Purdue University), Peter Urcuioli (Purdue University)
Abstract:

Two previous experiments demonstrated symmetry in pigeons after concurrent training on hue-form symbolic, hue identity, and form identity go/no-go matching even with samples presented in one spatial location (center key) and comparisons in a different spatial location (left key). In the present study, one group of pigeons (Experimental) was trained using these same baseline contingencies. A second, control group received similar training except for its form identity task in which both samples and comparisons appeared in the same spatial location (center key). Subsequent symmetry probe trials were the same for both groups, consisting of center-key form samples and left-key hue comparisons. As predicted by Urcuioli's (2008) theory of stimulus-class formation, three of four pigeons in the Experimental group showed symmetry. Contrary to theory, however, so did two of four Control pigeons, although follow-up studies question whether that result might be replicable.

 
 
Symposium #491
Translational Research in Behavioral Momentum Theory
Tuesday, May 27, 2014
9:00 AM–10:50 AM
W176c (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
Chair: Christopher A. Podlesnik (The University of Auckland)
Discussant: Iser Guillermo DeLeon (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Abstract:

The purpose of this symposium is to highlight translational research from the framework of behavioral momentum theory. Behavioral momentum theory provides a theoretical framework for understanding how reinforcement controls fundamental aspects of operant behavior-response rate and persistence. According to behavioral momentum theory, the operant relation between responding and reinforcement impacts response rates. Furthermore, the Pavlovian relation between a discriminative-stimulus context and the rate of reinforcement obtained in the presence of that context determines the persistence, or resistance to change, of operant behavior. This symposium includes four presentations representing a range along the continuum of translational research. Two presentations assess basic questions involving differential reinforcement using animal models (Podlesnik, Craig), one extends the purview of behavioral momentum to relapse in applied settings (Mace), and the final presentation assesses the role of mand preference in determining persistence when using functional communication training (Wacker). All four presentations have a common focus toward highlighting the relevance of behavioral momentum theory to understanding how reinforcement processes influence outcomes of behavioral treatments.

Keyword(s): behavioral momentum, reinstatement, resurgence, translational research
 
Stimulus Generalization and Resistance to Extinction in Combined Stimulus Contexts
CHRISTOPHER A. PODLESNIK (The University of Auckland), Jonas Chan (The University of Auckland), Vikki J. Bland (The University of Auckland)
Abstract: Behavioural treatments often reduce problem behaviour by reinforcing an appropriate behavior. Studies of behavioral momentum theory reveal that reinforcing alternative and target behavior concurrently within the same stimulus context reduce the rate but enhance the persistence of target responding. Therefore, such findings suggest that behavioural treatments could enhance the persistence of problem behaviour. Recent findings reveal that reinforcing alternative and target behavior in separate stimulus contexts before combining only disrupts target behavior, providing a potential solution to the persistence-enhancing effects of behavioural treatments. The present study assessed the extent to which the alternative stimulus context itself influenced the disruption of target behavior. We assessed a range of alternative stimuli that systematically deviated from the alternative training stimulus when combining with the target stimulus in extinction. Combining the original alternative stimulus with the target stimulus produced the greatest disruption of target behavior, with the disruptive effect of alternative stimuli decreasing as they deviated from the original alternative training stimulus. These findings suggest that deviations from the original alternative stimulus context (e.g., a different therapist) will reduce the effectiveness of treatments employing stimulus combinations.
 
Effects of Alternative-Reinforcement Rate on Extinction and Relapse of Behavior Maintained by Food and Analog Sensory Consequences
ANDREW R. CRAIG (Utah State University), Mary Margaret Sweeney (Utah State University), Timothy A. Shahan (Utah State University), John A. Nevin (University of New Hampshire)
Abstract: The present study examined the effect of alternative-reinforcement rate on extinction and relapse of behavior maintained by both food and analog sensory consequences in pigeons. In Phase 1, pecks to a target-response key produced 3-s hopper presentations (RT) according to a variable-interval (VI) 120-s schedule and 1-s flashing key lights (sensory rT) according to a VI 30-s schedule in each component of a three-component multiple schedule. Sensory consequences (rT) continued throughout the study. In Phase 2, RT was suspended for the target response in two treatment components, but Phase 1 contingencies continued in the no-treatment component. Pecking an alternative key in one treatment component produced RT according to a VI 30-s [high-rate differential-reinforcement-of-alternative-behavior (DRA)] schedule and according to a VI 120-s (low-rate DRA) schedule in the other. Across all components, RT was suspended in Phase 3. Phase 4 tested for reinstatement using response-independent RT deliveries. High-rate DRA produced quicker response elimination than low-rate DRA during Phase 2. In Phase 3, resurgence of target responding did not differ between treatment components. Reinstatement (Phase 4) did not differ as a function of prior DRA rate. These results will be discussed in terms of behavioral momentum theory and implications for practice.
 

Clinical Translation of Animal Models of Treatment Relapse

Duncan Pritchard (Aran Hall School), Marguerite L. Hoerger (Bangor University), F. CHARLES MACE (Nova Southeastern University), Heather Penney (Aran Hall School), Brian Harris (Aran Hall School)
Abstract:

Behavioral Momentum Theory (BMT) has inspired animal models of treatment relapse. We translated the models of reinstatement and resurgence into clinical procedures to test whether relapse tests would replicate behavior pattern found in basic research. Following multiple schedule baseline reinforcement of a 16 year-old male’s problem behavior at equal rates by two therapists, treatment was introduced using a variable-interval, variable-time (VI VT) schedule arrangement with therapists delivering reinforcers at different rates. Despite the differing rates of VI VT reinforcers, the treatment produced comparable reductions in problem behavior. Following successful treatment, the two therapists discontinued treatment and resumed reinforcement of problem behavior at equal rates that constituted a reinstatement of baseline conditions. As predicted by BMT, reinstatement resulted in an immediate return of high rates of problem behavior but was 2.6 times higher for the therapist using the higher rate VI VT treatment. A second treatment phase was implemented followed by a test of resurgence in a single extended extinction session conducted separately for each therapist. The unequal VI VT treatment rates by therapists resulted in 2.1 times greater responding in the resurgence test for the therapist who implemented the higher rate VI VT procedure.

 

Relations Between Mand Preference and the Persistence of Manding

Patrick Romani (The University of Iowa), DAVID P. WACKER (The University of Iowa), Wendy K. Berg (The University of Iowa), Alyssa N. Seuss (The University of Iowa), Stephen E. Ryan (The University of Iowa), Joel Eric Ringdahl (Southern Illinois University)
Abstract:

The purpose of this 5 phase investigation was to evaluate the effects of mand preference on the persistence of manding. We present data from one participant (Evan) enrolled in the current investigation. Evan used signing (please) and a PODD book for expressive manding. Interobserver agreement (IOA) was calculated on at least 30% of each condition and averaged 98%. A functional analysis of problem behavior was first conducted within a multiple schedules design, and showed that Evan engaged in problem behavior maintained by access to tangible items. A mands proficiency assessment was next conducted within a multiple schedules design and showed that Evan was equally independent in signing and use of the PODD. A mands preference assessment was conducted next within a concurrent schedules design and showed Evans preference for signing over the PODD. Functional communication training for tangible items was next conducted within a multiple schedules design to establish similar reinforcement histories for signing and PODD use. Extinction was then implemented to measure the persistence of manding. Results showed that signing persisted more than PODD use, suggesting that preference for mands may interact with rate of reinforcement to increase persistence.

 
 
Symposium #492
Social Behavior: New Paradigms and Findings
Tuesday, May 27, 2014
9:00 AM–10:50 AM
W176a (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
Chair: Timothy D. Hackenberg (Reed College)
Discussant: Louise Barrett (University of Lethbridge)
Abstract:

Social behavior is a topic of enormous scientific importance that spans disciplines from neuroscience to anthropology. And while the topic has received much empirical and theoretical attention, it has been virtually neglected in behavior analysis. The goal of this symposium is to bring together several lines of research on social behavior in non-human animals. Zentalls presentation will focus on varieties of imitation, including the proper control conditions needed to separate flexible and deferred imitation from simpler forms of imitation. Velasco and colleagues will present data on cooperative behavior with pigeons, comparing behavior under individual contingencies that under interlocking social contingencies. Serrano and colleagues will present data on a cooperation task, in which rats choose between working individually and working collectively. Hackenberg & Tan will present data with rats in a mutual cooperation task requiring collective responses. Barrett will discuss the presentations from a comparative-evolutionary perspective, situating the work within the field of comparative cognition, and identifying promising areas for future research.

 

Is Coordination the Key to Cooperation?

MATT LOCEY (State University of New York Stony Brook), Howard Rachlin (State University of New York Stony Brook)
Abstract:

In a prisoner’s dilemma game (PDG), two subjects are paired together and given the opportunity to “cooperate” or “defect”. The immediate consequences of each choice always favor defecting over cooperating (at least, for the individual that is defecting). However, if both players defect, the consequences are worse (for both) than if both had cooperated. The probability of reciprocation in a PDG determines the extent to which the long-term contingencies favor cooperation over defection. With perfect reciprocation, cooperation in the current trial should be reinforced by the other player’s cooperation in the next trial and defection in the current trial should be punished by the other player’s defection in the next trial. As such, establishing coordination (a high level of reciprocation) might be an important key in establishing cooperation. In the present experiment, four pigeons were paired together to participate in an iterated coordination game. Each pigeon chose between cooperating on an FR 23 and defecting on an FR 15. Each cooperation response reduced the cooperation ratio requirement for the other pigeon. Under these conditions, all 4 pigeons eventually learned to cooperate despite the higher local rate of reinforcement for defection.

 

Cooperation in Pigeons

SAULO MISSIAGGIA VELASCO (Universidade de Sao Paulo), Arthur Mitio Nagae (Universidade de Sao Paulo), Gerson Yukio Tomanari (Universidade de Sao Paulo)
Abstract:

This study aims to produce an experimental analogue of cooperation in pigeons. An operant conditioning box split in two chambers by a transparent wall was used. Each chamber contained a feeder and two vertically aligned keys near the wall so that subjects could visualize each other while responding on the keys. Each key on one chamber was aligned to a correspondent key on the other. On each trial, all keys were simultaneously illuminated with red or green lights. Two pigeons were simultaneously placed in the box (one in each chamber). Then, they were trained individually to produce 3-seconds of food by pecking one key per trial in a 10-s fixed interval, no matter the color presented on the keys (individual contingency). After performances have stabilized, a cooperation contingency was superimposed to the individual contingency: pigeons could produce additional 4-seconds of food if they coordinately responded at same-height keys on the red lights and at different-height keys on the green lights. This condition lasted until pigeons' interlocked behaviors have produced the additional food systematically throughout a session. Results showed the selection of the target cooperative behaviors.

 

Choice between Individual and Conjoint Responses as a Function of Alternatives' Value

CATALINA SERRANO (Universidade de São Paulo), Arturo Clavijo (Universidad Nacional de Colombia), Alejandro Segura (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México)
Abstract:

The aim of the experiment was to assess choice between alternatives that required individual or conjoint responses as a function of the alternatives' value. Five male rats worked in a chamber divided into two sections. In each section, there were a lateral and a central rail that both sections shared. Subjects responded by moving a ball from one extreme of the rail to the other. Each session comprised four forced and six choice trials. We assumed that the amount and delay of reinforcement determined the value of each alternative. We manipulated the amount as the number of food pellets and measured the delays. As the joint response depended on the subjects, their behavior determined the delays. Subjects worked alone in Phase 1 and by pairs in Phase 2. In both phases, the subjects chose the alternative with the higher value. Delays depended on the subjects responses in both phases but varied more in Phase 2 than in Phase 1 because of the conjoint task, which reduced the value of the amount in 1 unit (M=1.05, SD=0.06). When the relation of pellets was 4:1 for the central and lateral rails the conjoint task had the greatest value.

 

Working Together: Some Conditions Affecting Mutual Cooperation Among Rats

TIMOTHY D. HACKENBERG (Reed College), Lavinia C. M. Tan (Reed College)
Abstract:

Cagemate rat pairs were studied in a mutual cooperation paradigm, in which alternating lever presses within 0.5 s of each other produced food for both rats. The effects of this mutual reinforcement contingency were assessed on a within-pair basis across a series of conditions. Mutual responding (alternating responses less than 0.5 s apart) was higher in conditions in which it was reinforced than in extinction conditions, despite equivalent overall food rates. Later conditions were designed to assess some effects of social familiarity on mutual behavior by assigning each rat to a new partner. Such reassignment had only temporary effects on mutual responding; despite matching pairs on the basis of dissimilar response rates, mutual responding was quickly established among the new partners. Together, the results identify some conditions that affect mutual cooperation among rats, and illustrate a promising lab model of social behavior in a controlled setting.

 
 
Symposium #493
CE Offered: BACB
Behavior Analysis is Game
Tuesday, May 27, 2014
9:00 AM–10:50 AM
W193a (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: TBA/PRA; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Kathleen Dignan (University of North Texas)
Discussant: Julie S. Vargas (B. F. Skinner Foundation)
CE Instructor: Jesus Rosales-Ruiz, Ph.D.
Abstract:

This symposium will introduce a game that can be used to teach behavioral principles, inquire about behavioral phenomena, and conduct research. The game, which is called PORTL (Portable Operant Research and Teaching Lab), is played between two people, the teacher and the learner, using a collection of small objects, a clicker, and tokens. The teacher communicates with the learner entirely through reinforcement. No instructions, prompts, or models are used during the game to direct the learner. The game, which can be played by both children and adults, uses simple, inexpensive equipment and can be played anywhere. The first presentation will describe a series of exercises that can be used as a laboratory component in behavior analysis classes to allow students to come in contact with the principles of behavior. The second presentation will show how to use PORTL as a tool to explore and gain insight about how behavioral phenomena work under different conditions. The third presentation will demonstrate how to ask and answer research questions using PORTL.

Keyword(s): behavior analysis, learning, shaping, teaching
 
Teaching with PORTL
JESUS ROSALES-RUIZ (University of North Texas), Mary Elizabeth Hunter (Pappy's Pet Lodge), Kay Laurence (Learning About Dogs)
Abstract: An integral part of teaching behavior analysis is that students come in contact with the subject matter. Traditionally, this has been accomplished by having students perform guided laboratory exercises on topics such as reinforcement, extinction, schedules of reinforcement, shaping, and chaining, using rats or pigeons (e.g. Michael, 1962). With the decline of animal laboratories, students now often miss out on this experience entirely or must conduct these types of exercises using computer software programs that model animal behavior. This is unfortunate because hands-on exercises with living organisms give students real life experience observing, analyzing, and changing behavior and serve as a foundation for the extension of behavior principles to applied situations. This presentation will describe an outline of a manual that teaches students how to prepare an environment that is conducive for training, collect baseline data, construct a teaching program, observe behavior during teaching, and modify their teaching program based on the behavior of the learner. Students see the effects of contingencies in action through a series of progressive exercises that bring them in contact with topics such as reinforcer delivery, shaping behavior, stimulus control, schedules of reinforcement, the role of the learner’s previous history, and teaching conceptual behavior.
 
Inquiring with PORTL
ERICA FOSS (University of North Texas), Kathleen Dignan (University of North Texas), Jesus Rosales-Ruiz (University of North Texas)
Abstract: An important aspect of gaining insight into behavioral processes is the ability to recreate the phenomena under a variety of controlled conditions. Our understanding of how behavior processes work is informed by a combination of science and intuition and we often wish to know more about how certain variables influence certain patterns of behavior. PORTL offers a way to rapidly gain insight into behavior by providing a framework to model particular behaviors or situations observed in applied settings. PORTL can be used to explore a variety of questions, including what is the best way to transfer a verbal discriminative stimulus to a nonverbal discriminative stimulus? How can a complex behavior chain be taught with minimal errors? What is the simplest way to teach a new behavior to replace a behavior already in the learner’s history? This presentation will demonstrate how to use PORTL to inquire about behavior processes. In particular, we will discuss using PORTL to explore patterns of behavior observed during extinction and how certain variables and situations produce different, but predictable, patterns of resurgence.
 
Researching with PORTL
MARY ELIZABETH HUNTER (Pappy's Pet Lodge), Jesus Rosales-Ruiz (University of North Texas)
Abstract: PORTL offers a convenient and inexpensive apparatus for conducting behavioral research. It can be used to rapidly determine the appropriate baseline and environmental arrangements for asking a variety of research questions. This presentation will discuss guidelines for conducting research using PORTL and describe the process that goes into setting up research experiments. To demonstrate PORTL’s capability as a research apparatus, this presentation will showcase a study that examined the effects of one reinforcer during shaping. During shaping, if the organism is engaged in behaviors other than approximations to the target behavior, the trainer may resort to delivering a reinforcer for a behavior that is not a successive approximation. Anecdotal reports suggest that sometimes the animal continues to repeat the behavior that received only one reinforcer, even in the absence of further reinforcement for this behavior. This study compared whether, during extinction, participants spent more time engaged in a behavior that had been reinforced only once after a brief period of no reinforcement or in a behavior that had been reinforced multiple times. This study provided new information about how reinforcement works during shaping and demonstrated the usefulness of PORTL as a research apparatus.
 

On the Road with PORTL

KATHLEEN DIGNAN (University of North Texas), Erica Foss (University of North Texas), Mary Elizabeth Hunter (Pappy's Pet Lodge), Jesus Rosales-Ruiz (University of North Texas)
Abstract:

PORTL can be used effectively as a teaching tool for large groups of learners, for example, in a classroom or workshop setting, or with pairs of learners working on their own. This presentation will discuss how to set up optimal learning situations using PORTL in a variety of different teaching settings, including classrooms, workshops, and small groups. This presentation will also explain the different roles used during PORTL, including teacher, learner, and data collector, and discuss how participating in each of these roles contributes to the students learning.

 
 
Paper Session #494
Standing on the Shoulders of Nobody: The Lack of Citations of the Relevant Technical Literature by Advocates of Facilitated Communication
Tuesday, May 27, 2014
10:00 AM–10:20 AM
W183c (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: AUT
Chair: Chelsea Dore (Eastern Michigan University)
 
Standing on the Shoulders of Nobody: The Lack of Citations of the Relevant Technical Literature by Advocates of Facilitated Communication.
Domain: Theory
CHELSEA DORE (Eastern Michigan University), James T. Todd (Eastern Michigan University)
 
Abstract: The advocates of Facilitated Communication (FC) claim that their method enables typing- or pointing-based communication in people who cannot speak by providing an assistant who physically stabilizes the persons arm during the typing or pointing. FC advocates claim that fading of support is a goal of the method, such that the subject eventually types independently. Despite a large number of references to fading, it does not appear that FC advocates avail themselves to the large literature on prompting and fading. They also do not seem to employ standard methods to detect or prevent prompt dependency. This study examines the FC literature for evidence that it includes reference to the scientific literature on prompt fading, shaping, and other techniques relevant to the transfer of stimulus control to the natural environment. An initial examination of the literature has revealed few, if any, relevant references. Additional investigations of citations in the FC literature of other relevant principles indicate the same situation. This absence of any meaningful connection to the scientific literature on behavior predicts serious failures in implementation. Specifically we should expect that ignoring these procedures, FC will not lead to independent communication.
 
 
 
Symposium #495
CE Offered: BACB
Exploring Direct-Service Providers: When Behavior Analysis is Taken out of the Hands of Behavior Analysts
Tuesday, May 27, 2014
10:00 AM–10:50 AM
W184bc (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: AUT/PRA; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Jacqueline Wynn (Nationwide Children's Hospital Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders)
CE Instructor: Alissa Greenberg, Ph.D.
Abstract:

The principles of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) outlined by Baer, Wolf, and Risley (1968) have resulted in a wide range of applications across many fields of study. ABA has been demonstrated to be highly efficacious, efficient, and effective for reduction of problem behavior and skill acquisition, particularly for those with developmental disabilities. There are a profusion of studies examining specific procedures to reduce the frequency and severity of severe challenging behavior as well as to increase adaptive behavior or desirable language skills. Research within the field of behavior analysis is less readily available describing the individuals who may be implementing such procedures. This symposium aims to provide information on a broad spectrum of individuals involved in the application of behavior analysisteachers, parents, and trained behavioral staff. These talks will focus on 1) the perceptions and opinions of individuals who are implementing behavior-reduction procedures, 2) the importance of considering readiness for change in parents and caregivers, and 3) the impacts of job stress, responsibilities and training for direct care staff. The successes of our experimentally derived interventions are often related to the context within which they are applied and the impacts of these social factors are discussed in respect to our day-to-day behavior analytic practice.

Keyword(s): Direct-service providers, Training
 

Aversive Plans in a Positive Culture: Parent and Teacher Perceptions of Aversive Behavior Plans and Behavior Reduction Procedures

CHRISTIN A. MCDONALD (Nationwide Children's Hospital Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders), Nicole M. Powell (Nationwide Children's Hopsital Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders), James Thoman (Nationwide Children's Hospital Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders)
Abstract:

ABA has supplied multiple technologies for both increasing adaptive behaviors and decreasing maladaptive behaviors for people with developmental disabilities (Durand & Carr, 1991; Hanley et al., 1998; Hagopian et al., 1998; Wordsell et al., 2000). Some technologies within the scope of ABA have been widely accepted (e.g., positive reinforcement strategies, token systems, antecedent strategies), while others strategies utilizing punishment as a mechanism for behavior change have been accepted less readily. Many technologies utilizing punishment have gradually been folded into the term aversive and the larger social, educational, and psychology cultures have developed opinions on the value of aversive procedures. The researchers distributed a survey to parents and educators where they were asked to rate the social validity of behavior plans through vignettes. Statistical analyses of teacher data revealed significant disagreement (p < .001) with vignettes involving contingent vs. crisis application and vignettes with non-physical punishment interventions (i.e. timeout) vs. physical punishment interventions (i.e. restraint). Descriptive analyses revealed biases toward specific wording when asked about procedures often used in behavior plans. Given these results, we discuss the implications public perceptions and how learning more about the social climate surrounding aversive procedures will continue to inform behavior analytic practice in the future.

 

Parents' Readiness for Change: A Survey Tool for Behavior Analysts who Include Parent Training in Their Practice

ALISSA GREENBERG (Ed Support Services), Jacqueline Wynn (Nationwide Children's Hospital Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders)
Abstract:

Parent involvement is not only recommended as a critical component of effective interventions for persons with autism, but it is also now required by many funding agencies. As an increasing number of behavior analysts include parent training in their practice, it has become important to take a critical look at parent training and its effectiveness. Generally positive outcomes are associated with training parents to implement behavioral strategies, however, there still remains a wide range of outcomes associated with this practice. Research indicates that around a quarter to a third of families do not benefit from parent training. Further, the strongest predictor of positive outcomes is related to parents motivation. The current presentation describes the development of a survey intended to evaluate parents readiness to participate in parent training and presents data related to the surveys validity and reliability. The survey was disseminated to parents of children with autism receiving behavior intervention. Results support the utility of the survey as a tool for assessing parents motivation for participation in parent training programs, a variable which behavior analysts would be wise to consider before beginning parent training with all of their clients.

 

The Front Lines: Staff Perceptions of Job Stress, Job Responsibilities and Job Support Across Programmatic Specialties

ANYA FROELICH (Nationwide Children's Hospital Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders), Nicole M. Powell (Nationwide Children's Hopsital Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders), Christin A. McDonald (Nationwide Children's Hospital Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders)
Abstract:

The intensive in intensive behavioral intervention services relates to a number of factors, including the hours, energy, and finances that go into skill acquisition and severe behavior programstrue for both families who receive services, as well as the clinicians who provide the care. Direct care workers face a number of job-related stressors, mediated by factors such as range of tasks and available supervision and resources/training (Larson & Hewitt, 2005; Rose et al., 2003; Sharrard, 1992). Direct care staff were surveyed on their primary job duties, job satisfaction, level of perceived stress, and the impact of training on their jobs. Statistical analyses indicated no significant differences in perceived stress for staff who identify as primarily skill acquisition vs. severe behavior reduction clinicians (p = .085). However, within this sample, those who work within a severe behavior reduction framework felt more overall job support compared to those within the skill acquisition programs (p = .02). Additionally, behavior reduction clinicians reported greater value and importance of job-specific trainings than those whose primary jobs were skill acquisition (p = .04). Additional findings regarding trainings and staff perceptions are discussed and the potential impacts on daily behavior analytic practice.

 
 
Symposium #496
CE Offered: BACB
Delivery of Humanitarian Aid through Teaching and Applying Behaviour Analysis in the Nation of Georgia
Tuesday, May 27, 2014
10:00 AM–10:50 AM
W190b (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: CSE/DDA; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Edward K. Morris (The University of Kansas)
CE Instructor: Edward K. Morris, Ph.D.
Abstract:

This symposium addresses three initiatives for transitioning abandoned, abused, and disabled children from state institutions to community-based alternatives in the nation of Georgia. First, applied behaviour analysis (ABA) was taught at several of the institutions and Tbilisi State University, while professional development was provided to Georgian psychologists in New Zealand and the United States. Second, advocating for improved policies, implementing improved practices, and transitioning the children was begun. With UNICEF funding, this Children of Georgia project evaluated the ability of 700 children in 13 institutions to be transitioned, supported ABA training for Georgian staff members to improve childcare in four institutions, and prepared children for transitions (e.g., to their homes). Third, the Project supported school teachers, parents of children with autism, and caretakers in the community-based alternatives (e.g., group homes). Applied behaviour analysis was the foundation for improving policies, developing community-based alternatives, and training a generation of Georgian psychologists in ABA, some of whom disseminate it in Georgian institutions of higher education. The continued development of these initiatives at James Madison University, VA is discussed. These initiatives were the basis for the 2014 award from the Society for the Advancement of Behaviour Analysis for the International Dissemination of Behaviour Analysis.

Keyword(s): Deinstiutionalization
 

Responding with ABA to Guide and Initiate Policy Changes for Children in Closed Georgian Institutions

JANEMARY CASTELFRANC-ALLEN RAWLS (Applied Psychology International)
Abstract:

Emerging from civil war, Georgia had numerous children in poor conditions in closed and previously Soviet-controlled institutions in 1997. The initial response of two behaviour analysts from New Zealand was to select and support committed psychology graduates from Tbilisi State University, teach ABA, and conduct related practica in the "Tbilisi Infant House" and the notorious "Kaspi" institution for children deemed disabled. Emphasis was on developing skilled behaviour analysts rather than ABA technologists. Funds and political permission allowed three psychologists to work in three institutions to improve childcare. Professional development was furthered by two visiting practitioner-professors to Georgia, three-month placements for several Georgian in New Zealand and the US, and ABA programs to assess and therapeutically intervene with infants/children in four institutions. Assessment reports on child welfare presented at several political levels became part of child advocacy to improve the lives of these children. The "Children of Georgia" NGO was established and offices purchased from which to work and be known. Grant applications to Save the Children and UNICEF were made, sparking almost a decade of training, supervising, and supporting "Children of Georgia" work alongside other NGOs and original ABA members now in Governmental positions to assist vulnerable children in Georgia.

 

Preparing for Closure of Georgian State Children's Institutions and Transitioning Children into the Community

BARRY S. PARSONSON (Applied Psychology International)
Abstract:

Assessing children and preparing for the closure of institutions ahead of transition into community-based living required development of an adaptive behaviour assessment instrument to determine each childs readiness for inclusion and to identify their placement options. The training of a new generation of ABA specialists to work in institutions with staff and children to help them manage challenging behaviours and to initiate pre-school education and life-skills programmes was also initiated in four institutions. ABA trained psychologists also prepared young institutionalized children for transition to community and family living, as well as training the foster-parents who were to receive and care for them. In addition, this presentation traces the process of developing policies and procedures for transition to the community, advocacy at the Government level for appropriate legal, and social provisions for adoption and foster care and for the childrens right of access to medical services and educational facilities. It also briefly addresses the impact of the 2008 Georgian-Russian conflict on displaced and traumatised families and the support services developed to meet the resulting crisis.

 

Increasing Capacity for Georgian Caregivers Supporting Children with Histories of Abuse, Neglect, and Developmental Disablities

ANA BARKAIA (Children of Georgia), Nino Chkhaidze (Children of Georgia), Trevor F. Stokes (James Madison University)
Abstract:

As large institutions for children were closed, Georgian children were transferred to small group homes staffed by caregivers. Children served included those with histories of abuse, neglect, and attachment disorders. These programs were supported by consultation from NGO Children of Georgia psychologists. At the same time, awareness of the prevalence and challenges of autism spectrum disorder became more prominent and the need for services to support children and families was responded to by Children of Georgia psychologists providing direct services and training for parents. The need to build capacity and professional competencies for direct caregivers, parents and teachers was subsequently addressed by a series of workshops by international consultants who provided both didactic and practical training and experience with in-home consultation. Additional training opportunities for Georgian psychologists were made available by scholarship support of two behavior analysts to enroll in graduate degree programs at James Madison University in Virginia. Following this additional training these students will return to Georgia to contribute as leaders in the further development of therapy services and programs for children and families in Tbilisi and the outlying regions in rural areas. They will also develop programs for advancing knowledge within human service systems and tertiary education.

 
 
Paper Session #498
Behavior Analytic Approaches to School-Wide Change
Tuesday, May 27, 2014
10:00 AM–10:50 AM
W195 (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: EDC
Chair: Z. Gabriela Sigurdardottir (University of Iceland)
 

Measuring the Effects of School-Wide Positive Behavior Support With Direct Observation and a Multiple Baseline Design Across Schools: A Five-Year Study

Domain: Applied Research
Z. GABRIELA SIGURDARDOTTIR (University of Iceland), Kolbrin Ingibjorg Jonsdottir (University of Iceland)
 
Abstract:

The effects of implementing School-Wide Positive Behavior Support (SWPBS) in three elementary schools in Iceland were evaluated with a multiple baseline design across schools. Former studies on effects of SWPBS have most often used office discipline referral data and questionnaires to measure the effects of the implementation. In this study the effects were measured with direct observation of staff's and students' group behavior within a specific observation area. Data were collected among three different age groups twice yearly, 2-3 weeks each time, at different times of day, in different areas, both before and after the implementation began. Results indicate that significant increases have taken place with regard to positive attention given to students by staff (praise, rewards, incentives, etc) as well decreases in ignoring of students' behavior. However, staff did not increase their reactions to problem behavior, e.g., they did not use redirection or other programmed consequences except minimal appropriate mild punishment. The effects of SWPBS on students' behaviors are most noticeable in the oldest age group (13-16). Other effects will be mentioned and implementation difficulties will be discussed.

 
Paideia Individualized Education: A Promising Approach to School Reform
Domain: Service Delivery
FRANCIS MECHNER (The Mechner Foundation), Vic Fiallo (Queens Paideia School), Tim Fredrick (Queens Paideia School), Tiffany Jenkins (Queens Paideia School)
 
Abstract: Paideia Individualized Education (PIE)—the logical successor of Fred Keller’s PSI—was introduced in 1968 at the Armonk Paideia School and has been receiving further refinement in the past five years at the K-12 Queens Paideia School. It features a team of 4 learning managers and 2 interns with long-term charge of the education of approximately 30 children of diverse ages, backgrounds, and abilities. There are no grades—every student is educated differently, as a unique individual, with a customized learning plan that consists of learning objectives covering both academic and non-academic areas. The learning managers draw the learning objectives from a searchable relational database to which they have continuous access. Most students show rapid progress. Failure patterns are avoided because students work at their actual level of achievement in each subject and at their personal best pace. They take increasing ownership of their education as they make daily explicit commitments to achieving specific learning objectives. Many who might be categorized as “special needs” are integrated and mainstreamed. Financial analysis suggest that when a number of PIE schools are aggregated to form a larger school in which the small schools operate as self-contained units, the benefits of the PIE model are preserved with an acceptable per-pupil cost.
 
 
 
Symposium #499
CE Offered: BACB
The Automatic Measurement of Behavior Using Sensor Arrays
Tuesday, May 27, 2014
10:00 AM–10:50 AM
W184d (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: PRA/EAB; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Nathan Blenkush (Judge Rotenberg Educational Center)
Discussant: Ron Van Houten (Western Michigan University)
CE Instructor: Nathan Blenkush, Ph.D.
Abstract:

We describe sensors and methods capable of detecting the force, duration, frequency, interresponse time, and topography of a wide range of behaviors over long periods of time. The sensors collect data 300 times per minute on 19 different variables useful in describing behavior. Each sensor is equipped with Bluetooth technology that allows it to connect with a computer. In addition, each sensor has an internal rechargeable battery. Taken together, the described sensors and methods have the potential to provide a valid, reliable, and simple method for measuring various dimensions of a response in real time. In research, such measurement will eliminate or reduce the need for interobserver agreement, subjective likert rating scales, and session based investigation. Such a measure will also facilitate direct comparisons between pharmaceutical, behavioral, and other therapeutic interventions. When combined with the standard celeration chart, the sensors will allow practitioners to better assess the efficacy of their interventions.

 

An Introduction to IMU Sensors

NATHAN BLENKUSH (Judge Rotenberg Educational Center)
Abstract:

In science, it is often the case that the development of new measurement techniques allows for a greater understanding of functional relationships between variables. In behavior analysis, rate of response and the cumulative response recorder is an example of one innovation that led to many discoveries. However, few advances in measurement have arisen subsequent to Skinner's description of the cumulative response recorder. Here, the inertial measurement unit (IMU) is described. Each IMU is equipped with a 3-axis accelerometer, gyroscope, magnetometer, and other measurement devices. Taken together, this technology allows one to measure the force and direction of various movements. In addition, the orientation of the sensor during various movements can easily be determined. Internal clocks allow one to identify when a behavior occurred. When combined with databases, individual responses can be counted and automatically displayed on standard charts. These features allow behavior analysts to measure behavior over long periods of time without the need for a human witness.

 

Measuring Simple and Complex Behaviors

JOSEPH TACOSIK (Judge Rotenberg Educational Center)
Abstract:

The inertial measurement unit (IMU) is ideally suited to measure simple human responses. The acceleration, angle, and absolute position of a single sensor often yield a unique signature that can be converted to a frequency count. Here, we describe methodologies developed in order to count simple behaviors using IMU data. IMUs produce extraordinary amounts of data. Therefore, databases to filter and analyze the data are necessary. However, many behaviors are topographically complex and require multiple sensor readings which further complicate measurement. Fortunately, advances in motion capture technology using IMUs allow for real time representations of the human form across an X, Y, Z grid relative to time. We summarize the state of the art in using motion capture technology to represent human responding. Implications for applied behavior analysis and the experimental analysis of behavior are discussed.

 
 
Panel #500
The Behavior of Acceptance: Can Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Play a Role in Traditional Behavior Analysis?
Tuesday, May 27, 2014
10:00 AM–10:50 AM
W187c (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: PRA/TPC; Domain: Theory
Chair: Sunni Primeaux (Southern Illinois University Carbondale)
JUSTIN JAMES DAIGLE (Therapy Center of Acadiana)
THOMAS G. SZABO (Easter Seals Southern California)
STEVEN GORDON (Behavior Therapy Associates)
Abstract:

Although Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) promotes itself as being a type of clinical behavior analysis and as having its origins in behavior analysis, many professionals are skeptical of this or are unsure how to incorporate ACT in their traditional behavior analysis practices. A common concern amongst Behavior Analysts is how to know when doing work from an ACT perspective if one is operating within the scope of their practice. Are there certain aspects of ACT that should be left to psychotherapy? Can Behavior Analysts do therapy or is what they are doing better referred to as training? Can Behavior Analysts better serve the populations they work with by incorporating particular aspects of ACT but excluding others? This panel will consist of a range of professionals with varying opinions on this issue. The goal of this panel is to facilitate a discussion that will include the pros and cons of each position in hopes to gain insight and answers into these very common questions.

Keyword(s): ABA, ACT
 
 
Panel #501
The Contributions of Relational Responding to Early Intervention
Tuesday, May 27, 2014
10:00 AM–10:50 AM
W185bc (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: VRB/DDA; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Susan Buttigieg (Teachers College, Columbia University)
JEANNE MARIE SPECKMAN (Fred S. Keller School, Teachers College, Columbia University)
BARBARA KIMMEL (Fred S. Keller School)
OLIVE HEALY (National University of Ireland, Galway)
Abstract:

Recently, early and intensive behavioral intervention for young children at risk for diagnoses has received increased attention (Weiss, 1999). Early intervention services are provided to a variety of children: low-income families (Campbell & Ramey, 1994), developmental disabilities (Ramey & Ramey, 1998), deaf and hard of hearing (Moeller, 2000), and pervasive developmental disorder and autism (Smith, Groen, & Wynn, 2000). Panelists will discuss the importance of intervening as early as possible for at risk children. Some children with missing repertoires may require direct intervention to establish generalized verbal perceptual skills that Luciano et al. (2001) argue are necessary for equivalence to emerge. In early intervention, learner readiness skills can be targeted, which allows the intervention plan to build a foundation to teach more complex social and verbal skills (Higbee, 2009). Children at risk for developmental delays may also require early and intensive treatment to induce joint attention, which is related to the acquisition of language (Tomasello & Farrar, 1986). Joint attention is crucial when establishing critical language prerequisites (Pelez, 2009). It is clear that relational responding has much to contribute to early intervention, and the panelists will discuss this, as well as progressions and limitations in the field.

Keyword(s): autism, developmental delays, early intervention, relational frames
 
 
Symposium #503
Functional Behavioral Assessments: Ethical, Legal and Practical Considerations
Tuesday, May 27, 2014
10:00 AM–11:50 AM
W185a (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: PRA/EDC; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Rebecca Ryan (Sandbox ABA)
Discussant: Mitchell T. Taubman (Autism Partnership)
Abstract:

Functional Behavioral Assessments (FBAs) are a tool used to understand the function of a child's behavior. Frequently, schools, families and community providers struggle with challenging behaviors of a child. An FBA can help clarify the function of the challenging behaviors and provide a roadmap for specific interventions designed to help address them. This symposium will address the ethical, legal and practical consideration applicable to behavior analysts. This presentation is intended for providers to learn when an FBA is warranted, legal and ethical considerations, the essential elements of an FBA under IDEIA and standard ABA practices, as well as data collection methodologies and development of recommendations.

Keyword(s): Ethics standards, FBA, legal standards
 

Legal Standards for Functional Behavioral Analysis

REBECCA RYAN (Sandbox ABA)
Abstract:

The various legal standards and interpretations for functional behavioral assessments will be reviewed. The discussion will cover federal regulations, OSERS and OPSEP interpretations of those regulations. In particular an understanding of FBAs as responses to severe behaviors that warrant removal from educational placements versus use of FBAs as "evaluations." for purposes of determining eligibility and services.

 

Practical Considerations in Developing a Functional Behavioral Assessment

NATALIE BADGETT (University of Washington)
Abstract:

Many factors are weighed in deciding when and how an FBA will be completed. This presentation will look to the practical considerations, particularly those imposed by school systems. The pressures on all parties frequently seem to outweigh the best interest of the client. How best to understand the various factors influencing interested parties, especially those of the client, are primary concerns of behavior analysts. This presentation reviews current practices among schools around the country, and compares them to legal and ethical concerns, as well as the notion of "best" versus "common" practice.

 

Getting from Here to There: Communication Strategies for Effective Implementation of Behavior Intervention Plans

WHITNEY CLEMENTS (BCBA)
Abstract:

Given the many weaknesses in the system, the art of persuasion - getting to "yes" - is a critical juncture in acceptance and implementation of appropriate behavior change programs. This presentation will focus on how to persuade with the presentation of facts based on data, training requirements of teachers and paraprofessionals, and measurement of both teacher/para proficiencies and student behavior change.

 

Ethical Considerations in Developing an FBA

JENNIFER CRAWFORD (Crawford Strategies)
Abstract:

This presentation will review the basic requirements outlined under the BACB guidelines for behavior change interventions, including requirements in drafting behavior change interventions. The presentation will outline BCBA responsibilities as well as how those professional responsibilities may at times conflict with the legal standards. The presentation will offer possible solutions for the practicing BCBA on bridging the gaps between his legal and ethical responsibilities.

 
 
Symposium #504
Teaching Skills to Children with Autism: Sometimes New is not Improved
Tuesday, May 27, 2014
11:00 AM–11:50 AM
W183b (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: AUT/PRA; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Ashley Jones (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Abstract:

A variety of barriers exist for children with autism spectrum disorders that can impede progress in typical learning settings. In this symposium, we will describe three procedures for addressing core symptoms associated with the the diagnosis of autism: poor eye contact, prompt dependency and behavioral rigidity. We found that for two of our interventions, the newest methods weren't always the best. In the first symposium, the authors tested an iPad application for teaching eye contact for three children with autism. When this approach did not work, differential reinforcement of eye contact did. In the second symposium two prompting strategies were tested with three children who had a history of being dependent on teacher prompts. Results indicated that for one type of task, both prompting strategies were equally effective, but for the other type of task, a prompting strategy that involved a differential observing response was more effective. In the third presentation, individuals with autism were taught to mand for missing objects and information by interrupting a sequence of behaviors (an interrupted behavior chain).

Keyword(s): autism, skills
 
Evaluating a Tablet Application and Differential Reinforcement to Increase Eye Contact in Children with Autism
TRICIA JEFFRIES (University of South Florida), Kimberly Crosland (University of South Florida)
Abstract: Studies have shown that increasing eye contact can be accomplished by using reinforcement, prompting, shaping, functional movement training, punishment, and self-monitoring. However, there is a lack of research that evaluates the use of technology as a way to increase eye contact. This study tested the effectiveness of a tablet application at increasing eye contact in children diagnosed with autism. The application requires the child to look at a picture of a person’s face and identify the number displayed in the person’s eyes in order to receive reinforcement. Data was collected immediately after training, one hour after training, and in the natural environment. The tablet application was not effective at increasing eye contact for any of the three participants. Once the tablet application was shown to be ineffective, the researcher used differential reinforcement to increase eye contact. All three participants showed an increase in eye contact once the differential reinforcement training was implemented.
 
Should Task and Prompt Dependency History Affect the Selection of Prompting Strategy with Students with Autism?
ASHLEY JONES (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Jennifer R. Zarcone (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Abstract: This study is a systematic replication of a procedure designed by Fisher, Kodak, and Moore (2007) in which they facilitated acquisition of a match-to-sample task using a differential observing response. Their procedure decreased prompt dependency when implementing a least-to-most prompting sequence with a differential observing response. In the current study, 3 children with autism were first screened to determine if they were prompt dependent. The participants were trained using a match-to-sample and receptive identification task. For the match-to-sample task, participants initially received reinforcers only for responding independently or after a verbal prompt, and in a later phase received reinforcers only for responding independently. For the receptive identification task, participants received reinforcers for correct responding to the verbal prompt as the task did not allow for independent responding. Results of the study indicated that independent responding increased during the match to sample task with both types of prompting strategies, but that the differential observing response strategy resulted in greater percentage correct for the receptive identification task. These results indicate that different prompting procedures may result in faster skill acquisition depending on the individual’s history of prompt dependency.
 
Evaluation of the Generalization Effects of Using an Interrupted Behavior Chain Procedure to Teach Mands
BLAIR JACOBSEN (University of South Florida), Kimberly Crosland (University of South Florida)
Abstract: Interrupted behavior chain procedures have been shown to be an effective way to teach individuals with autism to mand for missing objects and information concerning missing objects. However, there is a lack of research evaluating the use of interrupted behavior chain procedures to teach vocal mands for missing items to children with autism and the possible generalization effects thereof. This study evaluated the following: (a) the acquisition of vocal mands for missing items using interrupted behavior chain procedures, (b) participants’ generalization of learned mands to novel behavior chains when said chains were interrupted, and (c) the robustness of the generalization effects exhibited. Each participant exhibited some form of generalization to a novel chain, suggesting that interrupted behavior chains may be an efficient means to teach mands to children with autism. However, the extent to which a mand generalized across topographically distinct chains was different for each participant, suggesting that an individual’s verbal repertoire could be a factor influencing generalization.
 
 
Symposium #505
From Flexibility to Problem-Solving: Teaching "Executive Function" Skills to Children with Autism
Tuesday, May 27, 2014
11:00 AM–11:50 AM
W184bc (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: AUT/DDA; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Christopher A. Tullis (Ball State University)
Discussant: William F. Potter (California State University Stanislaus)
Abstract:

Decades of research have demonstrated the effectiveness of behavioral intervention for teaching foundational verbal, social, and self-help skills to children with autism. Relatively less research has been devoted to teaching more complex skills. Executive function is a traditional psychology term that refers to a broad repertoire of behaviors that are critical for successful social, academic, and vocational functioning for older children and adults. Most executive function skills involve what Skinner referred to as secondary repertoires that are learned and maintained because they support other more basic repertoires of behavior; self-management and problem-solving being the prototypical examples. This symposium contains two experiments that aimed at teaching children with autism skills relevant to the repertoires labeled as executive function by the general psychology community. One study sought to teach children with autism a basic problem-solving skill, identifying when there is and is not a problem. The second study taught children with autism to engage in private coping strategies during situations in which they are usually highly inflexible. The symposium concludes with a discussion by Dr. Bill Potter, a leading scholar in behavioral conceptual analyses of complex human behavior.

Keyword(s): Autism, Behavioral rigidity, Executive function, Problem solving
 

Increasing Flexibility in Children with Autism by Teaching Self-Management "Coping" Skills

JENNIFER RANICK (Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD)), Angela M. Persicke (Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD)), Jonathan J. Tarbox (Autism Research Group, Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD)), Megan St. Clair (Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD))
Abstract:

Individuals with a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) commonly experience an insistence on sameness or resistance to environmental change, especially change of specific daily routines. This rigid behavioral repertoire often results in challenging behaviors that often places limitations on the lives of the individual and his or her family. This study targeted increasing behavioral flexibility with three participants with ASD. A multiple exemplar training procedure was implemented in which various emotional self-management coping strategies were taught along with a Differential Reinforcement of Alternative Behaviors (DRA) procedure across repeated exposure to situations for which participants were particularly inflexible. The intervention was effective in the reduction of challenging behaviors as well as increasing self-management coping skills. In addition, indirect data were collected on affect and improvements in affect were generally noted post-intervention.

 
Teaching Learners with Autism a Component Skill of Problem Solving
CHRISTOPHER A. TULLIS (Ball State University), Kenneth Wehrheim (Ball State University), Susan Wilczynski (Ball State University), David McIntosh (Ball State University)
Abstract: Learners with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) typically present with difficulties in a broad set of skills termed “Executive Function”. One area of this relatively broad and relatively loosely defined construct is problem solving. Previous studies have demonstrated method of teaching individuals with developmental disabilities to solve common problems, but some key aspects may be lacking. Specifically, previous studies did not explicitly teach when a specific environmental arrangement was and was not a “problem”. In the current study, three boys with ASD were taught to discriminate problem situations from non-problem situations in pictures using a multiple-exemplar teaching procedure. The procedure was effective in teaching all three participants to discriminate problem situations, and one participant demonstrated generalization of this skill to an untaught set of stimuli.
 
 
Symposium #506
CE Offered: BACB
The Mindful Frontier: Expanding our Understanding of Mindfulness and the Present Moment
Tuesday, May 27, 2014
11:00 AM–11:50 AM
W179a (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: CBM; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Audra P Jensen (University of Louisiana at Lafayette)
Discussant: Scott A. Herbst (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology)
CE Instructor: Scott A. Herbst, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Mindfulness involves a particular kind of attention that is purposive, open and flexible. Mindfulness is also often associated with being non-judgmental, empathetic, and broad minded. Mindfulness has numerous benefits to psychological and physical health, most of which seem to be attributable to the growing capacity to not restrict behavior based on expected or experienced discomforts. It may be that integrating mindfulness-based treatments into traditional behavior analytic interventions could enhance outcome. Indeed several treatment approaches that claim behavior analytic roots obviously include mindfulness components. This new trend calls for increased research around mindfulness from a behavior analytic perspective. Further study into mindfulness can help us identify what behaviors predict, indicate and promote mindfulness in a person. The papers in this symposium aim to contribute to this goal. The first paper will discuss the ability of observers to indicate the action of being present in themselves and others as well as their ability to connect and empathize with them. The second paper will explore the impact of a meditation practice on a range of quality of life issues. A discussion will follow focusing on the implications of these studies for improved assessment and integration of mindfulness-based treatments and possible future research.

Keyword(s): flexability, mindfullness, present moment
 

Creating Contact: Bridging the Gaps in our Interpersonal Awareness

AUDRA JENSEN (University of Louisiana at Lafayette), Stephanie Caldas (University of Louisiana at Lafayette), Ashlyne Mullen (University of Louisiana at Lafayette), Emily Kennison Sandoz (University of Louisiana at Lafayette)
Abstract:

Present moment, or being mentally within the here and now in a nonjudgmental or accepting manner, has been shown to foster development empathic responding. Being aware or mindful of one's behavior and immediate surroundings, being present, encourages detachment from automatic thoughts and behavior and disengaging from our 'auto-pilot' helps in the identification of needs and conflicts which can foster self-endorsed behavioral regulation especially in a clinical setting. Prediction and influence of present moment behavior isn't trainable as long as clear behavioral signs indicating that someone is present are not substantiated. Currently, we have yet to obtain behaviors to indicate whether a person is fully aware of their immediate surroundings, or being present. The purpose of this study is to explore present moment behavior, and identify behaviors that indicate when one is engaging in present moment behavior. The experiment inquiries into our own perceptiveness of others' presence as well as our own and the connections that form while both parties are present. The data collected from a pilot study indicated a consistency in responses from present moment observers. Wherever the line seems to create a 'plateau' is when there is an agreement from parties as to indicate a present moment.

 

Mindfulness Meditation and the Single Case

SOLOMON KURZ (University of Mississippi), Laura Slater Quittmeyer (University of Mississippi), Kate Kellum (University of Mississippi), Kelly G. Wilson (University of Mississippi)
Abstract:

A legion of group-based studies has shown that mindfulness meditation can be beneficial for ameliorating a variety of symptoms (e.g., rumination, worry, stress related to major medical issues such as cancer) for a wide demographic of practitioners (e.g., adolescents, medical students, parents, Zen Buddhists). As exciting as some of these data are, they are limited in that group analyses provide "average" results for "average" participants across standardized time periods (e.g., eight-week protocols). One thing that is largely missing from this literature are fine-grained idiographic examinations of what daily practice of mindfulness meditation looks like in terms of frequency, duration, and the influence of the practice on practitioner-specific variables. In this paper, we will present a series of single case analyses of novice and experienced mindfulness meditation practitioners. In addition to meditation frequency and duration, we will present variables such as mood, sleep, and social interactions. Analyses will include graphs and single-case regression-based statistics.

 
 
Symposium #507
Culture Matters: Multicultural Implications for Individual Behavior and Psychological Wellbeing
Tuesday, May 27, 2014
11:00 AM–11:50 AM
W190b (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: CSE/CBM; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Nina Laurenzo (University of North Texas)
Abstract:

Individual behaviors, including problematic behavior, coping skills, and psychological health, develop within a cultural context (Biglan, 1995). Ethnic background and cultural norms are relevant not only to understanding behavior, but also to applied practice with individuals from diverse backgrounds (Hayes, Muto, & Masuda, 2011). This symposium will discuss multicultural issues as relevant to individual behavior and clinical behavior analysis. The first paper will examine preliminary data on psychological flexibility specifically within a Hispanic population, as it relates to psychological health and wellbeing. The second paper will examine the relationships among mindfulness, self-compassion, and the development of ethnic identity from a sample of 479 undergraduate students. Results show a negative relationship between ethnic identity development and both mindfulness and self-compassion, which will be conceptualized according to the different processes of language and cognition involved in each. Finally, the third paper will conceptualize multicultural issues more broadly within the field of behavior analysis. The implications for understanding behavior within a cultural context and the importance of cultural competence among behavior analysts in practice will be discussed throughout.

Keyword(s): Culture, Ethnic Identity, Mindfulness, Psychological Flexibility
 
Failed American Dream: Psychological Flexibility and Generational Health Decline in the U.S. Hispanic Population
STEPHANIE CALDAS (University of Louisiana at Lafayette), Matthieu Villatte (University of Nevada, Reno), David R. Perkins (University of Louisiana at Lafayette), Emily Kennison Sandoz (University of Louisiana at Lafayette)
Abstract: The growth of the Hispanic population accounts for more than half of the growth in the total U.S. population, increasing at a rate four times that of the total population. Yet, the Hispanic population remains the target of discrimination and prejudice (Carlo et al., 2011). In addition, there is a generational trend towards increased risk for mental disorders in the U.S. immigrant Hispanic population. This phenomenon is known as the Hispanic Paradox, because Hispanic immigrants, despite being at a higher risk for the development of mental disorders, fare better than U.S.-born Latinos and even non-Hispanic Whites in many aspects (Alegría et al., 2008). However, this advantage weakens with time spent in the United States. Given this information, there is an opportunity for preventive public health. An account of the components of Hispanic culture, the process of immigration, and acculturation will be given from the perspective of psychological flexibility. Based on preliminary data, this paper offers a functional interpretation of the existing research regarding the Hispanic community and mental health in order to both explain the inherent strengths found in Hispanic culture, and integrate this literature into a functional construct that can be used in therapeutic and community settings.
 

Me, Myself, and My Ethnicity: Relationships among Mindfulness, Self-compassion, and Ethnic Identity Development

DANIELLE MOYER (University of North Texas), Melissa L. Connally (University of North Texas), Aditi Sinha (University of North Texas), Amy Murrell (University of North Texas)
Abstract:

Ethnic identity refers to the way in which an individual relates to the self and others of the same ethnicity. Ethnic identity development occurs for all individuals, regardless of ethnic background, and has been associated with increased psychological wellbeing (Roberts et al., 1999). Unfortunately, many individuals, especially second and third generation immigrants, have weaker ethnic identities than their first generation counterparts (Ullmann, Goldman, & Massey, 2011). This paper examines the relationships among mindfulness, self-compassion, and ethnic identity development. A sample of 479 undergraduate students completed self-report measures of mindfulness, self-compassion, and ethnic identity. Results suggest that mindfulness and self-compassion are significant negative predictors of ethnic identity, accounting for 16% and 7% of the variance in ethnic identity status scores, respectively (ethnic majority Adj. R2 = .16, F(2, 275) = 26.49, p < .001; ethnic minority Adj. R2 = .07, F(2, 198) = 8.88, p < .001). This relationship will be interpreted in terms of the role of verbal processes in the development of self-identity and perspective taking. Implications for increasing psychological wellbeing in individuals with weak ethnic identity and cultural competency in clinical practice will also be discussed.

 
Bringing Culture into the Room: Multiculturalism in Research, Practice, and Education in Behavior Analysis
DAVID R. PERKINS (University of Louisiana at Lafayette), Stephanie Caldas (University of Louisiana at Lafayette), Danielle Moyer (University of North Texas)
Abstract: There is growing awareness of the need for more culturally appropriate mental health care aimed at minorities in the United States (NHHS, 2001; Rogler, Malgady, Costantino, & Blumenthal, 1987; Sue, 2001). The percentage of the population that can be classified as a non-White minority is expected to eventually make up a majority of the United States population (LaVeist, 2013). The literature suggests that because conventional psychotherapy is based firmly on Westernized ideas, it may not be as effective with minority groups (Benish, Quintana, & Wampold, 2011). An understanding of behavior within a cultural context is essential for researchers, practitioners, and educators in behavior analysis. Language differences and cultural belief systems can create barriers for seeking out and completing successful interventions, but they can also create a context for facilitating behavior change and increasing psychological wellbeing. This paper will outline important aspects of multiculturalism that are inherent to cultural competency with a diverse population.
 
 
Paper Session #508
Translational Research
Tuesday, May 27, 2014
11:00 AM–11:50 AM
W176c (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: EAB
Chair: Iver H. Iversen (University of North Florida)
 

A Closer Look at Stimulus Control in Backward and Forward Chaining Procedures in Rats

Domain: Basic Research
IVER H. IVERSEN (University of North Florida), Nicholas Musselwhite (University of North Florida)
 
Abstract:

Chains of stimuli and responses are components of daily interactions with the environment and with other people. Two training procedures, backward and forward chaining, are common in the literature. The presentation will compare the two methods of training and examine what types of stimulus control of behavior result from the training. Experiments with rats illustrate that even though the two methods result in the same overall behavior chains, the two methods nevertheless generate different training progressions and different types of stimulus control of behavior, as revealed when certain tests are made--such as reversing the chains. Comparisons are made of homogeneous chains (same topography of stimuli and responses but different locations) and heterogeneous chains (different topography of stimuli and responses and different locations); heterogeneous chains amplify the difference in stimulus control between backward and forward training procedures. A within-session, trial-by-trial level of analysis reveals systematic differences in stimulus control that are not apparent in an overall, averaged analysis. The results may have implications for how chaining procedures are implemented in applied settings.

 
Development and Mofication of a Response Class Via Positive Reinforcement and Noncontingent Reinforcement: A Translational Study
Domain: Basic Research
YORS A. GARCIA (Fundacion Universitaria Konrad Lorenz), Julie Canon (Fundacion Universitaria Konrad Lorenz), Julio Torres (Fundacion Universitaria Konrad Lorenz)
 
Abstract: Recent new translational studies on response-class hierarchy have proven to be effective model to evaluate intervention procedures in laboratory conditions. The objective of these two studies was to evaluate a translational model proposed by Shabani, Carr, and Petursdottir (2009) with sixteen children with ages between 9 and 13. The first study replicated the Mendres and Borrero (2010, study 1) experiment with children using a computer program. A withdrawal design with concurrent schedules was used to evaluate the class development, demonstration and modification in 27 3-min blocks. Preliminary data show similar results found in previous studies using this type of procedures. The second study model two different procedures to decrease class-responses. Same sixteen participants participated in this study. One condition modeled extinction of response-classes using non-contingent reinforcement, while the other condition used extinction-only procedure. In the final phase for both conditions schedules were thinned in order to evaluate the effectiveness of both procedures. Preliminary results show that non-contingent procedure was more effective in decreasing number of responses.
 
 
 
Panel #509
CE Offered: BACB
Challenges Encountered in the Delivery of Time-limited Behavioural Services in Outpatient Settings
Tuesday, May 27, 2014
11:00 AM–11:50 AM
W187c (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: PRA; Domain: Service Delivery
CE Instructor: Tonya Nichole Davis, Ph.D.
Chair: Annette Griffith (Momentum Behavioral Health)
CHRYSTAL E.R. JANSZ (Texas Tech University-Burkhart Center for Autism Education & Research)
SUSAN K. PERKINS-PARKS (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
TONYA NICHOLE DAVIS (Baylor University)
Abstract:

As in intensive and more standard behavioural services, the goal in outpatient clinical settings is to provide specific treatment packages based on operant function, rather than relying on demographic or diagnostic variables. However, behavioural consultation and related services offered within a time-limited outpatient setting is met with unique challenges. The purpose of this panel is to share the practice model of three outpatient clinics, differing in capacity, affiliation, and history, to facilitate conversation about common and particular challenges shared by practitioners working in outpatient settings. The goal is to engage colleagues from similar models and practices to discuss issues such as intake and assessment protocols; student, staff, and volunteer training; client retention; technology; growth and sustainability; payment for services; as well as unique challenges for clinics housed within a university. Panelists welcome and encourage practitioners who are interested in connecting with other clinics for continued networking and ongoing dialogue to attend.

Keyword(s): assessment, consultation, outpatient
 
 
Panel #510
CE Offered: BACB
Casting a Wide Net: Bridging Disciplines With Applied Behavior Analysis
Tuesday, May 27, 2014
11:00 AM–11:50 AM
W184d (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: PRA; Domain: Service Delivery
CE Instructor: John D. Molteni, Ph.D.
Chair: John D. Molteni (University of Saint Joseph)
MELISSA ROOT (University of Saint Joseph)
SOLANDY FORTE (Connecticut ABA)
NICHOLAS GELBAR (Connecticut Association for Behavior Analysis)
Abstract:

Behavior Analysis has broad applications across disciplines but receives little recognition as a unique discipline in fields where certification and licensure are required. Behavior analytic techniques are widely used without recognition of their foundation or an understanding their underlying principles (e.g., reinforcement and time-out from positive reinforcement). Alternatively, given the prevalence of behavior analytic interventions in the treatment of autism, practitioners may be limited to a population that has a level of recognition for third-party reimbursement. Opportunities exist for behavior analysts to influence practice in a number of fields even where there is not a significant presence. This panel will examine how behavior analysts who are credentialed in other areas are able to influence policy, organizations and drive outcomes that support their related fields (e.g., psychology and education) while identifying themselves as behavior analysts. Examples of organizations within which these methods have been applied (e.g., higher education and school systems) will be discussed. An interactive discussion of future directions for supporting behavior analysis will conclude the presentation.

Keyword(s): Credentialing, Interdisciplinary, Practice issues, Program Development
 
 
Panel #511
CE Offered: BACB
40 years of ABA Preparing Competent Practitioners Part II: Systematizing the Applied Experience
Tuesday, May 27, 2014
11:00 AM–11:50 AM
W193a (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: TBA/EDC; Domain: Service Delivery
CE Instructor: Deirdre Lee Fitzgerald, Ph.D.
Chair: Deirdre Lee Fitzgerald (University of Saint Joseph)
JENNIFER KLAPATCH (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology)
JESSICA E. FRIEDER (Western Michigan University)
ELLIE KAZEMI (California State University, Northridge)
Abstract: In the 40 years of ABAI, many elements in programs to train behavior analysts have changed. In Part II of the discussion on Preparing Competent Practitioners, means of advancing the supervised experience component of the graduate training experience are explored. Noting a variety of program formats and durations currently exist, challenges in creating a graduates with repertoires that prepare them to face the challenges of our profession will be addressed. Differences in university-based and community-based supervision sites, types and experience of supervisors, and competency requirements for students will be discussed with a focus on what works to control outcomes. Panelists will discuss applied training standards, practices for implementing them, supervision processes, and requirements that produce valued results in creating systematic increases in the quality and rigor of the applied experience in behavior analysis training.
Keyword(s): BCBA preparation, program design, student outcomes, supervised experience
 
 
Symposium #512
CE Offered: BACB
Parents of Children with Autism: Feedback, Training and Verbal Behaviour
Tuesday, May 27, 2014
11:00 AM–12:50 PM
W184a (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: AUT/PRA; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Michelle Turan (University of Windsor)
CE Instructor: Michelle Turan, M.A.
Abstract:

The role of the parent is considered in this 4-part symposium overviewing research on parents and individuals with autism.

 
Potty Talk: Parents and Toilet Training
LIANNE M. MOROZ (Surrey Place Centre), Lesley Barreira (Surrey Place Centre), Peggy Marcon (Hospital for Sick Children), Pamela Green (Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital), Jessica Brian (Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital)
Abstract: This study examines parent delivered bowel continence interventions for six children diagnosed with ASD. Each intervention was individualized based on information provided during a parent interview using a structured toileting survey and parent collected toileting data using a daily elimination tracking record. Parent feedback was solicited following participation in the study. Intervention results for three of the six children, study limitations and parent suggestions for improvement will be discussed.
 
Parent Perspectives and Social Validity of the Ontario Autism Intervention Program
MICHELLE TURAN (University of Windsor), Elizabeth Starr (University of Windsor)
Abstract: Early intensive behavioural intervention has been established as an effective treatment for individuals with autism. The Ontario Autism Intervention Program (AIP) has been delivering services since 1999 to thousands of families, with good results to date. Research has established some features of EIBI that can increase effectiveness, such as delivering service to younger children, providing more total hours of service and having high levels of supervision. yet no data on parent perspectives of the program has been presented. IBI outcomes may also be affected by parent stress levels and parent involvement. Some research to date has demonstrated that parents are generally happy with their autism intervention programs, however this research has yet to be conducted within the Ontario Autism Intervention program. This data-based presentation outlines the results of survey and focus group research with parents of children with autism in Ontario. Perspectives on the Ontario AIP by over 70 parents will be presented, outlining key areas such as: child outcomes, philosophy and training, staff interactions, family-centered practices, cultural considerations, family affects, and school transitions.
 

Brief Behavioural Skills Training for Parent-Mediated Intervention for Teaching Functional Skills to Children with Autism.

BRIAN K. MASON (Hamilton Health Sciences), Kimberly A. Schulze (St. Cloud State University)
Abstract:

Upon review of the parent training literature, there is a paucity of studies that look at brief ABA training for parents to teach functional skills, using a behavioural skills training approach. Current research shows inconsistency in the measures used for outcomes with a range that includes parent fidelity, standardized scores from diagnostic tools and child skill acquisition. Parent training programs are often clinic-based with diminished access to in-situ environments and requirements of parents to make a lengthy time commitment. This study compares three conditions; no training (baseline), parent manual only and parent manual plus individual home consultation, to determine the effect it will have on parent teaching and child acquisition of functional skills. In each phase, parents are scored using a competency checklist on 14 skills across five domains. Following baseline measures, phase two will introduce parents to an operationalized manual that outlines general ABA teaching methods to follow when they teach their child one of a preselected set of functional skills. The third phase will utilize the manual in addition to five weekly home consultation sessions, each 90min, that will use modeling, coaching and feedback by a therapist to obtain 90% mastery criteria in the use of teaching the target functional skill. Measures at each phase will include the following; parent competency in implementation of behavioural teaching strategies, child skill acquisition and parent sense of competency feedback (PSOC) (Johnston & Mash, 1989). A follow-up visit, two weeks following completion of the individual home consultations will be used as a probe for generalization to an untrained functional skill. Data in progress.

 

Listener Behavior and Parental Perceptions: Discussing the Important Role Parents Play in the Development of Verbal Behavior in Children with Autism

AMBAR PICAZO (ABA therapist)
Abstract:

In their research, Werner et. al. (2000) established a correlation between the delayed emergence of early listener behavior, such as attending to ones name in infancy, to later diagnoses of autism in some children. What has not yet been examined, however, is how disordered listener repertoires develop past infancy. Listener behavior of children with autism is often problematic and this may affect the frequency and quality of verbal interactions between parents and these children. Hart and Risley (1995) established that verbal interaction between parents and children affect the verbal and intellectual development of those children. What does this mean for children whose listener behavior does not reinforce the speaker behavior of their parents? What does this mean for parents whose attempts to speak to their child are inadvertently punished by the disordered listener behavior of their child? This presentation will outline the results of a survey conducted to measure parental perceptions of the listener and verbal behavior of their child with autism, and the effects this has on the frequency and quality of parent/child verbal interactions.

 
 
Symposium #513
CE Offered: BACB
Instructional Procedures for Establishing Verbal Operant Repertoires for Children with Autism: Echoics, Mands, and Intraverbals
Tuesday, May 27, 2014
11:00 AM–12:50 PM
W185bc (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: AUT/EDC; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Fawna Stockwell (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology)
Discussant: Traci M. Cihon (University of North Texas)
CE Instructor: Fawna Stockwell, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Responses that serve a communicative function are critical in promoting the autonomy of an individual and enabling his or her access to reinforcers. Throughout the course of an individuals life, communication responses typically begin as basic vocalizations, such as echoics, and over time evolve to more complex types of responses, such as intraverbals. This symposium will review current research on instructional procedures used to establish verbal behavior repertoires for children with autism, with such tactics including acoustical markers, relational frame training, the use of multiple exemplars, transfer of stimulus control, and fluency timings. Results of these studies demonstrate how verbal operant responses can be strengthened through explicit training, and how they can also emerge in the absence of direct training, as seen in generalization probes and tests of derived relational responding.

Keyword(s): acoustical marker, derived manding, empathy, verbal behavior
 

The Effects of Using an Acoustical Marker on Teaching Words to Children with Autism

SHANT DEMIRJIAN (The Chicago School Of Professional Psychology), Jaclyn Gutierrez (BGF Performance Systems, LLC), Diana J. Walker (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology), John W. Eshleman (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology)
Abstract:

An acoustical marker contingent on target behavior has been shown to be an effective procedure for increasing adaptive behavior in children with autism (Khowaja, Malmquist, & Eshleman, 2011; Maendler, Eshleman, & Cihon, 2009; Morien, Eshleman, & Malmquist, 2010). The current study examined the use of a contingent acoustical marker on teaching new words (i.e., echoics) to children with autism with a limited vocal verbal repertoire. This study used a shaping procedure facilitated by an acoustical marker, which provided more immediate consequences for the behavior than typical reinforcers such as praise and tangible items. Two children diagnosed with autism ages 3 and 7 participated in this study. The data suggested that the shaping procedure facilitated by the use of the acoustical marker increased echoic vocalizations, including a full word for one participant and several successive approximations for both participants.

 
Effects of Minimal Versus Extensive Instructions on Derived Manding of Children with and without Autism
ASHLEY ANDERSON (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology), Fawna Stockwell (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology), Scott A. Herbst (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology)
Abstract: The current study examined the effects of extensive versus limited instructions on the derived transfer of mands of children with and without a diagnosis of Autism. Four participants, two with and two without a diagnosis of Autism took part in a Relational Frame Theory teaching procedure: once with extensive instructions and once with limited instructions using applied stimuli which included animals and the habitats that they lived in. The results showed that the number of trials required to meet criterion were reduced when extensive instructions were used regardless of which condition was conducted first. Additionally, tests were conducted to assess if the students were better able to tact the animal names and sort them into their habitats and to determine if the students had learned the mutual and combinatorial relations following training. Results for these tests found that responding was variable and no one condition produced higher correct responding.
 

Effects of Multiple Exemplar and Fluency Training on Intraverbal Empathy Responses of Children with Autism

HAILEY DELOYA (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology), Fawna Stockwell (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology), John W. Eshleman (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology)
Abstract:

This study evaluated the effects of a multiple exemplar training package with a fluency component on intraverbal empathy responses of four children with autism. This study extended the research from Schrandt, Townsend, and Poulson (2009). The experimenter presented a variety of role-play scenarios related to three different response categories (sad/hurt, happy/excited, and frustrated). Participants were initially provided with an echoic prompt for the correct empathetic response. For each response type, participants were trained to accuracy criterion, followed by training to a fluency criterion. Results indicated that all participants responded at accurate as well as fluent levels not only in training sessions, but also in discrimination sessions and during retention, endurance, stability, and application probes.

 
Using Transfer of Stimulus Control Procedures to Teach Children with Autism Intraverbal Responses to Wh-Questions
SASHA HALLAGAN (Otis Elementary School), Fawna Stockwell (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology), Diana J. Walker (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology)
Abstract: One of the diagnostic criteria of Autism Spectrum Disorder is a significant delay in communication and critical deficiencies in the ability to maintain a conversation. This lack of conversational skills is often defined as an inability to correctly answer questions embedded within conversations. In this study, the researcher used a transfer of stimulus control procedure with vocal prompts to determine its effects on correct responses to wh- questions for children with autism. The author used a multiple probe design across three different question forms for each participant. All participants in this study increased their correct responses towards wh- questions and maintained responding during generalization probes.
 
 
Symposium #514
CE Offered: BACB
Experimental Analysis and Application of Verbal Behavior
Tuesday, May 27, 2014
11:00 AM–12:50 PM
W175c (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: EAB/VRB; Domain: Basic Research
Chair: Joyce C. Tu (Center for Behavioral Sciences, Inc.)
Discussant: David W. Sidener (Garden Academy)
CE Instructor: Joyce C. Tu, Ed.D.
Abstract:

Is verbal mediation necessary for manded selection responses and match-to-sample tasks? In the first study, the role of joint self-echoic and tact control is examined in manded selection responses. The second study examined the role of joint self-echoic and tact control in "remembering" sequences of foreign language words. The third study evaluate the role of intraverbal naming (Horne & Lowe, 1996) in a visual-visual MTS procedure with arbitrary picture across three sets of stimuli. The forth study evaluated the effects of teaching unidirectional intraverbal relations in a statement format on (1) the emergence of symmetrical and transitive intraverbal relations, and (2) the formation of equivalence classes. All four studies show that verbal mediation is necessary for both manded selection responses and match-to-sample tasks.

 

Teaching Manded Selection Responses Using Joint Control Training with Children with Autism

HAILY CHOUN (Center for Behavioral Sciences, Inc.)
Abstract:

The purpose of the current investigation is to teach manded selection responses through joint control training to children diagnosed with autism. Manded selection responses are responses that are typically called "object recognition." For example, upon being asked "Give me car," a child picks up a car from an array of toys in front of him and gives it to the speaker. Many children with autism fail to select correct objects for words while they are able to name objects. The goal of this study is to evaluate the role of joint control in teaching selection responses in children with autism. The experimenter taught children with autism manded selection responses by using joint self-echoic and tact training. Training phases involved a total of 7 different steps with 2 different sets of materials. Result showed that only after joint self-echoic and tact training did manded selection responses occur. The knowledge gained from this study helps to identify the function of joint control in emergence of selection responses. The training method of the study can be utilized by practitioners who work with children with autism to facilitate emergence of name-object responses.

 
The Role of Joint Control in Remembering Sequences of Foreign Language Words
FLORINA DAVID COLAR (Member), Joyce C. Tu (Center for Behavioral Sciences, Inc.)
Abstract: The present study used joint control training to train six adult individuals to acquire a generalized sequencing behavior using an unfamiliar language. Participants were presented with problem solving tasks such as selecting cards in specific sequences in Romanian. First, echoic and tact trainings were implemented but they did not increase correct selections. Then, joint control training was implemented. Time delays were introduced subsequently. The results showed that only after joint self-echoic and tact training did manded selection responses occur. Furthermore, this study also showed that joint control training was the variable that all participants maintained manded selection responses after 5-minute time delays.
 
The Role of Intraverbal Naming in Arbitrary Matching-to-Sample and Symmetry
PATRICIA SANTOS (California State University, Sacramento), Monica Ma (California State University, Sacramento), Adrienne Jennings (California State University, Sacramento), Danika Zias (California State University, Sacramento), Caio F. Miguel (California State University, Sacramento)
Abstract: Several studies have shown that human performance on matching-to-sample (MTS) tasks may involve some form of verbal mediation. The current study evaluated the role of intraverbal naming (Horne & Lowe, 1996) in a visual-visual MTS procedure with arbitrary picture across three sets of stimuli. Six undergraduate students were taught to tact each of the pictures with individual names then they were taught to relate them with one another through intraverbal training. They were taught to relate A1 with B1, A2 with B2, and A3 with B3 vocally. Afterwards, participants were presented with MTS tasks in which A stimuli were presented as samples and B stimuli as comparisons. Four additional participants were presented with an MTS task and intraverbal test where B stimuli were presented as samples and A stimuli as comparisons. Results indicated high accuracy of matching performance for the AB relation and the emergence of symmetrical intraverbal and stimulus-stimulus relations. Moreover, when participants were asked to vocalize while performing the MTS task, they consistently engaged in the intraverbals while matching the arbitrary pictures. This study adds support to a verbal mediation account of matching performances and problem solving in general.
 

The Role of Intraverbal Naming on the Emergence of Novel Intraverbals and Equivalence Classes

MONICA MA (California State University, Sacramento), Amanda Chastain (California State University, Sacramento), Danika Zias (California State University, Sacramento), Adrienne Jennings (California State University, Sacramento), Caio F. Miguel (California State University, Sacramento)
Abstract:

The formation of equivalence classes has served as a behavior analytic model for understanding symbolic behavior and the emergence of novel behaviors (Sidman, 1994; 2009). Horne and Lowe (1996) proposed that the emergence of novel relations may be mediated by a strategy known as intraverbal naming. For this reason, the current study evaluated the effects of teaching unidirectional intraverbal relations in a statement format on (1) the emergence of symmetrical and transitive intraverbal relations, and (2) the formation of equivalence classes. Experimental stimuli consisted of nine common images, divided into three categories birds (A), states (B), and flowers (C). Two undergraduate students were taught to tact each picture with individual names, followed by intraverbal training, which established verbal relations between two stimuli from different classes. Intraverbal training consisted of teaching statements that related birds to states (AB) and states to flowers (BC). Afterwards, matching-to-sample and intraverbal tests were presented to assess for the emergence of BA, BC, AC, and CA relations. Results indicated that following tact and intraverbal training, participants were able to derive symmetrical and transitive intraverbal relations, as well as stimulus-stimulus equivalence classes. As such, this study further supports the role of verbal mediation, specifically intraverbal naming, as an important mechanism underlying the formation of equivalence classes.

 
 
Paper Session #515
Improving the Social Validity and Accessibility of Functional Analysis and Treatment
Tuesday, May 27, 2014
12:00 PM–12:50 PM
W184bc (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: AUT
Chair: Seth B. Clark (Marcus Autism Center)
 
Increasing the Social Validity and Practical Implementation of Multiple Schedules to Treat Severe Problem Behavior
Domain: Applied Research
SETH B. CLARK (Marcus Autism Center), Nathan Call (Marcus Autism Center), Andrea R. Reavis (Marcus Autism Center), Joanna Lomas Mevers (Marcus Autism Center), Megan Kliebert (Marcus Autism Center)
 
Abstract: Studies have indicated that multiple schedules can be effective tools to produce discriminated manding while maintaining low rates of problem behavior (Fisher, Kuhn, & Thompson, 1998; Hanley, Iwata, & Thompson, 2001; Tiger & Hanley, 2004, 2005). However, treatment strategies that include multiple schedules can often be cumbersome, difficult to implement and lack generality. The purpose of the current investigation was to evaluate a task analysis designed to increase the practicality of a multiple schedule treatment protocol, as well as extend the schedule thinning component to include separate schedules for different items. Participants were four individuals with developmental disabilities who engaged in severe behavior. Prior to completing this task analysis, participants first completed a schedule thinning protocol designed to maintain discriminated manding while thinning the schedule of reinforcement to a terminal goal of a 10 min in the presence of the SDELTA. Next, participants completed a series of steps that increased the number of preferred items and placed item availability on an alternating VR/VT schedule of reinforcement. Overall, discriminated manding was observed with all four participants and manding maintained when the schedule of reinforcement was varied.
 

Application of a Pyramidal Training Model on the Implementation of Trial-Based Functional Analysis

Domain: Service Delivery
FAISAL ALNEMARY (University of California, Los Angeles), Lusineh Gharapetian (Special Education for Exceptional Kids ), Michele D. Wallace (California State University, Los Angeles), Jordan Yassine (Special Education for Exceptional Kids ), Fahad Alnemary Alnemary (CSULA/UCLA )
 
Abstract:

We employed a pyramidal training model (PTM) to teach the correct implementation and data collection of trial-based functional analysis (TBFA) for self-injurious behaviors. In the first phase, a non-concurrent multiple baseline design was used to evaluate the effectiveness of group-format training for four behavioral consultants (BCs). In the second phase, each BC trained one behavior technician (BT) by applying the same training content in an individualized setting. Treatment integrity data were collected for their implementation of the training procedures (i.e., didactic training, video modeling, role play). The results demonstrate that the PTM was successful in teaching all BCs and BTs to implement the TBFA correctly. In addition, a generalization probe with a different topography of problem behavior (i.e., aggression) was conducted for one BC and four BTs and all performed with 100% accuracy. These findings corroborate the utility of PTM in clinical settings, when access to experts such as BCBA might be limited.

 
 
 
Symposium #516
Understanding Through Accepting: Contextual Behavioral Science and Stigma
Tuesday, May 27, 2014
12:00 PM–12:50 PM
W179a (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: CBM; Domain: Basic Research
Chair: Ryan Albarado (University of Louisiana Lafayette)
Discussant: Sandra Georgescu (Chicago School of Professional Psychology )
Abstract:

Stigma is a pattern of negative opinions and behaviors towards a person based on their possession of an attribute that is against social norms. Stigma is a common phenomenon that seems to emerge through the normative processes in which humans develop and understand language. Because of their root in verbal processes, stigmatizing attitudes tend to be overgeneralized and extremely rigid. Stigma results in harmful consequences in every aspect of the lives of those who are stigmatized, and threatens psychological well being for the stigmatizer as well. Contextual behavioral science (CBS) offers a better understanding of stigma as well with implications for the development of more effective stigma prevention and reduction. Research on stigma from the contextual behavioral perspective suggests that CBS interventions can introduce flexibility among the most rigid of behaviors to decrease experiential avoidance, and foster more meaningful living. Early applications . The two papers in this symposium aims to explore stigma associated with mental health difficulties. The first paper will explore the implications of characterizing gaming problems as an addiction. The second paper will consider the divergent impacts of different forms of education on mental health stigma. Implications for understanding, assessing, and intervening on stigma will be discussed.

Keyword(s): CBS, Stigma
 

On Being Addicted to Killing Dragons, Aliens, and Zombies: Analyzing Functions and Stigma of Gaming Behavior

KAIL H. SEYMOUR (Southern Illinois University), Chad E. Drake (Southern Illinois University)
Abstract:

Due to its quick rise in the past 10-15 years, the phenomenon of habitual online video gaming (i.e., "online gaming addiction) may pose a new set of challenges for clinicians. The recent technological advances that spawned such behaviors make it exceedingly unlikely that most seasoned therapists have either a) received training in the area or b) have seen enough clients to have a comprehensive understanding of the specific clinical presentations they may encounter. Further, the relative ubiquity of online gaming cultural influences on younger people may exacerbate clinically relevant cross-generational issues; this may result in increased difficulty along multiple dimensions such as rapport building, empathy, etc. This presentation is an early attempt to examine online gaming behavior from functional contextual standpoint. The content focuses on a theoretical functional analysis based on both experiential familiarity with gaming communities and discussion with clinicians who have clients described as "gaming addicts". Stigma and addiction language will be discussed in an attempt to delineate how the lack of a focus on contingencies could potentially be detrimental when working with such clients. The relationship between appetitive/aversive therapeutic techniques and functional contextual therapeutic sensibilities will also be discussed.

 

Lessons Worth Learning: Education and Flexibility with Mental Health Stigma

SUNNI PRIMEAUX (Southern Illinois University Carbondale), Emily Kennison Sandoz (University of Louisiana at Lafayette), Matthieu Villatte (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract:

Mental health stigma, while common, leads to harmful consequences. There is some evidence to show that education reduces stigma. The reduction, however, is short term and only observed in those who are relatively open and flexible with their beliefs. Emerging research suggests that psychological flexibility may be a key process in stigma reduction. Relational Frame Theory (RFT) provides a framework for understanding the development of stigma, the role of inflexibility in maintenance of stigma, and how education that targets flexibility might facilitate reduction in stigma. Applications of RFT have resulted in the development of the Implicit Relational Assessment Procedure, a tool that can be applied for assessment of not only implicit stigmatizing attitudes, but also the flexibility with which they are held. The current study examines the impact of divergent educational experiences on mental health stigma using college students with various levels of formal education relevant to psychological difficulties both implicitly with self-report measures and explicitly with the IRAP. We also examine empathy and psychological flexibility as moderators of the relationship between education and stigma. Preliminary data suggest that mental health bias is a function of education, but that didactic and experiential education may have differential effects. Implications for creating more effective education interventions will be discussed.

 
 
Symposium #517
Problem Behavior following Brain Injury: It's Not All about Sex, Drugs, Rock and Failure
Tuesday, May 27, 2014
12:00 PM–12:50 PM
W179b (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: CBM/TPC; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Chris Persel (Centre for Neuro Skills)
Abstract:

Maladaptive behaviors are a common difficulty following traumatic and acquired brain injury. The related neurological deficits contribute to the complex nature and significant challenge experienced by those providing treatment to this population. The range of injury severity from concussions to severe trauma combined with the co-occurring medical and disease processes, make each case unique and complicated. The first study addresses the brain's anatomy and function while outlining the anticipated deficit areas related to damage experienced in the primary brain locations. This study further describes case examples to illustrate the challenges faced in behavior programming determined by the injury itself. The second study outlines the common problem of social skill deficits presented in this population. The study outlines the concept of using a direct instruction format to improve these valuable skills. Examples of the cirriculum are presented along with preliminary descriptions of treatment results and future research. The third study outlines the challenge of countercontrol in problem behavior post brain injury. Several case studies are presented to highlight the effects of social roles in therapy, using positive reinforcement to lessen the effects of conditioned aversive stimulation, providing choices, modeling, managing more dangerous countercontrol behaviors safely while minimizing extraneous attention, and programming for countercontrol when designing token economies. These studies all focus on treatment techniques that provide hope for positive change following traumatic and acquired brain injury. Future research, treatment protocols and staff training will be reviewed.

Keyword(s): Brain Injury, Neurological, Rehabilitation, Treatment techniques
 

Brain Injury and Maladaptive Behavior: Neurons Matter

KASSIDY RATLEDGE (Centre For Neuro Skills)
Abstract:

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC, 2009), 10 million Americans are affected by stroke and traumatic brain injury (TBI), making brain injury the second most prevalent injury and disability in the U.S. The functional impacts of a brain injury can range from mild to severe and can affect individuals in the following areas: cognition, speech, physical, behavioral, and emotional. Maladaptive behaviors following a brain injury may include physical aggression, emotional lability, anger outbursts, impulsivity, social inappropriateness, and confabulations (CDC, 2009). Unfortunately, Individuals having a TBI who engage in problematic or unmanageable behaviors have a more difficult time accessing services and are most likely to become homeless, institutionalized, or imprisoned (Government Accountability Office, 1998). The current proposal introduces brain injury, a brief anatomy of the brain, magnetic resonance imaging and behavior correlates for three specific patients, and the use of applied behavior analysis techniques as treatment to individuals having a TBI.

 

Social Skills and Direct Instruction following Brain Injury

MITCHELL D. MEDLEY (Centre for Neuro Skills)
Abstract:

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that traumatic and acquired brain injury affects up to an estimated 10 million people each year. The severity of deficits suffered following such an injury can range from mild to severe, with thousands affected not even knowing that they have suffered a major injury. One detrimental effect of a brain injury can be the loss of identifying and understanding appropriate social cues when interacting with others. Brain injury survivors display deficits in social skills ranging from poor maintenance of appropriate topics of conversations to mishandling complex interpersonal relationships. This investigation aims at introducing direct instruction to traumatic and acquired brain injury survivors with identified social skill deficits post injury to determine if direct instruction has an impact on the reacquisition of social skills.

 

Countercontrol in Rehabilitation: Three Case Studies to Illustrate Considerations for More Effective Programming

MATTHEW SABO (Centre for Neuro Skills)
Abstract:

Brain injury rehabilitation can be an intense and challenging process with demanding social contingencies that can occasion behaviors to escape and avoid conditioned aversive social stimulation. In the rehabilitative context, countercontrol involves behaviors that function to punish or not reinforce the "controller's" (often in this case the treatment providers) behavior such that escape or avoidance may occur (Delprato, 2002). Three case studies are presented to illustrate countercontrol behaviors in the rehabilitation context and programming for effective approach strategies. The case studies respectively highlight the importance of considering the effects of social roles in therapy and how to mediate them, building strong rapport and using positive reinforcement to lessen the effects of conditioned aversive stimulation, providing choices as appropriate opportunities for control, modeling and using a collaborative approach to task completion, managing more dangerous countercontrol behaviors safely while minimizing extraneous attention for them (in so far as is possible), and programming for countercontrol when designing token economies. In summation, an ecological approach may have utility to account for the sociocultural context of rehabilitation in which countercontrol behaviors occur and to program accordingly (Ludwig & Geller, 1999).

 
 
Paper Session #518
Behavior Analysis Across the Mexican-American Border
Tuesday, May 27, 2014
12:00 PM–12:50 PM
W190b (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: CSE
Chair: Allegra Montemayor (The University of Texas at San Antonio)
 

Applied Behavior Analysis in South Texas: Health Disparities and Cultural Differences Along the Mexican-American Border

Domain: Service Delivery
ZINA A. ELURI (The University of Texas-Pan American)
 
Abstract:

Behavior analytic techniques have proven to be effective in skill acquisition and behavior reduction, with a variety of behaviors, disorders, and age ranges. However, there has been little empirical support highlighting its effectiveness in working with people from different cultural backgrounds. Although there is little doubt that behavioral techniques would be effective in working with any population, it is important for behavior analysts to be aware of the cultural differences related to the assessment and treatment of the Hispanic population living along the Mexican-American Border. Social, cultural, and ethical issues will be addressed as they relate to the growing need for behavior analysts to work with the Hispanic population and provide much needed services to children, adolescents, and adults in this area. Further, the presentation will include a description of issues that were reported by family members to be of primary concern and avenues through which behavior analysts can address these issues. Last, recommendations for behavior analysts to effectively navigate around these social, cultural, and ethical issues will be discussed to begin to provide more effective services to this population.

 

A Contingency Analysis of Autism Treatment in Mexico

Domain: Service Delivery
ALLEGRA MONTEMAYOR (The University of Texas at San Antonio), Lee L. Mason (The University of Texas at San Antonio)
 
Abstract:

The current study examines the contingencies of reinforcement for Mexican parents of children with autism who are currently pursuing behavioral interventions. Behavior analytic research has predominantly explored the effectiveness of services and treatment for children with autism within the United States. However, there is a severe lack of research on the availability of treatment options for children with autism in Mexico. Specifically, little is known about the availability and contingencies of reinforcement of behavior analytic services, which have been shown to have the strongest evidence base for treating autism. To address this issue, we collected data on the problematic behaviors of children with autism in Mexico, as well as the treatments sought to address these challenging behaviors. Five parents of children with autism participated in qualitative interviews in which they revealed the treatment options they have sought, and their maintaining and punishing contingencies. A contingency analysis suggest that a variety of options are available for these children, but their parents are left to sort through a maze of both research-validated treatments and superstitions.

 
 
 
Panel #519
CE Offered: BACB
PDS EVENT: Developing Lines of Research in Clinical and Educational Environments: The Process, the Pitfalls, and Overcoming Challenges
Tuesday, May 27, 2014
12:00 PM–12:50 PM
W176c (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: EAB/PRA; Domain: Applied Research
CE Instructor: Adam M. Briggs, M.S.
Chair: Adam M. Briggs (The University of Kansas)
WAYNE W. FISHER (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center)
DAVID P. WACKER (The University of Iowa)
GREGORY P. HANLEY (Western New England University)
Abstract:

This panel discussion will include three experts in the field of applied behavioral science who have demonstrated high levels of research productivity throughout their career in clinical and educational environments. Each panel member will have an opportunity to provide their perspective on the process of establishing lines of research in these settings and will identify potential barriers encountered and discuss strategies for overcoming these challenges. The goal of the panel topic is to provide a forum for audience members interested in establishing lines of research in non-university settings to hear from leading and well-respected researchers in the field about their experiences. After the panel members provide general insight on the topic, they will be available to answer related questions from the audience.

Keyword(s): applied research, clinical research, non-university settings, research lines
 
 
Panel #520
CE Offered: BACB
Negotiating Health Insurance Funding for ABA Treatment
Tuesday, May 27, 2014
12:00 PM–12:50 PM
W185a (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: PRA/AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
CE Instructor: Steven Woolf, Ph.D.
Chair: Steven Woolf (Beacon ABA Services)
STEVEN WOOLF (Beacon ABA Services)
CHRISTIAN BENAVIDES (Beacon ABA Services)
KELLEY HENRY (Beacon ABA Services)
Abstract: Currently, 37 states mandate that commercial health insurance providers fund treatment for their consumers affected by Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The funding of ABA services through commercial insurance is a recent development, where coverage varies greatly according to state. Since January of 2011, Massachusetts has implemented an autism treatment mandate that permits families affected by ASD to access their health insurance to fund ABA treatment. The panel shall provide a thought provoking data-driven discussion about the changing landscape of funding for ABA services in Massachusetts through health care providers. The panel will present and discuss data collected from over 350 families receiving ABA services through their health care provider. The panel will present and display data on family demographics receiving ABA services, co-payments/deductibles information, goals/objectives selected for treatment, number of weekly service hours approved by commercial agents, and elements in behavioral assessment needed to successfully obtain a service authorization. Finally, the panel will address the usefulness of licensure relative to providing ABA services supported by commercial insurance. Overall, participants will leave this discussion with an in-depth understanding of how to provide evidenced based treatment to families affected by ASD within the realm of commercially supported health insurance.
 
 
Panel #521
CE Offered: BACB
The Use of Applications (Apps) for Instructional Delivery and Data Collection by Classroom Teachers of Persons With Autism and Intellectual Disabilities
Tuesday, May 27, 2014
12:00 PM–12:50 PM
W184d (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: PRA/AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
CE Instructor: Maureen Schepis, Ph.D.
Chair: Maureen Schepis (George Mason University)
MAUREEN SCHEPIS (George Mason University)
DAVID A. LOJKOVIC (George Mason University)
DOROTHY XUAN ZHANG (George Mason University)
Abstract:

Applications (apps) that are developed for hand-held technology have become increasingly popular as an efficient and effective way to teach new behaviors. Relative to traditional teaching methods, apps provide a consistent way to deliver instructional content and often embed data collection features to capture real-time information on user performance measures. Data collected within an app or with apps developed exclusively for data collection may also reduce the need for human observers for data collection and/or entry. Additionally, apps may format data in a way that can expedite the export of data to software programs that are capable of a more detailed data analysis. This session will include a demonstration of one app that has been developed exclusively for data collection and an app that collects user data within the app. Data will be presented from studies that are utilizing these apps by classroom teachers and by persons with autism and intellectual disabilities. The panel will discuss the pros and cons of the use of apps for data collection and will welcome feedback from the audience related to the most beneficial features to be included in further app development.

Keyword(s): Apps, Data Collection, Teachers, Technology
 
 
Symposium #522
From the Ground Up: Ethical Development of an ABA Partnership in the Dominican Republic
Tuesday, May 27, 2014
12:00 PM–12:50 PM
W193a (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: TBA/AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Molly Ola Pinney (Global Autism Project)
Abstract:

This presentation will discuss the foundations of forming an ethical international partnership with individuals wishing to start an ABA center in other countries, using a recently formed partnership in the Dominican Republic as an example. Ethical partnerships formed with organizations outside the United States should be non-exploitative, collaborative, data-based, and culturally-sensitive from the outset. Materials and staff should be locally-sourced, and organizations from the United States side of the partnership should facilitate the building of independence and local capacity, as well as including the BCBA certification of local individuals. This presentation will outline and define these seven characteristics (non-exploitative, collaborative, data-based, culturally-sensitive, locally-sourced materials and personnel, capacity-building, and facilitating BCBA certification), and discuss their application in detail in the partnership between the Global Autism Project and an emerging autism center in the Dominican Republic. Attendees will learn about ethical best-practices of international service delivery, as well as several Dos and Donts for establishing partnership with international organizations. Attendees will also learn about helpful strategies for ethically disseminating behavior analysis in other cultures, both internationally and domestically.

Keyword(s): ethical dissemination, international service, organization collaboration
 

Remote BCBA Supervision in the Dominican Republic

KAITLIN MCGUIRE (Global Autism Project)
Abstract:

This presentation will include a summary of effective strategies for remotely supervising individuals pursuing BACB certification in other countries, using a newly formed partnership in the Dominical Republic as an example. Various aspects of effective, ethical, and evidence-based remote supervision will be discussed as it applies to working with individuals within the context of another culture. Aspects of supervision that will be reviewed include establishing individualized goals and performance expectations, providing timely feedback and guidance towards meeting goals, developing and ensuring maintenance of clinical skills of the supervisee, and delivering positive feedback to result in effective behavior change. Review of a combined approach including both individualized and group supervision sessions, as well as discussion of ensuring that supervision provided is culturally relevant to both the supervisee and the clients to whom behavior analytic services are being provided, will also be discussed. Those attending this presentation will learn about how to provide individualized, culturally sensitive remote supervision resulting in lasting behavior change.

 

Development of ABA in the Dominican Republic: Where We Are, How We Got There, and Where We Are Going

STEPHANIA PATIN (APRENDO Center for Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities)
Abstract:

This presentation will review how ABA practices have come into existence in a third world country such as the Dominican Republic. Currently, there are no BCBAs or ABA training programs locally available, making ABA practices a reality only through remote supervision. As a field of practice, ABA has a very young history in the Dominican Republic. In the past 15 years, there were no in-country services being provided. Through the years, the dissemination of awareness about ABA as a best practice for autism treatment has made many families start looking for solutions to provide therapy for their children in their home country. Many of the current challenges faced by Dominican families that want access to services and the difficulties encountered by professionals trying to provide these services will be discussed. The development of a model that could disseminate the need for ABA services in the population of children with autism, and provide local trainings adapted to the needs of local professionals is a process in the making and will be a shared experience with the present audience.

 

Perspectives of Dominican Families and Mental Health Professionals on ABA

KARLA DEWINDT (APRENDO Center for Autism and other Developmental Disabilities)
Abstract:

This presentation will review how ABA is seen in the Dominican Republic. ABA therapy is relatively new in DR, which means that not many families and health professionals who have some relationship with ASD know what ABA targets as an intervention model. The current practices are based on Verbal Behavior and Discrete Trail methods; giving little importance to generalization in the natural environment. Even though awareness is developing regarding how ABA therapy is effective for children with autism, it has been thought of as an intervention for problem behaviors, a non-playful, robotic type of therapy. Its not clear to the public as a whole that behaviors are a huge component of our day to day interactions and that the word behavior does not merely represent aggressiveness or tantrums. There is very little knowledge or awareness on the different types of ABA interventions that exist, making people defer to antiqued images or ideals of behaviorism. Its very important that families and professionals in the autism community of our country have a clear knowledge of what ABA is about.

 
 
Symposium #523
CE Offered: BACB
Improving Outcomes of Intensive Behavioral Intervention
Tuesday, May 27, 2014
12:00 PM–1:50 PM
W183c (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: AUT/EDC; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Susan Ainsleigh (Bay Path College)
Discussant: Catherine R. Green (Simmons College)
CE Instructor: Susan Ainsleigh, Ed.D.
Abstract:

Administrators who develop and oversee instructional programs are universally concerned with the effectiveness of instructional programming. Monitoring of program effectiveness requires the planning and assessment of the achievement of specific, desired programmatic outcomes. Effective programs have been described as those that achieve fluency, generalization, and maintenance and do so efficiently faster than these outcomes would be achieved in less effective instructional programs (Moran & Mallott, 2004). An educational model using an intensive delivery of behavioral intervention has been proposed as an effective means for educating children with autism spectrum disorders (Cummings & Carr, 2009;Cohen, Amerine-Dickens, & Smith, 2006; Smith, 1999). However, intensive program often required intensive planning and monitoring to achieve desired outcomes; even with intensive monitoring these desired outcomes can be difficult to achieve. This symposium presents several components of an intensive, clinic-based ABA program that strengthen instructional outcomes through the use of structural analysis to assist in the select of effective intervention packages, programming for generalization using the most effective and efficient program design, and systematic decision-making to assure timely data-based decision making.

Keyword(s): decision-making, program outcomes, promoting generalization, structural analysis
 

Make it Last! Selecting Effective Strategies to Promote Generalization of Speech Therapy Outcomes

AMAL AL-NABULSI (Jeddah Institute for Speech and Hearing)
Abstract:

Speech and language therapy is often provided as a component of intensive behavioral intervention, and shares with behavioral therapy both the goal of prompting generalization of therapy outcomes and the challenge of achieving this goal. Several strategies have been identified in the speech and behavioral literature as associated with improved generalization; however, few studies demonstrate the superiority of one strategy over another in regards to the generalization of targeted skills. Further, although speech and language targets are routinely targeted in both behavioral and speech therapy, few studies exist that suggest which strategies promote improved generalization of specific language targets. This paper reviews several known strategies for promoting generalized outcomes, and compares the use of three known strategies: programming common stimuli, teaching loosely, and programming indiscriminable contingencies with two common targets of speech therapy: following teachers directions and imitating the actions of an adult. An alternating treatment design across conditions was used to examine the effectiveness of different generalization-promoting strategies.

 

Using Structural Analysis to Increase Active Student Responding

Chengan Yuan (Jeddah Institute for Speech and Hearing), SANAA IBRAHIM (Jeddah Institute for Speech and Hearing)
Abstract:

In designing behavioral programming, behavior analysts must select the most effective instructional methodologies to achieve instructional outcomes. In addition to selecting specific behavior change procedures, the analyst must also examine antecedent variables associated with the presence or absence of optimal performance. This analytic process referred to as structural analysis has been used to examine a variety of instructional and performance conditions for targets, such as work performance (Green, et al, 1991), but primarily have been utilized to examine the effect of varying antecedent conditions on the exhibition of problem behavior (Vaughn & Horner, 1997; Smith & Iwata, 1997). This presentation demonstrates the use of structural analysis to identify antecedent or instructional variables associated with active responding by two children with autism spectrum disorders. In both cases, analyses were conducted by manipulating instructional variables to determine which variables were associated with reduced latency to responding and increased rates of correct responding. Instructional variables manipulated included variations in trial sequencing (massed and distributed discrete trials teaching), task content (single or mixed types of tasks), and the presence of absence of motor movement incorporated with instructional trials. For both subjects, results of structural analyses suggested specific trial sequencing was associated with optimal rates of responding (distributed versus massed) and the presence of motor movement resulted in shorter latencies to responding. Differences in optimal responding were noted across conditions for different types of tasks for one of the subjects (language tasks versus visual tasks). The process of structural analysis is presented, with a focus on the selection of effective instructional models based on the results of structural analyses.

 

A Decision-Making Model for Improving Behavior Analytic Services

SUSAN AINSLEIGH (Bay Path College), Shumaila Jaffrey (Jeddah Institute for Speech and Hearing)
Abstract:

Clinical practice is often an uncertain exercise (Gambrill, 1990). Across the field of ABA exist wide variations in the way services are implemented, monitored, and modified. Decision-making - about when to intervene, when to change an intervention, and when to discontinue intervention - are all part of daily practice, and yet, with few guidelines as to how to make such decisions, clinicians often rely on instinct and hence, mistakes are inevitable. Such mistakes are costly and potentially slow progress, and are compounded when decision-making is spread across less experienced or newly trained personnel. This paper presents a decision-making model using visually displayed data that guides interventionists, case managers, clinical supervisors, or families receiving services in the clinical making process. It presents specific guidelines on how to monitor performance data to determine when to make a clinical change (such as when to intervene, when to discontinue an intervention, when to fade prompts or thin reinforcement and punishment schedules, or when to implement strategies to promote generalization). Attendees will learn how make better, more timely decisions related to the provision of behavior analytic services, and how to monitor that those under their supervision do the same. A case study using the model across 4 behavior analysts responsible for clinical decision making in an intensive behavior program will be presented, with an examination of how the use of the model in various formats resulted in more accurate, timely, and independent decision making.

 

Fixed Versus Variable Schedules of Performance Monitoring on Program Implementation and Concurrent Effect on Student Performance in Intensive Behavioral Programs

CHENGAN YUAN (Jeddah Institute for Speech and Hearing), Shumaila Jaffrey (Jeddah Institute for Speech and Hearing)
Abstract:

Previous research has demonstrated that performance monitoring combined with reinforcement contingencies can increase treatment integrity of instructors in special education and behaviorally-based instructional programs. In addition, changes in student performance have been associated with improvements in treatment integrity. DiGennero et al (2007), for example, noted that improvements in treatment integrity accomplished by performance feedback delivered to teachers were also associated with lower rates of problem behavior of students. Previous research has noted that application of performance feedback results in higher rates of treatment integrity, and that performance feedback schedules thinned to up to 2 weeks between feedback sessions can maintain high levels of treatment integrity. On-going observation and performance feedback remains a critical aspect of maintaining treatment integrity, however, and in an intensive therapy program, maintaining dense schedules of performance feedback can be costly and inefficient. In addition, evidence of changes in student performance across differing levels of treatment integrity remains more scarce. This study examined the effects of fixed versus variable schedules of performance feedback on program implementation by therapists in an intensive ABA program. Concurrent effects on student performance, both in relation to rates of correct responding and rates of problem behavior were examined.

 
 
Symposium #524
CE Offered: BACB
Variables Affecting Learning in Children with Autism: Further Analysis of Prompting and Reinforcement
Tuesday, May 27, 2014
1:00 PM–1:50 PM
W183b (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: AUT/DDA; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Mark P. Groskreutz (Evergreen Center)
Discussant: John Claude Ward-Horner (Beacon ABA Services)
CE Instructor: Mark P. Groskreutz, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Children with autism often present unique learning challenges. Given the emphasis on individualized assessment and instruction, and data based decision making, behavior analysts are especially well-suited to address learning issues. Likewise, the use of single subject designs permit behavior analysts to experimentally evaluate individualized interventions to demonstrate functional relations or compare different interventions. This symposium reviews two studies that were conducted in an applied setting that identify variables that affected learning. The first study compared the effectives of two prompting modalities (tact and echoic) to determine which was a more effective procedure for teaching intraverbal behavior to two children with autism. The second study evaluates the effects of choice versus no choice of potential reinforcers and the relative effects on students responding during educational activities. Implications of programming for students with autism, including antecedent manipulations and consequence-based strategies, will be discussed. Additionally, the utility of comparative analyses and the application single subject designs in applied settings will be reviewed.

Keyword(s): Autism, Choice, Echoic, Tact
 
A Comparison of Tact and Echoic Prompts to Teach Intraverbals for Children with Autism
ERIN CONANT (Evergreen Center), Fatima Diaz (Evergreen Center), Joseph M. Vedora (Evergreen Center), Mark P. Groskreutz (Evergreen Center)
Abstract: Children with autism typically require explicit instruction to learn intraverbal behavior. Several researchers have directly compared the use of visual prompts (text or pictures) to echoic prompts with mixed findings. Two recent studies compared the use of tact and echoic prompts used during intraverbal training with children with autism. Kodak, Fuchtman, and Paden’s (2012) findings suggested that echoic prompts were more effective than tact prompts for their participants. However, Ingvarsson and Hollobough’s (2011) study indicated that while both tact and echoic prompts were effective in establishing intraverbal responding, the three participants required fewer trials to criterion in the tact prompt condition. The current study compared the use of tact and echoic prompts used to teach two teenagers with autism intraverbal responses. The results indicated both procedures were effective. Implications of prompting procedures for children with autism and the role of individual learning histories in determining successful procedures are discussed
 

Further Analysis of Choice as a Reinforcer with Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders

WENDY WELLER (Evergreen Center), Mark P. Groskreutz (Evergreen Center), Joseph M. Vedora (Evergreen Center)
Abstract:

Researchers have examined whether choice is a reinforcer, i.e., evaluating whether choosing a consequence will result in a greater increase in behavior than the same consequences being delivered without being chosen. However, previous research has used methodology that may limit the identification of choice as a reinforcer (e.g., yoked schedules, choosing from identical items). The current study examines the effect of choice or no choice of potential reinforcers on performance of educational responses of three students with disabilities and avoids the challenges associated with using yoked schedules of reinforcement or choosing from identical options. Thus the current study provides additional refinements in the analysis of choice as a reinforcer by examining rates of responding when participants have the opportunity to choose an item or not, contingent on responding. Results will identify if there is a difference in responding to an educationally relevant task when choice is available or not and if participants demonstrate a preference for choice or no-choice conditions. The relevance of choice in clinical and educational context will be discussed. Recommendations for future research will also be presented.

 
 
Symposium #525
Considerations in Cultural Diversity When Providing Applied Behavior Analysis Treatment to Individuals with Autism and other Developmental Disabilities.
Tuesday, May 27, 2014
1:00 PM–1:50 PM
W184bc (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: AUT/CSE; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Rany Thommen (ABA Today)
Abstract: According to the Oxford Dictionary, culture is defined as the customs, arts, social institutions, and achievements of a particular nation, people, or other social group. It includes beliefs, behavior, customs, traditions, and language. Although ABA has decades of research supporting its effectiveness in treating Autism and there are more ABA practitioners across the globe than ever before, there is little research on how to develop ABA programs for consumers in a way that adapts to cultures outside of Western culture. Increased prevalence of Autism and more awareness has resulted in families from all backgrounds seeking treatment. Because of this we must find more ways to provide ABA services to families in a way that is culturally sensitive. This presentation will discuss the role of culture in how consumers respond to treatment intervention. Sample intake interviews will be described. Selection of appropriate treatment objectives which are sensitive to cultural differences but still reflect research-based intervention will also be described. Screening, assessment, and treatment plan development will be discussed to provide participants with information on how to better meet the needs of cultural diversity among clients while still providing evidenced based treatment.
Keyword(s): Autism, Cultural Sensitivity, Diversity, Parent Education
 
The Role of Culture During the Intake and Assessment Process
GIA VAZQUEZ ORTEGA (Blossom Center for Children)
Abstract: This presentation will define culture and describe the different aspects of culture that practitioners should consider when completing screenings, assessments, or other intake processes. Individuals from different countries may answer or respond to questions differently than those accustomed to western culture. For example, in some cultures families do not wish to receive a formal diagnosis of a disability so as to not stigmatize the child in society. And in other cases, some families do not perceive the absence of skills as a sign of developmental delay. Examples of cultural perception will be reviewed so that practitioners can consider modifying their intake processes to receive more accurate information from the clients they serve. Cultural sensitivity when providing parent education such as in understanding Autism Spectrum Disorder or other developmental disabilities will also be reviewed.
 
Considering Cultural Differences when Selecting Treatment Objectives
RANY THOMMEN (ABA Today)
Abstract: It is the responsibility of practitioners to not only choose appropriate goals but to develop intervention plans that an individual’s team can effectively implement. Behaviors that are considered appropriate or inappropriate by the practitioner may not always be considered the same by family members. It is important that goals be carefully selected to ensure they are in fact important to the family and reflect their cultural differences. In some cultures, development of speech and language is less important than learning how to respond to directions. In other cultures, it is more important to develop academic skills than develop appropriate social skills. Cultural considerations during goal selection and treatment plan development will be reviewed.
 

Ethical Considerations When Providing Services to Families with Diverse Backgrounds

BERENICE DE LA CRUZ (Autism Community Network)
Abstract:

This presentation will review sections 1.0, 2.0, and 4.0 of the BACB Guidelines for Responsible Conduct for Behavior Analysts related to relations with clients. When considering cultural practices, it can sometimes be difficult to determine which practices should be accepted and which practices should not be reinforced so that practitioners keep professional boundaries. In some cultural practices ignoring forms of appreciation offered by families can be perceived as insulting and fracture the practitioner client team dynamic. Ethical considerations related to meals, gifts, and other offerings will be discussed.

 
 
Symposium #526
CE Offered: BACB
"N=200" Behavioural Outcomes from a Brief Short Term Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA)-based Service Delivery Model for Children and Youth on the Autism Spectrum.
Tuesday, May 27, 2014
1:00 PM–1:50 PM
W184a (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: AUT/CSE; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Rosemary A. Condillac (Brock University)
CE Instructor: Rosemary A. Condillac, Ph.D.
Abstract:

As part of the Ontario Ministry of Children and Youth Services' expansion of community-based services and supports for children and youth with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), a brief Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA)-based service delivery model (up to six months) was launched in September 2011 in regions just north of Toronto, Ontario Canada. The objective of this expansion was to ameliorate long waitlists for families seeking behavioural services for their child/youth, and build capacity in various settings, by providing quality services to a large number of families with ongoing and changing needs. To date, the collaborative efforts of four community-based agencies have provided approximately 2000 children/youth the opportunity to participate in this short term service delivery model. Each parent/caregiver and their child/teen (if applicable) are involved in choosing a goal or concern across one the following domains: 1) Behavior management/emotional regulation; 2) Communication; 3) Social/interpersonal; and 4) Activities of Daily Living (ADL). The following presentations will provide an overview of the model of service delivery across four community agencies; the functional behavioral assessment; and behavioral outcomes of n=200 cases including case studies. Finally, strengths and the limitations of providing short term applied behavioral analysis will also be discussed.

Keyword(s): Community Collaboration, Mediator training, Short term
 

Service Delivery Model of a Short Term Applied Behaviour Analysis Service for Children and Youth on the Autism Spectrum in the Greater Toronto Area

SHANA GIBSON (Kerry's Place Autism Services), Vicky Simos (Mackenzie Health, Behaviour Management Services)
Abstract:

In September of 2011, as a result of an Expression of Interest (EOI) proposed by the Ministry of Children and Youth Services, short-term Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) services began to be provided to children and youth diagnosed on the Autism Spectrum up to the age of 18 across Ontario including in York Region and Simcoe County. As per ministry requirements, services are provided for two to six months, two to four hours a week. The focus of this presentation is to provide an overview of the York Region and Simcoe County ABA program that is comprised of four community agencies partnership. The Primary objective of this program is to teach caregivers of children with ASD the principles of ABA and how to apply strategies to reduce problem behaviour and/or acquire new skills. 1-month follow-up sessions are conducted to determine behaviour change and parent success in maintaining or exceeding their expected outcome after discharge. The presentation will highlight the unique collaboration across the four agencies in providing applied behavioural analysis in a short term delivery model to 1047 clients in a fiscal year. In addition, the demographics of clients supported and domain selection will also be presented.

 

Focused Functional Behavioural Assessment in a Short Term Delivery Model

EVANGELO BOUTSIS (Mackenzie Health, Behaviour Management Services), Rosemary A. Condillac (Brock University)
Abstract:

A York Region/Simcoe County partnership across four community agencies in Ontario Canada provides applied behavioural analysis in a short term model to 1047 children/teens diagnosed on the Autism Spectrum in a fiscal year. The objective of this and similar programs in Ontario is to provide caregivers and their children (if applicable) the opportunity to determine their current concern or pick among four domains available. If the caregiver chooses a social skill, activities of daily living or a communication goal, a functional skills assessment (FSA) is conducted to determine pre-requisites, appropriateness of goal and next steps. If the caregiver determines that reducing a challenging behaviour is a concern, a Functional Behavioural Assessment (FBA) is conducted to determine the function as well as the conditions that precede and follow the concern. The FBA is conducted for all children/youth that require support for behaviour challenges within this model of service. The following paper will provide an overview of the FBA structure, including the process and methods used. Results from 200 functional behavioural assessments will be presented including the prevalence of identified functions and the comparisons across the various methods utilized.

 

Teaching Mediators to Treat Challenging Behaviour within a Short-Term Delivery Model

BETHANY E. KOPEL (Mackenzie Health, Behaviour Management Services), Maurice Feldman (Centre for Applied Disability Studies, Brock University)
Abstract:

A York Region/Simcoe County partnership across four community agencies in Ontario Canada provides applied behavioural analysis in a short term model to 1047 children/teens diagnosed on the Autism Spectrum in a fiscal year. Services are provided using a mediator model to teach caregivers to teach a skill and/or reduce a challenging behaviour exhibited by their child/teen. The clinicians responsible for teaching caregivers utilize a behavioural skills training and/or general case approach during services delivery. Services are conducted at home and in other relevant community locations including schools if permitted. The following paper will review the effect sizes of approximately 200 single cases that have been provided support under the behaviour domain. In addition, case(s) will be presented illustrating how the functional behavioural assessment is used to develop a treatment plan and the results associated with this plan. Finally, an overview of the strengths, limitations and future directions of a short term applied behaviour analysis services will be presented.

 
 
Paper Session #527
Novel Behavioral Interventions for Older Adults and Potential Delinquents
Tuesday, May 27, 2014
1:00 PM–1:50 PM
W179b (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: CBM
Chair: Parsla Vintere (Queens College, City University of New York)
 

Walk and Talk Therapy

Domain: Theory
PARSLA VINTERE (Queens College, City University of New York)
 
Abstract:

A typical format for conducting psychotherapy sessions may not always be suitable for the residents of assisted living or long-term care facilities. Residents of these facilities are older adults in poor physical health and many of them suffer from chronic mental disorders and adjustment problems. They often rely on the care giving of others and they rarely engage in health behaviors, such as exercise. Although research shows that physical activity may alleviate many types of mental disorders and improve one's well-being, it is not always fully implemented in the long-term care settings. The purpose of this paper is to examine the Walk and Talk intervention, the critical aspect of which is to recognize the importance of physical activity to well-being and its feasibility in psychotherapy sessions. The development of an effective clinical behavior analytic approach to the Walk and Talk psychotherapy with aging population is discussed with the presentation of two case studies. Potential strengths and weaknesses of this psychotherapy session format are discussed.

 
Behavioral Coaching for ADHD as Delinquency Prevention
Domain: Service Delivery
LEASHA BARRY (University of West Florida), Trudi Gaines (University of West Florida)
 
Abstract: A disproportionate number of individuals with ADHD are represented in the population of incarcerated youth and adults. Although the predictive relationship between ADHD diagnoses and later delinquency is well established, very little information is available on the outcome of youth in terms of delinquency who received various interventions for ADHD. As such it is relatively unknown, but often assumed, that intervention for ADHD symptoms also prevents later criminal activity and thus incarceration and recidivism. The purpose of this paper is to examine the relevant literature in the areas of ADHD and delinquency intervention, illuminating this potentially important gap, and to provide possible future research directions to help clarify the issue. In addition, the paper with examine a proposed behavioral coaching model as adapted from traditional coaching models. The proposed model shall specifically incorporate behavior analytical approaches and provide information about incorporating the coaching model into some existing interventions for delinquency prevention. The hope is that the juvenile justice system will embrace a developmental view of behavior, allowing for positive outcomes for the greatest number of our children. An initial investment in interventions such as behavioral coaching may have considerable long-term returns, not only in dollars saved, but also in the human capital of an adolescent spared the path into adult criminality.
 

A Behavioral Conceptualization Of Alzheimer's Disease

Domain: Theory
KATHLEEN FAIRCHILD (Rehabilitation Institute Southern Illinois Univers), Jonathan C. Baker (Southern Illinois University)
 
Abstract:

Alzheimer's disease (AD) has received increased attention due to the increasing incidence of AD associated with an aging population (Alzheimer's Disease Facts and Figures, 2012). Research has found that individuals with AD are a heterogeneous group with individualized behavioral symptoms (Mark, 2012). Currently, there is not a single pharmacological agent or combination of drugs that have resulted in uniform and widespread therapeutic effects for this population and it is unlikely that one will be found any time soon (Geldmacher et al., 2006; Patel & Grossberg, 2012). Behavioral interventions have been found to be effective in treating several of the behavioral symptoms associated with Alzheimer's disease. However, behavior analysts have largely ignored this area. This may be due to the lack of a behavioral conceptualization that informs and guides future research. Therefore, a behavioral conceptualization is needed to directly guide individualized treatment and to encourage more behavior analysts to begin to conduct research in this area. The purpose of this paper is to propose a behavioral conceptualization of Alzheimer's disease, which could inform and improve treatment planning and adoption as well as guide future research.

 
 

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