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.


34th Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2008

Event Details

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Symposium #368
CE Offered: BACB
Innovative Approaches that Address Challenging Behavior in Individuals with Disabilities
Monday, May 26, 2008
10:30 AM–11:50 AM
Stevens 3
Area: AUT/DDA; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: James T. Ellis (Melmark New England)
Discussant: Frank L. Bird (Melmark New England)
CE Instructor: Frank L. Bird, M.Ed.

The field of applied behavior analysis has long prided itself in its generation of effective treatment approaches which are conceptually systematic and socially valid. This symposium highlights several interventions designed to promote the least restrictive educational setting while addressing serious, challenging behaviors exhibited by individuals with disabilities. The findings will be discussed with regards to balancing the dignity of the individual with the safety of students and staff.

Systematic Fading of Protective Equipment for Self-Injurious Behavior.
SILVA ORCHANIAN (Melmark New England), John Demanche (Melmark New England), Frank L. Bird (Melmark New England), Florence D. DiGennaro Reed (Melmark New England)
Abstract: Behavior analysts are often faced with serving students who exhibit severe and dangerous self-injurious and aggressive behavior in educational settings. Although not ideal, the use of protective equipment worn by students is sometimes warranted in order to ensure safety. The difficulty lies in balancing the safety of the individual while promoting a least restrictive quality of life. As such, a systematic fading process for the use of protective equipment is an approach to achieving this balance. This presentation will focus on the fading of full protective headgear with a teenager whose self-injury resulted in major tissue damage. Data over the course of one year will be presented and the importance of collaboration with disciplines outside of behavior analysis will be highlighted.
Utilizing a Self-Management Treatment Package to Decrease Stereotypic Behavior in a Student with PDD.
TIFFANEY M. ESPOSITO (Melmark New England), Stephanie Falcone (Melmark New England), Jessica Rocco (Melmark New England), Sarah Gowen (Melmark New England)
Abstract: The present study is a replication of previous research (Koegel & Koegel, 1990) that investigated the utility of a self-management package to decrease stereotypic behavior in students with autism. Self-management packages may be a useful tool in an applied setting to ensure behavioral interventions are maintained in the absence of a treatment provider. The accuracy of self-monitoring skills and the effects of a self-management package on the stereotypic hand-flapping behavior displayed by an 18-year-old girl diagnosed with Pervasive Developmental Disorder were investigated. The results were assessed utilizing a multiple baseline design across three settings; vocational work, residential home, and community. The results showed high accuracy with self-monitoring and a decrease in hand-flapping behavior during self-monitoring sessions across all three settings. The results will be discussed in regards to the potential advantages of self-management packages that target the reduction of maladaptive behaviors in an applied setting.
Systematic Fading of Protective Equipment Worn by Staff.
SILVA ORCHANIAN (Melmark New England), Frank L. Bird (Melmark New England), Helena L. Maguire (Melmark New England), Florence D. DiGennaro Reed (Melmark New England)
Abstract: In clinical settings where services are provided to individuals with challenging aggressive behaviors, ensuring the safety of others is a high priority. Serving individuals who present with such severe behaviors may result in the use of protective equipment worn by staff. While protective equipment may, at times, be necessary, facilitating a systematic fading process for this equipment is the goal. The purpose of this presentation is to share findings from two clinical case examples in which fading of protective equipment was achieved. The first participant was a 17-year-old female who engaged in serious aggression which consisted of biting others to such a degree that scarring resulted. Staff members were required to wear protective arm pads, which were systematically faded over 19 months. In addition, the frequency of aggressive biting reduced to near zero levels in the absence of any protective equipment. A second case example involves a 17-year-old man who engaged in aggressive biting and hair pulling. Staff members were required to wear protective equipment (e.g., hats) in order to address hair pulling. Over the course of one year, protective equipment was successfully faded and aggressive behavior decreased.



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