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.

Ninth Annual Autism Conference; Las Vegas, NV; 2015

Program by Continuing Education Events: Saturday, January 24, 2015


Manage My Personal Schedule

 

Invited Paper Session #4
CE Offered: PSY/BACB

ACT, RFT, and Autism: What Contextual Behavioral Science Has to Offer

Saturday, January 24, 2015
8:30 AM–9:20 AM
Grand Ballroom
Area: AUT; Domain: Basic Research
Instruction Level: Basic
CE Instructor: Steven C. Hayes, Ph.D.
Chair: Thomas S. Higbee (Utah State University)
STEVEN C. HAYES (University of Nevada, Reno)
Steven C. Hayes is the Nevada Foundation Professor at the Department of Psychology at the University of Nevada, Reno. An author of more than 35 books and over 500 scientific articles, his career has focused on an analysis of the nature of human language and cognition and the application of this to the understanding and alleviation of human suffering. Dr. Hayes has been president of Division 25 of the American Psychological Association, of the American Association of Applied and Preventive Psychology, the Association for Contextual Behavioral Science, and of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies. He was the first secretary-treasurer of the Association for Psychological Science, which he helped form, and served a five-year term on the National Advisory Council for Drug Abuse in the National Institutes of Health. In 1992, he was listed by the Institute for Scientific Information as the 30th "highest impact" psychologist in the world. His work has been recognized by several awards including the Exemplary Contributions to Basic Behavioral Research and Its Applications from Division 25 of APA, the Impact of Science on Application award from the Society for the Advancement of Behavior Analysis, and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies.
Abstract:

Behavior analytic methods in the areas of autism, Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), and developmental disabilities are among the most powerful known. Contextual Behavioral Science (CBS) is a wing of behavior analysis that has for years been exploring functional, contextual methods approaches to language and cognition, and their implications for verbal interventions in a wide variety of areas. In this talk, Dr. Hayes will review the progress of this wing, in areas of relevance to autism and related areas. While Relational Frame Therapy (RFT), is not yet as well established as direct contingency principles, it offers a variety of new conceptual tools that are worth exploring. ACT methods appear to be helpful to higher functioning populations in this area. The specific properties of CBS required some degree of focused development, but advances in this area are available to anyone in behavior analysis who chooses to apply them.

Target Audience:

Psychologists, behavior analysts, practitioners, and graduate students.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants should be able to: (1) describe the defining features of relational frames; (2) explain how relational operants alter the impact of direct contingencies; and (3) describe at least two findings in CBS that appear to be relevant to work with autism and related disorders.
Keyword(s): contexual behavior, relational frame
 
 
Invited Paper Session #5
CE Offered: PSY

Language Development in Fragile X Syndrome: Variation, Mechanisms, and Treatment

Saturday, January 24, 2015
9:30 AM–10:20 AM
Grand Ballroom
Area: AUT; Domain: Basic Research
Instruction Level: Basic
CE Instructor: Len Abbeduto, Ph.D.
Chair: Kristen M. Kalymon (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
LEONARD ABBEDUTO (University of California, Davis, MIND Institute)
Dr. Leonard Abbeduto’s research is focused broadly on the development of language across the lifespan in individuals with neurodevelopmental disorders and the family context for language development. His research has been funded virtually continuously by the National Institutes of Health since 1985. Dr. Abbeduto has published more than 130 articles, chapters, reviews, and books on fragile X syndrome, autism, Down syndrome, and other disabilities. His current research is focused on understanding variation in language outcomes in various neurodevelopmental disorders, the measurement of treatment effects in clinical trials, and the use of distance technology in behavioral treatment. Dr. Abbeduto is the editor of the American Journal on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. He has received numerous awards and honors, including the Kellett Mid-Career Research Award (2008) and Emil A. Steiger Award for Distinguished Teaching (1996), both from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and the Enid and William Rosen Research Award from the National Fragile X Foundation (2010). Dr. Abbeduto is a fellow of the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. He also directs the NIH-funded Eunice Kennedy Shriver Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center at the MIND Institute.
Abstract:

The focus of this presentation is on language development in children and adolescents with fragile X syndrome. Fragile X syndrome is a single-gene, X-linked disorder that is the leading inherited cause of intellectual disability and the leading known genetic cause of autism. Dr. Abbeduto will summarize his research in three areas. First, he will present findings regarding the language phenotype, with an emphasis on variation relative to other conditions (e.g., autism spectrum disorder), variation within the syndrome, and variation with age. Second, he will present findings regarding the factors that contribute to variation in the language phenotype, emphasizing individual characteristics (e.g., autism symptom severity), biological factors (e.g., level of FMRP, which is the protein that is absent or reduced in the syndrome), and environmental factors (e.g., parental mental health status). Third, he will summarize his research on the development of language measures for assessing efficacy in clinical trials as well as findings from a parent-implemented language intervention. Throughout the presentation, he will highlight similarities and differences between fragile X syndrome and nonsyndromic, or idiopathic, autism spectrum disorder.

Target Audience:

Psychologists, behavior analysts, practitioners, and graduate students.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of this presentation, participants should be able to (1) understand the causes and consequences of fragile X syndrome; (2) become familiar with the nature and determinants of the language phenotype, as well as with methods for assessing and improving language in fragile X syndrome; and (3) understand some of the differences in the language phenotypes of fragile X syndrome and autism spectrum disorder.
Keyword(s): Fragile X, language phenotype
 
 
Invited Paper Session #6
CE Offered: PSY/BACB

Autism, ABA, and Pivotal Response Treatment

Saturday, January 24, 2015
11:00 AM–11:50 AM
Grand Ballroom
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Instruction Level: Basic
CE Instructor: Robert L. Koegel, Ph.D.
Chair: Robert K. Ross (Beacon ABA Services)
ROBERT L. KOEGEL (University of California, Santa Barbara)
Dr. Robert Koegel has focused his career on autism, specializing in language intervention, family support, and school integration. He has published more than 200 articles and papers relating to the treatment of autism. He is the founding editor of the Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions. Models of his procedures have been used in public schools and in parent education programs throughout California, the United States, and other countries. He has trained health care and special education leaders in the United States and abroad. Dr. Koegel and his wife, Dr. Lynn Kern Koegel, are the developers of pivotal response treatment, which focuses on motivation. They were the recipients of the first annual Children's Television Workshop Sesame Street Award for Brightening the Lives of Children and the first annual Autism Speaks Award for Science and Research. The University of California, Santa Barbara, received a $2.35 million gift to expand the physical space of its autism center, which was renamed the Koegel Autism Center in recognition of the Koegels' work on behalf of children with autism, and a large gift from the Eli and Edythe L. Broad Foundation to start the Eli and Edythe L. Broad Asperger Center, which is now part of the Koegel Autism Center.
Abstract:

Historically, autism has presented major challenges for treatment providers, educators, families, and the community at large. Before the 1960s while there were isolated examples of successful treatments reported in lay documents and books, such as Itard's The Wild Boy of Aveyron, nothing systematic or replicable was reported and most believed that intervention for this population was impossible. Fortunately, in the 1960s and '70s researchers such as Lovaas, Hewett, Lovett, Wolf, Risley, Sloane, etc., showed that behavioral interventions (developed through ABA) could substantially improve large numbers of individual target behaviors, including self-help skills, academic skills, disruptive behavior, and language skills. This initial research led to very large degrees of optimism and hope for children with autism, particularly for families who had previously been told their children were uneducable and should be institutionalized. Initially, the interventions dealt with literally thousands of individual target behaviors, and required extremely large amounts of time and effort for both the interventionists and for the children. Beginning in the 1980s, researchers were finding that certain core pivotal areas of autism appeared to be responsible for very large numbers of response classes of both appropriate and inappropriate behaviors, and the possibility existed for developing a very efficient and effective treatment that would treat those "pivotal areas," that could result in widespread, fluidly integrated gains. Although it took decades to identify interventions for pivotal areas, iterations of interventions developed through ABA, such as Pivotal Response Treatment, could dramatically improve the speed and naturalness of the recovery process. That is, by targeting key pivotal areas, such as motivation for social communication, literally thousands of fluidly integrated improvements occurred extremely rapidly, improving not only thousands of individual target behaviors, but also improving the entire condition of autism, as well as reducing stress for family members. This presentation will describe the various pivotal areas that have been researched and procedures for implementing Pivotal Response Treatment. Research outcomes, including single subject designs and randomized clinical trials will be presented as well as videotaped vignettes of Pivotal Response Treatment being implemented.

Target Audience:

Psychologists, behavior analysts, practitioners, and graduate students.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants should be able to: (1) describe the treatment of individual target behaviors related to autism; (2) describe the key pivotal areas underlying the condition of autism; (3) explain the interventions that target those pivotal areas, producing extremely rapid and fluidly integrated gains in not only the target behaviors, but in the entire condition of autism.
Keyword(s): pivotal response
 
 
Invited Paper Session #7
CE Offered: PSY/BACB

Linking Assessment and Treatment in Acquisition Programs for Children with Autism

Saturday, January 24, 2015
1:30 PM–2:20 PM
Grand Ballroom
Area: AUT; Domain: Basic Research
Instruction Level: Basic
CE Instructor: Dorothea C. Lerman, Ph.D.
Chair: Naomi Swiezy (HANDS in Autism, IU School of Medicine)
DOROTHEA C. LERMAN (University of Houston-Clear Lake)
Dorothea Lerman is a professor of psychology at the University of Houston-Clear Lake, where she coordinates a master’s program in behavior analysis and serves as director of the UHCL Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities. She received her doctoral degree in psychology from the University of Florida in 1995, specializing in the experimental analysis of behavior. Her areas of expertise include autism, developmental disabilities, early intervention, functional analysis, teacher and parent training, and treatment of severe behavior disorders (e.g., aggression, self-injury). Dr. Lerman’s graduate students serve as behavioral consultants for school districts in the Houston area and provide services to children and families through an on-campus clinic. Dr. Lerman has published more than 60 research articles and chapters, served as associate editor for The Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis and Research in Developmental Disabilities, was the founding editor of Behavior Analysis in Practice, and recently completed a term as editor-in-chief of the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis. She has secured more than $1.5 million in grants and contracts to support her work. She was the recipient of the 2007 Distinguished Contribution to Applied Behavioral Research Award and the 2001 B.F. Skinner Award for New Researchers, awarded by Division 25 of the American Psychological Association. She also was named a Fellow of the Association for Behavior Analysis International in 2008. Dr. Lerman is a licensed psychologist and a Board Certified Behavior Analyst.
Abstract:

A number of studies have examined variations of commonly used instructional strategies for children with autism, including prompting and reinforcement procedures. Results often show that the relative effectiveness of different procedural variations is idiosyncratic across children. These findings indicate that it may be beneficial to link individualized assessment to treatment when developing acquisition programs for children with autism. Dr. Lerman will present the method and results of experiments that illustrate an assessment-based approach for identifying the most effective prompting procedures, error correction strategies, and reinforcement contingencies for individual learners.

Target Audience:

Psychologists, behavior analysts, practitioners, and graduate students.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants should be able to: (1) describe general research findings on variations of commonly used instructional strategies for children with autism; (2) describe different types of prompting procedures, error-correction strategies, and reinforcement contingencies; and (3) describe the key elements of an assessment-based approach for developing acquisition programs for children with autism.
Keyword(s): prompting, reinforcement
 
 
Invited Paper Session #8
CE Offered: PSY

Neuroimaging of Face Processing in Autism: Can We Make Sense of Inconsistent Findings?

Saturday, January 24, 2015
2:30 PM–3:20 PM
Grand Ballroom
Area: AUT; Domain: Basic Research
Instruction Level: Basic
CE Instructor: Elizabeth Aylward, Ph.D.
Chair: Wayne W. Fisher (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center)
ELIZABETH AYLWARD (Seattle Children's Hospital)
Elizabeth Aylward is the associate director of the Center for Integrative Brain Research at Seattle Children's Research Institute and an affiliate professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Washington. She received her Ph.D. in developmental psychology from Cornell University, followed by two post-doctoral fellowships at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, one in developmental disabilities and one in the dementias of aging. Post-doctoral work included an introduction to neuroimaging research focusing on structural MRI measures of specific brain regions in neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative disorders. Dr. Aylward has continued this work for the past 25 years, and her studies have used both structural and functional MRI to better understand a variety of disorders, including autism spectrum disorders, learning disabilities, fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, HIV dementia, Huntington's disease, and Down syndrome, as well as normal development and aging.
Abstract:

One common difficulty experienced by most children and adults with autism is an impaired ability to recognize and remember faces. This presentation will focus on neuroimaging research during the past 15 years associated with face processing in autism. Early fMRI research suggested that dysfunction of the fusiform face area is responsible for these impairments, but later studies using more refined techniques suggest that the deficits include other brain regions and may reflect other underlying deficits, such as impaired social reward systems or lack of neural habituation. The talk will cover the serious inconsistencies in findings across studies and will conclude with a discussion about the need for more attention on individual differences.

Target Audience:

Psychologists, behavior analysts, practitioners, and graduate students.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the event, participants should be able to: (1) understand the rationale for studying face processing in autism; (2) understand the findings of previous functional MRI studies of face processing in autism; and (3) understand the importance of considering heterogeneity in autism as an explanation for the lack of consistency in fMRI findings in face processing studies.
Keyword(s): face processing, neuroimaging
 
 
Invited Paper Session #9
CE Offered: PSY/BACB

Recent Behavioral Research on Restricted Inflexible Behavior

Saturday, January 24, 2015
4:00 PM–4:50 PM
Grand Ballroom
Area: AUT; Domain: Basic Research
Instruction Level: Basic
CE Instructor: Timothy R. Vollmer, Ph.D.
Chair: Jennifer R. Zarcone (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
TIMOTHY R. VOLLMER (University of Florida)
Timothy R. Vollmer received his Ph.D. from the University of Florida in 1992. From 1992 until 1996, he was on the psychology faculty at Louisiana State University. From 1996 to 1998, he was on the faculty at the University of Pennsylvania Medical School. He returned to the University of Florida in 1998 and is now a professor of psychology. His primary area of research is applied behavior analysis, with emphases in developmental disabilities, reinforcement schedules, and parenting. He has published more than 130 articles and book chapters related to behavior analysis. He was the recipient of the 1996 B.F. Skinner New Researcher award from the American Psychological Association (APA). He received another APA award in August 2004, for significant contributions to applied behavior analysis. He is a former ABAI council member. He is currently the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, a board member on the Society for the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, and an ABAI fellow.
Abstract:

Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are defined, in part, by restricted inflexible behavior. At the Behavior Analysis Research Clinic at the University of Florida, Dr. Vollmer has been collaborating with colleagues and students to evaluate such behavior in a range of contexts. One, they have compared the behavior in children with ASD to typically developing children using arbitrary play activities. Although both groups showed restricted interests, the ASD children were far less likely to switch activity upon request to do so. Two, they have extended their work on restricted inflexible behavior to socially relevant activity such as restricted food interests and restricted interest in sedentary activity such as video games, videos, and computer surfing. They are examining shaping procedures to increase variability in responding. Three, they have evaluated repetitive behavior disorders such as stereotypy and severe self-injury. They are currently investigating emergency treatment procedures for situations when a single instance of problem behavior may be too dangerous. Results from this collection of studies will be presented and discussed.

Target Audience:

Psychologists, behavior analysts, practitioners, and graduate students.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants should be able to: (1) describe examples of restricted inflexible behavior displayed by individuals with ASD; (2) list at least three reasons that restricted inflexible behavior can be problematic; and (3) cite the evidence supporting elimination of the establishing operation as an emergency treatment procedure for severe behavior disorders.
Keyword(s): emergency treatment , inflexible behavior, restricted interest
 

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