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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36th Annual Convention; San Antonio, TX; 2010

Program by Continuing Education Events: Sunday, May 30, 2010


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Panel #134
CE Offered: BACB
Ethical Challenges for Applied Behavior Analysis Professionals
Sunday, May 30, 2010
9:00 AM–9:50 AM
217D (CC)
Area: DDA/AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
CE Instructor: Stephanie Peterson, Ph.D.
Chair: James M. Johnston (Auburn University)
MARY JANE WEISS (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey)
SUZANNE LETSO (Connecticut Center for Child Development)
JOSE D. RIOS (BehaviorLogix, Inc.)
Abstract: Applied behavior analysts working in service delivery settings face a variety of ethical challenges, both obvious and subtle. Although some ethical problems can be easily addressed, most involve situations in which the professional's options are limited in some way. Some situations even require compromises or require a long-term effort to resolve. This panel discussion will consider real world scenarios involving a ethical challenges often faced by applied behavior analysts working in service delivery scenarios. Each panel member will begin by presenting an ethical problem they are familiar with and discussing ways of resolving the issue. The Behavior Analyst Certification Board's Guidelines for Responsible Conduct of Behavior Analysts will serve as the context for discussion and resolution of ethical problems. Audience members will be invited to present ethical challenges they face, and panel members will discuss possible resolutions. The audience will be invited to join the discussion and contribute their views.
 
 
Invited Tutorial #135
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
The Behavior Analyst and the Apple Crop: A Parable for Organizational Behavior Management
Sunday, May 30, 2010
9:00 AM–9:50 AM
Ballroom A (CC)
Area: OBM; Domain: Theory
PSY/BACB CE Offered. CE Instructor: Ann Filer, M.Ed.
Chair: Heather M. McGee (Western Michigan University)
Presenting Author: DWIGHT HARSHBARGER (Department of Community Medicine, West Virginia Un)
Abstract: In China “villages of dunces”—small towns full of mentally disabled people—give testimony to decades of environmental toxins; Szechwan province’s honey bees are extinct. In India, each day one person dies from the long-term effects of methyl isocyanate (MIC) released in the 1984 MIC Bhopal disaster that killed 20,000. In America, potential chemical disasters loom over communities; morning ozone reports are often as important as the weather itself. Worldwide, rising temperatures pose significant threats to ecosystems. For decades scientists have accepted fees to build product defenses for tobacco, toxic chemicals, including Bhopal-sized threats to communities, and the Big Kahuna: global warming. Today, public opinion polls reveal widespread doubt about the environmental impact of increasing levels of (you fill in the blank). And every day, 50 species become extinct. Will we be the first generation to become a modern Noah and save the last pairs of species threatened with extinction? The contingencies that surround the practice of OBM as “business as usual” are comfortable, and the financial rewards attractive. But time has grown short. I will discuss decisions by OBM’s applied behavior analysts to address and avoid important health, safety, and environment challenges, the ethics of those decisions, and suggest positive steps leading to a greener OBM. I will begin with the parable of the behavior analyst and the apple crop.
 
DWIGHT HARSHBARGER (Department of Community Medicine, West Virginia Un)
Dwight Harshbarger, Ph.D. is a Senior Fellow of the Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies and former Executive Director. The Center’s mission is to advance the scientific study of behavior and its humane applications. His personal interests are in strengthening quality and safety performance in organizations. Dwight has headed human resources in two corporations – as a corporate senior vice president for Reebok International, Ltd., and corporate vice president of Sealy, Inc. He served as a consultant in RHR International’s Chicago office and later as director of strategic consulting and vice president at Aubrey Daniels International. He heads The Browns Group, Inc., and has successfully implemented behavior-based performance improvement programs in the United States and Asia. Prior to entering corporate work, he completed post-graduate study at Harvard and then joined the faculty of West Virginia University where he became a tenured professor of psychology. He later served as CEO of a community mental health center in the southern West Virginia coal fields. He has edited and authored books and articles on organizational performance. His work in behavioral sciences has earned him the respect and acknowledgement of his peers he is an elected Fellow of the American Psychological Association and American Psychological Society. In 2006 he received the Outstanding Alumni Award from the Psychology Department at the University of North Dakota. Following his retirement from the Cambridge Center in 2008, Dwight returned to Morgantown, West Virginia, to focus on his fiction writing and to teach. He serves as Adjunct Professor of Community Medicine in the WVU Health Sciences Center. In 2009, he published a historical fiction novel focused on the Hawks Nest industrial disaster, titled Witness at Hawks Nest (Publisher’s Place; Huntington, WV).
 
 
Symposium #137
CE Offered: BACB
Efficacy of TeachTown: Basics in Classrooms
Sunday, May 30, 2010
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
202AB (CC)
Area: AUT/EDC; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Shannon Cernich (Jigsaw Learning)
Discussant: Christina Whalen (TeachTown)
CE Instructor: Mark Harvey, Ph.D.
Abstract: TeachTown: Basics, a computer-assisted ABA intervention has been shown to be an effective method for ABA delivery in several research studies. In a recent study, 47 children participated in one of the only ABA clinical trials implemented in the classroom environment. Results demonstrated that the use of TeachTown: Basics improved language, social skills, auditory processing, and other skills better than regular classroom programs for both the treatment group and for the control group, who received the intervention after a control phase for the first 1/2 of the school year. These results will be discussed and a brief demonstration of the new version of TeachTown:Basics will be shared.
 
The TeachTown: Basics ABA Intervention
SHANNON CERNICH (TeachTown), Christina Whalen (TeachTown)
Abstract: TeachTown: Basics utilizes the science of ABA to teach language, academics, life, and social skills to children with autism and related disorders. It is now being used with thousands of students in classrooms and homes across the US and research studies support the efficacy of the program. The program includes computer lessons with highly motivating rewards, off-computer "Connection" activities, comprehensive and automatic reporting, and a communication system for the whole team. The program has had a complete make-over to further enhance motivation for students using animated characters and music. The new version of TeachTown: Basics will be shown, along with a discussion of how we can further improve student motivation, skill acquisition, and generalization using animated characters, music, and the science of ABA. The Connection activities have also been updated and expanded and will be shared in this presentation, along with a video sample of an activity being done in the classroom.
 
Efficacy of TeachTown: Basics With 47 Students With Autism Spectrum Disorders
DEBBIE MOSS (Los Angeles Unified School District), Christina Whalen (TeachTown)
Abstract: Several studies have been conducted using TeachTown: Basics and results have been promising to date. In a recent study, 47 children with Autism Spectrum Disorders participated in a clinical trial in the Los Angeles Unified School District. In the first phase of the study, ½ of the classrooms were assigned to a control group and ½ of the classrooms were assigned to the TeachTown: Basics intervention group. Students in the intervention used the computer program for approximately 20 minutes per day and engaged in an off-computer Connection activity for about 20 minutes per day over a 3-month time period. The 40 minutes was not additional, rather, replaced some of the child’s regular classroom activities like 1:1 structured teaching. The students in the TeachTown: Basics demonstrated mastery of skills in language, academics, life, and social skills and these skills generalized to the Brigance assessment. Due to the positive results for the TeachTown: Basics students, these students continued to use the program for the remainder of the school year and the control group students also began using it. Results were very positive for both groups. Data from these studies, along with video samples of students will be shown.
 
Collateral Effects of TeachTown: Basics on Language, Social Skills, and Motivation
MANYA C. R. VAUPEL (Jigsaw Learning), Christina Whalen (TeachTown)
Abstract: Due to the promising results from the TeachTown: Basics classroom clinical trial, further analysis was conducted to look at collateral effects of the intervention. Videos of the students using the computer and engaging in off-computer “Connection” activities were compared to baseline videos of typical teaching sessions. Results showed that Connection activities resulted in increased attention to task, increased prompted language, and more positive teacher-student interactions. Computer lessons resulted in increased positive affect, joint attention, and spontaneous language. Behavior problems were reduced in both the computer and off-computer TeachTown: Basics activities compared to regular 1:1 teaching sessions. These effects were observed with the Treatment group in the 1st half of the school year and replicated with the 2nd half of the school year, and replicated with Control group students. These results indicate that having pre-planned lessons for the classroom and computer-assisted instruction may result in better behavioral outcomes, as well as assessment outcomes.
 
 
Symposium #138
CE Offered: BACB
Applied Behavior Analysis and Children With Autism from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Backgrounds
Sunday, May 30, 2010
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
207AB (CC)
Area: AUT/DDA; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Mark F. O'Reilly (University of Texas at Austin)
Discussant: Jennifer J. McComas (University of Minnesota)
CE Instructor: Sara Bicard, Ph.D.
Abstract: Applied behavior analysis is an internationally accepted intervention strategy used to teach and support children with autism and their families. This technology and its theoretical background emanates predominately from and Anglo/American culture. Little research has been conducted with regard to the translation, acceptability,utiility with cultures that may differ from Anglo/American. In this symposium we will present three papers that examine cultural influences with regard to applied behavior analysis. In the first paper Elin Jones will examine the application of ABA technology with Welsh families and schools. In the second paper Yaniz Padilla will examine the efficacy of functional communication training when implemented in Spanish versus English for children from Spanish speaking homes. Finally, Andrew Gardner will examine the efficacy of stimulus equivalence training in Spanish versus English with children from diverse cultural backgrounds. This collection of papers will attempt to highlight the generalizability of ABA technology but also the need to adapt such technology when working with individuals from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.
 
Evaluating Child Behavior When Type of Language Is Manipulated During Functional Communication Training
YANIZ C. PADILLA DALMAU (University of Iowa), David P. Wacker (University of Iowa), Jay W. Harding (University of Iowa), Wendy K. Berg (University of Iowa), Kelly M. Schieltz (University of Iowa), John F. Lee (University of Iowa)
Abstract: We evaluated destructive behavior, manding, and task completion for participants exposed to Spanish and English in the home environment during functional communication training (FCT). Participants were 2 young children with developmental disabilities who displayed destructive behavior maintained by social contingencies and whose families spoke Spanish and English in the home setting. All procedures were conducted in the participants’ homes by their mothers with coaching from the first author. Baseline and FCT conditions were conducted in Spanish and English within a combination reversal and multielement (language) design. During FCT, a concurrent-operants arrangement was used to evaluate participant preference for the type of language parents used during the reinforcement period. Participants were able to mand for reinforcement in Spanish or English by using microswitch output devices. Interrater agreement was assessed during 30% of sessions and averaged over 90%. Results suggested that FCT was effective in reducing destructive behavior, increasing manding, and increasing task completion for these 2 participants across Spanish and English treatment conditions. Preference for a type of language did not emerge for either participant during FCT. Results will be discussed in terms of the merits of systematically evaluating language variables when working with culturally and linguistically diverse families and children.
 
Teaching Spanish and English Equivalence Relations to Children With Diverse Language Repertoires
Andrew Gardner (Northern Arizona University), JESSICA EMILY SCHWARTZ (Northern Arizona University), Elizabeth Ashley Popescue (Northern Arizona University), Caitlan Allen (Northern Arizona University), Azuncena Bravo (Northern Arizona University)
Abstract: Stimulus equivalence procedures often utilize a match-to-sample (MTS) procedure to train relations between a sample stimulus and two or more alternative comparison stimuli. Children are often required to learn a second language in school which can be difficult, depending on their previous language repertoire. Joyce et al. (1993) taught English and Spanish words to two children with traumatic brain injuries using pictures, bilingual verbal cues, and bilingual written words. However, very few other studies have attempted to teach stimulus classes in a second language within a stimulus equivalence framework. The present study used MTS to teach relations between English and Spanish language stimuli to 2 typically developing children and one child diagnosed with Asperger’s disorder. Each child had a diverse language background (i.e. monolingual English, monolingual Spanish, bilingual Spanish/English). Care providers reported difficulties at school due to a monolingual (Spanish or English) home and attending a bilingual school setting. Procedures across stimulus classes were conducted by therapists in the school setting for two children. The third child learned stimulus classes across care providers (mother and teacher) and across settings (home and school). Baseline emergent relations were initially probed. MTS training for reflexive and symmetrical relations between Spanish written words and pictures, as well as between pictures and English written words, was then conducted. Tests for emergent relations (transitivity) were then probed post MTS training. The results of this initial study demonstrated that these children could successfully identify (transitivity) written words across languages, settings and care providers. Results are discussed in terms of second language learning using stimulus equivalence methodology, accounting for previous language history.
 
Delivering an ABA Curriculum Within Mainstream and Special Schools in a Welsh Context
ELIN WALKER JONES (University of Wales), Maggie Hoerger (University of Wales), Yvonne Moseley (University of Wales)
Abstract: We will discuss the implications of delivering an ABA curriculum within a Welsh context. In North Wales, many of our children are from Welsh-speaking families, and so, ABA needs to be delivered through the medium of Welsh. Discussion points addressed include ABA interventions through the medium of a language other than English and within a cultural context that is not Anglo-American. There are issues raised by the mechanics of translation and interpretation, how ABA fits conceptually in a different language, how Skinner’s original ideas about developing a scientific terminology to describe behaviour can be applied to a different cultural and linguistic tradition, and cultural variation in reinforcement practices. We will present outcome data for Welsh-speaking children from both mainstream and special schools, demonstrating the validity of ABA as an effective intervention across a diverse range of cultures and languages. We look forward to contributing to an international forum discussing how behaviour analysts are resolving diversity issues internationally.
 
 
Symposium #139
CE Offered: BACB
Evaluating Data Collection Methodologies and Systems
Sunday, May 30, 2010
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
206AB (CC)
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Erin B. Richard (Alpine Learning Group)
CE Instructor: Melissa Nosik, M.S.
Abstract: Data-based behavior analytic techniques have a demonstrated history of teaching a range of skills to people with developmental disabilities. Questions remain, however, as to how the data collection methodologies used by practitioners impact the quality of intervention. In addition, other important considerations include parents’ and staff members’ skill acquisition in using data collection systems that utilize technological innovations, as well the potential time saving impact these systems offer agencies. In the first study, discontinuous and continuous data collection procedures were compared to determine their impact on session duration. The second study compared the effects of levels of detail in data collection on the effectiveness of intervention. The third study evaluated the efficacy of a video recording system to capture episodes of problem behavior in the home setting. The final study compared traditional paper and pencil data collection and graphing with a hand held data collection and web-based graphing program.
 
An Examination of the Effectiveness and Efficiency of Data Collection and Graphing Procedures in Early Intervention
JASON C. VLADESCU (Central Michigan University), Tiffany Kodak (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Wayne Fisher (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Andrea Clements (Munroe-Meyer Institute), Rebecca Arvans-Feeney (Developmental Behavioral Health, Inc.), Kelly J. Bouxsein (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center)
Abstract: Previous research has examined the use of discontinuous (i.e., first trial only) and continuous (i.e., all trials) data collection procedures (Cummings & Carr, 2008; Nadjowski et al., in press) in Early Intervention. Although the previous studies reported different findings, both studies described that discontinuous data collection may take less time. However, neither study included session time as a dependent variable. Thus, it remains unclear whether certain data collection procedures are associated with time savings. Furthermore, other therapist responsibilities may be substantially more time consuming then data collection. For example, therapists graph data on each child’s academic programs daily. Each client may have up to 15 programs that require data entry and adjustments to the program’s graph. In the present evaluation, we replicated and extended previous studies by examining discontinuous and continuous data collection while recording session time for each type of data collection. We also extended previous research by examining discontinuous (i.e., twice a week) and continuous (i.e., daily) graphing to determine if the frequency of graphing influenced data-based decisions. Results indicated that the efficacy of each data collection procedure varied across participants. We did not find differences in session duration across data collection procedures. The graphing procedures resulted in substantial differences in identifying mastery of targets, and more sessions were required to reach the mastery criterion based on discontinuous graphing. Although discontinuous graphing showed some time savings, the increase in sessions to mastery as a result of discontinuous graphing outweighed any benefit in time savings.
 
A Comparison of Different Methods for Collecting Data on Students’ Performance During Discrete Trial Teaching
LAURA HARPER-DITTLINGER (Texana Behavior Treatment & Training Center), Dorothea C. Lerman (University of Houston-Clear Lake), Taira Lanagan (Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc.), Susie Balasanyan (Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc.), Lynn Williams (Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc.)
Abstract: Data collection and progress monitoring are an integral part of effective teaching. Educators use many different forms of data collection. Methods that provide greater precision (e.g., recording the prompt level needed on each instructional trial) are less practical than methods with less precision (e.g., recording the presence or absence of a correct response on the first trial only). However, few studies have examined which method will best suit client needs. In this study, precise data collected by therapists while working on skills with nine children were re-analyzed several different ways to determine if less labor intensive methods would be adequate to make programmatic decisions. Results suggested that, for most of the children and targeted skills, less precise methods of collecting data would have led to similar conclusions about the effectiveness of the intervention.
 
Validation of Parent Collected Observational Data in the Natural Environment
DANA M. SWARTZWELDER (Marcus Autism Center), Nathan A. Call (Marcus Autism Center), Rosa Arriaga (Georgia Institute of Technology), Addie Jane Findley (Marcus Autism Center), Nazneen Anwer (Georgia Institute of Technology)
Abstract: Data collection in the natural environment for the purpose of assessment and treatment of problem behavior can be problematic for a variety of reasons. The use of video recording has been attempted as a solution to these problems. However, continuous video recording can produce copious amounts of footage that must be scored. Alternatively, video recording may begin at the onset of problem behavior, but this method may fail to capture antecedent events. Innovations in video data collection methods have parents remotely signal an automated video recording system when problem behavior occurs. Because the device maintains a video buffer it is able to store footage of all of the relevant information, including antecedent. The current study evaluated the utility of this technology by recording parent signals but also scoring problem behavior from the corresponding 24 hours of continuously collected video. Specifically at issue was whether the 12 parents who participated would accurately signal the device to record the occurrence of problem behavior. Results suggested that, without parent training that includes corrective feedback, a high number of false positive and false negative parent signals may compromise the effectiveness of this potential solution to capturing video data in the natural environment.
 
A Comparison of Two Data Collection and Graphing Systems: Paper and Pencil and TeachMe
ERIN B. RICHARD (Alpine Learning Group), Bridget A. Taylor (Alpine Learning Group), Jaime A. DeQuinzio (Alpine Learning Group), Barry Katz (Operant Systems, Inc.)
Abstract: Data collection and graphing are an essential, yet time consuming, component of programs using Applied Behavior Analysis. It would be beneficial to investigate options to decrease time spent completing paperwork in order to increase time available to staff for other tasks such as training and problem solving. This study used an alternating treatment design to compare the duration of time spent graphing data, analyzing those data, and planning for the next teaching session using traditional paper and pencil methods and the TeachMe. The TeachMe uses handheld devices, such as cellular phones or personal digital assistants, to collect data, which are then uploaded directly into a web-based graphing program. In addition, a multiple baseline design was used to assess the training procedures outlined by TeachMe. Finally, social validity measures were taken to compare staff members’ satisfaction with each method. Results indicated that staff members spend substantially less time graphing data with TeachMe and found it easy to use.
 
 
Symposium #140
CE Offered: BACB
Assessing the Picture Exchange Communication System Across the Lifespan: An Evaluation of PECS Generalization and Concomitant Increases in Vocalizations
Sunday, May 30, 2010
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
205 (CC)
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Marjorie H. Charlop-Christy (Claremont McKenna College)
Discussant: Andrew S. Bondy (Pyramid Educational Consultants)
CE Instructor: Travis Thompson, Ph.D.He's Travis Thompson
Abstract: Interest in the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) has been rapidly increasing since its introduction to the field in the early 90s. PECS is currently one of the most widely used interventions for nonverbal persons with autism. In addition to its widespread use in clinical settings, PECS has also been the focus of a growing number of research studies. While these studies make significant contributions to the field, little is known about PECS generalization and the relationship between PECS training and vocalizations in children with no prior speech. The first presentation explores PECS generalization from a treatment center to the children’s homes and a community setting. The second presentation investigates the relationship between PECS acquisition and vocalizations in children with little or no speech prior to intervention. Finally, the third presentation discusses PECS training with a 38-year old male with severe autism, including generalization measures and feedback from his parents and staff concerning the effectiveness of PECS. Together, these studies add promising support for the use of PECS as a functional means of communication for both children and adults with autism.
 
Evaluating Generalization of the Picture Exchange Communication System in Children With Autism
ALISSA GREENBERG (Claremont Graduate University), Melaura Andree Erickson (Claremont Graduate University), Marjorie H. Charlop-Christy (Claremont McKenna College)
Abstract: The Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) was intended to provide nonverbal persons with a functional means of communication. Although the PECS training manual (Frost & Bondy, 2002) specifies that PECS training should occur throughout the day in a variety of settings, the majority of research studies have limited PECS training to specific times and settings. Furthermore, only a handful of these studies have included generalization measures. Therefore, the research does not demonstrate that when taught in one setting, PECS will generalize to all other settings. In the present study, four children with autism were taught PECS in a workroom at their behavioral treatment center. In addition to acquiring PECS in the training setting, the children also used PECS in four generalization probes: in the playroom with a therapist, at home with a therapist, at home with a parent, and in the community with a stranger. Generalization of PECS use also maintained to 1-month and 1-year follow-up sessions. These findings make important contributions to the PECS literature as they provide preliminary evidence that PECS may indeed provide nonverbal personal with a functional means of communication.
 
An Analysis of the Effects of PECS Training on Vocalizations in Children With Limited Speech
MELAURA ANDREE ERICKSON (Claremont Graduate University), Alissa Greenberg (Claremont Graduate University), Marjorie H. Charlop-Christy (Claremont McKenna College)
Abstract: Research demonstrates that some children with autism show increases in speech once they have been trained to use PECS to communicate. However, the literature remains mixed and several studies show that increases in speech only occur in children who had some language prior to PECS training. The relationship between PECS training and speech remains unclear for children with limited or no vocalizations. The present study assessed the relationship between PECS use and vocalizations in four children with autism. Two children did not make any vocalizations before and throughout PECS training. Prior to intervention, the other two children made sounds when presented with desired items (e.g., “buh” when shown a toy car). Throughout PECS training, these children began requesting items with PECS instead of vocalizations. In the next phase of the study, the children who were able to verbally imitate at least five sounds were taught to pair PECS exchanges with spontaneous vocalizations. Results indicate that this is a promising method to increase both spontaneous PECS use and spontaneous vocalizations, demonstrating the utility of PECS as a pathway to increasing vocalizations in children with limited speech.
 
Teaching PECS to an Adult With Autism: An Analysis of PECS Acquisition, Generalization, and Stakeholders’ Perspectives
MARJORIE H. CHARLOP-CHRISTY (Claremont McKenna College), Alissa Greenberg (Claremont Graduate University), Melaura Andree Erickson (Claremont Graduate University)
Abstract: Although several studies have demonstrated that adults with developmental disabilities can learn to use PECS, little is known about PECS use in adults with autism. The present study taught PECS to a 38-year old male with severe autism, Noah. Prior to beginning intervention, Noah’s communicative behaviors were limited to grunting, grabbing, and gestures. He had been taking sign language classes for the past 7-years, but did not spontaneously use signs to request any items or activities, besides bathroom. Despite this long history of limited communicative skills, Noah successfully learned to use PECS in the training setting as his school. Noah also generalized PECS use to his home with staff and family members. These stakeholders also completed questionnaires regarding Noah’s communicative behaviors prior to and post PECS training. Data on PECS acquisition and generalization, as well as responses from the questionnaires, lend support to the use of PECS as a means of functional communication for adults with autism.
 
 
Symposium #141
CE Offered: BACB
Capitalizing on Stimulus Equivalence in Teaching Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders: From Research to Practice
Sunday, May 30, 2010
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
203AB (CC)
Area: AUT/EDC; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Rosemary A. Condillac (Brock University)
Discussant: W. Larry Williams (University of Nevada, Reno)
CE Instructor: John Molteni, Ph.D.
Abstract: Stimulus equivalence, as described by Sidman (1994) has the potential to enhance learning rates and the efficiency of teaching methodologies, though it is infrequently reported to be used in clinical practice (Condillac, Giewercer & Small, 2008). This symposium will include three papers that demonstrate the use of teaching strategies designed to facilitate the emergence of equivalence relations when teaching children with autism, and the effectiveness of those strategies. The first paper is an applied research study designed to teach the cardinal value of money to 3 school-aged children with autism in an AB within participant design. The second paper is a field effectiveness study designed to teach 5 children with autism reading skills using a within-participant multiple-probe across word sets design with teaching implemented by the child’s usual IBI therapists in a school setting. The third paper is a clinical case description of the systematic expansion of a picture exchange communication repertoire. The three papers demonstrate the effective enhancement of teaching strategies using method designed to capitalize on the emergence of equivalence relations thereby increasing the efficiency of teaching. The importance of the scientist-practitioner model and the application of research findings into everyday clinical practice will be emphasized.
 
Using Stimulus Equivalence to Teach Monetary Skills to School-Age Children with Autism
DANIELLE SAVONA SOLTI SAVSOL (Brock University), Tricia Corinne Vause (Brock University)
Abstract: The present study evaluated the use of teaching procedures designed to achieve stimulus equivalence (SE) in teaching monetary skills to school-aged children with autism. An AB within-subject design with periodic probes was used. At pre-test, three participants demonstrated relation DA, an auditory-visual relation (matching dictated coin values to printed coin prices). Using a three-choice match-to-sample procedure, with a multi-component intervention package, these participants were taught two trained relations, BA (matching coins to printed prices) and CA (matching coin combinations to printed prices). Two participants achieved positive tests of equivalence, and the third participant demonstrated emergent performances with a symmetric and transitive relation. In addition, two participants were able to show generalization of learned skills with a parent, in a second naturalistic setting. The present research replicates and extends the results of previous studies by demonstrating that stimulus equivalence can be used effectively to teach an adaptive skill to children with autism.
 
Field effectiveness of stimulus equivalence for teaching reading skills to children with Autism
Lisa Danielle Giewercer (Brock University), ROSEMARY A. CONDILLAC (Brock University)
Abstract: Stimulus equivalence is a phenomenon that was first investigated by Sidman in 1971 (Sidman, 1994). Despite considerable research in the laboratory, stimulus equivalence applications in clinical settings have been limited (Vause, Martin, Marion and Sakko, 2005). We will present the results of a study investigating the emergence of stimulus equivalence when teaching reading skills to young children with Autism. Participants are 5 children with Autism, and their IBI treatment staff using a within-participant multiple-baseline across stimuli procedure. Prior to training, participants were able to match picture to dictated name and could name the pictures when asked. They were taught to matching printed names to dictated names using standard matching to sample procedures for the first word set. Baseline assessments were then repeated in order to determine whether the participants were subsequently able to name the written words, match the picture to the words, and match the words to the pictures without further training. This procedure continued across two more sets of words. Equivalence was achieved by 3 participants without further teaching, while two participants showed less favourable results. Results and implications for practice will be discussed.
 
Clinical applications of stimulus equivalence-based teaching strategies: An illustrative clinical case example
PAUL SZIKSZAI (Surrey Place Centre), Heather J. Cushing-Gordon (Aisling Discoveries Child and Family Centre)
Abstract: Stimulus equivalence (SE) research has provided potential methods to increase rates of learning via emergent relations. This in turn can result in efficient and economic teaching strategies (Stromer, Mackay, Stoddard, 1992). One intended goal of intensive behavioural intervention (IBI) for children with autism is to increase the learning trajectory of students (Lovaas, 1987), however, the use of stimulus equivalence teaching strategies within IBI settings have been reported infrequently (Condillac, Geiwercer, & Small, 2008). Although the experimental rigor typical within SE research is difficult to obtain in clinical settings, it may still be possible to use strategies from research when designing curriculum for individual students. We will present a case example where text to picture matching programs for one learner was expanded to include identification of textual verbs. Textual representations of verbs were then incorporated into the learner's augmentative communication system to create verb+ noun requests (I want- verb-noun). Although one verb was introduced and targeted at a time, generalization of creating verb-noun requests was observed resulting in the learner using appropriate verb-noun combinations with verbs that remained in baseline.
 
 
Symposium #142
CE Offered: BACB
Evaluation of commonly used Nonbehavioral Interventions for Individuals With Autism
Sunday, May 30, 2010
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
204AB (CC)
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Kimberly Sloman (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey)
CE Instructor: Jonathan Tarbox, Ph.D.
Abstract: Individuals with autism are often exposed to a large number of interventions to decrease inappropriate behavior and increase social and communicative behavior in both the home and classroom environments. However, empirical support for some widely used interventions is lacking. This symposium will include three data-based presentations and a review paper on commonly used non-behavioral interventions. The first presentation, presented by Amy Hansford, will include a literature review of autism intervention articles published in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. The second presentation, by Amanda Bosch, will include an evaluation of the effects of weighted vests on stereotypic behavior. The third presentation, by Kimberly Sloman, will include an assessment of the efficacy of social stories on increasing appropriate social behavior, in comparison to video modeling and direct instruction. Finally, the fourth presentation, by Alexandra Vlahogiannis, will include an evaluation of the impact of different environmental contexts (i.e., quiet rooms vs. noisy classrooms) on task completion and skill acquisition.
 
Review of Autism Intervention Articles Published in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders From 1971 to 2009
AMY HANSFORD (Rutgers University), Yair Kramer (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey), Robert LaRue (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey), Kimberly Sloman (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey), David A. Celiberti (Association for Science in Autism Treatment), Tristram Smith (University of Rochester Medical Center)
Abstract: The present study is a literature review investigating the prevalence and efficacy of interventions for autism published in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. Articles that were prior reviews, descriptive (i.e., did not include a treatment), or were not specific to autism were excluded, resulting in a total of 148 articles. Based on treatment methodologies employed, the articles were divided into behavioral (n = 64.2%), non-behavioral/medical (n = 31.8%,) and non-behavioral (non-medical) (n = 7.4%). Studies classified as behavioral included Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), and Pivotal Response Training (PRT) among others. Non-behavioral (medical) included treatments with a biological basis, such as psychotropic medication or specialized diets. Non-behavioral/non-medical treatments were comprised of techniques not behaviorally- or biologically-based, such as horse therapy and facilitated communication. The analysis indicated that behavioral treatments tended to have the greatest efficacy, relative to non-behavioral/medical and non-behavioral/non-medical treatments. In addition, the data indicate that behavioral treatments were the only treatment type to successfully address the core symptoms of autism. Non-behavioral/medical treatments were primarily effective for associated features (e.g., problem behavior). Non-medical/non-behavioral treatments appear to be only effective for associated features, with less evidence overall.
 
An Evaluation of a Common Autism Treatment: The Weighted Vest
AMANDA BOSCH (University of Florida), Cara L. Phillips (University of Florida), Timothy R. Vollmer (University of Florida), Alison Nyman (University of Florida), Andrea Zawoyski (University of Florida), Danielle Broome (University of Florida)
Abstract: Some occupational therapists propose using weighted vests with students with an autism spectrum disorder as a technique to increase attention and sensory processing and to decrease stereotypic and disruptive behavior. However, very little empirical evidence exists to support the use of this technique. Despite the lack of empirical support, weighted vests are widely used in schools with individuals with autism and developmental disabilities. The present study evaluated the effectiveness of a weighted vest in decreasing stereotypic behavior maintained by automatic reinforcement. For two adolescent participants, results showed that weighted vests were ineffective at decreasing stereotypic and disruptive behavior; there was no difference between a baseline and a weighted vest condition. However, behavioral treatments were effective at decreasing stereotypic and disruptive behavior in comparison to baseline. Implications for reform in choosing treatments for autism are discussed.
 
Assessment of the Efficacy of Social Stories for Individuals With Autism
KIMBERLY SLOMAN (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey), Mary Jane Weiss (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey), Robert LaRue (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey), Tina Rivera (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey), Meredith Bamond (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey), Suzannah J. Ferraioli (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey)
Abstract: Social stories are a very commonly used procedure for learners on the autism spectrum, and are often applied to teach a wide variety of complex social behaviors and to reduce challenging behaviors. The data on the effectiveness of social stories are not robust, and do not currently support the extent of their clinical use. The purpose of the current study is to evaluate the effectiveness of social stories in learners with autism, to identify whether social stories make a unique contribution in the instruction of social skills in comparison to two other documented effective procedures: video modeling and direct instruction (using rule cards, prompting and reinforcement). First, baseline sessions were conducted to evaluate pretreatment levels of social skills. All participants were first exposed to social stories to teach the targeted skills. The implementation of social stories was staggered across skills to demonstrate experimental control. If social stories were not clinically effective, the participants were then either (in a counter-balanced fashion) taught with video modeling or with direct instruction. The results of the study indicated that social stories alone may not be effective at increasing social skills.
 
Distractibility and Children With Autism: Do Ambient Noise and Visual Distractors Reduce Performance?
ALEXANDRA MARIA VLAHOGIANNIS (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey), Mary Jane Weiss (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey), Kimberly Sloman (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey), Robert LaRue (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey), Jill A. Szalony (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Centers, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey)
Abstract: It is a common assumption that environmental ambient noise and distractibility impacts attention, engagement, and academic performance, especiallly for learners on the autism spectrum. It is commonly recommended that students be taught in environments with reduced ambient noise and with few visual distractions. Parents of children with autism often report that they can engage in tasks at home that are not demonstrated in the school environment. This is often attributed to the distractions present in the school setting. This paper is an attempt to examine the question of whether environmental variables differentially impact performance, and is a study in progress. Maintenance tasks will be practiced in 5 minute sessions, either in a quiet setting or in the classroom setting. Data will be presented on accuracy, number of trials completed, latency to respond, and levels of engagement and attention.
 
 
Symposium #143
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Advances in the Operant and Pharmacological Treatment of Drug Abuse
Sunday, May 30, 2010
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
Travis C/D (Grand Hyatt)
Area: BPH/CBM; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Anthony DeFulio (Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine)
CE Instructor: Kathleen McCabe-Odri, Ed.D.
Abstract: Operant approaches to the treatment of drug abuse have been studied for over thirty years. Within the substance abuse treatment community these interventions are known as “contingency management.” Decades of randomized controlled trials have demonstrated the success of contingency management interventions in treating a wide variety of drug dependence disorders across a variety of patient populations. The success of these trials has produced a situation in which the effectiveness of contingency management is so well established that the approach is now being adopted and recommended by health organizations on a global scale. The presentations offered in this symposium describe advances in the operant approach to the treatment of drug abuse. Specifically, these presentations will describe novel ways of tailoring interventions to individuals to facilitate the initiation of abstinence, and ways in which operant procedures can enhance the effectiveness of new pharmacotherapies for drug abuse. A variety of drug abuse problems will be discussed, including cigarette smoking, snorting and injecting heroin, and recreational use of pain pills such as oxycodone.
 
Using Shaping to Improve Contingency Management in Hard-to-Treat Smokers
R.J. LAMB (University of Texas HSC-H)
Abstract: Contingency management (CM) can promote smoking cessation. However, CM is frequently unsuccessful. Most often, CM is unsuccessful for those not swiftly stop their smoking and coming into contact with the programmed abstinence incentives. That those who do not contact the programmed incentive fail to stop their smoking is not surprising. Not only is this definitionally true, but because reinforcement of abstinence is the presumed active ingredient of CM, this is theoretically predictable. Percentile schedules can be used to provide incentives for behavior nearest to the abstinence criterion and thus, theoretically percentile schedules could shape better outcomes in hard-to-treat smokers not readily initiating abstinence. These theoretical predictions appear to hold true. Smokers not readily initiating abstinence in CM do not do well, while those who readily initiate abstinence do well. When hard-to-treat smokers receive CM incorporating a percentile schedule, many of them show improved outcomes. Those readily initiating abstinence generally do well regardless of whether shaping is incorporated into CM. These results indicate that the experimental analysis of behavior provides a vantage point from which ways to improve treatments can be developed. These results also indicate other aspects to which this vantage point might be applied to further improve treatment.
 
Using Contingency Management to Enhance Success in Outpatient Detoxifications Among Prescription Opioid Abusers
KATHRYN A. SAULSGIVER (University of Vermont), Mollie Patrick (University of Vermont), Kelly Dunn (University of Vermont), Stacey C. Sigmon (University of Vermont), Sarah H. Heil (University of Vermont), Stephen T. Higgins (University of Vermont)
Abstract: Abuse of prescription opioids (POs) has become a significant public health problem in recent years. The annual number of new initiates increased >400% between 1990 and 2000 (SAMHSA, 2003) and PO abuse now represents the largest group of new drug initiates, even surpassing marijuana (NSDUH, 2006). In a previous clinical trial (study 1), we examined the efficacy of an intervention that included pharmacotherapy, individual behavioral therapy, and observed, on-site urine toxicology testing across three buprenorphine taper durations. This trial was moderately successful in tapering opioid-dependent individuals and transitioning them to naltrexone, an opioid-blocker (33% of all participants and 47% of participants exposed to the 4-week taper duration). In an attempt to enhance outcomes we will experimentally examine whether adding voucher-based CM may improve treatment success among PO abusers (Study 2). Individuals who failed to successfully taper and transition to >1 50 mg dose of naltrexone during Study 1 will serve as participants. The longest taper duration (4 weeks) will be used during Study 2 and all subjects will be randomized to Contingent and Noncontingent experimental groups. We will compare retention and percent opioid abstinence between Contingent and Noncontingent experimental groups.
 
Reinforcing Acceptance of Long-Acting Opiate Antagonist Medication With Access to Paid Job Training
ANTHONY DEFULIO (Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine), Jeffrey J. Everly (Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine), George Bigelow (Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine), Annie Umbricht (Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine), Michael Fingerhood (Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine), Kenneth Silverman (Johns Hopkins University)
Abstract: Naltrexone is an opiate antagonist that could be an effective treatment for opiate addiction, but its utility has been limited by poor patient acceptance. Recently developed extended-release depot formulations of naltrexone provide opiate antagonism for up to 4 weeks and should simplify naltrexone adherence. However, given the rejection of oral naltrexone by most patients, concurrent behavioral treatment will probably be needed to encourage patients to take the depot medication consistently. A randomized controlled trial was designed to determine if employment-based reinforcement could increase acceptance of depot naltrexone injections in unemployed opiate dependent adults. For participants assigned to the naltrexone contingency group, access to paid job training was contingent upon acceptance of depot naltrexone. For participants assigned to the naltrexone prescription group, depot naltrexone injections were available at no cost to the participants, but access to paid job training was independent of acceptance of the injections. Methods and results of two studies in which different formulations of depot naltrexone were used will be discussed. The data suggest that employment-based contingency management greatly improves adherence to depot naltrexone treatment.
 
Using Functional, Competitive Antagonists as Pharmacotherapies for Drug Abuse: Unmet Needs in Drug Discovery
JAMES H. WOODS (University of Michigan)
Abstract: Drug abuse is a major health problem in the United States, with over 22 million individuals classified with substance dependence or abuse according to recent government statistics (SAMHSA, 2008). Pharmacotherapy and behavioral approaches are among the most effective treatments for drug abuse. New competitive antagonist pharmacotherapies are on the horizon, but past experience indicates that behavioral complements will be required in order to produce the greatest impact for these medications. Three case histories dealing with drug abuse problems and how they have been approached will be discussed. These case histories describe the treatment of a variety of drug abuse problems, including the use of opiates, cocaine, and nicotine. After the three case histories have been described, current research in drug abuse treatment will be reviewed. The combined case histories and reviewed research have been selected specifically to bring the audience to expect real progress in the next decade for pharmacotherapies that can be meshed with behavioral complements for the effective treatment of drug abuse.
 
 
Symposium #144
CE Offered: BACB
Parent-Child Interaction Therapy in Outpatient Clinical Settings; Modifications and Extensions
Sunday, May 30, 2010
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
Texas Ballroom Salon C (Grand Hyatt)
Area: CBM/CSE; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Jennifer L. Crockett (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
CE Instructor: Caio Miguel, Ph.D.
Abstract: Parent-Child Interaction Therapy, or PCIT, is an empirically-supported parent training model for children with conduct and behavior problems. Training occurs across two phases, Child Directed Interaction (CDI) and Parent Directed Interaction (PDI). The goals of CDI are to increase positive parenting skills. The goals of PDI are to increase parental behavior management skills. The overall goals of PCIT are to increase child compliance and decrease problem behavior. Therapists use behavioral skills training techniques and live coaching throughout the course of the criterion-based intervention. This symposium will describe four separate extensions or modifications to the PCIT methodology. The first presentation will provide an overview of the PCIT model and discuss how PCIT is used in an inner-city outpatient clinical setting. The second presentation will describe the treatment progression across two very different parent child dyads, including one parent with a history of drug abuse and a child with autism. The next presentation will discuss modifications to PCIT for children with severe language delays. The final presentation will discuss the extension of PCIT for families in which both parent and child have a disability.
 
Implementation of Parent-Child Interaction Therapy in a Community Outpatient Clinic: Challenges and Rewards
SUSAN K. PERKINS-PARKS (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Andrew Scherbarth (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Abstract: Child noncompliance accounts for some 80-90% of the referrals to treatment clinics for children ages 4 to 7 (McMahon and Forehand, 2003). Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) has a strong evidence base for treatment of child disruptive behavior and noncompliance in this age group and draws upon operant theory in addition to child psychotherapy and early child development (Eyberg, 1988), yet poses implementation challenges in community mental health settings. This presentation will provide a brief introduction and overview of the PCIT treatment model and will discuss how PCIT may be used in an outpatient setting with primarily inner city families. The many strengths of the model including among others the developer’s commitment to dissemination and reliance upon behavioral skills training and skill mastery will be delineated as will the obstacles community practitioners may encounter during service delivery. The presentation will include case examples with sample data for parent and child participants (data to be collected) and will seek to raise awareness among child treatment providers regarding PCIT’s implementation problems and solutions and offer support for the efficacy of the approach in outpatient settings despite some of the barriers that may arise.
 
Comparison of Parent-Child Interaction Therapy Treatment Effects With Two Families, One With a History of Drug Abuse
EMILY D. SHUMATE (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Jennifer L. Crockett (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Abstract: This presentation will discuss the use of Parent Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) with two families. PCIT is an empirically-supported treatment based on the principles of applied behavior analysis used to decrease disruptive behaviors and increase compliance with children with conduct disorders. New areas of research include evaluating the use of PCIT with children with autism, intellectual disabilities, and other behavioral disorders. Little research has evaluated the use of PCIT with parents with a history of drug abuse, involvement with child protective services, history of domestic violence, or with suspected intellectual disabilities. A comparison between two families who completed the PCIT program will be discussed. One dyad includes a single mother with a history of drug abuse and involvement with child protective services with a 5-year-old son with autism. The other dyad includes a single mother working on a graduate degree and a 5-year-old son with a conduct disorder. Data show that both families were able to meet criterion on all parenting skills, but the time in treatment prior to meeting criteria and maintaining the skills varied. These two clinical cases will be discussed regarding considerations and modifications when using PCIT as a behavioral treatment for diverse populations.
 
Modifications of Parent-Child Interaction Therapy for Young Children With Severe Language Delays
NATALIE A. PARKS (Marcus Autism Center), M. Alice Shillingsburg (Marcus Autism Center), Nathan A. Call (Marcus Autism Center)
Abstract: Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) is an empirically-supported intervention that has been shown to be effective at decreasing problem behavior and producing qualitative changes in interactions between parents and their typically developing children (Edwards, et al., 2002; Eyberg & Ross, 1978). Recently researchers have begun to evaluate the effectiveness of PCIT with children with developmental disabilities (Brinkmeyer & Eyberg, 2003). Initial studies have discussed possible modifications to the PCIT procedures that are necessary adaptations for children with language delays (McDiarmid & Bagner, 2005) or autism spectrum disorders (Bagner & Eyberg, 2007; Solomon, Ono, Timmer, & Goodlin-Jones, 2008). However, to date this empirically-supported intervention has not been adapted for children with severe language delays. This talk will discuss a modification to the traditional PCIT model that incorporates parents teaching their children to request preferred items. Data indicate that children engage in higher rates of spontaneous utterances after parents are trained to teach their children to request.
 
Application of Parent-Child Interaction Therapy When Both the Parent and Child Have a Disability
KRISTEN M. KALYMON (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Emily D. Shumate (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Abstract: This study investigated the use of Parent-Child Interaction Therapy in reducing problem behavior in a child diagnosed with autism and a parent with a suspected intellectual disability. PCIT is an empirically-supported treatment for children with conduct-disorders that emphasizes improving the quality of parent-child relationships and changing interaction patterns. The current study used a single-case design to explore changes in the child’s disruptive behaviors as well as changes in parental skills. The participant, Kyle, was a 10-year-old boy who was diagnosed with autism and exhibited aggression, self-injurious behavior and disruptive behavior. The participant’s mother, Judy, was 46-years-old with suspected cognitive impairments. Weekly sessions were conducted in therapy rooms equipped with one-way mirrors and an adjoining observation room. Judy was taught to describe and praise Kyle’s behaviors and use only correct commands through direct coaching, modeling and role-playing. Current data include the first half of the treatment package (Child-Directed Interaction). Results, thus far, indicate decreases in Kyle’s self-injurious and aggressive behaviors, increases in total duration of in-seat behavior and toy engagement, along with increases in positive verbal behaviors and decreases in non-directive statements, by Judy, over the course of treatment. Additional data, including results from Parent-Directed Interaction phase, will be collected.
 
 
Symposium #147
CE Offered: BACB
Innovations in the Assessment and Treatment of Stereotypy
Sunday, May 30, 2010
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
217B (CC)
Area: DDA/AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Marc Lanovaz (Centre de Réadaptation de l'Ouest de Montréal)
CE Instructor: Trina Spencer, Ph.D.
Abstract: The symposium includes a series of presentations on the effects of various treatments on immediate and subsequent engagement in stereotypy. That is, each study used the three-component multiple-schedule combined with other single-case experimental designs in order to examine changes in stereotypy when the treatment was being implemented and when the treatment was withdrawn. First, Lanovaz and Sladeczek examined how manipulating the intensity (i.e., volume) of music altered immediate and subsequent engagement in vocal stereotypy. Second, Argumedes and Lanovaz compared the effects of differential reinforcement of other behavior and noncontingent matched stimulation on engagement in stereotypy. Third, Richling et al. evaluated how preference and structural similarity altered the effectiveness of various stimuli at decreasing stereotypy. Finally, Carroll et al. conducted two experiments to (a) identify whether noncontingent music functioned as an unconditioned abolishing operation or an unconditioned establishing operation for various forms of stereotypy, and (b) condition motivating operations by pairing a neutral stimulus with noncontingent music presentation. The results of each study will be discussed in terms of the utility of the procedures to assess and reduce both immediate and subsequent engagement in automatically reinforced behavior.
 
Effects of Manipulating the Intensity of Music on Vocal Stereotypy
MARC LANOVAZ (McGill University), Ingrid E. Sladeczek (McGill University)
Abstract: Some researchers have shown that music may decrease immediate engagement in vocal stereotypy (e.g., Lanovaz, Fletcher, & Rapp, in press; Rapp, 2007; Taylor, Hoch, & Weissman, 2005). However, how manipulating the different physical properties of music (e.g., timbre, intensity) alters its effectiveness at decreasing the immediate and subsequent duration of vocal stereotypy remains unknown. We used a three-component multiple-schedule combined with a reversal and a multi-element design to examine the effects of manipulating the intensity (i.e., volume) of music on the vocal stereotypy of three children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders. Although both low and high intensity music decreased immediate engagement in vocal stereotypy for each participant, preliminary results suggest that the high intensity music produced more reliable changes in the behavior than the low intensity music. Additional data are being collected to confirm this observation. The importance of examining the various properties of stimuli used to decrease automatically reinforced behavior are discussed.
 
Comparing the Effects of DRO and Matched Stimulation on Immediate and Subsequent Engagement in Stereotypy
MALENA ARGUMEDES (Université de Montréal), Marc Lanovaz (Centre de Réadaptation de l'Ouest de Montréal)
Abstract: Implementing treatment procedures with dense schedules of stimulus delivery (e.g., FT 10 s) to reduce stereotypy across extended periods of time may interfere with engagement in appropriate behavior (e.g., attending to instructions) and alter the value of the consequence. As such, it is often impractical and even unadvisable to apply dense schedules across entire days. However, if a treatment with a dense schedule reduces both immediate (i.e., when the treatment is being implemented) and subsequent (i.e., when the treatment is withdrawn) engagement in stereotypy, the procedure may be implemented for short periods of time prior to critical tasks. We used a three-component multiple-schedule combined with brief reversals to examine the effects of differential reinforcement of other behavior (DRO) and noncontingent matched stimulation (NMS) on immediate and subsequent engagement in stereotypy in two children with autism. Although DRO was effective for one participant, the results suggest that, under the same schedule, NMS produced higher immediate reductions in stereotypy than DRO for both participants. Noncontingent access to preferred stimuli also produced reductions in subsequent engagement in stereotypy, suggesting that functionally matched stimuli were identified. The implications of the results are discussed in terms of assessing the most effective procedures to decrease immediate and subsequent engagement in stereotypy.
 
Decreasing Immediate and Subsequent Engagement in Stereotypy: The Effects of Providing Competing Stimulation Based on Structure and Preference, Preference Only, or Arbitrary Selection
SARAH M. RICHLING (University of Nevada, Reno), John T. Rapp (St. Cloud State University), Regina A. Carroll (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Ethan S. Long (The Bay School), Gregory J. Swanson (The Bay School), Stephanie Sheridan (St. Cloud State University), Kimberly Enloe (St. Cloud State University), Diana Maltese (St. Cloud State University)
Abstract: The immediate and subsequent effects of providing stimuli to compete with stereotypy were evaluated with 15 participants using a three-component multiple schedule. For each participant, competing stimuli, which were provided continuously and noncontingently during only the second component of the multiple schedule, were selected based on (a) the individual’s preference for an item and the structurally similarity of the item to the product of the individual’s stereotypy, (b) the individual’s preference for an item only, or (c) arbitrary selection of one or more items (i.e., not based on the results of a preference assessment). Although analyses are ongoing, these results to date suggest that alternative stimuli typically decreased immediate and subsequent engagement in stereotypy when selection of the stimulus was based on the criteria of (1) a structural match and (2) the individual’s preference. By contrast, the same was not true for selections that were arbitrary or based only on individual’s preferences. These findings suggest the alternative stimulation that is both structurally matched to an individual’s automatically reinforced behavior and preferred by that individual is likely to be functionally matched to the product of automatically reinforced behavior.
 
Some Effects of Unconditioned and Conditioned Motivating Operations for Stereotypy
REGINA A. CARROLL (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), John T. Rapp (St. Cloud State University), Ethan S. Long (The Bay School), Sarah M. Richling (University of Nevada, Reno), Gregory J. Swanson (The Bay School), Stephanie Sheridan (St. Cloud State University), Kimberly Enloe (St. Cloud State University), Lauren Shrader (St. Cloud State University)
Abstract: The effects of unconditioned and conditioned motivating operations (CMOs) on multiple forms of stereotypy displayed by 6 participants were evaluated in two experiments using a three-component multiple-schedule combined with a reversal design. The results of Experiment 1 showed that noncontingent access to music in the second component functioned as either an unconditioned establishing operation or an unconditioned abolishing operation for one or more forms of stereotypy for each participant. The results of Experiment 2 showed that after the repeated pairing of a neutral stimulus with noncontingent access to music, the presentation of the previously neutral stimulus during the second component altered the value of one or more forms of stereotypy for 4 of 6 participants. These results suggest that the neutral stimulus acquired properties of a CMO. The results of both experiments are discussed in terms of the use of CMOs in the assessment and treatment of automatically reinforced behavior.
 
 
Symposium #148
CE Offered: BACB
Translational Research on Reinforcement Effects
Sunday, May 30, 2010
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
217A (CC)
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Brian A. Iwata (University of Florida)
CE Instructor: R.J. Lamb, Ph.D.none
Abstract: Solutions to problems that arise in the course of application sometimes require parametric manipulation before determining how to best produce desired clinical effects. Each of the studies in this symposium poses a question directly relevant to application but attempts to answer it with a simpler (and more controlled) preparation than would be possible under typical clinical conditions. The first presentation (Erin Camp) arises from our experience that vicarious reinforcement, a seemingly efficient procedure, produces unpredictable effects, which served as the basis for a series of studies to identify the determinants of those effects. The second presentation (Sarah Bloom) extends research on the training of socially appropriate communicative behavior (manding) as a replacement for problem behavior. Sarah poses the question of whether mands acquired under appetitive control might come to serve other functions such as escape. The third presentation (Javier Virues-Ortega) examines the mechanism(s) by which noncontingent reinforcement (NCR) decreases the frequency of a target behavior. Satiation and extinction both have been proposed, but a third and potentially simpler explanation may be response competition. The fourth presentation (Gracie Beavers) extends previous research on response-class formation by examining the influence of several reinforcement parameters. Each of the presentations involves multi-experiment procedures that successively refine the analysis of reinforcement effects across a range of potential applications.
 
Some Determinants of Vicarious Reinforcement Effects
ERIN CAMP (Autism Concepts, Inc.), Brian A. Iwata (University of Florida), Jill M. Harper (University of Florida), Tara A. Fahmie (University of Florida)
Abstract: Although vicarious reinforcement effects (increases in one’s behavior as a result of observing another’s behavior being reinforced) have been demonstrated under a variety of experimental arrangements, little research has examined the determinants of those effects from the standpoint of basic learning principles or the conditions under which they are more or less likely to be observed. The first part of this study examines some antecedent influences on the occurrence of vicarious reinforcement, specifically, stimulus control and establishing operations. The second part of this study examines the nature of the consequences provided to the model. Maintenance and generalization of vicarious reinforcement are also discussed.
 
Cross-Function Transfer of Mand Forms
SARAH E. BLOOM (Utah State University), Brian A. Iwata (University of Florida), Jennifer N. Fritz (University of Houston-Clear Lake), Jennifer Lynn Hammond (Stanford University), Joy S. Pollard (Utah State University)
Abstract: Individuals who engage in severe problem behavior may continue to injure themselves or others during functional communication training (FCT) if mands are taught in typical high-risk contexts. We examined whether mands taught in low-risk (functionally unrelated to problem behavior) contexts would transfer to high-risk (clinically-relevant) contexts. In Experiment 1, we examined the acquisition rate of mands for positive versus negative reinforcement and found no difference for any of three subjects. In Experiment 2, we examined the conditions under which training a mand for positive reinforcement transferred to negative reinforcement in children without problem behavior and observed transfer for two of three subjects. In Experiment 3, we conducted clinical mand training based on procedures used in Experiment 2 with children with escape-maintained problem behavior. Transfer of mand functions without explicit training was observed for one of three subjects. The remaining two subjects required explicit training of mands for negative reinforcement. These results have implications for the use of functional-communication training (FCT) with escape-maintained problem behavior as well as for the development of verbal behavior in general.
 
Effects of Noncontingent Reinforcement on Target and Alternative Responses
JAVIER VIRUES-ORTEGA (CIBERNED, Carlos III Institute of Health), Brian A. Iwata (University of Florida), Tara A. Fahmie (University of Florida), Jill M. Harper (University of Florida)
Abstract: It has been suggested that noncontingent reinforcement (NCR) decreases the frequency of behavior by either eliminating its establishing operation or terminating the contingency that maintained responding. Another possibility is that the target behavior is simply replaced by other behaviors maintained by pre-existing contingencies. To explore this possibility, we conducted a series of studies in which a target response and several alternatives were available. NCR (preceded by contingent reinforcement [CR] for the target) produced a reduction in the target and an increase in the alternatives. Subsequent manipulations showed that reductions in the target were more a function of the availability of alternatives rather than the result of NCR per se.
 
Parameters of Reinforcement and Response-Class Hierarchies
GRACIE A. BEAVERS (University of Florida), Brian A. Iwata (University of Florida), Meagan Gregory (University of Florida)
Abstract: Shabani, Carr, and Petursdottir (2009) developed a laboratory model of a response-class hierarchy and examined the influence of response effort. Other parameters of reinforcement (i.e., rate, quality, magnitude, and immediacy) may influence the development of response-class hierarchies in a similar way. This study extended the research of Shabani et al. (2009) by examining the expression of a response-class hierarchy in a series of experiments in which quality of reinforcement, rate of reinforcement, magnitude of reinforcement, and immediacy of reinforcement were manipulated.
 
 
Symposium #153
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Issues on the Emergence of Stimulus Control: Simple and Conditional Discrimination
Sunday, May 30, 2010
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
Lone Star Ballroom Salon E (Grand Hyatt)
Area: EAB; Domain: Experimental Analysis
Chair: Paula Ribeiro Braga-Kenyon (The New England Center for Children)
Discussant: Richard W. Serna (University of Massachusetts Medical Center)
CE Instructor: Daniel Moran, Ph.D.
Abstract: The current symposium raises several issues on the emergence of stimulus control. The first paper evaluated whether stimulus-stimulus relations (AB) could be established without differential reinforcement during acquisition, and assessed symmetry among these stimuli with typical humans. Results obtained were consistent with the hypothesis that stimulus-stimulus relations can be established in the absence of direct training involving differential consequences for correct responses. The second paper investigated whether typically developing children would promptly demonstrate the emergence of stimulus equivalence. Results indicated that basic language and naming skills may not be sufficient for the prompt emergence of stimulus equivalence, and that a history of performing such tasks under training conditions may contribute to the phenomenon. The final paper identifies training conditions under which temporal intervals that are signaled by different stimuli are memorized by rats and humans (i.e., the temporal control of the behavior is readily shown when the stimulus is presented). The results provide a basis for inferences about underlying cognitive mechanisms that determine memory storage and retrieval of humans and rats when trained on multiple discriminations that provide strategic information that can be used for effect teaching.
 
Memorization Failure as a Function of Discrimination Difficulty and Training Sequences in Rats and Humans
PAULO GUILHARDI (The New England Center for Children), Marcelo S Caetano (Brown University), Marina Menez (Universidad Nacional de Mexico), Russell Church (Brown University)
Abstract: Our goal was to identify training conditions under which temporal intervals that are signaled by different stimuli are memorized (i.e., the temporal control of the behavior is readily shown when the stimulus is presented). Rats and humans were trained on three signaled temporal discriminations using either fixed-interval or peak procedures. The sequence of presentation of intervals (intermixed within a session, in blocks of trials within the session, or in blocks of sessions) and the difficulty of the discrimination (similarity across stimuli) were varied. Rats and humans memorized intervals when the temporal discriminations were intermixed within a session and when they occurred in blocks of trials within the session, the latter provided the stimulus discrimination was not difficult. Rats and humans, however, failed to memorize the temporal discriminations when they occurred in different sessions or in blocks of trials within the session, the latter provided the stimulus discrimination was difficult. The results provide a basis for inferences about underlying cognitive mechanisms that determine memory storage and retrieval of humans and rats when trained on multiple discriminations that provide strategic information that can be used for effect teaching.
 
The Establishment of Stimulus-Stimulus Relations Without Differential Reinforcement
BARBARA S. MILLS (New England Center for Children), Maria Andrade (The New England Center for Children)
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether stimulus-stimulus relations (AB) could be established without differential reinforcement during acquisition, and to assess these relations for symmetry. Three typically developed individuals, ages 4 through 25 participated in this study. Participants were first presented with a series of matching to sample tasks using familiar stimuli, and accurate performance on these tasks was maintained without any differential consequences. Target stimulus-stimulus associations involving three pairs of visual arbitrary symbols were then introduced through sequences of matching to sample trials in which two random stimuli served as incorrect comparison (S-) in every trial. During this phase, the only response that could occur consistently across trials was towards the stimulus designated positive. Participants responded as expected in the absence of differential reinforcement of each selection (i.e. always choosing the stimulus that appeared consistently on the array). Changes in trial configuration were systematically and gradually carried out so that the random comparison stimuli were replaced by target stimuli belonging to the other association pairs. Results obtained are consistent with the hypothesis that stimulus-stimulus relations can be established in the absence of direct training involving differential consequences for correct responses.
 
The Development of Stimulus Equivalence in Young Children
AMBER L. MANDLER (New England Center for Children), Maria Andrade (The New England Center for Children)
Abstract: The current study investigated if children at early stages of language development would promptly demonstrate the emergence of stimulus equivalence. Procedures were similar to the ones described by Schusterman and Kastak (1993) which found evidence of equivalence in sea lions. Three typically developed children, ages 3 to 5, participated in this experiment. Forty five visual stimuli were divided in 15 sets (1 through 15) containing three stimuli each (A, B, and C). All stimuli were previously unknown to the participants. Participants were directly trained to match stimuli A to stimuli B and stimuli B to stimuli C using three of the fifteen sets. After showing inconsistent results in transitivity and symmetry tests, participants were trained to perform the matching tasks corresponding to these properties. Once mastery criteria were met, three new sets of stimuli were introduced and the same training and testing sequence was implemented. Results indicate that the presence of basic language and naming skills may not be sufficient for the prompt emergence of stimulus equivalence, and that a history of performing such tasks under training conditions may contribute for the phenomenon.
 
 
Symposium #155
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Academic Time on Task: A Tale of Conditioned Reinforcers and Behavioral Momentum
Sunday, May 30, 2010
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
Texas Ballroom Salon D (Grand Hyatt)
Area: EDC/TPC; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: David L. Lee (The Pennsylvania State University)
Discussant: Christopher Skinner (University of Tennessee)
CE Instructor: Michael Miklos, M.S.
Abstract: Given the link between time on task and achievement, increasing task persistence can be a very real problem in educational settings. One method for increasing persistence, reinforcing task completion, can be effective at addressing this problem. However, for some students who engage in task-related behaviors infrequently, waiting to reinforce can be counterproductive in terms of practitioner and student time. Two strategies, high probability (high-p) request sequences and task interspersal provide practitioners with proactive methods that have been demonstrated to be effective at increasing students' initial rate of responding to non-preferred tasks. Once the initial rate of responding is increased, additional reinforcers can be delivered to help maintain the behavior at an acceptable rate. Both interventions work under the assumption that task completion can act as a conditioned reinforcer and that schedules of reinforcement for a task can be manipulated through the addition of several brief tasks to target assignments. The purpose of this symposium is discuss three studies that examined the effects of interspersal and high-probability sequences on academic task persistence.
 
The Effects of High-Probability Fluency on Low-Probability Math Problem Completion
BROOKE LYLO (The Pennsylvania State University), David L. Lee (Penn State University), Brooks R. Vostal (Penn State University)
Abstract: The use of high-probability (high-p) sequences has been demonstrated to be an effective method to increase compliance with and encourage persistence in academic tasks. High-p sequences increase the rate of responding and the subsequent rate of responding within a response class. This increased density of reinforcement appears to establish a momentum effect that results in decreased latencies to initiate low probability (low-p) tasks. In this study, we examined the effects of a fluency intervention to increase the rate of responding within the high-p sequence. In a multiple baseline design, three students with emotional/behavioral disorders (EBD) experienced high-p sequences of single-digit multiplication comparable to previous studies (e.g., Belfiore et al., 1997; Lee et al., 2004; 2008). Results replicated those found in earlier studies. A fluency intervention (i.e., flashcard drill) was presented to participants until each met criterion. The final phase presented these fluent single-digit multiplication problems to participants as the high-p sequence. Results showed an initial increase in latencies to initiate subsequent low-p problems for two of the three participants compared to the traditional high-p phase. The findings are discussed in terms of behavioral contrast effects.
 
Effects of High-p Readability on Reading Persistence of Adolescents With Emotional and Behavioral Disorders
BROOKS R. VOSTAL (The Pennsylvania State University), David L. Lee (The Pennsylvania State University), Brooke Lylo (The Pennsylvania State University)
Abstract: Adolescents with emotional and behavioral disorders (EBD) often fail to learn literacy skills, in part because of the disruptive behaviors they present in academic settings, characterized by a lack of task engagement and persistence. High probability (high-p) request sequences have been shown to increase compliance and academic persistence. The current study extends research on the high-p sequence into a new academic task: reading. Reading represents a fundamentally different application of high-p sequences because it is a continuous task, rather than a series of discrete tasks. Using alternated paragraph readability, high-p paragraphs decreased the latency to initiate low-p paragraphs, representing an aspect of increased task persistence, in three adolescents with EBD during an alternating treatments design. Results are discussed in terms of the theory of behavioral momentum (Nevin, Mendall, & Atak, 1983) and the nature of high probability tasks.
 
The Effects of Task Interspersal and Contingencies on Student Choice of Academic Materials
YOUJIA HUA (University of Iowa)
Abstract: Task interspersal is an academic material modification procedure designed to make task completion more reinforcing. It is implemented by adding a sequence of brief tasks prior to more difficult or nonpreferred target academic tasks. This procedure results in an increase in the number of conditioned reinforcers available for completing a given task. Recently, reserachers found that task contingencies and the interspersal procedure may interactively influence student choice of academic materials. The purpose of this study is to extend the previous research using a different interspersal ratio. In this study a concurrent-schedule design with a reversal was used to compare the students' choice of worksheets when working under different task contingencies. Student choice of materials and task performance data will be presented.
 
 
Symposium #158
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Teaching for the Lazy: 139 Repertoires That Make Learners Easy to Teach
Sunday, May 30, 2010
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
Texas Ballroom Salon B (Grand Hyatt)
Area: EDC/AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Steven J. Ward (Whole Child Consulting, LLC)
Discussant: Judah Axe (Simmons College)
CE Instructor: Monika Suchowierska, Ph.D.
Abstract: "The Inventory of Good Learner Repertoires" (Ward, 2008), describes 139 repertoires that make learners easy to teach. Learners who demonstrate these repertoires can learn in regular education settings and in the community. These repertoires are separated into 10 categories, including: Behavioral Excesses, Behavioral Supports, Resilience and Regulation, Readiness, Perseverance and Focus, Flexibility, Consequences, Preference for Learning Channels, Spontaneity, and Potential to Benefit from Inclusion. The three presenters in this symposium will discuss theoretical and practical considerations and review the progress of several specific learners using "The Inventory of Good Learner Repertoires". Data will be shared that correlates learner repertoires with rate of acquisition of specific instructional targets.
 
Using "The Inventory of Good Learner Repertoires"
STEVEN J. WARD (Whole Child Consulting, LLC), Geoffrey H. Martin (Morningside Academy)
Abstract: "The Inventory of Good Learner Repertoires" (Ward, 2008) describes 139 learner repertoires that make students easy to teach. This presentation will discuss theoretical and practical implications of these repertoires. The presenter will demonstrate how the presence or absence of particular learner repertoires can make the difference between: learning a skill and not learning a skill; participating in a regular education classroom and participating in a special education setting; using acquired skills in natural settings and not using acquired skills. Attendees will practice gauging the quality of learner responding, based primarily upon rate and degree of independence. Attendees will also practice identifying the specific conditions under which learners respond. The audience will learn how to identify repertoires that would make any learner easier to teach.
 
CANCELLED Hunter, Hunter: The Story of One Boy's Trip from "Not Learner" to "Learner".
Jill McClaury (Bright Futures/Circle of Friends)
Abstract: The presenter will review programming and outcomes for one student with Autism. This student was moved from a public school setting to a clinic setting and was assessed using both the ABLLS and "The Inventory of Good Learner Repertoires" at introduction, 6 months, and 1 year. Correlations between the presence/absence of learner repertoires and the rate of skill acquisition will be reviewed. The presenter will also go into detail regarding specific learner repertoires that were targeted, how those repertoires were addressed, the success of those interventions, and the implications of the new learner repertoires to several areas of programming. Program data and pre/during/post videos will be shared, as well as consideration of social validity.
 
A Comparison of Various Learners Using "The Inventory of Good Learner Repertoires"
TERESA A. GRIMES (Whole Child Consulting LLC)
Abstract: The presenter consults to a variety of learners, and notes the relative ease with which some can be taught. She will share the results of "The Inventory of Good Learner Repertoires" for several learners and discuss how the presence/absence of certain learner repertoires contributes not only to the efficiency of skill acquisition, but also to the quality of life of the learners and their families. The presenter will discuss how she has used the "Program Plan Form" to communicate: the adaptations teachers should make; the behavioral expectations that should be placed on the learner; and the relative priority that should be placed on any specific skill. This form has proved invaluable in balancing the relative importance of various learner priorities and specific skill priorities.
 
 
Symposium #159
CE Offered: BACB
Recent Applications in Organizational Behavior Management
Sunday, May 30, 2010
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
Republic B (Grand Hyatt)
Area: OBM; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Dave A. Pyles (The Chicago School, Los Angeles)
Discussant: Amanda N. Adams (California State University, Fresno)
CE Instructor: Rosemary Condillac, Ph.D.
Abstract: Research in the area of Organizational Behavioral (OBM) continues to receive increased attention from behavior analytic practitioners. This growing interest is partly due to the fact that many individuals work in settings wherein Applied Behavior Analytic (ABA) techniques are not only useful for the development of programs designed to meet client needs, but are also a necessary component of the appropriate design of the larger system within which the employees operate. Specifically, OBM techniques which are based on the principles of behavior analysis can be used to improve any aspect of individual or organizational performance. The purpose of this symposium is to present data from three different settings where OBM techniques were implemented and evaluated: 1) an agency that provides services to children with autism, 2) a workshop setting for adults with developmental disabilities, and 3) a graduate training program for students in Behavior Analysis.
 
Training Direct Care Staff on Implementation of Learn Units
ADRIENNE MUBAREK (The Chicago School, Los Angeles), Rachel Findel-Pyles (The Chicago School, Los Angeles)
Abstract: The quality of staff training was assessed by measuring the rate and accuracy of learn units implemented during therapy sessions. This study included 3 staff that worked with children with autism delivering ABA services in the home. Large group training was compared with small group/individualized training and feedback during therapy sessions. Measures for all participants improved from baseline on both accuracy and rate. Results indicate that large, lecture training is not sufficient in meeting the needs of the staff who implement intensive in-home ABA service delivery.
 
Using Supervisor Feedback and Self-Monitoring to Improve Staff Performance in an Adult Day Program
Renee Diane Quinnett (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology), Rachel Findel-Pyles (The Chicago School, Los Angeles), DAVE A. PYLES (The Chicago School, Los Angeles)
Abstract: The Organizational Behavior Management (OBM) techniques self-monitoring and supervisor feedback were utilized with two staff members in an adult day program for adults with mental illness and developmental disabilities to increase their on-task and on-schedule behavior. The current investigation was a replication and extension of Richman, Riordan, Reiss, Pyles & Bailey (1988). A reversal design was conducted in the classroom to evaluate baseline, self-monitoring and supervisor feedback. Results suggest that using the OBM techniques increased on-task and –on-schedule behavior.
 
Teaching Individuals to Use the Standard Celeration Chart
MEGAN KIRBY (The Chicago School, Los Angeles), Rachel Findel-Pyles (The Chicago School, Los Angeles), Jamie L. Johnston (The Chicago School, Los Angeles), Dave A. Pyles (The Chicago School, Los Angeles)
Abstract: The Standard Celeration Chart (SCC) displays frequency against a continuous real time-line to provide a graphic means of displaying celeration. The wide applicability of the SCC may be hindered by the terminology and specific skill set which an individual must acquire before graphing and interpreting data on the chart. Teaching more individuals the terminology and skills to graph data on the SCC has the potential to result in a wider adoption of the SCC across disciplines concerned with human behavior. Currently no research has examined the extent of training necessary for individuals to acquire the skills to graph data on the SCC. The purpose of the current investigation was to evaluate the effects of reading an instructional handbook and attending an in-person training session on students ability to plot data on the SCC. A multiple-baseline across 11 students was implemented and results suggest that individuals can acquire the skills necessary to use the standard celeration chart with minimal training.
 
 
Symposium #162
CE Offered: BACB
Conceptual Investigations in Complex Human Behavior
Sunday, May 30, 2010
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
Bonham C (Grand Hyatt)
Area: TPC/VRB; Domain: Theory
Chair: Jonathan J. Tarbox (Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc.)
Discussant: David C. Palmer (Smith College)
CE Instructor: Michael Commons, Ph.D.
Abstract: Since the very beginning, the field of behavior analysis has been intended to be a comprehensive science of the behavior of organisms, including the complex actions of humans. The field has progressed tremendously in research and practice related to relatively simple behavior, but arguably less progress has been made with respect to complex behavior. Part of the lack of progress in this area may be due to incomplete or inconsistent conceptual accounts of what complex human activity consists of and how or if we can study it. More conceptual work aimed at clarifying these issues therefore seems warranted. This symposium consists of three papers presenting conceptual analyses of three areas of complex human behavior. The first paper, by Dr. Potter, is on self-conditioning. The second paper, by Dr. Tarbox, is on the issue of cause in relations between public and private events. The third paper, by Dr. Fryling, is on observational learning. The symposium concludes with a discussion by Dr. Palmer
 
The Role of Self-Conditioning in Human Behavior
WILLIAM F. POTTER (California State University, Stanislaus)
Abstract: Self-conditioning or the skill of modifying your own behavior has not been examined much in the behavioral literature. This ability however, probably accounts for a fair portion of complex human behavior, including such things as sensitivity to remote contingencies, recall, listener behavior, learning to learn, etc. This paper will explore the impact that self-conditioning might have on these complex skills and how self-conditioning skills might be acquired and how these skills might be trained.
 
Thinking Causes Behavior: Another Look at Relations Between Public and Private Events
JONATHAN J. TARBOX (Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc.), Marla Saltzman (Autism Behavior Intervention, Inc.)
Abstract: Skinner’s (1945) philosophical system, Radical Behaviorism, is based on the following assumptions; 1) mental events are not mental, but rather “private,” 2) they differ in no fundamental way from overt events, and 3) they must be included in a science of behavior. Unfortunately, in the sixty years which have passed since these assumptions were proposed, little scientific progress has been made in the area of private events. We argue that Skinner’s inconsistent position on the causal status of private stimuli is part of the problem. Skinner simultaneously suggested that private events are the same as public events and that they do not cause public behavior. These two statements are contradictory because the only thing that public stimuli do in behavior analysis is cause behavior. Indeed, if private stimuli do not cause behavior, then they do nothing at all in the science of behavior analysis, and are then presumably all but irrelevant. It is no surprise, then, than private events are all but ignored. We argue for a strict interpretation of Skinner’s premise that public and private events are equal. Specifically, when private events interact with overt behavior as discriminative stimuli, reinforcers, punishers, or rules, they do indeed cause overt behavior, in the same sense that their overt counterparts do. We discuss how this position is useful in the applied realm, consistent in the theoretical realm, and has the potential of expanding the breadth of behavioral theory and practice to the full range of complex human behavior.
 
A Critical Analysis of Observational Learning
MITCH FRYLING (The Chicago School, Los Angeles), Cristin D. Johnston (Behavioral Solutions, Inc), Linda J. Parrott Hayes (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: Accounting for the fact that organisms can learn through observation is a conceptual challenge for behavior analysis. This presentation reviews some general findings of research on observational learning, and reviews some behavior analytic accounts of this process. An alternative perspective, based on the philosophy of Interbehaviorism and scientific system of Interbehavioral Psychology is presented. It is argued that this perspective may help guide behavior analysts toward a more wholly naturalistic interpretation of observational learning. As applied workers continue to be interested in observational learning techniques (e.g., video modeling), the pursuit of a solid conceptual foundation remains important.
 
 
Symposium #163
CE Offered: BACB
Ethical Provision of Supervision in Applied Behavior Analysis
Sunday, May 30, 2010
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
Bonham B (Grand Hyatt)
Area: TPC/TBA; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Christine Reeve (Nova Southereastern University's Mailman Segal Institute)
CE Instructor: Charles Merbitz, Ph.D.
Abstract: Providing an ABA supervision experience that trains students to be effective and ethical clinical practioners is important to ensure that students’ future clients receive quality services. Furthermore, providing a quality ABA supervision experience is essential for maintaining the field of behavior analysis’s credibility as a scientific discipline dedicated to improving the human condition through evidenced-based practices. While the field of ABA agrees that providing quality ABA supervision experience is essential in training competent and ethical practioners, there is a lack of accepted standards for providing experiences or evaluating student performance in the context of that experience. In response to this need, the ABA supervisors at the Mailman Segal Institute of Nova Southeastern University (NSU) have developed a supervision handbook to provide structure to and a standard of appropriate ABA supervision experiences. The purpose of this symposium is to explore ethical issues encountered when providing supervision in behavior analysis across settings. The talks in this symposium will also review the ABA supervision handbook developed at NSU and assess the degree to which the modules included adequately prepare ABA supervisees to utilize the procedures of ABA skillfully and ethically.
 
The Ethics of Providing Supervision in Applied Behavior Analysis
CHRISTINE REEVE (Nova Southereastern University's Mailman Segal Institute)
Abstract: The development of the international certification in applied behavior analysis (ABA) has lead to a marked increase in the enrollment in related coursework. This escalating interest in obtaining BCBA and BCaBA certification has in turn led to increased demand for supervised experiences. The area of organized supervision in the field of behavior analysis, outside of academic programs, and the ethical issues involved, is fairly new to most certified professionals. In fact, most certified professional are newly certified, having obtained certification in behavior analysis in the past five years. The rate of professionals becoming certified behavior analysts continues to increase. The growth in this area is expected to continue as ABA is covered by the majority of insurance providers in the field of autism. This presentation will explore common ethical issues encountered in the context of providing supervision to both practicum students and independent fieldwork supervisees across a variety of supervision contexts and environments.
 
Introduction to the ABA Supervision Handbook
KARLY L. CORDOVA (Nova Southeastern University)
Abstract: An overview of the supervision experience model designed at the Mailman Segal Institute at Nova Southeastern University will be provided. The rationale for and situations that precipitated the development of the model and the creation of the ABA supervision handbook will be discussed. The structure of the model and accompanying handbook will be presented. The ABA supervision handbook houses a series of contracts designed to clarify the roles of all of the participants in the ABA supervision experience. Having clearly defined roles, responsibilities and expectations is a positive practice that helps prevent potential ethical issues from developing and manifesting. Tracking tools are also included in the supervision handbook so that both supervisors and supervisees have the tools to accurately track hours worked, hours spent in direct supervision and module assignments completed. Having an accurate and transparent hour log is crucial for preventing discrepancies and incomplete supervision experiences. Evaluative tools are also included in the handbook, including competency based checklists that allow supervisors to objectively score the performance of supervisees. Ethical issues that arose during the development and implementation of the ABA supervision model will be highlighted with a focus on preventing ethical issues in providing supervision in applied behavior analysis.
 
The Applied Behavior Analysis Supervision Modules: Structured Experiences, Assignments, and Evaluative Tools
HEATHER O'BRIEN (Nova Southereastern University's Mailman Segal Institute), Karly L. Cordova (Nova Southeastern University)
Abstract: The ABA supervision modules included in the ABA supervision handbook developed at the Mailman Segal Institute of Nova Southeastern Univeristy will be presented. The modules were designed to train supervisees on specific skills from the current Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB) task list items. The BACB task list items addressed by each of the modules will be shown. The structure and progression of the modules will be explained. Video footage of ABA supervisees engaging in the modules will be shared to demonstrate how the modules structure and shape the ABA supervision experience for both supervisors and supervisees. The video clips will provide examples of supervisees who are and who are not successful in that moment at implementing a given behavior analytic procedure or combination of procedures. Repair strategies for inadequate supervisee performance will be discussed. Methods and tools for objective evaluation of the performance of the ABA supervisees on the module assignments will be presented. The role of the modules in providing ethical supervision in ABA will be discussed.
 
An Exploratory Analysis of the Fidelity of the ABA Supervision Handbook
YULEMA CRUZ (Nova Southereastern University's Mailman Segal Institute), Tara M. Sheehan (Nova Southereastern University's Mailman Segal Institute)
Abstract: It is essential to analyze the performance of ABA supervisees to assess if the ABA supervision experience trains supervisees to utilize the procedures of ABA skillfully, appropriately and ethically. Data collected on ABA supervisee performance will be presented to examine if the assignments that comprise the ABA supervision modules adequately prepare ABA supervisees to practice competently. Data collection is ongoing. A baseline of supervisee performance on the skills evaluated using the competency checklists is collected. Following ABA supervision and training, supervisees demonstrate the skill to be evaluated and are again scored using the competency checklists. The data following supervision and training is compared to the baseline data as an index of the efficacy of the supervision model in training competent aspiring behavior analysts. Data collection is also ongoing, assessing the evaluative tools used in the supervision handbook. Data will be shared to explore the degree to which there is clinical validity as well as inter-rater agreement in the clinical competency measures utilized in providing a supervision experience in ABA structured by the supervision handbook developed at the Mailman Segal Institute of Nova Southeastern University.
 
 
Symposium #164
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Derived Relational Responding and Complex Language Repertoires: Developments in Assessment and Education.
Sunday, May 30, 2010
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
214C (CC)
Area: VRB/AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Valerie R. Rogers (University of Nevada, Reno)
Discussant: Steven C. Hayes (University of Nevada, Reno)
CE Instructor: Kristen Kelley, M.A.
Abstract: It is clear that instructional practices stemming from the principles of behavioral science can enhance educational outcomes. However, it is also clear that, despite observed improvements in basic skills, certain learners continue to lack flexible and complex language repertoires. For example, precision teaching practices can be used to increase a child’s reading rate to 150 words per minute. However, for those learners with pre-existing language deficits, this fluent reading speed has little impact on reading comprehension. Moreover, discrete-trial procedures can be used to establish basic speech skills with a child on the autism spectrum; however, this child may remain unable to speak with meaning and listen with understanding. It is the basic premise of this symposium that these more complex language repertoires are inherently relational, and that deficits in such repertoires can be remedied through the assessment and subsequent training of derived relational responding. In the first paper, data will be presented on the use of an early assessment tool for identifying the emergence of generalized derived symmetry in young children with autism as they progress through verbal behavior training. In the second paper, the Relational Learning Sequence (RLS) developed at the Center for Advanced Learning will be described and its link to Relational Frame Theory articulated. Clinical outcome data obtained with learners progressing through the Relational Learning Sequence at the center will also be presented. In the final paper, data will be presented from a controlled study examining the establishment of two critical relational operants: coordination and distinction. The relevance of these relational operants to reading and listening comprehension will be identified and future areas of research offered.
 
The Role of Relational Operants in the Establishment of Advanced Language Skills
KIMBERLY NIX BERENS (Center for Advanced Learning, Inc.), Nicholas M. Berens (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: Have you ever trained a vast verbal repertoire in a child with autism only to feel that his/her repertoire could be more flexible, varied and contextually sensitive? Have you ever taught a child to read to standard levels of accuracy and rate only to realize that the child does not understand a single word he/she is reading? Using current clinical and experimental work at the Center for Advanced Learning, Inc., the current paper will cast these problems as deficits in relational responding. Having clarified potential functional units, the paper will then discuss strategies for developing interventions that teach children to speak with meaning and listen with understanding.
 
Toward the Development of a Behavioral Assessment for Detecting the Emergence of Generalized Derived Symmetry
Jonathan J. Tarbox (Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc.), EVELYN R. GOULD (Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc.), Megan Kirby (Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc.)
Abstract: There is a growing consensus that derived relational responding is at the heart of complex human behavior (e.g., stimulus equivalence and relational framing). Early intensive behavioral intervention programs for children with autism sometimes begin working with children who have essentially no verbal repertoire and often begin with the simplest mands and echoics - repertoires which do not involved derived relational responding. In the best case scenario, the child progresses through simple verbal behavior training, to more complex repertoires, including intraverbals such as categorization, classification, etc., which clearly do involved derived relational responding. That is, for children who achieve an optimal outcome and whose language therefore is no longer delayed, the ability to derived untrained relations at some point emerges. If this ability is indeed a functional foundational unit to complex verbal behavior, then its emergence as a result of intervention may be among the most important goals of intervention. Despite its importance, virtually no research has been done on developing a tool for measuring when and if this ability emerges. This presentation describes early work on developing such a tool. The purpose of the tool is to track when and if a child can derive untrained symmetrical relations. Results of the assessment may be useful to prescribe treatment, as well as a measure of the outcome of early intervention. Data are presented from the development of the tool with typical children and pilot data from children with autism are presented as well.
 
An Investigation of Language-Building Procedures on Derived Relations of Coordination and Distinction: Implications for Listening and Reading Comprehension
KENDRA L. RICKARD (University of Nevada, Reno), Kimberly Nix Berens (Center for Advanced Learning, Inc.)
Abstract: One of the most important factors linked to future language skills is the frequency and quality of language-based experiences in the first three years of life. Children who lack this experience, or fail to benefit from it due to Autism Spectrum Disorder, or other developmental delays, are at risk for academic failure. The impact of language delays is particularly apparent in reading comprehension. Even when children learn to read, it is not uncommon for comprehension to be left lacking. Behavior involved in reading comprehension are complex, language-based, and inherently relational. Most instructional efforts are geared towards explicit instruction of the behaviors involved in prediction and inference, two of the most critical skills involved in reading comprehension. Without requisite language skills, these efforts are often futile. Relational Frame Theory (RFT) is a useful model for understanding the core behavioral processes necessary for reading comprehension. Precision Teaching provides a measurement tool for capturing the development of operants and instructional procedures to guide efficient and effective language-building procedures. In the current study, PT practices were used for expanding language-based histories. The effects of this training were evaluated with respect to two relational operants seen as critical to reading comprehension. Specifically, an A/B multiple probe design was used to evaluate the effects of language-building procedures across multiple exemplars on the derived relations of coordination and distinction.
 
 
Invited Tutorial #166
CE Offered: BACB
Using Metacontingencies to Plan and Manage Strategic Growth of Organizations
Sunday, May 30, 2010
10:00 AM–10:50 AM
Ballroom A (CC)
Area: CSE/OBM; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
BACB CE Offered. CE Instructor: Jason Bourret, Ph.D.
Chair: Ramona Houmanfar (University of Nevada, Reno)
Presenting Author: MARIA E. MALOTT (Association for Behavior Analysis International)
Abstract: The Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI) is a nonprofit organization founded in 1974. In the last 20 years, ABAI has grown significantly. Membership has increased 164% (from 2,009 members in 1989 to 5,299 in 2009); affiliated chapters, 172% (from 25 to 68 chapters, now with nearly 14,000 members); special interest groups, 107% (from 15 to 31 groups); annual convention registration, 267% (from 1,257 to 4,594 attendees); and participation in its boards and committees, 360% (from 91 to over 328 volunteer participants). In addition, ABAI has diversified its products and services and continues to develop new ones every year; for instance, it now produces three journals, conducts specialized events and international conferences, and offers a variety of web-based services. The administrative staff has increased from 1 to 20 and ABAI recently purchased and moved into new headquarters, its second building in the past seven years. This presentation will use the growth experience of ABAI to illustrate how metacontingencies can be used to successfully plan and manage strategic growth of organizations. The demonstration is based on the organizational management approach presented in the book Paradox of Organizational Change (Malott, M. E., 2003).
 
MARIA E. MALOTT (Association for Behavior Analysis International)
Maria Malott entered the graduate program in applied behavior analysis at Western Michigan University, obtaining her Ph.D. in 1987. In 1989 she was hired as Production Manager at Ronningen Research & Development and within two years was Vice-President of manufacturing for that company. In 1993, she began a consulting career, and has consulted in advertising, restaurants, retail, manufacturing, hotels, banks, government, and institutions. Her clients have included General Motors Corporation; Meijer, Inc.; Kellogg's; Pharmacia & Upjohn; the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration; and the Cancer Prevention Research Institute at the University of Arizona. In all of this work, Dr. Malott combines systems analysis with the analysis of individual behavior within systems and, in the process, has taught dozens of corporate executives to appreciate the power of behavioral principles. Dr. Malott has been a visiting scholar at 32 universities in 17 different countries and has served as an affiliated faculty member at five universities. She has served on four editorial boards and is the author of a book on organizational change, published in Spanish and in English, and co-author of 2nd, 3rd, and 4th editions of one of the most widely used and often-translated textbooks in behavior analysis: Elementary Principles of Behavior. Dr. Malott was the recipient of the 2003 Award for International Dissemination of Behavior Analysis and the 2004 Award for Outstanding Achievement in Organizational Behavior Management. In 1993, she agreed to serve as part-time Executive Director of the Association for Behavior Analysis and is now its CEO. Within a few short years, the association rose from near-bankruptcy to a financially stable scientific and professional organization. Her organizational behavior management skills have been applied to every aspect of the operation of ABAI, which serves over 5,200 members and as the parent organization of 68 affiliated chapters.
 
 
Invited Tutorial #167
CE Offered: BACB
The Practical Utility of Behavioral Economics: A "How-To" Session
Sunday, May 30, 2010
10:00 AM–10:50 AM
103AB (CC)
Domain: Theory
BACB CE Offered. CE Instructor: Kerri Milyko, M.A.
Chair: Amy Odum (Utah State University)
Presenting Author: GREGORY J. MADDEN (University of Kansas)
Abstract: In the last year or so, behavioral economists have frequently appeared on radio and television news outlets; particularly during the economic recession. Who are these people and why are they talking about things that seem related to what behavior analysts study? This tutorial is intended for students, researchers, and practitioners who have little-to-no prior knowledge of behavioral economics. The session will begin with a brief, approachable overview of this field of study and some of its major findings. How these findings have and might be integrated into applied settings will be discussed. Those in attendance will walk away with practical and usable information about the science of behavioral economics.
 
GREGORY J. MADDEN (University of Kansas)
Dr. Gregory J. Madden received his M.S. degree from the University of North Texas in 1992 and his Ph.D. degree from West Virginia University in 1995. He began his study of behavioral economics during his post-doctoral years at the University of Vermo received the Don Hake Award in 1995. He earned his B.A. and M.A. degrees from the University of North Texas. At WVU, Greg was known for his broad knowledge of the psychological literature and keen analytic skills. His independence and creativity in research were complemented by uncommon technical skills in experimental design, data analysis, and computer programming. Greg was successful in obtaining research grants from Sigma Xi, and in publishing his work in high-quality journals. Greg also provided significant service to the Department of Psychology, as a teacher and as a member of several important committees. Greg’s first position was as a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Vermont, where he was involved in research in the area of human behavioral pharmacology. He currently is an Assistant Professor of Applied Behavioral Science at the University of Kansas.
 
 
Symposium #169
CE Offered: BACB
Behaviorists for Social Responsibility Symposium: Functional Assessments Writ Large-Making Sense of the Sociocultural Milieu
Sunday, May 30, 2010
10:00 AM–11:20 AM
Seguin (Grand Hyatt)
Area: CSE/TPC; Domain: Theory
Chair: Jerome D. Ulman (Ball State University)
Discussant: Ernest A. Vargas (B. F. Skinner Foundation)
CE Instructor: Barbara Metzger, Ph.D.
Abstract: Given that the purpose of Behaviorists for Social Responsibility is to "act to expand applications of behavior and cultural analysis addressing social issues," one vital challenge we must face is how to analyze the sociocultural conditions that may be responsible for generating these social issues. Merely jumping from one issue to the next without regard to the prevailing institutional arrangements—the sociocultural context—seems analogous to implementing a behavioral intervention plan without first conducting an functional behavioral assessment; metaphorically, in today’s world, the equivalent of rearranging deck furniture on the Titanic. Behaviorists who wish to improve problem behavior of individuals have a well-established technology for identifying the variables responsible for the target behavior. Is there something to learn from this technology that can be applied to the investigation of large-scale social problems? Is it possible to get beyond the problem of methodological individualism, the view that only the behavior of individuals is real (or the perspective that behavioral scientists call “atomism”). The purpose of this symposium is to explore this daunting problem within the framework of Skinnerian science. Three presenters have accepted this challenge and a discussant will appraise their results. Considered here are (a) the develop a conceptual framework for the study and design of existing and future experimental communities, (b) a behaviorological analysis of the social contingencies that maintain and sustain social power, and (c) the development of a conceptual framework for investigating sociocultural contexts within which large-scale social problems arise.
 
Experimental Communities: Microcosmic Exploration of Sociocultural Context
ANGELA MARIE SANGUINETTI (University of California, Irvine)
Abstract: In 1976, B. F. Skinner suggested that something like a Walden Two would not be a bad start to addressing the problems of overconsumption and environmental degradation. Over 30 years later society is facing the same problems and more people are arriving at the same conclusion as that of Skinner—small planned communities can be a test and testimony of the kinds of social and cultural practices that are sustainable, equitable, and healthful. There are roughly 900 intentional communities (e.g., eco-villages, co-housing, housing cooperatives) in North America, many of which utilize, or at least welcome, research and experimentation. However, most of these establishments are missing a key ingredient: the science of human behavior. Behavior analysts have steadily and rapidly been building their conceptual and methodological repertoires in a variety of relevant areas, but few have explicitly addressed the design and study of experimental communities. Once a connection is made between the experienced knowledge of intentional communities and the skills of behavior analysts, Skinner’s solution could be well on its way. The purpose of this paper is to develop a conceptual framework for the study and design of existing and future experimental communities.
 
Social Power: A Behaviorological Analysis
JOHN E. GLASS (Collin County Community College)
Abstract: The analysis of social power has been an integral part of the social sciences for some time. As with many other social scientific explanations of behavior however, precise specification of social power for purposes of not only understanding, but also changing power and power relations has been lacking. As such, the typical social scientific analysis of these dynamics has been unsatisfactory. For better or for worse, power and/or an analysis of power, has not been addressed within the behaviorological literature. To be sure, it has been inferred (see Skinner's discussion of controlling agencies), but a clear definition of power using behaviorological principles has been lacking. This presentation attempts to rectify this shortcoming by providing a behaviorological analysis of the social contingencies that maintain and sustain social power. By offering this functional assessment of power, behaviorologists can begin to develop effective interventions to that will lead to the improved and more humane use of power.
 
Expanding the Behaviorological Perspective: Viewing the World Through a Conceptual Macroscope
JEROME D. ULMAN (Ball State University)
Abstract: The aim of this presentation is to consider the development of a conceptual framework for investigating sociocultural contexts within which large-scale social problems arise; to advance from description to analysis of such problems. This “functional assessment writ large” may be described as a conceptual macroscope, the focus of which may extend from behavioral relations within groups or institutions to social structures composed of entire constellations of institutions. The functional unit of analysis for this conceptual framework is the macrocontingency, defined as the conjoint actions of two or more individuals (possibly thousands of individuals) under common contingency control. Macrocontingency relations are considered as “behavioral glue”; giving cohesion to social relations. However, this conceptual macroscope necessitates the development of an appropriate philosophical foundation: emergent materialism. Issuing from Skinner’s view of selection by consequences as the causal mode for all live processes—biological, behavioral, and sociocultural—emergent materialism incorporates behavioral materialism, the philosophy underlying behaviorology that rejects presumed inner causal agency in explaining behavioral phenomena. Emergent materialism goes on to conceive of sociocultural phenomena as having emergent layers of stratified social structures, but without endowing them with hypothetical causal powers such as a group mind or social consciousness.
 
 
Panel #170
CE Offered: BACB
Addressing the Training Needs of Students of Behavior Analysis: The Connecticut Training Consortium
Sunday, May 30, 2010
10:30 AM–11:20 AM
Texas Ballroom Salon F (Grand Hyatt)
Area: TBA/CSE; Domain: Service Delivery
CE Instructor: Rachel Thompson, Ph.D.
Chair: John D. Molteni (Saint Joseph College)
SUZANNE LETSO (Connecticut Center for Child Development)
DEIRDRE LEE FITZGERALD (Eastern Connecticut State University)
JILL E. CASTELLANI (Connecticut Center for Child Development)
Abstract: Abstract: The most common training scenario for individuals seeking certification as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst® and Board Certified assistant Behavior Analyst® is supervised clinical experience consisting of 1500 hours of experience with 75 hours of supervision. The panel will discuss this model of supervision in relation to other models of training, the variability this model allows for intensity and relevance of supervision to supervisee performance post-certification. The panel will discuss an effort to develop data-based criteria for training that will support the development of more effective professionals. Considerations for training competencies, measurement, and barriers to implementation will be discussed.
 
 
Symposium #171
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Programming to Teach Advanced Language Skills to Children With ASD
Sunday, May 30, 2010
10:30 AM–11:50 AM
207AB (CC)
Area: AUT/VRB; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Amber L. Valentino (The Marcus Autism Center)
Discussant: Einar T. Ingvarsson (University of North Texas)
CE Instructor: Dermot Barnes-Holmes, Ph.D.
Abstract: This symposium presents three papers on programming to teach advanced language skills to children with ASD. The first paper presents procedures to increase initiations of social interaction through mands for attention. The second paper presents a procedure to reduce echolalia that has prevented acquisition of intraverbal behavior. The last paper is an evaluation of the use of the Direct Instruction Language for Learning curriculum with children with ASD.
 
Teaching Individuals Diagnosed With Autism and Other Pervasive Developmental Disorders to Recruit Social Interaction
M. ALICE SHILLINGSBURG (Marcus Autism Center), Amber L. Valentino (The Marcus Autism Center), Briana R. Lopez (The Marcus Autism Center)
Abstract: One of the core deficits of children with autism is impairment in social interaction. More specifically, many children with autism lack spontaneous seeking to share achievements through pointing out objects, showing, or bringing completed activities to peers, adults, and caregivers (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th Ed. Revised, APA, 2003). Functionally, requests that involve the recruitment of social attention are typically mands because they occur under the control of an establishing operation (EO) and result in reinforcement that is specific to the EO (Michael, 1988). For children with autism, the difficulty in developing mands for attention without specific teaching may be because the attention does not function as a form of reinforcement. The current study examined the use of specific teaching procedures to increase mands for attention in two children with autism. Each participant was taught to vocally request attention from others following completion of a task during discrete trial training. Additionally, probes were taken during more natural activities outside of the teaching session. Results showed that prompting and reinforcement increased independent mands for social attention in all participants during discrete trial sessions and naturalistic activities.
 
Using the Cues-Pause-Point Procedure to Reduce Echolalia and Improve Acquisition and Maintenance of Intraverbal Responding
AMBER L. VALENTINO (The Marcus Autism Center), M. Alice Shillingsburg (Marcus Autism Center)
Abstract: Echolalia is common in children diagnosed with autism and may interfere with the development of functional language. Research has focused on the use of differential reinforcement, prompts and prompt fading to replace echolalia with specific responses (Carr et al., 1975) or generalized responses such as “I don’t know” (Schreibman & Carr, 1978). However, for some children these operant procedures are ineffective resulting in persistent echoing. Difficulties in transferring stimulus control from the verbal prompt to the verbal stimulus may arise due to persistent echolalia of the verbal prompt. This can be particularly problematic when teaching intraverbal behavior. For example, when teaching a response to the question “what do you sit on?” after a vocal prompt, (e.g., “chair”), some children may consistently echo the question and vocal prompt (e.g., “what do you sit on, chair”). The cues-pause-point procedure (McMorrow and Foxx, 1986; McMorrow et al, 1987) has been effective in decreasing echolalia and increasing specific correct responses in adults with mental retardation. The current investigation replicated the cues-pause-point procedure with a child with autism to increase correct intraverbal responses. Results indicated that echolalia decreased and correct responding increased for all targets. Results generalized to untrained stimuli and maintained during follow up.
 
Effectiveness of Direct Instruction Programming With Children Diagnosed With ASD
CRYSTAL N. BOWEN (Marcus Autism Center), M. Alice Shillingsburg (Marcus Autism Center), Jana Sarno (Marcus Autism Center), Manuela Woodruff (Marcus Autism Center)
Abstract: Although some children diagnosed with ASD develop functional communication, difficulties with complex language and social communication may persist. Evaluating techniques that foster the development of complex social communication skills is an essential line of research in the efforts to provide effective intervention to the growing number of children with ASD. Direct Instruction (DI) is an empirically supported curriculum designed to teach these complex language skills to children and has been used successfully with children from impoverished backgrounds and those with learning disabilities. Recently, professionals have started to investigate the effects of DI on language and social interactions of children with developmental delays (Benner et al., 2002; Waldron-Soler, 2002) and most recently with developmental disabilities. The purpose of the present study is to evaluate the effectiveness of Direct Instruction with children diagnosed with ASD. Twenty-four children with a diagnosis of ASD participated. Each participant was semi-randomly assigned to one of three groups. All three groups received treatment, which was implemented across the three groups sequentially. Treatment methods employed were those of standard Direct Instruction, specifically the Language for Learning curriculum. Pre- and post-test measures were obtained with all participants to assess for treatment effects.
 
 
Symposium #172
CE Offered: BACB
Direct and Indirect Effects of Treating of Vocal Stereotypy With Matched Stimulation, DRO, and Response Interruption
Sunday, May 30, 2010
10:30 AM–11:50 AM
205 (CC)
Area: AUT/DDA; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Jeffrey H. Tiger (Louisiana State University)
Discussant: William H. Ahearn (The New England Center for Children)
CE Instructor: Rebecca MacDonald, Ph.D.
Abstract: Vocal stereotypy maintained by automatic reinforcement is a common and challenging form of problem behavior exhibited by individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities. Unlike other forms of stereotypy which can be physically disrupted, therapists must rely exclusively on arranging competing sources of reinforcment and punishment to eliminate these behaviors. The three papers presented in this symposium compare variations of these intervention procedures for vocal stereotypy and examine collateral changes in on-task behavior and language aquisition.
 
A Comparison of Effects Related to Motor and Vocal Response Interruption and Redirection
CANDICE L. COLON (The New England Center for Children), Berglind Sveinbjornsdottir (New England Center for Children), Morgan Kinshaw (New England Center for Children), Lynn Andrejczyk (New England Center for Children), Kathleen M. Clark (The New England Center For Children), William H. Ahearn (The New England Center for Children)
Abstract: Past research has shown that response interruption and redirection (RIRD) effectively decelerate automatically reinforced behavior. Ahearn et al. (2007) used RIRD for vocal stereotypy (VS). They found that it decreases VS and sometimes leads to increased appropriate verbal behavior. However, no current studies have examined whether nonvocal demands contingent upon VS would be effective in decreasing vocal stereotypy and increasing appropriate vocalizations. The purpose of the current study was to compare the effects of motor RIRD and vocal RIRD in relation to VS and appropriate speech in children with ASDs. Three children have participated and additional children are enrolled in the study. Following a baseline assessment of VS and verbal responding, one of the procedures was introduced. Following an assessment of functional control over responding the other procedure was implemented. An ABABACAC design was used. Results indicate that, for participants completing the study thus far, both motor RIRD and vocal RIRD produced significantly lower levels of VS and increased appropriate vocalizations for all participants. However, for 1 participant compliance with demands was highest during the motor RIRD condition.
 
Abatement of Intractable Vocal Stereotypy Using an Overcorrection Procedure
JESSE ANDERSON (Child Study Center), Duy Dang Le (Child Study Center)
Abstract: We conducted a series of reversals to compare the effects of 4 different treatments on vocal stereotypy emitted by a 7 year-old boy with autism. The results showed that (a) level of vocal stereotypy decreased during exposure to matched stimulation, but returned to high levels immediately upon its removal, (b) stereotypy did not significantly decrease during DRO, and (c) contingent withdrawal of movies (i.e., response cost) was only moderately effective. However, positive practice overcorrection, combined with differential reinforcement of compliance, decreased vocal stereotypy by clinically significant levels and increased engagement in academic tasks.
 
Assessing the Impact of Various Types of Auditory Stimuli in Reducing Vocal Stereotypy in Learners With Autism
MARY JANE WEISS (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey), Kimberly Sloman (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey), Jill A. Szalony (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Centers, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey), Robert LaRue (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey), Suzannah J. Ferraioli (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey), Meredith Bamond (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey)
Abstract: Previous research has shown that providing access to auditory stimuli (e.g., music, toys with sounds) may decrease vocal stereotypy (e.g., Rapp, 2007). When auditory stimuli successfully compete with vocal stereotypy, therapists may provide clinical recommendations such as providing noncontingent access to music (e.g., via headphones) or using differential reinforcement of other behavior (DRO) procedures in which music is delivered for the absence of stereotypy for some a specified period of time. Few studies have evaluated the differential effects of various types of auditory stimuli on vocal stereotypy. Furthermore, it is unknown whether competing auditory stimuli interfere with instructional opportunities and skill acquisition. The purpose of the current investigation is to evaluate the effects of noncontingent access to a variety of auditory stimuli (i.e., preferred music, non-preferred music, white noise, recordings of vocal stereotypy) on the occurrence of automatically reinforced vocal (and motor) stereotypy in individuals with autism. In addition, the purpose of the investigation is to determine the compatibility of this intervention with ongoing instructional activities. Data collection is ongoing. Learners participate in 5 minute sessions across the different types of auditory stimuli. Data that are collected and that will be summarized include: the rate of stereotypic behaviors and levels of engagement and attending in each condition.
 
 
Symposium #173
CE Offered: BACB
Video Based Interventions: Clinical Uses, Differential Effects, and Analysis of Potential Prerequisite Skills
Sunday, May 30, 2010
10:30 AM–11:50 AM
202AB (CC)
Area: AUT/EDC; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Christine Eichelberger (BEACON Services of Connecticut)
Discussant: Joseph M. Vedora (BEACON Services)
CE Instructor: Jeannie Golden, Ph.D.
Abstract: There has been an increasing recognition of the utility of video based instructional procedures in the instruction of young children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). However as Rayner, Denholm and Sigafoos, (2009) pointed out, many questions remain unanswered. Among these unanswered questions are “what kind of model and perspective should we use?” and “who would benefit from these procedures?” This symposium presents data that attempt to answer these critical questions. The issue of model aspects that may be associated with effective responding is addressed in the first presentation. The second study describes differences in language production outcomes seen when videos are presented from different perspectives. Specifically, increases in vocal production when the video is presented from Point of view rather than Scene perspectives. The final presentation is an initial effort to empirically identify skills associated with successful responding to VBI. Six skills were identified as potential pre-requisites skills that may differ in those who benefit from VBI versus those learners who do not make gains from VBI.
 
The Use of Video-Based Intervention to Increase Food Acceptance
STEFANIE ALLEN (BEACON Services)
Abstract: A common concern in children with Pervasive Developmental Disorder is limited food intake, selective eating and or food refusal (Munk & Repp, 1994). There is limited published research to date on the use of video based interventions (VBI) to increase food acceptance in a home setting. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the use of VBI to increase food acceptance by one child in his home. A multiple-baseline design was used to evaluate the effects of a video based intervention on the acceptance of previously rejected (non-preferred) foods. The data indicate that the VBI was effective in increasing food acceptance with the participant in his home environment. The previously identified effectiveness of the model was a critical component of the intervention and will be reviewed for instructional implications. Additionally, follow-up data collected at three, four, five and six month intervals indicated that treatment gains were maintained despite removal of the intervention procedures.
 
Scene Video Modeling Versus Point of View Video Modeling: A Direct Comparison
ERIN MAGNINI (BEACON Services), Robert K. Ross (BEACON Services)
Abstract: Video modeling involves videotaping an individual perform a target skill and then having the participant view the video and perform what was viewed. Research shows that video modeling may be more effective than in-vivo modeling for teaching a variety of skills. (Charlop-Christy, Le & Freeman, 2000). One form of video modeling, point of view video modeling (POV) , involves the experimenter carrying the video camera at eye level to show the participant how the skill is performed, as though they were completing the target skill. Another variation of video modeling is Scene Video Modeling (SVM), which involves videotaping the experimenter or other model completing a task from a distance which enables the entire condition to be observed. Little data exists comparing the relative effectiveness of the two procedures. In this study a play skill routine was videotaped using both VM formats. Subjects were assessed for baseline performances with the play materials and then shown one of the two versions of video modeling. Immediately after viewing the video; play routine performances were assessed. Data on the performances of approximately 20 students ages 3-5 and diagnosed with autism are presented.
 
Identification of Potential Prerequisite Skills for Effective Learning From Video-Based Interventions
ROBERT K. ROSS (BEACON Services)
Abstract: Video based interventions (VBI) have been used to teach individuals with developmental disabilities and autism various tasks such as play (Hine & Wolery, 2006), self-help (Shipley-Benamou, Lutzker, Taubman, 2002) leisure (Stromer, Kimball, Kinney, & Taylor, 2006) and academics (Charlop & Milstein, 1989). An increasing number of researchers are conducting studies using a variety of forms of VBI. However, at this point in time there are no clear data on who is a good or a poor candidate for the use of VBI. In the current study, a pre-requisite skill analysis was conducted using data from subjects in presentation #2. Subjects were grouped as having made “gains” or having made “no gains” via VBI procedure. Then data from the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales (VABS) completed prior to study participation were evaluated to identify any correlation between scores on particular items and positive or negative responding to exposure to VBI. Six (6) items of the 143 items assessed were identified as being statistically significantly different between the Gain group and the No Gain group. These items will be specified and discussed in terms of implication and potential as pre-requisite skills to VBI.
 
 
Symposium #174
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Assessment and Treatment of Social Deficits in Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders
Sunday, May 30, 2010
10:30 AM–11:50 AM
206AB (CC)
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Nathan A. Call (Marcus Autism Center)
Discussant: Dorothea C. Lerman (University of Houston-Clear Lake)
CE Instructor: Robert Putnam, Ph.D.
Abstract: Deficits in social interactions are one of the central characteristics of an autism diagnosis. As such, understanding the variables that can influence social interactions and the best methods for increasing them is an important topic for behavior analysts who work with individuals with autism. This symposium will present three studies that focus on using behavior analytic approaches to identify social reinforcers, measure deficits in social interactions, or remediate them.
 
Identifying Social Reinforcers and Utilizing Them for Teaching Interaction in Children and Teenagers With ASDs
DELNA H BHARUCHA (New England Center for Children), Catia Cividini-Motta Cividini (New England Center for Children), Merideth C. Phelps (New England Center for Children), Kathleen M Clark (New England Center for Children), William H. Ahearn (The New England Center for Children)
Abstract: It has been noted that persons with autism have deficits in social behavior. The purpose of this study was to determine whether social reinforcers could be identified for children and teenagers diagnosed with autism and to determine whether these social reinforcers could be used to teach brief social interactions. There were six participants in this study, three children and three teenagers, diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. There were two primary phases in this study: 1) Reinforcer Assessment, in which a multiple schedule was arranged to determine the reinforcing efficacy of 3 common social consequences for an arbitrary response; and, 2) Social Interaction Training, in which key joint attention responses crucial to social interaction were assessed and deficiencies in responding were remediated with prompting combined with social reinforcement. The results of the study suggested that social reinforcers can be identified using a multiple schedule and that these reinforcers, when combined with prompting can be successfully applied to teaching joint attention responses in young children and teenagers. We also assessed whether these results generalized to the natural environment for some of the participants. These data will also be discussed.
 
Preferences for Social Attention in Children With Autism: A Functional Taxonomy
NATHAN A. CALL (Marcus Autism Center), M. Alice Shillingsburg (Marcus Autism Center), Crystal N. Bowen (Marcus Autism Center), Addie Jane Findley (Marcus Autism Center)
Abstract: Impairments in social interactions are one of the core behavioral manifestations required for a diagnosis of autism. However, there is significant heterogeneity across individuals with respect to the degree and quality of impairments in their social interactions. One way to sub-categorize individuals with autism may be to measure the extent to which social interactions function as a reinforcer. Previous attempts to categorize individuals with autism based on social behavior have relied on caregiver report (Castelloe & Dawson, 1993). The current study attempted to measure the extent to which attention did or did not function as a reinforcer for three children with autism using observable behavior. Participants were exposed to a series of concurrent operant conditions in which they could either interact with a novel therapist or avoid social interaction. The response effort required to maintain access to or avoid attention increased in subsequent conditions. Participants were grouped into categories based on their preferences for attention and the level of effort expended to maintain access to or avoid attention. Patterns in choice responding were categorized into aloof, passive, and active subtypes, and were correlated with outcomes of intensive behavioral intervention for other skill deficits characteristic of autism, such as language.
 
Teaching Children With Autism to Engage in Social Initiations Using PECS
AMBER R. PADEN (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Tiffany Kodak (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Me), Wayne Fisher (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Elizabeth M. Gawley (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Kelly J. Bouxsein (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Carissa M. Nohr (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center)
Abstract: Increasing social initiations is often a high-priority treatment goal when educating children with autism. Previous research as demonstrated the utility of a scripts (e.g. Krantz & McClannahan, 1998; Petursdottir, McComas, & McMaster, 2007), tactile prompts (Shabani et al., 2002), and activity schedules for increasing social interactions with individuals with ASD (e.g. Betz, Higbee, & Reagon, 2008; Krantz & McClannahan, 1998). A number of individuals with ASD do not have vocal verbal behavior and communicate using a Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS). It remains unclear whether children who use PECS will use this form of communication to initiate interactions with their peers. The current study examined the use of PECS to increase social initiations between two children diagnosed with autism. An ABAB reversal within a multiple baseline across subjects was used to evaluate the effects of treatment on social initiations with peers. Results indicated that the participants independently initiated social interactions by exchanging PECS cards with peers.
 
 
Symposium #175
CE Offered: BACB
An Evaluation of Schedules of Reinforcement on Socially-Maintained Problem Behavior
Sunday, May 30, 2010
10:30 AM–11:50 AM
204AB (CC)
Area: AUT/DDA; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Eileen M. Roscoe (The New England Center for Children)
CE Instructor: Marjorie Charlop-Christy, Ph.D.
Abstract: The current symposium will review data examining the effect of schedules of reinforcement on socially-maintained problem behavior. The first paper will review data on the use of multiple schedules for thinning the schedule of reinforcement during functional communication training. In addition, data will be presented on the use of multiple schedules for reducing ritualistic behavior, problem behavior associated with restricted access to those rituals, and problem behavior maintained by termination of interruption. The second paper will review the use of a concurrent schedule of reinforcement for identifying whether an arbitrary reinforcer, an edible, will compete with a maintaining reinforcer, a break, for participants with escape-maintained problem behavior. Data will be presented on participants’ response selections across various tasks and conditions of reinforcement-schedule thinning. The third paper will review the use of a multiple schedule for treating participants’ off-task behavior maintained by escape and access to tangibles. Data will also be presented on a number of modifications that were made to the multiple-schedule intervention to enhance maintenance of treatment effects. The forth paper will discuss transitions from rich schedules of reinforcement to lean schedules of reinforcement on participants’ problem behavior. Descriptive data will be presented on participants’ problem behavior associated with various types of transitions, including those from non-preferred to preferred activities and those from preferred to non-preferred activities.
 
The Use of Multiple Schedules to Treat Problem Behavior
MELISSA L. GONZALEZ (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Louis P. Hagopian (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Eric Boelter (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Lynn G. Bowman (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Abstract: The use of multiple schedules have been shown to be an effective method to bring human behavior under schedule control. Several case examples will be presented that show the use of multiple schedules as treatment for a variety of problem behaviors. First, case examples of multiple schedules used to thin schedule of reinforcement following functional communication training will be discussed. Next, the use of multiple schedules to decrease both the availability of ritualistic behavior and problem behavior associated with restricting those rituals will be shown. Additional case examples will show the use of multiple schedules to decrease problem behavior maintained by termination of interruption, and the use of these schedules to implement comprehensive treatment packages that alternate across various schedule conditions. Collectively, these case examples demonstrate that multiple schedules can be used to treat a variety of problem behavior by bringing behavior under schedule control.
 
Further Evaluation of the Competition Between Positive and Negative Reinforcement for Escape-Maintained Problem Behavior
Jennifer W. Loring (New England Center for Children), CASEY BETHAY (The New England Center for Children), Eileen M. Roscoe (New England Center for Children)
Abstract: Previous research has shown that when participants with escape-maintained problem behavior are concurrently presented with a response option associated with an arbitrary reinforcer (an edible) and a response option associated with the maintaining reinforcer (escape), they often select the arbitrary reinforcer over the maintaining reinforcer. The purpose of this study was to extend previous research evaluating participants’ selection of a break versus an edible under a concurrent-operant arrangement by conducting pre-assessments to identify a high-preference task and two types of low-preference tasks, a low-preference task that did not evoke problem behavior and a low-preference task that did evoke problem behavior. Each of these tasks was singly presented and alternated using a multielement design. Across task conditions, an edible response option and an escape option were concurrently presented. In addition, the schedule of reinforcement was successively thinned to evaluate whether less frequent reinforcement would alter the response option selected. Results showed that for both participants, neither the task condition nor the reinforcement schedule in effect, affected response option selections. Implications for the treatment of escape-maintained problem behavior will be discussed.
 
Assessment and Treatment of Off-Task Behavior Exhibited by Adolescents With Autism in Vocational Contexts
MAGDA M. STROPNIK (The New England Center for Children), Gregory P. Hanley (Western New England College), Stacy E. Edinburg (The New England Center for Children), Kevin C. Luczynski (Western New England College)
Abstract: The current study extends research in the areas of function-based assessment and treatment to off-task behavior in a vocational context. Two adolescents with autism who engaged in off-task behavior participated. A functional analysis of off-task behavior was conducted and showed elevated levels of off-task in both the escape and tangible conditions for both participants. Effects of a multiple schedule were then assessed in which reinforcement and extinction schedules for off-task behavior operated in alternation, each in the presence of different stimuli. Interobserver agreement was collected for 33% of assessment and treatment sessions on off-task behavior, prompts, and products completed and averaged 88% across all measures. After desirable amounts of off-task behavior were observed, (a) the duration of the off-task schedule component was reduced, (b) self-monitoring procedures were introduced, (c) schedule alternation was made contingent upon completion of a specified number of work products (as opposed to time-based alternation), (d) the number of work products requirement was systematically increased, and session duration was increased from 10 min to 30 min to emulate typical vocational conditions. Treatment effects were maintained as practical schedule enhancements were made. The results will be discussed in the context of promoting vocational independence for adolescents with autism.
 
Descriptive Assessment of Problem Behavior in Transitions Between Activities
BERGLIND SVEINBJORNSDOTTIR (New England Center for Children), Chata A. Dickson (New England Center for Children), Paulo Guilhardi (The New England Center for Children), Karen M. Lionello-DeNolf (University of Massachusetts Medical School), Brent Maxwell Jones (University of Massachusetts Medical Center), William H. Ahearn (The New England Center for Children)
Abstract: Basic research suggests that transitions from rich schedules of reinforcement to lean schedules of reinforcement produce suboptimal performance. This study explores whether these types of schedule transitions produce problem behavior for students with autism. In this study, a transition began when the teacher signaled that an ongoing activity was ending, and ended when the child first responded to the following activity. Descriptive data from 6 children with autism were analyzed to determine which of the following 6 conditions were associated with the most frequent occurrence of problem behavior: (1) non-preferred activities, (2) preferred activities, (3) transitions from non-preferred to other non-preferred activities, (4) transitions from non-preferred to preferred activities, (5) transitions from preferred to other preferred activities, and (6) transitions from preferred to non-preferred activities. For each of 6 participants, problem behavior was most common in signaled transitions from a preferred to a non-preferred activity.
 
 
Symposium #176
CE Offered: BACB
Psychometric Issues in the Behavioral Treatment of Children With Autism
Sunday, May 30, 2010
10:30 AM–11:50 AM
203AB (CC)
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Gerald E. Harris (Texas Young Autism Project)
Discussant: Gerald E. Harris (Texas Young Autism Project)
CE Instructor: Susan Ainsleigh, Ed.D.
Abstract: While not as exciting as new intervention techniques, accurate assessment of children with autism is an important and necessary conjunct of successful ABA treatment. The power and credibility of ABA in this area is demonstrated through measurement. The 3 presentations in this symposium present data that increases the psychometric knowledge, and thus the utility, of widely used measures of intelligence and behavior problems in the autistic population. Data were collected from comprehensive assessments of a large sample of children diagnosed with autistic disorder as they participated in behavioral treatment programs. Good sample sizes and appropriate data analytic procedures are important features of these studies. The first presentation looks at treatment outcome predictive value of the CBCL. The second data-based presentation describes extended normative tools for using the WPPSI-III with children with autism. The third presentation looks at how well an ABA intervention decreases cognitive variability in children. All three of these presentations represent another step forward in our ability to convincingly demonstrate the effectiveness of behavioral interventions.
 
Predicting the Reduction of Positive Signs of Autism From ABA Treatment
GERI MARIA HARRIS (Texas Young Autism Project), Gerald E. Harris (Texas Young Autism Project)
Abstract: The 2008 Annual Report by the Texas Council on Autism emphasizes the need for widespread screening of young children for autistic spectrum disorders in order to identify those needing special services. One measure that has potential for cost-effective screening use is the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL). The CBCL is a well established, valid, and reliable parent report measure of early childhood behavior. Previously presented research has demonstrated the very good inter-parental reliability, strong correlation with autistic spectrum disorders diagnostic criteria, and cognitive treatment outcome predictive utility of the CBCL. The present study looks at the CBCL as a predictor of post- ABA treatment undesirable characteristics and behaviors seen in ASD. Study participants were mothers of 215 young children diagnosed with an autistic spectrum disorder who received ABA treatment for one year. The CBCL and CARS (Childhood Autism Rating Scale) measures were administered, as part of an extensive evaluation battery, both before and after treatment. Statistical analyses, including cross-lagged panel correlation analysis, of the data showed that the CBCL can significantly predict decreases in the CARS scores post-treatment. Implications for identification and treatment of children with autistic spectrum disorders are discussed.
 
Use of the WPPSI-III With Children With Autism: Revised Normalizations and Psychometric Properties for Interpretation
WENDY J. NEELY (Texas Young Autism Project), Gerald E. Harris (Texas Young Autism Project)
Abstract: Measurement of cognitive abilities of children with autism is integral to the design and evaluation of behavioral interventions. The Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence is generally considered to be the “gold standard” of intelligence tests but the normalization tables were developed for general population preschool age children. Use of these tables for children with autism is problematic for assessing progress when cognitive gains are achieved at a slower rate than children in the general population. Test scores also frequently result in a “floor effect”. Previous research presented WPPSI-III norm tables developed specifically for the autism population which allow a more specific and accurate presentation and interpretation of a child’s change in cognitive functioning and a psychometric analysis of reliability across a one year time span. The present study extends the psychometric analysis for these norms through examination of differences across subtests for 220 repeated administrations. When used together, these new tools can provide useful information such as progress for an individual relative to a specific population and better identification of specific skill strengths and weaknesses.
 
Reducing Variability: ABA Treatment Outcome Data for Children With Autism
GERALD E. HARRIS (Texas Young Autism Project), Wendy J. Neely (Texas Young Autism Project)
Abstract: A substantial body of research demonstrates that behavioral intervention (ABA) does improve the overall cognitive abilities of children with Autism. However, the goal is also to reduce the variability across intellectual skills that is such a prominent characteristic of autism. Significant differences across cognitive abilities can be a serious problem in itself, and interfere in successful participation in mainstream life. Previous research has not directly addressed this issue. The present study examines outcome data from a large sample of young children with autism who participated in a systematic behavioral treatment program for one year in order to determine the degree to which pretreatment cognitive variability was reduced. Pre-treatment and post-treatment cognitive test data from 220 young children was examined statistically to assess change over time in the variability of composite and subtest scores on the Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scales of Intelligence 3rd Ed. (WPPSI-III). Findings are consistent with previous research in that children with autism do exhibit increased cognitive ability following ABA intervention, and additionally show that, for many children, there is significant reduction in variability within composite scores and across subtests. The implications for diagnostic and clinical treatment outcome interpretations are discussed.
 
 
Symposium #178
CE Offered: BACB
Coping With Clients' Demands for Medication: Behavioral Alternatives, Recommendations, and a Primer on Psychotropic Drugs
Sunday, May 30, 2010
10:30 AM–11:50 AM
Texas Ballroom Salon C (Grand Hyatt)
Area: CBM/CSE; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: W. Joseph Wyatt (Marshall University)
CE Instructor: Janet Twyman, Ph.D.
Abstract: Increasingly, clients arrive at treatment convinced that medications, rather than non-medical interventions such as functional analytic techniques, represent their best hope for improvement. This symposium will review the methods employed by organized psychiatry and the pharmaceutical industry as they have worked to promote this phenomenon. It will also describe data-based behavioral treatment for several common disorders, including those frequently seen in developmentally disabled and non-developmentally disabled populations. Topics also include the relative risks of several common psychotropic medications vis-a-vis behvioral treatments and the extent to which both are grounded in research. Attendees will be introduced to a primer on psychotropic drugs designed to help behavioral practitioners and others avoid being intimidated by, or giving excessive deference to, psychiatrists regarding medications. It contains a user-friendly summary of the basic facts concerning drugs and enables the user to quickly find main effects, side effects, black box warnings and typical dosages.
 
What To Do, Now Yhat Big Pharma and Psychiatry Have Thrown Empiricism Under the Bus
W. JOSEPH WYATT (Marshall University)
Abstract: Organized Psychiatry and the pharmaceutical industry have worked toward a mutually reinforcing cultural zietgeist, to wit: the majority of psychological/behavioral disorders are biologically caused and medications are the treatments of choice. The history of this phenomenon and its implications for behavioral practitioners will be presented.
 
Superior Efficacy of Exercise and other Nonmedical Behavioral Treatments for Common Psychological Problems and Disorders
STEPHEN RAY FLORA (Youngstown State University)
Abstract: Although medications are frequently touted as the treatments of choice for common disorders such as depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder and child conduct problems, behavioral interventions have proven to be equal, or greater, in effectiveness. Additionally, non-drug treatments do not bear the risks of drug dependency and unfortunate drug side-effects. Several of these behavioral treatments, and the research that underlies them, will be presented.
 
A Primer on Psychotropic Medication: A Tool for Dealing With Psychiatrists' Deference to Drug Treatment
MATTHEW L. ISRAEL (Judge Rotenberg Center)
Abstract: Behavioral practitioners may be overwhelmed by the deference they are expected to demonstrate toward psychiatrists and toward drug treatment. Thus, it is useful to be well informed regarding psychotropic medications. A primer will be described which contains a user-friendly overview of basic facts about psychiatric drugs' main effects, side effects, black box warnings, typical dosages and other useful information.
 
Positive Behavioral Treatment With Supplementary Skin-Shock: An Alternative to Medication for Treatment of Aggression
ROBERT VON HEYN (Judge Rotenberg Center), Nathan Blenkush (Judge Rotenberg Center)
Abstract: Historically, severe aggression has often been treated via heavy doses of medication, and that has been the case especially with aggression in the developmentally disabled. However, such medications frequently have severe, sometimes irreversible, long-term negative side-effects including neurological disorders such as tardive dyskinesia. Additionally, the medications may leave the client lethargic, and may need to be taken daily forever. In contrast, supplementary skin-shock may eliminate aggression altogether, or may reduce it to more managable levels, and it may do so without harmful side-effects. The procedure will be described along with case study and research-based descriptions of its use.
 
 
Symposium #181
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Applied Behavior Analysis in Educational, Hospital, and Residential Settings: Foundations for Individual Programming and Program Management
Sunday, May 30, 2010
10:30 AM–11:50 AM
217D (CC)
Area: DDA/AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Michael F. Cataldo (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
CE Instructor: Jessica Doucette, M.S.
Abstract: This symposium will feature speakers who will discuss programs representing a range of settings in which behavior analytic services are provided, including a public and a private school, an inpatient unit, and a residential program. Specific programs to be discussed will be the New England Center for Children’s ABA classroom in a public school setting; the Alpine Learning Group’s ABA school-based program; the Kennedy Krieger Institute’s inpatient behavioral unit; and Advoserve’s residential program. Presenters will discuss the structure and function of these programs, including how a behavior analytic conceptual framework guides clinical programming as well as program management.
 
Using Applied Behavior Analysis in Public Schools: A Fruitful, Yet Challenging Endeavor
AMY S. GECKELER (The New England Center for Children), William H. Ahearn (The New England Center for Children)
Abstract: The New England Center for Children began addressing the challenge of delivering services in the public schools fourteen years ago, starting with one classroom for children with autism. Since then, NECC has set up 18 Partner Program Model Classrooms in 13 school districts and 2 states. One hundred and seventy three children with autism and related disabilities have been served in this model. Approximately 90 children are currently served and about 20 children graduate or leave the model classrooms yearly, due either to progress or aging out of the service. Of the 91 children who have left the Model Classrooms, 29 children have graduated to general education classrooms and 46 have successfully transitioned into special education classrooms. This talk will outline key components of establishing an ABA model in this setting, discuss how classrooms are structured and give examples of how individualized curriculum are developed, training programs are implemented, and supervision systems are established in a public school system. Challenges faced in this setting and options for addressing these challenges will be addressed. We will also discuss the need for bringing the often resource-intense ABA model to scale in order to meet the needs of as many children as possible.
 
Applied Behavior Analysis in a School Setting: Systematic Staff Training and Program Evaluation
BRIDGET A. TAYLOR (Alpine Learning Group), Kate Britton (Alpine Learning Group)
Abstract: For twenty years Alpine Learning Group has been designing and implementing systems of instruction for learners with autism. Alpine’s philosophy, based on the scientific principles of learning, sets the occasion for a number of essential program components, including the implementation of individualized instruction, on-going measurement of learner performance, systematic staff training, and program-wide evaluation measures. This presentation will provide an overview of Alpine Learning Group’s systems of accountability, staff training and program evaluation protocols. Case studies will be used to illustrate Alpine Learning Group’s core program components.
 
When worlds collide good things can happen: Applied behavior analysis in an inpatient hospital setting
LOUIS P. HAGOPIAN (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Lynn G. Bowman (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Marilyn D. Cataldo (Kennedy Krieger Institute), SungWoo Kahng (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Heather K. Jennett (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Patricia F. Kurtz (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Natalie Rolider (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Michael F. Cataldo (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Abstract: The Neurobehavioral Unit at the Kennedy Krieger Institute is an inpatient behavioral unit specializing in the treatment of severe problem behavior displayed by children and adolescents with developmental and intellectual disabilities. The program has been in existence for 30 years, and has served individuals from over 25 states. This presentation will discuss how a behavior analytic framework has been foundational to the provision of behavioral assessment and treatment services, as well as: the evaluation and analysis of pharmacologic interventions; staff training, management, and retention; collaboration with other professionals in an interdisciplinary hospital setting; and obtaining funding for services by commercial insurance and state Medicaid programs.
 
AdvoServ: Behavioral Treatment Services for Severe Behavior Disorders
JUDITH E. FAVELL (AdvoServ), James F. McGimsey (AdvoServ), Terry J. Page (AdvoServ), Cheryl L. Ecott (AdvoServ), Kelly A. Dancho (AdvoServ)
Abstract: The treatment of severe behavior problems with individuals with developmental disabilities and mental health disorders remains a significant social and clinical challenge. This presentation describes the structure and processes of a multi-state residential program serving individuals exhibiting problems such as extreme aggression and self-injury. The program strives to employ and embody behavior analytic principles and practices in all aspects of its operation, from individual treatment programs, to staff management and motivation, to organizational development and quality assurance. Data and descriptions of the effects of this behavioral orientation to service delivery will be presented. The presentation will further address the current regulatory, political and social environment, as contexts which directly effect the efficacy of behavioral services in the United States.
 
 
Symposium #182
CE Offered: BACB
Functional Assessment of Problem Behavior and Factors That Influence Effectiveness of Interventions
Sunday, May 30, 2010
10:30 AM–11:50 AM
217A (CC)
Area: DDA/AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Sarah E. Bloom (Utah State University)
CE Instructor: Tonya Davis, Ph.D.
Abstract: This symposium includes four papers that address functional assessment and treatment of problem behavior with children who have developmental disabilities and/or autism spectrum disorders. The first two papers focus on assessment strategies and the last two papers are related to intervention. The first paper presents a large sample of indirect functional assessments (Questions About Behavioral Function, i.e. QABF) performed with children with autism. The second paper presents two experiments evaluating a teacher-conducted trial-based functional analysis. The third paper examines a signaled delay to reinforcement procedure on the problem behavior maintained by access to tangible items. The fourth paper evaluates factors related to the efficacy of choice to function as a reinforcer in skill acquisition/problem behavior reduction interventions with preschoolers with autism spectrum disorder. This symposium will be valuable for researchers and clinicians interested in advances in functional assessment of problem behavior as well as function-based interventions.
 
Functional Assessment of Challenging Behavior in 100 Children With Autism
ARTHUR E. WILKE (Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc.), Dennis Dixon (Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc.), Jonathan J. Tarbox (Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc.), Michele R. Bishop (Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc.), Amy Kenzer (Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc.), Catherine Peters (Center For Autism and Related Disorders, Inc.), Heleya Kakavand (Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc.)
Abstract: Individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) commonly display challenging behaviors. However, relatively little research has evaluated the functions of challenging behaviors across large samples of individuals on the spectrum. In this study, we administered indirect functional assessments, in the form of the Questions About Behavioral Function (QABF), to 100 children with autism. We also conducted a second administration of the QABF with an additional caregiver in 10% of the sample, in order to assess the inter-rater reliability of parental report. In order to assess the validity of the QABF findings, we also conducted experimental functional analyses with 10% of the sample. Results are analyzed in terms of the relative prevalence of attention, escape, tangible, and automatic functions across various topographies of challenging behavior, including aggression, self-injury, physical stereotypy, vocal stereotypy, and disruption. Implications for commonly held assumptions regarding the function of challenging behaviors emitted by individuals with ASDs are discussed.
 
Evaluation of a Teacher Conducted Trial-Based Functional Analysis
Sarah E. Bloom (Utah State University), JOSEPH MICHAEL LAMBERT (Utah State University), Joy S. Pollard (Utah State University), Tyra P. Sellers (Utah State University), Elizabeth Dayton (Utah State University), Andrew Samaha (Utah State University), Alice A. Keyl (Utah State University)
Abstract: We evaluated a teacher-conducted trial-based approach to functional analysis in classroom settings in two experiments. In the first Experiment, classroom teachers were trained to conduct trial-based functional analyses with five students referred for problem behavior. Outcomes of these teacher-conducted trial-based functional analyses were compared to standard functional analyses (Iwata, Dorsey, Slifer, Bauman, & Richman, 1982/1994) conducted by Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBA). Outcomes of both assessments showed correspondence in three of the five cases, with partial correspondence obtained the remaining two cases. In the second Experiment, classroom teachers conducted additional trial-based functional analyses and developed function-based interventions based on the trial-based functional analyses. Results suggest that classroom teachers may conduct trial-based functional analyses when they don’t have the resources to conduct standard functional analyses and that those trial-based functional analyses may be the basis for effective function-based interventions. Implications for classroom-based assessment and accessibility of function-based intervention are discussed.
 
Effects of a Signaled Delay to Reinforcement Procedure on the Problem Behavior of Young Children With Autism
ALICE A. KEYL (Utah State University), Thomas S. Higbee (Utah State University)
Abstract: Delays to reinforcement have been cited as a common issue in individuals with developmental disabilities who are seeking access to reinforcement. Typically, issues of delays to reinforcement have been discussed as they are related to self-control (e.g., choosing a larger more delayed reinforcer over a smaller more immediate reinforcer) and subsequent interventions implemented to increase self-control. However, aberrant behavior may occur as a result of delays to reinforcement outside of a self-control context. For example, individuals may be required to wait for a specified amount of time before a reinforcer is available (e.g., food items that must be cooked prior to consumption). The purpose of the present study was to evaluate whether the use of a signal (printed sign) to indicate both delay to reinforcement and reinforcement availability would decrease problem behavior in young children diagnosed with autism in a preschool setting. Results suggest that a signaled delay significantly decreased problem behavior as compared to no signal. Additionally this skill (waiting) was generalized to other settings and delays were increased from 30 sec to 2 min.
 
Evaluating Choice as a Reinforcer
TYRA P. SELLERS (Utah State University), Sarah E. Bloom (Utah State University)
Abstract: Providing individuals with disabilities the opportunity to choose is a strategy that is often recommended in skill acquisition and/or behavior reduction programs. In Experiment 1, we examined whether or not a preference for choice can be assessed using a paired-stimulus preference assessment, within which participants chose between edible items presented in 3 arrangements (a single item vs. 4 identical items vs. 4 varied items). Experiment 2 consisted of a concurrent-schedule reinforcer assessment within which we assessed whether higher rates of responding were obtained on tasks associated with a choice between 4 identical items or tasks associated with a single item (no choice). Experiment 3 also consisted of a concurrent-schedule reinforcer assessment, but assessed whether higher rates of responding were obtained on tasks associated with a choice between 4 varied-items or tasks associated with a single item (no choice). Preliminary results indicate that contingent choice (between multiple identical items or between varied items) may more effectively reinforce behavior than contingent access to a single preferred item (no choice) for some individuals. Momentary changes in preference for individual edible items may influence the value of choice in some cases. Implications for development of reinforcement contingencies for use in skill acquisition and/or behavior reductions will be discussed.
 
 
Symposium #187
CE Offered: BACB
Story Telling: Analysis, Assessment, and Effects
Sunday, May 30, 2010
10:30 AM–11:50 AM
Texas Ballroom Salon E (Grand Hyatt)
Area: EDC/VRB; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Timothy A. Slocum (Utah State University)
Discussant: Ilene S. Schwartz (University of Washington)
CE Instructor: Bethany Raiff, Ph.D.
Abstract: This symposium will cover a sequence of papers addressing narrative language (or storytelling). First, we will introduce narrative language and provide a conceptual analysis. In this paper, the presenter will provide the context for the following presentations. Second, we will cover the assessment of narrative language. Because storytelling involves a large verbal operant and a number of smaller structural elements, the assessment of storytelling from a behavioral perspective poses several challenges. These challenges and new developments in the assessment of narrative language will be presented. Lastly, an empirical investigation of a narrative intervention with young children will be presented.
 
A Behavioral Analysis of Narrative Language
TIMOTHY A. SLOCUM (Utah State University)
Abstract: Narrative language, or storytelling, is an important area of language for young children. It is a context in which numerous specific language skills are practiced and reinforced, it has practical importance for communicating with adults, and it is correlated with later language and literacy outcomes. However, narrative language has received relatively little attention from behavior analysts. This presentation will offer a conceptual behavior analysis of narrative language. In this presentation, narrative language is described as a complex hierarchical repertoire of verbal skills that are organized by an abstract molar operant we can call narrative structure. Narrative structure includes elements such as setting, character, plot, and resolution. Narrative structure is learned over time and is amenable to shaping. Numerous other verbal operants are identifiable at lower hierarchical levels. For example, use of dialogue and indicators of temporal and causal relations are verbal operants organized by narrative structure. This conceptual analysis provides a context for the following presentations on assessment and intervention on narrative language.
 
Assessment of Narrative Language: Developments, Innovations, and Challenges
DOUGLAS B. PETERSEN (University of Wyoming)
Abstract: The assessment of narrative language is just beginning to gain widespread use among professionals concerned with the examination of child language. The purpose of this presentation is to provide an overview of common methods used to elicit and assess narration. This presentation will summarize the current criterion- and norm-referenced narrative assessment tools and introduce the newest developments in narrative assessment procedures, offering specific information about the Narrative Language Measure (NLM). The NLM is a new progress-monitoring instrument designed for use with young children. The relevance of narrative assessment to behavior analytic practice will be discussed.
 
The Effect of a Narrative Intervention on Preschoolers’ Story Retelling and Personal Story Generation Skills
TRINA D. SPENCER (Utah State University)
Abstract: This study evaluated the effects of a narrative intervention on story retelling and personal story generation skills of at-risk preschoolers with narrative language delays. Intervention was delivered in a small group arrangement (4 children and 1 instructor) and involved systematically adjusted materials, activities, and assistance within session to shape increasingly independent practice of oral narration. A multiple baseline design was employed with five participants across baseline, intervention, and maintenance phases. Participants made substantial gains in narrative retelling, improved personal story generation performance, and improvements maintained when assessed following a 2-week break. Applied and research extensions of narrative intervention will be discussed in terms of populations, procedures, and contexts.
 
 
Symposium #188
CE Offered: BACB
Evaluating Sources of Social Reinforcement in Early Education Environments
Sunday, May 30, 2010
10:30 AM–11:50 AM
Texas Ballroom Salon D (Grand Hyatt)
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Claudia L. Dozier (University of Kansas)
CE Instructor: Sabrina Daneshvar, Ph.D.
Abstract: Many classroom behaviors are influenced by contingencies of social reinforcement. Descriptive analyses can be useful for identifying naturally occurring social events that may influence the acquisition and maintenance of child behavior both appropriate and inappropriate. Subsequently, results of these descriptive analyses might inform the arrangement of experimental analyses to determine functional relations between these social events and the behavior of interest. The purpose of this symposium is to demonstrate the use of both descriptive and functional analyses in identification of variables associated with the maintenance of appropriate and inappropriate behavior in the classroom context.
 
Functional Analysis and Treatment in Early Education Classrooms
BRIAN D. GREER (University of Kansas), Pamela L. Neidert (University of Kansas), Claudia L. Dozier (University of Kansas), Steven W. Payne (University of Kansas)
Abstract: Despite repeated demonstrations of the efficacy of functional analysis (FA) to identify reinforcers responsible for the maintenance of problem behavior prior to the development of treatment, some researchers have questioned the ecological validity of FA, because the majority of studies report FAs conducted under controlled conditions that may not closely resemble settings in which problem behavior typically occurs. In the current investigation, functional analyses were conducted for four young, typically developing children who displayed problem behavior (aggression and property destruction). All sessions were conducted in a classroom within the context of ongoing classroom activities. Subsequently, treatments based on the results of the FA were implemented to assess the validity of the outcomes of the functional analyses. The effect of functional analysis conditions on classroom levels of problem behavior were compared before, during, and after the assessment. Results are discussed in terms of the utility of classroom-based assessment and analysis of naturally occurring events that may compromise procedural integrity.
 
An Evaluation of the Effects of Adult Attention on the Occurrence of Infant Vocalizations
MEGAN HAFEN (University of Kansas), Pamela L. Neidert (University of Kansas), Claudia L. Dozier (University of Kansas)
Abstract: The results of previous studies suggest that infant vocalizations may be sensitive to social stimulation as a reinforcer (e.g., Rheingold, Gewirtz, & Ross, 1959; Poulson, 1983). The present study examined teacher-infant interactions in three early intervention settings to determine (a) the prevalence of vocalizations, (b) the temporal contiguity between infant vocalizations and adult social interaction, and (c) the nature of adult social interaction. Data were collected on the percentage of intervals in which infant vocalizations occurred and the frequency of vocal, physical, and tangible interactions delivered by the classroom teachers. Data were analyzed by calculating conditional and unconditional probabilities to identify potential contingencies. Results suggested that (a) levels of vocalizations were similar across classrooms, (b) potential neutral contingencies between social interaction and vocalizations existed in two of the three classrooms, and (c) the nature of adult social interactions varied across the classrooms. Future directions may include conducting functional analyses of infant vocalizations and using results to modify environmental arrangements to facilitate vocalizations in “natural” settings.
 
Assessment of Idiosyncratic Reinforcement Contingencies for Problem Behavior
STEVEN W. PAYNE (University of Kansas), Claudia L. Dozier (University of Kansas), Pamela L. Neidert (University of Kansas), Matthew Newquist (University of Kansas)
Abstract: Functional analysis methodology is an assessment tool used to identify environmental contingencies that influence problem behavior and serves as the basis for developing interventions that directly alter those contingencies. However, researchers have shown that problem behavior may occur in specific contexts or be influenced by idiosyncratic sources of reinforcement. Further assessment may be necessary to identify the specific antecedents and consequences that influence behavior when uncontrolled in an FA. In the current study, initial FA results identified a particular source(s) of reinforcement for the problem behavior of two preschool children. Function-based treatments were implemented to increase appropriate behavior and decrease problem behavior. However, treatment did not result in clinically significant reductions in problem behavior. Within-session analysis of responding during treatment sessions revealed that the majority of problem behavior occurred during periods when the establishing operation for the reinforcer identified by the FA was absent. An analysis was conducted within the context of treatment to test for additional sources of reinforcement for problem behavior. Results for both participants revealed additional idiosyncratic antecedent stimuli and reinforcers for problem behavior not identified in the original FA. Implications for the identification of idiosyncratic sources of influence on problem behavior during functional assessment are discussed.
 
A Descriptive Assessment on the Prevalence and Qualitative Characteristics of Peer Attention
KYLIE ROBERTS (New England Center for Children), Jessica Sassi (New England Center for Children), Carrie Lawton (New England Center for Children)
Abstract: Studies have shown that in some cases, peer attention maintains some students’ problem behavior (e.g., Northup et. al., 1995). These studies tend to use confederate peers (rather than the actual peers providing attention in the natural environment) and similar topographies of attention across all participants (reprimands). Information on events that follow problem behavior in the natural environment may provide some empirical validation for the use of peer-delivered consequences during functional analyses. The current study consists of two descriptive assessments. The first descriptive assessment consists of a prevalence study on peer attention as a consequence for problem behavior in an academic classroom. The second descriptive assessment consists of a study on the topographies of peer attention provided in the natural environment. Results indicate that peer attention is a fairly common occurrence in the academic classroom, and that common topographies of peer attention vary widely, but do not appear to typically include reprimands. The results will be discussed in terms of application to further research and clinical practice.
 
 
Symposium #189
CE Offered: BACB
Aggregated Data in the Development and Evaluation of Programs of Instruction for Students With Autism
Sunday, May 30, 2010
10:30 AM–11:50 AM
Texas Ballroom Salon B (Grand Hyatt)
Area: EDC/AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Renee Mansfield (New England Center for Children)
Discussant: Daniel E. Hursh (West Virginia University)
CE Instructor: Jessica Franco, Ph.D.
Abstract: Typically, the data of interest to behavior analysts are compared within individuals. In some cases, however, data aggregated across individuals can be useful; for example, in the development and evaluation of programs of instruction. The designers of behavioral instruction may use aggregated data to assess the validity of measurement tools, effects of a program on a particular population, and data-based targets for persons with suboptimal performance. Analyses of aggregated student-performance data may serve as a fruitful heuristic, spotlighting areas of need for a particular population, or skill areas in need of improved instruction. The analysis of data aggregated across individuals can be an important component of a program of research that to lead to maximally effective and socially valid programs of intervention. The papers collected for this symposium discuss and exemplify the merits of aggregate data analysis in the evaluation and development of programs of instruction for children with autism.
 
Aggregate Data in the Developmental Evaluation of a Core Skills Assessment
CHATA A. DICKSON (New England Center for Children), Renee Mansfield (New England Center for Children), Maria Andrade (The New England Center for Children), Nikki Campbell (New England Center for Children)
Abstract: Data-based decision making is a hallmark of behavior-analytic service delivery; but when it comes to selecting targets for instruction, this standard can be difficult to attain. The Core Skills Assessment (CSA) is used to assess the performance of individual students on skills considered foundational for students with developmental disabilities. For each student at a school for children with autism, results of this assessment aid in the selection of educational targets. Aggregate data have been invaluable in the development this assessment tool: (a) stakeholders in the Applied Behavior Analysis and autism community were surveyed to assess the social validity of the skills targeted as Core, (b) correlational data between performance on the CSA and other measures of progress were analyzed, and (c) historical CSA data across many students were used to develop a suggested sequence of Core Skills to be targeted in each student’s education plan. The use of aggregate data continues to allow for data-based development, validation, and use of the CSA.
 
Iterative Evaluation of the Autism Curriculum Encyclopedia: Focusing Research, Improving Skills
MARIA ANDRADE (The New England Center for Children), Renee Mansfield (New England Center for Children), Chata A. Dickson (New England Center for Children), Utah W. Nickel (New England Center for Children)
Abstract: Although the behavior of individuals is the primary interest of behavior analysts, aggregated data have proven invaluable in the evaluation and development of a data-based curriculum for children with autism. Core Skills Assessment® data for students at the New England Center for Children (NECC) are stored in a central location on a web-based application. These data have been aggregated and used in a variety of ways for program evaluation and curriculum development. For example, data were aggregated for each skill across students, and areas of relative weakness across the program were identified. Average student performance of two domestic skills, showering and brushing teeth, lagged behind performance of other skills. This finding led to increased experimental research into methods for teaching these skills, and the results of this research fed back into curriculum design. Student performance of these skills has improved, and this cycle of evaluation, experimental research, implementation, and further evaluation has served as a model for the continued development of the curriculum at NECC.
 
Using a Direct Observation Assessment Battery to Assess Outcome of EIBI for Children With Autism
DIANA PARRY-CRUWYS (New England Center for Children), Amanda Karsten (Western New England College), Meghan E. Robinson (New England Center for Children), Rebecca P. F. MacDonald (New England Center for Children)
Abstract: Intensive behavioral intervention (EIBI) for young children diagnosed with autism can produce large gains in social, cognitive, and language development. Some researchers have used the instructional targets of joint attention skills and academic skills (e.g., imitation skills, instruction following) as criteria for determining outcome, although often in the form of indirect testing and questionnaires. The current study examined the performance of children with autism aged 1-5 and their typically developing peers using a direct observation assessment battery. These data are from a 10-year longitudinal sample of performance of young children with autism. We examined performance on joint attention and academic skills to determine outcomes for children with autism enrolled in an EIBI program. Performance was compared to direct measures taken for typically developing same-age peers, and within-group variables that may influence outcome such as age at intake, length of intervention and initial performance on the direct assessment battery are also examined.
 
 
Symposium #192
CE Offered: BACB
Learning Efficiency Research and Practice: Better Client Outcomes with Reduced Time and Costs
Sunday, May 30, 2010
10:30 AM–11:50 AM
Republic B (Grand Hyatt)
Area: OBM/AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Guy S. Bruce (Florida Institute of Technology)
Discussant: Henry S. Pennypacker (University of Florida)
CE Instructor: Daniel Moran, Ph.D.
Abstract: Learning efficiency is a measure of the amount of performance improvement per amount of learner interaction time with a teacher or learning activities. The identification of variables that affect learning efficiency can lead to procedures for improving it, and higher learning efficiencies translate into reduced time and costs for learners to acquire competent performance. After an introducing the concept of learning efficiency, how to measure it and the benefits of collecting measures, we will present data from research that evaluated the effect of number of practice opportunities per minute on the efficiency with which adults with no learning difficulties acquired desired performance. Preliminary data suggest that higher rates of practice opportunities produce higher learning efficiencies, with additional data to be collected. Our final paper will present the results of a project to improve the data-based decision making process at a school for children with Autism, where measures of client learning efficiency and teacher performance were used to decide when to make program changes, in order to improve client learning efficiency.
 
Why Should We Measure Learning Efficiency?
GUY S. BRUCE (Florida Institute of Technology), Janelle Allison (Florida Institute of Technology), Mai-Linh Pham (Florida Institute of Technology)
Abstract: Learning efficiency is a measure of the amount of performance improvement per amount of learner interaction time with a teacher or learning activities. This paper will define learning efficiency, describe procedures for measuring and evaluating it, review the research on the efficiency of different teaching procedures and features of learning programs, provide some examples of how learning efficiency measures have been used to improve learning efficiency, and discuss the benefits of improved learning efficiency for individual clients and organizations whose mission is to help clients acquire the language, social, self-help, and self-management skills they need to live successful lives. Research on learning efficiency will allow us to develop more efficient teaching procedures and learning programs for any type of learner, including children with Autism, adults with other types of learning difficulties, teachers, parents, employees, regular educations students, and even graduate students. Organizations responsible for education or training can collect measures of learning efficiency and use them to decide when to make program changes to improve learning efficiency, in order achieve their missions of producing competent performance with an acceptable return on investment.
 
The Effect of Practice Opportunities per Minute on Learning Efficiency
GUY S. BRUCE (Florida Institute of Technology), Jordan P. Boudreau (Florida Institute of Technology), YiHui Gong (Florida Institute of Technology)
Abstract: Learning efficiency is a measure of the amount of improvement in performance per cumulative number of minutes of learner interaction time with teacher or learning program. Information about the relationship between variables such as the number of practice opportunities per minute and how efficiency learners acquire desired performance could be used to develop more efficiency teaching procedures and learning activities. This paper reports the results of an experiment in which we investigated the effect of different rates of practice opportunities on the efficiency with which participants acquired a type of verbal performance, saying the English Equivalent word when written Chinese words were presented. The design was within-subject alternating treatment in which we controlled for other variables such as number of practice opportunities, type of prompting and reinforcement procedure, and feedback frequency. Preliminary data show that conditions with 20 practice opportunities per minute produced higher learning efficiencies than conditions with 5 practice opportunities per minute
 
Engineering a Data-Based Program Change Process to Improve Client Learning Efficiency at a School for Children With Autism
JORDAN P. BOUDREAU (Florida Institute of Technology), Nicole Becker (Florida Institute of Technology), Daniel C. DeRosa (Florida Institute of Technology), Lindsey Knopf (Florida Institute of Technology), Samuel Leiws Yoffe (Florida Institute of Technology), Megan A. Boyle (Florida Institute of Technology), Guy S. Bruce (Florida Institute of Technology)
Abstract: Human service organizations, such as the Scott Center for Children with Autism, serve clients who are seeking to acquire the language and social skills necessary for successful transition to a less restrictive environment. Because the number of service delivery hours that such organizations can provide is limited by both funding and a small time window for the delivery of effective interventions, services must be both effective in helping children acquire the skills they need and efficient. Learning efficiency is a measure that combines the effectiveness and efficiency with which an organization helps its clients acquire the language and social skills they need for successful lives. This paper will report on a project to collect measures of client learning efficiency and teacher performance and implement an efficient data-based program change process to improve client learning efficiencies. We will compare the number of days required to make program changes when data indicate that changes are needed before and after implementation of the new decision-making process, and the efficiency of the old and new process with respect to client acquisition of desired language and social skills.
 
 
Symposium #214
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Recent Research in the Assessment and Treatment of Stereotypic Behavior
Sunday, May 30, 2010
1:30 PM–2:50 PM
206AB (CC)
Area: AUT/EDC; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Hannah E. Hoch (Rethink Autism)
Discussant: John T. Rapp (St. Cloud State University)
CE Instructor: Siri Ming, M.A.
Abstract: Stereotypic and repetitive behavior maintained by automatic reinforcement poses challenges for developing effective assessment and treatment procedures. Assessment techniques and intervention strategies have involved both antecedent- and consequence-based procedures. In this symposium, 3 studies will be presented describing strategies used in the assessment and treatment of stereotypic and repetitive behavior maintained by automatic reinforcement. One paper will focus on the evaluation of repetitive behavior of typically developing adults, and will discuss the extension of the assessment procedures for use with individuals with autism. A second paper will describe a stimulus control procedure used to decrease stereotypy in a young boy with autism. A third paper will describe a reinforcement-based intervention procedure for decreasing vocal stereotypy in three students with autism. All papers will end with a discussion of implications for clinical practice and future research.
 
An Evaluation of Repetitive Behavior in Typically Functioning Adults and Implications for Functional Analyses
AMANDA BOSCH (University of Florida), Timothy R. Vollmer (University of Florida), Ashley Breeden (University of South Florida), Alison Nyman (University of Florida), Andrea Zawoyski (University of Florida), Danielle Broome (University of Florida)
Abstract: We evaluated repetitive behavior (e.g. nail biting, hair twirling, and skin scratching) in fifty typically functioning adults under conditions similar to those utilized in an antecedent-based functional analysis. Results showed that a majority of participants engaged in the highest levels of repetitive behavior in the alone condition, suggesting that repetitive behavior was maintained by automatic reinforcment. A subset of participants displayed high rates of repetitive behavior in the demand condition; the absence of programmed consequences in the demand condition suggests that repetitive behavior in this condition may have been maintained by automatic reinforcement under conditions of aversive stimulation. We will also present data extending our methods to children and adolescents with developmental disabilities and/or autism and extending our methods to include treatment components. Implications for functional analysis methodologies will be discussed.
 
A Stimulus Control Procedure to Decrease Motor Stereotypy
ALISON S. O'CONNOR (Alpine Learning Group), Jessica Prieto (Alpine Learning Group), Barbara Hoffmann (Alpine Learning Group), Bridget A. Taylor (Alpine Learning Group)
Abstract: This project extended the work of Brusa and Richman (2008) in using stimulus control procedures to decrease stereotypy. A changing criterion design was used to examine the effects of two stimuli, conditioned via discrimination training, on reducing stereotypy while looking at books. During discrimination training sessions, stereotypy was not interrupted in the green condition; however, in the red condition, stereotypy was interrupted using manual guidance, and appropriate book play was reinforced. After the participant demonstrated successful discrimination of the conditions (i.e., engagement in appropriate book play in the red condition only, as well as engagement in stereotypy in the green condition only), experimental sessions began. During intervention, upon meeting criterion for engaging in appropriate book play in the presence of red stimuli for a specified duration, the participant was provided access to stereotypy in the presence of green stimuli. The criterion duration of appropriate book play was systematically increased, and simultaneously the duration of access to the green stimuli was systematically decreased. Results indicated that access to stereotypy in the presence of green stimuli served as a reinforcer for appropriate book play. Stimulus control was generalized to the participant’s classroom and to a community setting (i.e., public library).
 
Examining the Effectiveness of a Two Phase DRO Intervention in Decreasing Vocal Stereotypy
SHARON A. REEVE (Caldwell College), David Mittermaier (Alternative Paths Training School), Tina Sidener (Caldwell College), Hannah E. Hoch (Rethink Autism)
Abstract: The current study investigated the use of a Differential Reinforcement of Other behavior (DRO) procedure in decreasing vocal stereotypy for four children with autism. A multiple-baseline across-participants design was used. DRO was initially implemented using a fixed interval schedule which was then systematically thinned and converted to a variable interval schedule in the following manner. The initial DRO interval duration was determined by taking the median inter-response time during baseline for each participant. Intervals were increased by 1/3 of the current interval duration contingent on the participant successfully completing three consecutive intervals without engaging in vocal stereotypy. Intervals were decreased by 1/3 of the current session’s interval duration contingent on the unsuccessful completion of three consecutive intervals. When the initial interval duration achieved was 10x the original interval, the interval duration schedule was altered from a fixed interval DRO to a variable interval DRO schedule. Session duration was also systematically increased based on each student’s success. The results indicated that levels of vocal stereotypy decreased for all participants under the fixed interval schedule of DRO and remained low when the variable interval schedule of DRO was implemented and session duration was increased. This study provides a systematic way to implement a DRO procedure by adjusting the DRO interval based on a student’s current behavior, as well as ways in which to thin the reinforcement schedule.
 
 
Symposium #215
CE Offered: BACB
Teachers as Scientists: The Effects of Designing Curricular Sequences to Address Multiple Areas of Instruction
Sunday, May 30, 2010
1:30 PM–2:50 PM
205 (CC)
Area: AUT/EDC; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Ania M. Young (The Faison School for Autism)
CE Instructor: Gregory Hanley, Ph.D.
Abstract: This symposium consists of four data collection projects which demonstrate the effectiveness of designing curricular sequences to address multiple areas of instruction for students ages 2-22 diagnosed with Autism and attending a publicly funded private school. The School is a CABAS component program and the participating Teachers are working toward CABAS Teacher Ranks which function to increase their level of expertise through scientific tacts and analyses. As a result, the Teachers are able to carefully plan instruction to address the learning needs of the students across varying levels of verbal behavior. The data collections consist of self-monitoring strategies to increase rule tacting and following procedures of Teachers and Assistants, self-management strategies to increase the independence of students, language interventions to increase verbal behavior, and conditioning procedures to increase access to instruction. All data collections replicate and expand the existing literature on effective tactics researched in the science of behavior. The findings are discussed relative to the students' levels of verbal behavior and the verbally mediated expertise of the Teachers.
 
Implementing a Self-Monitoring Procedure to Improve Data Driven Decision Analyses Among Teachers
ELI NEWCOMB (The Faison School for Autism)
Abstract: The Teachers at The Faison School are required to follow a rule-governed decision making protocol which functions to assess a student's data collection and determine the need for an intervention. The Teachers follow this protocol as part of the School's overall commitment to using empirically proven strategies as used in the CABAS programs. In addition, this protocol functions to evoke an opportunity for the Teachers and Teaching Assistants to tact a decision opportunity and to follow the corresponding rule. At times, the Teachers and Assistants make errors in one or both of these processes which has the potential to delay a needed intervention. Given that the students are already functioning significantly behind their same aged peers, this is a critical issue. The following data collection shows the effectiveness of a self-monitoring procedure on improving the use of the data decision analysis procedure. The results of this study are discussed in relation to the current research on Teacher decision making and Teacher training efforts.
 
Creating a Levels System to Increase the Independence of Students Emitting Interfering Problem Behaviors
NATHAN HABEL (The Faison School for Autism), Beth Braddock (The Faison School for Autism)
Abstract: Students attending The Faison School for Autism are grouped into classrooms based on their level of verbal behavior, as part of the CABAS component program. This presentation is focused on demonstrating the effectiveness of a reinforcement procedure via a Levels System in addressing the needs of students who are speakers, readers and writers attending the "Self-Management" class. These students have academic strengths, however, are still learning how to complete tasks independently and how to function as independently of the Teacher as possible. To accomplish this, the use of a Levels System was initiated to teach goal setting, self-monitoring and self-assessment for several students participating in the class. The results showed a decrease in interfering and problem behaviors, thus, increasing the level of independence of the students. Further, increased independence improves the likelihood that these students will transition to a less restrictive setting. The results are discussed as they relate to the literature on self-management and verbal behavior.
 
Scheduling Reinforcement to Promote Spontaneous and Appropriate Mands and Tacts for a Student Emitting Few Conversational Units
AMANDA WELLS (The Faison School for Autism), Katherine M. Matthews (The Faison School for Autism)
Abstract: The following presentation is focused on increasing verbal behavior. This data collection demonstrates the effectiveness of designing instruction and reinforcement procedures to increase the verbal behavior of an older student diagnosed with autism. The student emitted mands and tacts, primarily mands but had few appropriate conversational units with his peers and Teachers. Further, the student had the capacity to use language, but was not doing so independently and spontaneously. The purpose of the present data collection was to increase his verbal behavior which, in turn, would increase his likelihood for peer relationships, advocacy and employment/training opportunities, which are all critical life skills. Through the implementation of a reinforcement procedure which consisted of establishing contingencies focused on gradually increasing the variety and type of mands and tacts emitted, an increase in verbal behavior was established. These results are discussed in terms of how they relate to verbal behavior and teaching procedures.
 
Utilizing a Conditioning Protocol to Increase Sitting and Access to Instruction for a Student With Residential Placement Needs
JENNIFER CAMBLIN (The Faison School for Autism)
Abstract: Adult residential facilities that accommodate people diagnosed with developmental disabilities have rarely had the funding for a structure which includes a 1:1 staffing ratio. Because of this, people with the most severe disabilities have often been denied placement in adult residential facilities and have sometimes ended up in more intensive medical placements, due to a low level of independence across a variety of skill sets. In the current data collection, a 19 year old male student diagnosed with autism was denied placement at a number of adult residential facilities because they were not equipped to support him. A lack of functional communication skills, independent leisure skills, and constant roaming/pacing behaviors made the typical residential setting unsafe. As a result, the current data collection focused on implementing a conditioning procedure to increase the students sitting and access to instruction in these critical life skills areas. The results are discussed in terms of transition planning and life skills.
 
 
Symposium #216
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Interventions to Support Children with Autism In General Education Classrooms: Priming and Choral Responding
Sunday, May 30, 2010
1:30 PM–2:50 PM
202AB (CC)
Area: AUT/CSE; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Joel P. Hundert (Behaviour Institute)
CE Instructor: Steven Gordon, Ph.D.ABPP
Abstract: Without specific interventions, the placement of children with autism in general education classrooms is unlikely to result in improvement of their academic performance or social behaviors. Interventions to support children with autism in inclusive educational settings not only need to be effective, but also need to be practical to implement by educators in those settings. This symposium will present four studies that examined interventions to support children with autism in general education classrooms. One study will compare high to low similarity of the priming situation to the classroom situation on the academic performance of children with autism. A second study will compare the use of a single or multiple play partners in a priming situation on the subsequent impact on interactive play of children with autism during free play. A third study will examine the use of priming to teach children with autism to attend and respond to group-directed questions during teacher lessons. A final study will describe the use of use of choral responding by the classroom teacher to increase the response opportunities of all students in a class, including children with autism.
 
The Effect of Setting Similarity on Priming of Academic Performance of Children With Autism
JOEL P. HUNDERT (Behaviour Institute), Miranda Sim (Behaviour Institute), Alicia Ebert (McMaster University)
Abstract: Priming is a promising intervention to improve the academic performance of children with autism in general education classrooms not only because it has been found to be effective, but also because it does not involve time-consuming procedures being implemented by classroom personnel. However, it is unclear what variables are important to produce the priming effect. For example, in priming, a child with autism may be pre-taught academic work at home that he/she will encounter the next day at school. To what extent does the similarity of the priming situation (e.g., use of the same academic work materials) to the classroom situation influence the effectiveness of priming? This paper will present the results of a study in which two children with autism received priming either in their home by a tutor, using similar, but not identical academic work material or in a resource room at school conducted by their teacher assistant using the identical material as found in the classroom. The results indicated that greater improvement in the academic performance of children with autism occurred under the high-similarity condition.
 
Same or Multiple Play Partners in Priming of Peer Interaction of Children With Autism
DONNA C. CHANEY (Behaviour Institute), Joel P. Hundert (Behaviour Institute), Niki Van Riel (McMaster University)
Abstract: Children with autism show more immature forms of play, interact with peers less often and spend more time interacting with adults than their typically-developing peers. Priming has been used to increase spontaneous play initiations of preschoolers with autism in a general education classroom. Here, multiple play partners from the general education classroom are selected and practice interacting with the child with autism before the play session. Although priming has been shown to be effective for increasing sharing, it is unclear if using multiple, rather than a single peer play partner is important in obtaining effects. This paper will present the results of the study in which an alternative treatment design was used to compare the effects of same play partner or multiple play partners in priming peer interaction of children with autism. Although using the same play partner led to faster acquisition of taught play scripts, using multiple play partners resulted in more generalization of effects in the target setting.
 
The Use of Priming for Teaching Readiness Skills for Group Instruction for Children With Autism
MIRANDA SIM (Behaviour Institute), Joel P. Hundert (Behaviour Institute), Monika Wydra (Behaviour Institute), Amy Finkelstein (Behaviour Institute)
Abstract: One of the goals of including children with autism in general education classrooms is to increase their participation and learning during group instruction. However, placement of children with autism in general education classrooms has been associated with low occurrence of on-task behavior when teachers are presenting lessons. One strategy to increase on-task behavior and responding of children with autism during group instruction is to teach these skills specifically during priming sessions conducted at another time. Two children with autism received simulations of a class lesson as a dyad. During priming, the children received group instruction together and were prompted as well as reinforced for participation. The effect of this priming on the behavior of children with autism during group instruction was probed during baseline and after priming was introduced using a multiple baseline design. Priming resulted in improvement in the group instruction readiness skills of children with autism in the classroom environment.
 
The Effect of Choral Responding on Task Engagement of Children With Autism During Class Lessons
NICOLE WALTON-ALLEN (Behaviour Institute), Joel P. Hundert (Behaviour Institute), Sarah Greflund (McMaster University)
Abstract: A strong predictor of successful academic performance in a child with autism in a general education class is the amount of their active engagement in learning tasks. However, general education classroom instruction often consists of a teacher directing questions to the entire class during presented lessons. Questions directed to the entire class do not typically involve a high number of response opportunities for any one student. Low opportunities for responding may be particularly challenging for children with autism who may lack classroom readiness skills and academic knowledge at the level of the rest of the class. One strategy that may be effective in a general education classroom to increase response opportunities for all students, including students with autism in the class is the use of choral responding. In choral responding all students in the class learn to respond in unison when the teacher asks a question. This paper will present a study on the effect of choral responding during group instruction on the on-task behavior, correct responding, and disruptive behavior of children with autism.
 
 
Symposium #217
CE Offered: BACB
Alternative Behavioral Interventions Revisited: Which Approach, for Which children, With What Resources?"
Sunday, May 30, 2010
1:30 PM–2:50 PM
207AB (CC)
Area: AUT/EDC; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Philip N. Hineline (Temple University)
Discussant: Gina Green (Association of Professional Behavior Analysts)
CE Instructor: Robert LaRue, Ph.D.
Abstract: Data will be presented from a 3-year project that was inspired by the observation that, in our region, specific choices among behavioral interventions for autism often are advocated or made on bases other than the criteria of demonstrated effectiveness. Rather than simplistically asking which of three approaches is better, we began by asking: Which (in actual practice as implemented in public schools, do they in fact differ in ways that matter?) is better (by what criteria?) for which children (as characterized by which measures?), with what resources (in terms of conceptual expertise & procedural proficiency of staff, and stability of staffing)? We have learned a good deal about differences between the ideal and the actual – differences with important implications for the quality of interventions irrespective of whatever model is advocated. And yes, albeit with small and perhaps biased samples, one approach did appear to do better than the others -- perhaps because it was implemented with greater consistency and integrity. That approach has not yet been widely adopted, and thus it remains to be seen whether its consistency and integrity can be maintained if it is more widely used.
 
For Which Children, Which Approach?
EMILY B. BISEN-HERSH (Temple University), Betsy Wurstner Swope (Temple University)
Abstract: Rate of skill development is a hallmark concern for effective autism treatment approaches. Data were collected from 53 children with autism between ages 3-7 years, who were receiving Early Intensive Behavioral Interventions within public school classrooms. Classrooms were self-identified as using a traditional Lovaas-derived, Applied Verbal Behavior, or Competent Learner Model (CLM) approach to instruction. Assessments every six-months included the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule, the Brigance Inventory of Early Development-II, the Behavioral Language Assessment Form, and (annually), the Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence. To compensate for uneven sample sizes between approaches, a baseline composite score was created in order to match students from each approach on the bases of baseline performance of academic, language, and social skills. This measure was then used to compare overall rate of learning among these intervention groups, as assessed by slopes defined by each child’s successive scores. Statistical findings indicated a significantly higher rate of learning academic and language skills for children in CLM classrooms, compared to the other two approaches. This effect was enhanced when only children with low baseline composite scores were considered. These results support further evaluation of CLM as an effective approach to autism treatment.
 
Which Approach: How Different Are They?
ELIZABETH R. LORAH (Temple University), John C. Barnard (ABC Consultants LLC)
Abstract: Literature on the methods of Lovass-Derived Instruction (DTI), Applied Verbal Behavior (AVB), and the Component Learner Model (CLM) specify classroom practices that identify them as distinct intervention models. To assess whether these approaches remain distinct when implemented in public schools, data from teacher interviews, direct observation, and analyses of 53 participants’ individualized curricula were collected in 10 DTI, 11 AVB, and 4 CLM classrooms. The collected data included curriculum sequencing and instructional techniques (i.e., error correction strategies, data collection methods, behavior intervention strategies, antecedent stimulus presentation, and methods of curriculum development), which enabled an analysis of the categorization and sequencing of each participant’s individualized curriculum. Data collected through teacher interviews and direct observation of the classrooms revealed differences between the literature’s specified principles and the actual practices within sites claiming to employ the DTI model, indicating practices similar to those characteristic of AVB. Alternatively, sites self-identified with the AVB model remained fairly consistent with the literature-specified characteristics. Data from CLM sites revealed several unique strategies used within the classrooms, thus making them distinct from both the DTI and the AVB sites. The analysis of each participant’s individualized curriculum demonstrated little variability in curriculum sequences.
 
Program Resources: Components That Contribute to Staff Performance in Alternative Behavioral Internventions
ABBI CAMPBELL (Temple University), Kelly McElrath (Temple University), Jennifer A. Wade (Temple University)
Abstract: In an attempt to identify characteristics of teaching staff that are most important to overall staff performance, data were collected during a 3-year project in which various components of 3 alternative behavioral interventions for students with autism spectrum disorder were compared. To determine the effectiveness of staff implementation of each intervention, 105 instructional staff members, including teachers and paraprofessionals, from Lovaas-derived classrooms, verbal behavior classrooms, and Competent Learner Model classrooms were recruited to participate in the project. Measures of the implementation of specific teaching procedures, conceptual expertise, pertinent background information, and staffing stability of participants from each behavioral intervention were evaluated to discover whether specific resources would be correlated with the effectiveness of a given intervention. While some aspects of the analysis were inconclusive, it appears that level of education and background knowledge in a relevant field of study have a stronger impact on both procedural proficiency and conceptual expertise than does overall experience. Despite this finding, there was minimal evidence that initial conceptual expertise is predictive of performance, regardless of the intervention.
 
 
Panel #218
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Assessing and Addressing Challenging Behavior for Students with ASD in the Inclusive Educational Setting
Sunday, May 30, 2010
1:30 PM–2:50 PM
204AB (CC)
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
CE Instructor: Jessica Slaton, M.Ed.
Chair: Mary Ellen McDonald (Hofstra University)
JOANNE SGAMBATI (Eden II Programs)
RUTH M. DONLIN (Private Practice)
NICOLE WEIDENBAUM (Nassau-Suffolk Services for Autism)
HESTER BEKISZ (The Genesis School)
Abstract: As the number of students being diagnosed with ASD increases dramatically we see more and more students with autism being educated in their public school. This panel will discuss the importance of behavior management interventions and supports for school staff in order to promote a comprehensive education for students with ASD. Interventions to improve performance will be discussed, such as the use of technology, the use of self-management and social skills training. Information on the assessment of specific needs and how to match these needs to the classroom will be shared. This talk will discuss the prevention and management of challenging behavior in the inclusive classroom. There will be an emphasis on proactive strategies, such as environmental manipulations, curricular revisions and teaching adaptations. Modification of data collection systems will also be discussed, as well as functional behavior assessment. Reactive strategies to challenging behavior will also be reviewed. Consistently across staff is important once a behavior intervention plan is finalized, how do you train staff? Staff training is an important component to an inclusive classroom; strategies to increase staff motivation will be reviewed.
 
 
Symposium #219
CE Offered: BACB
The Use of Token Systems to Facilitate Skill Acquisition in Children With Autism
Sunday, May 30, 2010
1:30 PM–2:50 PM
203AB (CC)
Area: AUT/DDA; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Susan A. Rapoza-Houle (BEACON Services)
Discussant: Gilah Haber (BEACON Services)
CE Instructor: Kimberly Church, Psy.D.
Abstract: Token economy systems have a broad range of application and can be utilized to increase communication, social and self-help skills in children with autism. Token systems can easily be used in isolation or in conjunction with other behavioral interventions. Additionally, the format of the token economy may vary and may include the contingent delivery of tokens, checks, or points. Once a terminal goal is met (i.e., tokens obtained) the reinforcer is delivered. Likewise, the token economy may involve the contingent removal of tokens (i.e., count down) in which a student begins with a predetermined amount of tokens and they are removed contingent upon correct responses; once all of the tokens are removed, the reinforcer is delivered. Despite research supporting the efficacy of token systems, Matson and Boisjoli (2009) posit that the use of token systems are on the decline among researchers and clinicians, and call for a renewed efforts to utilize these procedures with children with autism or Developmental Disabilities.
 
Token Countdown Systems: Effects on Acquisition and Generalization of Play, Vocal Imitation, and Social Questions
ROBERT KELLER MACMATH (BEACON Services), Gilah Haber (BEACON Services), Robert K. Ross (BEACON Services)
Abstract: Many children diagnosed with autism and Developmental Disabilities engage in nonfunctional toy play and vocalizations. Token economy systems have been effectively used with children with autism to increase social skills and language production (Matson & Boisjoli, 2009). The current examined the use of a contingent token removal system (count down) to facilitate the acquisition and generalization of toy play, vocal imitation and social questions. The goal was to increase functional toy play and increase functional echoic repertoire in the training and non- training settings. Prior to training, a Multiple Stimulus without Replacement preference assessment was conducted across 5 sessions to identify highly preferred objects and edibles. Next, a formal reinforcer assessment of potentially reinforcing stimuli was conducted. Direct observation was used to collect baseline data on participant vocalizations and functional toy play across 5 sessions. Next, the teacher implemented a token system in which the student began with 10 tokens on the board, and a token was removed contingent upon each correct response; when the final token was removed, the terminal reinforcer was delivered. Results showed an increase in the demonstration of both toy play and vocal imitation across training and non-training settings.
 
Token Count-Up Systems: Effects on Acquisition and Generalization of Play, Vocal Imitation, and Social Questions
ARIELLA HABER (BEACON Services)
Abstract: Token economies are used widely by clinicians, teachers, and parents. Despite their widespread use, very little recent research has been conducted in this realm (Vollmer 2003). More work needs to be done in order to identify best practices in designing and implementing token systems (Athens 2003). Few investigations have been conducted on the use of tokens to increase social and language skills and to generalize their use. Since many children diagnosed with autism and developmental disabilities engage in nonfunctional toy play and exhibit stereotypic vocalizations, this is problematic. The present study evaluated the effectiveness of a contingent token delivery (count up) system in improving functional play and contextual vocalizations of two children with autism using a reversal design. The research was conducted in home based settings, and data were collected in both training and non-training environments. Results show higher rates of appropriate responding during the contingent token delivery system condition.
 
Using a Token System to Increase the Food Repertoire of Two Young Children With Autism
KAREN NAULT (BEACON Services)
Abstract: Children with autism sometimes do not consume a sufficient variety and quantity of food items to meet their nutritional needs, sometimes resulting in unfavorable health effects (Tiger and Hanley, 2006). Behavioral interventions have been effective in increasing food acceptance and decreasing problem behavior in children with selective eating behavior. Providing access to preferred foods following consumption of non-preferred foods has provided promising results (Riordan et al. 1980). Token economies have also been combined with escape contingencies to decrease food refusal (Kahng, Bosco, and Byrne, 2003). The present study utilized a multiple baseline design across food items to evaluate the effectiveness of a token reinforcement program provided contingent upon bite acceptance for two young children with autism/ Pervasive Developmental Disorder. Dependent variables were bites of non-preferred food items accepted and food refusal behavior. Tokens were exchanged for preferred edibles. Results suggest that providing access to preferred foods with a token economy can increase food acceptance in young children with autism.
 
 
Symposium #221
CE Offered: BACB
Behavioral Management of Medication Administration
Sunday, May 30, 2010
1:30 PM–2:50 PM
Texas Ballroom Salon C (Grand Hyatt)
Area: CBM/DDA; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Katharine Gutshall (Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc.)
Discussant: Becky Penrod (California State University, Sacramento)
CE Instructor: Joel Hundert, Ph.D.
Abstract: Adherence to medication regimens is crucial to successful medical treatment and yet some children with and without disabilities display difficulty swallowing pills. Administering medication in liquid form is another option but it, too, can be difficult with some children. This symposium consists of three studies which applied behavioral intervention procedures to medication administration difficulties in children with and without autism. The first study examined the separate and combined effects of stimulus fading and positive reinforcement in teaching children to swallow pills. The second study extended behavioral intervention procedures by applying them in a telemedicine format. The third study implemented behavioral intervention procedures for addressing difficulties in compliance with liquid medication administration. The symposium concludes with a discussion by Dr. Becky Penrod.
 
Using Stimulus Fading to Teach Pill Swallowing to Children
TAIRA LANAGAN (Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc.), Melissa L. Olive (Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc.), Katelyn Anne Marks (Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc.), Megan D. Aclan (The Chicago School, Los Angeles)
Abstract: Stimulus fading is an empirically validated treatment that has been demonstrated to teach various skills. Approximately 26% of the general population demonstrates difficulty swallowing pills (Anderson, Zweidorff, Hjelde, & Rodland, 1995). Stimulus fading has been used to teach developmentally disabled children to swallow pills for this reason (Yoo, Tarbox & Granpeesheh, 2008; Babbitt RL, Parrish JM, Brierley PE, et al., 2004). This is a particularly relevant skill for individuals who are required to adhere to oral medication or supplement regimens. The purpose of this study was to teach four children with Autism Spectrum Disorder to swallow pills using stimulus fading and differential reinforcement. Data were recorded for each pill presentation and graphed as percentages.
 
Using Telemedicine to Train Parents to Teach Children to Accept Oral Medication
MELISSA L. OLIVE (Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc.), Dennis Dixon (Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc.)
Abstract: Several studies have demonstrated that young children with disabilities can be taught to swallow oral medication (e.g., Anderson, Ruggiero & Adams, 2000; Babbitt, Parrish & Brierley, 1991; Yoo, Tarbox & Granpeesheh, 2008). Children in rural areas need to learn to accept oral medication but they may not have transportation to clinics in cities, their families may not be able to afford travel, and the child's medical condition may not allow time to wait to reserve travel arrangements. Telemedicine procedures have been used for various types of treatment in rural locations (e.g., Fiadjoe et al. 2009; Machalicek et al. 2009). Thus, the purpose of this clinical investigation was to determine if telemedicine procedures would be effective in training parents to teach their child to accept oral medication. Two children and their parents participated. Sessions were conducted using a web camera, microphone, speakers or headset, and Skype software. All training materials were mailed to participants prior to the start of the study. Baseline sessions were completed prior to parent training. Following parent training, children were able to accept and swallow their oral medication. Implications and limitations regarding the use of telemedicine will be discussed.
 
Establishing Compliance With Liquid Medication via Stimulus Fading and Positive Reinforcement
SIENNA GREENER-WOOTEN (Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc.), Averil Schiff (Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc.), Taira Lanagan (Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc.), Peter Farag (Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc.)
Abstract: Children often display difficulty with swallowing pills (Anderson, Zweidorff, Hjelde, Rodland, 1995) and medications are therefore often made available in liquid form. However, some children may display avoidance of medication, even in liquid form. Previous research has demonstrated that behavioral intervention procedures are effective in establishing pill swallowing in individuals with developmental disabilities but no previous research has been published on the use of behavioral procedures for establishing compliance with the administration of liquid medication. In this study, stimulus fading and positive reinforcement, without escape extinction, was used to establish compliance with liquid medication administration. All procedures were conducted in the context of regular behavioral intervention sessions in the home.
 
 
Symposium #224
CE Offered: BACB
Behavioral Supervision: The Essential Link in the Process of Serving Children and Adults
Sunday, May 30, 2010
1:30 PM–2:50 PM
Seguin (Grand Hyatt)
Area: CSE/CBM; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Richard Weissman (Behavior Analysis and Therapy Partners)
CE Instructor: Richard Foxx, Ph.D.
Abstract: Supervision is important for the development of competent professionals. What are the best methods to supervise? The symposium attempts to look at supervision of behavioral consultants and therapists. The goal is to provide some clarity on the overall view of what is neccessary and sufficent in the supervisory relationship.
 
Supervising Behavioral Consultants Working with Children with Conduct and Oppositional Definat Disorder: Working with Resistant Consultees
RICHARD WEISSMAN (Behavior Analysis and Therapy Partners), Halina Dziewolska (Behavior Analysis and Therapy Partners), Vincent J. Thoder (Saint Joseph's University)
Abstract: Behavior modification is a well established treatment for oppositional defiant and conduct disordered treatment. Often these families are highly resistant and difficult to work with in the community. This paper will discuss working with resistant families who have children dagnsed with conduct and oppositional defiant disorder. Present a basic functional assessment of resistance and offer methods that can lead to more effective problem solving between supervisor and supervisee who work with these families.
 
Distance Supervision for Difficult Cases in Behavior Analysis
HALINA DZIEWOLSKA (Behavior Analysis and Therapy Partners), Richard Weissman (Behavior Analysis and Therapy Partners), Joseph D. Cautilli (Behavior Analysis and Therapy Partners)
Abstract: With the growing number of areas that Behavior Analysis has shown effectiveness, it is not suprising of the growth in need. Of particular imporantance is meeting the suervision requirement in difficult to service areas. Supervision can be acheived through distance contact through video material and phone conferencing. This paper will discuss some of those methods.
 
Supervising Behavior Therapists in a Correctional Setting
JOSEPH D. CAUTILLI (Behavior Analysis and Therapy Partners)
Abstract: The growth of correctional institutations over the past twenty years has been a constant. Behavioral interventions have a strong evidence base and have been shown to reduce prison misconducts and recividism for offenders. As a whole though, the correctional mental health environment has moved slowly from wellness checks to more intensive behavioral interventions. This presentation is designed to help supervisors interested in supervising medical staff.
 
Adminstrative Supervision of Staff
VINCENT J. THODER (Saint Joseph's University), Richard Weissman (Behavior Analysis and Therapy Partners), Halina Dziewolska (Behavior Analysis and Therapy Partners)
Abstract: The current practices for ensuring that staff meet adminstrative requirements are critical to the overall survival of a company. Adminstrative practices in community based services are reviewed in terms of the organizational behavior management literature. The relevancy to community based behavioral consultation will be explored
 
 
Symposium #226
CE Offered: BACB
Translational Research: Evaluating the Generality of Behavioral Principles in Laboratory and Clinical Contexts
Sunday, May 30, 2010
1:30 PM–2:50 PM
217A (CC)
Area: DDA/AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Henry S. Roane (SUNY, Upstate Medical University)
Discussant: James E. Carr (Auburn University)
CE Instructor: Louis Hagopian, Ph.D.
Abstract: Translational research examines the generality of laboratory-based principles, which may be useful in the development of novel clinical applications. The research presented in this symposium progresses from the laboratory with typical humans to the clinical treatment of destructive behavior displayed by children with disabilities. The first investigation involved a laboratory analysis of response class formation with college students as participants and mouse clicks as the target response. These results illustrate how response class formation may be influenced by the maintaining reinforcement contingency, which could have significance for evaluating the occurrence of clinically significant problem behavior. The second study compared preferences for social and non-social stimuli across typically developing and developmentally disabled children. These results showed that the groups did not differ in terms of preference for social and non-social activities, suggesting that motivational variables related to stimulus preference may be similar across these children. The final study examined applications of compound reinforcement schedules to thin reinforcer delivery within the treatment of destructive behavior. Multiple, mixed, and chained schedules were effective at maintaining low levels of destructive behavior and moderated levels of communication for children with disabilities. The translational link among these investigations and suggestions for future research will be discussed.
 
Development and Modification of a Response Class via Positive and Negative Reinforcement: A Translational Approach
AMBER E. MENDRES (University of Maryland, Baltimore County), John C. Borrero (University of Maryland, Baltimore County)
Abstract: When responses function to produce the same reinforcer a response class exists. Researchers have examined response classes in applied settings, however little research has been conducted to study the development of an analog response class (i.e., one that is developed in a laboratory). Further, little research has examined a laboratory model of response classes that are strengthened by negative reinforcement. The current investigation was designed to develop a laboratory model of a response class through positive reinforcement (i.e., points exchangeable for money) and through negative reinforcement (i.e., the avoidance of scheduled point losses), with 11 college students as participants and mouse clicks as the operant. Generally, results of the positive reinforcement condition showed that behavior was allocated optimally (produced the most points for the least effort). Results of the negative reinforcement evaluation showed that an analog response class could be developed (participants selected the least effortful response) but did not avoid all possible point losses when multiple responses were required to avoid point loss.
 
Examining the Relative Strength of Social and Nonsocial Reinforcers for Children With and Without Autism Spectrum Disorders
MICHELLE A. FRANK (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Melissa Goldberg (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Iser Guillermo DeLeon (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Louis P. Hagopian (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Mandy M Triggs (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Abbey Carreau (Kennedy Krieger Institutue), Melissa J. Allman (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Abstract: Autism is characterized by, among other things, impairments in reciprocal social interaction. The current study sought to investigate whether such deficits translate into devaluation of activity reinforcers embedded in a social context. Seventeen children diagnosed with autism, aged 8 to 10, and 18 typically developing same-aged peers participated. Three paired-stimulus preference assessments were conducted with each child: one consisting of 12 social stimuli, a second consisting of 12 nonsocial stimuli, and a third consisting of the top and bottom 3 social and nonsocial stimuli identified in the first two assessments. Progressive-ratio (PR) schedule analyses were then conducted with the 12 stimuli included in the combined preference assessment to index the strength of these stimuli as reinforcers. Results indicated that preference rankings and PR break points for social and nonsocial stimuli did not differ dramatically across groups. These results are discussed in terms of their implications for the selection of use of reinforcers in teaching and treatment programs for children with autism.
 
Further Evaluations of Reinforcement Thinning Using Compound Schedules of Reinforcement
TERRY S. FALCOMATA (University of Texas at Austin), Henry S. Roane (SUNY, Upstate Medical University), Alison M. Betz (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Kasey Stephenson (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center)
Abstract: The use of compound schedules of reinforcement has gained increased attention in the literature pertaining to the treatment of destructive behavior, particularly within the context of thinning reinforcer delivery during differential reinforcement programs. In this presentation we will present the results of several evaluations of thinning reinforcer delivery using compound schedules of reinforcement within the treatment of destructive behavior exhibited by children with autism. First, we present data which replicates previous results by using a multiple schedule to thin differential reinforcement delivery. Next, we will present preliminary data in which the discriminative stimuli associated with a multiple schedule of reinforcement were removed such that the arrangement approximated a mixed schedule. In the third case example, we evaluated the use of an activity fading procedure within a chain schedule of reinforcement in the treatment of destructive behavior that was maintained by termination of interruptions of ongoing activities. Results of each study suggested that the respective procedures were effective within the context of compound schedules of reinforcement during the treatment of destructive behaviors. Interobserver agreement was obtained during at least 20% of sessions for each evaluation and averaged above 90%.
 
 
Symposium #229
CE Offered: BACB
Advances in School-Based Assessment of Child Behavior
Sunday, May 30, 2010
1:30 PM–2:50 PM
Texas Ballroom Salon D (Grand Hyatt)
Area: EDC/CSE; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Claire St. Peter Pipkin (West Virginia University)
CE Instructor: Dave Pyles, Ph.D.
Abstract: Functional behavior assessment (FBA) is required by law for any individual whose behavior interferes with his or her learning, or the learning of others. Yet, best practices for conducting an FBA in school contexts are continually evolving. The papers in this symposium address the delivery of reinforcers in naturalistic school contexts, and how examinations of those reinforcers can assist not only in determining the function of the behavior, but also in improving student performance.
 
A Comparison of Brief Functional Analyses With and Without Consequences
JASON T. CAVIN (Marcus Autism Center), Nathan A. Call (Marcus Autism Center), Caitlin V. Herzinger (Marcus Autism Center), Amanda Zangrillo (University of Southern Maine)
Abstract: Two of the many permutations of functional analysis methodology are the A-B-C model, in which potential motivating operations (MOs) are presented and problem behavior results in delivery of an associated consequence, and the A-B model, in which the same MOs are presented but no consequences are delivered. Research has shown that the failure to include consequences in the A-B model can produce differing results from those of the A-B-C model, perhaps because the failure to include consequences may extinguish problem behavior (Potoczak, Carr, & Michael, 2007; Worsdell, Iwata, Conners, Kahng, & Thompson, 2000). However, brief functional analyses (BFAs) that utilize the A-B model may be less affected by extinction because they typically include fewer and shorter sessions. In the current study, two BFAs that utilized either the A-B or A-B-C model were conducted with each of five participants. Results of the two BFAs were compared as to the function identified for problem behavior. Results matched with respect to the test conditions in which problem behavior was observed. In addition, greater levels of differentiation between test and control conditions were observed in the BFA-AB for two out of five participants.
 
Using a Routines Analysis to Guide Functional Assessment
AARON BARNES (University of Oregon), Cynthia M. Anderson (University of Oregon), Justin Boyd (University of Oregon)
Abstract: School-based personnel without an extensive background in behavior analysis continue to struggle to implement a functional assessment with integrity and to thus identify functional relations accurately. This seems to be especially the case with direct methods of functional assessment; in fact many people simply skip this step, relying solely on an interview (or their best guess) to derive behavioral function. In this study we evaluated the utility of a pre-functional assessment routines analysis to guide the conduct of a structural analysis. Specifically, a routines analysis was used to identify specific functional routines in which the putative discriminative stimulus/establishing operation most often occurred. With three students, an alternating treatments design was used to compare outcomes across observations conducted during functional routines with putative antecedent variables manipulated systematically. Next, interventions based on the assessment were conducted. Results suggest that the routines analysis might be a useful for determining when to conduct direct observations as part of a functional assessment.
 
An Initial Evaluation of a Secondary Intervention for Students With Escape-Maintained Problem Behavior
JUSTIN BOYD (University of Oregon), Cynthia M. Anderson (University of Oregon), Jessica Turtura (University of Oregon)
Abstract: School-based personnel without an extensive background in behavior analysis continue to struggle to implement a functional assessment with integrity and to thus identify functional relations accurately. This seems to be especially the case with direct methods of functional assessment; in fact many people simply skip this step, relying solely on an interview (or their best guess) to derive behavioral function. In this study we evaluated the utility of a pre-functional assessment routines analysis to guide the conduct of a structural analysis. Specifically, a routines analysis was used to identify specific functional routines in which the putative discriminative stimulus/establishing operation most often occurred. With three students, an alternating treatments design was used to compare outcomes across observations conducted during functional routines with putative antecedent variables manipulated systematically. Next, interventions based on the assessment were conducted. Results suggest that the routines analysis might be a useful for determining when to conduct direct observations as part of a functional assessment.
 
Allocation of Teacher Attention and Effects on Student Behavior
SACHA PENCE (West Virginia University), Claire St. Peter Pipkin (West Virginia University)
Abstract: Research has demonstrated that teacher attention is a common consequence to instances of behavior in the natural environment, but the probability of different types of attention remains an underresearched area. The purpose of this study was to examine the frequency of and conditional probabilities of types of teacher attention (acknowledgement, praise, redirection, reprimands, and nonacademic) following appropriate and inappropriate student behavior, and to determine the effects of changes in allocation on student behavior. Participants included teachers who taught in public schools and had students who engaged in challenging behavior. The use of different types of attention varied during baseline across teachers. Following feedback teachers increased their use of praise contingent on appropriate behavior.
 
 
Symposium #230
CE Offered: BACB
A Quantum Leap for Student Outcomes: Universities and School Districts in Partnership Using a Teaching as Applied Behavior Analysis Model
Sunday, May 30, 2010
1:30 PM–2:50 PM
Texas Ballroom Salon A (Grand Hyatt)
Area: EDC/TBA; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Grant Gautreaux (Nicholls State University)
Discussant: Katherine M. Matthews (The Faison School for Autism)
CE Instructor: Junelyn Lazo, Ph.D.
Abstract: The graduate programs in Teaching as Applied Behavior Analysis at Columbia University Teachers College, New York and Nicholls State University, Louisiana will be discussed. Applied Behavior Analysis provides a framework through which evidence based procedures can be designed, measured and replicated to assure the effectiveness of teaching for typically developing and “at risk” students in general education, and students with disabilities in inclusion and special education classrooms. Both programs support evidence-based procedures assuring effective teaching for all children. Data show increased outcomes for students when school districts and universities share a sense of purpose and mutual oversight.
 
Teaching as Applied Behavior Analysis: Graduate Level University Degree Programs in Parternship With Local School Districts—Working Toward a Common Goal
GRANT GAUTREAUX (Nicholls State University), Dolleen-Day Keohane (Nicholls State University)
Abstract: CABAS®/AIL international research and development programs as well as the programs in Applied Behavior Analysis at Columbia University Teachers College in New York, and Nicholls State University in Louisiana, provide research based graduate level training for teacher mentors, teachers, teacher assistants, researchers and parents. The training consists of the completion of PSI (Personalized System of Instruction) modules based on increasing levels of verbal complexity and provides complete accountability through a systems-wide summary of data. Teachers complete a minimum of 30 modules (Teacher I, II and Master Teacher), which include multiple exemplars of the vocabulary of the science, and research based approaches to best practices and problem solving. Mentor-supervisors complete three additional ranks (Assistant, Associate and Senior Behavior Analyst) focused on research-based outcomes that produce significant contributions to practice. Teacher-mentors and teachers continually work toward mastery of skills related to professional performance and student acquisition. The CABAS®/AIL Professional Advisory Board assures the quality of programs and training through Board Certification of credentials and provides University affiliation for all CABAS®/AIL Certified Programs. Local school districts support the students in both these programs by providing paid teaching internships and thereby demonstrating the value each district places on evidence-based teaching and data based learning. The partnerships formed as a result of this collaboration foster a shared sense of purpose and mutual oversight. Data based approaches to teacher education from the perspective of Teaching as Applied Behavior Analysis will be analyzed. Data associated with student’s academic and social skills achievement in general education classrooms, inclusion classrooms, and special education classrooms will be discussed and an overview of research based tactics and strategies to help teacher’s help their students will be presented. The session will conclude with a data based discussion of the effects of partnerships between universities and school districts, on students learning and teacher’s success.
 
Using a Research-Based Hierarchy of Verbal Developmental Protocols to Provide a Foundation for Higher Order Verbal Operants
DOLLEEN-DAY KEOHANE (Nicholls State University), Grant Gautreaux (Nicholls State University), Mary Johnson (Nicholls State University), Paula G. White (Nicholls State University)
Abstract: We tested the effects of four verbal developmental protocols on increases in early listener and speaker capabilities for four children diagnosed with autism and related communication disabilities. The children were between the ages of three and four and enrolled in pre-school classrooms across two school districts. The classes were based on both inclusion and reverse-inclusion models of instruction. In the inclusion pre-school classroom children with identified disabilities as well as children assessed “at risk” were included with typically developing children across all activities during the school day. In the reverse-inclusion pre-school classroom typically developing and “at risk” children were included with children with identified disabilities during specific activities across the school day. The results showed a functional relationship between the application of the Verbal Developmental Protocols and increases in the verbal capabilities of children with identified disabilities as well as children “at risk” all participants across both models of inclusion.
 
Inducing and Expanding New Verbal Capabilities in Children and Young People With Autism Spectrum Disorders
DOLLEEN-DAY KEOHANE (Nicholls State University), Grant Gautreaux (Nicholls State University), Emma L Martin (Nicholls State University), Sarah Alkhalaf (Nicholls State University), Kerry Faulkner (Nicholls State University), Katie Foxall (Nicholls State University)
Abstract: A series of studies are presented from The Jigsaw CABAS® School. Developmental milestones that determine the attainment of verbal capabilities are defined ranging from prelistener capabilities to reader/writer capabilities. Descriptions are provided of some of the procedures and protocols used to induce and expand new verbal capabilities in children and young people with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Data are provided to show the effectiveness of these specific procedures and protocols.
 
 
Symposium #232
CE Offered: BACB
Behavioral Approaches to Pandemic Planning and Prevention in Hospital Settings
Sunday, May 30, 2010
1:30 PM–2:50 PM
Republic A (Grand Hyatt)
Area: OBM/CBM; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Timothy D. Ludwig (Appalachian State University)
CE Instructor: Josh Pritchard, M.S.
Abstract: In light of the H1N1 virus pandemic, hospitals have had to prepare for the safety and health of their staff and patients. This symposium reviews four studies that demonstrate the effectiveness of Behavioral Systems Analysis (BSA) and Organizational Behavior Management (OBM) in planning for adequate staffing in the event of local outbreaks and preventing the spread of H1N1 in hospitals.
 
Behavioral Systems Planning for a Pandemic in a Major Regional Medical Center to Assure Staff Availability
ARIEL GROSSHUESCH (Appalachian State University), Timothy D. Ludwig (Appalachian State University), Chris Frazier (Appalachian State University)
Abstract: This research examined how a major academic medical center planned and prepared for the onset of a potentially detrimental pandemic outbreak of H1N1 flu. The focus was on determining how the medical center developed its plan for staffing its departments with competent employees during a pandemic that could reduce the professional staff by as much as 50% due to illness. A behavioral systems analysis was conducted and used in the planning process, and was then compared to pre-existing disaster planning theory. Plans regarding the allocation of staff to different departments and outcome staffing adequacy data are described and analyzed. Implications and suggestions for other hospital’s pandemic planning were discussed.
 
Social Distancing and Hygiene as an Influenza Pandemic Mitigation Strategy: Employee Compliance and Performance
MICHAEL A. MAGOON (Booz|Allen|Hamilton), Douglas Himberger (NORC at the University of Chicago), Joan Bishop (Booz|Allen|Hamilton), Karen Davis (Booz|Allen|Hamilton)
Abstract: A quasi-experimental design was used to evaluate the degree to which employees would comply with the social distancing and hygiene (SDH) requirements of a $43B/year defense contractor’s pandemic preparedness plan and what impact, if any, such compliance would have on employee performance. Employees complied with SDH guidelines, though did so differently between the social distancing and hygiene components. Business operations were not significantly disrupted during the simulation and certain elements of employee performance may have been temporarily improved. This is the first study to use best practice behavioral observation methods to examine the significant social challenge of business continuity of operations during a pandemic event. While conclusions must be limited to the parameters of this study, the methods employed provide a solid foundation on which to replicate across organizations and industries and to examine potential behavioral interventions that could strengthen pandemic preparedness plans.
 
More Antecedents Please! The “Safety Blitz” Approach to Managing Bloodborne Pathogen Exposure
THOMAS R. CUNNINGHAM (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health), Amanda Harney (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health), Ray Sinclair (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health)
Abstract: Occupational safety and health efforts are often dominated by antecedent messages which communicate specific hazards or risks. Sharps injuries and bloodborne pathogen (BBP) exposure are significant risks to many healthcare workers, and risk awareness communications as well as sharps safety strategies are key components of BBP exposure prevention efforts. This paper includes an evaluation of the Stop Sticks campaign, a multi-media communication intervention targeted at multiple healthcare facilities (e.g., individual hospital departments, an entire hospital, and a nursing home). This large-scale intervention consisted of several sets of tailored communications, or ‘safety blitzes’, aimed at raising awareness among healthcare workers regarding the risks of sharps injuries and BBP exposure, and methods of prevention. Following a comprehensive needs assessment in each facility, tailored communications were delivered via several channels. Results indicate high levels of knowledge and communication channel recall, minimal attitude and behavior change, and a strong association between sharps-related safety behavior and safety climate. This research suggests the blitz approach is viable for raising awareness of occupational safety and health issues. Based on these findings, recommendations are offered for conducting safety blitzes, and the adaptation of the blitz approach for use in an organizational H1N1 influenza preparedness effort will be discussed.
 
Behavioral Systems Analyses for a Sustainable Hand Hygiene Program Across the Healthcare, School, and Business Community
MOLLI LUKE (University of Nevada, Reno), Mark P. Alavosius (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: Hand washing is a ubiquitous behavior and is important in a myriad of human service, education, health-care, and other settings where people are in close contact. Yet research has shown that levels of adherence are around 40% in healthcare workers (Boyce, 2001). With the present concern about the H1N1 virus, hand hygiene is becoming increasingly necessary beyond the hospital. Boyce (2009) notes that hand washing and hand sanitizer are effective at reducing the spread of the seasonal strain of influenza A as well as the H1N1 virus. This is true in all environments, not just healthcare organizations. Behavioral systems analysis provides a means for developing a prototype infection management program to increase workers’ adherence with CDC guidelines for hand washing in various sectors of a community including, hospital, school and business organizations. This paper describes the development of a comprehensive program in Truckee, California where the community hospital is the center for transfer of training and support technology to important sectors of the local community. Analyses of organizational variables are used to inform modifications in a behavior-based management approach, developed and tested in the hospital, for establishing and sustaining adherence with CDC guidelines for hand hygiene by school and business personnel.
 
 
Panel #233
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Professional Development Series: Prominent Women in Behavior Analysis
Sunday, May 30, 2010
1:30 PM–2:50 PM
201 (CC)
Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
CE Instructor: Lisa Britton, Ph.D.
Chair: Maranda Trahan (Southern Illinois University Carbondale)
JULIE S. VARGAS (B. F. Skinner Foundation)
JENNIFER J. MCCOMAS (University of Minnesota)
JENNIFER R. ZARCONE (University of Rochester Medical Center)
BRIDGET A. TAYLOR (Alpine Learning Group)
Abstract: Prominent women in behavior analysis will discuss their experiences in the field, challenges and achievements, and invite questions from attendees.
 
 
Symposium #234
CE Offered: BACB
Online Instruction in Applied Behavior Analysis: Strategies and Tactics for Education and Training
Sunday, May 30, 2010
1:30 PM–2:50 PM
Texas Ballroom Salon F (Grand Hyatt)
Area: TBA/EDC; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Thomas L. Zane (The Center for Applied Behavior Analysis at The Sage Colleges)
CE Instructor: Patrick Friman, Ph.D.--
Abstract: Delivery of instruction and training is moving quickly out of the traditional classroom and face-to-face contexts, to more of a distance learning, online format. With this evolution in teaching and training, behavior analysts are uniquely suited to empirically assess the effectiveness of distance education and training, and to develop new methods of instruction based in this new technology. The four papers in this symposium take different perspectives on online instruction and training. Different models are presented. College instruction in applied behavior analysis and autism is delivered completely online and addresses the delivery of lectures, tests, peer interactions, and practicum supervision in this environment. Providing streamed video to provide on demand training opportunities is described as a way to provide much-needed ABA training to enhance behavioral service delivery. The final two presentations will explore a specific teaching technique, fluency training, on the impact of learning specific skills in an online format. This symposium will present current ways of providing online education and training, assess specific types of instruction that can be delivered online, and make suggestions for further enhancing learning in this new learning environment.
 
An Experimental Evaluation of Fluency Versus Nonfluency-Based Training on Retention
STEPHEN E. EVERSOLE (Behavior Development Solutions)
Abstract: As computer processing power and Internet speed have increased in the past few years, computer-based training holds much promise for providing instruction effectively and efficiently. Literally hundreds of Learning Management Systems (LMSs) are being used to provide instruction and manage learner performance over the Internet to hundreds of thousands, if not millions of people. Generally, these systems provide an excellent means of presenting material and testing learner knowledge. However, an Internet review yielded no LMSs that could easily accommodate fluency-based training; despite the fact that empirical evidence indicates that training to fluency fosters retention. Specific to teaching behavior analysis, a particular fluency-based training model has been used to prepare learners for the BACB exam and subsequent continuing education. Experimental, survey, and anecdotal data exist to support the efficacy of this model. However, published experimental data are lacking which indicate that this fluency-based model is efficient and leads to retention. We will present experimental data on these issues and discuss their relevance to teaching behavior analysis. Moreover, we will address implications of fluency-based instruction and the need for LMSs to accommodate this strategy.
 
Teaching Sign Recognition the Fast Way: On-Line Acquisition and Fluency Training
PAUL D. LUYBEN (State University of New York at Cortland)
Abstract: One task in learning sign language is to recognize signs. Sign recognition can be conceptualized as a concept learning task in which the learner acquires a generalization response within concept classes (correctly naming all presentations of a sign) and discrimination between classes. In this study we used Relate, a fluency-building software program, to teach acquisition and fluency in recognition of 28 signs. Four training modes were used: 1) “Browse,” in which a video clip and the name of the sign were presented concurrently; 2) “Say,” that involved labeling the sign shown; 3) “Select,” in which the learner selected a named sign from two different signs; and 4) “Type,” in which the learner was shown the sign and required to type the name of the sign. A multiple-baseline design across participants was embedded in a group design counterbalanced across two sets of signs. Of the 18 participants, both individual data and group data showed that all achieved over 90% acquisition in one training with generalization to an untrained set of signs. Maintenance and further generalization data were obtained for some of the participants. The direction for further research and the implications for on-line instruction in sign recognition are discussed.
 
Training on Demand: Considerations Affecting Streamed Video to Support Staff Training and Access to Treatment
ROBERT F. LITTLETON JR. (Evergreen Center), Christian A. Benavides (BEACON Services)
Abstract: Demand for services provided by individuals and agencies experienced in the delivery of high quality ABA services has grown exponentially with the passage of autism insurance legislation and enactment of public financial support for the treatment of individuals with developmental disabilities. These demands have severely taxed existing resources of clinical talent and exposed a weakness in our nation’s ability to reach the full fabric of society. One need only look at the geographic distribution of BCBA’s across and within states to note the “islands of access” and vast “deserts of despair” that constitute the current system for delivery of ABA services. This problem is compounded by the fact the many services are provided in one to one ratios in geographically distributed treatment sites, most frequently family homes. A partial solution to the complex logistics of training over distance is the use of web-based streamed video with the capacity to reach directly into homes, offices and classrooms; one staff or parent at a time; any time of day or night; at any location in the world. This presentation will review various uses of streamed video training available t support implementation of quality ABA services and discuss considerations affecting its development.
 
Effects of Live Versus Asynchronous Interaction in On-Line Classrooms
DANA R. REINECKE (The Sage Colleges), Thomas L. Zane (The Center for Applied Behavior Analysis at The Sage Colleges)
Abstract: Education has always been concerned about fostering a “community of learners.” However, on-line instruction very often takes place without students and teachers ever interacting with each other at the same time. Discussion forums allow for on-going conversations that are “asynchronous” in that students comment at various times, usually not a continuous conversation. This is a very different type of interaction that is usually not possible in the physical classroom. The physical classroom, however, allows for real-time conversations that may be more useful in clarifying concepts. This study compares discussion forums with live video conferences for students in an on-line class. Students preference for each type of interaction is assessed following a forced sampling procedure. We will also compare the frequency of student-student and teacher-student interaction in each condition, and examine effects on grades, work quality, and student and teacher satisfaction. Implications for how best to construct online learning environments will be discussed and recommendations made.
 
 
Symposium #237
CE Offered: BACB
Teaching and Improving Verbal Repertoires in Children and Adults With and Without Disabilities
Sunday, May 30, 2010
1:30 PM–2:50 PM
214C (CC)
Area: VRB/DDA; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Ana Carolina Sella (Universidade Federal da Grande Dourados)
Discussant: Caio F. Miguel (California State University, Sacramento)
CE Instructor: Jeffrey Tiger, Ph.D.
Abstract: Acquiring and teaching new verbal repertoires is often challenging. Behavior analysis has been assessing different techniques to aid in this process. The goals of the present studies were to evaluate different teaching techniques to improve verbal repertoires of children (ages 7-12) and adults (ages 45-60) with and without developmental disabilities. The investigators evaluated how relationship development improved acquisition of communicative responses, how teaching reading skills can aid in acquiring writing skills, and how play activities can be used to assess the acquisition and generalization of writing and reading skills. Relationship development increased the number of teaching interactions between the investigators and participants, resulting in more opportunities to request preferred items. After being taught how to read through a computer program, all participants were able to successfully generalize their reading skills to handwriting. Additionally, investigators reported that play activities were effective at measuring reading and writing acquisition and generalization. All procedures were effective in producing the desired verbal repertoires.
 
The Effects of Relationship Development on Communication and Compliance in Individuals With Intellectual Disabilities
ANDREA B. COURTEMANCHE (University of Kansas), James A. Sherman (University of Kansas), Jan B. Sheldon (University of Kansas)
Abstract: Developing rapport, functional communication, and engagement in appropriate activities are often problems for teachers and staff members who serve people with intellectual developmental disabilities. In the present study, the investigators used relationship development procedures with three participants who were diagnosed with profound developmental disabilities. Relationship development training involved using graduated guidance and shaping procedures to teach approach responses and manual signs to participants in order to gain access to one of three different highly preferred consequences. After participants independently requested preferred items, they were then taught to participate in several activities (e.g., daily living skills) within the home in order to gain access to the preferred item that they had requested. All participants learned to gain the attention of the teacher, ask for preferred items, and engage in home activities to obtain the preferred items. Additionally, as the participants learned how to request preferred items and independently complete activities, their overall occurrence of problem behaviors decreased.
 
Teaching Isolated Words: Reading and Its Effects on Handwriting Skills
ANA CAROLINA SELLA (Universidade Federal da Grande Dourados), Carmen Silvia Motta Bandini (Universidade Estadual de Ciencias da Saude de Alagoas), Lias Rocha de Barros Oliveira (Universidade Estadual de Ciencias da Saude de Alagoas), Heloása Helena Motta Bandini (Universidade Estadual de Ciências da Saúde de Alagoas)
Abstract: Brazil has high rates of illiteracy (about 15% of the overall population). Thus, it is important to develop new strategies for teaching reading and writing. Numerous computer programs have been developed and successfully applied to fulfill this need, but their focus is mainly on reading, rather than writing skills. Some studies show that when reading is improved, writing is also improved with no additional teaching. Other studies show that there is independence among the acquisition of these verbal repertoires. The present study assessed participants’ handwriting skills after they were exposed to a software program for teaching reading skills. Five typically developing individuals (ages 7 to 34) participated in the study, Participants were taught how to read approximately 50 words through the establishment of relations among printed words, dictated words, and pictures. After this, tests between dictated words and handwriting were presented. Dependent variables included the correct number of words and, for words written incorrectly, the percentage of letters written in the correct position and order were calculated. Results indicated that all participants’ performances increased, in both writing the whole word correctly and the percentage of letters written correctly. Results suggest a possible dependency between reading and writing repertoires.
 
Assessment of Reading Generalization Through Play Activities
CARMEN SILVIA MOTTA BANDINI (Universidade Estadual de Ciencias da Saude de Alagoas), Ana Carolina Sella (Universidade Federal da Grande Dourados), Jacqueline Pimentel Tenorio (Universidade Estadual de Ciencias de Saude de Alagoas), Heloása Helena Motta Bandini (Universidade Estadual de Ciências da Saúde de Alagoas)
Abstract: Many studies have demonstrated that play activities can be used to teach a number of skills. Play activities can also be used to evaluate the generalization of skills learned in a controlled experimental setting. The present study aimed to assess the generalization of reading and writing skills (taught through computer software) by using play activities. Four typically developing children, ages 7 to 12, participated in the study. Participants were taught how to read approximately 50 words through the establishment of relations among printed words, dictated words, and pictures. After participants read all words correctly, a reading test was presented in the experimental context. If they emitted 100% correct responses, they were exposed to the play activities. Crosswords, dominoes, and bingos were created and used as the assessing play activities. All participants showed high performance, as they did in the experimental tests. Thus, play activities may be a useful way to test for generalization of skills learned in experimental settings.
 
 
Panel #244
CE Offered: BACB
Toilet Training Individuals With and Without Disabiliites: Research, Methodologies, and Problem Solving
Sunday, May 30, 2010
3:00 PM–4:20 PM
207AB (CC)
Area: AUT/TPC; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
CE Instructor: Marc Lanovaz, M.S.
Chair: David Adams (Autism Spectrum Therapies)
PATRICK C. FRIMAN (Father Flanagan's Girls and Boys Town)
ENNIO C. CIPANI (National University)
ERICA R. ROEST (Autism Spectrum Therapies)
DAVID ADAMS (Autism Spectrum Therapies)
Abstract: Teaching a child how to independently use a toilet can help achieve self-sufficiency and improve the quality of life for client and parents/caretakers. In this discussion, a brief historical overview of toileting procedures will be highlighted including: Infant Potty Training, Brazelton, Azrin-Foxx, and Azrin-Foxx- Modified. Practical methodologies of day time toilet training procedures will be highlighted. Research related to transfer of stimulus control from diapers or undergarments to the toilet will be discussed. Developing practical solutions to several different challenges associated with training individuals with toileting challenges will also be explored. This panel of experts has vast clinical experience with toileting procedures and will help you to problem solve unique challenges during a question and answer time and share their research with you. Be prepared to hear some stories and surprises along the way!
 
 
Symposium #245
CE Offered: BACB
Case Studies Using Evidence-Based Treatments From the Mariposa School for Children With Autism
Sunday, May 30, 2010
3:00 PM–4:20 PM
206AB (CC)
Area: AUT/VRB; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Cassondra Mae Gayman (The Mariposa School for Children with Autism)
Discussant: Ruth M. Hurst (University of North Carolina, Wilmington)
CE Instructor: Michele Wallace, Ph.D.
Abstract: A recent study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and published in the journal Pediatrics claims the current rates of Autism in the United States are 1 in 91. This is an overwhelming number of children. Additional research conducted by The National Autism Center claims Applied Behavior Analysis to be one of the only effective, evidence based treatments, for children with Autism. Given the recent publication of these studies the necessity to expand our knowledge base regarding the most effective interventions is more dire then ever. In addition, as behavior analysts we have an obligation to continue to educate the public, parents, and professionals working with children with children with Autism about the most effective treatments. At The Mariposa School for Children with Autism our focus is on implementation of evidence based treatments that emanate from the behavior analytic framework. This Symposium will consist of 3 case studies of children who attend The Mariposa School for Children with Autism. These case studies will address topics such as motivating operations, schedules of reinforcement, and functional communication training. The data presented will demonstrate the effects procedures had on skill acquisition as well as behaviors targeted for reduction.
 
Transitions, and Tokens, and Schedules Oh My! Transitioning Twins From One-On-One to Group Instruction.
CASSONDRA MAE GAYMAN (The Mariposa School for Children with Autism), Danielle DelVecchio (The Mariposa School for Children with Autism), Jeni Stofer (The Mariposa School for Children with Autism), Ruth M. Hurst (University of North Carolina, Wilmington)
Abstract: Some children with Autism who receive instruction in a one-on-one setting are able to successfully graduate to a group instruction setting without explicit training. However, it is more likely that children with Autism will need special training and new sources of behavioral control will need to be developed for their successful integration into group settings. In this case study, twin boys, diagnosed with Autism, were integrated into a social group setting on two different schedules. One brother was transitioned from all one-on-one instruction to no one-on-one instruction while the other brother received equivalent amounts of one-on-one instruction and social group instruction. Initial data suggests both boys evidenced a significant increase in behavior problems however the child who continued to receive one-on-one instruction evidenced the increase later than his brother. Data will continue to be collected as schedules of reinforcement including token systems and visual schedules are implemented. This case study will graphically demonstrate why successful transition from one-on-one instruction to a group setting requires appropriate program modifications.
 
I Want a Cookie: Using Functional Communication Training to Reduce Occurrence of Problem Behavior
MIGUEL AMPUERO (The Mariposa School for Children with Autism), Cassondra Mae Gayman (The Mariposa School for Children with Autism), Marianna Freddo (The Mariposa School for Children with Autism), Ruth M. Hurst (University of North Carolina, Wilmington)
Abstract: Children with Autism often display problem behavior due to defective manding repertoires. This report details a behavior program for a 9 year-old boy diagnosed with Autism. Functional analysis showed that the most frequent form of mand, grabbing desired items or people, was in most cases maintained by access to preferred items especially in situations in which preferred items were present prior the child’s access to them. Due to the persistent nature of the grabbing behavior, effective mand training to teach more appropriate forms of requesting was necessary. To improve the likelihood of success, two response forms were trained depending on the specificity of the request (e.g., the mand for movie was the American Sign Language sign while the mand for a specific movie consisted of handing a picture to the instructor); thus, increasing the manding repertoire using multiple topographies of mands. Data from mand training sessions will be presented. Further, spontaneous use of mands during sessions as well as the form of the mand will be reported. The effects multiple forms of mand training on the target behavior across all training sessions will also be shown. Multiple forms of manding may enhance the likelihood of problem behaviors being reduced.
 
I’m Sleepy and My Tummy Hurts: Making Effective Program Schedule Modifications Based on Motivating Operations
MIGUEL AMPUERO (The Mariposa School for Children with Autism), Katie Burrell (The Mariposa School for Children with Autism), Mary Beth Hooks (The Mariposa School for Children with Autism), Ruth M. Hurst (University of North Carolina, Wilmington)
Abstract: Functional assessments suggested that motivating operations (MOs) such as sleep deprivation and discomfort from gastrointestinal (GI) problems were likely related to the occurrence of the problem behaviors of a 5 year-old girl diagnosed with Autism. Often, these MOs are difficult to address directly since their presence is detected only after problem behavior occurs. However, since their behavioral effects can be addressed indirectly via program modifications, a plan was developed whereby an alternative schedule with access to comforting activities was presented upon the occurrence of five instances of target behavior within the first 30 minutes of a session when accompanied by signs of pain or discomfort (e.g., holding stomach, lying down) and/or parent reports of poor sleep, pain, or discomfort. The effect of the alternative schedule on the overall frequency of the target behavior as well as on the frequency of behavior problems when health-related issues are evident will be reported. Data being collected will show whether an alternative schedule assists in minimizing the effects from the presence of MOs related to health issues. Future directions will be to train requests for the alternative schedule and other health-related interventions in the presence of the relevant MOs.
 
 
Symposium #247
CE Offered: BACB
Identifying Effective Instructional Procedures for Teaching Discrimination Skills to Individuals With Autism Spectrum Disorders
Sunday, May 30, 2010
3:00 PM–4:20 PM
202AB (CC)
Area: AUT/DDA; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Tiffany Kodak (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center)
CE Instructor: Jonathan Tarbox, Ph.D.
Abstract: A growing body of literature supports the use of ABA-based academic interventions for individuals diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Although a number of academic interventions are described in the extant literature, there is considerable variability in the instructional methods used to teach conditional discriminations (e.g., receptive identification) to children with ASD. The collection of presentations in this symposium will describe cutting-edge research evaluating the efficacy and/or efficiency of various prompting procedures. The presentations in this symposium will describe (a) a comparison of two main approaches in early intervention programs for teaching conditional discriminations, (b instructive feedback, a procedure that can be programmed into learning trials to promote acquisition of untrained conditional discriminations, (c) the inclusion of instructive feedback within a stimulus equivalence paradigm, and (d) an assessment procedure to identify effective prompting procedures. The results of the studies will be discussed in terms of teaching practices in early intervention programs.
 
A Comparison of Methods for Teaching Auditory-Visual Conditional Discrimination to Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders
LAURA L. GROW (Munroe-Meyer Institute), James E. Carr (Auburn University), Tiffany Kodak (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Candice M. Jostad (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), April Kisamore (Western New England College)
Abstract: There is considerable variability in the methods used to teach auditory-visual conditional discriminations (i.e., receptive identification) to children with autism spectrum disorders. Two main approaches are used in early intervention programs: the simple/conditional and conditional only methods. No studies to date have compared simple/conditional and conditional only methods for teaching conditional discriminations. Therefore, the purpose of the current study was to compare the simple/conditional and conditional only methods for teaching conditional discriminations to children with autism spectrum disorders. An adapted alternating treatments design was used to compare the teaching approaches. Three children between the ages of 4 and 7 participated. The results indicated that the conditional only method was a more reliable teaching method. In addition, error patterns emerged during training using the simple/conditional method. The results are discussed in terms of the implications for current teaching practices in EIBI programs.
 
Comparison of Progressive Time Delay With and Without Instructive Feedback for Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders
BRIAN REICHOW (Yale University)
Abstract: This study examined the effectiveness and efficiency of two instructional arrangements using the progressive time delay (PTD) procedure with 4 young children with autism spectrum disorders. An adapted alternating treatment design was used to compare PTD with instructive feedback (IF) to PTD without IF. The results suggest (a) children with autism can learn when PTD is used with IF, (b) IF can be an effective method of instruction for children with autism, and (c) the combination of PTD and IF increases the efficiency of instruction. The maintenance data collected 8 to 9 weeks after instruction ended showed participants maintained mastery of 58 to 92% of the acquired behaviors. These results will be discussed within the constraints and limitations of the data and areas for future research will be recommended.
 
Incorporating Instructive Feedback Into a Stimulus Equivalence Paradigm to Obtain Untrained Relations With Children Diagnosed With Autism
TIFFANY KODAK (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Laura L. Grow (Munroe-Meyer Institute), Amy Drayton (Eastern Michigan University), Nitasha Dickes (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center)
Abstract: Pevious research has shown that instructive feedback can be incorporated into learning trials to obtain mastery of untrained stimuli. However, few studies have evaluated instructive feedback with individuals with autism. In addition, instructive feedback has not been combined with other instructional methods to attempt to optimize learning of untrained relations. The purpose of the current study was to evaluate whether instructive feedback could be incorporated into teaching procedures that would result in untrained relations. A-B relations were directly taught through a match-to-sample procedure, and B-C relations were provided using instructive feedback. Results indicated that A-B and B-C relations emerged during training, and A-C, B-A, C-B, and C-A relations emerged without direct training. The results are discussed in terms of programming instructive feedback into instructional trials in early intervention programs to optimize student's learning.
 
Evaluation of a Pre-Teaching Prompting Assessment
JESSICA L. SEAVER (The New England Center for Children), Jason C. Bourret (New England Center for Children)
Abstract: Acquiring new skills can be difficult for students with autism. Research is still needed to identify teaching procedures that are optimally effective for individual students. Three different teaching modalities were compared in a multi-element design vocal and gestural, model, and manual guidance. All procedures were evaluated in the context of teaching novel behavior chains to five participants. Results are discussed in terms of the reliability of the assessment and the utility of the assessment as a general method for identifying differentially effective teaching procedures.
 
 
Symposium #248
CE Offered: BACB
Online and Applied System for Intervention Skills Training for Providers and Parents of Young Children With Autism
Sunday, May 30, 2010
3:00 PM–4:20 PM
203AB (CC)
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Linda S. Heitzman-Powell (University of Kansas Medical Center)
Discussant: Linda S. Heitzman-Powell (University of Kansas Medical Center)
CE Instructor: Mark Harvey, Ph.D.
Abstract: Early, intensive intervention for children with autism is essential for improving child outcomes. Parents and providers are critical intervention agents and require systematic training. This collection of studies presents two training programs, one of which includes results from a Spanish-speaking family. Training structures consisted of distance learning through web-based instruction and experiential training in clinical settings and at job sites. Content and experiences across programs were designed to teach characteristics of autism, basic screening information, applied behavior analysis, and adult/child interaction strategies including intervention designed to address deficits and excesses across the three domains of autism: socialization, communication, and behavior. Outcomes varied across programs and included (1) pre to posttest mastery of skills, (2) data on fluency of parents and providers, and (3) child improvement in areas such as language and challenging behaviors. Implications for training and increasing the numbers of quality service providers for young children with autism will be discussed.
 
Distance ABA Training for Parents of Children With Autism in Geographically Remote Areas
JAY FURMAN BUZHARDT (Juniper Gardens Children's Project), Linda S. Heitzman-Powell (University of Kansas Medical Center), Rachel L. White (University of Kansas), Elizabeth C. Rusinko (University of Kansas)
Abstract: Training parents to implement ABA interventions can result in positive and sustainable outcomes for children with autism. However, limitations imposed by geographical location prohibit many families from accessing effective training. The Online and Applied System for Intervention Skills (OASIS) Training Program removes geographical location as a barrier to effective ABA training. The program combines interactive web-based training modules and assessments with live supervised sessions in which trainees practice ABA techniques with their children while receiving feedback from a trained clinician at a distant site via video-conferencing technology. Training effectiveness was evaluated using a multiple-baseline design across families with a young child (2-5 years old) diagnosed with an ASD within 12 months of participation. Evaluation data include parent outcomes on pre- to posttest skill mastery and knowledge assessments, and intra-training skill mastery and knowledge assessments; and child outcomes on the Autism Treatment Evaluation Checklist, Early Communication Indicator, Vineland, and parent-reported challenging behaviors. The implications of disseminating effective distance ABA training for families of newly diagnosed children in remote areas will be discussed
 
Distance ABA Parent Training With a Spanish Speaking Family Living in a Geographically Remote Area
ELIZABETH C. RUSINKO (University of Kansas), Linda S. Heitzman-Powell (University of Kansas Medical Center), Jay Furman Buzhardt (Juniper Gardens Children's Project), Rachel L. White (University of Kansas), Sylvia Maack (University of Kansas)
Abstract: Geographical location prohibits many parents of children with autism from accessing effective ABA parent training. The Online and Applied System for Intervention Skills (OASIS) Training Program was designed to address this barrier to effective ABA training; however, other barriers remain. Based on the recent 58% increase in the Hispanic population and the fact that this population is now the largest ethnic minority group, language differences are now also becoming a barrier to services. The inclusion of a Spanish speaking family during the development of this program necessitated some accommodations to training such as the use of a translator during video-conferencing sessions. Training effectiveness for this family was evaluated in the same manner as other participants, via a pre-posttest design. Parent and child evaluation data were collected and evaluated in the same manner as all OASIS participants. The implications of disseminating effective distance ABA training for Spanish speaking families of newly diagnosed children in remote areas will be discussed.
 
Online and Applied System for Intervention Skills: State-Wide Training for Autism Waiver Service Providers
JILL M. WHITE KOERTNER (University of Kansas Medical Center), Linda S. Heitzman-Powell (University of Kansas Medical Center), Debra M. Kamps (Juniper Gardens Children's Project), Elizabeth C. Rusinko (University of Kansas)
Abstract: The Kansas Center for Autism Research and Training (KCART) Autism Training Program provides training for service providers of children with autism whose families receive Autism Medicaid Waiver funding from the Kansas Social and Rehabilitation Services. The training structure consists of web-based instruction and independent assignments, classroom lecture, and experiential training in a clinical setting and at job sites that provide services to children with autism. Content and experiences are designed to teach an introduction to autism and behavioral treatment, defining and observing behavior, principles of behavior, stimulus control, effective teaching strategies, decreasing behaviors through antecedent and consequent control, functional behavioral assessment, function-based behavior intervention plans, and teaching social-communication skills with typical peers. Outcomes include (1) pre to posttest mastery of information from web-based modules (2) pre to posttest mastery of application of skills, (3) data on fluency of trainees during training sessions, and (4) generalization data from video recordings of trainees’ teaching sessions with clients in their home settings. Implications for training and increasing the numbers of quality service providers in rural areas for young children with autism will be discussed.
 
 
Symposium #252
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Treatment of Automatically Maintained Problem Behavior: Indirect Effects, Procedural Integrity Challenges, and Maintenance
Sunday, May 30, 2010
3:00 PM–4:20 PM
217A (CC)
Area: DDA/AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Rachel H. Thompson (Western New England College)
CE Instructor: Susan Wilczynski, Ph.D.
Abstract: Problem behavior maintained by automatic reinforcement remains a significant challenge for clinicians due difficulties in identifying, eliminating, and/or competing with the reinforcer for problem behavior. This symposium will address the treatment of automatically maintained problem behavior among individuals with developmental disabilities. Three papers demonstrate the effectiveness of several commonly used reductive strategies for automatically reinforced behavior including DRO, response blocking, and positive practice overcorrection. These papers also address practical concerns including the necessity of extinction, procedural integrity challenges, and positive and negative side effects of the interventions. In the fourth paper, researchers reduced problem stereotypy and increased appropriate engagement through the use of stereotypy as reinforcement for engagement. Sustained improvements in engagement were observed over several months of assessment. Together these papers identify effective and practical interventions for automatically reinforced problem behavior and address strategies for long term maintenance of treatment gains.
 
Indirect Effects of Positive Practice Overcorrection
LINDSAY C. PETERS (The New England Center for Children), Rachel H. Thompson (Western New England College)
Abstract: This study evaluated Positive Practice Overcorrection (PP OC) as a treatment for motor stereotypy and attempted to identify any indirect effects of the intervention. Two males with autism, 17- and 9-years-old, participated. All sessions were 5 min in duration; the session timer was paused during implementation of the overcorrection procedure. PP OC was implemented contingent upon motor stereotypy in a multiple-baseline design across conditions in which a high-preference (HP) activity and low-preference (LP) activity were presented individually. Overcorrection involved graduated guidance to engage with the available activity. Preference probes, in which both items (HP & LP) were concurrently available, were also conducted to evaluate relative preference for the HP and LP items. PP OC reduced stereotypy in the presence of both HP and LP activities for both participants. Appropriate engagement with the activities increased with the implementation of PP OC for only one participant. The implementation of the procedure did not appear to alter preferences for the activities prompted within the PPOC procedure.
 
A Longitudinal Study of Stereotypy as Reinforcement to Increase Functional Play Skills in Children Diagnosed with Autism
JACQUELINE N. POTTER (New England Center for Children), Gregory P. Hanley (Western New England College), Meredith C. Phelps (New England Center for Children)
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to teach age-appropriate play skills to a child who engaged in high levels of stereotypic behavior that was non-injurious. A critical feature of our teaching strategy was that we used the child’s own stereotypy as a reward for engaging in successively more complex play behavior. A functional analysis was completed and showed that stereotypy persisted in the absence of social consequences. We then sequentially analyzed the effects of enriching the environment with activities, prompting engagement, blocking stereotypy, and allowing the child brief periods of time to engage in the stereotypy for engaging in progressively larger amounts of functional play. Inter-observer agreement data were collected during 33% of sessions, and all measures averaged over 80% agreement. Results showed increases in functional engagement and decreases in stereotypic behaviors only when all treatment components were present. More and qualitatively better play was then observed across three distinct activities when and only when requirements to access stereotypy were systematically altered over months of assessment.
 
Reducing Problem Behavior Maintained by Automatic Reinforcement Through a Variable Momentary DRO Procedure
KAREN A TOUSSAINT (Louisiana State University), Jeffrey H. Tiger (Louisiana State University)
Abstract: Variable-momentary differential reinforcement of other behavior (VMDRO) contingencies differ from traditional DRO contingencies in that reinforcement is delivered for the absence of a target behavior at a given moment in time (e.g., at second 10), as opposed to the absence of the target behavior for a specified time interval (e.g., from seconds 1 to 10). VMDRO contingencies are effective at reducing problem behavior when combined with extinction; however, extinction may not always be feasible to implement, particularly when problem behavior is maintained by automatic sources of reinforcement. The current investigation evaluated the efficacy of a VMDRO contingency for problem behavior maintained by automatic reinforcement when implemented without extinction. The results indicated that VMDRO without extinction may result in substantial reductions in problem behavior in some cases.
 
The Effects of Delays to Response Blocking When Used as Treatment for Problem Behavior Maintained by Automatic Reinforcement
MEGAN L. KLIEBERT (Louisiana State University), Jeffrey H. Tiger (Louisiana State University), Karen A Toussaint (Louisiana State University)
Abstract: Response blocking and interruption are common interventions for problem behavior maintained by automatic reinforcement in the treatment literature, but these interventions may be extremely challenging for caregivers to implement with fidelity (i.e., immediately blocking each instance). The effects of challenges to the procedural integrity of response blocking/interruption procedures upon the maintenance of treatment effects for problem behavior maintained by automatic reinforcement were evaluated by measuring aberrant behavior under several conditions including a baseline condition, an immediate response blocking condition, and a series of delayed response blocking conditions (i.e., 3-s, 15-s, and 30-s delays). The results indicated that even brief delays to implementing blocking and disruption severely compromised treatment efficacy.
 
 
Panel #253
CE Offered: BACB
Reducing Restraint in Our Public and Private Schools: Views, Considerations, and Strategies
Sunday, May 30, 2010
3:00 PM–4:20 PM
217C (CC)
Area: DDA/EDC; Domain: Service Delivery
CE Instructor: Amanda Little, Ph.D.
Chair: William H. Ahearn (The New England Center for Children)
RICHARD M. FOXX (The Pennsylvania State University)
TIMOTHY R. VOLLMER (University of Florida)
ALAN E. HARCHIK (May Institute)
ALLEN J. KARSINA (The New England Center for Children)
Abstract: The use of restraints in our public and private schools, always contentious, has received renewed scrutiny by public and private organizations (GAO, 2009). While individual cases of abuse involving restraint continue to draw attention, meaningful data on the use of restraint and correlated measures such as injuries remain difficult to find and even more difficult to evaluate. Schools and agencies charged with reducing or eliminating the use of restraints in their programs face difficult choices with little empirical guidance. When working with self-injurious and aggressive students, what are the alternatives to restraint? Have these alternatives been empirically evaluated? When and how should they be implemented? What are the risks of these alternatives? Are there circumstances where restraint may be the most humane and effective intervention? If so, is the elimination of restraint an appropriate goal? This panel discussion will examine these considerations and others, as well as different viewpoints on the use of restraint. Richard Foxx, Tim Vollmer, Alan Harchik, and Allen Karsina will serve as the Panelists for this discussion. Each Panelist will make opening remarks and then field questions from the audience. The discussion will be moderated by Bill Ahearn.
 
 
Panel #262
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Providing Behavior Analyst Certification Board Supervision Within the University Setting
Sunday, May 30, 2010
3:00 PM–4:20 PM
Texas Ballroom Salon F (Grand Hyatt)
Area: TBA; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
CE Instructor: Abigail Calkin, Ph.D.
Chair: Erin Reed Young (Sam Houston State University)
BARBARA A. METZGER (Sam Houston State University)
JESSICA E. FRIEDER (Armstrong Atlantic State University)
CAROLE M. VAN CAMP (University of North Carolina, Wilmington)
CHERYL ANN FIELDING (University of Texas-Pan American)
Abstract: The Behavior Analyst Certification Board provides minimal guidelines for university professors on how to implement supervision of students in their field experience. While this allows for a lot of flexibility in designing a field experience that meets the needs of different programs, the paucity of guidelines also leads to a difficult challenge for the professor teaching the field experience course. Each panelist will briefly talk about how the field experience is arranged at their respective universities and highlight desirable and undesirable features. Also, panelists will relate problems they have encountered and how they were solved as well as provide tips to other field experience supervisors that will assist others in designing and teaching the field experience course. Course materials such as sample syllabi and field experience supervision contracts will be provided. The purpose of this discussion will be to share information and ideas with other providers of field experience supervision.
 
 
Symposium #263
CE Offered: BACB
Nonlinear Applied Behavior Analysis and Challenging Behavior: Implications and Applications
Sunday, May 30, 2010
3:00 PM–4:20 PM
Bonham C (Grand Hyatt)
Area: TPC/DDA; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Gary W. LaVigna (Institute for Applied Behavior Analysis)
Discussant: T. V. Joe Layng (Headsprout)
CE Instructor: Joseph Gentry, Ph.D.
Abstract: Goldiamond's "Alternative Sets" and "Constructional Approach" represent seminal articulations of non-linear applied behavior analysis (N-ABA). Nevertheless, even though these contributions are recognized and respected, they have not had the wide impact on research and practice they deserve in the general field of applied behavior analysis. One exception to this may be in the area of challenging behavior. This symposium makes explicit the influence and potential that N-ABA has had on supporting people with challenging behavior and, in particular, the role it has played in the development of positive behavior supports (PBS). The first paper examines the existing and potential implications and applications, some of which seem to fly in the face of linear thinking. The second specifically looks at the implications and applications of alternative contingency sets on both functional assessment and behavioral support. The third reviews the nascent N-ABA research providing the evidence base for this approach. The discussion of this symposium is provided by one of the field’s most prolific writers on the topic of N-ABA.
 
Nonlinear Applied Behavior Analysis: Implications for Supporting People With Challenging Behavior
GARY W. LAVIGNA (Institute for Applied Behavior Analysis), Thomas J. Willis (Institute For Applied Behavior Analysis)
Abstract: This paper defines the differences and provides examples of linear applied behavior analysis (ABA), with its emphasis on ABC’s (antecedents, behavior, and consequences) in performing an analysis of function/meaning and in intervention, and nonlinear ABA (N-ABA), that goes beyond the ABC’s. This presentation also describes the contributions N-ABA can make in supporting people with severe and challenging behavior. First and foremost among these is the emphasis on positive programming, aimed at increasing the “alternative sets” available to the person in getting their needs met. However, also of great importance is the contribution in can make to a technology of reactive strategies aimed at reducing “episodic severity.” (Episodic severity is defined at a measure of intensity or gravity of a behavioral incident.) Applications of N-ABA in developing reactive strategies, with minimum negative side-effects, may render the use of traditional emergency management systems, especially those that include the use of physical management and other restrictive practices, obsolete and result in fewer and less severe consumer, staff, and community injuries and fewer harmful effects. Research templates for empirically exploring these possibilities are described.
 
Alternative Contingency Sets: Overview and Implications for Analysis and Intervention
MARTA LEON (Headsprout)
Abstract: This presentation will draw on Israel Goldiamond’s analysis of alternative contingency sets (also knows as non-linear analysis) as a means to increase the quantity and quality of analytical tools available to those working in applied areas. Analysis of alternative contingency sets helps explain, among other things, why even well-implemented extinction procedures may fail to reduce problem or challenging behavior and why procedures based on positive reinforcement may fail to increase target behavior. More importantly, the analysis of alternative contingency sets sheds light on response patterns that may seem to run contrary to the behavioral principles as traditionally understood within linear analyses of behavior. This presentation will provide an overview of some of the concepts and principles considered in the analysis of alternative contingency sets, and relate them to common challenges and considerations relevant to the practice of applied behavior analysis. The issue of coercion will also be discussed from the standpoint of alternative contingency sets. Specifically, coercion will be conceptualized as being a function of the degrees of freedom present in the contingency, as opposed to being defined solely by the absence of aversive consequences.
 
Empirical Support for the Applications of Nonlinear Behavior Analysis in the Area of Challenging Behavior
LORI A. DOTSON (Institute for Applied Behavior Analysis), Priya Runyon (Institute for Applied Behavior Analysis)
Abstract: The roots of Positive Behavior Support are embedded in Goldiamond’s non-linear applied behavior analysis (N-ABA). This presentation reviews the research and the empirical support for N-ABA. Both basic and applied studies are reviewed and their relevance for working with people with challenging behavior is discussed. The applied studies reviewed include single subject, multiple baseline research as well as group design studies, including one with an experimental control group. While Kazdin Type III case studies are also included for the valid inferences that can be drawn from them, exemplars of single subject research designs that demonstrate the influence of non-linear variables on behavior are emphasized. Emphasis will also be placed on those studies that highlight the paradoxically different conclusions drawn from linear in contrast to the non-linear analysis of behavior. Finally, recommendations are made for future research in the investigation of both proactive and reactive strategies for supporting people with challenging behavior.
 
 
Symposium #264
CE Offered: BACB
A Behavior Analysis of Language: Are Our Conceptual Tools Sufficient?
Sunday, May 30, 2010
3:00 PM–4:20 PM
214C (CC)
Area: VRB/TPC; Domain: Theory
Chair: Matthew P. Normand (University of the Pacific)
Discussant: Michael J. Dougher (University of New Mexico)
CE Instructor: Simon Dymond, Ph.D.
Abstract: The common theme of the papers in this symposium is the degree to which our longstanding conceptual tools are sufficient to enable us to understand a complex behavioral phenomenon of great interest: language. The first two papers, by Normand and Moore, consider some criticisms of Skinner’s analysis of verbal behavior and some alternative analyses offered as improvements thereon. The third paper, by Schlinger, suggests that we reconsider some of our longstanding analyses with respect to rule-governed behavior and simplify (clarify) matters by treating the subject as what it really is: behavior that is to be understood in terms of its function.
 
Much Ado About Nothing: Skinner’s Analysis of Verbal Behavior
MATTHEW P. NORMAND (University of the Pacific)
Abstract: Some have suggested that the definition of verbal behavior offered by B. F. Skinner fails to capture the essence of language insofar as it is too broad and not functional. In this presentation I will argue that the ambiguities of Skinner’s definition are not an indictment of it and suggestions to the contrary are problematic because they suffer a critical error of scientific reasoning. Some also have suggested that Skinner’s analysis of verbal behavior is entirely conceptual and therefore in need of experimental evidence to support it. I will argue that Skinner’s taxonomy is a thoroughgoing analysis of the types of stimulus control that can develop over units of “verbal” behavior and is therefore supported by decades of basic behavioral research. However, one might reasonably question whether Skinner’s analysis captures all of the phenomena comprising language. I will discuss the potential implications of this question and argue that it does not undermine Skinner’s analysis but rather it suggests that more work of a similar type might be necessary.
 
Some Thoughts on the Relation Between Derived Relational Responding and Verbal Behavior
JAY MOORE (University of Wisconsin-Madison)
Abstract: This presentation critically examines the bold claims of relational frame theory (RFT) advocates that RFT is a comprehensive approach to the phenomena referred to in traditional parlance as language and cognition, and is manifestly preferable in both scope and detail to that found in B. F. Skinner’s book Verbal Behavior. Although some data do indicate a high positive correlation between derived relational responding and verbal behavior, in keeping with RFT, other data indicate at best a low correlation. The reasons for the differences between expected and actual correlations across the several data sets are not clear. We conclude that despite the value of RFT, the nature and causes of derived relational responding, as well as the relation between derived relational responding and verbal behavior more generally, remain an important area of investigation.
 
New Rule: Abandon the Terminology of Rules and Rule-Governed Behavior
HENRY D. SCHLINGER (California State University, Los Angeles)
Abstract: Ever since Skinner imported the concept of rule-governed behavior, behavior analysts, including the present author, have debated the nature and function of rules with little or no consensus. Confusion over the terminology of rules and rule-governed behavior has mired behavior analysts in the same trap as other disciplines we have criticized for a lack of clarity in their terminology. We must remember, however, that rules are only what we call them. Therefore, because the terms “rules” and “rule-governed behavior” are controlled by so many different variables in our verbal community, I now believe that we should abandon this terminology. To wit, in the present paper, I briefly describe the history of the concept of rule-governed behavior in behavior analysis and then point out some of the different locutions derived from that concept (e.g., “rule,” “rule-governed behavior,” “obeying a rule,” “following a rule,” etc.). Finally, I suggest that because behavior analysts have not agreed on the use of these terms, we dispense with them (the terms, not the behavior analysts) altogether and simply identify behavioral events by their functions.
 
 
Panel #270
CE Offered: BACB
Professional Development Series: An Introduction to Precision Teaching
Sunday, May 30, 2010
3:30 PM–4:20 PM
Texas Ballroom Salon B (Grand Hyatt)
Area: EDC/AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
CE Instructor: Anthony Biglan, Ph.D.
Chair: Kendra L. Rickard (University of Nevada, Reno)
JENNIFER TESTA (Morningside Academy)
KERRI K. MILYKO (University of Nevada, Reno)
ALISON L. MOORS (Academy for Precision Learning)
Abstract: Precision teaching (PT) is a subfield of behavior analysis that has at its core a measurement system. The standard celeration chart (SCC) is the hallmark of precision teaching, and through its use, discoveries of relationships between component behaviors and complex repertoires have been made. The most efficient and effective methods for establishing complex repertoires have also been discovered, and a truly functional definition of mastery has emerged. This symposium will include an overview of PT and the SCC, as well as discuss applications of PT in various settings with a variety of different learners and behaviors. The benefit of combining PT with other effective instructional techniques, such as Direct Instruction and Curriculum-Based Measurement, will also be discussed.
 
 
Symposium #272
CE Offered: BACB
Spice Up My Habitat! Systematic Evaluations of Environmental Enrichment at the Zoo
Sunday, May 30, 2010
4:00 PM–5:20 PM
Lone Star Ballroom Salon A (Grand Hyatt)
Area: AAB; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Christy A. Alligood (Disney's Animal Kingdom, Education and Science)
CE Instructor: Erick Dubuque, Ph.D.
Abstract: Environmental enrichment is often closely tied to efforts to create optimal animal welfare in captive environments, particularly zoological institutions. The presentations in this symposium examine systematic evaluations of the effectiveness of enrichment strategies using behavioral measures. These presentations represent studies spanning multiple species, habitats, and types of enrichment. The first presentation will describe a study of running wheel use in Key Largo woodrats. Implications for the evaluation of enrichment strategies in general will be discussed. The second presentation will discuss the use of GPS/GIS technology for measuring the behavior of large mammals, including the trial-and-error process of adapting the technology for this purpose and potential applications for the study of environmental enrichment. The third presentation will describe a study examining the effects of various environmental enrichment strategies on African elephants’ use of their enclosure space. Finally, the fourth presentation will describe a comprehensive system for measuring the behavior of captive animals across changes in environmental enrichment.
 
‘Round and ‘Round They Go: Assessment of Wheel Running as an Enrichment Strategy for Captive Key Largo Woodrats (Neotoma Floridana Smalli)
CHRISTY A. ALLIGOOD (Disney's Animal Kingdom, Education and Science), Amanda M. Pavese (Disney's Animal Kingdom, Education and Science), Andre J. Daneault (Disney's Animal Kingdom, Animal Husbandry), Anne Savage (Disney's Animal Kingdom, Education and Science)
Abstract: In captive animal management, environmental enrichment strategies are frequently implemented with the overall goal of improving animal welfare. Typical objectives of enrichment strategies include introducing novel sensory stimulation, providing greater opportunities for species-typical behavior, and increasing the availability of behavioral choices. A crucial step in assessing the utility of enrichment strategies is the measurement of targeted vs. general outcomes (i.e., whether and how the enrichment “worked”). A targeted outcome can be defined as a specific behavior (or category of behaviors) to be influenced by an enrichment strategy. A general outcome can be defined as any interaction with enrichment stimuli. We measured the activity levels of five naïve captive Key Largo woodrats across multiple phases of running-wheel exposure and removal. While all animals engaged in wheel running, the presence of the wheel did not increase overall activity levels. For Key Largo woodrats in particular, these results imply that running wheels may be of greater use as a general enrichment strategy that provides stimulation and choice than as a specific strategy to increase activity levels. These results also illustrate the need for detailed outcome-based assessments of the utility of enrichment strategies in general.
 
GPS Assessment of Animal Behavior in Zoos
JOSEPH SOLTIS (Disney's Animal Kingdom, Education and Science), Katherine A. Leighty (Disney's Animal Kingdom, Education and Science), Anne Savage (Disney's Animal Kingdom, Education and Science)
Abstract: Recently, there has been an increasing movement among zoo professionals toward designing animal habitats and environmental enrichment programs with the goals of maximizing opportunities for species-typical behavior and providing a variety of activity choices. Global positioning system and global imaging system (GPS/GIS) technologies can be used to evaluate how animals utilize their environments. At Disney’s Animal Kingdom, we have implemented GPS and GIS technology to determine factors that influence daily walking distance and differential resource use among African elephants (loxodonta africana). As determined by GPS technology, African elephants walked 3.68 km per 9-hour observation period while in their outdoor exhibits. Walking distance was positively correlated with exhibit size and ambient temperature. Also, higher-ranking individuals utilized a greater proportion of the available space and demonstrated increased access to a watering hole compared with lower-ranking animals. I discuss methods for attaching GPS devices to elephants and white rhinoceros (ceratotherium simum), GPS accuracy in zoo environments, and practical applications of GPS and GIS technology for evaluating the effectiveness of exhibit design and enrichment programs.
 
Manipulating Enrichment to Expand Enclosure Usage of Captive African Elephants (Loxodonta Africana)
KATHRYN LYNN TUCKER (University of North Texas), Jesus Rosales-Ruiz (University of North Texas), Deborah Fripp (Dallas Zoo)
Abstract: In recent years, the welfare of captive elephants has become a highly publicized issue. It has been shown that