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.


Eighth Annual Autism Conference; Louisville, KY; 2014

Event Details

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Poster Session #1
Friday night poster session
Friday, February 28, 2014
6:00 PM–7:30 PM
Grand Ballroom C (Suite Tower)

Successful Case Studies With Adolescents in a Center-Based Program

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
ERIN E. LOMBARD (Step By Step), Laura Garrett (Step by Step Academy)

Step By Step is a non-profit treatment center for children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder and other developmental disabilities. The adolescent program, Stepping Forward, serves individuals between the ages of 12 and 22. This presentation explores two case studies showcasing the effectiveness of positive behavior supports in decreasing problematic self-stimulatory behavior and increasing vocational skills and vocational interests. The first case study demonstrates the impact positive behavior support had in decreasing finger mouthing behavior maintained by automatic reinforcement. The procedure utilized a behavioral contract explaining how "dollars" could be earned for preferred items such as small toys and access to the computer. In order to earn "dollars," the individual was required to keep her finger out of her mouth for the entire duration of a pre-determined interval of time. The second case study shows the effectiveness that positive reinforcement used within a backward chaining procedure had on increasing vocational skills development. The two skills targeted included washing windows and cleaning floors.

2. Parents' and Educators' Perception in Including Young Children With HFA in Typical Classrooms
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
ANNIE BAGHDAYAN (University of Oklahoma)
Abstract: This study represents a qualitative case study of parents and educators in the state of Oklahoma to explore their perception on including young children with HFA in typical classrooms. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with each participant. The results indicated that parents and educators shared experiences that suggest better collaboration.

Examining the Effects of Collaborative Strategic Reading-High School (CSR-HS) Intervention in Adolescents With Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)

Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
COLLEEN REUTEBUCH (The University of Texas at Austin), Farah El Zein (The University of Texas at Austin)

Reading comprehension is important to academic success and quality of life. However, evidence suggests that many students with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), even those who read accurately do not have well-developed reading comprehension skills. Collaborative Strategic Reading (CSR) is an evidence-based instructional approach to reading comprehension with a history of experimental and quasi-experimental validation. CSR combines strategy instruction with cooperative learning to improve reading comprehension of instructional level text. An antecedent-based intervention that involved modification of CSR (i.e., CSR-HS) was implemented with three high school students with ASD. The implemented strategies included previewing, clarifying parts of text that are difficult to comprehend, generating questions, and summarizing. Adaptations for students with ASD included the following behavioral techniques: priming, visual support (e.g., pictures, graphic organizers, checklists), and prompting. A delayed multiple-baseline design across three participants with ASD was employed to examine the effects of implementing CSR-HS. Challenging behaviors, social interactions, and performance on reading comprehension probes were measured during baseline, intervention, maintenance, and independent conditions. Results indicate an increase in reading comprehension performance, a decrease in challenging behavior, and improvement in social interaction in the three participants. Findings from this study suggest that evidence-based reading interventions (e.g., CSR) may be beneficial for students with ASD, when adapted to meet their unique needs. Implications for practitioners and future research are discussed.

4. Heart Rate Variability, Social Awareness, and Social Anxiety Changes in Adults With Autism: Pilot Findings
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
ANGELA SCARPA (Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University), Brenna Maddox (Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University), Jill Lorenzi (Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University), Caitlin Conner (Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University), Susan White (Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University)
Abstract: The relationship between social anxiety, social awareness, and heart rate variability (HRV) is largely unexplored within autism spectrum disorders (ASD). In the current study, five adult males (mean age = 24 years) with ASD participated in a 14-week treatment study using the Program for the Education and Enrichment of Relational Skills for Young Adults (PEERS-YA) intervention (Laugeson & Frankel, 2012). Participants and their parents completed a battery of assessments pre- and post-treatment, including the Social Responsiveness Scale, 2nd edition (SRS-2; Constantino & Gruber, 2012), Social Phobia and Anxiety Inventory-23 (SPAI-23; Roberson-Nay et al., 2007), and Contextual Assessment of Social Skills (CASS; Ratto et al., 2011). During the CASS, heart rate was recorded while participants engaged in brief conversations with trained confederates. At post-treatment, three of five participants showed improved social awareness, decreased HRV, and increased social anxiety (Reliable Change Index [RCI] scores > 3.8). These results suggest that HRV may reflect changes in social awareness following a time-limited social skills intervention. However, greater opportunity for social interaction may also produce heightened social anxiety. Future research is needed to explore these conclusions and determine whether PEERS-YA should be combined with anxiety treatment for adults with ASD.

Planning and Set-Shifting in Iranian Children With Autistic Spectrum Disorder

Area: AUT; Domain: Basic Research
FATEME PARVIZI (presenting Authors)

The non-social features of autism are rather varied; and are less well understood and researched than the social impairments seen in autistic disorder.In recent years cognitive theories have been proposed and investigated in autism. One well-known theory of autism is executive function. Historically these functions have been linked to frontal structures of the brain, and to prefrontal cortex in particular. Studies to date have not been included an agreement on normal IQ-matched TD group with ASD to allow a fair comparison of EF profiles. We aimed to compare EF profiles in age- and IQ-matched ASD and TD groups. Second, we aimed to investigate whether non verbal tests make changes in EF differ across groups in comparison with other studies. Also we want to know if prefrontal proved dysfunction in autism have any link with executive dysfunction in autism. so we used CANTAB test.Analysis of results were done with SPSS17 and t-student. Significant group differences were found in performance on all subtests, with the autism group showing deficits in planning efficiency and extradimensional shifting and in inhibition of prepotent responses too, it was in relative to controls. These findings were found in despite of normal IQ and non-verbal tests.


Using Functional Analysis and Presession Attention to Assess Peer Versus Adult Attention as a Motivating Operation for Perseverative Speech

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
CHRISTINA F. NOEL (Western Kentucky University)

Perseverative speech is the inability to adapt topics of conversation along with the social context and continuing with one topic even after it has ceased to be socially appropriate (Sandson & Albert, 1984). Perseverative speech has been studied in a variety of populations (i.e., aphasiacs, traumatic brain disorder, etc) and has been identified as a common problem in individuals with high-functioning autism (HFA; Volkmar et al., 2005). There is evidence to suggest that perseverative speech may have an operant function, therefore being amenable to interventions based on environmental manipulations (Allyon & Michael, 1959). Functional analysis (FA) is a common assessment of operant function and has been used for a variety of problem behaviors (Hanley et al., 2003). The current study extended the use of FA to identify the following, three aspects of perseverative speech of three, elementary-aged students with HFA: (a) whether there is a social function; (b) whether perseverative speech is a skill acquisition or performance deficit; and (c) whether peer or adult attention has differential effects on perseverative speech. Results indicate these FA procedures were able to identify these aspects of perseverative speech.


Evaluation of the Behavioral Language-Acquisition Model for Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
DIXIE RIEPL (Florida Institute of Technology), Tony Bright (Nova Southeastern University)

Evaluation of the Behavioral Language-Acquisition Model for Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder Abstract Evaluation of the Behavioral Language-Acquisition Model for Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder. Dixie D. Riepl, 2012: Applied Dissertation, Nova Southeastern University, Abraham S. Fischler School of Education. ERIC Descriptors: Autism, Autism Spectrum Disorders, Verbal Communication, Nonverbal Communication, Language Acquisition This study involved a summative program evaluation of the behavior language-acquisition model (BLAM). The purpose of the study was to evaluate evidence that would determine the effectiveness of the BLAM program as a treatment for participants with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The following research questions were established to guide the evaluation: 1. What do the results of the student assessment data suggest about the strengths of the BLAM program? 2. What do the results of the student assessment data suggest about the deficiencies of the BLAM program? 3. Is the BLAM program effective in the remediation of verbal or nonverbal communication deficits for young participants with ASD? Twenty-five participants who had either received treatment or were receiving treatment were assessed. The results of the baseline and next 6-month interval assessments were collected. The participant treatment data for a 6-month period were calculated. The baseline and the 6-month posttreatment assessment data provided the evidence to evaluate the effectiveness of the BLAM program for participants with ASD. The results evaluated for this study indicated that the BLAM program is a treatment plan that provides benefits to those participants with ASD who have a verbal or nonverbal communication deficit. The use of applied behavior analysis principles and strategies such as discrete trial training and verbal behavior intervention, which have been scientifically validated, were applied in the BLAM program of treatment. The results of this study add to the knowledge base on the topic of ASD and the use of applied behavior analysis principles to mitigate the deficits associated with it. A study that considers how many children are able to generalize the skills in other settings could provide additional evidence of the level of success of the BLAM program. An additional study consideration would be the number of times that the participant attended the therapy sessions versus the level of achievement overall. In any future study, the researcher


Understanding Stalking Behaviors by Individuals With ASD

Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
KEITH STOREY (Touro University), Linda K. Haymes (Touro Univeristy- California), Michal Post (Touro University- California)

Stalking behavior among some individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders is of concern both for the individual being stalked as well as the person with Autism Spectrum Disorders. This poster reviews effective interventions based upon functional assessment and appropriate positive behavior supports. Specific interventions for addressing stalking behavior by students with Autism Spectrum Disorders are analyzed and evaluated with suggestions for best practice for instructional procedures. Interventions covered include social skills groups, video modeling and video feedback, self-management, visual supports, counseling, and psychopharmacology. Also discussed is reducing the amount of isolating interests and activities while increasing more opportunities for integration. Recommendations for future research are provided.


Improved Learning Efficiency of Developmental Skills In Children With Autism Using Early Start Denver Model

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
REBECCA WOMACK (Columbus Organization), Qusayy Godbolt (Columbus Organization ), Lanora Pride (Columbus Organization)

Use of the Early Start Denver Model (ESDM) in children with autism suggests that the rate of skill acquisition increases with the progression of treatment. The participant in this study was a three year old male diagnosed with Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified. At the onset of treatment there was a total absence of language skills and social reciprocation. Treatment consisted of daily implementation of the ESDM in his home. The program also included weekly parent training. Parents were taught about ESDM methodologies and feedback was provided about their program implementation. This training occurred on weekly basis. Initially language and social skills developed slowly. As the child made gains in the various domains, he began to progress more efficiently. Results indicate that as the child progressed through treatment there was a decrease in the number of sessions to goal mastery per developmental domain. Results indicate that the parent training paired with ESDM methodologies contributed to the decrease in therapy required to obtain mastery of goals. Future studies may want to contrast this learning model with other types of early interventions.


Supporting Individuals With Autism in a Residential Setting

Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
JAIME FLORES (Rescare Inc.), David Spencer (ResCare), Melissa Mahoney (ResCare)

An overview of services provided through a waiver based program including behavior supports, residential services, and community integration. This presentation outlines case studdies of various behaior support plans and data across individuals being served. Focuss on challenges and limitations from a behavior support perspective due to budget decreases/increases, and state and federal regulations. The individual case studies will be profiled from the time services were first stated to date.

11. Beyond Problem Behavior: A Systematic Comparison of AAC Systems on Communication Outcomes
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
LILITH REUTER YUILL (Southern Illinois University Carbondale), Joel Eric Ringdahl (Southern Illinois University), Sandie Bass-Ringdahl (Southern Illinois University Carbondale), Andrew King (Southern Illinois University - Carbondale), Andrew Blowers (Behavior Analysis & Therapy Rehabilitation Institute SIU in Carbondale), Mandy Quick (Southern Illinois University Carbondale)
Abstract: Children with developmental disabilities often have complex communication needs that may require the implementation of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) systems. Evidence suggests that the field of applied behavior analysis has created an efficacious paradigm to teach AAC skills through errorless learning techniques and Functional Communication Training methods. Results have included reliable reductions in problem behavior; however, there is paucity in research that examines ancillary consequences. The purpose of the current study is to expand on the existing literature by systematically comparing the effects of three different communication modalities on problem behavior, speech emergence and communicative gesturing. These modalities include: Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS), manual sign, and speech. A secondary investigation explores the relationship between preexisting skill sets and the acquisition of AAC systems. The study occurs through three phases: (1) Assessment of preexisting skill sets (2) Analysis of current language/communication status (3) AAC training. Preexisting skill sets were evaluated by analyzing the participants' performance on the PLS-5, VB-MAPP, and Vineland. Language/communication samples were conducted with the Language Environment Analysis System (LENA). A priori statistical tests will include cross-correlation of dependent variables to calculate predictive power and treatment efficacy. These results will indicate variables of AAC modality success, independent acquisition of the modality system and speech emergence. Conclusions will be discussed.

Teaching Responding to Joint Attention to Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
HATICE BILMEZ (Anadolu University), Elif Tekin Iftar (Anadolu University), Gonul Kircaali-Iftar (Private Consultant)

Responding to joint attention is one of the deficieny areas of children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Therefore, a systematic teaching is needed. This study was designed to examine the effects of least to most prompting strategy in teaching responding to joint attention skill to preschool age children with ASD during acquisition, maintenance and generalization levels. A multiple probe design across participants was used. The study was consisted of baseline, intervention, maintenance, and generalization sessions. Maintenance sessions was planned to be conducted 4 and 6 weeks after the intervention. Furthermore, pre-post generalization sessions were planned across persons and settings too. Both maintenance and generalization sessions were planned as baseline sessions. A pilot study was conducted and last form of intervention plan was formed. The results of the pilot study was promising. This research study is still in progress, the data collected so far is promising as well. Social validity analysis will be conducted in the study. The opinions of the parents towards the intervention will be obtained though semi-structured intervention. In addition to that social comparison will be used to compare the level of responding to joint attention skills of the participants with their peers.


Teaching Individuals With Autism Spectrum Disorders to Protect Themselves From Sexual Abuse

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
TANYEL SUZER (Anadolu University), Nurgul Akmanoglu (Anadolu University)

Children with autism spectrum disorders need to learn safety skills for their independence. Therefore, teachers, researchers and/or practitioners should seek possible ways of teaching safety skills to them. This study aims to investigate the effects of social stories on teaching children with autism to protect themselves from sexual abuse. Furthermore, it is also aimed in this study to teach them to protect themselves in different settings and from different types of sexual abuse. Multiple exemplar approach has been used to promote generalization. Multiple probes with probe trails across participants design was used in the study. Four students whose ages are between 8 and 18 are the participants of the study. Types of lures for sexual abuse have been identified with the parents. Baseline, intermittent probe and intervention sessions will be conducted in the study. All sessions has been conducting either at participants home or at Research Institute for the Handicapped in Anadolu University. This study is an ongoing study, so far a pilot study was conducted, and the results will be shared with the audience during presentation. However, the results of the pilot study was promising in terms of the effectiveness of social stories.

14. The Power of Mother Generated and Delivered Video Modeling Intervention
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
FATMA BESLER (Anadolu University), Onur Kurt (Anadolu University)
Abstract: Videomodeling is one of the evidence-based strategies for teaching individuals with autism spectrum disorders. Research has shown that it is effective in teaching many skills from different domains such as self care, social or academic skills. However, preparation of the videomodel clips was developed either by teachers or researchers in these studies. Therefore, it can be argued that teaching mothers to develop videomodel clips and to provide teaching via videomodeling reliably is important. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether (a) mothers were able to learn to develop videomodel clips and deliver it to teach play skills to their children (age 4-6) with ASD, (b) children acquired and maintained play skills and generalized them across novel situations. Moreover, social validity data from mothers will be conducted via semi-structured interview. The study was conducted by using multiple probe design across participants. This is an ongoing study and the findings of the study will be shared with the audience during the presentation. At the moment the protocol that will be used to teach mothers about how to develop videomodel clips and how to conduct teaching via videomodeling was prepared and the participants of the study were identified.
15. The Use of Video Modeling to Teach Individuals With Disabilities to Film a Video with an iPhone
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
SALLY BEREZNAK (The University of Georgia), Kevin Ayres (University of Georgia), Katie Smith (University of Georgia), Jennifer Lenz Alexander (University of Georgia)
Abstract: Four high school students with autism spectrum disorders or other intellectual disabilities participated in this study. Video modeling was used to teach participants to film a video using an iPhone 4S. A multiple probe design across participants was used to evaluate the effectiveness of the video modeling intervention. Results indicate that the three of the four participants increased performance by increasing the percent of steps performed independently with the video model alone. These participants reached criterion in an average of 9 sessions (range 6-12). One participant needed verbal prompting to successfully complete the task. This study further supports the use of video modeling as an evidence-based practice as well as leads to future studies in which participants independently create their own video models to acquire novel vocational and functional life skills. Social validity, study limitations, implication for practice, and future research are discussed.
16. An Application of Contingency Space Analysis to Evaluate Natural Classroom Contingencies
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
BLAIR LLOYD (Vanderbilt University), Johanna Staubitz (Vanderbilt University)
Abstract: Descriptive analyses of behavior-environment interactions contribute to our understanding of human behavior as it occurs in natural contexts. However, descriptive data only may be used to describe, not explain, behavior-environment interactions. Functional behavior assessments typically include the collection and analysis of descriptive data (commonly referred to as antecedent-behavior-consequence [ABC] data) to describe naturally occurring contingencies. A variety of methods have been used in the behavior analytic literature, however, to measure contingencies, which highlights a lack of consensus as to which method may be most informative. Lloyd, Kennedy, and Yoder (2013) evaluated a method of measuring contingencies known as Contingency Space Analysis (CSA), which they identified as both (a) consistent with behavior analytic definitions of operant contingencies and (b) unbiased in terms of controlling for base rates of each event. We present an application of CSA to measure contingencies using data collected on student problem behavior and surrounding environmental stimuli in public elementary school classrooms. Participants included 4 students with developmental disabilities and problem behavior and 4 paraprofessionals who supported them. We present a novel method of data collection and analysis suited to CSA and discuss the utility of these data in the assessment of problem behavior in classroom settings.

Staff Self-Review and Guided Evaluations as a Method to Improve Evidence-Based Practices and Programming for Students With ASD and Related Disorders

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
ANANDA ASPEN (Diagnostic Center Central - California Department of Education)

Self-Review and Guided Evaluations as a method to improve evidence-based programming in classrooms that serve students with ASD and related disorders. A three year project between the Diagnostic Center Central - California Department of Education (DCC) and San Luis Obispo County Office of Education (SLOCOE) to develop evidence-based programs resulted in significant positive changes, according to teacher and staff self-evaluation. Using a published rating scale to measure pre and post program review of instructional and environmental components, participants indicated an increase in effective components across most areas deemed important in evidence based practices (EBPs) for students with ASD. As part of the project, participants were given descriptions and photo or video examples of cases where the elements measured were in place and were not in place. Guided evaluations were included in monthly staff development and in-class coaching, collaboration, and program monitoring with SLOCOE BCBA Autism Specialists and Leadership Team and the DCC Specialists to build confidence and efficacy in using EBPs, measure student progress, and promote intervention fidelity and sustainability. This applied research project indicated that staff reviewed their implementation of evidence-based practices as significantly better on the post measure. Samples of the specific areas measured, tools used, and data outcomes are included within this poster session.

18. Transitioning Students With Autism to STEM Careers: Game-Based Learning on Hand-Held Devices for Social Skills
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
JENNIFER GALLUP (University of Central Florida)
Abstract: Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) possess unique attributes that are desirable in high-demand science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) careers (Fessenden, 2013). However, of the 378,000 students with ASD that attend public school in the United States each year, 44% do not graduate with a high school diploma (Autism Society, 2012) and less than 10% of these graduates secure STEM careers. Game-based social skill training holds the potential to improve post-secondary outcomes (Bricker & Bell, 2012; Craft, 2012; Marino, 2009; Parsons & Cobb, 2011). The development of social skills is critical given that collaboration has been identified as the most important aspect of a STEM career (Wei, et al. 2013). The ubiquitous nature of technology seamlessly connects personal, professional, and academic life around the clock; advancements in technology provide a unique opportunity to collaborate (Craft, 2012). In order to provide appropriate treatment and transition to STEM careers, it is worthwhile to examine the use of efficacious virtual environments and game-based learning to improve social skills acquisition. This poster will provide a review of literature and propose a research study to support exploration of VLE and game-based learning for promoting transitions to STEM careers for students with ASD.

Increasing Spontaneous Verbal Behavior in Children Diagnosed With Autism

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
MOLLY L. DUBUQUE (Spalding University), Patrick M. Ghezzi (University of Nevada, Reno)

Naturalistic Teaching Strategies have been identified as an established treatment for children diagnosed with autism. One specific strategy used is incidental teaching which incorporates the use of a time delay to transfer stimulus control from a prompt to the stimuli available in the natural environment. Incidental teaching has been shown to be especially useful for promoting verbal behavior in children diagnosed with autism. In this study, multiple baseline across subject designs were used to assess the effects of a training package which involved self-monitoring and feedback components to train tutors to identify naturally occurring opportunities to use incidental teaching during tutoring sessions. The results indicate that exposure to the training package increased the frequency of time delay used by tutors, which thereby increased the frequency of the childs spontaneous speech. Additionally, mean length of utterance (MLU) was calculated for each observation. An increase in MLU was observed for one child across all three tutors and for the second child across two of the three tutors.


Teachers Opinions About Teaching Safety Skills to Students With Autism Spectrum Disorders

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
NURSINEM SIRIN (Anadolu University), Elif Tekin-Iftar (Anadolu University)

Autism spectrum disorders is a life long developmental disorder that is characterized by limitations in communication and social interaction, daily life, and restrictive and repetative interest and behaviors. Systematic instructionis needed for teaching many skills and behaviors to children with autism spectrum disorders. Safety skills is one of the skill area that should be taught to the children with autism. Safety skills can be considered as the skills used at home and in the social life. This skills can also be included in the training schedules as per their occurrence time and frequency. However, the number of studies in this field is limited and most of them are conducted with mentally retarded children. They are related with opinions about teaching safety skills and the effectiveness of safety skills training. But there are very few studies investigating the opinions of parents and teachers in teaching safety skills to the children with autism and how these skills can be taught. In the descriptive studies that collects the views of parents or teachers about the safety skills, questionaries are generally used. This study aims to determine the views of the opinions of teachers about the safety skills training. Also the content of their curriculum was examined through their eyes. In this regard semi-structured interview technique is used. Preleminary resutls showed that tehachers valued sfaety skills and believed there should be aims and objectives in their programs. They also explained that the methods for teaching safety skills should be covered in their teacher training programs.


Increasing Exploratory Eating Behaviors in a Student With Developmental Delays and Food Selectivity Issues

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
COLLIN SHEPLEY (Oconee County Schools), Justin Lane (University of Georgia - PhD in Special Education ), Andrea Hunter Gast (HOPE Autism and Behavioral Health Services, LLC)

An intervention consisting of progressive time delay (PTD) and visual cues was used to increase exploratory eating behaviors with non-preferred foods in a preschool-aged student with food selectivity, considered at risk for autism spectrum disorder with non-preferred foods selected by the students parents. A multiple probe design across behaviors (i.e., touch, smell, taste, bite, chew, and eat), with a changing criterion design, was used to evaluate the effectiveness of PTD and visual cues to teach exploratory eating behaviors. Sessions occurred during regularly scheduled meal times (i.e., breakfast, snack, lunch) of a public primary school. The student acquired touch, smell, taste, bite, and chew with 100% mastery and displayed variable increases in consuming foods. The intervention was considered effective in increasing exploratory eating behaviors with non-preferred foods using non-aversive procedures in a student with food selectivity.

22. National Standards Project 2: Adult Treatment Literature
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
HANNA C. RUE (National Autism Center), Maria Knox (National Autism Center), Audra Cohen (National Autism Center)
Abstract: The National Standards Project 2 (NSP2) was a systematic review of the autism treatment literature. Like the original project, NSP1, the review made use of the Scientific Merit Rating Scale (SMRS) to assess the quality of research design and other critical variables. The Treatment Effects Rating Scale was used to determine whether an intervention was categorized as beneficial or ineffective. Finally, The Strength of Evidence Classification System combined the results of the SMRS and Treatment Effects Rating to identify interventions as established, ineffective, unknown, or adverse. Following an extensive literature search and applying inclusion and exclusion criteria, only 25 treatment outcome articles that included adult participants were identified for the review. The SMRS scores for the articles ranged from 1 to 3. The paucity of treatment outcome studies for adults (i.e., individuals 22 years and older) with autism is well documented. Despite only 25 articles available for analysis, behavior analytic interventions were identified as having evidence to support their use. Additional research regarding use of behavior analytic strategies with in vocational training, supported employment positions and skills for daily living is greatly needed.

Embedding Social Reinforcers Into Lunchtime Activities

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
ROBERT L. KOEGEL (University of California, Santa Barbara), Lynn Kern Koegel (University of California, Santa Barbara), Erin Engstrom (University of California, Santa Barbara), Sunny Kim (University of California, Santa Barbara)

Social impairment is a core characteristic of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). As more students with ASD are being educated alongside their typically developing peers, providing opportunities to socialize are needed. Research suggests that embedding social reinforcers into activities that incorporate preferred interests as their theme may help promote socialization for students with ASD. Within the context of a multiple baseline design across participants, we assessed whether embedding social reinforcers into lunchtime activities would increase socialization between students with ASD and their typical peers. Three children between the ages of 7 and 9 who were diagnosed with ASD and were identified as socially isolated by their teachers participated. Activities that were identified by the participants parents as highly preferred were implemented as lunch clubs twice a week. Preliminary results showed that during existing school baseline activities, the participants did not show social engagement or initiations to their typical peers. However, during intervention, all participants showed large increases in level of social engagement and rate of initiations to typical peers. These increases often approximated levels close to those of typical peers. These results have implications for understanding social development in children with autism.

24. Paraeducator Training in Functional Communication Training
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
ROBIN JENNER (San Diego State University), Julie DeScenzo (San Diego State University), Bonnie Kraemer (San Diego State University)
Abstract: This study incorporates the evidence-based key elements of effective in-service training into a multi-tiered paraeducator training program. These elements, including video modeling, role play, and group discussions, were used to train paraeducators on how to implement the instruction of functional communication skills in special education classrooms. Results were consistent with current evidence-based research in the area of paraeducator training and showed that all of the paraeducators who received the training improved in their ability to apply functional communication training with students immediately following the training. Over half of the trained paraeducators were probed for generalization and each demonstrated that their learned skills generalized across students. Both training participants and their supervisors gave positive feedback on the quality and effectiveness of the training program. Keeping in mind that many educators lack access to time and funding for paraeducator training, this training is a practical and efficient way to meet professional development needs of pareducators.

CANCELED: Getting Parents Started With ABA: Online Instruction for Parents Who Have Young Children With ASD

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
NELL CARAWAY (IRIS Educational Media), Ruth Falco (Portland State University, Autism Training & Resea)

Online training for parents in ABA principles addresses an important issue �improving the quality of life for children who have ASD, and the lives of their parents and siblings. This NIH-funded feasibility study used online digital media formats to present a basic ABA education to 50 parents, with children ages 3-8. Parents learned to develop and implement an individualized teaching plan to teach self-care skills to their children. Eight program modules led parents through basic ABA principles and gave them online tools to develop a task analysis, and to monitor progress as the skill was being taught. The Phase I pilot yielded promising outcomes and met with remarkable parental acceptance. During ongoing development, the program will continue to build the online architecture and provide self-directed instruction for parents as they teach communication skills and manage behavior. The online modules rely on realistic video vignettes, goal-setting, interactive practice and assessment. This project addresses geographical, economic, and practical barriers to receiving ABA training by providing parents with an easily accessible, evidence-based program that they can interact with at their convenience.

26. The Effects of IPod Technology for Communication on Aberrant Behavior and Mands across Settings
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
GREGORY R. MANCIL (Louisiana Tech University), Ryan Burke (DBT Center of Western Kentucky)
Abstract: Identifying socially appropriate communication devices for individuals with autism continues to be a concern (Mancil, 2010). The purpose of the study was to determine the effectiveness and efficiency of the use of an iPod on increasing communication initiation and responses, decreasing aberrant behavior, and increasing spontaneous communication with children with autism. A functional analysis was completed to identify the function of each subject's aberrant behavior. The subjects were then taught to use the iPod following mand training procedures during routines in their respective schools. The researcher trained the teachers who then provided training to their respective students. Sessions were videotaped, coded, and then graphed using a multiple probe format. The subjects obtained efficient use of the iPod AAC device within a 12-week period. Communication initiations and responses increased for all participants. Aberrant behavior concurrently decreased and latency to respond to a communication opportunity averaged between 2 and 3 seconds, which is consistent with neuro-typical peers. Spontaneous communication also increased as evidenced by generalization to untrained settings occurred. Findings of this study show the utility of an iPod as an AAC device to simultaneously increase communication initiations and responses, decrease aberrant behaviors, and increase generalization to untrained settings and persons.

Tactile Self-Monitoring to Decrease Off-Task Behavior of Adolescents With Autism Spectrum Disorders

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
JENNY ROOT (University of North Carolina at Charlotte), Alicia F. Saunders (University of North Carolina at Charlotte)

Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) frequently demonstrate off-task behavior in school settings, which limits their opportunities to participate in general education settings. Research indicates that there is a connection between off-task behavior of adolescents with ASD and difficulties with executive functioning and self-management skills. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of a tactile self-monitoring of attention intervention on off-task behavior with three middle school students with ASD during reading, math, and vocational work tasks in a self-contained educational setting. Participants displayed high levels of off-task behavior during baseline. A tactile self-monitoring intervention was implemented using a multiple baseline design across work tasks replicated across students. Previous self-monitoring interventions have involved a teacher-delivered prompt to self-monitor or a prompt that draws the attention of other classmates. This study utilized a tactile prompt via a vibrating timer, which the participants were able to manipulate independently and did not draw the attention of peers. The tactile self-monitoring intervention was successful in decreasing the amount of time spent off-task during three independent work tasks and resulted in positive gains in the area of self-management and independence for the participants.


Teaching Functional Language and Daily Self Help Skills to a Blind Child With Autism

Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
KATHRINE KOEHLER-HAK (University of Northern Colorado), Nadia Benyamin (University of Northern Colorado)

Recent clinical observations indicate a high frequency of Autism Spectrum Disorder in children with Optic nerve hypoplasia (ONH) (Fernell & Jacobson, 2003). ONH involves developmental delays and behaviors characteristic of children with ASD (i.e. repetitive behavior; echolalia; difficulty with reciprocal interactions; impairment in sensory processing). As reported by Parr and colleagues (2010), these behavioral characteristics are above and beyond the typical behavior noted in children with other visual impairment and therefore, cannot be attributed to the vision impairment itself. As both ASD and ONH are neurological conditions, it is likely the ASD is neurological in origin and represent a true ASD. While sighted children with ASD benefit from visual support, children with ONH and ASD do not have the benefit of visual supports in learning language, concepts or typical routines. Furthermore, tactile defensiveness further limits a childs interaction with and exposure to learning opportunities. The present case study details the process used to teach a 5 year-old boy with ONH and ASD (a) basic concepts, (b) verbal requests, and (c) independent eating. Behavioral strategies used included shaping, chaining, DRO, tactile schedules and tactile/auditory prompts. Specific suggestions for home-based therapy are provided.


Classroom Behavioral Supports for Students With Autism in Inclusion Settings

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
ADAM FEINBERG (The May Institute, Inc.), Lindsay Fallon (The May Institute)

The purpose of this examination was to increase positive target behaviors in a student with Autism. There is anecdotal support for the use of visual cues to teach behavioral expectations to students with autism. Consequently, there is little empirical support for the link between the use of visual cues for supporting behavioral expectations in students with Autism. Accordingly, this study examined the use of universal classroom supports provided with visuals within a larger class-wide Positive Behavior Support (PBIS) model for target students with Autism. Instruction for these students was provided in an inclusive classroom with other general education students. Target behaviors included participation in activities as well as following teacher directions. Data on target behaviors were collected using a Direct Behavior Rating Scale method. Scaling was initially completed by teachers, and in the final phase transitioned to student ratings, using a self-monitoring procedure. Data from a pilot study are presented to extend the existing, limited empirical support. Implications for practitioners are provided.


Learning Social Comminication Skills Through Video Modeling

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
KAMIL OZERK (University of Oslo), Meral Reshat Ozerk (Torshov Resource Center)

Abstract Video Modeling is one of the recognized methods used in the training and education of children with ASD. The models theoretical bases stems from Bandura's (Bandura 1977) social learning theory in which he asserts that children can learn many skills and behaviors observationally through modeling. One can assume that by observing others, children with ASD can form an idea of how new behaviors are performed, and on later occasions this coded information serves as a guide for action. There are two types of methods for model learning: 1) In Vivo Modeling and 2) Video Modeling, which can be used a) to teach children with ASD skills that are not yet in their behavioral repertoire and / or b) to improve the children's emerging behaviors or skills. In our single subject study we used Video Modeling to teach social communication skills to a nine years old boy with ASD. In our poster well present how he has learned skills a) to give positive response to peer invitation b) to initiate peer activities c) to participate in peer activities and d) to maintain participation in peer activities. The poster presentation will illustrate the procedures, weekly trials, baseline and weekly progressions in the boy's learning skills.

31. Moving Beyond Simplistic Mands, Tacts, and Intraverbals: Teaching Complex Verbal Operants with PEAK
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
KARL GUNNARSSON (Southern Illinois University Carbondale), Autumn N. McKeel (Southern Illinois University Carbondale), Seth W. Whiting (Southern Illinois University), Mark R. Dixon (Southern Illinois University)
Abstract: Many of the verbal behavior assessment and training protocols available to ABA therapists provide only the means with which to establish a repertoire of basic verbal operants such as mands, tacts, echoics, and intraverbals, and neglect much of the advanced content of Skinner's analysis of verbal behavior. The purpose of the present study was to examine the effectiveness of programs in the PEAK curriculum in establishing more complex verbal operants not featured in other assessments, including metonymical tacts, guesses, and autoclitics. Three participants diagnosed with autism (age 9 – 11) completed the experiment. Using a multiple probe design, Participants 1 and 2 were trained to tact the names of planets, emit autoclitics such as "maybe" or "I think" in situations of uncertainty, and to receptively identify pictures of stimuli when the experimenter uttered a metonymical tact (i.e., the experimenter referred to the stimulus by an irrelevant, but related feature). A third participant was trained to receptively and expressively use metonymical tacts, and completed a program establishing a repertoire of guessing (emitting a response in the absence of controlling stimuli). Results indicated a rapid acquisition of higher order skills across all subjects in all programs. Follow-up demonstrated that these skills were maintained.

The Psychometric Superiority of PEAK in ABA Assessment and Curriculum for Children With Autism

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
SETH W. WHITING (Southern Illinois University), Kyle Rowsey (Southern Illinois University - Carbondale), Autumn N. McKeel (Southern Illinois University Carbondale), Mark R. Dixon (Southern Illinois University)

Despite the number of assessment protocols available to practitioners in a data-driven field, measures of validity and reliability of these assessments remain a rarity. The purpose of the present research was to examine psychometric properties of the PEAK Relational Training System, a comprehensive assessment /curriculum for verbal and academic skills. First, 13 children with autism completed the PEAK assessment and the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test, a measure frequently utilized to assess verbal skills in children, before and after training using the PEAK curriculum. A Pearson correlation showed a significant (p < .01), strong relationship between the measures at pretraining (r=.9) and posttraining (r=.89), establishing convergent validity for the PEAK assessment. Next, 36 students with autism completed both the PEAK assessment and the Receptive and Expressive One-Word Picture Vocabulary Tests. Strong correlations were observed between scores on PEAK and the receptive test (r=.834), and the expressive test (r=.824), further supporting the convergent validity of the PEAK assessment. To investigate social validity, ABA implementers rated the PEAK assessment and VB-MAPP on ease and length of implementation, and the likelihood of future use. Results indicated that practitioners found PEAK easier and quicker than the VB-MAPP, and 66% reported a preference for PEAK.


Efficacy of an Early Intervention Program For Children With Autism: An Evaluation of Short- and Long-Term Outcomes

Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
KARLA J. DOEPKE (Illinois State University), Lauryn Toby (Illinois State University), Nicole Moore (Illinois State University), Rachel Arena (Illinois State University), Claire Karlen (Illinois State University), Alyssa Sondalle (Illinois State University), Thomas S. Critchfield (Illinois State University)

Although autism typically results in lifelong impairments in functioning, researchers have demonstrated that applied behavior analysis delivered early in life may improve intellectual and communicative functioning in many children with ASD (Anderson et al., 1987; Harris, et al., 1991; Lovaas, 1987; Sheinkopf & Siegel, 1998). Whereas lawmakers have recommended that educators use evidence-based practices, there is a lack of consensus regarding appropriate service models for educating young children with autism (e.g., Simpson, 2003). The purpose of this investigation is to evaluate the short- and long-term effectiveness of a developmentally focused and behaviorally-based early childhood intervention program for 8 young children ages 3-5. In the current study, changes in childrens communicative, cognitive, adaptive, social, and autism-related functioning over a 9-month period of enrollment and six month follow-up were assessed using standardized autism and cognitive measures, rating scales, and direct observations of behavior every three months. Data were analyzed to assess whether the children made measurable gains in the areas of communication, social skills and adaptive functioning that exceed what would be expected given their developmental trajectories at the start of the intervention. Additionally, measures of the programs treatment fidelity and treatment acceptability are reported. Results indicated high levels of treatment fidelity and significant gains in the majority, but not all of the children during intervention. Follow-up data is currently being collected. Discussion focuses on possible reasons for variable outcomes.

34. Back to the Basics: Revisiting Basic Behavioral Research and its Forgotten Importance in Practice
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
DERIC E. TONEY (University of Nevada, Reno), Linda J. Parrott Hayes (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: For todays practicing applied behavior analyst, there are many variables that play into the selection of interventions used with their clients to produce positive behavior change. Included in these variables is the rate at which the intervention is expected to lead to positive change, resources, social validity, response effort required through implementation, the clinicians history associated with the intervention, and last but not least, empirical support for the interventions effectiveness. Considering these many variables, it is easy for the clinician to lose its roots in our fields basic research and science. Since behavior analysis strives to maintain its natural science status, it is vital that those practicing in the field to maintain close contact with our basic research, ground their applied work in the methods used in basic research, and revisit the experimental work of past decades. In this presentation, the author outlines many concepts heavily explored in the basic literature that have lost their place in practice. Included in the concepts discussed are respondent conditioning, stimulus control, conditioned reinforcement, competition and cooperation, adjunctive behavior, delay to reinforcement, negative reinforcement, behavioral contrast, choice, and commitment. Example scenarios of how each of these concepts can be effective in practice will also be provided.
35. An Evaluation of the Efficacy, Generalization, and Social Validity of an Individualized Approach to Teaching Conversation and Greeting Skills
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
STEPHANIE A HOOD (University of Nebraska Medical Center's, Munroe-Meyer Institution), Kevin C. Luczynski (University of Nebraska Medical Center's Munroe-Meyer Institution), Daniel R. Mitteer (University of Nebraska Medical Center's Munroe-Meyer Institution )
Abstract: Individuals with an autism spectrum disorder commonly exhibit deficits in social skills, which can lead to poor academic achievement, unemployment, and psychopathologies (Chadsey-Rusch, Rusch, & O’Reilly, 1991; Bellini, Peters, Benner, & Hopf, 2007). The purpose of our study was to improve conversational and greeting skills during unscripted interactions with a teenager. Selection of the skills was based on direct observation of the teenager’s social-skill deficits and caregiver preferences. Initial teaching consisted of behavioral skills training in a trial-based format. Next, teaching continued in a session-based format in which textual prompts were provided following incorrect responses. We assessed the effects of our teaching on stimulus generalization of the social skills across several unfamiliar adults, and we obtained stakeholder responses on the social acceptability of the improvement in social skills. A multiple baseline design across behaviors was used to demonstrate experimental control over the teaching procedures on skill acquisition and stimulus generalization to novel adults. The teaching procedures lead to acquisition, maintenance, and generalization for all skills. The results provide initial support of an individualized assessment and intervention process for addressing social skills deficits during unscripted interactions.

Effects of Using a Weighted or Pressure Vest For a Child With Autism

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
AARON DERIS (Minnesota State University, Mankato), Cynthia DiCarlo (Louisiana State University), Catherine Koss (Juneau Public Schools)

The purpose of this study was to assess the effects of a weighted vest and a pressure vest on increasing attention and decreasing self-stimulatory behavior in a child diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Weighted or pressure vests are a commonly used intervention practice by occupational therapist in both school and clinical settings for children who exhibit self-stimulation behaviors and very little research substantiates the usefulness of this intervention. The research hypothesis was that the use of either a weighted vest or a pressure vest would increase attention to task, and decrease self-stimulatory behaviors in children with sensory seeking behavior. This single subject study utilized an alternating treatment design with a four-year-old boy attending school in a self-contained classroom with autism. Results showed that neither the weighted vest, nor the pressure vest significantly increased the childs attention, nor were they effective in decreasing the childs self-stimulatory behaviors from the baseline condition.

37. An Evaluation of Response Restriction to Facilitate Discriminative Control During Functional Communication Training
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
BRIAN D. GREER (University of Nebraska Medical Center’s Munroe-Meyer Institute), Wayne W. Fisher (University of Nebraska Medical Center’s Munroe-Meyer Institute), Angie Christine Querim (Ball State University), Nicole DeRosa (The Kelberman Center and Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital), Ashley Niebauer (University of Nebraska Medical Center’s Munroe-Meyer Institute), Melinda K. Devore (University of Nebraska Medical Center’s Munroe-Meyer Institute)
Abstract: Tiger and Hanley (2008) reported functional communication training (FCT) to be the most published function-based treatment of problem behavior. However, FCT often produces high levels of requests for reinforcement, and caregivers are often unable to reinforce requests at such high levels. Hanley, Iwata, and Thompson (2001) demonstrated that multiple schedules can effectively decrease high levels of requests while maintaining low levels of problem behavior by systematically thinning the time when requests will be honored. In a component analysis of FCT, Betz, Fisher, Roane, Mintz, and Owen (2013) showed discrimination training to be a necessary component of FCT schedule thinning. Unfortunately, some children have difficulty discriminating when reinforcement is available and unavailable during multiple schedules. The purpose of the current investigation was to evaluate response restriction as a method of facilitating discriminated responding during multiple schedules. Results for 4 individuals suggested that response restriction facilitated discriminated responding while maintaining low levels of problem behavior during FCT.

Use of Response Cost for Inattentive Learners With Autism

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
AMBER R. PADEN (University of Nebraska Medical Center's Munroe-Meyer Institute), Tamara L. Pawich (The Scott Center for Autism Treatment at Florida T), Nitasha Dickes (University of Nebraska Medical Center, Munroe-Meyer Institute), Wayne W. Fisher (University of Nebraska Medical Center, Munroe-Meyer Institute)

Children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) often have difficulties with inattention during discrete-trial training, which can interfere with skill acquisition. Prior research in children with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) has shown that response cost procedures can increase childrens accuracy in completing math problems (Carlson, Mann, & Alexander 2000). The purpose of the current study was to extend the findings of Carlson et al. (2000) by evaluating the effects of a response cost procedure on accuracy of responding during discrete-trial training. Three children diagnosed with an ASD and a history of variable, but above-chance levels of correct responding during language tasks participated. A differential reinforcement baseline was used and reinforcement was provided on a fixed-ratio 1 (FR1) schedule. During treatment, reinforcement was provided on a second-order FR1/FR3 schedule in which primary reinforcers were placed in a bin visible to the participant on an FR1 schedule and 3 consecutive correct responses resulted in delivery of the 3 accumulated reinforcers, but an incorrect response resulted in loss of all accumulated reinforcers. This treatment was evaluated using a multiple-baseline-across-participants design. Results showed that accuracy of responding increased for all participants when this response-cost procedure was implemented. In addition, after repeated exposure to the response-cost procedure, accurate responding remained high when the baseline was reintroduced.

39. An Automated Training Program to Teach Observers to Accurately Measure Problem Behavior using a Fast Forwarding Measurement System
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
MYCHAL MACHADO (University of Nebraska Medical Center), Kevin C Luczynski (University of Nebraska's Medical Center's Munroe-M)
Abstract: Training observers to score problem behavior across naturally occurring situations has been conducted, for example, to identify common contingencies (e.g., Thompson & Iwata, 2001) and to inform the design of an experimental analysis (e.g., Mace, Lalli, & Lalli, 1991). Advances in technology have increased the ease with which observers can obtain large video samples of these situations; however, practical issues can make it difficult for observers to score these records accurately and efficiently. In response, we evaluated the efficacy of an automated training program, which consisted of repeated practice with feedback scoring multiple exemplars of problem behaviors from 10-min videos, in teaching direct care staff to accurately score instances of problem behavior when viewed 5x faster than normal speed. We measured omission and commission errors and the total duration of scoring time to determine the observers accuracy and efficiency, respectively, and we used a multiple-baseline design across subjects to evaluate the efficacy of the training program. Following training, all observers scored instances of problem behavior with less than 11% error. These data suggest that observers could be trained to use a fast forwarding measurement system to increase the efficiency of scoring problem behavior, without compromising accuracy, from larger observation samples.

CANCELED: The Stimulus Change in the Situational Management of Self-Injurious Behaviour

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
GEOFF POTTER (The Centre for Applied Behaviour Analysis)

The implications of support of self-injury are discussed. Among the issues is the need to develop effective non-aversive situational management strategies to manage the occurrence of SIB. This poster focuses on stimulus change, discussed little in prior literature, and its potential role in reacting to self-injurious episodes. A case of a young boy in which the behaviour of hitting self with open and closed hands to the right and left side of the head and hitting forehead on objects is presented. Results of the reversal design across functional conditions showed the effects of stimulus change were immediate and dramatic in the reduction of self-injurious behaviour. Potential application and limitations of stimulus change as an alternative to the use of aversive restraint or contingent electrical stimulation are discussed.

41. Establishing Approval and Disapproval as Learned Reinforcers and Aversive Conditions
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
KELLY KOHLER (Western Michigan University), Richard W. Malott (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: Approval and disapproval often do not function as effective reinforcers or aversive conditions for children with autism as they do for many typically developing individuals. This can cause several problems. If approval does not function as a reinforcer for these individuals, additional contrived reinforcers are required in order to increase or maintain appropriate behaviors. These extra reinforcers are more difficult to deliver, less functional, and often suffer the effects of satiation. Due to these reasons, skill acquisition is typically much slower for these individuals than for individuals for whom approval functions as a reinforcer. Additionally, if disapproval does not function as an aversive condition, suppression of inappropriate behaviors also becomes more difficult. Many socially stigmatizing behaviors maintain in individuals for whom disapproval is not an effective aversive condition, which only further isolates them from their typically developing peers. We will establish approval stimuli (e.g., smiles, nods, praise statements) as discriminative stimuli and disapproval stimuli (e.g., frowns, head shakes, "no") as s-deltas. This procedure will involve presenting reinforcing items (e.g., toys, snacks) in the child's vicinity. On approval trials, approval stimuli will be presented and the child will be allowed (and prompted, if necessary) to reach for and consume the reinforcer. On disapproval trials, disapproval stimuli will be presented and the child's attempts to reach for the reinforcer will be blocked. Once it is apparent that a clear discrimination has been established between approval and disapproval stimuli, we will test the effects of approval and disapproval stimuli in the children's everyday lives (e.g., academic instruction, reducing behavioral problems).
42. Establishing Approval as a Learned Reinforcer: Part II
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
JENNIFER FREEMAN (Western Michigan University), Richard W. Malott (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: Social approval does not function as a powerful reinforcer for many children with autism, thereby making it difficult to reinforce appropriate behaviors in a functional and consistent manner. Additionally, disapproval does not punish behaviors of many children with autism, which may be the reason that maladaptive behaviors are so prevalent with children within this population. By establishing approval statements as discriminative stimuli, we would expect them to also become learned reinforcers. This same procedure would also establish disapproval statements as s-deltas, in hopes that they might take on an aversive function. Once these approval statements have been effectively established as reinforcers, we will work to establish other approval statements and gestures as learned reinforcers. We will begin using these statements functionally throughout the child’s day to increase appropriate behaviors while reducing the use of added, contrived reinforcers.

Producing Nutritionally Meaningful Outcomes for Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder and a Feeding Disorder

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
KAYLA D. BROKSLE (University of Nebraska Medical Center's Munroe Meyer Institute), Ling-yan Yang (Munroe-Meyer Institute), Cathleen C. Piazza (University of Nebraska Medical Center's, Munroe-Meyer Institute), Suzanne M. Milnes (University of Nebraska Medical Center's Munroe-Meyer Institute), Jennifer M. Kozisek (University of Nebraska Medical Center, Munroe-Meyer Institute), Cindy Van Riper (Munroe-Meyer Institute), Valerie M. Volkert (University of Nebraska Medical Center's Munroe-Meyer Institute)

Studies have produced conflicting results on the extent to which the diets of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are nutritionally compromised relative to those of typically developing children. Zimmer, Hart, Manning-Courtney, Murray, Bing, and Summer (2012) found that selective eaters with ASD were significantly more likely to be at risk for at least one serious nutrient deficiency. Although Zimmer et al. showed that children with ASD and selective eating are at risk for nutritional deficiencies, no studies to our knowledge have evaluated the extent to which the nutritional content of the diet improves with treatment. Therefore, we conducted a nutritional analysis of the diets of 6 children with ASD who were admitted to our intensive day program for treatment of a feeding disorder. All the children had at least two nutritional deficits based on levels of vitamin D, calcium, folate, and iron. Although the nutritional content of the diet improved posttreatment for all of the children, not all of the children met the recommended daily intake for specific nutrients. The results of the current study emphasize the importance of nutritional analysis to inform selection of foods as targets for treatment in children with ASD and food selectivity.


The Experiences of The Preservice Teachers Doing Internship in The Field of Autism

Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
Yesim Gulec-Aslan (Sakarya University), Hande Cihan (Sakarya University and Anadolu University, Turkey), DAMLA ALTIN (Private)

Determination of the experiences and problems of teachers working or doing internship in the field of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) is very important in the context of teaching qualified teachers. This study examined the experiences of the preservice special education teachers doing internship at a school where students with ASD received education. Phenomenological design was used, and Special Education Department students participated in the study. Data were collected using metaphors, which are a valuable data collection method for gathering deep and new insights. Participants completed questions ASD is like , because , Working in the field of ASD is like , because by writing what autism and working at autism field means for them and why. This data will then be analyzed via descriptive analysis. The findings were discussed within the framework of the literature. We are expecting this research to provide new knowledge about the experiences of preservice special education teachers in different countries like Turkey.




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