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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Second Annual Autism Conference; Atlanta, GA; 2008

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Poster Session #1
Opening Reception and Poster Session #1
Friday, February 8, 2008
6:00 PM–8:00 PM
Grand Hall West
1. Use of DRO to Increase "Getting Ready for School Behaviors" by Decreasing Maladaptive Behaviors.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
LINDSAY E. HARDIN (The Homestead), Evelyn Jo Horton (The Homestead), Samantha Nelson (Drake University)
Abstract: Assessment of behaviors indicated that a variety of maladaptive behaviors were used by a 6 year old to obtain attention resulting in not being ready in time to get on the bus and/or going to school after a stressful morning. Specific maladaptive behaviors were targeted with reinforcement provided through the use of token economy at fixed intervals throughout the morning routine. For every interval in which no target behaviors were observed the child earned play time with his favorite items. Problems unique to this study included the difficulty of providing earned playtime if lengthy target behaviors had occurred and the variability of the arrival of the bus. The implementers collaborated with the school to provide the appropriate amount of playtime at school if there was not enough time left at home once he was ready for the bus. Intervention procedures were implemented for three consecutive weeks. An ABAB design was implemented with a return to baseline demonstrating a subsequent increase in target behaviors. Intervention procedures were reinstated and targeted behaviors once again decreased. Reliability measures were conducted through two independent observers.
 
2. Differential Reinforcement...What About the Other DRs?
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
LEAH C. GONGOLA (Kent State University), Courtney L. McLaughlin (Kent State University), Rosie Daddario (Kent State University)
Abstract: According to the Autism Network, Differential Reinforcement (DR) is the most important principle in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), but it is also the most misapplied technique which indicates there is a need for practitioners to review DR techniques. One type of DR is Differential Reinforcement of Other Behaviors (DRO). DRO is considered the most basic and most frequently used DR because it is easy to use in the classroom. However, the DRO technique is not designed to increase appropriate behavior, and it can reinforce inappropriate behavior. Fortunately, there are several other DR techniques to consider. During this poster session, the authors will review the other DR techniques such as Differential Reinforcement of Lower/Higher Rates of Behavior (DRL/H), Differential Reinforcement of Incompatible Behavior (DRI), and Differential Reinforcement of Alternative Behavior (DRA). Additionally, authors will provide tips for implementing DRL/H, DRI, and DRA as well as provide suggestions for selecting a DR technique that matches the objective(s) in the classroom setting. References Autism Network. (2007). Differential reinforcement: Introduction. Retrieved September 21, 2007, from Autism Network website: http://www.autismnetwork.org/modules/behavior/dr/index.html
 
3. Using Isolate Toys to Promote Social Interactions.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
JUSTIN LANE (Peabody College at Vanderbilt University), Mark Wolery (Peabody College at Vanderbilt University)
Abstract: This study investigated the use of an environmental arrangement and a prompt procedure around isolate toys to increase the rate of social interactions for preschoolers with autism enrolled in an inclusive classroom. A total of three dyads (each with one child with autism and one without disabilities) were provided with isolate toys such as art materials or a puzzle. An A-B-BC-A-BC design was used to evaluate the experimental manipulations; and data were collected through video recording. Interobserver agreement was high throughout all conditions with each participant. The environmental arrangement alone, where an isolate toy was divided among members of a dyad, resulted in variable or no effect on rate of social interactions. The environmental arrangement plus a system of least prompts were successful in increasing the rate of social interactions for all three dyads. In addition, an environmental arrangement and system of least prompts decreased variability in regards to duration of social interactions.
 
4. Comparison of Progressive Time Delay and Errorless Teaching Procedures.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
ERIN M. ELFERS (Vanderbilt University), Kristin Lesley McCole (Vanderbilt University), Mark Wolery (Peabody College at Vanderbilt University)
Abstract: The effectiveness and efficiency of a progressive time-delay and errorless teaching procedure are being compared. Four preschoolers with autism spectrum disorders participated. Target skills were receptive (1 participant) and expressive (2 participants) identification of object labels, and spelling words using a keyboard (1 participant). An adapted alternating treatments design is being used. For each participant, one set of target behaviors was taught with a progressive time-delay procedure; and a second equally difficult set of target behaviors was taught using an errorless teaching procedure. A third behavior set was identified and probed before and after instruction to detect maturation and history threats. The design includes four sequentially implemented phases: (a) initial probe condition (pre-test/baseline), (b) comparison of the two instructional procedures in alternating daily sessions, (c) a post-test probe condition, and (d) maintenance condition. Efficiency is being measured by number of minutes of instruction, trials, sessions to criterion; and the number and percentage of instructor and participant errors. Two participants are completed and two are being taught. Preliminary results indicate both procedures were effective and small differences exist on efficiency measures. Findings will be discussed in terms of selecting instructional strategies. The effectiveness and efficiency of a progressive time-delay and errorless teaching procedure are being compared. Four preschoolers with autism spectrum disorders participated. Target skills were receptive (1 participant) and expressive (2 participants) identification of object labels, and spelling words using a keyboard (1 participant). An adapted alternating treatments design is being used. For each participant, one set of target behaviors was taught with a progressive time-delay procedure; and a second equally difficult set of target behaviors was taught using an errorless teaching procedure. A third behavior set was identified and probed before and after instruction to detect maturation and history threats. The design includes four sequentially implemented phases: (a) initial probe condition (pre-test/baseline), (b) comparison of the two instructional procedures in alternating daily sessions, (c) a post-test probe condition, and (d) maintenance condition. Efficiency is being measured by number of minutes of instruction, trials, sessions to criterion; and the number and percentage of...
 
5. The Effects of Self-Monitoring on Feeding Behaviors by Children with Autism.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
JENNIFER E. DAWSON (West Chester University), Corinne M. Murphy (West Chester University), Phillip K. Duncan (West Chester University)
Abstract: Atypical feeding behaviors are displayed by some children with autism. These behaviors, including food selectivity, swallowing difficulties, emesis, and lack of acceptance of new foods, vary in severity. Current treatment protocols require extensive treatment time, resources, and the use of escape extinction to resolve these difficulties. Treatment is not widely available and, because of the escalated behaviors often associated with escape extinction, often requires inpatient admission at a feeding disorders clinic. Research is needed to identify effective and efficient outpatient treatment for feeding difficulties by children with autism. Three children, ages 8-10y, participated in experiments examining the effects of self-monitoring on the children's acceptance of new foods, swallowing behaviors, and emesis behaviors. Two participants (one of whom was diagnosed with autism) were admitted to an inpatient feeding clinic while the third (diagnosed with autism) was treated at an outpatient facility. Results of the experiments showed increases in the acceptance of new foods, increases in swallowing behaviors, and decreases in emesis behaviors for each child when self-monitoring was used as the intervention. Generalization and maintenance data will be provided.
 
6. Collateral Effects of Emphasizing the Response-Reinforcer Connection in Children with Autism.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
TYSON BARKER (University of California, Santa Barbara), Robert L. Koegel (University of California, Santa Barbara), Lynn Kern Koegel (University of California, Santa Barbara)
Abstract: The theory of learned helplessness states that exposure to non-contingent consequences can lead to learning that responding and reinforcement are independent. Children with autism are often exposed to delayed and non-contingent consequences and may have difficulty learning such contingencies. Additionally, children with autism exhibit many of the symptoms of learned helplessness, including low levels of initiations, low levels of engagement, and decreased affect. A multiple baseline design across participants was employed to assess if such deficits could be remediated by emphasizing the response-reinforcer connection. Specifically, an intermediary reinforcer was provided to aid in learning a naturally delayed contingency. The results indicate that a naturally delayed contingency could be successfully learned and symptoms of low initiations, engagement, and affect can be dramatically improved during intervention and maintained following the removal of the intermediary reinforcer. These findings are discussed in terms of decreasing symptoms of learned helplessness and increasing motivation in children with autism.
 
7. Improving the Acquisition of Target Language Skills in Children with Autism.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
GREGORY LYONS (University of California, Santa Barbara), Lynn Kern Koegel (University of California, Santa Barbara), Quy Tran (University of California, Santa Barbara), Laurie A. Vismara (UC Davis MIND Institute), Robert L. Koegel (University of California, Santa Barbara)
Abstract: The literature suggests that recasting linguistic structures for children with autism may be an effective instructional strategy. However, the literature is not clear about specifying the type of contingency while implementing recasting. Although recasting results in the acquisition and generalization of target linguistic structures in children without autism, this study questions whether recasting, which according to common practice does not require a correct-response contingency, is effective for children with autism. Within the context of a multiple-baseline design across participants and behaviors, this study examined the effects of recasting with and without a contingency placed on the correct production of the target linguistic structure. Specifically, during the recast-only condition the children were not required to produce the target linguistic structure. However, during the recast-with-contingency condition participants were required to repeat the target linguistic structure. Acquisition and generalization of target linguistic structures were measured. Results demonstrated the need to provide contingent reinforcement when recasting in order to improve acquisition and generalization of target linguistic structures in children with autism.
 
8. "Do it my way": Investigating Complex Ritualistic and Rule-Governed Behavior in Autism.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
DEBRA BERRY MALMBERG (Claremont McKenna College), Michael Heaton (Pomona College)
Abstract: From its earliest description, insistence on sameness and rigid, ritualistic behavior was considered a hallmark feature of autism (Kanner, 1943). However, rigid and ritualistic behavior has received considerably less attention than the social and communicative domains of autism. Currently, this domain of behavior has been defined as "restricted repetitive and stereotyped patterns of behavior, interests, and activities" (APA, 2000, p. 75). The literature, however, demonstrates a lack of consistent operational definitions of this domain, and this feature of autism has included descriptions of stereotypy, rituals, compulsions, obsessions, echolalia, sameness, or self-injury (e.g., Bodfish et al., 2000; Lewis & Bodfish, 1998; Turner, 1999). Therefore, the current study sought to define the construct of Insistence on Sameness behaviors based on the normative trends of rigid behavior in typically developing children and research with children with autism, including case studies (e.g., Evans et al., 1997; Leonard et al., 1990; Malmberg, 2007; Zohar & Felz, 2001). Due to potential maladaptive behaviors that occur when children's rituals are disrupted, researchers have suggested that behaviors categorized within this rigid and ritualistic domain have high clinical significance (e.g., Militerni et al., 2002; Murphy et al., 2000); therefore, the results of this study also addressed clinical significance of these behaviors in the home and school communities.
 
9. A Feeding Intervention for Young Children who Exhibit Food Selectivity.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
ANDREA HUNTER GAST (Vanderbilt University)
Abstract: This study evaluated the effectiveness of combining progressive time delay, a choice of non-preferred food, and visual cues to shape eating behavior in preschool children who exhibited food selectivity. The participants were two children with autism who exhibited food selectivity enrolled in an inclusive preschool program. One child doubled the number of foods they consumed in their home and school environments while the other learned 2 of the 4 behaviors, increased his exploratory behavior with food and decreased problem behavior shown at meal times.
 
10. The Use of Matching Law and Functional Communication Training for Severe Out of Seat Behavior.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
NATALIA FRANCH-GOMEZ (C.W. Post, Long Island University), Mariann Lai (The QSAC Day School)
Abstract: The effects of matching law in combination with functional communication training were examined to address severe out of seat behavior in three children with autism. Matching involved providing the participants with access to preferred items as well as self-stimulatory behaviors when sitting. When engaging in out of seat behavior two of the participants were allowed to walk freely and any attempts to engage in self-stimulatory behaviors were blocked. The third participant was allowed to engage in self-stimulatory behaviors, but was not given any type of social reinforcers which had proven to be more potent than self-stimulation. As a result of this intervention, participants spent more time sitting. Once frequency and duration of in-seat behavior increased, functional communication training (FCT) was added to matching. FCT involved teaching the sign for break and other preferred items/activities to each of the participants. The results indicate that each of the three participants showed a significant increase of in-seat behavior once the intervention was implemented along with acquisition of at least one sign to make requests.
 
11. The Use of Pager Prompts to Occasion Social Language in Children with Autism.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
COURTNEY LANAGAN (FirstSteps for Kids, Inc.), Lisa J. Stoddard (FirstSteps for Kids, Inc.), Jennifer L. Harris (FirstSteps for Kids, Inc.)
Abstract: Pager prompts have been shown to successfully increase vocal initiations of children with autism in play contexts within the school setting. The purpose of the current study is to replicate and extend upon previous research in order to examine whether pager prompts successfully increase vocal language of young children with autism toward typically developing peers in play contexts within the home setting. The proposed poster will describe efforts to implement an ABAB design to assess rates of vocal initiations and vocal responses, as well as the training protocol. Training was designed to be implemented across three play partners, a parent, a sibling, and a peer, in order to ensure generalization. Collateral effects of the pager on rates of peer vocal initiations and vocal responses will also be reported. Results are discussed in terms of their implications for social skills training for children with autism.
 
12. Parent Coaching for Families on the Waitlist: Parent and Child Outcomes.
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
ARCHANA RAJ (CW AIS, ErinOakKids), Jackie Gorven (CW AIS, ErinOakKids), Rebecca S. McEachern (CW AIS, ErinOakKids), Melissa I. Huddart-Samchek (CW AIS, ErinOakKids)
Abstract: In February 2007, Central West Autism Intervention Services (CW AIS) initiated a parent coaching pilot involving 12 families currently waitlisted for intensive behavioural intervention (IBI) services. This pilot ran until August 2007. Parent training has been shown to influence the larger family system with its potential to reduce parental stress (Koegel et al., 1996). The effect of parent coaching on parental stress while waiting to receive IBI will be presented through an analysis of pre-post scores on the Parenting Stress Index Short Form (Abidin, 1995). It has been noted (Koegel et al., 1982) that parents who participate in parent training programs report more optimism about their ability to influence their child’s development. The impact of parent coaching on parental perception of efficacy will be studied and presented through a pre-post parent survey. This survey involves a rating scale where parents rate their perceived efficacy in: managing challenging behaviours, enhancing self-help skills, utilizing the basic principles of ABA, etc. The impact of parent coaching on child’s interactions with the parent will be reported using data from direct observations of parent-child interactions. As waitlists for IBI services for children with autism continue to grow, there is a need for innovative ways to address the needs of children and their families while waiting for services. Also, long-term follow–up studies could be undertaken to track the learning trajectories of the children once they come into service.
 
13. Southeastern Pennsylvania Autism Resource Center (SPARC): Increasing the Availability of Validated Treatments to Families and the Community.
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
PHILLIP K. DUNCAN (West Chester University), Jennifer E. Dawson (West Chester University), Corinne M. Murphy (West Chester University)
Abstract: SPARC's mission is to offer empirically validated behavioral treatment programs to aid families in their journey through the developmental disabilities maze. SPARC strives to offer comprehensive behavioral services that facilitate academic, social, and personal growth in an area of the country where the majority of providers offer an eclectic array of services for children with autism as well as other developmental disabilities. The only treatments for autism that have been empirically validated are those within a behavior analytic framework. SPARC's primary target market includes children, adolescents and young adults from 2 to approximately 25 years of age who are diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The secondary target market includes current service providers of this specific population (schools, intermediate units, private service providers, pediatricians, pediatric dentists, therapy providers and community groups). Geographically the target areas are the southeastern counties of Pennsylvania. Although many organizations, individual practitioners, and county intermediate units in our target area provide an array of services to individuals with autism spectrum disorders; only a handful of these programs exclusively offer empirically validated, research based behavioral interventions for individuals with autism. Therefore, our marketing strategy emphasizes the quality and benefits of empirically validated behavioral treatments and highlights the unique treatment and training services provided by SPARC.
 
14. Behavioral Intervention For Autism - A Survey of UK Service Providers.
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
NEIL T. MARTIN (The Treehouse Trust)
Abstract: The growing number of service providers within the field of behavioral intervention for autism and the growing number of descriptions for such intervention (e.g. ABA, Lovaas, Discrete Trial, Verbal Behavior etc.) has inevitably led to much confusion from other professionals and parents about what an appropriate and competent autism-specific behavioral provision looks like. This survey is an attempt to document existing commonalities and differences between service providers, organisations and individual supervisor/consultants who would describe their provision (albeit in different ways) as behavioral intervention for autism. Preliminary findings appear to confirm the high degree of heterogeneity between autism behavioral intervention service providers both in terms of verbal descriptors and clinical practice.
 
15. Enhancing ABA Therapy With Parent Focused Family Check-Up.
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
ERICA WAGNER (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology), Christoph Leonhard (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology )
Abstract: Research shows that parenting a child with Autism impacts parental depression and anxiety (Benson, 2006; Schwichtenberg & Porhlmann, 2007; Sharpley, Bitsika, & Efremidis, 1997), increases parental aggravation when special services are needed (Schieve, Blumberg, Rice, Visser, & Boyle, 2006), and exacerbates parental stress (Smith, Oliver, & Innocenti, 2001; Montes & Halterman, 2007). Consequently, there is a strong need for the development of emotion-focused as well as instrumental coping to deal with such stressors. Utilizing intervention options that address related skills is imperative to foster a healthy family environment. Typical Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) programming pays little attention to parents' emotional and behavioral health related to coping skills in raising a child with Autism. Research in the area of parental stress and coping skills focuses on other at-risk, family-related issues such as adolescent addiction and delinquency using the Family Check-Up (FCU; Dishion & Kavanaugh, 2005). This brief, motivational intervention is modeled after the Drinkers Check-Up (Miller & Rollnik, 1991) and aids in decreasing parental stress and heightening coping skills. The current program introduces an adapted form of the Family Check-Up tailored to increasing instrumental and emotion-focused coping in parents of children with Autism, thus providing an ancillary support intervention for families receiving traditional Applied Behavior Analysis services.
 
16. Concurrent Schedules of Reinforcement and Adjusting Demand Requirements: A Two Year Investigation for a Participant with Autism.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
STEPHANIE M. PETERSON (Idaho State University), Shawn Patrick Quigley (Idaho State University), Jessica E. Frieder (Idaho State University), Shilo L. Smith Ruiz (Idaho State University), Heath Ivers (Idaho State University), Pete S. Molino (Idaho State University)
Abstract: Several applied researchers (e.g., Harding et al., 1999; Horner & Day, 1991, Peck et al., 1996; Piazza et al., 1997; Richman et al., 2001) have used a concurrent-schedules paradigm to evaluate the effects of concurrent schedules of reinforcement on the choice-making behavior of individuals who display challenging behavior. To date, most research on concurrent schedules of reinforcement with humans has been conducted with only two concurrently available response options. This presentation will outline the results of a Federally-funded research project funded by the Institute of Education Sciences. Results for an intermediate-grade participant with autism who presented severe escape-motivated problem behavior will be highlighted. Results of the participant’s functional analysis; choice-making analysis that pitted break requests, compliance, and problem behavior against each other; and stimulus fading analysis that demonstrated how these choices were affected by increasing task demands will be presented. Response variation over time will be highlighted and argued to function as a result of increasing task demands over time. Results will be discussed in terms of the practical importance of developing interventions that do not require the use of extinction and avoid the occurrence of extinction bursts.
 
17. TARGET: Supporting Children with Autism in a School Summer Camp Setting.
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
MICHELLE A. DUDA (University of South Florida), Bobbie J. Vaughn (University of South Florida), Karen Berkman (Univeristy of South Florida), Kimberly V. Weiss (University of South Florida), Lindsey Marie Merritt (University of South Florida), Betsy M. Zamora (University of South Florida)
Abstract: Studies have shown that recreational activities can dramatically improve the quality of life of people with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), however, out-of-school opportunities for participation in recreational and leisure activities have been limited due to the unique social, communication, and behavioral needs of children with autism (Schleien, Meyer, Heyne, & Brandt, 1995). In extending the research demonstrating the effectiveness of ABA in decreasing levels of problem behaviors of children with ASD, the present study tried to identify whether services provided by graduate level Applied Behavior Analysis students would be successful in improving the behavior of campers with autism utilizing single subject methodology in a summer camp setting. Camp staff selected two school-aged children due to the disruptive nature of their challenging behaviors to participate. The dependent variables for Lawrence and Brad were self-injurious behavior and genital touching and dry pants, respectively. From baseline to intervention, problem behavior for Lawrence decreased by 82% and for Brad 10%. Interobserver agreement was collected along with staff intervention fidelity. Social validity data were collected on the utility and the contextual fit of the components. Suggestions for further research from both a clinical standpoint, and a learning opportunity for ABA students will be shared.
 
18. Is a New Tool Needed in the Language and Skills Assessment of Autism.
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
NIKIA DOWER (Dower and Associates, Inc.), Jamie Hughes (Autism Consulting Services, LLC), Gwen Dwiggins (The Ohio State University)
Abstract: Assessment is a critical area in the determination of appropriate goals and services for children with autism. Several standardized assessments exist for language and basic skills, but not specific to autism. Furthermore, no current language assessment is grounded in a behavior analytic perspective, and few basic skills assessments offer a task analysis of the skills measured. The Assessment of Basic Language and Learning Skills-Revised (Partington, 2006), the Verbal Behavior-Milestones Assessment Placement Program (Sundberg, 2006) and the Brigance Inventory of Early Development-II (Brigance, 1991) will be compared from a behavior analytic perspective to evaluate the need of a comprehensive assessment grounded in behavior analysis. First, validity of each measure will be discussed. Second, a comparison of skills will be displayed. Last, strengths and limitations of the three assessments will be outlined. Recommendations for a future comprehensive assessment will be suggested.
 
19. Autism Treatment & ABA in India - Advances & Challenges.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
SMITA AWASTHI (Association for Behavior Analysis of India)
Abstract: India has a population of 1 billion, with an estimated population of approximately 2 million people with a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder. Intervention procedures using behavior analysis started in India in 2005 and are gradually gaining momentum in the country. This poster presents an overview on the advances and challenges in the growth of ABA in India specific to the treatment of Autism & other Developmental Disabilities.
 
20. Natural Environment Intervention for Young Children with Autism.
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
DEBRA A. LEACH (Winthrop University)
Abstract: The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act mandates that early intervention services be implemented in natural environments to the maximum extent appropriate. Service providers are facing challenges related to meeting the needs of young children with autism in natural environments. Methods will be presented for providing effective coaching to primary caregivers to empower them to positively impact the development of their children. Strategies for addressing the core deficits of autism spectrum disorders and accessing the strengths and interests of the children within everyday routines and activities will be explained. Handouts for family members and practitioners will be available.
 
21. Using Video Simulation of Social Situation to Help Social Happiness for Children with ASD.
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
JEONGIL KIM (Lotus Flowers Children Center & Daegu University)
Abstract: The present study examined the effect of utilizing a video simulation of social situation to help children with autism spectrum disorders to have social happiness. Five boys with autism, in the range of 6-7 years old, who were reported as showing qualitative deficit in socialization and social skill deficit,. Using a mixed experimental design of a multiple baseline design and an alternative treatments design, each subject's social contexts and detailed situations were simulated and modeled on a video to the subject. The study had outcomes that the intervention improved appropriate social skills and social adaptiveness with all the subjects. Also, the intervention was a cost-effective and time-saving tool compared with other interventions for children with autism.
 
22. C.A.S.H: A Model of Community-Wide Supports for Individuals with Autism.
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
GEETIKA AGARWAL (University of Missouri Columbia), Melinda A. Henson (Thompson Center for Autism & Neurodevelopmental Disorders. University of Missouri, Columbia), Natalie A. Parks (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Abstract: This poster will present a 3-tier service delivery model that represents a long-term community-wide support structure for educating and supporting individuals with autism spectrum disorders and their families. C.A.S.H. (Community Autism School Home) is a 5-year program, in a mid-west school district, that utilizes an interdisciplinary approach to providing comprehensive, evidence-based interventions to children with autism. The program identified core responsibilities of home, school, and the community needed to create a community-wide support system for children with autism and their families. The implementation of this model began with the organization of an autism-specific classroom within the public school district, identification of core teams and their priorities within each setting, training through didactic presentations, strategy-specific supervision fund-raising events and presentations, building a sense of collaboration and community, and disseminating autism-awareness information. Outcomes from the first year of service delivery from home, school, and community settings will be presented in this poster. In addition, it will further outline the 5-year service delivery model and traditional barriers to services that are hoped to be alleviated. These include: wait lists for intervention services; financial constraints on families and school districts; support for families in the community; and training for educators, families, and community members.
 
23. PRT-Based Early Intervention Program for Autism: One Year Outcomes.
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
ISABEL SMITH (Dalhousie University), Susan E. Bryson (Dalhousie University), Dorothy Jayne Chitty (IWK Health Centre), J Reginald Landry (Cape Breton District Health Authority), Daniel Adam Openden Ph.D., BCBA-D (Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center (SARRC)), Lynn Kern Koegel (University of California, Santa Barbara), Robert L. Koegel (University of California, Santa Barbara)
Abstract: A community-based program for young children with autistic spectrum disorders (ASD) has been implemented province-wide in Nova Scotia. The primary treatment modality is Pivotal Response Treatment (PRT), a naturalistic ABA-based intervention that targets core deficits in motivation and social-communication skills. Objective: To determine the early intervention (EI) program’s effectiveness, based on evaluation of child and family outcomes after one year of intervention. Methods: Children with ASD under the age of 6 years were enrolled in a publicly-funded PRT-based EI program. Parent training was supplemented by up to 15 hours/week of naturalistic behavioural treatment by trained interventionists, in the home and/or in daycare/preschool settings. Results: Preliminary 12-mo child outcome data (n= 27) indicated substantial gains on formal language and cognitive measures (gains of more than 12 mo or 1 SD for half of the sample). Significant collateral reductions in disruptive behaviour, autism symptoms, and parental stress were also observed. High parent satisfaction was reported. Data collection is ongoing, with an anticipated n of 45 to be reported. Conclusion: This less-intensive, community-based program produced substantial functional improvements for preschoolers with ASD and their families. Discussion focuses on the need for effective, feasible, and sustainable EI models.
 
24. Pursuing a Diagnosis for Children with Asperger Syndrome: Parents' Perspectives.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
XIUCHANG HUANG (Duquesne University), John J. Wheeler (Tennessee Technological University)
Abstract: Diagnosis has an important role to play in the lives of children with special needs. Late diagnosis in children with Asperger syndrome (AS) is common (Attwood, 1998). Early identification and intervention are critical for all children with disabilities. The purpose of this qualitative study was to reveal the parents' experiences and perspectives of pursuing diagnosis for their children with AS in order to assist other parents of children with similar symptoms in pursuing diagnosis earlier and more successfully. The present study used semi-structured interviews to collect data. Parents from 8 families participated in this study. Data were coded and categorized first and then were analyzed using the constant comparison method (Glaser & Strauss, 1967; Merriam, 1998; Strauss & Corbin, 1994). Results indicated that all participants' children were misdiagnosed or mislabeled as other disorders at an earlier age (ages 3 to 7 years) before they received the accurate diagnosis of Asperger syndrome at an older age (ages 5 to 15 years) although all parents noticed their children's atypical development before age 3. Conclusions and recommendations for future research and practice are provided based on the results of this study.
 
25. Efficacy of Peer-Mediation for Promoting Positive Social Interactions Among Young Children with Autism.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
JIE ZHANG (Tennessee Technological University), John J. Wheeler (Tennessee Technological University)
Abstract: The purpose of this poster presentation is to investigate the efficacy of peer-mediated interventions for promoting social interactions among young children from birth to eight-year-old diagnosed with autism. A meta-analysis using single-subject studies was conducted. A total number of 45 studies from 19 journals between 1977 and 2006 were analyzed for calculation of effect sizes. The efficacy of the interventions was analyzed according to the variables that may affect the interventions, including target children's age, gender, and diagnostic characteristics, intervention settings, type of intervention, interventionists' characteristics, dependent variable, social validation, reliability level, treatment integrity, and the degree of collaboration between researchers, peers, school staff, and parents and families. Inter-rater reliability for coding these variables was determined through double-coding by the researcher's doctoral advisor. Each of the variables in the coding sheet was independently double-coded from one fourth of the selected studies which were randomly chosen. The regression method developed by Allison and Gorman (1993) was used to calculate the effect sizes in order to take trend into account, which includes changes in level and slope, in observations before and after the intervention.
 
26. The Successful Elimination of Restraints Using DRO Procedures with an Autistic Adult.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
GREGORY S. HANDEL (The Halcyon Center (Groden Network)), Sokhalay Thy (The Halcyon Center (Groden Network)), Katherine Carsone (The Halcyon Center (Groden Network))
Abstract: The present study examined the progress of a 50 year old man with autism and moderated mental retardation living in a group home with 24-hour staffing. The participant had a long history of aberrant behaviors including aggression, destruction and self-injurious behavior. The participant’s blows to his own head had been so severe that they have left him legally blind. Procedures were initiated that followed any attempt at self-injurious behavior with physical restraint. Check marks, accompanied by staff praise, were delivered hourly following the absence of all aberrant behaviors. Three consecutive marks earned a cigarette. The result was an almost 50% reduction in all aberrant behaviors sustained over a 12-month period. Restraint procedures were then discontinued which resulted in an additional 60% reduction in the frequency of aberrant behaviors. The data seems to indicate that restrictive procedures that may have had positive effects in reducing aberrant behaviors initially may inadvertently be inhibiting further reductions in those same behaviors.
 
27. A Combination of Procedures in the Reduction of Aberrant Behaviors with an Adult with Autism.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
SOKHALAY THY (The Halcyon Center (Groden Network)), Gregory S. Handel (The Halcyon Center (Groden Network)), Katherine Carsone (The Halcyon Center (Groden Network))
Abstract: The present study examined the additive effectiveness of a time out procedure to an already successful reduction of aberrant behaviors using a DRO procedure. The participant was a 40 year old man diagnosed with mild mental retardation, autism, obsessive compulsive and anxiety disorders. He had a long history of aberrant behaviors including aggression, threatening, and destruction. In the original intervention the participant earned a check mark on a daily basis in the absence of target behaviors. After earning 28 marks, the participant could exchange them for a recreational outing. After seven months the procedure was modified to include a time out component. Following the occurrence of aggressive behavior staff would verbally prompt the participant to go to a time out area and remain there until all aberrant behaviors ceased for ten minutes. If the participant did not respond to the verbal prompts he was physically escorted to the time out areas. Physical escorts were only implemented three times over an eight-month period. The data show a significant reduction in all aberrant behaviors following the implementation of the original DRO. The implementation of the time out procedures further reduced the monthly average of aberrant behaviors by an additional 31%.
 
28. Teaching a Child with ASD to Self-manage Tasks Using Pivotal Response Training.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
ANGELIKA ANDERSON (Monash University), Melissa Di Pietro (Monash University), Dennis W. Moore (Monash University)
Abstract: A pre-school-aged child diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome was unable to independently complete complex tasks consisting of several steps. Under such demands he exhibited a high rate of disruptive behaviour, and required prompts at every step of the task. The present study combined the motivational principles of pivotal response training with a self-management procedure to train a four year old child with Asperger's syndrome to independently complete complex tasks which had been broken down into steps. A multiple baseline across tasks design revealed that the procedure was effective in teaching the child the self-management procedure, and that this procedure enabled the child to complete complex tasks more independently. This improvement maintained when self-management training was faded and additionally generalised across settings. Decreases in problem behaviour were also observed. Implications for teaching children with Asperger's syndrome to self-manage tasks in combination with the application of motivating variables from pivotal response training in the classroom setting are discussed.
 
29. Teaching a Child with Autism Social Initiations Using Video Self-Modelled Social Stories.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
DENNIS W. MOORE (Monash University), Stacey Litras (Monash University), Angelika Anderson (Monash University)
Abstract: The social challenges associated with autism present a particular challenge to families and practitioners. The present study investigated the effectiveness of combining Social Stories, an individualised short story describing the salient aspects of a social interaction; and Video Self-Modelling (VSM), specifically made videotapes of one-self engaging in behaviours being taught, to create a self sufficient video package, embedded with reinforcements and explicit rules, to teach social initiations to a 3 year old child with autism. A multiple-baseline across behaviours design revealed that video modelled social stories were effective at improving all three target behaviours: "greeting", "inviting to play" and "contingent responding". In addition these behaviours successfully generalised across settings, toys and communication partners. Increases in concomitant behaviour changes namely, levels of communicative behaviour and levels of social engagement were also observed. The present study provides preliminary support for the effectiveness of video modelled social stories.
 
30. Synthesis of EIBI for Young Children with Autism Based on the UCLA YAP.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
BRIAN REICHOW (Vanderbilt University), Mark Wolery (Vanderbilt University)
Abstract: Eleven group design studies published in an English peer-reviewed journal with child outcomes evaluating the early intensive behavioral intervention (EIBI) for young children with autism based on the University of California at Los Angeles Young Autism Project method (O. I. Lovaas, 1987) lasting at least 12 months were reviewed. A 3-part comprehensive synthesis with (a) descriptive analyses of the characteristics of the experimental methods, participants, and treatment package, (b) statistical analyses of the effect sizes of outcome measures, and (c) a meta-analysis (including moderator analyses) of changes in IQ was conducted. The results suggest EIBI is an effective treatment, on average, for children with autism, and that the strongest results occur when children begin treatment at a young age. However, many limitations were noted and all results are discussed and framed within these limitations.
 
31. Verbal Behavior and The Eden Design Model.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
LAUREN A. LOVELL (School District of Lee County)
Abstract: The combination of Verbal Behavior interventions and the Eden Design Model has been implemented for 6 individuals with autism in a behavior intensive group home setting in Florida. This poster presentation will include problem behavior data upon arrival to the group home and three month interval progress. Also included in the display will be Verbal Behavior assessment results and development of expressive language ability for each resident. Comparative data will be highlighted.
 
32. Functional Assessment in Learning Styles in Autism: Linking Assessment and Treatment.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
TIFFANY KODAK (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Wayne W. Fisher (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Cathleen C. Piazza (Munroe-Meyer Institute)
Abstract: Conditional discriminations (e.g., if-then discriminations in which the correct response varies dependent on which sample stimulus is presented) are fundamental building blocks for the development of language and social skills, and children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) often have particular difficulty learning them. Four function-based procedures for teaching conditional discriminations to individuals with ASD that have empirical support in the extant literature include:(a) using an empirically-identified reinforcer to increase motivation, (b) adding an extra-stimulus prompt to guide correct responding (i.e., errorless learning), (c) insuring that the individual is attending to the relevant characteristics of the sample or comparison stimuli through reinforcement of a differential observing response, and (d) repeatedly presenting each sample stimulus in isolation (i.e., in blocks of trials) until criterion-level performance is achieved. Although each of these procedures has been shown to be effective with at least some individuals with autism, it is not clear which procedure should be selected for an individual student with autism who fails to acquire conditional discriminations using typical training procedures. Therefore, an important next step in this line of research is to determine when these four specialized treatments should be used and with which participants. The purpose of the current project was to refine and validate a rapid assessment for (a) identifying the function of a child's poor performance on conditional discrimination tasks and (b) selecting the intervention from the four approaches described above that was functionally related to the child's performance.
 
33. The Effects of Time-out on the Disruptive Behaviors of a Student with Autism in a Classroom Setting.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
DAWN M. SMITH (Bancroft NeuroHealth), Elizabeth A. Hill (Bancroft NeuroHealth), Jaime Carnall (Bancroft NeuroHealth), Renee Lee (Bancroft NeuroHealth), Morgan DiJoseph (Bancroft NeuroHealth)
Abstract: Time-out has been shown to be an effective intervention for reducing problem behavior that may be maintained by attention. This study looked at the disruptive behavior of a student with autism in a classroom environment in a private school. A descriptive assessment indicated that the student's problem behavior appeared to be maintained by attention, but may have been maintained by escape from demands. A multiple baseline design was utilized to determine if time-out was an effective intervention and to demonstrate a functional relationship between the dependent and independent variables. The results demonstrate that time-out was effective across behaviors and that the behaviors were indeed maintained by attention.
 
34. Teaching the Functions of Verbal Operants to Children with Autism.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
JENNIFER BROCK (Munroe-Meyer, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Tiffany Kodak (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Wayne W. Fisher (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center)
Abstract: Children with autism typically exhibit significant language deficits. While some children with autism may have a small repertoire of words in their vocabulary, these words may function mostly to gain access to preferred items (i.e., mands). To participate in social activities or educational tasks in a natural setting, children must learn to label items, answer questions, and request items from others. Thus, the present study examined a procedure for teaching the functions of verbal operants. Initially, children failed to acquire mands or tacts when each function was targeted individually during training trials. However, when echoic training was introduced and echoic teaching sessions were interspersed with mand and tact training, unprompted manding and tacting emerged. Results are discussed in terms of their implications for teaching functional language to children with autism.
 
35. A Rapid Assessment Procedure to Identify the Functions of Verbal Operants in Children with Autism.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
KELLY J. BOUXSEIN (Munroe-Meyer Institute), Tiffany Kodak (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Wayne W. Fisher (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center)
Abstract: Skinner's theory of verbal behavior (1957) identified several functions of verbal behavior. Previous research has used Skinner's theory of verbal behavior to develop assessment and teaching procedures for children with developmental disabilities. In a recent study, Lerman and colleagues (2005) developed an assessment procedure to identify the function(s) of emerging vocal speech in children diagnosed with autism. One benefit of identifying the function of vocal speech is to develop an individualized language training program to teach specific functions that are not already in the child's repertoire. However, a disadvantage of the assessment procedure developed by Lerman et al. is that it requires a considerable amount of time to complete, and therefore, may be less useful in a classroom environment. The current study extended the findings of Lerman and colleagues by modifying the assessment to a trial-based procedure, which greatly decreased the length of time required to administer the assessment. Results of the modified assessment procedure indicated the brief, trial-based method was effective for identifying the functions of vocal speech in children with autism.
 
36. An Examination of a Choice Paradigm to Increase Self Feeding in a Child Diagnosed with PPD-NOS and Food Selectivity.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
VALERIE M. VOLKERT (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Cathleen C. Piazza (Munroe-Meyer Institute), Victoria Stewart (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Heather J. Kadey (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Kristi D. Murphy (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Andrea Clements Stearns (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center)
Abstract: Children with feeding disorders display a number of deficits related to eating including a lack of the skills necessary to feed themselves. Previous research has shown that prompting and reinforcement procedures are effective to teach self-feeding skills to children with feeding disorders. However, most procedures utilized in this research involved a physical prompt, which may be counter-therapeutic for some children if escaping self-feeding is reinforcing. The purpose of the current study was to examine an alternative method to increase self feeding in a child diagnosed with Pervasive Development Disorder, Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS) and food selectivity by texture by examining the utility of a choice paradigm. Specifically, a choice paradigm was developed to manipulate the effort associated with self feeding versus non-self feeding. Results indicated that the use of a choice paradigm was an effective treatment for increasing self feeding in this participant when given the choice between self feeding one bite of the target food and being fed four bites of a non-preferred food. Interobserver agreement averaged over 90%.
 
37. Promoting Efficiency: A Comparison of Two Teaching Protocols in the Education of Children with Autism.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
GWEN DWIGGINS (The Ohio State University), Ralph Gardner III (The Ohio State University)
Abstract: Children with disabilities often require specialized instruction to reduce the educational gap, especially in the areas of acquisition, generalization, and retention (Binder & Watkins, 1990). Maximizing learning opportunities is imperative for children with disabilities where time is critical in ameliorating skill deficits (Binder & Watkins, 1990). Increased efficiency of teaching may potentially close the educational gap in less time allowing more benefit from the educational experience. Recent research has called for the evaluation of validated methods for teaching skills to individuals with autism (Carr & Frith, 2005; LeBlanc, Esch, Sidener, & Frith, 2006; Sautter & LeBlanc, 2006). The current study evaluated the effects of Lovaas Protocol (Lovaas, 2003) and Natural Environment Protocol (Partington & Sundberg, 1998) on skill acquisition, generalization and retention. Participants ranged in age from 6 to10 years old with a diagnosis of autism. Target behaviors were determined from skill repertoires performed at 10% or less accuracy. Participants were taught using both teaching methods. Data will be presented using a multiple baseline across sets of behaviors within participants. Generalization probes will also be presented. Strengths and limitations will be discussed related to the use of both teaching methods and suggestions for future research will be outlined.
 
38. Using Video iPods™ to Teach Functional Skills to Students with Autism and Developmental Disabilities.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
JESSE W. JOHNSON (Northern Illinois University), Toni R. Van Laarhoven (Northern Illinois University), Katie Grider (Northern Illinois University ), Kristin Grider (Northern Illinois University)
Abstract: An adapted alternating treatments design was used to assess the relative effectiveness of video vs. pictures when using video iPods to teach functional skills to students with autism or developmental disabilities. Four high school students with autism or developmental disabilities were each taught two functional skills while using a video iPod in a school setting. One skill was taught using a sequence of brief video segments modeling the successful performance of the target skill. A second skill was taught using a series of photographs of the skill being performed. Both video and pictures were displayed on an iPod during instructional sessions.
 
39. Analysis of Information Used to Discriminate Facial Expressions in Two Children with Autism: A Preliminary Study.
Area: AUT; Domain: Basic Research
STEPHANIE COUSIN (University Charles de Gaulle), Vinca Riviere (University Charles de Gaulle), Allan Chauvin (University Charles De Gaulle), Jean-Claude Darcheville (University of Lille)
Abstract: Autism is a Pervasive Developmental Disorder characterized by emotional and social impairment. Specifically, people with autism show impaired face discrimination, along with atypical eye gazes to the face. However, only few studies describe how children with autism process social cues from faces. In this study, we use a technique called Bubbles (Gosselin & Schyns, 2001) combined with a matching-to-sample procedure in order to assess how information from different features of the face is used by 2 children with autism during a happy and neutral expressions discrimination task. Results showed that the mouth is used by both children with autism and the control group to discriminate between happy or neutral stimulus. This data validates the use of the Bubbles technique in combination with the matching-to-sample procedure to learn about perception analysis of stimulus. Implications for the development of specific learning about emotional discrimination are discussed.
 
40. The Effects of Functional Assessment-Based Intervention on Problem Behaviors of One Student with Autism and Visual impairments.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
JUNG YEON CHO (The Department of Behavior Therapy, Daegu Cyber University), Eun Jung Seo (JinJu International University)
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of the functional assessment-based intervention on the problem behaviors such as self-injury, screaming, and seizing for the child with autism and visual impairment. In terms of the functional assessment of problem behaviors, the data was collected through the indirect assessment by an interview and a questionnaire on his parents and teachers and the direct observation by multidimentional behavior assessment on the child. And the functional analysis showed that his movement problem due to the visual impairment caused overanxiety so that he was needed someone's attention all the time. In addition, the child was initiated the problem behaviors to draw the teacher's attention in the classroom. Furthermore, deriving teacher's attention as an independent variables was manipulated for the intervention condition. The intervention based on functional assessment as hypothetically verified attention criteria was performed as ABA research design. Therefore, the problem behaviors of self-injury, screaming, and seizing were decreased by giving him an attention on the other behaviors but his problem behaviors. As a result, the research was effective in the reduction of problem behaviors of children with multiple disabilities, and the effects of generalization and maintenance on the behaviors was continued after the intervention.
 
41. Teaching Reading Prerequisites to Children with Autism.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
DEISY DAS GARCAS DE SOUZA (Universidade Federal de São Carlos), Camila Graciela Santos Gomes (Universidade Federal de São Carlos), William J. McIlvane (University of Massachusetts Medical School)
Abstract: Our study assessed the performance of four persons with autism in an arbitrary matching-to-sample task involving printed words and pictures, using an adapted matching procedure that displayed three samples and three comparison stimuli simultaneously. Both identity and arbitrary matching procedures were used with the experimental stimuli, 18 printed words and corresponding pictures. Children were required to name stimuli prior to matching pictures to printed words. The adapted arrangement proved highly effective for participants with moderate autism, a finding that suggests strategies for improving fixed-trial teaching methodology for children with intellectual disabilities.
 
42. Writing a BIP with a Focus on Escape from Demand Function Based on an Undifferentiated FBA.
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
CARINA M. DE FAZIO (Cobb County School District), Amy Jefferson (Cobb County School District), Ernest L. Whitmarsh (Cobb County School District)
Abstract: The self-injurious behavior (SIB), aggressive, and spit play behaviors of a 12-year- old boy with autism were examined under traditional (Iwata et al., 1982/1994) functional behavior analysis (FBA) conditions in a public school setting. The results of this FBA were undifferentiated. However, the lowest rates of behavior were seen under escape from demand conditions. Since demands are a common occurrence in a school setting, a behavior intervention plan (BIP) was developed using the results gained from the analysis with a focus on an escape from demand function. The BIP was implemented in the classroom by the teacher and para-educators. There was an increase in the student's time on task, and a reduction in all problem behaviors throughout the entire school day, not just when demands were presented.
 
43. Observational and Incidental Learning by Children with Autism During Small Group Instruction.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
JENNIFER R. LEDFORD (Gwinnett County Schools), David L. Gast (University of Georgia), Deanna Luscre (Gwinnett County Public Schools, University of Georgia), Kevin Ayres (University of Georgia)
Abstract: This study evaluated the acquisition of incidental and observational information presented to 6 children with autism in a small group instructional arrangement using a constant time delay (CTD) procedure. A multiple probe design across behaviors, replicated across 6 participants, was used to evaluate the effectiveness of the CTD procedure and to assess each student's ability to read another student's words and identify related pictures. Generalization was assessed in natural conditions using a pre- and post-test paradigm. Results indicate that, despite their documented deficits in social awareness and imitation, students learned observational and incidental information during small group instruction. Educational implications with regard to small group instruction are discussed.
 
44. Effects of Modified Functional Communication Training in the Natural Environment on Social Communicative Behaviors.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
GREGORY R. MANCIL (University of Central Florida), Todd F. Haydon (University of Florida)
Abstract: Functional communication training (FCT) provides an effective method to address communication and behavioral needs of children with autism (Wacker et al., 2005). The majority of the studies, however, are in clinical settings and typically do not address generalization to natural environments or expansion of communication mands (Mancil, 2006). In contrast, milieu therapy is designed to increase communication mands and generalization in the natural environment. Thus, the purpose of this presentation is to provide a detailed structure of the systematic techniques for implementing FCT with milieu procedures in home and classroom settings. This description will be provided in conjunction with supportive empirical data obtained using a multiple baseline across participants with children diagnosed with autism who had a tangible function identified by a functional analysis. Parents were trained via video and role-playing to teach the children communication using milieu therapy procedures during play routines in their homes. After 30 five-minute session blocks, the children decreased dependence on prompts, increased communication, and decreased engagement in aberrant behavior. These results maintained over time and generalized to the classroom for each child. Parents and practitioners will be provided with handouts of the procedures and examples of the implementation procedures.
 
45. Improving Academic Engagement and Social Interactions Using Restricted Interests as Antecedent and Consequence Based Interventions.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
TODD F. HAYDON (University of Florida), Gregory R. Mancil (University of Central Florida)
Abstract: Restricted interests have been used as antecedent and consequence based interventions in the research literature (Adams, 1998). Embedding the restricted interest of the child with autism into either academic tasks or cooperative play activities can increase appropriate behavior (Charlop et al., 1990). In addition, this strategy has the added advantage of providing the child a more appropriate and functional way to engage in repetitive behavior. This presentation will provide practitioners in the field of special education working with students with autism, across age and ability levels, specific strategies to identify and subsequently use their restricted interests as antecedent and consequence interventions to increase academic and social engagement. At the end of the presentation, parents and practitioners will have knowledge of (a) how to identify the restricted interests of students with autism, (b) how to use those interests to increase on-task behavior, and (c) how to use restricted interests to encourage peer-related social interactions. Empirical support via case examples will be used to describe and support the effectiveness of these procedures.
 
46. The Effects of Peer Tutoring versus Teacher Instruction on Academic Performance.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
NANCY MARIE MONDELLO (Caldwell College/Hawthorne Board of Education)
Abstract: Peer tutoring is an instructional approach in which two students work together. The purpose of this study was to compare the effectiveness of academic instruction delivered by the teacher compared to peer tutoring and to assess tutor gains. In this study, a multiple treatment counterbalance design was used to compare teacher instruction to peer tutoring instruction for four participants. To measure tutor academic gains, pre-treatment and post-treatment probes were conducted on the two tutors: a 6-year-old autistic male and a 7-year-old multiply disabled male. The results showed that all participants academic skills increased under both conditions, showing instruction accuracy was constant. The tutors showed improvement in those items in which they tutored without having received direct instruction
 
47. Static V. Animated Visual Support for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
LORRIE G. SPENCER (Armstrong Atlantic State University), Juane Heflin (Georgia State University)
Abstract: Although both static visual symbols and animated visual symbols have been shown to be beneficial for supporting the learning of students with ASD, differential effectiveness has not been explored. For this reason, two studies were conducted to evaluate the relative effectiveness of pictures and videos on two sets of skills with two groups of children. In the first study, four preschool children with ASD were taught to identify body parts. In the second study, four elementary-aged boys with autism were taught to request leisure items. Both studies used an alternating treatment with replication within a multiple probe design across participants to compare static pictures and video modeling to determine if one method was more effective than the other. The poster will describe the outcome of those studies and include implications for teachers in terms of effectiveness for promoting learning and ease of implementation. Taber-doughty (2005) noted that strategy efficiency may be more influenced by student characteristics than the strategy itself. For this reason, the presenters will also discuss the characteristics of the participants which may have led to differences in skill acquisition and will guide attendees to evaluate the students with whom they work in relationship to the results.
 
48. The Effects of Embedded Questions on the Reading Comprehension of Second Grade Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
LINDSAY R. SESSOR (The Ohio State University), Ruth M. DeBar (The Ohio State University), Sheila R. Alber-Morgan (The Ohio State University)
Abstract: The ability to comprehend what one has read is a critical skill not only for academic achievement but also for daily independent functioning. This study examines the effectiveness of embedded questions, for three elementary students with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) in order to improve reading comprehension performance. An alternating treatments design was employed in order to examine the effects of oral embedded questions, written embedded questions, and no embedded questions on reading comprehension assessed by a 7-item posttest consisting of wh- questions (e.g., who, what, when, where, etc) following the presentation of an appropriate leveled reading passage. Findings indicated that neither oral nor written embedded questions consistently improved reading comprehension for any of the participants. Repeated reading and feedback were implemented for two of the three participants due to variability of performance. Results show that there may be some evidence supporting the use of repeated reading and feedback to improve comprehension. Limitation and implications for future research are also discussed.
 
49. Establishing Joint Attention Skills Based on Applied Behavior Analysis in Children with Autism.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
HEIDI SKORGE OLAFF (Glenne Autism Center/Akershus College)
Abstract: Based upon an operant analysis of joint attention skills, a teaching protocol was developed and implemented to facilitate such skills in four children with autism. All children were between three and five years of age and received early and intensive behavioral intervention (EIBI) at least 20-25 hours per week. The teaching protocol specified eight different procedures, aimed at each of the following composite skills: (1) social referencing/conditioning of normal social stimuli as reinforcers, (2) proximal gaze and point following, (3) distal gaze and point following (4) social monitoring, (5) responding to joint attention bids during structured play, (6) initiating joint attention to novel stimuli, (7) manding with joint attention, and (8) commenting on novel behavior or tacting. The procedures were successively implemented according to an interrupted time series design with repeated tests of joint attention skills, using a modified version of Early Social Communication Scales, (ESCS). Although the results showed limited improvement on the modified ESCS, all children learned to master the skills that were targeted by the intervention, and reports from parents and teachers as improved eye contact, more frequent initiations in play, pointing and spontaneously commenting, indicate significant improvement of joint attention skills in the natural environment in at least three of the four children.
 
50. The Effects of a Treatment Package on High Levels of Hitting Behavior.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
SHEILA M. JODLOWSKI (Bronxville Schools)
Abstract: During Baseline conditions, the student was hitting staff and students a mean of 28.7 times with a range of a high of 59 and a low of 16 within a five hour period. A treatment package consisting of a contingent time out with head down on the desk and differential reinforcement of other behavior throughout the day was implemented. Levels of hitting decreased to a mean of 9 with a high of 19 and low of 4. These data indicated that the treatment package was an effective behavior change method. Low levels of behavior have been maintained through DRO procedures.
 
51. The Use of Strategy Instruction to Improve Written Language Performance in Adolescents with Asperger Syndrome.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
MONICA E. DELANO (University of Louisville)
Abstract: Since writing skills are critical to academic success, it is important to identify effective writing interventions for individuals with Asperger Syndrome (AS). The Self-Regulated Strategy Development (SRSD) model developed by Graham and colleagues has been evaluated in numerous studies with children with learning disabilities (Graham & Harris, 2003). These studies indicate that when children with learning disabilities are taught writing strategies and self-regulation procedures (e.g., goal setting, self-monitoring, and self-reinforcement), both the quantity and quality of their writing improves (De La Paz, 2001). To date, SRSD has not been evaluated with individuals with AS. The purpose of this poster presentation is to present the results of two exploratory studies in which SRSD instruction was evaluated with adolescents with AS. In the first study, a multiple baseline design across three responses was used to assess the effects of SRSD instruction with a 12-year old boy with AS. Three adolescents with AS participated in the second study in which the effects of a multi-component intervention involving SRSD instruction delivered via video self-modeling were evaluated. Participants in both studies demonstrated gains in both the quantity and quality of their writing samples. Resource materials about SRSD and video modeling will be provided to attendees.
 
52. Using Play-Based ABA and a Mother as Co-therapist Model to Teach a Toddler with Autism.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
E. AMANDA BOUTOT (Texas State University)
Abstract: This poster session will present findings from a case study where Play-Based ABA was successfully used to teach a variety of skills to a two-year old with autism as well as describe components of the therapy sessions, which were conducted with the child's mother as co-therapist. The mother as co-therapist model and its benefits for a very young child will be presented in detail. Over a six-month period, the child made gains in language, social, motor, and cognition based on a developmental assessment. In addition, the child made noticeable gains in play skills including symbolic and pretend play. All skills generalized to the natural environment. Implications for future practice and research will be included.
 
53. Use of Functional Behavioral Analysis (FBA) to Decrease Disruptive Verbal Behavior in the Inclusive Classroom.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
JACKIE SIGMON ISBELL (Gwinnett County Public Schools)
Abstract: A Functional Behavioral Analysis (FBA) was conducted to determine the function of complex verbal behaviors exhibited by an eleven-year-old male student with Asperger Syndrome (AS). The behaviors were disruptive to instruction and interfered with his ability to function optimally in the inclusive classroom. The FBA showed that the verbal behavior was, in fact, three separate behaviors maintained by internal reinforcers. The student engaged in 1) perseverative monologue, 2) audible information processing, and 3) impulsive calling-out. An A-B-C-CD design was used to implement an effective combination of behavior interventions. A "talk time" was established as a dedicated time for the student to engage in his perseverative monologue. When this intervention was implemented, there was a significant decrease in perseverative verbalization in the classroom. However, there was little change in his rate of audible information processing behavior or the calling-out behavior. A modified social story was written and produced as a visual prompt to help him "think silently" and "raise hand and wait to be called on." When the interventions were combined and paired with an existing self-management plan, data indicates that all verbal behaviors decreased significantly. Evidence suggests that the decrease was maintained over time.
 
54. Evaluating Effectiveness of ABA Hourly Intensity in Preschool Children Diagnosed with Autism.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
ROBERT K. ROSS (BEACON Services), Steven Woolf (BEACON Services)
Abstract: Parents, educators, and other professionals have become concerned about the rising prevalence of autism and the services/treatments for those with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Children with this ASD exhibit delays/deficits related in their expressive/receptive language and socialization with others. They may also exhibit abnormal communicative patterns including echolalia, ritualistic use of language, and stereotyped patterns of behavior. Few other medical or neuro-developmental conditions have been as fraught with controversial and unsupported treatments as ASD. The purpose of this study is to compare treatment outcome data of 200 pre-school children diagnosed with ASD across grouped categorized relative to the number of weekly ABA treatment hours. Results from the study indicate the most significant treatment gains for children with ASD receiving the high-intensity of weekly treatment hours compared to the medium and low intensity treatment groups. As a secondary outcome, the study also revealed that ABA treatment resulted in specific increases in academic development and communication skills. Overall, the data suggest that early and intensive ABA treatment results in significant treatment gains related to functional academics and overall adaptive behavior. However, ABA treatment may be emphasizing academic and communication outcomes to the exclusion of independent living skills. Parents, educators, and other professionals have become concerned about the rising prevalence of autism and the services/treatments for those with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Children with this ASD exhibit delays/deficits related in their expressive/receptive language and socialization with others. They may also exhibit abnormal communicative patterns including echolalia, ritualistic use of language, and stereotyped patterns of behavior. Few other medical or neuro-developmental conditions have been as fraught with controversial and unsupported treatments as ASD. The purpose of this study is to compare treatment outcome data of 200 pre-school children diagnosed with ASD across grouped categorized relative to the number of weekly ABA treatment hours. Results from the study indicate the most significant treatment gains for children with ASD receiving the high-intensity of weekly treatment hours compared to the medium and low intensity treatment groups. As a secondary outcome, the study also revealed that ABA treatment resulted in specific increases in...
 
55. The Use of ABA in Schools.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
WENDY ASHCROFT (Christian Brothers University), Angie Delloso (Shelby County Schools), Cathy O. Henderson (Shelby County Schools)
Abstract: Project REACH (Rebuilding and Expanding Alternatives for Children) is designed to provide useful materials for teachers, related services personnel, parents, and school administrators who are interested in best practices for serving young children with Autism and related disorders in schools. The philosophy of Project REACH is to provide specialized instruction for each student that is based on research in the field of ABA, individualized, and implemented in the least restrictive environment. Professionals from the Mid-South region consulted with the REACH committee to develop a manual that describes a process for implementing a comprehensive assessment and creating effective IEPs that require the use of principles of Applied Behavior Analysis. The manual includes information on implementing intensive ABA in both natural and controlled settings to achieve IEP objectives. Major guidelines for the manual were developed from an extensive analysis of the literature regarding evidence-based practices for serving students with Autism. The poster presentation will present claims regarding effective practices in relation to the strength of the research backing them.
 
56. Increasing Communication: Decreasing Self-injurious Behavior.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
HEATHER A. ALLEN (Sussex Consortium), Vivian J. Bush (Sussex Consortium), Vanessa Rae Cooper (Sussex Consortium)
Abstract: Teaching of functionally equivalent alternatives responses and implementing a consistent consequence procedure can significantly decrease interfering behaviors. These teaching strategies were implemented in a classroom in a separate setting. This single case study involved a 12-year-old student with an educational classification of Autism and a medical diagnosis of Fragile X syndrome. Prior to implementation of the consequence procedure (time out from positive reinforcement), we trained Mike to request attention and walks. Prior to intervention this individual was averaging approximately 21 bites to his arms per day. Spontaneous communication requests averaged 5 per day. Mike presented with significant self-injurious behavior of biting his arms resulting in open wounds and notable scaring. His instructional team was very concerned not only for his safety but also for the gravity of the health issues that it presented to others (bleeding). Our comprehensive approach involved conducting a functional behavior assessment of self- injurious behavior (biting) and exploring communication alternatives to replace the biting. It should be noted that although Mike is a non-speaking student, he uses the Picture Exchange Communication System (Bondy and Frost, 2002) to express his needs and wants. Data toward IEP objectives from September 2006 to June 2007 will be provided.
 
57. Blending Behavioral Expertise and Education.
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
RAYNI L. ANDERSON (NHS Human Services), Karen P. Markle (NHS Human Services)
Abstract: NHS Human Services has been successful in blending expertise in ABA with a comprehensive educational program to create a positive learning environment for students with autism spectrum disorders. Our schools and classrooms are structured to: evaluate and serve each child's needs on a individualized basis; foster a team approach; address important, but often overlooked, skill areas such as self-help, pre-vocational, social skills, and community involvement; and utilize outcome-focused planning for goal selection and implementation. The purpose of this poster session is to describe our current framework of behavioral and educational intervention, discuss coordination of care across all team members, and review recent programmatic outcomes.
 
 

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