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.


Fourth Annual Autism Conference; Chicago, IL; 2010

Event Details

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Poster Session #7
AUT Poster Session 1
Saturday, January 23, 2010
5:00 PM–6:30 PM
Columbus Hall
1. Increasing Spontaneous Eye Contact in an Early Childhood Developmentally Delayed Preschool Classroom
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
AMANDA JEAN KOWALSKI (Western Michigan University), Richard W. Malott (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: The focus of this case study was to increase eye contact in the absence of prompts. An AB design was used to assess the frequency of spontaneous eye contact with a three-year-old child diagnosed with autism. The child was selected from an Early Childhood Developmentally Delayed (ECDD) classroom in Southwest Michigan. In order to increase spontaneous eye contact, a highly preferred item was first selected (DVD player). After unprompted eye contact was made, the DVD player was presented for 30-60 seconds. The requirement for duration of eye contact was increased over time. Additionally, once unprompted eye contact was established, high probability tasks were introduced and eye contact was required both preceding and following task presentation in order to gain access to the DVD player. Previous attempts to increase eye contact using auditory and visual tracking techniques (i.e., “Look at me,” or calling the child’s name) in a discrete trial format were unsuccessful. The focus of the study was eye contact as it was a necessary prerequisite skill to target deficits in the child’s repertoire.
2. Use of a Token Economy to Increase Appropriate Sitting
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
TIALHA NOVER (Western Michigan University), Richard W. Malott (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: Use of a Token Economy to Increase Appropriate Sitting Introduction: The current case study looks at the effects of a fixed-interval token economy on increasing appropriate sitting behavior for a preschooler diagnosed with autism. Prior to implementation of the token economy, behavior such as flopping to the floor, lying across the table, and facing away from the tutor occurred regularly. Methods: Baseline data were taken on compliant sitting behavior. Sitting behavior included: sitting in the chair or bean bag facing the tutor, sitting or standing by the table facing the tutor. A changing criterion design was then implemented for the fixed-interval economy and training began with a one-minute goal line. Criterion was raised in one minute increments with a final goal of 10 intervals. All data were taken with multiple whole-interval observation probes. Discussion: Further research on specific token economies will allow us to more effectively control behavior while keeping reinforcement rates high.
3. Matching to Receptive Skill Transfer
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
KELLY STONE (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: Receptive identification of 3D objects is a difficult skill for many children with autism spectrum disorder. Matching to sample is a skill that is generally taught early on in the intervention and is mastered quickly. The purpose of this study was to see if a transfer from matching to sample to the receptive identification of 3D objects can be achieved. The study was done with a 3-year-old child diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder who displayed excellent matching skills, but was deficit in receptive identification of objects. Baseline data were collected, and then three phases of matching trials were taught, using the item name and the sample stimulus as the discriminative stimuli. The sample stimulus was faded out to transfer the matching skills to receptive skills. Data were collected for each trial. This study will be beneficial in demonstrating an effective transfer of skills across operants, and can be used for other children who have achieved matching skills but have not yet displayed receptive skills.
4. Functional Assessment of a Developmentally Delayed Child
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
TIFFANY MARIE SMIECINSKI (Western Michigan University), Richard W. Malott (Western Michigan University), Kelli Perry (Western Michigan University), Joseph T. Shane (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: The purpose of the functional assessment (FA) was to determine the function of several problem behaviors of a young child. The child is a 3-year old girl diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The setting consisted of an Early Childhood Developmental Delays (ECDD) preschool classroom within a special education school in Kalamazoo, Michigan. The target behaviors for the assessment included throwing, aggression towards therapists, biting, and dropping to the floor. Previous attempts to decrease problem behavior doing things such as simply ignoring problem behavior or following through with tasks didn’t seem to work. If they did work, however, that would be evidence of only an attention or only an escape component as the function of the behavior. The FA served to find the true function of behavior so we could be accurate in designing the proper intervention. In regards to observations, video-taping was done to ensure accuracy with getting both baseline data and the functional assessment data.
5. Practical Considerations for Function-Based Treatment at an Early Childhood Developmentally Delayed Pre-school Classroom
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
MATT BRODHEAD (Western Michigan University), Kristen L. Gaisford (Western Michigan University), Woan Tian Chow (Western Michigan University), Breanne K. Hartley (Western Michigan University), Richard W. Malott (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: This case study describes methods used to develop a function-based treatment plan for a child with autism at an Early Childhood Developmentally Delayed (ECDD) pre-school classroom. Functional communication training and non-contingent reinforcement procedures were developed by the authors, and classroom staff and other service providers from the school made modifications to the child’s curriculum and occupational therapy procedures. Various changes were made to the treatment plan after it was implemented, primarily to enhance its effectiveness, and secondarily, to meet the needs of the ECDD classroom procedures. Supervision protocols and techniques were also modified throughout the program in order to obtain procedural continuity between tutors who implemented the protocol. Final modifications to the project involve finding a balance between function-based treatment procedures and meeting the child’s educational goals. Practical considerations for providing behavioral services in a multi-disciplinary setting are addressed, along with future considerations for a practitioner approach to function based treatment in this setting.
6. Reducing Problem Behavior in an ECDD Classroom
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
JOSEPH NORCROSS (Western Michigan University), Amanda Jean Kowalski (Western Michigan University), Tialha Nover (Western Michigan University), Richard W. Malott (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: The purpose of this presentation is to demonstrate the power of behavior analysis in reducing problem behavior in an ECDD classroom. One child was identified to have high levels of problem behavior that interfered with learning. We conducted a functional assessment to identify the function of the problem behavior. Tutors were videotaped running sessions of discrete trial training with the child, and descriptive data were collected and analyzed to identify possible functions of the problem behavior. After implementing the intervention, tutors collected probe data to test the effectiveness of the intervention strategies, which included reinforcing prompted responses, tutor training, and removal of lessons for which the child did not have the appropriate prerequisite skills. We then videotaped the tutors again to collect post-intervention data. Using a withdrawal design, we determined which of the intervention strategies were responsible for the reduction in problem behavior.
7. Echoic to Mand Transfer
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
DANA PELLEGRINO (Western Michigan University), Richard W. Malott (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: Manding is a crucial part of any early intervention program, as children with autism often have defective mand repertoires. Echoic behavior can be used to train manding through the use of a transfer across operants procedure. This study used echoic-to-mand training to develop the manding repertoire of a 3-year-old child with autism. Baseline was collected in October 2008 when the child began therapy at the Kalamazoo Autism Center. She had essentially no vocal behavior, as determined by a verbal language assessment. After several months in the program, she acquired a generalized imitative repertoire and eventually echoic behavior consisting of simple phonemes. The echoic-to-mand procedure was implemented in August 2008 and recycled 2 months later. The recycle phase gave the child more practice with the echoic phase, as she was exhibiting high rates of vocal scrolling during the mand phase, and a more structured preference assessment was used to determine the most highly preferred reinforcers. This study offers support for echoic to mand transfer procedures and helped establish several vocal mands in the child’s repertoire.
8. Increasing Vocalizations in a Child With Autism Using a Stimulus-Stimulus Pairing Procedure
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
JOSEPH T SHANE (Westen Michigan University), Richard W. Malott (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: The child who participated in this intervention was a two-year-old male diagnosed with autism. He was receiving services in a classroom serving children with early childhood care developmental delays (ECCD). The subject had no functional verbal behavior at the beginning of the intervention, and his vocal behavior consisted of repeating a limited number of sounds (primarily only one sound) assumed to be maintained by automatic reinforcement. The goal of this intervention was to increase the number of different vocalizations that the subject would reliably emit. A secondary benefit of this intervention was to decrease certain repetitive vocalizations. Contingent upon a successful first phase, the intervention was then shifted to a basic mand training phase. The first phase of the intervention was a stimulus-stimulus pairing procedure designed to increase the frequency of target sounds, and establish an automatically reinforcing property for those sounds. Following this phase, the new sounds were established as mands, using a basic mand training procedure. The intervention took place in the child’s normal school environment.
9. Using Response Prompting and Computer-Assisted Instruction to Teach Generative Writing to Students with Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
ROBERT PENNINGTON (University of Louisville), Donald M. Stenhoff (BISTÅ), Jason L. Gibson (University of Kentucky)
Abstract: Written expression is a critical skill because it is used to access reinforcement in a variety of contexts. Unfortunately, there has been little research on writing skills instruction for students with autism spectrum disorders. The purpose of the current study was to evaluate the effects of simultaneous prompting and computer-assisted instruction on the story-writing responses of a 7-year-old male with autism. The researcher used simultaneous prompting to teach the participant to construct stories by selecting words from an array presented via computer software. The researcher evaluated intervention efficacy using a multiple probe design. In addition, the researcher compared the use of web-based video conferencing software to traditional face-to-face observation methods for collecting reliability data. Data indicated that intervention was effective across all targeted responses. Additionally, the student maintained effects at two and four weeks following intervention and generalized responding across different topographies (i.e., handwriting, vocal). Finally, data also indicated 100% agreement across web-based and face-to-face data collectors.
10. Using Errorless Learning to Evaluate the Rate of Skill Acquisition in Teaching Children With Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
HANNA WOLDE (California State University Fresno), Amanda N. Adams (California State University, Fresno)
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of errorless teaching procedures in skills acquisition of children with autism in early intensive behavioral treatment based on principles of applied behavior analysis (ABA). The study compared a standard error correction procedure and an errorless teaching procedure during teaching sessions to four children with autism. Two lessons and two skills for each lesson were selected for each participant. One skill was taught using errorless teaching procedure and the other was simultaneously taught using error correction method. Results indicated that all four participants, on average, acquired skills 44% faster using the errorless teaching procedure than with the standard error correction method. Moreover, on average, it took participants 4.25 probe sessions to master a lesson or skill taught using errorless procedure compared to 7.6 sessions with error correction. These results support previous findings that find errorless teaching procedures superior to standard error correction in skills acquisition for children with autism.
11. The Effects of Self-Management Teaching on Social Communication Skills of a Junior High School Student with Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
CHIA-YANG LU (National Chia-yi School for Mentally Retarded), Hua Feng (National Changhua University of Education)
Abstract: The study was to investigate the effect on social communication skills of a student with autism by giving self-management training. A seventh-grade junior high school student with autism participated in the study. A single-subject experimental design of multiple probes design across settings was used in this study. The independent variable of this study was self-management training. The dependent variables of this study were the percentage of correct social communication maintained, and generalized outcomes of the DV. The results showed great improvement of the social communication skills across different settings. The results also displayed favorable results in stimulus and response generalization, respectively. The study also provided suitable social validity from the perspectives of homeroom teacher, former elementary school teacher, and parents. The parents and teachers all strongly agreed on the importance of self-management training and the treatment outcomes.
12. Training Yes-No Responses to Children with Autism: A Systematic Replication
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
MELISSA M. OTTO (Kansas City Autism Training Center), Tanya Y. Baynham (Kansas City Autism Training Center)
Abstract: Teaching children with autism to answer yes-no questions can increase access to positive events and decrease access to aversive stimuli. Despite the importance of the skill for children with limited language repertoires, very little research on teaching methodology is available to practitioners. In the current study, we systematically replicated procedures described by Neef, Walters, and Egel (1984) to increase yes-no responding when teachers asked, “Do you want this?” with three children with autism. Data were collected on the number of correct yes responses (i.e., nods or a vocal “yes” in the presence of a preferred item) and no responses (i.e., head shakes or a vocal “no” in the presence of a non-preferred item). Results showed that the procedure was successful in teaching 3 of three students the target skill. Recently, Shillingsburg and colleagues (2009) were unable to train the “no” response under mand conditions. Possible reasons for their failure and implications for practice are discussed.
13. Using Video Modeling to Teach Children with Autism to Respond to Facial Expressions
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Judah B. Axe (Simmons College), CHRISTINE EVANS (Simmons College)
Abstract: Young children with autism often exhibit delays in responding to facial expressions and few studies have examined teaching subtle facial expressions to this population. Three participants with autism (age 5) in a suburban early childhood school were taught to respond to facial expressions using video modeling. Eight facial expressions were targeted: approval, bored, calming, disapproval, disgusted, impatient, pain, and pleased. Probes consisted of showing an adult performing these facial expressions in a video and generalization probes across live adults and settings were conducted. Training was showing a video of an adult modeling a response to each facial expression. The effects of the training were evaluated in a multiple probe across behaviors design. Interobserver agreement (IOA) data were collected on 33% of sessions across participants, conditions, and tiers and was a mean of 98% (range 88-100%). Two participants correctly responded to all facial expressions across people and settings after viewing the video models one or two times. Experimental control was achieved with the other participant though he required more training sessions and was less consistent with responding. Future researchers should evaluate ways to teach and test responding to facial expressions under naturalistic conditions.
14. A Comparison of Discrete Trial Teaching With and Without Gestures/Signs in Teaching Receptive Language Skills
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
ONUR KURT (Anadolu University)
Abstract: The purpose of the proposed poster is to share the effectiveness and efficiency of a specific version of using discrete trial teaching with children with autism. There are research studies investigating the effectiveness of various methods on teaching language skills to children with autism. However, very little attention has been paid to teaching receptive language skills to children with autism to date. This study was designed to compare the effectiveness and efficiency of two discrete trial teaching procedures for teaching receptive language skills to children with autism. While verbal instructions were delivered alone during the first procedure, all verbal instructions were combined with simple gestures and/or signs during the second procedure when teaching receptive language skills by using discrete trial teaching. A parallel treatments design was used to compare the effectiveness and efficiency of the two procedures on the acquisition of the receptive language skills of the students. Two students with autism participated in the study. The results of the study showed that the discrete trial teaching procedure in which verbal instructions were combined with simple gestures and/or signs was slightly more effective and efficient on promoting the acquisition of receptive language skills for both of the students.
15. Reinforcement Techniques to Reduce Problem Behavior During Haircutting in Children with Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
HUGO CURIEL (California State University, Fresno), Marianne L. Jackson (California State University, Fresno)
Abstract: Some children with autism display significant problem behavior during routine haircuts, often times resulting in the use of restraints, which can make the procedure more aversive. Other parents attempt to cut their child’s hair while they are asleep. However, this approach could lead to injuries, depending on the tools being used. Negative social impact could also be a problem in this population, due to their overgrown hair. The intervention included three children with autism and consisted of a pre-exposure phase, followed with a reinforcement procedure, involving a hair-cutting machine. Baseline measures of tolerance to the machine being turned on were followed with pre-exposure trials, in which the child could hold and manipulate the machine. Intervention consisted of reinforcing longer intervals of time with the machine on the child’s head. Data suggest that this procedure may be a useful method of reducing problem behavior and the resulting need for restraint during routine haircuts, for children with autism.
16. The Effects of Using TAG Teaching to Reverse Toe Walking in a Four-Year-Old Child With Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
ANGELA M PERSICKE (California State University, Fresno), Marianne L. Jackson (California State University, Fresno)
Abstract: Many children with autism exhibit toe walking from an early age. Consistent toe walking can be damaging to the leg and ankle muscles as the child gets older making it more difficult for a child to walk flatfooted. At the Central California Autism Center in Fresno, California, we conducted a study to reverse toe walking exhibited by a 4-year-old boy through the use of TAG teaching (teaching with acoustical guidance). TAG teaching is a method of teaching behaviors through positive reinforcement by using a “click” sound that identifies correct behaviors. In this study, the click sound was paired with an edible reinforcer prior to implementation. During implementation, the click sound was emitted after every flat-footed step the child took. This has implications for reversing toe walking in many children with autism and can easily be used by teachers and parents.
17. Increasing Functional Play Skills in Children Diagnosed with Autism Using Stereotypy as Reinforcement
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
JACQUELINE N POTTER (New England Center for Children, The), Gregory P. Hanley (Western New England College), Meredith C Phelps (The 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.
18. Evaluating the Effects of a Weighted Vest for Three Individuals with Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
SHAWN QUIGLEY (Western Michigan University), Lloyd D. Peterson (Sam Houston State University), Jessica E. Frieder (Armstrong Atlantic State University), Stephanie M. Peterson (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: The effects of a 5% and 10% total body weight vest on problem behaviors in children with any pervasive developmental disorder were investigated. Problem behaviors were determined using a questionnaire interview and then observed within the methodologies of a functional analysis (Iwata, Dorsey, Slifer, Bauman, & Richman, 1982/1994). The effects of a weighted vest were tested replicating the functional analyses methodologies while the participants wore the vest. Results indicated that there was no functional relationship between a 5% or 10% weighted vest and the participants’ problem behaviors. A secondary operant-based intervention further showed that there was a functional relationship between the participants’ problem behaviors and environmental events.
19. Pre-Service Teacher Implemented Social Stories for Students with Autism in Inclusive Classroom Settings
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
JEFFREY MICHAEL CHAN (Northern Illinois University), Mark F. O'Reilly (University of Texas at Austin), Pamela White (University of Texas at Austin), Nigel Pierce (University of Texas at Austin), Sonia Denise Baker (University of Texas at Austin)
Abstract: Social stories are one of the most commonly-used interventions for children with autism (Green et al., 2006; Hess, Morrier, Heflin, & Ivey, 2008). Six students diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders participated and behaviors that occurred in their general education classrooms were selected as targets. Pre-service teachers, in-service teachers, and a paraprofessional were trained to implement the intervention. Participants were observed in their general education classrooms during 30 minute data collection sessions. For three participants, a time delay of at least 3 1/2 hrs was presented between intervention and observation sessions. Overall, results indicate improvements in target behaviors for five of six participants. Results of the delay condition show inconclusive effects of the time gap following social stories sessions. Peer comparison data demonstrate that participants who showed improvement in their behavior performed the target skills at levels comparable to classmates without disabilities. Treatment fidelity data indicate that pre-service teachers were able to accurately implement the intervention throughout the study. In-service and pre-service teachers rated the intervention as socially acceptable and feasible within the classroom setting.
20. Functional Analysis of Self-Injury in Autism: Need for Medical Assessment Compliance
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
SARAH M. DUNKEL-JACKSON (Southern Illinois University), Mark R. Dixon (Southern Illinois University), Susan Szekely (Illinois Center for Autism)
Abstract: The high incidence of severe aberrant behaviors and comorbid medical conditions among individuals diagnosed with autism not only adds to the complexity of an already puzzling spectrum disorder, but also of appropriate diagnoses and treatments for challenging behaviors. Before experimental assessments and function-based treatments can be conducted, medical professionals must first rule out any underlying medical trauma or disease as a contributing factor. However, difficulties exist when severe challenging behaviors accompany and amplify complete medical refusal. Using a treatment package based on desensitization and video-modeling research (Altabet 2002; CASD, 2006; Cuvo et al., 2009; Huckfeldt et al., 2007; Luscre & Center, 1996), the current study aimed to increase the medical assessment compliance of an adolescent diagnosed with autism exhibiting medical refusal complicated by severe, self-injurious behavior.
22. Eliminating Disruptive Screaming Episodes in the Classroom: a Case Study
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
AMANDA M. MAHONEY (Western Michigan University), John W. Esch (ESCH Behavior Consultants, Inc.), Barbara E. Esch (Esch Behavior Consultants, Inc.)
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to decrease screaming episodes of one child diagnosed with autism. A functional analysis (FA) suggested that screaming was maintained primarily by escape, although multiple functions were identified. Phase 1 combined escape extinction with functional communication training (FCT) and was conducted in a 1:1 setting. Phase 1 results showed moderate decreases in frequency of screaming episodes, from 35%-55% of intervals to about 15% of intervals. During Phase 2, escape extinction and FCT were combined with token reinforcement and differential reinforcement of other behavior (DRO) resulting in a decrease to near-zero in the percentage of intervals in which screaming occurred. These results suggest that escape extinction coupled with mand training may not be sufficient to decrease multiply maintained screaming behavior to acceptably low levels. Programmed reinforcement for on-task behavior, such as a token system, might be a necessary component to decrease screaming to low levels.
23. Boosting the Effectiveness of Functional Communication Training (FCT) Using an Abolishing Operation (AO) to Diminish the Reinforcing Value of Maladaptive Behavior: A Pilot Study
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
DIANE LYNCH FRASER (Association Francaise de l'ABA), Christian Pradier (University Nice Sophia Antipolis), Anne Guennoun (IME Les Coteaux d'Azur ABA Apprendre Autrement), Audrey Huver (IME Les Coteaux d'Azur ABA Apprendre Autrement), Raphaelle Trucchi (SESSAD Les Coteaux d'Azur ABA Apprendre Autrement)
Abstract: An alternating treatment design was used to compare two conditions: one in which the child was encouraged to participate in maladaptive behavior (the abolishing operation component) prior to the functional communication training (FCT) and another condition in which the abolishing operation component was absent. Levels of maladaptive behavior were lower and levels of functional communication were higher in the condition with the abolishing operation component. These data provide support for using an abolishing operation component to improve functional communication with children with autism.
24. Undifferentiated Responding During Choice Analysis
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
CARRIE BROWER-BREITWIESER (Idaho State University), Stephanie M. Peterson (Western Michigan University), Elizabeth Dayton (Idaho State University), Jessica E. Frieder (Armstrong Atlantic State University), Stuart M Mullins (Idaho State University), Shawn Patrick Quigley (Western Michigan University), Manish Goyal (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: The purpose of this research (funded by an Institute for Education Sciences grant) was to evaluate the effects of a concurrent schedule of reinforcement for individuals with escape-maintained problem behavior. The three response options available were: completing a typical academic task (amount of work varied depending on phase), manding for a break from an academic task, and engaging in problem behavior. During the choice analysis phase, quality of reinforcement was altered across the dimensions of preferred toys, length of break, and adult-provided attention to assess if participants would allocate their choices to the choice (i.e., work, break, or problem behavior) that resulted in the highest quality reinforcement. Most participants consistently allocated choices with the highest quality reinforcement contingencies confirming predictions based upon matching theory (McDowell, 1988). However, one participant with autism did not respond in a manner consistent with what would be predicted by matching theory. Data will be presented for this participant in an attempt to better understand undifferentiated responding. For this participant, only when task effort was manipulated did differential responding in favor of high quality reinforcement occur.
25. Increasing Social Interaction and Group Participation With Children With Autism Using a Daily Circle Time Activity
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
ANGELA M PERSICKE (California State University, Fresno), Ashley Yaugher (California State University. Fresno), Amanda N. Adams (California State University, Fresno)
Abstract: Children with autism do not develop social skills in the same way typically developing children do. Circle Time is used in typical pre-school and kindergarten classrooms to develop children’s social skills. The objective of this study was to determine if Circle Time increases peer-to-peer and peer-to-adult interactions for children with autism. Five children from the Central California Autism Center participated in a daily Circle Time activity and data on free time interactions were recorded to determine if Circle Time had an effect on social interactions. Results indicated that non-verbal children did not generalize skills learned during Circle Time and verbal children showed a slight increase in social interactions to adults but not to peers. Circle Time may not increase social interactions with some students. However, it is possible that there are other benefits that may include aspects of joint attention, tolerance to situation, following group instruction and participation. It is plausible that possible benefits are varied across children.
26. Evaluation of Two Types of Delay of Reinforcement Cues for Behavior Maintained by Escape From a Demand
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
STACY E. DANOV (University of Minnesota), Jennifer J. McComas (University of Minnesota), Frank J. Symons (University of Minnesota)
Abstract: This study aimed to evaluate two types of delay of reinforcement cues (i.e., time-delay cue and task-delay cue) to increase appropriate waiting behavior in a 7-year old child diagnosed with developmental disabilities/autism and self-injury maintained by escape from a task demand. Specifically, the child was taught to tolerate a delay of reinforcement (i.e., break) by making the break contingent on being able to wait until a specific amount of work was completed (task-delay) or wait a short and specific period of amount of time without any self-injury (time-delay). The study used a multi-element design to examine the effects of the different escape contingencies on self-injury followed by a reversal to further confirm the findings. Results indicated that the task delay procedure was an effective strategy for increasing the tolerance for delay of reinforcement with this child. More research is necessary to determine the best way to teach delay of reinforcement.
27. Assessment and Treatment of Property Destruction Maintained by Sensory Stimulation
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Rebecca Renee Wiskirchen (ACCEL), BRYAN J. DAVEY (ACCEL), Megan Schatzberg (ACCEL), Christina Barosky (BISTÅ), Donald M. Stenhoff (BISTÅ)
Abstract: The current study is a replication of Fisher, Lindauer, Alterson, and Thompson (1998) in which the function of destructive behavior was assessed and treated through a multi-part experiment, which targeted responses within a chain of behavior. In the current study, researchers examined property destruction (ripping/attempting to rip clothing or other materials) followed by stereotypy (playing with the destroyed material). Indirect assessment showed destructive behavior to be maintained automatically. Experiment 1 involved two conditions: the client wearing un-ripped clothing and free access to already destroyed items of clothing. Experiment 2 compared the presence of un-ripped clothing on the client’s body to a matched condition in which the room was baited with stimuli similar to that of ripped clothing. In experiment 3, researchers compared the presence of un-ripped clothing on the client’s body to a condition in which the destructive response was blocked and client was redirected to play with matched stimuli. Results indicate a chained response in which the consequence of destruction became an antecedent for stereotypy, which was automatically reinforced. Treatment analysis examined the process of teaching non-destructive responses to generate similar sensory consequences. Discussion points include satiation/deprivation issues when running multiple sessions daily on automatically maintained behaviors.
28. Effects of Identity-Matching and Echoic Prompts on the Acquisition of Auditory-Visual Conditional Discriminations
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
SEAN PATRICK PETERSON (Texas Christian University), Charlotte Lynn Carp (Texas Christian University), Anna I. Petursdottir (Texas Christian University), Einar T. Ingvarsson (University of North Texas)
Abstract: Embedding an identity matching (IM) prompt in a least-to-most prompting hierarchy has shown to be more effective than least-to-most prompting alone for teaching auditory-visual conditional discriminations (Fisher, Kodak, & Moore, 2007). IM may function as a differential observing response (DOR) that increases attention to relevant aspects of comparison stimuli. In the present study, Experiment 1 was designed to replicate previous research in two children diagnosed with autism. Three conditions were evaluated in a multi-element design: (a) IM prompt embedded in a least-to-most prompting hierarchy, (b) a traditional least-to-most prompting hierarchy, and (c) a trial-and-error control condition. The IM condition was shown to be more effective than other conditions for one participant; however, no acquisition was seen for the other participant in any condition, and an alternative evaluation of IM prompts is in progress. Experiment 2 evaluated the effects of a DOR to the auditory sample, by replacing the IM prompt with an echoic prompt. An effect of the echoic condition was seen for 1 participant with autism, and additional data collection is in progress. Results suggest that embedding a DOR in a least-to-most prompting hierarchy is more effective than using least-to-most prompting alone.
29. Functional Analysis and Treatment of Aggressive Behavior During Weekly Speech Therapy
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
AMANDA KARSTEN (Western New England College), Kristen Opitz (Western New England College), Allyssa Burby (Western New England College)
Abstract: The purpose of the study was to assess the utility and acceptability of brief functional analysis and function-based treatment procedures implemented in the context of speech therapy sessions. Participants were two boys diagnosed with autism who were nominated by their speech therapists based on significant levels of aggressive behavior (e.g., slapping, pinching) during weekly, one-hour therapy sessions. All procedures for brief functional analysis and treatment were implemented by a speech therapist with assistance from a behavior analyst during regularly scheduled speech appointments. Results demonstrated that a) the behavioral function of aggressive behavior was identified in 33-48 minutes of assessment for each participant; b) resulting function-based treatments appeared to decrease problem behavior and increase functional communication; and c) social validity assessment results suggested that procedures and outcomes associated with this study were acceptable to speech therapists.
30. The Effects of Reinforcement Rate on the Spontaneous Request in a Child With Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD): Analysis by Behavior Momentum
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
KOSUKE TAKAHASHI (University of Tsukuba), Jun'ichi Yamamoto (Keio University, Japan), Fumiyuki Noro (University of Tsukuba, Japan)
Abstract: The present study examined the effects of reinforcement rate on the spontaneous request of a child with ASD in reference to Zanolli and Daggett (1998). A boy with ASD who could rarely make spontaneous requests for his caregiver or teacher participated in this study. In probe condition (five minutes), he was seated near a well-stoppered transparent bottle containing his favorite food item and his teacher stood a distance from him. The frequency and response interval of the participant’s spontaneous requests were measured as dependent variables. Three experimental conditions were compared with the alternating treatment design. In baseline condition, the procedure the same as the probe condition was conducted. During the pretraining session of a low-rate condition, verbal requests were prompted every 15 seconds and the participant’s (prompted and spontaneous) requests were reinforced with VI30s schedule. During the pretraining session of a high-rate condition, verbal requests were prompted every 15 seconds as low-rate conditions and his verbal requests were reinforced with VI15s schedule. As a result, higher frequency and shorter response intervals were shown both in low-rate and high-rate condition as compared with the baseline condition. There was not much difference between low-rate and high-rate condition in the present study. These results were discussed in terms of the effect of behavior momentum.
31. Using ABA Strategies to Improve Motor Coordination of a Child With Autism in Competitive Swimming
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
LAN LIU-GITZ (Texas Tech University), Stacy L. Carter (Texas Tech University), Joseph Bales (Texas Tech University), Stephanie Sokolosky (Texas Tech University)
Abstract: Motor and social-communication impairments in individuals with autism severely limit their opportunities to successfully participate in organized sports. Reduction in physical activity becomes more significant at the secondary school when nondisabled peers may rely mostly on organized sports to get their physical exercise. Few studies are found implementing ABA strategies to improve participation in organized sports for children with autism. This study used a multiple-baseline design to investigate the effectiveness of a treatment package designed to support a child with autism participating in competitive swimming. The participant was a 10-year-old boy with normal IQ who displayed frequent tantrums and noncompliance to swimming instruction. He presented with a history of limited skill acquisition which had prevented him from developing any formal swimming strokes in spite of numerous swim lessons. Researchers implemented a fixed schedule of reinforcement, a chaining procedure, and a task analysis into typical coaching techniques in a local swim club. Results revealed that within six months the child had mastered three of four basic swim strokes and competed with age equivalent peers in swim meets regulated by the U.S. Swimming Association. The importance of using structured ABA techniques within typical coaching strategies will be presented.
32. Establishing Some Prerequisites for Communication With PECS Among a Person with Profound Disabilities and Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
MÉLISSA BECQUET (Université Lille3), Philippe Schpilka (Jacinthes), Vinca Riviere (Universitie Charles De Gaulle)
Abstract: Usually, one considers that there are no real prerequisites for the implementation of PECS. At most the learner should take and give an object to start exchanging and the discrimination will not be needed before the third phase. In this study, there were two problem with the treated person. Stereotypically, he violently threw all the objects presented and could not discriminate the preferred stimulus that we could use as a reinforcer for exchanges. Indeed, faced with two stimuli, he recomposed a single complex stimulus; and another stereotypic behavior forced him to choose always on the right side (even preferred versus neutral stimulus). Learning of these prerequisites was conducted within specific sessions. To «take - present - drop», we used small objects to be deposited in a box. Physical prompts («most-to-least» intrusive) helped him make the correct movement. For the discrimination, after analysis of its problems, we trained discrimination between «preferred - neutral stimulus» using visual prompts: different size stimuli and large spacing between stimuli to avoid the recomposition of a complex stimulus. Gradually, the prompts were faded and our subject was able to choose his favourite item. These new skills are expected to start really learning PECS.
33. Measuring the Imitation Skills of Typically Developing Children to Assist in the Development of Imitative Skills in Children with Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
MARIAN DOUD (Oakland Unified School District), James W. Partington (Behavior Analysts, Inc.), Scott W Partington (University of California, Los Angeles)
Abstract: A review of the literature indicates that children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) often have deficiencies in their imitative skills and that these deficits are correlated with deficits in communication skills and overall skill development. Recent research has found that a child with ASD is more likely to attain higher levels of development if he has some imitative skills prior to the implementation of intervention services (Sallows & Graupner, 2005; Weiss, 1999). Although imitation skills are typically included in intervention programs for children with ASD, written intervention programs rarely provide a broad range of imitative skill to be included as targets. Following the measurement of the imitative skills of typically developing children on the Partington Imitation Skills Assessment (Partington, 2007), a multiple baseline across subjects design along with pre- and post-scores was used to measure the effects of discrete trial instruction on three preschool age children with ASD in a special education classroom. The results of the study demonstrated that each of the ASD subjects had a significant increase in their imitative skills following the intervention. The development of these skills was correlated with increases in the children’s attention to their instructor and compliance with instruction and led to the development of their communication skills.
35. The Effects of Extinction Paired with Other Interventions on Inappropriate Touching Behavior
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
MEGAN N MORIEN (The Hope Institute), Melissa Twarek (The Hope Institute)
Abstract: When teaching or interacting with individuals diagnosed with developmental disabilities, there are often individuals who engage in problem behavior (e.g., aggression, talking out, inappropriate touching, etc.). The present study investigated the effects of extinction combined with other interventions on inappropriate touching behaviors emitted by a 15-year-old male diagnosed with autism, moderate cognitive impairment and speech/language impairment. Through an ABCD experimental design, the rate of inappropriate touches emitted by the participant were recorded across different interventions. With the purpose of reducing instances of social disapproval and possible injury, the present study investigated the effects of pairing extinction with differential reinforcement of alternative behaviors (DRA), non-exclusionary time out (NETO) and functional communications training (FCT) to decrease the occurrences of inappropriate touching behavior. The results from this study were consistent with past research indicating that the combination of extinction paired with DRA and FCT was effective showing consistently low rates of responding, which included zero rates of responding during four sessions (Fyffe, Kahng, Fittro & Russell, 2004; Shukla & Albin, 1996).
36. Promoting Social Reciprocity of Middle-School Students With Autism Through Video Modeling
Area: AUT; Domain: Experimental Analysis
ALICIA F SAUNDERS (University of North Carolina at Charlotte), Ya-Yu Lo (University of North Carolina at Charlotte)
Abstract: Video modeling, in which targeted behaviors are demonstrated on videotape, is effective in increasing appropriate social behaviors in individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of video modeling, using same-age peers as models, on social interactions of three middle-school students with ASD in general education settings. Results were evaluated using a multiple baseline across subjects design and indicated that all three students increased the number of social initiations and responses displayed in the general education settings. Generalization results showed that the students transferred appropriate social initiations and responses in nontraining settings. These findings suggest that video modeling may be useful when integrating individuals with ASD into general education setting.
37. A Brief Functional Analysis of Self-Stimulatory Behavior
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
MELISSA ENGASSER (Behavioral Consulting of Manhattan, Inc), Lisa Fletcher Smith (Behavioral Consulting of Manhattan, Inc)
Abstract: This case study focuses on the importance of conducting a functional analysis and treating behavior based on function and not topography. A three year old boy with a diagnosis of autism engaged in high-rates of "finger-play". Finger-play is defined as any instance of hands being held directly in front of chest while simultaneously moving index and middle finger in a downward and upward motion. A brief functional analysis conducted within 90-minutes showed that the primary function of "finger play" was to gain access to attention and a secondary function was to escape demands.
38. Using Mobile Phone Technology to Teach Children With Autism to Seek Assistance When Lost
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
NICOLA C. HARDY (Saplings School, Mullingar), Claire E McDowell (University of Ulster, Coleraine)
Abstract: This study investigated if teaching a child with autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) to answer a mobile phone, hand the phone to an adult and wait with them until his caregiver returned in a school setting, would generalise to a community setting, with unfamiliar adults. Two children diagnosed with ASD were selected to participate, and a multiple baseline across participants design was employed to assess the effects of the school-based teaching intervention on the generalisation of community safety skills. Results indicate that the participant who received intervention developed and generalised the skills, while the participant who remained in baseline did not.
40. Video Modeling, with Examples and Non-Examples, to Increase Conversational Skills of Adolescents with Asperger Syndrome
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Wendy M Bromley (Whitworth University), Dana J. Stevens (Whitworth University), BETTY FRY WILLIAMS (Whitworth University)
Abstract: The purpose of this intervention was to determine if video-self modeling could be used with students with Asperger syndrome to increase appropriate conversational skills. Participants included three adolescent boys in a high school in the Northwest United States. The study took place in both the general and special education settings. Students were observed and data collected on the use of six predetermined conversational skills: eye contact, body orientation, responding when spoken to, conversational turn-taking, appropriate comments and tone, and age-appropriate joking. Videos were made and shown to the participants of themselves using both examples and non-examples of the targeted conversational skills. Questionnaires were completed after each video to identify social errors and suggest corrections. A multiple baseline was implemented across the three students. The mean use of the targeted communication skills for all three increased from 59% during baseline to generalized use of 76%, thus affirming that video self-modeling is an effective intervention for adolescent students with Asperger syndrome.
41. Teaching Echoic Behavior in Children with Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
RUBY J LEWIS (May Institute), Melissa Kay Chevalier (May Institute)
Abstract: In the simplest case in which verbal behavior is under the control of verbal stimuli, the response generates a sound pattern similar to that of the stimulus. This is how Skinner defined echoics in his book, Verbal Behavior (1957). Many children with Autism and similar developmental disorders are deficit in the area of functional communication. An important prerequisite skill for learning functional language is echoic behavior. In this study, clinicians increased verbal imitation skills in three children with Autism through the use of a non-contingent echoic behavior protocol.
42. Reducing Food Stealing Behavior Using Response Interruption and Redirection
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
LAURA L. KULIKOWSKI (University of South Florida), Jamie L. Granatino (Behavioral Consulting of Tampa Bay, Wesley Chapel)
Abstract: The proposed case study will assess the use of response interruption and redirection (RIRD) as a treatment intervention to reduce food-stealing behavior during in-clinic sessions, for a 3-year old male child diagnosed with autism. The data will be analyzed during the following phases of the intervention: treated baseline sessions, RIRD intervention, return to treated baseline with probes during specific states of satiation and probes comparing attention versus no attention sessions, and during the return to intervention in an ABAB single case design. It is anticipated that the client will engage in food stealing behavior or garbage can hovering behavior whether or not he has recently consumed a regular portion of food. As this problem is of primary concern for the parents and safety for the client, it is proposed that the use of RIRD procedures will effectively reduce the food stealing behavior for this particular client in the clinical setting.
43. Improving the Implementation of Discrete Trial Teaching Maximizes Learning Opportunities in Children with Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
AUDREY ALBERSTADT (The Aurora School), Jennifer Elizabeth Turner (Preschool Autism Services), Meg Napolitano-Evans (The Aurora School), Carlos F. Aparicio (The Aurora School)
Abstract: Discrete-trial teaching (DTT) individualizes and simplifies teaching for children with autism. During the DTT, trials consist of presenting a discriminative stimulus and the student is prompted to emit the target response producing the reinforcer. When the target response is consistent across trials, the prompt is systematically faded until the student independently emits the target response in the presence of the discriminative stimulus. Recent studies have examined methods of training staff to improve the implementation of DTT. For example, a staff behavior checklist combined with feedback is an ideal method to accomplish this goal. The aim of this study is to examine the effectiveness of this method in maximizing learning trials in children with autism. A multiple baseline across subjects was used. The dependent variable was the percentage of correct usage of ten components during 10 consecutive discrete trials. During baseline, staff members conducted the student’s programs as usual. During training, a copy of the staff behavior checklist was provided and each component was reviewed. Then, a four-step procedure was used to increase the accuracy of teacher’s implementation of DTT. Results were consistent with findings showing that similar techniques are effective to increase the accuracy of teacher’s implementation of DTT.
44. The Illinois Autism Coaching Network: Professional Development to Classroom Implementation
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
KATHY L GOULD (Illinois Autism Training and Technical Assistance Project)
Abstract: The Illinois Autism Coaching Network (IACN) of the Illinois Autism Training and Technical Assistance Project (IATTAP) focuses on building the field, scope, and capacity of schools and districts to effectively educate individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) in more inclusive settings. IACN provides follow-up coaching to school teams after professional development, with goals of increased implementation, use of data-based decision making and increased inclusion of students with ASD in general education environments. The process of IACN includes a systems approach to data-based decision making and development of school-based coaches to sustain the process at the school level. School teams evaluate their schools using a self assessment survey (EIS). The EIS shows level of implementation and priority for improvement across district, school, non-classroom, classroom and individual features. Results are graphed and used to assist teams in action planning and improving implementation of strategies learned in professional development activities. The poster illustrates how the evaluation/data collection component is used to help schools assess and improve their implementation of training and effectiveness of their school's supports and services. Preliminary results highlight that schools with higher scores on the EIS educate students with ASD in more inclusive education environments than schools with lower scores.
45. A Longitudinal Study of a Participant's Communicative Skills and Treatment of Factors Affecting Skill Development
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
DEBRA A FLOYD (Macon County Mental Health Board)
Abstract: This poster will present a longitudinal study of a four-year old male participant's communicative skills and factors affecting skill development (e.g., problematic behavior). The effectiveness of behavioral teaching strategies and empirically-based procedures used with an initially non-verbal child is discussed. Baseline and treatment data supporting the procedures are presented up to the present in which the participant has acquired verbal communication skills. The strategies and procedures include: functional analysis, parent training in observation and measurement of the behavior, differential reinforcement of an incompatible behavior (DRI), sign language and picture exchange communication system (PECS) training for both child and parents, and tact/mand training for the boy following acquisition of PECS. Functional analysis was conducted initially with this child, including: observation, parent interview, parent questionnaire, preference assessment, the motivation assessment scale (MAS), the infant developmental assessment (IDA), and rossetti language assessment. DRI was used for this child to decrease and eliminate non-stop motor activity which prohibited him from being in touch with his family or environment. Sign language and PECS were introduced following the elimination of the undesirable behavior. Tact/mand training followed. Data support the procedures in effectively increasing verbal communication skills and eliminating undesirable behaviors.



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