Association for Behavior Analysis International

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

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10th Annual Autism Conference; New Orleans, LA; 2016

Program by Day for Tuesday, January 19, 2016


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Special Event #2
Opening Remarks
Tuesday, January 19, 2016
8:15 AM–8:30 AM
The Celestin Ballroom
Chair: Jennifer R. Zarcone (Kennedy Krieger Institute)

Dr. Jennifer Zarcone, conference co-chair, will welcome attendees and make some brief remarks.

 
 
Invited Symposium #3
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Expanding Access to ABA Services via the Latest Telehealth Technologies
Tuesday, January 19, 2016
8:30 AM–10:20 AM
The Celestin Ballroom
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Wayne W. Fisher (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center)
Discussant: Cathleen C. Piazza (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center)
CE Instructor: Wayne W. Fisher, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Recent advances in telecommunication technologies make it possible to conduct a variety of healthcare services remotely (e.g., behavior analytic intervention services), thereby bridging the gap between consumers in isolated locations and qualified providers. A growing body of empirical research suggests that many behavior analytic training and treatment procedures can be highly effective when delivered remotely via the latest telehealth technologies. In this symposium, we will bring together a cadre of the field’s leading experts on the remote delivery of ABA interventions using telehealth. Each presenter will describe one or more empirical investigations on the use of telehealth methods to expand access to ABA services. The discussant will review the highlights of each study, identify the general themes and important implications that cut across studies, and provide directions for future investigation.

 

Preliminary Results of a Randomized Clinical Trial of a Web-Based Program for Training Parents With a Child With an Autism Spectrum Disorder to Implement Early Intensive Behavior Intervention

KEVIN C. LUCZYNSKI (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Wayne W. Fisher (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Mychal Machado (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Aaron D. Lesser (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Stephanie A. Hood (Briar Cliff University), Andrew Blowers (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Maegan Pisman (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Megan E. Vosters (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center)
Abstract:

Estimates indicate that autism affects about 1 in 68 American children. Research has shown that Early Intensive Behavioral Interventions (EIBI) is effective when implemented by appropriately trained and supervised technicians. In additional to services provided by technicians, parents often contribute to their child's EIBI programming by extending teaching opportunities throughout the day. However, few empirically supported programs are available for training parents that include performance-based measures. We are conducting a randomized clinical trial to evaluate a 20-hour, web-based, e-learning program for training parents in EIBI protocols. The two primary dependent variables are the Behavioral Implementation Skills for Play Activities (BISPA) and the Behavioral Implementation Skills for Work Activities (BISWA). To date, 10 participants have completed pre-test and post-test assessments on these measures, three in the treatment group and seven in the control group. Mean component skills implemented correctly on the pre-test and post-test for the treatment and control groups for the BISPA were 4.0%, 6.1%, 89%, and 0%, respectively. For the BISWA, the results were 23.6%, 16.9%, 100%, and 27.3%, respectively. The results provide strong preliminary support for the efficacy of our web-based program, which can be delivered to parents anywhere in the world that has broadband internet access.

"Dr. Kevin Luczynski is an Assistant Professor at the University of Nebraska Medical Center and the Director for the recently initiated Virtual Care Program at the Munroe Meyer Institute. From 2004 to 2006, Dr. Luczynski worked as a Clinical Specialist at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine's Kennedy Krieger Institute where the intensity of the clinical services improved his understanding of within-subject methodology, environmental determinants of behavior, and the value of working within a community of clinical experts. During this period, he also earned a Master's degree in Applied Behavior Analysis from the University of Maryland at Baltimore County. Dr. Luczynski earned his Ph.D. in Behavior Analysis at Western New England University under the supervision of Dr. Gregory P. Hanley in 2011 and completed a pre-doctoral fellowship at the Munroe-Meyer Institute under the mentorship of Dr. Wayne Fisher in the same year. Currently, he specializes in leveraging web-based technologies to provide parent training, early intervention services, and assessment and treatment of sleep disturbances to families who live in areas where there are few or no professionals trained in applied behavior analysis. This direction for expanding services in applied behavior analysis is supported, in part, by a grant from the Department of Defense because access to high-quality services is especially important to military families with a child with autism who tend to serve in remote areas. In 2013, Dr. Luczynski and colleagues partnered with Autism Action Partnership to leverage web-based technologies to provide teacher training and assist in designing and monitoring skill-acquisition and behavior-management programs to schools throughout Nebraska. Kevin's area of service delivery had led to several new lines of research: (a) comparing the accuracy, reliability, and efficiently of different measurement systems for scoring child-parent interactions in their home over extended observation periods, (b) determining the accuracy and reliability of infrared-capable cameras with motion-detection software for measuring children's nighttime sleep disturbances and comparing the additive and interactional effects of behavioral and pharmacological treatments for improving children's sleep, and (c) evaluating the extent that parent-training procedures promote generalization and maintenance of parents ability to teach functional-communication and delay-tolerance skills at home and identify potential barriers to sustained treatment implementation.
 

Treatment of Pediatric Feeding Problems: Comparison of Follow-Up Outcomes in Clinic Versus via Telehealth

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

Many children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have feeding difficulties, such as food selectivity (i.e., consumption of a limited variety of foods by type or texture). Inadequate dietary intake is associated with learning and behavior problems. If left untreated, children with ASD and feeding difficulties also may suffer from weight loss or malnutrition. Currently, treatments for pediatric feeding disorders based on ABA research have the most empirical support (Volkert & Piazza, 2012). However, there are a limited number of clinics and professionals in the country that specialize in the behavioral treatment of pediatric feeding disorders. Telehealth methods allow a professional in one location to provide services to a patient in another location. Research has not yet evaluated the effectiveness of using telehealth methods to treat pediatric feeding disorders using behavioral techniques. In the current study, we compared the outcomes (e.g., levels of acceptance, mouth clean [product measure of swallowing], inappropriate mealtime behavior) of children discharged from an intensive day treatment program who were followed up in the clinic versus via telehealth. The children's parents implemented treatment with both methods. Results suggest that clinically relevant outcomes can be achieved regardless of the location of outpatient follow-up.

Kathryn Peterson, Ph.D., BCBA-D, is an assistant professor at the University of Nebraska Medical Center’s Munroe-Meyer Institute. Dr. Peterson earned her Master’s degree in applied behavior analysis from Pennsylvania State University in 2008 and spent several years working as a behavior consultant specializing in the assessment and treatment of severe problem behavior in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). During that time, Dr. Peterson also served as the editorial assistant for Behavioral Interventions. Dr. Peterson then earned her doctoral degree in applied behavior analysis from the University of Nebraska Medical Center’s (UNMC) Munroe-Meyer Institute under the mentorship of Drs. Valerie Volkert and Cathleen Piazza. Dr. Peterson currently serves as a research faculty member and case manager within the Pediatric Feeding Disorders Program at UNMC, where she conducts research on the assessment and treatment of pediatric feeding disorders. She has published in the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis and has secured grant awards through UNMC’s Pediatrics and Diversity funds to conduct research on effective treatments for food selectivity in children with ASD. Dr. Peterson recently served as the President of the Heartland Association for Behavior Analysis.
 

Training Community Mental Health Providers to Conduct Quality Functional Behavior Assessments Using Teleconsultation Strategies: Outcomes and Issues

STEPHANIE M. PETERSON (Western Michigan University), Denice Rios (Western Michigan University), Rebecca Renee Wiskirchen (Western Michigan University), Yannick Schenk (Western Michigan University), Marissa Allen (Western Michigan University)
Abstract:

This presentation will describe an ongoing project, in which we are attempting to train community mental health workers in Michigan to conduct quality functional behavior assessments, including functional analyses, using web-based technologies for teleconsultation. The procedures we are using will be discussed, and outcome data for selected children as well as summary data for trainees will be presented. Issues, problems, and positive developments from the project will also be discussed.

Stephanie M. Peterson, Ph.D., BCBA-D, is a professor of psychology at Western Michigan University. She also serves as the director of the Graduate Training Program in Behavior Analysis there. Recently, the state of Michigan enacted insurance billing laws requiring insurance companies to pay for autism treatment. In addition, at the time of this writing, Medicaid changes are in the process of being enacted. As a result, Dr. Peterson has had the opportunity to work though certification and licensure issues with state and local agency personnel. Dr. Peterson has taught in a number of university programs that offer behavior analytic training, and specifically coursework geared toward the BCBA credential, as well as teacher-certification programs. In her current position, Dr. Peterson directs graduate training in behavior analysis in a program that offers the coursework and practicum experiences for the BCBA credential.
 

Treating Severe Behavior Problems via Telehealth

DAVID P. WACKER (The University of Iowa), Alyssa N. Suess (The University of Iowa)
Abstract:

This presentation will provide a summary of how we have used telehealth to implement functional analyses and functional communication training to assess and treat the severe behavior problems of young children with autism. The participants were 30 children with diagnosed autism spectrum disorders who ranged in age from 21–84 months. All assessment and treatment sessions were conducted by parents in their homes with remote coaching provided by behavior analysts located at a tertiary level hospital. The functional analyses were conducted within multi-element designs and social functions were identified for all children. Functional communication training (FCT) was then implemented by the parents and matched to the identified functions of problem behavior. FCT was most often conducted during 1-hour weekly sessions, with individual cases conducted within a reversal design, and the overall group analysis conducted within a randomized clinical trial (3 month delay for second group). The average reduction in problem behavior was 97% (range=77–100%). Interobserver agreement was conducted on approximately 30% of sessions and averaged over 90%.A description of the telehealth and behavioral procedures conducted in the projectwill be presented withvideotaped case examples.

Dr. David Wacker is a professor in the Departments of Pediatrics and Special Education at the University of Iowa, where he has directed one of the country's leading clinical research programs in developmental disabilities for more than 20 years. He and his students have conducted important research on a number of topics, but he is most well-known for his pioneering work in behavior disorders. His brief functional analysis, an experimental approach to assessment in outpatient clinics, has revolutionized outpatient research by replacing the clinical interview as the basis of treatment with an empirical model whose utility has been established in dozens of studies. Most recently, he has extended the impact of the brief functional analysis beyond his clinic's boundaries through the creative use of real-time video conferencing. He is a past editor of the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, a Fellow of the American Psychological Association (APA), a Fellow of ABAI, and a recipient of distinguished research awards from both APA and the Arc of the United States.
 
 
Invited Paper Session #4
CE Offered: PSY/BACB

Implementing ABA at Scales of Social Importance: Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports

Tuesday, January 19, 2016
11:00 AM–11:50 AM
The Celestin Ballroom
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
CE Instructor: Robert H. Horner, Ph.D.
Chair: Wayne W. Fisher (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center)
ROBERT H. HORNER (University of Oregon)
Rob Horner is professor of special education at the University of Oregon. His research has focused on behavior analysis, positive behavior support, instructional strategies for learners with severe disabilities, and systems change. He has worked for the past 15 years with George Sugai in development and implementation of school-wide positive behavior support (SWPBS). Over 21,000 schools are implementing SWPBS nationally. Research, evaluation and technical assistance outcomes from this effort indicate that investing in the development of a positive social culture is associated with improved behavioral and academic gains for students. Dr. Horner has been the editor of the Journal of the Association for Persons with Severe Handicaps, co-editor of the Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions, and associate editor for the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis and the American Journal on Mental Retardation.
Abstract:

This session will focus on scaling up implementation of applied behavior analysis. Emphasis will be given to lessons learned from implementing Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports (PBIS) across 20,000 schools in the United States. Participants will leave with information about the key role of fidelity measures, organizational systems needed to support effective practices, and the linking of coaching with effective training.

 
 
Invited Paper Session #5
CE Offered: PSY/BACB

Assessing and Programming for Emergence of Verbal Behavior in Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder and Language Delays

Tuesday, January 19, 2016
1:30 PM–2:20 PM
The Celestin Ballroom
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
CE Instructor: Alice Shillingsburg, Ph.D.
Chair: Henry S. Roane (State University of New York Upstate Medical University)
ALICE SHILLINGSBURG (Marcus Autism Center, Emory University School of Medicine)
Dr. Shillingsburg received her Ph.D. in clinical psychology at Auburn University. She is currently an assistant professor in the division of Autism and Related Disorders in the Department of Pediatrics at Emory University and the Program Director of the Language and Learning Clinic at the Marcus Autism Center. Dr. Shillingsburg is a licensed psychologist and Board Certified Behavior Analyst at the Doctoral level. Her clinical expertise includes developing language and behavioral programming to address a variety of behavioral difficulties and communication deficits associated with developmental disabilities and autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Dr. Shillingsburg is associate editor and editorial board member of The Analysis of Verbal Behavior and former editorial board member of Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis. Her current research interests include theoretical and practical applications of verbal behavior and the assessment and treatment of language deficits particularly strategies to promote language acquisition in children with autism.
Abstract:

Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) often exhibit deficits in language development. While typically developing children demonstrate adult-like language production by age 5 (Luinge, Post, Wit, & Goorhuis-Brouwer, 2006), expressing abstract and hypothetical ideas across a variety of topics (Tager-Flusberg et al, 2009), children with ASD often have difficulty with more complex language that has not been directly taught. Further, studies have found that some children with autism do not combine known words at the same time as typically developing peers (Paul, Chawarska, Klin, and Volkmar, 2007; Weismer et al., 2011), pointing to a deficit in generative language. Strategies to promote the emergence of untrained verbal operants are of critical importance for learners with ASD. However, few procedures have been developed to program and test for emergence of untrained skills. Additionally, few studies have addressed remediation strategies when emergence fails to occur. The current presentation will present several lines of research focused on assessing emergence of untaught verbal behavior during treatment as well as strategies to promote emergence and generative language. Specific interventions to promote emergence of listener and tact skills as well as intraverbals will be presented.

 
 
Invited Paper Session #6
CE Offered: PSY/BACB

The Evolution of Certification Standards for Behavior Analysts: A History

Tuesday, January 19, 2016
2:30 PM–3:20 PM
The Celestin Ballroom
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
CE Instructor: James E. Carr, Ph.D.
Chair: Melissa Coco Raymond (Milestones Behavioral Services)
JAMES E. CARR (Behavior Analyst Certification Board)
James E. Carr, PhD, BCBA-D, is the Chief Executive Officer of the Behavior Analyst Certification Board. His professional interests include behavior analyst credentialing, behavioral assessment and treatment of developmental disabilities, verbal behavior, and practitioner training; Dr. Carr has published over 125 scientific articles on these and other topics. Dr. Carr is a Fellow of the Association for Behavior Analysis International. He is the editor-in-chief of the journal The Analysis of Verbal Behavior and has served on the editorial boards of 10 other behavior analysis journals, including 4 appointments as associate editor. Dr. Carr is the president of the Colorado Association for Behavior Analysis and past president of the Mid-American and Alabama Associations for Behavior Analysis. He received his doctorate in 1996 from Florida State University under the mentorship of Dr. Jon Bailey and previously served on the behavior analysis faculties at University of Nevada-Reno (1996-1999), Western Michigan University (1999-2008), and Auburn University (2008-2011).
Abstract:

The Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB) has been certifying and developing professional standards for behavior analysts since it emerged in 1999 from the state of Florida's behavior analyst certification program, which had been in operation for two decades earlier. In 2007, the BACB's Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) and Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst (BCaBA) credentials were accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA). The NCCA accredits certification programs that adhere to the best practices of the credentialing and testing industries, including highly prescribed procedures for establishing and revising key standards. This presentationwill describe the evolution of certification standards in behavior analysis over the decades, including the systematic NCCA-mandated procedures the BACB has followed to develop and revise its standards over the years. This process has been akin to shaping and has allowed behavior analyst certification to grow and flourish alongside consistently increasing standards towards an eventual steady state. Special focus will be paid to standards where the steady state appears to have been reached. Concluding remarks will describe how BACB certification standards align with the licensure of behavior analysts in approximately two dozen states.

 
 
Invited Paper Session #7
CE Offered: PSY/BACB

Parent Training in Young Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder and Disruptive Behavior: A Multisite Randomized Trial

Tuesday, January 19, 2016
4:00 PM–4:50 PM
The Celestin Ballroom
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
CE Instructor: Naomi Swiezy, Ph.D.
Chair: Jennifer R. Zarcone (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
NAOMI SWIEZY (HANDS in Autism, Indiana University School of Medicine)
Dr. Swiezy specializes in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), caregiver training, and autism spectrum disorder (ASD). She is the Alan H. Cohen Family Scholar of Psychiatry and Professor of Clinical Psychology in Clinical Psychiatry as well as the Founder and Director of the HANDS in Autism Interdisciplinary Training and Resource Center at the IU School of Medicine. The HANDS in Autism framework and curriculum provides engaging and interactive training of the comprehensive curriculum and process for serving those with ASD and related neurodevelopmental and behavioral disorders to a range of consumers and disciplines. Participants at the Center learn through shadowing, coaching and mentoring for more active learning processes. Bridging of information and resources across the community facilitate collaboration, local capacity and sustainability of efforts towards supporting the growth, development and success of individuals with ASD. Dr. Swiezy provides consultation relevant to the lifespan in clinic and community through state and local contracts and collaborations. Dr. Swiezy has served as a board member and committee member to a number of hospital, university and community organizations and is currently an editorial board member of the peer-reviewed journal, Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders and also serves as a standing member on an NIH review committee (SERV). Dr. Swiezy’s research interests focus on implementation science and efforts towards the empirical support for HANDS-developed measures, process and programming, implementation and local capacity building with ABA-based strategies and procedures in community-based settings. Dr. Swiezy presents and publishes widely in the area of autism and the development of the HANDS program.
Abstract:

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) presents as a major public health concern. In addition to the core features of ASD, available evidence suggests that as many as 70% of children with ASD exhibit disruptive behaviors such as tantrums, noncompliance, aggression, and self-injury. Such behaviors can significantly limit the child's ability to make use of educational and other services, thereby interfering with the acquisition and performance of daily living skills as well as the exacerbation of social isolation. Given the rising prevalence of ASD and inadequate accessibility of specialists adequately trained in the disorder, our multisite network determined that the development of an exportable and cost-effective intervention was essential. Parent training (PT) has already been well-established and empirically supported as an intervention for children with disruptive behavior uncomplicated by ASD but not in those with ASD. Single-subject designs have established that behavior modification can be effectively trained to parents to reduce the behavioral problems of children with ASD. This presentation will describe more about the premise for the multisite development and testing of the manualized and potentially exportable PT model as a stand-alone intervention for young children with ASD and disruptive behaviors.

 
 
Poster Session #8
Poster Session
Tuesday, January 19, 2016
6:00 PM–8:00 PM
Storyville Hall
2. Are Unsupported Autism Interventions Becoming More Popular Than Evidence-Based Treatments?
Area: AUT; Domain: Theory
LAKESHA LEWIS (Armstrong State University)
Abstract:

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) affects 1 in 68 children in the United States (Autism Speaks, 2015). ASD has become an epidemic in the United States. Due to high prevalence rates of individuals diagnosed, there is an increasing demand for treatment options. Many parents rely on sources such as the internet or testimonials to inform them of treatments for autism. Though there is currently no cure, empirical evidence has shown that applied behavior analysis (ABA) is safe and effective in changing behaviors associated with ASD. Unfortunately, there are many other interventions being offered to families which lack research demonstrating effectiveness. In addition to the limited or non-existing research to support the claims of alternative options, whether or not these interventions pose a risk to one's safety is unknown. The purpose of this research was to conduct a literature review assessing various autism interventions. A review of evidence-based and non-evidence-based studies was conducted to promote data-driven practice for the treatment of autism.

 
3. Identifying Necessary Elements of a Treatment Package Through Component Analysis
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
MARJORIE CLARK (Ivymount School), Megan Dennehy (Ivymount School)
Abstract:

In a school setting, treatment plans are often introduced as a package containing multiple components, with the goal for immediate reduction of problem behavior so that students can participate in instruction. Once acceptable rates of problem behavior are achieved, it is then important to identify and eliminate unnecessary elements of the treatment package a) due to the cumbersome or restrictive nature of some of the package components (Ward-Horner & Sturmey 2010) and b) prior to transitioning to adult services, where resources may preclude implementing complex treatment plans with adequate integrity. A component analysis will be conducted with a high school student with autism in an ABA-based school program to identify the necessary and sufficient elements of his treatment package, in preparation for transition to adult services. This study attempts to replicate, as closely as possible, the methods outlined by Cooper et al. (1995), by measuring rates of the students problem behaviors while using a dropout component analysis with alternating treatments design. Results of this study will help the educational team eliminate unnecessary components of the students treatment package, and increase the likelihood of correct treatment implementation in a less restrictive setting.

 
4. A Systematic Review of Peer-Mediated Strategies to Support Social-Communication Skills in Early Childhood Settings
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
SARAH HANSEN (University of Oregon), Tracy Raulston (University of Oregon), Rebecca Frantz (University of Oregon)
Abstract:

Recent reviews of the literature indicate peer-mediated interventions for children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are a promising area for future research and practice. In particular, peer-mediated interventions (PMI) hold the potential to address concerns about social validity and generalization of newly acquired social communication skills to the classroom environment. Because of the benefits of inclusive early childhood settings, PMIs, although less researched for this age range, hold valuable prospective efficacy. This current analysis found 14 studies examining social communication PMIs in preschool settings. Studies were identified through systematic searches of peer-reviewed journal databases (i.e., ERIC, Academic Search Premier). Yielded studies are presented in terms of methods, results, and effectiveness of procedures. Overall, results from the included studies were mostly positive indicating the efficaciousness of PMIs for a range of social communication variables. Results were analyzed using a non-parametric overlap indicator (TauU). Implications for future research and practice are discussed.

 
5. The Effects of Incidental Language Instruction on the Acquisition and Generalization of Target Language Responses for Two Children With Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
DONNA C. CHANEY (Behaviour Innovations), Joel P. Hundert (Behaviour Innovations), Samra Ebadi (McMaster University)
Abstract:

Children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) show high rates of deficits in the amount and quality of communicative attempts, including making requests (manding). Incidental language instruction, which consists of setting up opportunities in natural environments for requesting preferred items or activities, has been shown to be an effective language-learning tool for children with ASD. A reversal design with two participants was used to compare the effects of the two training conditions: (1) reinforcement of the target response acquired through incidental language instruction and (2) reinforcement of all communicative attempts, on the frequency of communicative attempts and target communicative responses. Generalization of the target response was also assessed in another room with different objects. Child 1 demonstrated a ceiling level of performance in both communicative attempts and target responses from the beginning of the study. Child 2's performance was initially high, dropped during the first condition, and did not follow any clear trend throughout the study. Generalization occurred for Child 1, but was unclear for Child 2. Results indicate that incidental language instruction had an effect on the acquisition of the target response, but cannot confirm its role in the perseverance of the target response.

 
6. The California Autism Professional Training and Information Network: Assessment of Training, Implementation, and Evaluation of Evidence-Based Practices Within California
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
ANANDA ASPEN (Fresno Pacific University), Patrice Yasuda (University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities, University of Southern California), Patricia Schetter (University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities, University of Southern California)
Abstract:

Value: Demonstration model for statewide implementation of evidence-based practices (EBPs) in autism. Background: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in every 68 children is diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), roughly a 30% increase from 2012 statistics. As the nation's most populous state according to the 2014 US Census Bureau, this trend poses a major service delivery challenge for California. The California Autism Professional Training and Information Network (CAPTAIN) is meeting the challenge through a multi-agency collaboration that supports the understanding, use and dissemination of EBP for individuals affected by ASD across the state of California. The EBPs selected for use by CAPTAIN are from the National Professional Development Center on Autism (NPDC-ASD). The key state agencies in CAPTAIN serving as organizers and facilitators in this effort are: California's Department of Developmental Services, Department of Education, network of Family Resource Centers, and the UCEDDs. Thus far, information has been disseminated through a CAPTAIN website, two annual educational summits in Northern and Southern CA, and regional meetings throughout the year, leveraging each of the agency's preexisting organizational infrastructures and trained staff.Methods: CAPTAIN participants completed a 33-item online survey on a variety of topics, including demographics, familiarity with 24 EBPs for autism, types of autism trainings conducted, and the degree of interagency collaborations. This poster will focus on the summit attendees' demographics, self-assessment of competency in specific EBPs, and self-assessment of the treatment fidelity process. Results from year 1 (pre) and year 2 (post) cohorts are presented. Other results have been presented elsewhere. Results: Demographic data indicate that CAPTAIN attracted a network of well-experienced administrators and service providers representing all major regions within California. Two types of pre-post analyses were conducted: knowledge in EBPs and implementation of fidelity in the EBP administration. Pre- and post-analyses from year 1 to year 2 for EBP fidelity suggest that content mastery, standardization of implementation, and evaluation of the effectiveness of EBPs show a positive trend in the desired direction. Conclusion: CAPTAIN is making progress in fulfilling its mission to promote and disseminate information on EBPs in ASD throughout various key state agencies.

 
7. Conducting Behavioral Assessments via Teleconsultation
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
DENICE RIOS (Western Michigan University), Stephanie M. Peterson (Western Michigan University), Becky Wiskirchin (Western Michigan University), Ian McElfish (Western Michigan University)
Abstract:

Currently, the demand for behavior analytic services far exceeds the number of individuals that can provide them. Specifically, in rural areas, the lack of access to qualified behavior analysts often results in the postponement of services for many families. In order to address this problem, researchers and practitioners have begun to provide such services via remote technology. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the efficacy and feasibility of the remote implementation of various behavioral assessments. Specifically, we collaborated with parents and service providers to assess the function of problem behavior via a live-view camera. In this poster, we provide a case description of one participant whose assessment was conducted through the live-view technology. The participant was an 8-year-old boy with autism who received behavior analytic services through a public organization. Behavior analysts at a university setting provided training, on-going consultation, and live feedback to the client's staff and parents on conducting functional behavior assessments and choice interventions. Outcomes of this study provide evidence of the effectiveness of implementing functional behavior assessments via remote technology.

 
8. Instructional Method Comparison to Teach Chained Tasks
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
CHRISTINA SIMMONS (University of Georgia), Andrew Sodawasser (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Amanda Zangrillo (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Amber Godsey (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Wayne W. Fisher (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center)
Abstract:

Physical guidance is a common component in many instructional strategies; however, for some individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), physical guidance may be aversive, thus evoking problem behavior that may directly compete with skill acquisition. The current study evaluated three strategies to teach chained tasks to an eight-year-old male with ASD in a day treatment clinic for individuals with severe problem behavior. A multiple baseline across tasks was used to compare: (a) a multiple opportunity probe with noncontingent reinforcement, (b) three-step guided compliance with differential reinforcement, and (c) a single opportunity probe with noncontingent reinforcement. Tasks were equally matched in number of steps, difficulty level, and completion time. Data were collected on percentage of steps completed independently, completion time, and frequency of problem behavior. Preliminary results indicated that the multiple opportunity probe was the only strategy that led to task acquisition (i.e., 3 out of 4 sessions >80%). When this procedure was applied to the other two tasks, similar trends in acquisition were observed. Performance maintained with both acquired tasks. The current evaluation demonstrated: (a) an efficient procedure for evaluating alternative strategies for acquisition and (b) showed that alternative strategies may be preferable for clients when physical guidance evokes aggression.

 
9. Barriers to and Motivation for Parent-Implemented Behavioral Interventions for Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
AMANDA HOLST (ACES Autism)
Abstract:

This poster examines the barriers to motivation pertaining to parents delivering and following through with interventions at mealtimes with children who are affected by autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Several studies on treatment methods have been conducted in controlled research settings, but little is known about parents implementing these methods in a home setting. There is also little research showing the relationship between motivation and the barriers to treatment participation. This small case study examining the effectiveness of an evidence-based parent training intervention in a home setting has two aims. The first aim was to assess parent motivation during a six-week training focusing on child behavioral modification and communication. The second aim was to examine the effect of motivation on barriers to the intervention. It was hypothesized that the more instruction parents received, the higher their level of motivation would be. Motivation was assessed three times during the six-week training program using the Parent Motivation Inventory Scale. Parents also completed the Barriers to Treatment Participation Scale, a general survey on mealtime, behaviors, learning styles, and strengths and weakness as a parent. The functional assessment interview and a functional assessment direct observation were also completed. Findings show that while the children-s disruptive mealtime behavior decreased and food intake increased, motivation varied. These findings provide valuable insights into improving motivation for parent-implemented interventions and improving services available to ASD families.

 
10. Extended School Year Services as a Partnership Opportunity for Special Education and ABA Professionals
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
DORIS L. HILL (Auburn University Center for Disability Research and Service), Sacha T. Pence (Auburn University), Regina Kearley (Auburn University)
Abstract:

This poster focuses on strategies related to incorporating "hands-on" training in evidence-based ABA strategies for pre-service teachers while serving students with disabilities during extended school year (ESY) services for two school districts (64 students). ESY participation was part of a university practicum for special education majors. Four ABA Master's students provided coaching and training to fidelity for the pre-service teachers, who delivered services to participating ESY children and adolescents (ages 3–16). The participating students required ESY services to reduce regression and recoupment of skills over the summer. The pre-service teachers developed interventions onthree IEP goals for each participating student with a disability. The pre-service teachers collected and graphed progress on each of these goals. The ABA Master's students developed interventions for training in areas identified during observations of pre-service teachers under the supervision of university faculty. They conducted 20-minute training sessions in the areas identified (e.g., DTT, PECS, response prompt strategies, use of preference assessments) and provided modelling and feedback to pre-service teachers implementing these strategies. Graphs of progress for participating students with disabilities (ages 3–15) will be incorporated into this poster as well as graphs of university pre-service teacher progress in delivering these interventions to fidelity.

 
11. A Review of Behavioral Procedures Implemented to Train Parents in Conducting Discrete Trails
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
JULIE LAROSA (University of Rochester)
Abstract:

Koegel, Glahn, and Nieminen (1978) discussed the importance of developing techniques to train significant others in a child's natural environment to implement behavior modification procedures. Parent training studies that employed techniques common in effective implementation of discrete trial teaching were successful in instructing children diagnosed with autism a socially valid skill. Training procedures included teaching parents a specific skill or skill area through lecture, direct instruction, written instructions, modeling, and corrective feedback. A checklist of skills monitored procedural fidelity. Videotaped sessions and direct observation assisted in reviewing parents' acquisition of skills and determining interobserver agreement (Chaabane, Alber-Morgan, & DeBar, 2009; Koegel, Glahn, & Nieminen. 1978; Lafasakis & Sturmey, 2007; Neef, 1995; Reagon & Higbee, 2009). Utilizing parents as instructors provides children increased opportunities to maintain and generalize functional skills, in addition to providing parents an increased understanding of how to help their children navigate their natural surroundings.

 
12. Nine-Year Follow-Up Study of Master’s Degree/Autism Specialization Graduates With a BACB-Approved Course Sequence
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
LAURA J. HALL (San Diego State University), Beth Pavez (San Diego State University)
Abstract:

Attrition rates in special education are notoriously high, with research revealing that special education teachers often exit the field within 3–5 years of beginning practice (Boe, Cook, & Sunderland, 2008; McLeskey & Billingsley, 2008), leaving students with disabilities and their families without the benefit of educators who are both well-prepared and competent in their use of evidence-based practices. The results of this follow up study obtained from nine years of graduates of a universityMaster's degree/autism specialization program with an embedded BACB-approved course sequence contributes to the dearth of information about factors that support retention and sustained use of effective practices. Results from the 57 survey responders, with representation from each of the 9 years, reveal that 95% remain in the field.Forty-seven percenthad obtained their BCBA and another third reported they were working towards this goal. Although they remained in the field, 72% changed positions an average of twice since graduation. The top reasons for graduates changing positions were: professional development opportunities (35%), promotion (35%), better pay (33%), and increased opportunities to implement evidence-based practices (29%). Identifyingways that university programs can prepare and support graduates so they remain in the field is discussed.

 
13. Promoting Autism Intervention Training Through Registered Behavior Technician Certification in Undergraduate Curriculum
Area: AUT; Domain: Theory
KRISTINE TURKO (University of Mount Union)
Abstract:

In recent years the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB) started offering Registered Behavior Technician (RBT) certification. This certification allows credentialed individuals to provide behavior analytic services, while working under someone more highly trained (i.e., BCBA, BCaBA, or FL-CBA). This basic-level training is particularly well suited for undergraduate students interested in autism intervention. In order to encourage RBT certification among undergraduates, appropriate coursework and clinical experience must be embedded into students' curriculum. Immersive off-campus study can be used to support highly motivated undergraduate students who are interested in careers in behavior analytic services. Similar to students participating in off-campus programs abroad, students can participate in semester-long programs that include applied behavior analytic training and related theoretical coursework. There is a growing need for trained professionals in the field of behavior intervention. Immersive semester-long study can be used to support the growing interest of undergraduate students who want to gain valuable experience by engaging in both applied work and rigorous coursework. In addition, students can support those with autism by providing clinical support and advocacy. Most importantly, immersive programs can offset the administrative burden of recruiting and training new employees, as those trained will constitute a highly qualified applicant pool.

 
14. Applied Behaviour Analysis: What do Teachers of Students With Autism Spectrum Disorder Know?
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
BRIAN FENNELL (Queen's University Belfast), Karola Dillenburger (Queen's University Belfast)
Abstract:

With rising numbers of school-aged children with autism educated in mainstream classrooms and applied behavior analysis (ABA) considered the basis of best practice, teachers' knowledge in this field has become a key concern for inclusion. Presently, estimated prevalence rates for autism in the school population are 2% but this is likely an underestimation given that in the UK-wide Millennium Cohort Study (n=18,000+) parents of 3.5% of 11 year-olds were told that their child has autism. While UK and Irish governments support an eclectic approach to education and health care interventions for children with ASD, US governments endorse evidence-based practices (EBP) grounded in applied behavior analysis. There is a clear need for teachers in mainstream classes, as well as special education, to have expertise in ASD and evidence-based educational interventions. Given that initial teacher training entails very little input about autism, much rides on the quality and content of continuous professional development. In this research, self-reported knowledge of ABA of special needs teachers (n=165) was measured and compared to their actual knowledge of ABA demonstrated in accurate responses to a multiple-choice test. Findings reported here show that teachers' self-perceived knowledge exceeded actual knowledge and that actual knowledge of ABA was not related to training received by government agency. Implications for teacher training are discussed.

 
15. Trainee Experience With Students With Autism Spectrum Disorder Before and After Training With Iowa’s Challenging Behavior Service
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
JESSICA EMILY SCHWARTZ (The University of Iowa), Brenda J. Bassingthwaite (The University of Iowa Children's Hospital), Nicole H. Lustig (The University of Iowa), Shaun Wilkinson (The University of Iowa), David P. Wacker (The University of Iowa), Sean D. Casey (The Iowa Department of Education)
Abstract:

The Iowa Department of Education contracted with behavior analysts from the Center for Disabilities and Development to provide hands-on training to behavior specialists working with students who display challenging behavior in schools across Iowa. Training focused on preference assessments, concurrent operants assessments, antecedent analyses, and functional analyses. By the end of the sixth year of the Challenging Behavior Service, 28 trainees reached advanced level criteria (defined by NIH Competencies Proficiency Scale) in these assessment areas. Trainees reported their level of experience pre- and post-training with a variety of student diagnoses, assessments, and interventions, including areas not directly targeted for training. Trainees rated their level of experience using a Likert scale that ranged from "no experience" to "expert." Initial analysis indicates that trainees reported, on average, an increase in experience working with students who have autism spectrum disorders (ASD). On average, at baseline, trainees reported working with students with ASD less than 10 times. After training, on average, trainees reported working with students with ASD "very frequently." Similar trends were observed with students who have intellectual disabilities, suggesting a possible increase in the provision of services for students with developmental disabilities and challenging behavior in Iowa schools.

 
16. Therapist Training to Increase Treatment Fidelity
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
BIANCA E. ANDREONE (Monarch House Autism Centre), Marie Sleboda (Board Certified Behavior Analyst)
Abstract:

Behavior analysts implement interventions requiring accurate data collection for proper analysis. Data collection is fulfilled by the therapist who works directly with implementing the intervention. Treatment fidelity refers to the implementation of intervention. Variability in data collection is a reflection of therapist performance in fulfilling treatment fidelity. Decisions made by behavior analysts are a direct consequence of the analysis of data collected. In order to improve accuracy of data collection, high treatment fidelity is required. To promote treatment fidelity among ABA therapists thorough training by the behavior analyst is essential. The current study demonstrates the necessity of the training required due to infrequent and inaccurate baseline data collected from three senior therapists. The intervention applied consists of 1:1 training on the following components as a goal to increase treatment fidelity. The components of training will teach: how to observe the defined behavior; the importance of accurate data collection for implementation of interventions; the use of clickers to simplify data collection measuring behavior frequency; and a video training module to ensure accurate use of clickers for observation of the target behavior and practice trials to ensure inter-observer agreement. A brief 1:1 in vivo therapist training on the specified components will increase accuracy and frequency of data collection.

 
17. Stimulus Equivalence Development in Language of a Young Child With Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
GREGORY R. MANCIL (Louisiana Tech University)
Abstract:

The current study investigated if children at early stages of language development promptly demonstrate the emergence of stimulus equivalence. One child with autism at the age of 3 participated in this experiment. Eighteen visual stimuli were divided in six sets containing three stimuli each (A, B, and C). All stimuli were previously unknown to the participant. The participant was directly trained to match stimuli A to stimuli B and stimuli B to stimuli C using one of the sets. Initially, stimulus equivalence was not met. Thus, we implemented multiple exemplar training across multiple academic tasks for colors, shapes, and words. Following the multiple exemplar training, we implemented the training again with a new set as follows: Vocal word (A) to picture of the item (B) picture of the item (B) to the written word (C). We then tested for vocal word (A) to written word (C). The testing indicated the development of stimulus equivalence. The results of this study indicate that multiple exemplar training across various tasks may be needed for the development of stimulus equivalence.

 
18. Applying Differential Reinforcement of Lower Intensity and Higher Intensity to Address Vocalization Decibel Levels in Children With Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
GREGORY R. MANCIL (Louisiana Tech University)
Abstract:

Differential reinforcement of lower intensity (DRL) and higher intensity (DRH) are procedures developed to address problems in decibel levels of vocalization in individuals with autism. A reversal design was used to test the effectiveness of each of the developed protocol across six children with autism. Protocol involved a visual decibel meter (VDM) that measured the decibel level of speech. Red marks were placed on the VDM to indicate appropriate range. Prior to baseline, researchers demonstrated and modeled how the meter worked. In addition, the researchers modeled reinforcement procedures. The reinforcement procedures consisted of access to preferred items when vocalizations were within the appropriate decibel range per vocalization. Preferences were identified using a multiple stimulus without replacement assessment and confirmed during free operant observations. Data were gathered and the mean vocalization decibel level per 30-minute session was plotted. Data indicated that the implementation of the DRL resulted in a decrease of the vocalization decibels to within the range of typical conversations. In addition, the DRH procedures resulted in an increase of the vocalization decibels to within the range of typical conversations.

 
19. The Effects of Visual Prompting and Tacting Fluency on the Acquisition of Intraverbals
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
BUKET KISAC (University of Pittsburgh), Steven Lyon (University of Pittsburgh)
Abstract:

Using an alternating treatments design, the effects of visual prompting and tacting fluency on the acquisition of intraverbals were evaluated. Four children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) received two interventions: visual prompts without fluency training and visual prompts with fluency training. In the condition of visual prompting with fluency training, the participants' tacting (i.e., labeling of pictures) was brought to fluent levels before teaching a set of 10 intraverbal responses. In the fluency-building phase, the experimenter presented a set of 10 picture items and conducted a series of timed trials. Once the participants reached their frequency aim (e.g., labeling 20 to 30 pictures per minute with no errors), the experimenter taught 10 intraverbal responses by using visual prompts. In the condition of visual prompting without fluency training, the participants were taught another set of10 intraverbal responses using visual prompts along with the use of a constant time delay procedure. The results indicated that both procedures were effective for teaching intraverbals and adding tacting fluency resulted in faster acquisition for two participants with ASD.

 
20. The Verbal Behavior SCoRE: Stimulus Control Ratio Evaluation
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
LEE L. MASON (UTSA), Alonzo Andrews (UTSA), Stephanie Curtis (UTSA)
Abstract:

The verbal behavior (VB) stimulus control ratio evaluation (SCoRE) is a novel outcome measure to analyze functional speech and is sensitive changes in verbal behavior over time. Lerman, Parten, Addison, Vorndran, Volkert, and Kodak (2005) described the use of an analog verbal operant analysis to identify the antecedents and consequences controlling the verbal behavior of children with language deficits. As with functional analyses of problem behavior, pre-intervention verbal operant analyses are increasingly being employed to help identify deficits in verbal behavior and guide treatment. The VB SCoRE is a novel behavior metric spawned from this line of research. However, rather than limiting the use of verbal operant analyses to pre-intervention purposes, the VB SCoRE posits each of the four primary verbal operant assessed through such analyses (mands, echoics, tacts, and sequelics) against one another for a comparison of relative response rates. The aggregate ratio is then converted into a single statistic to summarize the individual's verbal repertoire, therefore allowing SCoRE data to be collected and analyzed repeatedly over time to monitor performance and assess treatment efficacy of individuals with autism spectrum disorder who exhibit language deficits.

 
22. The Effectiveness of Instructional Feedback to Teach Problem Explanations
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
CHRISTOPHER A. TULLIS (Georgia State University), Sarah Frampton (Marcus Autism Center, Emory University School of Medicine), Caitlin H. Delfs (Marcus Autism Center, Emory University School of Medicine), Alice Shillingsburg (Marcus Autism Center, Emory University School of Medicine)
Abstract:

Instructive feedback is a procedure that is typically used to increase the efficiency of instruction. This procedure involves presenting non-targeted information during in the consequent events of a teaching trial. Previous studies have supported the inclusion of this strategy to increase the efficiency of teaching for a variety of learners with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Although effective, instructive feedback has been isolated to single word utterances that are directly focused on academic content (e.g., reading). Additionally, the majority of studies focused on instructive feedback have included learners with only intellectual disabilities. In the current study, three learners with autism spectrum disorder were taught to provide explanations related to problem contexts. For one participant, problem explanations were acquired with instructive feedback alone. For the remaining two, more intensive teaching was required with only one set of stimuli; once mastery was acquired with one stimulus set, instructive feedback was sufficient for skill acquisition.

 
23. Examining the Impact of Increasing Functional Communication in Children With Developmental Concerns
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
STEPHANIE NORTHINGTON (Georgia Regents University), Christine Shelton (NeuroBehavioral Associates), Lauren Verlaque (Georgia Regents University), Emily Bailey (Georgia Regents University), Robert Daniels (Chicago Children's Clinic)
Abstract:

Background: Echolalia is a common concern in children with autism; oftentimes, it is observed to also interfere with development of functional language (Valentino et al., 2012). Furthermore, non-autism developmental disorders also may impair children's ability to functionally communicate (Fidler et al., 2006). Pivotal Response Treatment (PRT) demonstrates unmatched outcomes for children with autism (Koegel at al., 1999) and indicates promising results with other developmental concerns (Northington et al., 2015). The pivotal areas identified initially in PRT included improving motivation, responsivity to multiple cues, self-management, and self-initiation of social interactions (Koegel et al., 2001). Though additional pivotal areas have been identified, echolalia and scripted responses in and of themselves have never been targeted by direct intervention. Yet, it appears that by increasing functional communication, the number of responses that are echolalia or scripted responses diminish. Objectives: To demonstrate the efficacy of PRT in decreasing echolalia and scripted responses by increasing the number of functional verbal utterances of children with autism and non-autism developmental concerns. Methods: Data from six children were collected. Child A is a 6-year-old boy with autism, Child B is a 4-year-old boy with global developmental delay, Child C is a 4-year-old girl with Down syndrome, Child D is a 4-year-old boy with autism, Child E is a 4-year-old girl with autism, and Child F is a 7-year-old boy with autism. Data were collected utilizing 10-minute video segments of weekly PRT sessions. Data were analyzed to determine if the increase in functional verbal utterances facilitated a decrease in echolalia. Results: Statistically significant (p < .05) decreases in the number of echolalia and scripted responses were observed as the number of functional verbal utterances increased for each child. Data for each child were analyzed separately. Further data remain to be collected in order to examine additional results for each individual and the group as a whole. Conclusions: PRT is an effective method for achieving significant decreases in echolalia and scripted responses when the focus of treatment is on increasing motivation to produce functional verbal utterances.

 
24. Initial Results of the Autism Care for Toddlers Clinic: The First Two Years
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
LAURA L. NEEDELMAN (University of Nebraska Medical Center), Ashley Lugo (Saint Louis University), Melissa King (Southeast Missouri State University), Therese L. Mathews (University of Nebraska Medical Center), Paige McArdle (University of Nebraska Medical Center), Janelle Peck (University of Nebraska Medical Center), Abigail Kennedy (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center)
Abstract:

Early intervention services are vital for maximizing outcomes for children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). The Autism Care for Toddlers (ACT) Clinic was developed to address the needs of under-insured children, offering approximately 10 hours of early intervention services per week, using a verbal behavior approach. To date, 27 children ages 22 to 48 months with ASD have received services through the ACT Clinic. The clinic uses applied behavior analytic (ABA) concepts and principles to target language development, social skills, play skills, and maladaptive behavior. Clients are assessed at baseline and every 6 months in order to monitor progress and develop and/or update individual treatment plans using the Verbal Behavior Milestones Assessment and Placement Program (VB-MAPP; Sundberg, 2007). Clients are also assessed every 6 months using the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule -2nd version (ADOS-2). Initial results are promising, with overall increases in VB-MAPP scores and decreases in ADOS-2 severity scores.

 
25. Teaching Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder to Mand Using Variations of the Behavior Chain Interruption Strategy
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
MAN FUNG LAM (University of Georgia)
Abstract:

Research shows that the behavior chain interruption strategy (BCIS) is an effective method of teaching manding to children with disabilities .The purpose of this study was to replicate findings from previous research using the BCIS to teach young children with autism to mand and evaluate what effect the number of variables possibly contributing to stimulus control on a mand has on the acquisition of an unknown mand. Participants included four children diagnosed with ASD between the ages of 3 to 8 years who were verbally imitative. An adapted alternating treatment design was used to compare conditions, with each condition varying by one variable; conditions included control, BCIS alone, BCIS with missing item in view but out of reach, and BCIS with therapist completing the activity alongside, but separate of, the child. Results support the effectiveness of using the BCIS to teach manding to young children with ASD. In addition, the more variables contributing to stimulus control on a mand increases the rate of acquisition of unknown mands. When teaching children with ASD to mand, variations of the BCIS can be implemented for higher rates of acquisition.

 
26. Outcomes of a 10-Hour Per Week Interdisciplinary Early Intervention Program for Young Children With Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
AMY E. TANNER (CBI-Monarch House), Becca Yu (CBI-Monarch House), Doireann O'Brien (CBI-Monarch House)
Abstract:

Current evidences supports that early intervention programs can significantly improve key outcomes for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Monarch House is a multi-disciplinary clinic where children under the age of 6 with a diagnosis of ASD receives a minimum 10 hours of behavior intervention weekly, overseen by an interdisciplinary team consisting of a behavior analyst, a speech and language pathologist and an occupational therapist. This study reviews the specific clinical model and evaluates the effectiveness of a 10 hour, interdisciplinary model using the Verbal Behavior Milestone Assessment and Placement Program (VB-MAPP). The rate of acquisition (number of milestones achieved per month) for the first year of treatment was evaluated and compared across three intervention groups: those who began intervention prior to age 3, those who began intervention between 3 and 4 years of age, and those who began intervention after 4 years of age. A single-subject, multiple baseline across participants design was used to evaluate the key outcomes of 20 children with ASD in their first year of intervention. The effects and benefits of a 10-hour interdisciplinary early intervention program will be discussed.

 
27. Gender and Autism Treatment: Do Females Respond Differently to Pivotal Response Treatment?
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
CHRISTINE SHELTON (NeuroBehavioral Associates), Stephanie Northington (Georgia Regents University), Lauren Verlaque (Georgia Regents University), Evan Blechle (Georgia Regents University), Robert Daniels (Chicago Children's Clinic)
Abstract:

Background: Substantial evidence exists that autism is more prevalently diagnosed among males than females, to the extent that a theory exists to explain the gender divide (Baron-Cohen, 2002). Pivotal response treatment (PRT) demonstrates unmatched outcomes for children with autism (Koegel et al., 1999). However, given the high gender divide in autism, most research regarding autism treatment efficacy features a heavy male majority. Case study analyses provide a method to directly compare efficacy of a treatment across genders. Objectives: To determine whether gender affects PRT responses in a sample of ASD and non-ASD children, in terms of efficacy or rapidity of response to treatment. Methods: Six children—two male, four female, ages 3 to 7 years—were followed for this study. Two subjects had non-ASD diagnoses. Data were collected during 10-minute videotaped segments of weekly PRT sessions. Data were analyzed for the percentage change between first and last sessions in the following: 1) increase functional verbal utterances 2) decrease in echolalia, 3) increase mean length of verbal utterances, and 4) increase number of spontaneous verbal utterances. Results: Change in functional verbal utterances between first and last sessions did not differ significantly due to gender (p>0.05) or diagnosis (p>0.05). Change in echolalic utterances did not differ significantly due to gender (p>0.05) or diagnosis (p>0.05). Change in spontaneous verbal utterances did not differ significantly due to gender (p>0.05) or diagnosis (p>0.05). Finally, change in mean length of utterance between first and last sessions differed significantly due to gender (p<0.05) and due to diagnosis (p<0.05), even after the removal of an outlier. Conclusions: PRT is an effective method for achieving significant improvement in functional communication for children of both genders, regardless of diagnosis. Differences in length of verbal utterances require additional examination for potential gender differences.

 
28. Psychometrics and Outcomes: Scaling Up ABA Assessment and Treatment to the Mainstream
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
KYLE ROWSEY (Southern Illinois University), Mark R. Dixon (Southern Illinois University), Jordan Belisle (Southern Illinois University), Caleb Stanley (The University of Mississippi), Jacob H. Daar (Southern Illinois University)
Abstract:

In the field of behavior analysis, implementers frequently utilize published curriculum and assessment tools that are based on behavior analytic conceptualizations of language. However many of the tools that are available, especially those based in behavior analytic principles, do not have psychometric measures to validate their utility and effectiveness. In order for our behavior analytic tools to be generalized across both fields and treatment/assessment recipients, these psychometric measures of reliability and validity are vital. The current poster presents data from several studies involving two modules of the PEAK Relational Training System: The Direct Training Module (Dixon, 2014) and the Generalization Module (Dixon, 2014). Assessments of internal and external validity and reliability are presented using principal component analyses, correlations with pre-established measures of language and intelligence, and outcome measures utilizing randomized controlled trial group designs. The results indicate a high degree of convergent validity with other measures of language and intelligence as well as an effective curriculum and protocol tool for children with disabilities.

 
29. Why Relational Operants Do More Than Skinner's Verbal Operants for Children With Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
RYAN C. SPEELMAN (Southern Illinois University), Mark R. Dixon (Southern Illinois University), Kyle Rowsey (Southern Illinois University), Jordan Belisle (Southern Illinois University), Caleb Stanley (Southern Illinois University), Jacob H. Daar (Southern Illinois University )
Abstract:

Behavior analytic language training procedures often employ a direct training approach that focuses on Skinner's basic verbal operants (e.g., mands, tacts, and intraverbals). This approach has been criticized as often producing a limited and restricted repertoire that fails to exemplify the complexity of human language common to typically developing children. Contemporary accounts of language, such as stimulus equivalence and relational frame theory, suggest that relational responding is an operant behavior that is needed to derive meaning from words and develop a generative speech repertoire. Research suggests that once a repertoire of learning relations develops, the amount of novel relations that can be derived are endless. The ability to relate stimuli in derived ways allows us to quickly learn and understand the meaning of new words and emit new responses in novel contexts. The current poster presents four demonstrations of such emergent relational responding. Procedures for each of the following were taken directly from the PEAK: Relational Training System, Equivalence Module (Dixon, 2015). In each demonstration, novel untrained relations emerged as a function of the instruction directly taught relations. These data provide multiple examples of how relational operants are a valuable strategy in promoting language left untrained in traditional strategies.

 
30. Observational Learning of Metaphorical Tact Extensions in Children With Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
CALEB STANLEY (Southern Illinois University), Jordan Belisle (Southern Illinois University), Maureen O'Connor (Southern Illinois University), Kyle Rowsey (Southern Illinois University), Mark R. Dixon (Southern Illinois University)
Abstract:

The present study evaluated the effect of observational learning on a discrete trial training procedure when conducted with a model. Three children with autism participated in the study. Participants were taught to state metaphorical emotions when provided a picture. Baseline measures were collected for all three participants until steady-state responding was achieved, after which the participants observed a model undergoing discrete trial training as described in the PEAK: Direct Training (Dixon, 2014) curriculum. All participants achieved the mastery criterion and also demonstrated the emergence of untrained intraverbal responses during the training phase. The results provide a preliminary evaluation of how an observational teaching strategy may be effective in teaching children with autism to correctly tact emotions when given metaphors.

 
31. The Emergence of Perspective: Visual Deictic Relational Responding in Children With Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
JORDAN BELISLE (Southern Illinois University), Caleb Stanley (Southern Illinois University), Allison Ribley (Southern Illinois University), Jacob H. Daar (Southern Illinois University ), Mark R. Dixon (Southern Illinois University)
Abstract:

Perspective-taking skills, or a theory of mind, is a deficit associated with autism irrespective of intelligence. Relational frame theory provides a behavioral approach to perspective taking as deictic relational responding. A growing body of literature has supported the development of deictic relations in the emergence of perspective taking in typically developing populations. The present study demonstrated that similar procedures can be used to teach visual single-reversal deictic relations to individuals with autism. Two of the three participants were able to derive untrained single-reversal "I" relations following direct training of single-reversal "you" relations, and all participants demonstrated a transfer of stimulus function to untrained stimuli once the single-reversal deictic relations were mastered. The procedures provide a method for teaching early perspective-taking skills.

 
33. Effectiveness of Video Scripts to Teach Tacting to an Individual With Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
CASEY HOLTON (Applied Behavior Consultants), Andrew R. Weiher (Applied Behavior Consultants)
Abstract:

Current studies indicate that echolalia is prevalent in 75–85% of vocal children with autism and can hinder the acquisition of verbal operants. This study investigated the effectiveness of a video script to teach tacting behavior to a three-year-old male who has a diagnosis of autism and engages in high rates of echolalia. Videos of family members were recorded in which the family member's face was shown on the screen. After 5 seconds, the family member stated his/her name/tact as a video script. Differential reinforcement was used to increase independent responses made by the participant at the onset of the video and prior to the video script. This intervention was effective in teaching tacting behavior in this single-case study and stimulus control has been generalized from the videos to the presence of the actual family members. Future research should focus on the application of these procedures to additional response classes and across participants.

 
34. Using Video Modeling to Improve Social Skills Between Children With Autism and Their Siblings
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
NIKKO DA PAZ (University of California, Merced), Bruce E. Hesse (California State University, Stanislaus)
Abstract:

Because children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) have difficulty with social interactions, they may not regularly engage in play activities with their siblings. Using an alternating treatment design, this study examined the efficacy of video modeling (VM) and video self-modeling (VSM) to improve social initiations and duration of play between three children with ASD, ages 6–7 years old, and their siblings. Dependent variables were (a) latency to initiate interaction; and (b) duration of time engaged together in play. In-home sessions of video instruction taught children to approach their sibling and say, "Let's play." Preference assessments identified toys used during intervention. Generalization exposed participants to novel toys without viewing a video model. Baseline results indicated two children did not initiate play nor did they engage in play with their sibling. One child initiated play in three baseline sessions but did not remain engaged throughout the entire session. After exposure to the intervention, all children were faster to socially initiate play across VM, VSM, and generalization. Upon acquiring this pivotal social skill, children with ASD maintained social engagement with siblings across a variety of play activities. This research demonstrates that VM and VSM are equally effective in training the target skills.

 
35. Incorporating a “My Way” System to Increase Flexibility Within Daily Activities and Transitions in Three Children With Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
CHRISTINE WENTZ (Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center), Amanda M. Sumney (Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center), Rachel McIntosh (Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center)
Abstract:

Engaging in restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior is a core symptom associated with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) diagnosis (DSM-5). These behaviors may take on the form of inflexibility within changes to daily activities and transitions. Inflexibility can hinder an individual's ability to learn and establish positive social relationships. Problematic behaviors and difficulties expressing functional communication often occur when the individual experiences a change in daily activities or transitions. Increasing socially acceptable means of communication can positively impact the quality of life for individuals and their care takers (Carr et al., 2002). Therefore, in the current study, three children with ASD received functional communication training, along with a concurrent schedule of reinforcement to increase flexibility to changes within daily activities and transitions. The participants were initially taught to utilize a visual card system that allowed them to escape/avoid undesired activities or transitions. The use of a prize board was then embedded to increase motivation to comply within these daily tasks. Results suggest this intervention produced an effective way to replace inappropriate behaviors associated with inflexibility and increase compliance within daily activities or transitions. Interventions that target increased compliance paired with lessening core symptoms of autism are critical in the successful development and maintenance of social relationships with others.

 
36. Improving the Conversational Skills of High School Students With Autism Through Peer-Mediation
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
LINDA BAMBARA (Lehigh University), Christine L. Cole (Lehigh University)
Abstract:

Social-communication deficits of adolescents with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) can significantly interfere with their participation in high school activities, where conversation is the primary mode of social interaction. Interventions are needed not only to address these deficits, but also to facilitate social interactions with peers, yet few high school social-communication interventions exist. A multiple-baseline across participants design was used to assess the effects of a peer-mediated intervention implemented during lunch on the conversational skills of three high school students with ASD. The intervention consisted of training peer networks to support conversational turn-taking (T1), prompt initiations (T2), and prompt follow-up questions (T3), as well as instruction for teaching focus students how to use visual supports to initiate and extend topics. Peers implemented the intervention during lunch without direct adult involvement. During post-training, peer feedback and group training sessions were eliminated. Results (10-minute observational samples) indicated that focus students increased overall conversational acts, initiations, and follow-up questions following the sequential introduction of each training component. Additional data revealed mean conversational acts per conversational episode, a measure of sustained engagement, also increased. Further, overall non-obligatory conversational acts (responses not solicited mands) increased as well, suggesting that the once passive conversationalists were becoming more assertive. Additionally, probes revealed generalization of learned skills to novel peers. Three social validity measures involving the focus students, peers, and educators naive to the intervention, attested to intervention acceptability and outcome quality. This study represents a novel extension of peer-mediation to high school settings.

 
37. Using a Differential Reinforcement of Other Behaviors Procedure to Establish the Maintenance of Treatment Effects During Transitions Followed by a Preference Assessment for Transitions
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
ANDRESA A. DE SOUZA (University of Nebraska Medical Center), Patrick Romani (The University of Iowa), Wayne W. Fisher (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Ashley Fuhrman (University of Nebraska Medical Center)
Abstract:

Children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) often engage in problem behavior during transitions that may disrupt daily activities (McCord, Thomson, & Iwata, 2001). Studies have demonstrated that differential reinforcement and extinction can be an effective intervention package to decrease problem behavior and establish the maintenance of treatment effects (Wacker et al., 2011). In the current study, we used a noncurrent multiple baseline with reversal design to evaluate the effects of a differential reinforcement of other (DRO) behavior plus extinction procedure in the maintenance of treatment effects during transitions with two children diagnosed with ASD. We then assessed preference for transitions using a concurrent-chain arrangement. Two colored cards were presented; selecting the yellow card resulted in 10 s of walking, whereas selecting the blue card resulted in 10 s of standing still. Color contingencies were reversed or altered once stable selection occurred. The results demonstrated that the DRO procedure was effective in decreasing the levels of problem behavior for both participants. During the final return to baseline, we observed the maintenance of treatment effects, as zero or near-zero levels of problem behavior occurred. During the preference assessment, both participants allocated the majority of their responses to the alternative that resulted in walking.

 
38. Vocational Skills Interventions for Adults With Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Review of the Literature
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
RACHEL SEAMAN (The Ohio State University), Helen I. Cannella-Malone (The Ohio State University)
Abstract:

With a disproportionately high unemployment rate, obtaining and maintaining employment has shown to be exceptionally difficult for individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Further, very few individuals with ASD have been trained in the vocational skills needed to obtain gainful employment. The need to evaluate not only our current knowledge about the employment needs of an individual with ASD, but also to inquire about interventions, strategies, and supports in the workplace is pressing. This review of the literature focuses on vocational training interventions targeted specifically for adolescents and adults with ASD. Twenty-one articles evaluating pre-employment, specific vocational skill training, and job retention interventions are discussed. Finally, trends in intervention characteristics for this body of literature are highlighted, as well as recommendations for future research. This harsh reality of high unemployment rates for adults with ASD and the consequently high cost of services can be aided by examining the best practices for supporting employment.

 
39. A Comparison of Simple Conditional Discrimination and Simultaneous Mixed Presentation Training on Acquisition Rate and Generalization for Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
SARI RATHWELL (Behaviour Innovations), Erin Troubridge (Behaviour Innovations), Joel P. Hundert (Behaviour Institute and McMaster University), Nicole Walton-Allen (Behaviour Innovations)
Abstract:

Deficits in language development is a defining characteristic of autism. Teaching a child with autism to respond to various WH questions is one of the most frequently programmed areas in behavior intervention programs. The simple conditional method of teaching has historically been used to teach language discrimination skills. This procedure involves first targeting a single stimulus in isolation and with comparison stimuli before adding in a conditional response. The first study examined the extent to which items taught using the simple conditional method would generalize to a simultaneous mixed presentation arrangement for three children with ASD. The results showed limited generalization of skills for two out of three participants. The second study was conducted to compare the rate of acquisition and then generalization of targets taught using the simple conditional method and the simultaneous mixed presentation method for two children with ASD. The results showed that while acquisition was greater for the simple conditional method of teaching, generalization was limited. Conversely acquisition was slower for the mixed presentation method, however generalization of skills occurred. The results of this study impact the teaching methodologies used when teaching language discrimination skills to individuals with autism.

 
40. The Impact of Context Valence and Restricted Repetitive Behaviors on Socialization
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
KELSEY OLIVER (Koegel Autism Consultants), Robert L. Koegel (University of California, Santa Barbara), Maansi Desai (University of California, Santa Barbara)
Abstract:

Difficulties with socialization are defining and diagnostic features of autism spectrum disorders. Research has demonstrated that incorporating restricted and/or repetitive interests of an individual with autism into recess activities is an effective method of increasing socialization with typically developing peers. However, it is possible that certain activity contexts may serve as setting events that could potentially alter the influence of the restricted and/or repetitive behaviors (RRBs). Using an alternating treatment experimental design, this study examined whether the setting event of context valence impacted socialization. RRBs were embedded into activity contexts with positive valence (i.e., activity contexts with a prior history of eliciting positive affect and/or engagement from an individual) and activity contexts with negative valence (i.e., activity contexts with a prior history of eliciting negative affect and/or an escape response). Data, co-scored for reliability, indicated that socialization increased and remained above baseline levels when RRBs were introduced during activity contexts with positive valence, whereas socialization was minimal when RRBs were introduced in the negative valence activity contexts. Social significance and implications for designing activities that incorporate a childs RRBs are discussed.

 
41. Does Group Stepping Stones Triple P Promote Parent Self-Efficacy, Skills, and Knowledge?
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
JESSICA SUMMERS (University of Manitoba), Toby L. Martin (University of Manitoba), Flavia Julio (University of Manitoba), Tess Boomer-Ens (University of Manitoba)
Abstract:

Group Stepping Stones Triple P (GSSTP) is a parenting program aimed at improving parental knowledge and skills for caregivers of children with autism and challenging behaviors. The effectiveness of a five session condensed GSSTP was measured by evaluating improvement of parental ratings of self-efficacy, skills and knowledge and improvement of child behavior by a reduction of problem behavior and increase in appropriate behavior after completing GSSTP. Participants were seven parents of children aged 2–4 years who were on the waitlist for an early intensive behavioral intervention for children with autism. Participation involved two in-home observations of parent-child interactions and parental completion of three questionnaires: family background questionnaire (completed once), client satisfaction questionnaire (completed once), and the Eyberg child behavior inventory (completed both before and after GSSTP). St. Amant archival data evaluated pre and post results revealing significant improvements on the Parenting Tasks Checklist (t (56) = -7.19, p < .001) and the Knowledge of Effective Parenting Scale (t (44) = -2.09, p = 0.043). Hypotheses were supported by results from the Knowledge of Effective Parenting Scale, the Parenting Tasks Checklist and video observations; however, there was no significant improvement on the Eyberg child behavior inventory (t (6) = -.106, p = .919).

 
42. Evaluating the Effectiveness of TouchMath for Increasing Correct Responses When Solving Subtraction Problems With Children With Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Basic Research
NADA HALAWANI (University of Maryland), Fayez S. Maajeeny (University of Maryland)
Abstract:

A multiple baseline design across students was used to investigate the effectiveness of the TouchMath strategy to solve subtraction fact problems from 1 to 5 (single-digit numbers). Three students, 8- and 9-year-olds diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder and intellectual disabilities participated in this study. This study was conducted in a self-contained classroom in a public elementary school located in Montgomery County Public Schools. All three students scored below the average normal range in their grade level on mathematical skills. The three students had been exposed to TouchMath procedures for solving addition problems but not for subtraction. This study exposed the students to the concept of subtraction using the TouchMath strategy in 21 days of baseline and intervention phases. The results showed that TouchMath strategy aided students greatly in increasing the percentage of correct responses in solving subtraction fact problems.

 
43. A Comparison of Response Cost and Error Correction Procedures
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
JESSICA NIEMEIER (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Wayne W. Fisher (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Amber R. Paden (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center)
Abstract:

Some children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) display persistent errors during discrete-trial training. Fisher and colleagues showed that combining a second-order reinforcement schedule with response cost produced improved accuracy in completion of intraverbal and receptive tasks among children with ASD (Fisher, Pawich, Dickes, Paden, & Toussaint, 2014). The purpose of the current study was to extend the findings of Fisher et al. (2014) by evaluating the efficiency and effectiveness of their second-order reinforcement and response-cost procedure with a common error-correction procedure during acquisition of receptive-identification tasks. Two children diagnosed with an ASD participated. During baseline, we implemented a VR2 reinforcement schedule for cooperative behavior but not for correct responses. During treatment, in one condition we reinforced correct responses on a second-order FR3 [FR1] schedule and removed all accumulated reinforcers contingent on an error. In the other condition, we reinforced correct responses on an FR1 schedule, and following an error, we repeated the trial until the participant emitted an independent correct response. Results showed that the error-correction procedure proved to be more efficient with both participants and more effective with one participant. We discuss these results relative to the discriminative effects of reinforcement and punishment during acquisition of new tasks.

 
44. Teaching a Child With Autism and Intellectual Disorder to Independently Wash Hair Through the Use of Task Analysis and Fading of Prompts
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
LINDSAY TRAURIG (Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center), Jillian Schneider (Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center), Katrina Warriner (Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center)
Abstract:

Completing adaptive living skills with independence is an essential trait to teach children and adults on the spectrum. This study demonstrates how one 10-year-old male with a dual diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder and intellectual disorder learned the steps to wash hair. At baseline, the participant completed 0% of steps to wash hair following the instruction, "wash hair." Intervention began with a total task chain, including fading of prompts (i.e. using a prompt level lower than the previous session). The participant independently completed 43–87% of the steps and required 3–39% of possible prompts to wash hair. Due to variability in the participant's performance, intervention was modified to use counting cues (e.g., counts to 20 while rubbing in shampoo and rinsing hair clean). Following the modification, the participant independently completed 96% of the steps to washing hair and required just 1% of possible prompts. As he continued to make progress, the counting prompt was faded to whisper counting, mouthing counting, then no counting for washing hair first for rubbing shampoo, then for rinsing out soap steps. The participant has maintained mastery of this skill after removal and all counting prompts and introducing washing body to his shower routine.

 
45. The Effects of Limited and Extended Exposure to Establishing Operations During Functional Communication Training
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
ASHLEY FUHRMAN (University of Nebraska Medical Center), Brian D. Greer (University of Nebraska Medical Center), Wayne W. Fisher (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Andresa A. De Souza (University of Nebraska Medical Center), Wendy Strang (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center)
Abstract:

DeRosa, Fisher, and Steege (2015) compared two modalities of functional communication responses (FCRs) in which one modality (i.e., a card touch) was associated with limited exposure to the establishing operation (EO) for problem behavior, and the other modality (i.e., a vocal response) was associated with an extended exposure to the EO for problem behavior. DeRosa et al. showed that the card-touch FCR (i.e., limited-EO exposure) resulted in less bursting in rates of problem behavior, more rapid acquisition of the FCR, as well as larger and more rapid reduction in rates of problem behavior. However, these authors simultaneously manipulated EO exposure and FCR modality; therefore, it is unclear which variable was responsible for their results. In the current study, we extended the DeRosa et al. study by using one FCR modality (i.e., a card touch) and evaluated the effects of limited- versus extended-EO exposure with two children who engaged in problem behavior. Results indicated that the limited-EO exposure resulted in larger and more rapid reductions in problem behavior when compared to the extended-EO exposure.

 
46. Improving Social Behaviors of Preschool Aged Student With Autism Through Video Modeling
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
KATHLEEN MCCABE-ODRI (Partners in Learning, Inc.), Nicole M. Rzemyk (Partners in Learning, Inc.), Nicole Pease (Partners in Learning, Inc.)
Abstract:

Children with autism attempt or appropriately respond to less social initiations than their peers (Koegal, Koegal, Frea & Fredeen, 2001). Video modeling has been effectively used to promote social skills in these children (LeBlanc et al., 2003). Children with autism have benefitted from video modeling presentations as video demonstrations create a restricted field of focus, repetitive presentation, and are often found innately reinforcing (Charlop-Christy et al, 2000; Krantz, MacDuff, Wadstrom, & McClannahan, 1991). These benefits can promote generalization and faster skill acquisition. An advantage of point of view video modeling (POVM) over the typical or "scene view" format is that it eliminates the need to identify relevant stimuli due to the restriction of stimuli that are not directly related to the target behavior (Hine & Wolery, 2006). This study utilizes POVM with a multiple baseline design using the classroom teacher, therapist and parent to increase responses to greetings. The current study includes baseline, treatment, and maintenance phases with IOA for all phases. Results show the student's response rate increased for all three targets once in treatment. The student's response rate was maintained after removal of treatment and during a maintenance probe one month after treatment.

 
47. Using Parent-Mediated Behavior Contracts to Increase Appropriate Engagement and Reduce Problem Behavior in the Community Setting
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
HANNA ROEN (Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center), Jillian Schneider (Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center)
Abstract:

Behavior contracts have been widely used in classroom environments to increase appropriate on-task engagement and decrease disruptive behaviors (White-Blackburn, G. Semb, & S. Semb, 1977; R. Cantrell, M. Cantrell, Huddleston, & Woolridge, 1969), as well as across a variety of behaviors (Washington, Banna, & Gibson, 2014; Preston, Ghitza, Schmittner, & Schroeder, 2008). The current study examined the use of behavior contracts in the community for two individuals with autism, ages 7 and 10, to increase social and communication skills in the community. The implementation of each behavior contract was completed by the participants' mothers following an initial teaching session about the components of a behavior contract (i.e., description of the task, description of the reward, and the task record) by the first author. Target behaviors for participant 1 were no disruptive behaviors during morning circle, completing two math activities without disruptive behavior, engagement with one peer at recess, and zero occurrences of yelling at peers. Target behaviors for participant 2 were sitting by a peer during after-school clubs and initiating to peers at a changing criterion. The results indicated an increase in social interactions for both participants and increased on-task behavior and reduced disruptive behavior for one participant.

 
48. Moving from Avoidance to Compliance: Increasing Motivation to Participate During Parent Training Sessions
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
WILL BASSLER (Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center), Jillian Schneider (Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center)
Abstract:

Parent education programs consistently have a positive impact on parent stress level (Koegel, Bimbela, & Schreibman, 1996), affect (Moes, 1995), and self-efficacy (Feldman & Werner, 2002). Parent education that relies on a collaborative relationship between clinician and parents have also been demonstrated to increase parent confidence and quality of parent-child interactions (Frazee, 2004). The current study sought to increase the quality of parent education sessions by the use of a collaborative checklist to reduce avoidant behaviors, increase parent fidelity of implementation, incorporating motivating activities for the parent. The checklist method involved a clinician-parent created checklist of programs and time frame where the parent decided how to move through the list. Participants are one child with autism, age 3, and his father, age 43. Initially, during clinician-led parent training sessions, parents were taught to implement pivotal response treatment (PRT). Across 3 months, parent participation decreased to an average of 53 minutes of a 2.5 hour session (range 9–94 minutes), reliance on clinician feedback and redirection increased, and fidelity of implementation remained low. Following the checklist method, parent engagement maintained at or above the target level, all tasks on the checklist were completed, and parent met fidelity in PRT (78–92%).

 
49. Increasing Responsivity to Novel People in Community Settings
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
FELICIA BORDEN (Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center), Hanna Roen (Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center), Jillian Schneider (Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center)
Abstract:

Responding to novel people within the community is an important skill for social-communication and safety. Forty-nine percent of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have attempted to elope at least one time (Anderson, 2012). In such situations, responding to novel individuals is crucial to the child’s well-being. Improving the quality of interactions with novel people is also significant to family experiences in the community. The current study examined increasing responsivity to novel people in the community in a 4-year-old boy with autism. At baseline, the participant was unable to respond to novel people in the community. This intervention was implemented by the participant’s parent in various community settings, including stores and age-appropriate activities. Novel people, recruited by the participant’s father, asked the client questions about himself or his family (e.g., “What’s your name?”, “What does your mom do?”, “How old are you?”) that might naturally occur between a child and an adult in the community setting (e.g., checkout person in grocery store). Initial results showed an increase in responding to target questions asked by novel people in the community. Data from generalization probes within the community setting also showed an increase in responsivity to novel people asking non-target questions.

 
50. Improving Intelligibility of Speech for Two Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
HANNA ROEN (Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center), Jillian Schneider (Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center), Felicia Borden (Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center)
Abstract:

By age four, children should be 100% intelligible to familiar and unfamiliar people, even if articulation or phonological errors are still occurring; those children who are less than 66% intelligible should be considered for intervention (Gordon-Brannon & Hodson, 2000). Many children with autism have delays which prohibit them from efficiently and effectively communicating their wants and needs. This study aimed to improve intelligibility of speech for two children, age 5. During baseline, conversations were transcribed in order to detect the specific speech breakdowns that were occurring (e.g., missing words, incorrect phoneme use, transposed words) and inform intervention. Additionally, multiple videos were watched by familiar and unfamiliar observers to gather data on the percentage of phrases spoken by the child that were understood. Baseline data revealed that errors for child 1 were transposing and missing words and for child 2 were incorrect phoneme use and speaking too quickly. Data also revealed that child 1 made errors in 47% of phrases during a 10-minute probe and familiar and unfamiliar observers were able to understand and 38.33% and 30.67% of Child 2’s phrases. Following intervention, model prompting corrected phrases, Child 1’s percent of intelligible phrases increased to 74% and Child 2’s intelligibility increased to 61.65% and 55% to familiar and unfamiliar observers, respectively.

 
51. Resurgence of Mands Following Functional Communication Training
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
KAYLA CROOK (University of Georgia), Maggie A. Molony (University of Georgia), Wendy K. Berg (The University of Iowa), Joel Eric Ringdahl (University of Georgia), David P. Wacker (The University of Iowa)
Abstract:

This study evaluated the resurgence of mands with humans that using an approach similar to Lieving and Lattal (2003). Three participants diagnosed with a developmental disability and communication disorder were taught two similar mands from the same operant class. Following communication training (CT), the two mands were then placed on extinction. During the extinction sessions, both responses persisted, but varied with respect to response strength. Additional CT sessions were conducted to strengthen the weaker response while the alternative mand remained on extinction. After stable responding was demonstrated with the weaker mand and zero responding was observed with the alternative mand, both mands were placed on extinction. Results demonstrated that for each participant, at least one instance of resurgence of the alternative mand occurred. The results of this study suggested that previously extinguished appropriate behavior might recur under certain conditions. This recurrence may have implications for designing behavior change programs for individuals with developmental disabilities.

 
52. Effect of Incremental Rehearsal on Increasing Letter Naming Fluency of a Child With Low-Functioning Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Basic Research
SHENGTIAN WU (Mississippi State University), Joseph Devlin (Mississippi State University), Daniel L. Gadke (Mississippi State University), Carlen Henington (Mississippi State University)
Abstract:

Letter naming is a very fundamental skill in early literacy development (Piasta & Wagner, 2010). Furthermore, letter-naming knowledge is known as reliable predictor of learning to read (Foulin, 2005). The flash card is a convenient, and popular format for presenting discrete stimulus items (e.g. letters) (Kupzyk, Daly, & Anderson, 2011). Among the flash cards interventions, the incremental rehearsal (IR) was the most effective (Varma & Schleisman, 2014). However, there is no research that examined effectiveness of IR on letter recognition of children with low-functioning autism spectrum disorder (LFA). Thus, the purpose of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness of IR on letter naming fluency of a child with LFA. The intervention results showed that the child achieved improvement in letter naming fluency. The percentage of non-overlaped data was 55.5% because the participant's rate of unknown letter acquisition and known letter recognition was very slow at first few trials. However, the graphs showed that the child performed significantly better in the last two sessions than previous sessions and achieved mastery level in his instructional level with progress monitor. That is, the participant identified previously known letters more quickly, while he acquired unknown letters slowly.

 
53. Acquisition of Language for Learning Skills With a Young Child With Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
KOURTNEY BAKALYAR (Western Michigan University), Mindy Newhouse (Western Michigan University), Jessica E. Frieder (Western Michigan University)
Abstract:

The Language for Learning program was used to increase verbal communication for a four-year-old with an autism spectrum disorder. The child has been receiving early intervention for a year and has seen a decrease in problem behavior and increase in verbal communication; however, the most recent Verbal Behavior Milestones Assessment and Placement Program (VB-MAPP) presented the need for direct instruction for communication. The participant has been completing the Language for Learning lessons during his typically occurring intervention sessions, four to five days a week. For each lesson, trial-by-trial data were collected noting a correct or incorrect response to each trial requiring a verbal or physical response from the child. The child was presented with the next lesson when he responded to 90% of the trials correctly. Data will be displayed in both bar and line graphs showing sessions-to-criterion. Preliminary data demonstrate the participant needed a single lesson (example: Book A, Lesson 2) presented multiple days before reaching the mastery criterion. As the lessons progressed, fewer repeated lessons have been needed and many lessons only required one presentation.

 
54. Evaluation of a Decision-Making Model for Use of Performance Feedback and Behavior Skills Training to Efficiently Train Staff on Learn Unit Implementation
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
LAUREN LESTREMAU (The Ivymount School), Brittany Frey (The Ivymount School), Megan B. Boucher (The Ivymount School), Erica Ranade (The Ivymount School)
Abstract:

As teachers enter the special education field without the skills to implement instruction with learn units, teacher training must be conducted. Performance feedback minimally impacts staff trainer resources, but when this training procedure is ineffective, use of a more intensive training procedure such as behavior skills training (BST) should be implemented. Approximate time for implementation of this procedure varies based on the time required to achieve criterion; however, BST is more time intensive than performance feedback alone. Commonly, trainers select a method for training based on those that will best preserve resources; however, when trainees require more intensive training types, time for trainees to achieve competency are greatly extended if training type is not matched to trainee need. Therefore, this paper pilots use of a decision-making criterion to determine whether performance feedback or BST should be implemented to most efficiently train to mastery criterion.

 
55. Implementation of the STAR Curriculum With Children With Autism in a Clinical Setting
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
MOLLY BUTTS (Mississippi State University), Hallie Smith (Mississippi State University), MacKenzie Sidwell (Mississippi State University ), Daniel L. Gadke (Mississippi State University), Kasee Stratton (Mississippi State University)
Abstract:

The STAR Program (Strategies for Teaching based on Autism Research) is a curriculum that teaches children with Autism important skills identified by the 2001 National Research Council. The STAR program incorporates Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) techniques such as discrete trial training and pivotal response training to teach skills to children with autism. Currently, there is limited research in the application of the STAR program in a clinical setting. The purpose of the current research was to examine the effectiveness of implementing STAR program in a clinical setting with two children with autism. The poster includes graphs depicting percent correct of targeted skills such as "look at me," "come here," "sit down," "wave," and "my turn." Overall, the results of the intervention show the effectiveness of the STAR program in a clinical setting.

 
56. The Prevalence of Applied Behavior Analysis in the World of Twitter
Area: AUT; Domain: Basic Research
MOLLY BUTTS (Mississippi State University ), Daniel L. Gadke (Mississippi State University), Kasee Stratton (Mississippi State University)
Abstract:

Twitter is a popular social networking site with 288 million users and 500 million tweets per day. Twitter permits users to communicate with others in real-time through short, succinct 140 character messages known as tweets. Twitter's dataset reflects current trends and is large and accessible, which allows data to be gathered automatically and analyzed in real-time (Twitter, 2015). As a result, Twitter is regularly producing data awaiting analysis by eager researchers. The purpose of the current study was to explore the impact of applied behavior analysis (ABA), using social media, specifically Twitter. An exploratory review was conducted to identify trends and themes related to ABA. Tweets were collected for a total of seven days. The search parameters included words such as "ASD," "Autism," "PDD," "ABA," as well as various hashtags (e.g., #autismawareness, #autism, #pdd, #autismspeaks). Using the Social Media Tracking and Analysis System (SMTAS) software, a total of 57,327 tweets by 28,361 different users were collected across seven days. Of the 57,327 collected tweets, 125 tweets contained the keyword "ABA." A breakdown of themes related to applied behavior analysis will be provided.

 
57. The Effects of Music Exposure on Percent Correct During Discrete Trial Training in a Child With Autism Spectrum Disorder
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
SAMANTHA LEMONS (University of West Florida)
Abstract:

The purpose of this research is to determine if the exposure to music during discrete trial training (DTT) increases overall performance scores (percent correct) in the domains of cognitive reasoning in a school-aged child with autism spectrum disorder. The question to be answered during this research is: are there differences between the performance scores (percent correct) of a child with autism who is exposed to music during DTT versus when the same child is not exposed to music? This study is a single-case subject design (male participant, age 7) utilizing a reversal design. This design was chosen to measure the effects of the independent variable (music) on the dependent variable (performance scores/percentage correct) when the independent variable is presented, removed, re-presented, and removed again. Discrete trial data was collected every session for the participant in the form of percent correct for simple comparison. Visual observation and pencil and paper recording was used to obtain the data. Data collection sheets were utilized to record the trial-by-trial data on each independent program. After baseline and intervention data was collected in an ABAB design pattern, the intervention data was compared to baseline using tabular summaries of the participant’s ABA programming scores in the form of percent correct (performance scores). No statistical analysis was necessary to compare the percent correct (intervention) data to the baseline percentage correct data. The reversal design was intended to show a functional relation between the dependent variable (percent correct) and the independent variable (music exposure).

 
58. A Combination of Number Line and Manipulatives to Improve Quantity Discrimination in Children With Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
HAILEY RIPPLE (Mississippi State University), Molly Butts (Mississippi State University), Daniel L. Gadke (Mississippi State University)
Abstract:

Research has indicated math difficulties generally have an early onset (Kroesbergen & Van Luit, 2003). The development of early numeracy skills is crucial for children to learn in order to appropriately process and apply more complex math concepts (Lembke, Foegen, Whittaker, & Hampton, 2008). An essential early numeracy skill is quantity discrimination. The use of concrete and virtual manipulative instruction and number lines have been found to be effective interventions for mathematics skills independent of one another (Satsangi, & Bouck, 2015; Siegler, 2009). This study aims to examine the effect of combining manipulatives and a number line in a quantity discrimination intervention for two children with autism. Data for one participant has been collected while data for the second participant is currently underway. Current data indicate the intervention was effective, as evidenced by an increasing trend in comparison to baseline.

 
59. Alternating Probe Topography in a Reading Fluency Intervention for a Child With Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
HAILEY RIPPLE (Mississippi State University), Daniel L. Gadke (Mississippi State University), Carlen Henington (Mississippi State University)
Abstract:

While the literature on effective reading interventions for typically developing children is abundant, research on this topic for children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) is sparse. In order to effectively intervene on reading for children with ASD, it is important to investigate how to best present the stimulus. Previous research has indicated that by manipulating the presentation of text, a passage can be perceived as either easy or difficult to read (Song & Schwarz, 2008; Rhodes & Castel, 2008). Specifically, results indicated that larger text resulted in higher judgments of learning, meaning the individual was more likely to perceive the reading task as easy and manageable. This study aimed to investigate the effect of enlarging the text of a progress monitoring probe used in an interspersal reading fluency intervention for a child with autism. Further, the probe was divided into smaller parts for the participant to complete. Progress monitoring data was collected following the implementation of the interspersal intervention and consisted of two topographies: a flashcard probe and a paragraph probe. Results suggest that as reading fluency increased, the paragraph version resulted in a higher rate of words read correctly, as shown by the divergence of the two types of probes in the progress monitoring graph.

 
60. The Effectiveness of Positional Prompts to Teach Receptive Identification
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
JUSTIN B. LEAF (Autism Partnership Foundation), Joseph H. Cihon (Autism Partnership Foundation), John James McEachin (Autism Partnership Foundation), Ronald Leaf (Autism Partnership Foundation), Mitchell T. Taubman (Autism Partnership Foundation)
Abstract:

There are many different prompt types used to teach receptive identification with individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. These prompt types include vocal prompts, gestural prompts, model prompts, and physical prompts. Another way which can be used to teach receptive identification is the use of a positional prompt. A positional prompt is placing the correct target response closer to the learner. Positional prompts are widely used in clinical settings but have been questioned by professionals on their effectiveness. This study evaluated the use of positional prompts to teach receptive identification to six children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. Each participant was taught to receptively identify nine different pictures. We used a multiple baseline design across skills and replicated across participants to evaluate the effectiveness of positional prompts. The results showed mixed results across participants. An analysis was conducted to determine differences between participants who learned the targeted skills and for participants who did not learn the targeted skills. Both clinical implications and future research will be described.

 
61. The Evaluation of Oral Reading Fluency in Small Group Interventions for Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
REEVA MORTON (Mississippi State University), Dominik Keller (Mississippi State University), Jabari Sellers (Mississippi State University), Madison Sully (Mississippi State University), Daniel L. Gadke (Mississippi State University)
Abstract:

Oral reading fluency is a basic skill that influences standardized test scores and reading comprehension (Wiley & Deno, 2005). Research on two evidenced-based reading interventions, listening passage preview (LPP) and Repeated Reading (RR), has indicated their success in improving oral reading fluency (O'Shea, Sindelar, & O'Shea, 1985; Daly & Martens, 1994) but are often used with a peer or adult (Chard, Vaughn, & Tyler, 2002). Research suggests fluency-based small group reading interventions are effective in improving oral reading fluency for elementary-aged children (Begeny & Silber, 2006; Begeny, Krouse, Ross, & Mitchell, 2009). There is a need to determine how these interventions influence oral reading fluency in other populations. The purpose of the current investigation was to evaluate reading fluency using small group reading interventions for middle and high school-aged children diagnosed with autism spectrum or a related disorder. An alternating treatment design was implemented for three children ranging from 12 to 15 years old. Words correct per instructional time (WCPIT) and words correct per minute (WCPM) were used as the dependent variables. Results varied across participants, with RR being the most efficient and effective for two of the participants and LPP for the third participant. Implications will be discussed.

 
62. Increasing Manding Behavior in a Child With Autism Utilizing the Proloquo2Go System
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Ashley N. Fiorilli (Applied Behavior Consultants), VANESSA MEGEATH (Applied Behavior Consultants)
Abstract:

A marked deficit with children diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder, is a delay or decrease in communication. Applied behavior analysis programs focus on functional communication within the treatment program. More recently, the use of the Proloquo2Go System (PS) has been introduced into the augmentative and alternative communication realm. However, few peer-reviewed articles have evaluated that effectiveness of PS in teaching children with autism functional communication, even though there is an increasing popularity. While searching the EBSCO database with the search terms "autism" and "proloquo2go" and selecting peer-reviewed, zero results appeared. The purpose of the intervention is to expand the knowledge and utilization of the PS within an applied behavior analysis treatment session. Results indicated that the participant acquired varied mands with the implementation of the PS. Although, the intervention supports the utilization of the PS to increase manding behavior, the procedures lacks a larger sample size. Further research should focus on the procedures across multiple children, fidelity of implementation, and error correction procedures.

 
63. An Analysis of a Procedural Review for Staff Working With Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
LINDSAY MORIN (Michigan State University), Josh Plavnick (Michigan State University)
Abstract:

Research has shown the importance of training for individuals working with students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). However, studies examining procedural integrity of intervention implementation within public school settings for students with ASD are still needed. The current investigation evaluated procedural integrity by employing a self-managed procedural review for school staff prior to implementation of a token economy system with elementary-aged students with ASD. The procedural review was implemented multiple times a day throughout the eleven week intervention. A multiple baseline design across participants was used to assess for a functional relation between the procedural review and accurate implementation of a token economy. The results indicated an increase in percentage of steps implemented correctly when the procedural review was applied.

 
64. Increasing Turn-Taking Behavior in Children With Autism Using Discriminative Stimuli
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
AMI J. ROURKE (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Wayne W. Fisher (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Jessica Niemeier (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center)
Abstract:

Children diagnosed with autism are less likely than their typically developing peers to engage in positive social behaviors such as turn taking (Shabani et al., 2002). The purpose of the current evaluation was to evaluate whether a multiple schedule could be used to promote appropriate turn-taking behavior. Participants included two dyads of siblings and two dyads of non-related peers who were identified as having poor turn taking skills. One set of siblings included a 6-year-old diagnosed with autism and his typically developing sister. The other set included 4-year-old twins both diagnosed with autism. Two dyads of peers included a 3-year-old, 4-year-old, 5-year-old, and 7-year-old all diagnosed with autism. During sessions, an auditory and visual stimulus in the form of a PowerPoint presentation played in the background to signal each child's turn with the highly preferred item. Following baseline, a progressive prompt delay was used to teach the children to attend to and appropriately respond to the stimuli presented in the PowerPoint presentation. Preliminary findings suggest that an auditory and visual stimulus can be used to increase appropriate turn-taking behavior.

 
65. Teaching Children with Autism Sportsmanship Skills to Reduce Problem Behavior During Tabletop Games
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
MAEGAN PISMAN (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Kevin C. Luczynski (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Melissa Bowen (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Ami J. Rourke (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center)
Abstract:

Individuals diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) typically exhibit skill deficits in social interactions. One opportunity for children with ASD to interact with peers is tabletop games; reinforcing interactions during games may increase the future likelihood of these children playing together. With three children, ages 6 to 8 years old, a multiple baseline design across participants was used to demonstrate the efficacy of behavioral skills training (BST). A multiple baseline design across games was used to assess stimulus generalization. BST consisted of trial-based teaching outside of the game context in which the skill was described and modeled, followed by the child practicing the skill. After mastery, within-game feedback following an error included conducting remedial trials until the skill occurred. BST increased sportsmanship skills and decreased problem behavior for all three children, and after teaching was discontinued, maintenance of this performance was observed. One or two generalization games were conducted per participant, and all participants exhibited a reduction in problem behavior, increased levels of appropriate behavior, or both across the games. Future research should determine whether the sportsmanship skills result in neurotypical peers choosing more often to play with children with ASD using a concurrent-chains schedule.

 
66. Using the Interspersal Technique on Sight Word Acquisition for Children With Disabilities
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
JONATHAN TRITLEY (Mississippi State University), Hailey Ripple (Mississippi State University), Shengtian Wu (Mississippi State University), Daniel L. Gadke (Mississippi State University), Carlen Henington (Mississippi State University)
Abstract:

The research is clear that interspersing a difficult stimuli among a number of easy stimuli is effective at increasing learning rates by enhancing schedules of reinforcement (Skinner, 2002). However, the research is unclear on whether or not this also applies to children with disabilities. This project took place during a month-long academic and social summer camp for children with disabilities. The primary purpose of this project was to increase the number of known sight words of three children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. A multiple baseline design was used to compare the number of known words to the number of unknown words. Results indicated an increase in learning rates that is consistent with the literature.

 
67. Response Prompts Versus Stimulus Prompts: A Comparison for Teaching Students With Autism Spectrum Disorders
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
MEGAN BREAULT (RCS Learning Center), Christina M. Boyd-Pickard (RCS Learning Center), Colleen Yorlets (RCS Behavioral and Educational Consulting), Russell W. Maguire (Simmons College)
Abstract:

A potential problem with the use of response prompts in applied settings to teach children with autism is that the prompts are susceptible to procedural drift. While stimulus prompts may serve an efficient and effective alternative to response prompts, these are often not utilized. This study compared the use of response prompts to a simple technological intervention using stimulus prompts. (e.g., systematically altering the intensity of S-stimuli within a PowerPoint program on a laptop computer). Three participants diagnosed with autism between the ages of 8–12 were taught conditional discriminations, either by response prompts or stimulus prompts, within a changing conditions design. Not only were the stimulus prompts more effective and efficient (e.g., fewer trials to criterion and fewer errors) because of the technological delivery system of the stimulus prompts, the possibility for procedural drift was eradicated. These results are discussed in terms of improving the efficacy of teaching students with autism spectrum disorders.

 
68. Identification of an Effective Prompting Procedure During Discrete Trial Instruction
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
PAIGE MCARDLE (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Sarah McCallum Irby (University of Memphis)
Abstract:

Several prompting procedures have been shown to be effective in teaching new skills via discrete trial instruction (DTI). Three of these procedures include most-to-least prompting, least-to-most prompting and no-no prompting. During a pilot study, these three procedures were evaluating during DTI to identify the most effective teaching procedure for a child with autism. Acquisition data for subsequent participants from an ongoing study will be presented. Effectiveness of the three procedures for each participant and implications for future research will be discussed.

 
69. A Data-Based Protocol for Reducing High Levels of Medication in an Adolescent With Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
JESSICA ZAWACKI (PAAL), Thomas L. Zane (Institute for Behavioral Studies, Endicott College), Gloria M. Satriale (PAAL)
Abstract:

Medication is often used solely or in conjunction with behavioral procedures to treat behavior problems in individuals with autism. However, the synergetic effect of multiple medications are known to cause other difficult challenges that must be addressed in addition to the original dangerous behavioral concerns. Data-based decisions and consistent behavioral programming can be used in conjunction with medical oversight and review to systematically reduce medication use so that the individual, over time, demonstrates appropriate behavior on the lowest level of medication necessary. This case study demonstrates a formal protocol used when reducing the number and amount of medications used with an adolescent male with autism. He demonstrated such serious self-injurious and aggressive behaviors that he was a danger to himself and others, which resulted in him being on a cocktail of several different medications to deal with his specific problematic behaviors as well as other alleged psychiatric issues. The number and dosage of these medications were such that he was sedated, which interfered with skill acquisition. Close collaboration with his medical neurologist, along with consistent behavioral programming and comprehensive data collection, resulted in gradual reduction and elimination of medications along with continued low-to-no rates of the original target behaviors. The protocol was successful due to the collaboration, gradual pace of medication reduction, consistent implementation of the behavior intervention plans, and the systematic collection of behavior data. The lessons learned and the protocol details will be presented.

 
70. QABA Credentialing: Applied Behavior Analysis Technician for High School Level of Education and Qualified Autism Services Provider for Bachelor Degree Level of Education
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
Thomas McCool (QABA Credentialing Board), MICHAEL WEINBERG (Orlando Behavior Health Services, LLC)
Abstract:

The QABA Credentialing Board initiated a process in 2012 to professionalize the work force that provides over 85% of applied behavior analysis services to children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. This workforce is comprised of behavior technicians who have a high school diploma or Bachelor's degree level of education. The credentialing process is focused on the delivery of services to children diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum. The process includes course work, delivery of services under the supervision of a BCBA, letters of recommendation, passing a formal examination, agreeing to adhere to our ethics policy, and scrutiny of an extensive background check that goes far beyond the typical finger print report. These credentials are undergoing evaluation by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) and the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) The intent of these processes is to elevate this critical job category to one of professional status. As insurance companies are becoming more involved in the service delivery system, they are keenly aware of the need for standards to be established that promote quality services and reduce risk.

 
71. ABAI Accreditation in Louisiana: Graduate Training Opportunities at McNeese State University
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
JOSEPH HACKER (McNeese State University), Alfred Royal Tuminello, Jr. (McNeese State University)
Abstract:

McNeese State University offers exciting learning opportunities as Louisiana's premier graduate program in the field of applied behavior analysis. McNeese State University operates the only ABAI-accredited graduate program in Louisiana and provides students with the opportunity to earn a Master's degree in psychology, with a concentration in applied behavior analysis, while participating in exciting experience opportunities. Students gain experience in a variety of locations, including multiple university-operated ABA clinics, group home facilities, local schools, and in the homes of those receiving services. Students will gain experience working with individuals of all ages and socioeconomic backgrounds. In addition to the on-site clinic, McNeese State University utilizes an on-site animal operant research laboratory, where students conduct additional research. Many students utilize the operant research laboratory to complete a second concentration in experimental psychology. McNeese State University has and will continue to graduate quality behavior analysts and desires to educate potential Louisiana-area students about local opportunities to pursue a graduate education.

 
72. Incorporating Perseverative Interests Into Interventions for Individuals With Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Systematic Review of the Literature
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
TRACY RAULSTON (University of Oregon), Devon Ramey (Trinity College Dublin), Amarie Carnett (Victoria University of Wellington), Sarah Hansen (University of Oregon), Russell Lang (Texas State University-San Marcos), Wendy A. Machalicek (University of Oregon)
Abstract:

In addition to social communication deficits, individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) display rigid and repetitive patterns of behavior and/or interests (RRBIs). Several behavioral topographies fall under the broader RRBI symptom category, and one subsection includes highly restricted, fixated interests of abnormal focus or intensity including preoccupation with peculiar objects or remarkably circumscribed or perseverative interests (PI). Incorporating or embedding a PI into interventions for individuals with ASD is becoming increasingly more popular in research and practice. However, to our knowledge, the overall effectiveness of this body of literature has yet to be evaluated. We conducted systematic searches using databases (e.g., ERIC, Psych Info) to identify peer reviewed studies that (a) had at least one participant with an ASD diagnosis, (b) conducted an indirect or direct assessment of the PI to verify it, and (c) incorporated a PI into the independent variable. Our searches yielded 15 studies meeting the aforementioned criteria. In order to evaluate the effectiveness of these interventions, TauU non-overlap indexes were calculated for the studies that employed single case methodology. Overall, positive findings were reported across a range of dependent variables. Directions for future research and practice are discussed.

 
73. Concurrent Validity of the Autism Social Skills Profile and the Social Skills Improvement System in a Field-Based Setting
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
MACKENZIE SIDWELL (Mississippi State University), Hailey Ripple (Mississippi State University), Molly Butts (Mississippi State University), Amanda Cosgriff (Mississippi State University), Daniel L. Gadke (Mississippi State University), Kasee Stratton (Mississippi State University)
Abstract:

While there are several well-established measures of social skills available, such as the Social Skills Improvement System (SSIS; Gresham & Elliott, 2008) and the Social Responsiveness Scale (SRS-2; Constantino & Gruber, 2012), a measure that still merits more information given the affordability and availability, is the Autism Social Skills Profile (ASSP; Bellini, 2006). The current study seeks to serve as a follow-up to a previously conducted preliminary investigation of the ASSP, comparing pre- and post- ASSP measures to time-series data collected during a month-long social skills training. As such, the investigators sought to extend the research available on the ASSP by assessing the concurrent validity of the ASSP and the SSIS in a clinic based setting across a four-week social skills clinic. The sample included eight participants ranging in age from 8 to 15 years old, each with a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder or a related disorder. The researchers seek to further explore the clinical utility of additional methods to more efficiently measure social skills outcomes in school and clinic based settings. Data are currently still being collected.

 
74. Use of Differential Reinforcement of Lower Rates of Behavior in GED and Vocational Training Delivered to an Adult With Autism Spectrum Disorder
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
MACKENZIE SIDWELL (Mississippi State University), Daniel L. Gadke (Mississippi State University), Carlen Henington (Mississippi State University)
Abstract:

Very little research exists in the area of vocational training for adults with autism spectrum disorders, and even less exists for interventions targeting general educational development diploma (GED) preparation for adults with Autism. While there is a great deal of literature readily available for data related to and strategies to support working with individuals with learning disabilities (Patterson, 2013; Patterson, 2008; Westberry, 1994), the same cannot be said regarding this important area for adults with ASD. The current study sought to provide vocational and GED training to a 27 year-old individual with autism, which included a behavior management plan of targeting differential reinforcement of decreased latency in task completion. Specifically, the goal was to decrease the time it took for the participant to complete various vocational tasks, as well as to increase the participant's rate of responding and decrease latency to decrease brief GED prep tests. Vocational and GED instruction were initiated over the course of a four-week academic and social skills clinic. Additional data are being collected.

 
75. Decreasing Verbal Outbursts Using a Differential Reinforcement of Lower Rates of Behavior Schedule and Delayed Reinforcement With Videos
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
KATHLEEN MCCABE-ODRI (Partners in Learning, Inc.), Lauren DeGrazia (Partners in Learning, Inc.), Jennifer Cornely (Partners in Learning, Inc.)
Abstract:

Normalization of verbal and physical behavior should be targeted at an early age to increase successful community integration for children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Using a change in criterion, multiple baseline across behaviors design, the goal of this study is to decrease the amount of verbal outbursts (VO) and stereotypical (S) behavior using a differential reinforcement of low rates of behavior schedule (DRL) along with a video fading procedure to increase the delayed access to the reinforcer. VO is defined as any high-pitched, non-contextual sounds or vocalizations above conversation level and S is defined as any repetitive and/or non-contextual behavior. M.T. is diagnosed with ASD and attends an inclusive kindergarten classroom that uses applied behavior analysis (ABA) methodologies. The amount of VO and S per 3-hour sessions were recorded using paper and pencil during baseline and treatment phases. During all treatment phases, VO were placed on a DRL fixed interval of 5 minutes. At the beginning of each session in phase 1 of treatment, a visual timer was set for 5 minutes. The timer was started and would continue to run as long as M.T. did not engage in VO. If VO occurred, the timer was stopped and would not restart until VO had ceased for more than 3 seconds. Once 5 minutes passed without any VO, M.T. gained immediate access to an ounce of Sprite. The next treatment condition was introduced via a teaching session once data became stable. A choice board of all highly preferred soda products and a video of an instructor pouringan ounce of soda into a cup were introduced. M.T. picked a soda and watched the video to gain access to theounce of soda. As more trials occurred, the instructor systematically increased the clip before gaining access to the corresponding ounces of soda. No demands were given during the teaching process. In phase 2, the same DRL timer was set to 5 minutes and the procedure stayed the same. Instead of gaining immediate access to the soda, M.T. watched the video four times before gaining access to the reinforcer. This procedure increased the delayed access to the reinforcer from 5 to 20 minutes. As seen in the graph, M.T. has a 2.5-week break from programming during the winter. When he returns, there is a slight increase in VO, but quickly decreases to 0 again. Once VO decreased to 0, the same procedure was implemented for S.

 
76. The Effects of High-probability Instructional Sequence Combined With Low-probability Demand Fading in the Treatment of Food Refusal for Children Diagnosed With Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Area: AUT; Domain: Basic Research
LLOYD BOUDLOCHE (Behavioral Developmental Services, LLC)
Abstract: One of the main purposes of this treatment was to determine the integrity of the high-probability instructional sequence combined with low-probability demand fading treatment in the area of food refusal for children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Due to the lack of research and inconclusive data collected, further research in this area is warranted. In this study, Functional Analysis (FAs) were conducted for each child prior to baseline and treatment procedures to determine the function of the food refusal behavior. The present study extended previous research on the high-probability instructional sequence by combining this procedure with low-probability demand fading with five children diagnosed with ASD (4 boys and 1 girl). The participants all had a history of food selectivity and engaged in active food refusal behaviors when presented with non-preferred or novel foods. Response requirements were faded gradually from responses the child would tolerate (i.e. touching the food) to the final requirement of chewing and swallowing the food. A reversal design (ABAB) design was used to examine the effects of the treatment to reduce the food refusal and increase the number of bites swallowed. Baseline data was taken for two weeks prior to beginning the treatment and deprivation was used to increase the motivating operation for hunger. The intervention was presented after the first two weeks of baseline, and four sessions of data were collected. Baseline and intervention were then alternated to determine the fidelity of the treatment. Data is currently being collected and results are still being evaluated
 
77. Applied Behavior Analysis CPT Codes
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
TRAVIS THOMPSON (University of Minnesota)
Abstract: The AMA has adopted Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) Category III codes in recognition that applied behavior analysis (ABA) is an empirically supported and medically necessary intervention. The new codes define procedures and services performed by behavior analysts and will improve access to ABA services for families of children with autism and severe behavior disorders.
 
78. Extending Feeding Intervention Beyond the Clinic: Training Parents to Implement Intervention Protocols
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
HALLIE SMITH (Mississippi State University), Hailey Ripple (Mississippi State University), Daniel L. Gadke (Mississippi State University)
Abstract:

Feeding problems are particularly prevalent among children with autism spectrum disorder (Kozlowski, Matson, Belva, & Rieske, 2012). Comprehensive literature reviews by Kerwin (1999) and Volkert & Piazza (2012) indicate interventions with empirical support for feeding disorders include those based on principles of operant conditioning: escape extinction (EE), positive reinforcement, and ignoring inappropriate behaviors. Training caregivers to successfully implement treatment is a critical phase of treatment and long-term intervention success; however, minimal research is dedicated to this aspect of intervention (Pangborn, Borrero, & Borrero, 2013). Utilizing a changing criterion design, the current study explores the effectiveness of parent training on parent-implemented EE procedures while simultaneously fading reinforcement (e.g., break time, access to tangibles, social attention) for drink acceptance. The participant was a 5 year old diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, who was referred for concerns with food refusal and failure to thrive. Frequency of acceptance and inappropriate mealtime behavior were collected to measure treatment outcomes in both the clinic and home setting. Data collection is still underway, however, preliminary results indicate that parent-implemented intervention continues to produce consistent increases in acceptance across sessions both at home and in the clinic.

 
 

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